build a fish pond
Page 3 of Build a Fish Pond Continued...

Component 3 - Eduction Jets

These “horn-looking” devices screw into bulk head fittings that are installed into the side walls of the pond to direct the water and increase circulation. The bulk head fittings that hold the jets should be placed about midway down the wall. We suggest reducing the PVC size to 1 1/2” from the main return line to the induction jets. To create the same water flow in both jets the reduced PVC should tee as shown below.

Although the main purpose of installing induction jets is to add circulation and direct water flow there are several added benefits. Fish simply love to play in the stream. This type of “playing” gives them great exercise and, in the long term, your fish will benefit with stronger bodies.

build a fish pond

Component 3a - Gate Valve

For control of how much water to go through the induction jets a gate valve should be installed. Place it on the reduced 1 1/2” PVC before you tee to each induction jet.

Component 4 - Skimmer

Skimmers are used to continuously pull leaves and other floating debris off the top of the water. The “old fashioned” way of keeping the water clear is by using a net to rake off the leaves. During Fall a skimmer is a God-send if the pond is located where trees shed their leaves.

We only keep a fish safe kind of skimmer in stock. There are others that pull water from the side of the pond - thus the name “side skimmer” - that use the same principles as swimming pool skimmers. The danger with the side skimmer is that food being sucked into the skimmer may lure an unsuspecting fish into the device, trapping and killing him.

The skimmer we suggest be used on any pond system that may house fish is one that is a rounded unit with a basket inside that floats to accommodate varying water levels. This unit is installed using 1 1/2” PVC through a bulk-head fitting in the side of the pond wall. It pulls water from all sides and prohibits fish from going past the basket. Like the bottom drain the skimmer should also be installed at an area away from the water return so the waters current can direct the leaves and debris to it.

Component 4a - Gate Valve

If we do not turn off the skimmer whenever we feed our fish the food will literally go down the drain before the fish have a chance to eat. (Unless the fishs name is Daniel. The Doc and I watched with amusement as one of Gaye & Frank Comtois’ Koi, Daniel, learned to tip the skimmer basket to retrieve any food that got passed him). A quick and easy fix to this is to install a gate valve that we can close whenever we want to turn off the flow from the skimmer. This gate valve should be installed in conjunction with a “T” which should be located just prior to the pump in the PVC line.

Component 5 - The Pump

The pump is one of those necessary components. The decision that needs to be made is what kind and strength of pump to purchase. Our dream system calls for an outside pump. There are a slew of different outside pumps from which to choose.

The power of available outside pumps range from 1/4 hp to 3 hp (and beyond) and can come in low amperage, high performance and dual speed models. Some models are better suited for high waterfalls than others. Different pumps offer different flow rates (gph). Some people prefer rushing waterfalls while others prefer a gentle stream. Ponds may be built with attached streambeds that run 30-40 feet away from the pond and may rise as high as 15 to 20 feet above water level. All of these factors must be considered when determining which pump is best suited for each individual pond design.

It is best to prepare a level, solid surface for the pump to sit. 2-speed pumps allow you to use less energy whenever you are not enjoying the pond. You have the choice to switch it to high when you backwash the filter or if you want the waterfall to “really bounce” while entertaining.

Locate the pump as close to the bottom drain that feeds it as possible. The less the pump has to work to suck the water the better. It is easier for the pump to push the water. A flooded suction model can be used if the pump is located below the level of the water, for example, on land that slopes below the pond.

Design Tip

Plumb the pump with quick disconnects so you can easily pull the pump off for repair or replacement.

Resources: This article is from the Pond Doc's Website.

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