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Frequently Asked Questions

  How can I measure gallonage of my pond?

In a square or regtangular pond: length x width x depth (in feet) x 7.48 = gallons.

In a circular pond: Area x depth (in feet) x 7.48 = gallons
(Area = pi x radius squared) (pi = 3.1416) (radius = 1/2 diameter)

In freeform shaped ponds: Divide pond into rectangles, squares and circles - add the divided areas together.


   Why is black the preferred color for ponds? This is a common question. There is a very good reason why black is the preferred color. Any lighter color will reflect light creating more algae problems and will make it difficult, if not near impossibl, for the pond to become biologically balanced. Black absorbs light. Viewing of fish is enhanced by black, it makes the pond look deeper than it is.


   I need a new filter system for my 1500 gal koi pond. In many comments posted on the net, people say BBF's work great the first year but then poorly the years after. What has been your experience?

There are many pressurized systems on the market today. We prefer the Aqua Ultraviolet Ultima II to all others on the market due to the unique media used. Unlike nearly all professional grade pressurized filters, the Ultima II uses a Kaldness K1 type (like) media. Almost all other prefessional grade pressure filters use polyethylene beads as media. One of the advantages to the Ultima II media is that it does not have the characteristics when backflushing that the polyethylene bead has.

Ultima II media is lightweight and has unique design aspects. One design aspect is that it has an internal web which provides an environment for bacteria to remain relatively undisturbed during the backflush process.

See "Filter Selection" for a comparison between Open Bed and Pressurized Filter Systems.


  When installing a new flexible liner pond, no matter how small, it is always to your minimum-maintenance advantage to install a pond bottom drain or bulkhead fitting as a drain to which an inlet screen can be added. If the installation does not permit this drain to be gravity fed away from the pond, it can always be connected to the suction side of a pump. Even if you do not plan to install a filter system right away this plumbing line can be capped for eventual hookup.


  We recommend remotely located external filters which provide user-friendly features such as the removal of waste from the filter without disrupting the pond or requiring heavy lifting and messy, time-consuming physical work associated with in-pond filters.

External filters remove waste directly off the bottom of the pond leaving very little, if any, residue. External filters also remove unsightly mechanical and electrical components from the viewing area. They also allow, by design, the use of a radical tapered bottom chamber in the filter for collection and removal of heavy debris.

  Even for very small ponds (200 - 600 gallons), we do not recommend the use of typical in-pond filter systems. Although relatively inexpensive, they will not serve you or your pond system well. Upon removal and cleaning of these systems you can disrupt the waste in the filter as well as the remaining waste in the pond. [filtration]

  Pumps designed for pond use have these features in common:

They are designed for continuous duty - 24 hours a day.
They are energy efficient, quiet and long lasting.
They are able to pump water with some soft waste in suspension.
They are high volume, low pressure and are installed outside of the pond .
We do not recommend sump pumps or oil-filled submersible pumps.

  Concrete ponds:

Obtain any shape desired.
Create your own bottom drains.
Infinite border edge finishes and possibilities.
Create your own skimmer pocket.
Done properly, is long lasting.
Done properly, it's the most expensive method of construction.
Greatest amount of physical effort.
Requires multiple workers.
High disruption factor to the job site.
Conditioning of the concrete surface after completion.

  Will it have any sealant activity if I embed boulders in the sides of a poured concrete pond?

I do not recommend embedding boulders in the sidewalls or bottom of concrete ponds. The reasons: It invites leaks, provides breeding areas for anaerobic bacteria and although possible, is seldom done in a manner that minimizes the potential for creating these unwanted anaerobic environments.

It is especially important to avoid embedding rocks on the floor. No matter how clean the masonary work is done, you will still create large pockets between the rocks where currents cannot adequately carry the debris to your bottom drain and filtering system. This debris stagnates in these pockets and due to low dissolved oxygen levels in this benthic layer of your pond anaerobic bacteria proliferate.
See "A Major Construction Flaw" by Joe Cuny

  What is a GFI?

A GFI is a ground fault interupter, electric device. You have probably seen one of these devices in any recently built building. Typically found in bathrooms or anyplace where water is adjacent to an elecrical power source. They are a safety device to prevent electrical shock.

  I am looking at your Ultraviolet filter system (the UV-40). How does it install? I have a pond with a swimming pool pump. Does it connect behind this pump, or would I need another pump to run the filter?

Installation techniques for Ultraviolet light filters vary depending on the particular pond system. Whenever possible uv light filters should be mounted on the "clean" side of any filter system. They should also be mounted horizontally to prevent water condensation build-up in the quartz sleeve that houses the uv bulb.

We do not recommend swimming pool pumps on koi ponds as they are:

  • not energy efficient - high amperage draw,
  • noisy,
  • typically operate at 3450 rpm's and therefore have high service factors,
  • they are typically high pressure, low volume performing pumps - koi ponds should use low pressure high volume and low rpm (1725 rpm) Pumps.

  I am designing my first pond. I have many years of experience designing, therefore the pond design concept is pretty straightforward. My main aim is to build this project as I want it and not to in the future have to upgrade because I decided to add fish for example. My plans call for the pond to contain approximately 4000 gallons and hold plants and a few koi. It is divided into two sections with a small stream (8-10 ft in length) connecting. The upper pond will be approximately 2 ft. above the lower which is at ground level. I will use some type of biological filter system and a good pump. This is where I need serious advice. I require low maintenance on the filter. Can you help with suggestions (filter and pump)? Also it is flex liner.

Pond designs of this type often are problematic in that their owners sometimes (or most times) fail to consider the fact that in general, any aquatic body of water that spills into another should be equipped with a relatively large ported bottom drain (in both bodies of water - the lower body being the drain which is conected to a pump/filter system).

All upper ponds of multilevel aquatic bodies of water will, over time, act as "settling chambers", collecting fine bacterial & fish mulm, which will sit at the bottom of these upper ponds (on the floor) and slowly create environments which are void or very low in oxygen. These benthic stratas (biological term for bottom aquatic layer) become anaerobic. Anaerobic bacterial growth at this benthic layer is the perfect environment for pathenogenic bacteria to develop.

Koi and goldfish are attracted to these areas during the winter months because of this warmer temperate zone. This is also the time of year when the fish population is in a hibernation type metabolic state and as a result, their immune system is not at its full capacity to ward off disease. It should be the pond builder's goal to minimize these environments as much as possible and instead attempt to create aerobic environments wherever and whenever possible.

Please review the pages of free information regarding pumps, filtration& the nitrogen cycle on our website. This should help you to make a decision regarding your pump & filtration system.