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    Arapaima Pond Build

    Discussion in 'Outdoor Ponds' started by Luc70, Jan 12, 2012.

    1. Luc70

      Luc70 MFK Members

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      Hello All,

      Some of you might have seen my thread on an Arapaima that came swimming into my life.
      The whole story can be viewed in another thread, just check my threads and you'll see it there.

      To cut it short, Mr. T. is doing well it seems, settling in surprisingly well in his temporary pond at work.

      So now, I have the urgent and monumental task ahead to build a pond at my house as his permanent home.

      I bought a 2nd house this week, next to my current one, with plans to renovate it over the coming years. With Mr. T. suddenly showing up, I have no choice but to start with the pond first instead of last.
      The pond will be inbetween the two houses which will give it good protection from too much sun, wind and birds/cats and crawlers here in Thailand.

      Let's try to get some numbers going for pond I have in mind.
      First phase would be rectangular pond.
      20 ft long, 6 foot wide. I think max I could go is about 3 to 4 foot deep, unless I tear out the drain in the second house and rerouting it somehow. It's a 15-20" concrete pipe that would go through the full length of the pond.
      Since the second house will be torn apart for most of it, it would be possible to do that. Should be possible to connect to the drain of my current house, leaving the pond free to go to about 5 ft deep.

      In a later extension, I can double the size of the pond by tearing out the concrete wall between the houses, digging out my current garden there and make the same pond there.
      Lower the water in the existing pond, support the liner with a temp. steel construction, break out the separation wall, put a new bigger liner in the existing pond, roll it out under the Pima and up again, then remove the steel support and roll it out further.
      Final pond would then be 10 ft x 20 ft. That's the maximum size I can do. Half at 5 ft deep, the other half at 4 ft.

      1/3rd of the pond will be covered by a wood deck and rest open with planters hanging in the water at the sides to provide hiding space and 'barriers'.
      Since its in between to houses, literally wall to wall pond with a wood deck bridge over it to the front.

      The pond, as said, will be liner, which I think is the surest and fastest way to get it up and running, with rebar-concrete walls just to support the shape and keep the surrounding sand/soil in its place.

      Filtration will be a later issue, I'm thinking of using a drain-pump and several plastic barrels filled up with floss and bio-balls, gravity fed back into the pond.

      So now, please comment and advise on it.
       
    2. Wiggles92

      Wiggles92 MFK Leaders
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      I would buy a liner that is going to be large enough for the larger of the two ponds that way you only have to buy one liner.
       
    3. Luc70

      Luc70 MFK Members

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      Indeed a smarter option, just roll it up on on side and keep it there. Hope I can go for the full pond size straight away, but need to check on cost and construction first.
       
    4. Luc70

      Luc70 MFK Members

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      A lot of things to sort out. Houses are piled with concrete skeleton construction, so any wall can be removed and changed at will. Just stay away from the frame and you're ok.
      Thing is, house is about 15 yr old. The ground seems to be stable now, early years there was substantial sinking of the land around the houses in my area.
      However, we are in a river delta with a very high water-table. With recent flooding, water just pushed through the seams of the concrete base plates for the kitchen floor. So you can imagine that we have a very 'fluid' underground, in other words, there is quite some upward pressure from the water table.

      The pond with water in it, will have a downward pressure of roughly 1500 to 1800 kilogram per square meter. For starters, I need to ensure that it will not crush the drains from the back of my house to the front.
      1 solution could be to have 2 separate concrete structures with the area over drain pipe free, imagine it as a shoebox cut in half and separated leaving the opening free. Then the liner goes over it. When the pond does sink a bit, the drainpipe stays as is and the liner has some extra space to account for the sinking.
      With the liner, this might be the easiest way to not press the drain down.
      Of course, everything will be free, not attached to surrounding walls.
       
    5. Good_Times

      Good_Times MFK Members

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      Why can't you go longer with the pond? In the previous thread you said you can go 7/7.5 meter, that would be much better. If I had a boss who was willing to pay I'd build a small ocean ;). Good luck, from gutter to pond.
       
    6. Luc70

      Luc70 MFK Members

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      No question on the 7 meter. Only question was to go half width first or not. Asked for quotation on full pond. Will hopefully know more next week
       
    7. Luc70

      Luc70 MFK Members

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      Can't wait to see the first quotation. Estimates from my wife and a friend of mine will be in the 150-200k ThB, say 5000 - 6500 USD.
      It's also a figure that will need at least be multiplied by 1.5 for all the additional work.
      For example, I need to ensure that there's no more work necessary on the windows, walls and doors on that side.
      That means taking out doors and frames, replacing it with aluminium/glass framed doors, lots of other things as well.

      Filters for now I am planning DIY. 2 Water-drums with bio-balls and filter socks or filter-pads.
      That would give me a start on the water. Once running, I will see what else I would need.
      Run them with 1/2 Hp drain-pump for each drum and it would give me close to 1x turnover of the pond p/hour.
      Gravity fed, there's also no headaches on draining disasters.
      Just get pumps with floater-cut off and it will stop at a certain level if anything goes wrong.
      1 pump goes out, at least I will have backup. If the drums can be connected somehow, then it would even keep the filter alive.
      Think it's easy to do...both pumps drain into the same holding tank above the drums.
      From there, through the filter-socks or pads or anything else for mechanical, there's two drains in the bottom of the holding tank, 1 going to each drum full of bio-balls.
      Then just pipe them back to the pond by gravity.

      So many options and possibilities. Running the water through planters for example, that drip into the pond again.
      Need also ensure that I don't get trouble with flooding in the future. At least last year's flooding showed me what to do...lol, learned a lot...
       
    8. Luc70

      Luc70 MFK Members

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      This morning Mr.T doing fine. Went through his breakfast and is active. Changing water now, algae coloring it green fast. Hope to finish a more permanent filter and water change this week.
      Will also give me good info on building the next one for the pond.
       
    9. Luc70

      Luc70 MFK Members

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      Well, working on the plans. Today my contractor came in with an engineer. I know him, does some work for my company as well, but did not know his background.
      Anyhow, my contractor is almost finished with draft plans. Bits and pieces I heard today already. Going to be water-proof concrete, so liner might not be necessary. Also, it will be a single pour concrete build. So there will not be any trouble with leaking seams. Corners will be 45' angles, makes for stronger build and...by accident, Pima's don't like corners, ideal.
      Still dubbing and doubting about the drain. One thing I have in mind is to put it deeper and hava a drain pump emptying a collection well at the front of the house. Will see later when plans firm up.
      Engineer will check and approve on everything, so structurally we will be ok.

      Mr.T is doing just fine. Too fine I'd say, our house keeper panicked lunchtime, telling me he was sick and not eating. Turns out, over the last 1 & 1/2 day he'd gone through almost a kilo of prawn, so his second feeding he just ignored the food. Lol...evening before going home he was very eager coming up to his feeding spot and looking and waiting. Finished the remaining 5 prawns and looked very happy.

      Changed a bit in the circulation, spraying some water around for more aeration and ventilation. Overall going well. Now curious on the price for the pond. Then get approval I hope...

      Cheers,
      Luc
       
    10. Good_Times

      Good_Times MFK Members

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      Water-proof concrete, cool, never heard of that before.
       

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