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My Pond,  "Maintenance and Running Costs"

The capacity of the pond (to it's automatic top-up level) is 47,000 litre with an additional 2,300 Litre in the filter system.   The main circulation rate is 15,000 l/h with a secondary circulation circuit of 10,000 l/h.   An additional 15,000 l/h pump is sited on the floor of the pond to provide both  movement and de-stratification of the water mass.  The 'Answer' is fitted with it's own high pressure backwash pump rated at about 275W (1/3 Hp). 

Air to the Bio-filter is provided by a Hi-blow 110 industrial Air Pump.  A separate air supply to the pond itself is powered by a Koi-Air 65 and delivered via a 1/2" hose to a 16 outlet manifold on the floor of the pond.  No air-stones are used, the air being released directly by the 16 x 3mm outlet valves on the manifold.   This heavy aeration combined with the strong water movement from the pump ensure that the floor of the pond is continuously scoured to direct all debris to the bottom drains.  After several years of operation the floor of the pond is totally, and I do mean TOTALLY, free from any debris or silt.

Water temperature is monitored and controlled by a computer controlled management unit which operates 365 days per year.  However the minimum temperature is set to 14 Deg C so the oil-fired boiler only operates when the water temperature falls close to this value.  During the summer the water is allowed to stabilise at it own temperature dependant upon weather conditions.

The good news is that the pond is in excellent condition with good water quality and clarity, and full of happy healthy fish.  The down side is the running costs.   Electricity costs for the pond alone are approx. £375 per quarter.  Recent fluctuations in the price of heating oil make it difficult to give costs, but I can tell you that in the 6 months from October 2004 to March 2005 the system used 1,300 Litre to maintain the 14 Deg min temperature.

During the winter months the systems are checked daily. The Answer is cleaned with a 5% water change on a weekly basis.  The Vortex chamber and primary settlement tank are purged fortnightly with approx. 3,000 ltr.  During the mid-summer months this increases to twice-daily checks with the Answer being cleaned every evening with a 1% water change.  The vortex and settlement chambers are purged twice weekly, (Wednesdays and Saturdays), with 10% water changes.  I know most people will pale at the prospect of exchanging up to 5,000 litres of water twice a week.  For me however, the flushing system which I designed discharges water at the rate of approx. 1,000 l/min, so it really is a Five-minute-job. I don't even have to refill it as the auto top up does this itself in about 4 hours.  The UV unit operates all year around with the Tubes being replaced every spring. 

During the Summer the fish consume about 1/2 Kg of floating Koi sticks per day plus the occasional pieces of brown bread, lettuce, fresh oranges cut in half and whole prawns fed by hand.  Despite this, Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate levels are all zero and I do not suffer from either Blanket Weed, or Green Water.