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Simply Koi and More Koi • View topic - Inlet and Vortex, major alterations

Inlet and Vortex, major alterations

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Inlet and Vortex, major alterations

Postby Bob Hart » Mon Jun 05, 2006 6:47 am

Hi all,

When I built my pond 11 years ago, it was built on a tight budget. For £4k I built an 11,000 gallon pond and filters, pretty good going I thought. I didnt know anyone else who kept Koi, there were no forums like this therefore everything was built using book or magazine references, plus experience with building my previous 4500 gallon pond at my last house. The pond and filters were all built of concrete and concrete blocks, very sturdy and meant to last and all were then fibreglassed.

Over the years though I've made various alterations, including proper benching in the filters which reduced the filter capacity by 1000 gallons from 2,500 to 1,500 gallons in total.

I still had a couple of niggling problems though, which had been there since the start.
- The Vortex never completly drained. Poor design with the Vortex depth being deeper than the waste drain point.
- The inlet chamber had a flat bottom and all the crap used to lie up in there. This chamber has 3 x 4" bottom drain pipework coming into it plus a 3" side wall drain and instead of fitting isolation valves, I fitted push-fit pipe upstands. These enabled each drain to be isolated, just like a valve. Unfortunatly the flat bottom was a poor design. 11-years ago 4" ball valves were a fortune to buy each and as I needed 3 of them I saved a fair bit here, but built in a problem!
- This filter copes with a 5000 gallons per hour throughput and some of the pipes between each filter section are restrictive. I used 4" pipes between the Inlet and Vortex, but then these were fibreglassed inside, which reduced the size to about 3.5 inch.

Picture of the Vortex which doesnt drain properly. 3 x 4" inlets can be seen at the top, these coming infrom the inlet chamber. There were only 2 originally, I added a third a few years back when doing the filter benching.
Image

This is the Inlet chamber with the pushfit upstands fitted. The flat bottom can be seen here. The 3" side wall drain was converted to take an Aquamax 15000 and to pump to my Bakki Shower a couple of years ago.
Image

This shows the depth of this inlet chamber, 45" for those who cant read the tape measure.
Image

So what was to be done - see next post
Regards, Bob
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Postby Bob Hart » Mon Jun 05, 2006 7:01 am

After a few chats with Dave Arnold last year, it was decided that a new Vortex bottom cone should be made and retro-fitted. This would raise the floor of the vortex up by 12" and with a 4" sump fitted would allow the vortex to empty. There may be some water still left in the 4" pipe, but it would be a lot better and allow this to be flushed away. I made a 'template' for Dave and sent it up to him so he could make the cone in his workshop. I did have a picture of this fantastic template, but cant quite find it at the moment.

The inlet chamber was also to have a slope fitted into it. This would allow any muck that came into it, to hopefully find its way through to the Vortex.

At the same time, the 3 x 4" pipes between the inlet chamber and Vortex would be changed for 2 x 6" pipes. This would allow a greater throughput of water, with minimum drop in water level.

Also to further improve the system, an Easy type system was to be fitted into the Vortex. This would fit inside the Vortex and again after a few chat's with Dave, he suggested fitting one of his 'double skinned' devices in there. This would man that the whole vortex didnt have to be emptied each time the Easy was cleaned, just the contents of this unit. In fitting this I took the decision to therefore increase the size of the Vortex outlet pipes, from 3 x 4" to 2 x 6" again.

Are you still following this????? See next post for the start of the work.
Regards, Bob
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Postby Bob Hart » Mon Jun 05, 2006 7:14 am

So Saturday 3rd June became d-day for the start of the major work, with Dave A coming down during the following week to fit the nex cone and glass up all the changes.

A couple of likely volunteers were rounded up - Gazza and Des - plus Sven another friend to deal with the scuba diving.

To work in the inlet chamber properly, the 3 x 4" bottom drain had to be isolated. Therefore screw up bungs had to be fitted to each drain. The lids were removed and a bung fitted into each hole. These drain were made for me 11 years ago and saved another fortune. Each lid has 3 screws holding the flat lid down with spacers underneath.

A few pictures of Scottish Sven the scuba diver in action.

Sven and Gazza contemplating
Image

In the 3.5 feet shallow end
Image

Bung fitted
Image

6 feet down
Image

Popping up for air
Image
Regards, Bob
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Postby Bob Hart » Mon Jun 05, 2006 7:19 am

Here's the pictures you've been waiting for, some action by the boys.

4 x 6" holes had to be made in the concrete block walls, which ranged from 9" to 12" thick. So a lots of physical work for us office boys, you can see why it needed 3 of us! Plus lots of fibreglass to be ground off, which made a righ old mess.
Try hiring a 6" core drill, it is smaller than 6" pipe - work that one out. So 12mm holes were drilled around the outside of the 6" pipe marked on the wall, then the blocks chisled out. Handy that Gazza's drill took an SDS chisel bit. Each hole took a good hour or so to complete.

Gazza standing in the Vortex, drilling through to the next chamber. Des supervising from above.
Image

Close up
Image

Des grinding off the old 4" pipes, Gazza still drilling away. Inlet chamber can be seen behind Gazza.
Image
Regards, Bob
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Postby Bob Hart » Mon Jun 05, 2006 7:23 am

This is what we ended up with.

Image

Image

Image
Regards, Bob
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Postby Bob Hart » Mon Jun 05, 2006 7:25 am

Then yesterday I fitted the 4" bottom drain upstands, made up the inlet chamber slope and foamed up all the gaps. That took all day in the blazing sunshine.

Inlet chamber slope, with some bricks laid on top to keep it's shape while the foam goes off.
Image

Image

Today I need to make it all smooth and await a call from Dave to say which day he will be down this week.

My main filter if offline this whole time though, so the pond is being filtered by my Bakki Shower only, with a 3500 gallon/hour turnover. Koi are on a stravation diet!
Regards, Bob
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Postby B.Scott » Mon Jun 05, 2006 7:36 am

Looking good Bob!

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Postby sharpy30 » Mon Jun 05, 2006 9:13 am

looking good bob :lol:

you certanly have got a job on your hands there.

thanks dave
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Postby dho » Mon Jun 05, 2006 9:20 am

WOW, Bob what a job to tackle but it had to be done.

I have almost the exact same problem as you! I have a nice settlement chamber than takes 300+ gallons, with 2x4" pipe from the BD in and 2x4" pipe out. Thankfully I did not fibreglass the inside of my pipes. :roll: . I have decided that the settlement chamber had to go! All that lovely block work, render and fibreglass. I have got myself a nice square top vortex (picking it up in a couple of weeks) which I intend to cut a couple of holes for the 2x4" outlet and convert to use static K1. So all I have to do is to drop the water level, knock the existing settlement out and fit in the vortex and Bob's your uncle as it were. Easy pleasy hopefully.

All the best with the conversion. I am sure you will keep us informed of the progress.

David.
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Postby MOSSY » Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:16 pm

good stuff. cracking fish as well.

wish 4 grand would get an 11000 gallon pond now although having said that it would take over almost all of my garden and i think the boss and the kids would have something to say about it!!
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Postby Gazza » Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:07 pm

Hey you are sneaky with that camera...glad you got my best side...and thats not my Grey hair its the dust.........i wished :lol:

We had a great day with food and drinks supplied and even though it was hard work it had to be done and as you all know Bob is normally helping out someone else so it was about time he got some help :wink: I have a nice Red neck and ears from the sun after being stuck in the whole but hey we had a giggle.

As you can see guys its a big old filter and i think with these improvements Bob will be over the moon once its all done as i know its something he has been thinking of doing for some time.

Now as for the $k remember that was a long time ago you know all those years back just think how muck 4k would be worth in new money :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Regards,

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Postby fatherted » Mon Jun 05, 2006 9:40 pm

Takes some effort to go back and put things right afterwards - well done Bob. Thanks for all the pics and info posted once again. I for one am very grateful for the amount of effort you put into sharing these things with us.
Luke

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Postby Bob Hart » Mon Jun 05, 2006 9:50 pm

Thanks for all your comments, it's a big job, but all is now ready for fibreglassing! Anyone seen Dave A on your travels - LOL

Gazza - it was a pleasure to have yours and Des's company for the day and we all worked dam hard. You say you had a red neck, my whole head looked like a beetroot it was so sunburnt!

It will all be worth it though, I hope.
Regards, Bob
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Postby Gazza » Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:00 pm

Not The Gazza From E-Bay

Regards,

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Postby kimr » Mon Jun 05, 2006 11:43 pm

All The Best

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