The Great Woodford Project

A Man, A Plan, A Pond

I Like that !

This is a diagram of our pond that appeared in the Spring 1996 issue of the Nishigigoi International magazine. We have a 2 page spread of pictures of our Koi pond in that issue.

{Plan of the new pond}

The following pictures show the removal of the first 1500 gallon pond and a few of the major construction phases of the new 5000 gallon pond. From forms to function, the overall construction lasted about two months.

{Removal of the old pond} {Start of frame for the new pond.}

The first part of the Woodford Project was to remove the old 1500 gallon pond. The old pond was the first attempt to construct a Koi pond. Most major mistakes in pond construction were accomplished in the first project. The removal of the old pond started around the end of March, 1992.
Once the old pond was removed, a frame was constructed to define the top edge of the new 5000 gallon pond.

{Hole for sump plumbing} {Plumbing at the sump end of the pond.}

The trench for the sump pump. This will be the deepest spot in the pond at 4 feet.
The remaining plumbing for the sump. The design calls for vertical sides 30 inches deep at the shallow end where the falls will be. The pond slopes to 48 inches at the drain.
The white PVC pipe coming around to the left will contain the 9 jets which will help move the foreign matter to the drain and create a small current for the Koi to swim against.

{Concrete re-bar to form a "real" pond} {Mr. Concrete man making it happen.}

"Mr. Fridentine" makes the final inspection of the reinforcing members before the concrete, also known as "mud", is poured.
The concrete company supplies the sprayers to apply the "mud", to the new pond. When dried, the concrete will have 3 coats of Thoroseal. This can be tinted with Lampblack to give a darker appearance.

{Concrete re-bar to form a "real" pond} {Mr. Concrete man making it happen.}

The mud has dried and is set. Now, the moss rocks, that define the pond edge, are set in place before the landscaping defines the pond's character.
The sump is completed and the plumbing is in place. Two 4 inch pipes carry the water to the 300 gallon sump which is 7 feet deep. These two lines are turned at an angle to achieve a vortex effect within the sump. In the summer the sump is drained every 3 days; in the winter it is drained every 5 days.

{Transfer the Koi from the holding ponds to the new 5000 gallon pond} {All the kids are in their new home.}

Once the new pond was filled and the water stabilized, the Koi were added one by one.
All the Koi are very ecstatic in their new pond. They were so content and happy, that they had a catered party (the appetizers consisted of frog legs) the following weekend.

{Transfer the Koi from the holding ponds to the new 5000 gallon pond} {Filter in the making.}

Teel pumps - 1/4 and 1/5 hp - move the water. Only the ¼ is used in the winter.
The small up-flow gravel filter, under construction, is shown here. Both filters 1) incorporate a 2hp blower used periodically to air purge the gravel and 2) are aerated via air grids.

{New vegetation around the new pond.} {All the kids are in their new home.}

This is what we wake up to in the morning. It adds stress to my life knowing that these Koi have no control over the DOW Jones Industrial averages.
The back yard lighting system has 500 and 300 watt transformers for lighting different parts of the pond and surroundings. The two transformers allow using shorter wires which is important. 35 watt bulbs are used and provide too much luminescence at times. However, this is compensated for by using a a dimmer switch.

A heating system, shown below, was installed in the fall of 1998. By heating the water, it helps in the transition from winter to spring. Our water in the winter seldom falls below 40° without the heater. By warming the water to 60°, the Koi's immune system is more active, thus preventing disease. In the winter, the top two ponds are covered with a spa type of insulation blanket. This makes the heating bills a little more tolerable.

{heater installed in the fall of '97}

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