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FAQs on Pumps in Water Feature Construction

Related Articles: Pumps for Ponds

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Aquatic Gardens

Ponds, Streams, Waterfalls & Fountains:
Volume 1. Design & Construction
Volume 2. Maintenance, Stocking, Examples

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

How much gph do i need for my 50 gallon goldfish pond?        2/9/15
Hi. I plan on putting 1 Shubunkin comet cross I have in a 50 gallon, plastic container pond. It will be in a plastic terracotta container above ground. It will have a submersible flat box filter with a gph of 400 gph. Is 400 gph enough for this fish in the 50 gallon container? Thank you.
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/before/index.htm
and put in the two words: pond filtration

Pool pumps usable for fish?   6/11/12
I am wondering if a pool pump can be adapted to my newly made goldfish pond, about 800 gallons.
I am wanting to do this maybe to save money & find a used one vs. spending so much for an official pond pump.
<Mmm, can be done; but I assure you, it pays, make that PAYS to investigate the operational (electrical) cost of moving water w/ whatever pump choices you have. For small volumes, low flows and head pressures, there are some quite economical "aquarium" pump possibilities... Mmm, volts times amps equal watts... and you pay by the kilowatt-hour... Learn to read/understand power curves per your intended application (available online for most pumps from their manufacturers and distributors)>
I  have recently put in some cheap goldfish, but I want the water to look clean. I'm currently using a water fountain pump designed for about a 20 gal - until I can find one I can afford, and the water looks murky, I am using 1/4 cup algaecide
<Don't do this... these chemical mixtures are toxic... not of use w/ biological systems>
 once a week and still looks murky and algae grows on rubber.
<Mmm, please read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Pool pumps usable for fish?   6/12/12

Thanks so much, I will look up all the suggested web sites,
Sincerely, Barb
<Ah, welcome. BobF>

Re: Pond Rehab Query   4/23/2011
Thanks for the suggestions Bob! I am more and more leaning towards building a good upflow filter for this pond.
<Better than down flow for sure>
I have used these before in my last job as a LFS retail manager. They seemed to hold up fairly well with minimal maintenance (with proper/thorough mechanical filtration in place of course!) The only question I have in regards to this is the way the pump is affixed to the filter. In my previous store, the pump was T'd off with a ball valve going into the aeration tower, with the rest of the water going back to the display tanks, and the overflow from the upflow filter going back into the sump. I am guessing I should have the flow directly into the aeration tower at the top portion, still T'd off to the UV with a ball valve to control the flow to the UV. (Yes, the UV does have a coated quartz sleeve)
<Mmm, I'd trade this unit out... for sure... for one w/ this mat. or Teflon sleeving. The TMC Vectron units are my fave... can be gotten through Quality Marine in LA... the one you have there does not really work when the water is cool temperature... Most all the time>
Now, I believe the volume of water from the overflow (at the top of the upflow filter) will be enough to power the waterfall tank... Do you agree?
<With an "adequate" pump (see WWM re) and plumbing diameter (likely 1.5 or 2" ID) it should be>
I was also interested in what you meant by recirculating the water from mid-water. Should I have some sort of screen over the inlets, or other protection so fish don't find themselves in a pipe?
<Yes, assuredly>
Or should I just run a
45/90 degree fitting at the end of the inlet towards the wall of the pond?
<Do use screens>
And I have been reading more on pumps, and I am still in-between several different models. Submersed solids-handling/External with check valves to keep prime/Self-priming external...
The possibilities seem endless! I need something that is reasonably priced, but gets the job done.
<VERY important to realize the real cost (operation) here...>
If I were to turn over the surface area once per minute, I would need a 12,000 GPH pump!
This seems a bit much to me, I was thinking something closer to 6,000 GPH.
Any suggestions?
<Yes: Sequence... also avail. through QM>
I want enough flow to power the filters and waterfall; to keep the pond clean and healthy, have a calming waterfall sound. I don't want the customer's backyard transformed into Victoria Falls! Thanks for your time and all you do!
<Again and ongoing welcomes. BobF, out to the desert>

Fountain pump throttling   1/20/11
Hello, I have a Syncra silent .5 pump
<Ahh, a Sicce product>
that I want to use for my fountain. As is, it's way to powerful for the fountain. So I want to use a ball valve to reduce the flow...Should it be installed on the return or outflow side of the pump? Does it matter?
<It does indeed... centrifugal pumps should only "push", never pull against restriction... You should put a "tee" on the discharge side and a ball or gate valve on the "extra" side of the tee... opening same to lessen flow, pressure>
And are all ball valves about the same in terms of quality?
If not, what brand do you recommend?
<Spears, Dura...>
I want good quality and don't mind paying more for it.
I also plan to run this pump externally/out of the water to reduce noise
<Mmm, if so, you will have to "drain" the discharge water back to the system. I would run this pump submersed>
caused from vibration and so I can wrap it with sound deadening material.
Are all sound deadening materials about the same or is there one that would be ideal for what I want to do here?
Thank you,
<Arranging the dilution of flow as stated will not result in cavitation, noise. Bob Fenner>

Advice about pond pump & filter, and Pb    1/10/11
I am replacing a pond pump (1/6hp Seahorse by Pentair 3250 gph) with a more powerful and efficient pump (Sequence 5000 gph).
<Very good sub., move>
I'm also replacing the filter.
The new pump will attach to 2" PVC and feed an upflow filter I am making from a 100 gallon plastic stock tank (the kind they use to water cattle and horses, etc).
<Understood... IF possible, I'd choose a much larger one/volume. This pump, if all water is directed through the planned one, will be too much flow>
The drain will be on the side on the top.
What size drain pipe do I need at the top of the tub, considering that the exit will be gravity fed?
<... Mmm, likely two 4 inchers... Really, redundancy is a good idea here.
Please read:
and http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/upflowfiltpds.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Thank you.

Cal Pump Engineering / Design, pond   4/14/10
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I would like to pose an engineering / design parameter question regarding the Cal Pump torpedo line of pumps.
<Ah, memories. When I first met Carl Price, he had just moved Calvert Engineering from Calvert Street to a bigger place on Hayvenhurst Ave in Van Nuys, CA. Many "firsts" in the Cal-Pimp line back then. Now, many years after his passing, it's little more than a brand name for Little Giant.><<! Our old corporation, Nature Etc., Inc. used to distribute Cal-pumps! RMF>>
I am coming from an electrical engineering / modification perspective as an industrial electronics technician with 35 years of experience in my field, but - I have minimal knowledge of ponds, pumps and the like.
<Me, too>
Generally speaking, when I need or am looking to achieve a specific electrical performance or outcome, I design or re-design as needed to get the results I am seeking.
<I do a lot of myself -- I once designed a 24vdc relay that could turn an electrical outlet on & off from a programmable sprinkler timer. That way I could set a timer that would, one day a week, turn on a pump for 15 minutes to drain some water and then turn on a sprinkler valve that would replenish the water. Presto! Automatic weekly water changes! Of course, after spending about 30 hours and $90 on the project, I found that Rainbird already made such a relay (called a Pump Relay) that I could have gotten off the shelf for $28 '¦>
Having said all of that, I wish to inquire if the Cal Pump 10,000 gallon torpedo's internal design and operating parameters - knowing the pump motor is designed to operate on a dedicated 120 VAC 60 Hz circuit, will permit, without mechanical and electrical stress or damage - being powered through an add-on electronic control element with the specific purpose in mind of speed control - hence; reduced or variable GPH?
The thought in mind would be to install the 10,000 GPH pump, being able to operate and vary it safely without stress or damage in the 6,000 to 10,000 GPH range of flow. The side benefit thought (if it is a real - reasonable expectation from the engineering / design perspective) would be to benefit from the larger, higher capacity pump design (greater mechanical and electrical stamina) while operating a slower, (and adjustable) more subtle flow / waterfall rate.
<Good thought - but you can't do that with pumps of this nature. What you'll do is cause immense amounts of heat within the motor compartment leading to premature failure. The motor will attempt to draw more current (amperes) to generate the power required.>
Three years ago, "We" (this is my wife's project - I'm just her main source of some technical assistance) initiated the pond with the Cal 10,000 torpedo but it died at about 2 years of service. We replaced that 10,000 with the same, but downsized to the 7500 GPH pump, which has now died after only a year of service, following the repeat scenario below which I will explain briefly.
<Again, there is no line of AC motor-driven pumps in the "pool and pond" series that are designed to work on reduced input voltage. There ARE Two-speed pumps available.>
We have the system powered from a dedicated 120 VAC circuit, but on several occasions, site service providers have tapped our pump power to use their monster size power tools / appliances (ZAP! - ZAP! line transients???). In both of these tapped power instances, the Cal pump has died within a week or two afterwards. I believe skill saws, rotary hammers and the like have possibly back-fed line transients into the pump damaging motor components.
<Nope. Oddly enough, the motors ARE protected from those sort of transients.>
While we need to take steps to prevent the power from inadvertently being used for "other" purposes, I want to explore the possibility of safely operating the 10,000 GPH torpedo at less than "full bore" speeds. Would you please review and comment along these lines of thinking.
<There are a number of ways you can approach this, Dennis.>
<The obvious way is a two speed pump -- high speed for aeration and water effects and then low speed for minimum circulation at night>
<Plumb a high volume pump and a low volume pump in parallel and use a timer to switch from one to the other. A pair of in-line check valves and a home-made relay box to hold Pump #2 OFF while pump #1 is ON ... and you're done!>
<You COULD do it with a series of electrically actuated solenoids on the output of one pump, but '¦. Ewwwwww!>
This pond is a decorative element of the corporate office grounds, of a non-profit, social services organization. Any technical assistance or insight is greatly appreciated.
<No, Dennis, it's not. What it is, technically, is a hole in the ground that causes creative and energetic people like us get sucked into thousands of hours of energy trying to create innovative solutions to problems that more "ordinary" people have long since just learned to live with '¦. LOL>
Best Regards,
Dennis & Diana
Tucson, AZ

Opinions on a bottom drain, please, pond pb, pump sel.   3/29/10
Hi Bob
A friend bought a house with a small pond. The builder had installed a conventional pool-type skimmer in the side,
but the bottom where you'd normally see a 1 1/2 or 2" pipe fitting had been cut completely out and the skimmer simply dumped water into a Rubbermaid trash bin that had been buried to ground level.
<... am wondering for what purpose?>
He then put a Rio 32HF
<... see the Net re the manufacturer (TAAM), this line... I would make sure this pump is wired through a GFCI>
submersible pump into that trash bin. Essentially what he did was add an antechamber to the pond that was supplied through the skimmer.
It was interesting, but when we recoated the pond, I replaced that arrangement with a conventional pool-type skimmer that was plumbed into a Pentair 1/6 hp centrifugal pump with leaf basket, etc. and sent that output on to the filer.
<Much better, though not my first, second, third... choice in pumps>
I installed a Tee fitting inline (before the Pentair) and plumbed a separate MagDrive 12B pump with it's own line to the filter so that I have a "day" pump that makes an attractive waterfall and a night pump that simply circulates what's necessary to keep up the filtration.
Although it works exactly as I expected, it SEEMS that the only real change is that I changed a water flow of around 1900 GPM to a flow of around 2100 GPM while increasing the power consumption from 115 watts to 404 watts --
all for the sole purpose of having an "above water level" pump. I can find a dozen or so 'aquarium-style' in-line pumps that push much more water for far less energy and the only actual consideration is that the inlet must be positioned below that water level.
<This is the better arrangement... though a couple of "decent" check valves on the intake side can serve...>
I'd be interested in your opinion on that -- especially when the Pentair is only "self priming" if you first fill the leaf basket chamber in the first place.
Next/Last is the drain: What I didn't do was put in a bottom drain and the reason I didn't was because I've never been satisfied with the plumbing arrangements. The combination of vales needed to manipulate the flow between top and bottom never seems to be quite right, always in need of adjustment -- and even in the pool environment, where the rule is to simply provide more suction than the skimmer and bottom drain combined can supply ... I still see marginal results. So I'm toying with the idea of putting in a 3 inch drain in the bottom of the pond and running the pipe up and through the bottom of a Rubbermaid trash bin sunk to grade level. I'd then use an inexpensive submersible pump in that well to run yet another separate line to the filter. I'd be interested on your opinion on that, too.
<Mmm, do see my posted mat.s on pond plumbing:
and the linked files above. I would not "draw" the water for recirculation from the bottom itself... Unless you can/will divert this in turn to the "sump" trashcan/Rubbermaid for venting the bottom water and solids to waste in turn... Better to leave the last few inches undisturbed in all but the smallest biological water features... for "bad water", solids... to be vented to waste during periodic maintenance in the warm/er months>
Asking my local pond professionals what do it is often like asking the scarecrow which road to take to get to the Emerald City - I get a dozen ways it can be done, most of them I already knew. The problem is that the only WRONG ways are the ones we look back on after we learn what we didn't know.
So - What type of "main" pump do you recommend for an 1800 gallon pond?
<See the WWM site and elsewhere re the "Sequence" series... a fractional HP of one of these... likely the 1/6th...>
How do you feed that pump from the skimmer?
<Gravity... putting/placing the pump subgrade... look into building or buying a pre-made vault. With any luck, an irrigation box will do here>
How do you plumb the bottom drain, if any?
<... Oh boy... really should be done twixt the liner and the wire mesh/cloth and concrete... Now... it will show... can be "looped" over the side (rather than plumbed to the "main drain" (anterior) fitting in the pool skimmer... There are drains of plastic construction made for such... better to buy, fit one of these with flexible PVC...>
Thanks in advance
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Opinions on a bottom drain, please   3/29/10
Thanks --
One misunderstanding: I've drained and chopped the pond to make it bigger (these mutant Koi just keep growing!)
so I'm correcting the problem(s) I created last time (pumps & drains and a settling chamber) but what I really want is for once in my life to get ahead of the curve and not immediately see what I should have done this time!
<Very understandable>
A vault that is water tight -
<Or has provision for some water getting in... draining or being pumped out>
bottom below pond level, upper lip above water level would house a Sequence pump. What I'm shooting for is gravity feed to the inlet, yet dry on the outside, correct?
What I read on the site regarding bottom drains is that they be "Tee'd" into pipe from the skimmer so that both feed the pump with a ball or knife valve on each to control and divide the flow. I understand that convention, but hoping that technology had advanced.
<Not as far as I'm aware, no>
Finally re: the Rio pump and GFI ... does anyone connect anything to a pond without a GFI??? I'm not sure it's even legal anymore!
<I would hope it is not. Still, I wouldn't use a Rio pump... period>
Thanks again
<And welcome in turn. BobF>

"Decrease flow on the return", pond pump f'  -- 6/17/09
Dear Crew/Mr. Fenner,
<Howdy Lar>
I've had my 3,000+ gallons pond for about a year and recently, I have been battling with the significant decrease flow on the return side.
So basically, my streams from my well is now a trickle. I was able to get it going a few weeks back but when I backwash my filter (bead), towards the end, I started losing flow again. Since then, I've yet to get it flowing normal again. I thought at first that the line was clogged, I even went into the pond and with a rented sump pump, I suctioned the heck out of the plumbing from the bottom drain leading out to the pump. The I've tested the pump and it is still good (W. Lim Wave I series- 1/6 HP.)
Bubbles would sometimes come out on the return side (well) when turning on the pump.
<A good clue>
It's almost like air is trapped somewhere along the plumbing line.
<Yes... and this air getting "trapped" about the impeller... inefficient and dangerous... possibly leading to emphysematosis>
So instead of water being sucked in, it's mostly air. Help me with my diagnosis please. I am stomped.
<A matter of searching, finding, fixing the area of air entrainment...
maybe a piece of flexible tubing attached to your ear... a squirt bottle with water... to spray on the pipe... AND about the volute (a very common source of air leaking)... OR if you have the interest or want to have
someone from the pool or landscape business come in, pressure test the line... and likely the area where air is leaking in will show>
Just a brief description of my set up;
- 4" bottom drain
- plumbing reduced from 4" to 3" to 2" to connect to strainer(pump)
- 2" in/out W. Lim Wave 1/6 hp pump
- 2" reduced to 1 1/2" pipe to connect to Ultima II filter
- 1 1/2" return line to UV and back into the well and pours back into the pond
* The distance between the pump and the filter is about 5 feet. I don't know if that's a contributing factor.
<Mmm, If "uphill", or lots of twists in, can be a contributor...>
Thanks for whatever help you can offer. I am close to repiping the outside line and bringing the pump and the filter closer together.
<This may reveal the leak or eliminate it... again, check all fittings, joints and the volute fasteners, gasket about the impeller. BobF>
Larry B.
Re: "Decrease flow on the return"... -- 6/17/09

Hello again,
If the gasket in the impeller is bad, wouldn't that show leakage of water on the pump?
<Mmm, no... not necessarily... when the pump is turned on it could be creating sufficiently lower pressure to keep the water in... Often, though, when you just switch off such leakers, water will "squirt" out from openings. At any length, it may well be a good idea to turn all off, remove the volute, lube up the gasket/s, retighten all. B>
Thanks again for your input.

"Pond update", pump issue f'    6/22/09
Hello Mr. Fenner,
<Hi there again Larry>
Last week I wrote to you concerning the significant decrease in flow on the return side. I am happy to inform you that I found the problem and fixed it. As it turned out, there was a golf ball stuck in the check valve
along with other debris. Since it is below water line,
<Heee! Well, that will do it!>
I went ahead and installed more valves and unions so that if it happens again, I'll be able to access it easily without having to dig to exposed my plumbing.
<Ah, good>
Thanks again, until next time...
<Thank you for this follow-up. BobF>

MY WATERFALL... pump killer  06/02/09
I had a waterfall installed about 5 years ago.
<Brian, next time, please don't send messages all in capital letters; it's tedious for us to have to type the thing out again in proper English. We do specifically ask for this where you found the Daily FAQ e-mail address.>
I end up replacing the pump about once a year. It will usually run nicely for 6-8 months and then problems start to develop.
<Three obvious things to spring to mind. Firstly, poor installation. Are you installing the thing correctly, with all the necessary intake screens and filters and whatnot? Are you putting it at the right level above/below
the waterline for the type of pump? Is it free of sediment if below the waterline? Is it not working too hard if above the waterline? Secondly, poor maintenance. Nothing runs perfectly forever, and things like clearing
out intake screens, lubricating seals and bearings, replacing impellers, and so on may all be part of what you need to do. Consult with the manufacturer for details. Thirdly, poor selection on your part. Is this the right pump for the type of work you're asking from it? Is it the right pump for your particular climate, e.g., in terms of heat, ice, or whatever. Is the pump you choose manufactured by a reputable maker, or the cheapest in the shop?>
Several times over the years, including now, the pump works but stops after 20 or 30 minutes and either starts again after 5- 10 minutes by itself or after I disconnect electric and plug it in again. I know very little.
<Many, many books on pond maintenance; would recommend spending some time at your local library or bookstore.>
Should I just replace it again or is there something I should do.
<Well, I wouldn't replace the thing before thinking about why you're getting through the things faster than a kid gets through candy bars. But if your pond has fish in it, and this pump works the biological filter, then yes, you will need to replace it quickly, otherwise the fish will suffer.>
Thank you
<Cheers, Neale.>

Pump Plumbing, Pond 4/7/08 I've got a 10,000 gallon pond that I'm re-plumbing. Here's what I have to work with so far: Atlantic Tidal Wave Pump (9,000 GPH) Submersible Large Savio Skimmer Large Savio Filter Falls (with 22" weir) The pump is in the skimmer now and feeding the Filter Falls which feeds an upper pond and two streams. The pump is also feeding a large waterfall. I want to put in a retrofit bottom drain in the pond and pull from the drain using an external pump (Sequence 1000 series) with between 4300 and 5800 GPH capacity. <OK> Can I feed the pressure sides of the Tidal Wave and Sequence into the same 3" manifold that would then feed my waterfall and filter falls unit? <I would not, the larger pump will likely out power the smaller. Ideally each pump will have its own plumbing.> The pond is about 5 feet deep, the Sequence would be level with the pond surface. The water fall is 4 feet high and about ten feet from the manifold. The filter falls would be about 5 feet vertical and 20 feet of pipe. I'm planning on 1.5" going from the manifold to the filter and 2" going from the manifold to the water fall. I'll have 2" going from the Tidal wave to the manifold. I'll have 1.5" feeding the sequence and 1.5" from the Sequence to the manifold. Does this all make sense, or should I consider a different configuration? Thanks, Neil <I would plumb the Sequence output up with its own dedicated line. Also, if the input of the pump is not at or below the water level of the pond it will need to be primed each time it starts up. It is better to place this pump a bit lower in relation to the water level, these are not suction lift pumps. Be prepared for fairly frequent cleaning with a bottom drain configuration. Welcome, I hope this helps out. This sounds like a very nice pond. Scott V.>

Was: New pond filter, now pump priming... reading...    3/12/08 Hi, I e-mailed you a little over a month ago about my pond filter system not working. The pump was burned out. I just got a new pump and I started it up, for some reason the pump doesn't seem to push water through or does it seem to pull water from the pond. I was feeding the small cup looking thing on the pump( second filter) water to ensure that pump wasn't getting hot. I am guessing the system is not pressurizing that's why it cant pull or push water through. the water outlet of the pump sits at above six feet above the pump and the inlet sits about 3 feet below the pump. I am not sure how I can pressurize the system. please help, thanks <Uhh, some need to communicate now! Do you know how to prime a pump? Does the plumbing arrangement incorporate check valves? Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/chkvalvpds.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> Re: New pond filter Thanks for the reply, I was able to get the pump working, its possible I primed the pipes by accident, but for some reason the water stops flowing out of the fountain after 15 min.s( water enters the pond back through pipes in the rock), but if I shut the power off to the pump and turn it back on the water starts flowing again? <Mmm... trouble possibly in future... an air gap entering, air spinning about the impeller in the volute... I'd read where you were referred to, install likely two checks... B> Re: New pond filter Hi, the system I have from reading the articles looks like this one... http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/upflowfiltpds.htm I don't see how there will be no air in the system, because the filter in the aeration system <?> I don't think ever fills completely with water, <Exactly...> I can hear water trickling from pump into the filter ( there is a tall pipe inside the filter which is attached to the discharge of the pump and water trickles from top of this pipe into where it can flow out) <...? BobF>

Re: New pond filter I apologize if I am asking too many question, this is the first time I am working with pond system & I appreciate all your help, thanks again Mal <I am not understanding what exactly you're referring to. Again, you have a failure (an air entraining leak) somewhere in the line (could be before or distal to the pump)... A service company might well pressurize the plumbing, plugging one end... to detect where the leak/s is/are... Until you find it/them, I'd leave the pump turned off... it will burn up/fail if run dry for a long period of time... Again, read on WWM re. B>

Jebo Pump question, small pond...    2/3/08 Hi, I only found one question on your site about the Jebo pump #PP-333LV, and all it said to do was to clean it. My husband and I both took apart and cleaned everything including the impeller. When it's plugged in the electromagnet does turn on- you can feel the resistance. But it doesn't turn the impeller. I bought it used and it did have a lot of hair stuck to it, so could it just be burned out? Any other suggestions to try before I replace it?. Thanks! D.C. <Mmm, it's likely beyond economic repair... the copper windings may have just been too overheated for too long... If it were me, mine I'd replace the unit... fashion a better intake screen mechanism to keep gunk out. Bob Fenner>

Re: Jebo Pump question   2/3/08 Bob, Thanks for the quick reply! I will just go ahead and order a new one. Denise <Ah, good. This is best. The likelihood of the one you have now working... is very small. BobF>

Pond Filtration system... lost prime  - 12/13/07 Hi, I just bought a house and inherited a pond, it doesn't have any fish or anything in it. The filtration system in the pond was working when I bought it, but it suddenly stopped working. <... can you describe this filtration system? What stopped "working"?> I got into the pond cleaned out the filter in there, checked the filter next to the pump and cleaned it out, and I also checked to make sure the pump is working. I started the pump after cleaning and the water is not pumping through. I can hear the pump churning but the water is not pumping. I think its an upward filtration system. I was wondering what do I need to do re-start the system, do I have to fill it with water to pressurize the system ? <You may have to prime the intake, pump line... Can be tried in a few ways... jamming a pump hose/hose pipe up an intake line with someone to turn the pump on while you're doing so... filling a pump intake trap... pressurizing a line in a skimmer/box intake... I would NOT leave the pump running without water going through it for any period of time... IF necessary call in a pool or pond company and have them show you how to re-fill the plumbing lines. Bob Fenner> . Thank you Mal
Re: Pond Filtration system  11/13/07
There is a filter in the pond just a plastic cover with holes to keep debris off <Ahh... this is most often called an "intake screen"> and there is a pipe that flows upwards, and it reaches my pump where there is a second filter before the pump. <All above water level I take it> and from there another filter on the other side of the pump before the water empties out into the pond through a water fall. The pump I believe stopped pumping because it had debris in it. so I cleaned everything and fixed the filter( the one in the pond let debris in). I took out the pump cleaned it, turned it on and saw it spun. <Good> so I put the system back together to see if it will work at which point it didn't. so I stopped the system. I was worried I might damage the pump without pumping water, but I think its okay. There is a few tubes on the water fall side of the filter, and I also need to check the filter before the water fall. I think I will be able to use a hose to pressurize the system before I turn on the pump, thanks for your input. Mal <Welcome. Please do read here re the use of check valves: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/chkvalvpds.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Jebo Pump  8/28/07 Good Day: I would like to purchase a JEBO PP-355 pump for a small fountain I have. I need a 3 prong grounded plug. Do you have that pump or a direct replacement for it? Thanks in advance for your help. You can email me or call toll free at XXXX BR, GP <We have nothing for sale. Please try your search tools. BobF>

Waterfall Pump Selection   1/3/07 Hello- <Hi there> Was wondering how many and how big of pumps OR how do you determine how many and how big of pumps would be needed for a waterfall 30 feet wide by 8 feet tall. <Mmm, there are "performance curves" for any number of pump and impeller combinations... available through suppliers... from their manufacturers> The fall will be constructed from larger rocks and will be wider at the base so the water can crash on the rocks.  We are looking for white water and noise, lots of noise.   <Ah, yes... our old business got to the point of bringing recordings of noise from a few types of pumps... to help the customer gauge how much pump... and cost to operate...> The top pond will be about 400' x 180' and @4' deep. <Only four feet deep? May be difficult to maintain...>   It will also be lined.   The bottom pond is not lined. <How will it be rendered waterproof then?> So I just want to pump water from the bottom to the top and have enough water (2" ???) to make it crash. <... okay> Any response would be greatly appreciated. Thank you Cameron Marcelle <Umm, Cameron... I would call on a pump engineering firm near you here... The cost of operation of this device is of paramount importance to the end-user/s in the long/er haul... Will be considerable. Bob Fenner>

Pump for pond, main drain and pond repair - 06/01/2006 Hi,   I have to replace my old swimming pool motor pump system about 10 years old, I have been told a whitewater 6400 gph would be my best bet, they sound expensive but I think he said it was only 2.6 amps to run, are you familiar with this? <Mmm, nope... neither is Google evidently. I generally plug Sequence series pumps... maybe this is one of theirs. The amp draw sounds about the same>   Also I have a tree root puncture up close to the surface on rubber liner, I was told I could cut root out behind and fill in with concrete then put the rubber sealant on the pond side since it is close to the old skimmer and would be hard to patch. <Yes to the last>   Another thing when my husband put the main drain in it's probably 2 " the wire basket collapsed over the years and since he is no longer here fix what can I put there to keep the leaves from going down the drain, the pond is about 2' deep.   Thanks   D <...? Need to retro-fit some sort of screen here... I'd visit pool/spa supplies re. Bob Fenner>

Is this a good pump? For ponds... not SW    4/20/06 Hi guys!  I was in a store the other day and came across these pumps, an Aqua surge 3000, and an Aqua force (2000 GPH). They are both under the name, NurseryPro by Aquascape Designs. <A pond gear re-seller>   Do you know if these are good pumps for a reef system? <Mmm, nope, but I doubt it. Likely there are metal components that you don't want seawater to come in contact with here> I am in the process of building a 72x24x22 tank (150 gallons) with a 50 gallon sump underneath.  There is 5 2" holes drilled across the top of the back, three overflows and two returns. Would one of these pumps do the job for this system?  If nothing else maybe i could use it for pumping out my town, since we are in the middle of a flood here in Manitoba:)  Thanks again for your time, your advice is muchly appreciated!!!!  Steve K <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/pumpselmar.htm and the pertinent linked files at top. Bob Fenner>

Pond Pump Sizing For A Small Waterfall - 04/10/06 I have a 100-gallon pond with a preformed waterfall, about 2 feet tall.  The little pump that came with the waterfall only gets me a trickle for flow.  I'm looking at Beckett model submersibles.  Can you recommend horsepower and max head? <<"Horsepower" is not really a concern/consideration here.  Look for the 'output' rating on the pump in 'gallons per hour.'  For a nice 'waterfall' effect...allowing for head-height and friction/restriction from the small diameter tubing usually associated with these systems, look for a pump with a rated output of 'at least' 500 gph...and install a small valve on the output side of the pump to regulate/reduce flow if needed.>> Thank you! <<You're welcome, EricR>>

Waterfall Pump  10/20/05 Bob, <Mike> I left a message on your answerer but perhaps you did not receive it. <Mmm, am out in Hawai'i this month> Since earlier this year we've been living in a house in Fairbanks Ranch that has a waterfall about 20' high.  It has a 230 volt pump that's approximately 8" in diameter and 12" high.  I can't read the labels, so I don't know any more about it.  I would guess, however, that it's about 20 years old! Now to the problem.   In order to control this pump with a 110 volt light switch, it was connected to an overload relay.  The overload relay is only a year or two old. The pump suddenly quit starting with the light switch.  The relay is not "tripping".  However, when I push the upper "switch" (which I believe excites the "heater" device in the overload relay), the pump will run.  Thus, I know that electricity is at least reaching the pump. <Yes...> At  present I'm trying to find someone who can look at the pump and its connections and determine whether the pump and/or the relay need repair or replacement. <Could be either, both... the pump may be re-wound, otherwise repaired for less than replacement cost. I would call "Barrett Engineered Pumps", and try to talk with Craig there (please say hi for me)> I also need someone to suggest what we can do to filter the water.  We would prefer an above-ground filter if possible. <Many things to discuss here... Have you read over the survey articles on WWM re pond filtration?> A few more details.  The pump is submerged in a pond at the bottom of the waterfall and the water is discharged into a smaller pond at the top of the waterfall.  There are trees all around the waterfall and leaves are a problem.  I have now pumped out all of the water and cleaned the upper and lower ponds.  They were filled with guck. I hope you can help me or at least refer me to someone who can. Thanks so much, Mike Glass <I would have some of the pond maintenance folks out to bid the filtration, get you ideas on what your options are. Cheers, BobF, Kailua>

Looking for Cal Pump  8/27/05 Hello, How do I order a Cal Pump plastic 80GPH pump, 115 v?  Thank you. Eve Breitung <Mmm, you can look up and contact the manufacturer at: http://www.calpump.com/ or use your search tool with the name Calvert Engineering. Bob Fenner>

Pond pump selection 8/22/05 I was reading your article on constructing concrete ponds. I was wondering if you could recommend an above ground pump brand? David Blacoe <The Sequence series of pumps are excellent for continuous duty on ornamental, biological water features. Bob Fenner>

Pond Pump 8/9/05 Bob- I have a 7000 gal pond. I want to change from a submersible pump to an external pump. <Good> The current submersible is a 5000 gph nursery pro that sits in a skimmer box, 70 ft away and 5 ft below the biofilter box it feeds at the head of a 30 in waterfall and stream. <Wowzah!> I would prefer placing the external pump near the bio filter but that would place it 70 ft away and 5 ft higher than the source. <Mmm, can still be done... with careful plumbing work... maybe two swing type check valves in front of the skimmer basket...> The problem is that the pump would then have to pull water 70ft and 5 ft up. <The lateral is no big deal, as long as the pipe diameter is sufficient...> Can you recommend a pump for that job. Thank you. R. Hankins <Mmm, I would contact the folks at Sequence and/or Jacuzzi Pumps re... the engineer folks at these companies will be able to best advise you... If you run this pump for very many hours, do look into multi-phase, higher-voltage possibilities... and the need to possibly trim/tune the impeller... Well-worth the initial expense. Bob Fenner>

Pond pump search 6/29/05 Hey Bob,             I've dug myself two new ponds, both roughly 20,000ltr each. One of the ponds is 12 inches higher and joined to the other with a waterfall. I've built a rockery with a waterfall which will be the water feed from the bottom pool at the opposite side to the other waterfall. could you recommend a filter pump set up for this? Vie tried everywhere and haven't had any joy. If you could help it would be much appreciated. Thanks. <The best manufactured pumps by far currently are the Sequence series... use your search tools on the Net to locate a dealer near you... You want something that will deliver relatively low pressure, but high volume... and be minimally expensive to operate. Be careful not to get "swimming pool" technology... higher pressure, lower flow rate... the pumps may look cheaper, but in not too many months... Bob Fenner>                                                                         Adam Chatterton.

JEBO submersible pump Hi Wet Crew, <Jenni> My fountain pump light bulb has gone out and the store where I bought this fountain has recently gone out of business. I want a new pump with a working bulb and would like your help in locating one. My pump reads: JEBO Submersible Pump, PP-33L, AC12V 60 Hz 2W, Bulb 10W, Head: 0-50 cm, Zhongshan Jebao Electrical Appliances Co. Ltd. I write from Portland, Oregon, and will appreciate any information that you may have regarding local distributors. Many thanks, Jenni Lockwood <You might write, otherwise contact their distributors... Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pumpselmar3.htm.  Bob Fenner>  

I want a pond!! Hi all! I have this very large hole on the side of my house that was used by the former owners as a pond. I would like to resurrect it and use it for the same. I don't want any fish; I just want a waterfall about 3ft tall. I am going to line it with a simple snap together child's pool. I would estimate that it is about 500-700 gallons (ok it may not seem that big to you, but give me a break, I am new at this LOL).  Anyway, I priced pumps and they were like $120, so I went on a hunt and was given (for free I might add!) a Walchem/Iwaki magnetic drive pump model #530128 at least that is what the box says, on the pump itself it says Fasco Hydrothrustor). I have searched and searched for info to see if this will work for my waterfall/pond idea. I can't find anything. I don't even know if it is submersible; I don't know how to set this pond up or anything.  I thought I could just find a pump, put it in the bottom of my pond and hook a hose to it and run it up to the top of my waterfall and then have the pump pump the water through the hose to the top of the waterfall and have it circulate in that manner. Apparently, it is going to be a little more difficult than that.  Can you give me some ideas on what the pump is? Is this pump appropriate for the size pond I have? Is it submersible and if it is not how do I set it up to work how I want it to work? Thanks for the info. I think you guys are great!!!!! <Mmm, you can, could use this pump... but it is not designed, engineered for this purpose... It won't produce much flow at this head... If you want you can utilize it for continuous operation (not too bad in terms of energy consumption, you can either measure the wattage, calculate per your energy bills... cost per kilowatt hour, or measure directly)... But for the waterfall you will want something much more powerful in terms of flow rate. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pdpumps.htm and on to the linked files... and re filtration, livestocking, maintenance... Bob Fenner> 

Partly thought out pond plan Hi, we are making a backyard pond in a 3 leaf clover shape and it will have a waterfall at the top <highest ground> of the pond. Appx size is 14' wide by 14'long with a shelf that borders the pond appx 12" deep, then onto the deepest section, appx 3-4'  deep. We plan on taking our 3 sliders out of our indoor aquarium they are rapidly outgrowing it and introducing them to the pond, perhaps just for spring, summer and fall and maybe bring them back inside for the winter. My question is about keeping the water clean. I have an extra pump/filter from a swimming pool and have read about converting it into a pond pump/filter. We are doing this on  almost pennies, so I can't afford to go out and buy an expensive pump. <False economy... this pump will cost you much more money in not too long a while... in electrical expense> The finished ideal <in my head> will have a waterfall facing you as you walk up to it and I'm thinking the intake should be placed on the opposite end of the pond the waterfall is on, then run the return hose back up through the ground to the waterfall to a outlet box I'm sure I will have to make. Other than knowing we want a small fountain to shoot from the middle of it with a few lights to accent the beauty at night, that is pretty much where I'm at. I am currently pricing the wide black burlap to lay down as a pre-liner before ordering the actual liner. Please, any and all suggestions / advice  would be great...........thanks for your time, Mike K. <Keep reading... on WWM, elsewhere, re pond design, filters/filtration, maintenance, learn to use your grammar checker. Bob Fenner>

Amusing pond info Bob, <Andy> I thought you might be amused by this email I got from a supplier in Australia.  I asked them for advice on what pumps etc I need. They responded with what they felt was "appropriate" equipment Note:   I have estimated that my pond will be somewhere around 6000 liters in volume, which means I should pump 3000 l of water per hour (if I'm calculating it right).   <This is... about right... if it were not too expensive, doubling or even trebling this might be better... depending on your livestock (if plants only... it can trickle... if lots of Koi, kick up the volume), but your filter volume/surface area needs to be considered, possibly partially bypassed if there is too much flow... to accommodate your falls...> The waterfall head will be about 3,  and assuming the worst case, of a 24" wide waterfall at 3/8" thick, I assume I would need something like 9000 lph.    <Yes, once again, possibly more aesthetically> So a 12000 LPH flow should be enough right?     <Yes> and with a smaller (12" wide) waterfall, that could be more like 7000 LPH. <Okay> They are promoting a 32,000 LPH pump below... :-) <And likely with tremendous head/pressure to boot! I suspect they have stock in the local utility/electrical supply! Bob Fenner> Cheers, Andy __________________________________ Thank you for your enquiry. Your pond will certainly be an attractive feature when it is completed. We would like to suggest that you do not concrete the pond at all, but use Xavan pond liner on a sand base as the waterproof membrane. This will not be subject to cracking and is not affected by soil movement, the pond liners are especially designed for this application and are chemically inert. We have calculated from your data that you need a pump of 10,500 LPH capacity to circulate and filter the pond water. Your proposed waterfall needs a pump capacity of  32,000 LPH. To achieve good filtration you should consider the OASE Dual Aquamax 8000 pump, this pump has two inlets and should be installed into the bottom of the pond as the Aquamax is designed as a filter pump which draws water from 360° and allows solids up to 10mm dia to be pumped into the filter. The second inlet can be fitted with a skimmer if needed. Ideally in your pond the main pump and 2nd inlet should be placed 1/3 of the pond apart with the filter return at the other 1/3 position, this will give good circulation of water. The filtration system should run 24/7. <I do agree with the time frame of operation> The waterfall needs 32,000 LPH and if you want one pump you could run a Messner M40000 pump which has an output of 38,700 LPH. 8000 LPH can be diverted to run the filtration system and the remaining 30,000 LPH run over the waterfall with a diversion valve to bypass the waterfall water to the pond when the waterfall is not wanted. <Good point> We suggest the Blagdon Cyclone 20000 UV-C pressure filter as the most suitable for your application. <Mmm, not for a biological pond> The following prices are in Australian Dollars ex our showroom, but will give a good indication of pricing. Blagdon Cyclone 20000 UV-C   $779.00 OASE Aquamax Dual 8000   $799.00 Messner M40000   $2,349.00 (this pump is not on our web site as yet, it is about to be. German made) OASE skimmer   $125.00 Hope that this is of assistance, have a look and let us know what you think. <Nice gear, but not for your application. Bob F>
Re: pond advice. Plumbing, waste lines
Hey Bob, I posted this on the forums but thought you might be curious to see it as well. Have a good weekend ! Andy ________________________________________ ok, I had a brainstorming session with a neighbor, and it seems that if I get a permit (and IF the city allows it) I may be able to plumb the waste line into the sewer instead of the storm drain. <Mmm, I wouldn't involve the city, permits if you can avoid them, using the sewer line... If possible, practical, I dump my waste water on the landscaped (it's dry here)> If I am allowed to do that, it opens up new possibilities, because the level is way lower (1 meter?) so it would be lower than my bottom drains. <As you and I have hinted around, being able to pump the water down is just about as valuable... a trade off in safety vs. turning a few valves instead of lifting riser pipes> IF I can use this approach, is there ANY need to have a pump connected to the waste line? I assume no. <No> The only negative to this approach that I can think of is that if I flip the drain, the whole pond will empty... bad if I do not intend on it. <Yes> If I am willing to lose water during purging (since I am not using a vortex etc) I think it would make sense to just plumb straight from the bottom drains to the waste line. (note: I do not pay for water :) ) <... well, could do...> While I was modifying the diagrams to have this new update, I made a big change to the pumping method... I went to a single pump, which flows to both the filter and the waterfall, then has ball valves to control how much flow goes to each, so most of the flow can go to the waterfall <A definite plus... however, it is "nice" to have an alternate pump for the chance of the other going out. Bob Fenner>

7000 gallon pump, pond, electrical cost, winter I have a 7000 gallon pump (biofilter, etc.) and have about 15 fish in my pond.  This pump is very costly to run.  Can I turn it off for part of the day during the winter.    It gets cold in South Carolina but I don't think the pond would freeze solid.  What if I run it through the night and turn it off during the day?  I don't want to hurt the fish nor do I want to damage the pump.  Any suggestions?  Thanks for your help. <You can turn this pump off during the winter (when water temperature is less than 55 F. nominally... BUT your biofilter will DIE... unless there is some water going through it... IF it's possible though, you might drain the filter (all the media dry) and rinse well before re-starting the pump in Spring... I would add something in the way of mechanical aeration to your main pond basin (maybe a Tetra Luft air pump and good glass airstone... AND take care to vacuum, net out most unconsolidated biological "crud" and net out leaves before turning the pump off... AND drain the water out of the pump, the plumbing during the time it's off (to prevent rupture from freezing)... And one last note... do look into a more cost-effective pump... there is a HUGE variation in energy consumption here... perhaps a Sequence series (Baldor motored) pump... about the best for pond use. Bob Fenner>

Jebo Submersible Fountain Pump AP-355A I have just blown up a very small  Jhongshan Jebao Electrical Appliance (motor) fitted to my frog water fountain Q01113  IPX8  Jhongshan Jebao Electrical Appliances Co. Ltd.  Would you know where I can purchase another one in Melbourne, North Fitzroy area please.  I can see on the web page that it is manufactured in China. Please advise Helen <You might have some luck tracing down the manufacturer through the Net and in turn contacting them re who their master distributor is in Australia, and them in turn re retail outlets... but if it were me, my fountain I would just seek out another suitable size (pressure, flow rate) and suitable diameter discharge line (or adaptor, tubing to fit what the fixture has now) from whatever source there is in town (or online). Bob Fenner>

Pump selection for a fountain  8/2/04 Hi, I am building a fountain for the front yard of my house. I'd like it to work similar to a fountain that I saw inside the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas. <Me too!> I am looking for water pumps that work as follows: The pumps shoot a stream of water into the air. The water stream shoots in an arc and lands on the ground 10-12 feet from the pump. The pumps can be turned on and off instantaneously via an electric signal, a command from a computer or some other way, such that the stream of water suddenly stops and starts. <Yep... a few Disney (as in Walt) patents here> In the lobby of the Bellagio, the pumps are turned on and off to the beat of music. I'm not sure if we'd use music but perhaps we would. I called the company that built the Bellagio fountains and they told me that their products are proprietary and they can't tell me who makes them. Do you know who makes such a pump and what it's called? <Do a bit of looking under the terms "fountain" and "imagineering" and "Disney"> Thank you. Kerry Schwartz <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Waterfall sans pump It is possible to recirculate water within a waterfall and pond without a pump by using high mounted remote sealed reservoirs, can you please send me some info on size of tanks and hoses. CHEERS Simon Curnow <Mmm, I can imagine what you might have in mind here... to move much water though, it would be easier, simpler, cheaper to build/buy a generator, pump et al... Bob Fenner>

Koi Pond - Do I need a pump? Dear WetWebMedia crew: <Hi there Brad> I am a reef aquarist who has lived in apartments my whole life.  I wanted a Koi pond, so I bought a house (ok, there were other motives too). <I'll bet!> WetWebMedia has lots of good info, but: Do I need a pump?  I would never consider setting up an aquarium without one, but most articles seem to connect having a pump to having a waterfall or fountain.  I don't want visible moving water, but I don't want a dead/dying/stagnant pond either. <Almost assuredly yes... you will need/want to circulate, aerate AND filter your system> WetWebMedia (and other sources) always mentions a drain at the bottom of the pond.  For those of us on level ground, where should the other end of the drain go? <To waste>   The bottom of the pond will be lower than anything else.  Do I need to put water up and out of the pond if I drain it? <If you have no drain, yes> Thanks, Brad Bellomo <Do look into all of these issues more... make a check-list and draw up plans for your pond now, not later. Investigate your pump options... and get one that won't run you into the poor house...they can be costly to operate in the long haul... and need to run 24/7. Bob Fenner> - Jebo Pumps - just got a fountain with a Jebo submersible pump pp-399 120V .23A 60Hz. Can anyone tell me how much water this unit will pump? I am connecting several small ponds together. Thank you <I'm afraid I do not have any specs on this pump. Would suggest you enter the model number into your favorite Internet search engine and go from there. Cheers, J -- >

Pond pump installation question  I ran across a concern as I was designing my 6000 gal bottom drain pond.  <Okay>  I want to have both skimmer and bottom feed inlets to the suction of the pump 1/3 performance pro pump. 2" inlet and 2 " outlet. to get the proper feed without loss on the suction part of this pump I want to make sure that the pump location is below water grade...this way there is only water weight or gravity feed into the pump when it is running.  <Mmm, actually... the intake need only be at or about water level to receive "full benefit"... placing the pump/intake lower makes little difference otherwise>  With the pond at a 3 ft depth where the bottom drain is attached and keeping the 3" suction PVC line level as it enters the pump inlet...I will need to put the pump around 3 ft below the water grade. this is not a submersible pump and can not get "wet"  <Again, no need to do this... think about this situation in this way, with lowering the intake you also have the equivalent "head" in air to pump through...>  Question is what kind of water proof container can be used to make sure the pump does not get flooded by rain or have ground water rise up and flood the motor from underneath. I've been told cement box.. to size I need or just cover with heavy polymer box with lid and keep 1 ft of stones underneath. What do you recommend?  <A pump "vault" of a few types of construction can be employed... made of block, pre-made of plastic... with a cover and provision for flooding (gravel on the bottom, a drain of good size running off to waste... maybe the use of a sump pump with a float switch... Do make sure all are GFCI wired... and a good service switch nearby (within code) to switch all on/off. Bob Fenner>  thanks, Jack

- Looking for a Pump - Hi, I have a cat fountain and the pump stopped. I was wondering if I could get another one. It is a JEBO Submersible Pump PP-333LV 12V 60Hz 2w Head:0~50CM   Paul <Paul, I'm afraid we don't sell pumps but I was able to find several places that do by entering the phrase, "JEBO pumps" into Google, my preferred search engine. I suggest you begin your search there. Cheers, J -- >

Gravity driven water using no electricity Hello WWM Staff, <Hi there> I want to build a gravity driven waterfall or fountain, without using electricity! I know that it can be done, look at ancient cities with fountains! Not all had a Spring. Please help Me! I want it to work self perpetuating, and without any kind of 'Hardware' like pumps and such. <How about plumbing?!> Water goes down...forces water back up. I saw something like this in Science class.....We won't discuss how many Years that's been! I know Someone can help Me!!! Many Thanks Ariana <What do you have in mind exactly? Is there sufficient water "upstream" from you to power such a water effect? And space that's safe downstream to vent the water after? Bob Fenner>
Re: Gravity driven water using no electricity
Hello Bob, What I want is a Perpetuating system that carries the water (like in a Windmill) Uphill and deposits the water back into a Trough that sends the water back to the Wheel, and that pushes the wheel to carry more water to the top of the trough, and so on ....... <There is no such thing> I just can't find any blueprints or plans on ancient water driven windmills that do this. I know that the force of the water coming down the trough can push more than it's height.... <Umm, no> I just need some basic plans! Can You help??? Thank You, Ariana <Like "cold fusion", the second law of thermodynamics is yet to be misproven... you can't (as far as I'm aware) get more energy out of a system then you put in. The potential (gravity in this case) energy, converted to kinetic (1/2 mV squared)... water going downhill so to speak, will not generate surplus to somehow "pump" it back up... unless maybe you can convert the water via fusion? Bob Fenner>
Re: Gravity driven water using no electricity
Hello Bob, <Hi! Ananda here, with her husband Mark the physics nut...> What I want is a Perpetuating system that carries the water (like in a Windmill) Uphill and deposits the water back into a Trough that sends the water back to the Wheel, and that pushes the wheel to carry more water to the top of the trough, and so on .......I just can't find any blueprints or plans on ancient water driven windmills that do this. <The phrase "perpetuating system" sent up a red flag in my mind. While inventors have been trying to create one for centuries, there is no such thing as a perpetual motion machine (which would be a machine that keeps going in a completely closed system, with no outside energy being added once you start the thing). However, if you're looking for ancient mills driven by water or wind, check out the books here: http://www.windmillworld.com/shop/bookshop.htm -- perhaps you might find something you could adapt to your needs.> I know that the force of the water coming down the trough can push more than it's height.... <Ah, now that is not the case. The amount of force needed to move the water upwards can be calculated by multiplying the mass of the water times the force of gravity which must be overcome. The force of the water going down is the mass of the water multiplied by the acceleration of gravity. Some of the force on the way down is lost to friction (and heat) between the water and the sides of the trough, and more of the force is lost to friction and heat on the axle of the water wheel itself. Since you are losing force to this friction, the amount of force you are left with is not enough to move the same amount of water upwards. You have to add additional force/power through some other means. Ancient fountains probably utilized *additional* water power from nearby streams, or aqueducts, or perhaps cisterns that would need to be refilled occasionally. They might also have used wind.> I just need some basic plans! Can You help??? Thank You, Ariana <I'll leave this for Bob in case he has any further ideas for information sources. --Ananda> <I had already tried to respond to... methinks this may be a "perpetual motion" jag... gravity fed systems need a "lot of water" and someplace to allow that same volume to go after use. Bob Fenner>

Pond/pool question for you... I'm putting in a waterfall/pool in the backyard and I have a question for you... <Neat, okay> I've read a lot of the information you have on your web site about pond construction (good stuff). It's going to be mostly for aesthetics, but also for dipping in the summer months (not going to be a living/natural pond with plants/fish). It's about 8' diameter round, about a 3 or 4 foot high fall. I'm looking for about 50 GPM flow over the fall. Anyway, I'm looking at pumps and I'm looking for the best fit - quiet, efficient (cheaper to run), self-priming (pump will be a foot or so above waterline), enough flow. <Well put and researched> I've found a couple of options - a "pool" pump, and a "pond" pump. I don't really know what the differences would be. <Mainly a trade off in head (pressure) (pools) versus flow (ponds)... in terms of energy consumption, design, engineering...> - Hayward Super Pump (pool pump) (SP2605X7), 3/4 HP, about 4500 GPH @ 8', about $240 - Sequence 1000 series (pond pump) (5000SEQ22), 1/4 HP, 4226 GPH @ 8', about $380 From those I've seen, it seems like the "pool" pumps are cheaper than the "pond" pumps... but it looks like the pond pumps are more efficient (to get the same flow). I'm thinking of spending $150 more on the pond pump to spend half as much on the electric bill forever. <Yes... you can do the math... watts consumed times cost per kilowatt hour of electricity... doesn't take too many months at many hours use to make, pass up the difference in initial costs of acquisition> Unless there's some reason why I shouldn't use the "pond" pumps in a "pool" installation - like the fact that it will be chemically cleaned/maintained water, will use a cartridge filter, etc. Any thoughts?? Thanks! Bryan <Good question... a shame our trade can't/won't afford ability as yours... no real functional reason that the pond pump won't work... it won't rot any sooner... actually lasts longer... the fine Sequence Pump series are often employed by marine livestock holding systems> (pics of the progress are here: http://community.webshots.com/user/bultar ) <Very nice (as usual). Looking forward to seeing your project in person. Bob Fenner/Dogfish>               
Re: pond/pool question for you...
Thanks for the info! Stop by anytime to check out the progress! (Will be out today laying more block.) There's always a beer here with your name on it. >Woo hoo! You betcha. Am over in HI till 2/11 or so< So I'm focused now on a "pond" pump, and the only factor that I really can't find info on is how quiet they are (I've only found one pump that actually gives a dB rating). Sounds like Sequence is a good item, so will probably go with that. <Yes... the Sequence line are about as quiet as they come... With the bit of freeway noise you have you will not be able to detect the pump... and the movement of water will do a good amount of masking of the road> Thanks again for the advice! Bryan Bryan F. Butler <A pleasure. On on! Bob/DF who with Pete/Impy is determined to start up the Kona Gold HHH this year... maybe have a bunch of folks from S. Cal over for the inauguration!>

Water regulation (for a wall fountain) I just purchased a indoor wall fountain and the flow of water into the base is too strong I would like to know if there is a way to modify or restrict the flow so that it has a more tranquil effect instead of a roar. My husband states that the installer used the lowest setting. Thanks for your help,  Mrs. Moreno <Yes, there are a few ways to slow the pump flow down. The best may be to switch out to a smaller unit... to save on electricity in the long haul, but you can restrict the discharge (outflow) end with a length of tubing, a clamp of sorts or an all plastic valve. Take the pump with you into a Lowe's or Home Depot and go see someone in plumbing... they will be able to show you your options. Bob Fenner>

Low cost operating pond pump 750 gal. Hi! I'm new in ponds matters, and I'm building a pond of approx. 750 gallons. I need your help.  I need the best cost efficient pump for this size pond and the best liner EPDM or the Tetra Pond Xavan liner? Thank you for your help.   <I'd look to the fractional horsepower units offered as "Sequence Pumps" here if you can use their smaller size/s... And the Tetra product is not inexpensive, but is an excellent choice. Bob Fenner>

KOI Pond Construction Bob, This is Keith Slinkard, Eric's Father-in-law. <Hello Keith!> I have some question about the mods that I am going to make to the design and enlarging my fishes habitat. 1. I purchased Firestone EPDM liner and I am concerned about the wrinkles that I think I will have . I think that I want to shot crete over the EPDM ,but can not find directions as to what to do with the wrinkles prior to applying the crete . <No worries... on a nice warm day (careful not to lay the liner on your grass!) the material becomes much easier to make folds in then> 2. The size is as follows , 18' long X 8' wide X 2' deep with a 1' X 1' plant ledge around the perimeter. All walls are completely vertical . I think this will add to the wrinkles and make the shot crete application difficult. Should I angle them somewhat ? <No. Best to try and make as vertical as possible... the wire and shotcreting will conspire to make the walls and corners more sloped... In fact, a good idea to use a lower slump concrete/shotcreting mix... and "lay a bead" on the bottom corner seams in an attempt to "build up" the mass of material... much easier than "pushing up" the material after the concrete truck, applicator is gone> 3. I am going to change to a pond filter to like the one you exhibit in fig.10 of your Aquatic Gardens book on page 10 . With the volume of water that I need to move , do you suggest a dry pump, and if so what size ?   <Yes, not a submersible, and one with as small an electrical current as you can get by on for the volume (at the head) you're shooting for. Please ask Eric to show you the "Sequence" series pumps... if memory serves they have a nominal 1/5 HP unit that should work nicely on your application> 4. Where do I place the supply line to the filter and how do I install it through the liner material to insure a water tight fitting . <Mmm, best to run the plumbing "inside" the liner, and up and over the side of the system (a bit tricky to prime the first time but worth it). Water for the intake should come from as far away from the return as practical... and from the bottom as well as a side intake (a foot or so down in the water), these with a Valving manifold to isolate one or the other (to vent water occasionally)> Thank you in advance for your expertise and direction . Keith Slinkard    <Glad to help. Bob Fenner>

Stream velocity Hi, <Hello> I am a consulting engineer working a restoration of a historic landscape that includes a stream that varies from about 24 to 36 inches wide.  The owner wants to put in a pumping system to recirculate water during periods of low natural stream flow.   I was wondering if you have any thoughts on: a reasonable/realistic average stream velocity so I can calculate a flow rate evaporation and leakage rates so I can size a make-up water tank Any thoughts you have would be appreciated. Thomas Newbold <Mmm, the depth of this stream? Your intent? To move, recirculate all, part every so minutes over what sort of run, slope? There are "power curves" that approximate a given flow at given head pressures/heights per a given pump/motor... these can be had from pump supply houses. The "water tank" you're referring to is for transit volume? There should be no appreciable loss of water from evaporation or leakage... Can you characterize your application a bit more quantitatively? Sometime, later, Bob Fenner>
Stream velocity
Hi, What I am interested in knowing is if there is any data on water velocity in a natural stream.  For example, a stream characterized as slow moving moves at X feet per second while a fast moving stream moves at XX feet per second. <Yes... if memory serves (Stuart Hurlbert's Limnology class back in the seventies)... 1-2 foot per second I'd class as slow... above this faster... You might have a go at "Treatise in Limnology" by Hutchinson. Bob Fenner>> Thanks, Tom

High-head Pond Pumps >Hi again Guys, >>Girl Marina with you today. >Any ideas on a "very high head" pump... somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 meters? I'm working on plans for a four pond and waterfall system on the side of a large hillside. The overall water volume is about 10,000 gallons. >>I will direct you to http://www.eponds.com and am going to do a quick Google for you.  I believe you will need more than one pump for this job.  Try this site for larger capacity pumps, too -- http://www.littlegiant.com  Best of luck and have FUN!  (Also, should you be so inclined, some pics or link to site showing progress and final results are nice, too.)  Marina

Fish pond pump >I have a pre-formed pond (shell shaped). I believe it is about 250 gal. For years I have been using a Beckett pump (350 gal/hr); it keeps the water clean, but tends to be high maintenance. I have read that OASE pumps are considered one of the best on the market. Can you recommend which particular pump/model would be best for my situation. >>Going through their site I've come to the conclusion that you can go with one of two pumps, the Nautilus 10: 1/2" outlet; 660gph; 630@3'head; 550@5'head; $215.85 (Wowee, that one ain't cheap, but you can probably be assured of good quality).  There is also the Aquarius 660: 1/2" outlet; 660gph; $93.68 (no head listed, so not as much "push" if you're requiring something to push a waterfall or similar feature).  Neither pump comes with filtration, though I can see that the Aquarius pumps are easily plumbed inline w/filtration.  I am pointing you towards these larger pumps because we *really* want to see a turnover rate MINIMUM of 3x/hour.  I, too, have a 250 prefab, and I went with a 900gph Laguna (ordered from eponds.com) to be certain it could pull through the filtration and push just under 2' head.  I couldn't tell you it's a long-lasting pump because I've only had it set up less than a year.  I do hope this helps!  Marina >Much obliged,  Hal Dusen

Pond pump problem Dear WWM crew, <Howdy> Thanks for the great website! <You're welcome> I have a 10,000 gal Koi pond with a Aquadyne 4.4 bead filter. I originally had an external Sequence pump rated a 4800 gal/hr and this year added a Sequence 6000 gal/hr pump. One pulls off the bottom drain, the other of the skimmer. The pumps feed to the filter in separate 2 inch PVC flex pipe and connect with a "Y" fitting just prior to entering the filter. Overall head is about 4 feet. <Feeding the filter with one pump is a better arrangement> It appears that the pumps are working against each other and the overall flow is only minimally improved. <Yes> Should I plumb the pumps in series rather than in parallel (and which should be first)? <I would either alternate which pump is on (one at a time) and install one way check valves (Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/chkvalvpds.htm) ahead of the "Y" so the water flow/pressure is directed to the filter, OR divert (likely the smaller pump) flow simply to recirculation> Do you have any other recommendations? <A few... but need to know more about your set-up, livestock, your desires. Bob Fenner> Thanks for your help...again! Sean

New pond builder takes on new construction of 6000 gal pond- help with filtration (pump sel.) Hi, I wanted to tell you that I have spend many evenings reading your great information. It cuts through the "marketing" and gets to the real details of how a pond works. naturally. <Very glad to hear you find the site worthwhile> My situation is: I've calculated my estimated head loss for all the items in my "future" pond except for the pressure or head loss through a 40 watt UV ( I don't think I will need but will pipe in a splice incase) and the additional head loss going through a up-flow bog filter. I understand that I will have static loss of the height needed, and that I will be using these bog filters as the top of the water flow starts. The pond size will be about 5,500 gallons 2 to 3 ft deep. I tried to link to the section you mentioned in a FAQ on material size shape and type...etc but it does not link to the page. <Really? thank you for this... will check... what is the link name? Is it something to do with pond filter material: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pdfiltmedia.htm Pond Size, Shape?: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pddessize.htm> I've been told if I make it too small then it will clog too fast and if I make it too big that I will not get the surface area needed. <Ah, filter media... yes, these are general factual statements> I plan to use a 230 gallon 60x 30x20 round waterfall bog style and a 100 gallon 30 x 30 x 18 same style for the other water fall. Can you direct me to where I might find these additional pressure or head loss answers. I know it depends on the size and shape...but I can not size my pump until I get this info. Especially since I think that there will be a large increase of head loss through these up-flow filters. I could be wrong and all I have to contend with is the static head. <When, where in doubt do look for larger pumps (multiple phase motors if you have such power at your site), and have them "trimmed" back (generally the impeller, but within reason just restricting the discharge...) There are printed works (Escobal's comes to mind) on induced drag in plumbing, turns... and each manufacturer should be able to supply you (do look into the "Sequence" line for sure... real savings in the real costs: operation) with such data... Please see here: http://www.plumbingsupply.com/sequence.html and: http://www.sequencepump.com/ Be chatting, Bob Fenner> Please give me an idea. thanks again, Jack Schaub

Gorman Rupp Pumps Dear Rob, I was wondering if you know where i could get different models of Gorman Rupp pumps, i noticed that they do not sell to end-users (below 100 units). <Mmm, Gorman-Rupp Company, http://www.gormanrupp.com/ is distributed by many other companies in turn... I would likely first use the "Yellow Pages" for your town/region under "Pumps" and on their ads will likely be listed GR's symbol... if they carry same... barring this, I would still call them and ask if they can/will order a pump for you. Otherwise there are dealers who will ship within their country...> Is there any dealers you know that have taken orders for aquarist or are familiar with it? Went to some recommended dealers website, but mostly heavy duty stuff. <Yes... we buy from Barrett Engineered Pumps, http://www.barrettpump.com/  here in San Diego... or at least used to years back... Ask for Craig Barrett, an old friend/accomplice. Bob Fenner> John

Aquatic Gardens

Ponds, Streams, Waterfalls & Fountains:
Volume 1. Design & Construction
Volume 2. Maintenance, Stocking, Examples

V. 1 Print and eBook on Amazon
V. 2 Print and eBook on Amazon

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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