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Water Gardens: In search of pond vacuum

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pondlove
Lewes, DE

February 17, 2011
10:19 AM

Post #8377175

Hi everyone! This is my first day on Dave's and I'm looking forward to sharing information.
I want to purchase a pond vacuum for my 4-5,000 gallon vinyl lined inground fish pond. I've been researching them online but buyers' reviews are varied if they exist at all.
I was thinking of the Monsta pond vac which is new and cannot find any reviews except one that complained that you have to buy their battery and the charge does not last long.
I'm also looking at the Oashe 4 which has a constand emptying feature with two chambers.
Anyone have any thoughts on the subject?
DavEdsel
Amherst, NY
(Zone 6a)

February 17, 2011
11:09 AM

Post #8377231

Hello pondlove and welcome.

Have you checked local pool supply places? A pond vacuum is basically the same as a pool vacuum. From what we found, the pool places were usually less expensive and that is what we bought. As long as the vacuum has never been in chlorinated water you should have no problems.

You can also check for pond vacuums and other items at pond supply websites like http://www.pondbiz.com/

Post a picture of your pond when you can. I have a separate thread in this Water Gardens forum that shows pictures of the 6,500 + gallon pond my wonderful wife installed this past fall with helps from friends and family.

Fish_knees

Fish_knees
Phoenix, AZ

February 17, 2011
1:27 PM

Post #8377551

I have an Oase, had it for about 4 years. It was pricey but worth it's weight in gold :)
pondlove
Lewes, DE

February 17, 2011
2:12 PM

Post #8377608

Thank for the feedback. I'm leaning toward the Oase 4 but don't want to buy something only to add it to my gadget graveyard in the garage. I've tried the diy, sump pump, wet/dry vac, etc. I'm running out of space! I'll post what I decide to do. Meanwhile, here's a photo of my pond. I need to do some work on the edge stones. They keep getting knocked around during maintenance and beagle swim meets. OOPS!! Wrong pix. I'll post the right one.

This message was edited Feb 17, 2011 5:14 PM

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pondlove
Lewes, DE

February 17, 2011
2:15 PM

Post #8377616

Here it is. Sorry, newbie mistake.

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Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

February 18, 2011
9:20 AM

Post #8378904

Pondlove - Welcome to DG and to the ponding forum...

Very nice pond. How long have you had your pond? Do you have a bottom drain?

We have a small wet/dry vac and find that we consistently use the leaf eater. http://www.epinions.com/prices/Lifegard_Pond_Leaf_Eater_Brush

We use the leaf eater in the spring when the water temps hit about 55 to get ready for the ponding season and in the fall when we shut down. The thing that is nice is that it is lightweight and hangs on a hook in our cellar when not in use.

You mentioned that your was made from vinyl - so it isn't the 45 ml EPDM? The reason I ask is that I would be concerned about puppies nails when he goes swimming. You don't want to risk a tear in your liner.

We have found that both the black pond foam and 'Great Stuff' foam work well for keeping rocks in their place. We don't have all the rocks foamed in, however there are really only a few places that we needed to foam. I know that you can get a can of Great Stuff at Lowes for not too much money.

pondlove
Lewes, DE

February 18, 2011
10:14 AM

Post #8378961

It is the 45 ml EPDM, I just used the vernacular "vinyl". Sorry. Thanks for the foam suggestion. I'll look into that. I've had the pond for 8-10 years. It started out as a Sam's Club kit with a small upper pond/waterfall and a larger, kidney-shaped smaller pond form. Then my fish reproduced (still are!) and grew, so I needed to build bigger. I kept the small waterfall feature but dug a 4-5000 gallon lake in my backyard. Now I have well over 100 Shubunkin which were all born there, as well as visiting frogs, the occasional turtle, snake. I bought 3 baby red sliders last spring and kept them in the old pond form, but I really wanted them in the big pond, so in I dumped them. I watched them happily swim around for about a week and then disappear. I guess they set out for greener pastures or the nearby creek. Maybe they'll turn up again this spring. Oh well.

I think your leaf eater suggestion is great, but there are so many trees in my yard and so many fish that I think I need something more powerful.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

February 18, 2011
10:25 AM

Post #8378978

You may very well need something more powerful than the leaf eater. I know that because it is lightweight, the leaf eater is easier for my DH to maneuver (sp?). We too have trees in our yard and with the skimmer, that pretty well takes care of most of the leaves.

100 fish is alot. I do know that goldfish breed like it will be their last day on earth and they are trying to keep the species going. We used to have goldfish and although they were fun, we did go to koi. The koi don't breed as often, but I have found that they breed far more than I care for myself. We are always trying to find home for the fry.

Funny you mention starting out with the Wally World pond. That is how we started out 11 years ago. We then went to an 1100 gallon pond and now we are at about 5000 gallons. I don't room for a bigger pond, so this one will be the last one for this house.

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pondlove
Lewes, DE

February 22, 2011
12:46 PM

Post #8386752

I went ahead and ordered an Oase pondovac 4 from Webb's and it's on the way. I sure hope it works! Thanks for all your suggestions. It was just under $360, the lowest price I could find on the internet.

Fish_knees

Fish_knees
Phoenix, AZ

February 23, 2011
12:47 PM

Post #8388573

I think you will be very happy with it!
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

February 26, 2011
7:47 AM

Post #8393758

Hi guys. We used the Oase Ponvac 3. Have had it for two years. Our pond is about 3000 gal with 12 feet of gradual falls into the pond itself. The vac works well for what it is intended. We have the vinyl liner also but the bottom is 1-2 " gravel. No bottom drain. "If I had it to do over again...' but can't afford it. The vac cleans up a lot however. My husband usually mans it as the hoses when full are heavy. He just climbs into the pond and vacuums while I brush down the slab rock sides. Pond is 4' deep at one end and goes up to about 24". Have tried koi for four years but they don't generally survive the winter outside. The gold fish and shebunkin seem to do well. I had two koi left last fall so we shall see this summer. I also use MicroLift products that work really well to break down sludge, clear algae and keep the pond healthy. I have plants and water lilies. Lilies winter in the deep end.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

February 26, 2011
8:28 AM

Post #8393826

mstella

Can you post pictures of your pond? It sounds beautiful. Do your waterlilies flower each year in your zone? I know the water temps need to be at a certain temp although I see you are a zone 4b and I know Alaska can get quite a bit colder than that.

Do you take your pond down to the liner each year to clean? I know having gravel in the bottom of the pond makes it more difficult to clean.

My husband does the vacuuming every year and the removing and replacement of the baskets of waterlilies each year. They are too heavy for me as well.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

February 26, 2011
8:50 AM

Post #8393863

Would be glad to post a pic. Am using my laptop right now, but when I fire up the tower I will attach pics. One summer and one winter. My waterlilies bloom great. Last year I had around five at a time big and open. I think the are all the same plant that I have broken up into individual plants. I ordered a couple of new ones including a hardy lotus for this year. Had to throw away a lot of the tubers last fall as they were taking over the pond. I ordered lilies that stay open all the time rather than just in the sun. No way to take the pond down to the liner. We use the PondVac 3 and sort of stir up the bottom to clean. I also use MicroLift Sludgeaway to break down the organics in the pond then they go through the filters. My pond is totally in the sun so algae is a rather constant battle, including string algae, but I also use MicroList Algaway 5.4 (first time last year) and it does the trick. Pond is still tinted a little green but v ery clear and it looks more natural. I had split so many lilies in past years that we had more baskets to set in the deep end over winter than we had room for. Plus it isnt easy retrieving them. Last year I drilled little holes in the side of each basket, attached wire and made loops so he can just hook the baskets and get them to the surface.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

February 26, 2011
2:26 PM

Post #8394291

mstella

we did the same thing with the waterlily baskets. There are 20 of them and they are quite a chore to lift and fertilize, so we use the once a year fertilizer stakes. If I had to do it monthly, I know I would not do it.

Do you have an uv lights? They should help with the green water.
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

February 26, 2011
3:15 PM

Post #8394349

I have goldfish that live over the winter with the pond de icers.I wonder why I never see any babies,I see mating behaviour but no offspring.JOY
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

February 26, 2011
3:25 PM

Post #8394357

AG

That is interesting. How old are your fish?
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

February 26, 2011
6:44 PM

Post #8394651

I can't seem to find the 'once a year spikes'. Just bought some thinking they were annual, but not. What is the brand name. Even if I can find them they won't ship to Alaska or they base it on dollar purchase and want (this happened) $39.50 to ship a 10 ounce package. I will not repeat the note I sent them as I believe there is a language code here at Dave's. I have babies show up, not sure if koi or goldfish but I don't think they can survive the winter. I have enough foliage that they can avoid being eaten by the big fish, but winter is too long for their little bodies. At least I have never seen any of a size to suggest they were surviving fry. I have two UV lights. One is a 'stand alone' so to speak and one is in my filter. A 15 and 25 watt. But I really do depend on Algaway to do the job on the green stuff. As I said the pond is crystal clear to the bottom, just a greenish tint.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

February 26, 2011
6:52 PM

Post #8394675

Not sure what you mean by 'stand alone' uv light...

The brand for the waterlily spikes is Laguna http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=5163 5178 9528&pcatid=9528
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

February 26, 2011
7:01 PM

Post #8394695

Oh. There is a pump in the skimmer that pumps water through a line into a UV light buried next to the pond, it continues on the other side and dumps into the biofalls at the top of the slope next to the pond, which then 'falls' down back into the pond. I guess I was differentiating from the UV lights inside my pressure filter. thanks for the url on the pond spikes. Forgot about that vendor.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

February 27, 2011
6:45 AM

Post #8395205

Foster and Smith want 14.98 for 12 of the spikes and will charge 23.98 for shipping 'outside the continental US.' That is what we run into. They can ship USPS for about a fourth of that but won't do it. I have asked several sites about that and only two have agreed. Actually I just sent them an email asking if they would do it. I don't remember if they are one of the sites I actually specially requested USPS.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

February 27, 2011
7:00 AM

Post #8395217

My understanding is that anything out of the continental 48 can be an issue with postage. Can't help you there.

Another site to try is Webbsonline.com - their prices are supposed to be better. One thing that DH and I do is to buy our pond supplies, including fertilizer spikes, sludge remover, etc is we buy around mid September. Everything is on sale with the ponding season coming to to an end. We were able to get $100 off on our skimmer by purchasing late in the season.

Our uv lights are that type of fashion and we also have 2 also in the pressure filters. When you said 'stand alone' I had a strange picture in my mind!

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Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

February 27, 2011
12:11 PM

Post #8395722

LOL. I can only guess. funny. I have also tried to order at year end. Sometimes it helps to offset the postage. I am building an annual order now for an outfit that says they will box it up and ship it USPS so I want to make it worth their while. Plus their prices are pretty attractive. http://www.microbeliftshop.com. Seem pretty customer friendly. My golly. Look at those lily pads. Mine to okay but I think more warmth would help with the growth. Sometimes sun just isn't enough.

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