1000+ gallon Stingray pond build

mmcgrath

New Member
Thought I would post up some pics of a new pond i'm working on. It measures 8ftx6ftx4ft high. Internal water volume is around 1050 gallons. It was constructed of 3/4 inch plywood and 4x4s. The number of 4x4s was not needed for structural integrity, but a deck is being built around the pond and this was the best way for it to work out aesthetically down the road. I'm in the midst of putting together my filtration system which will be a very large k1 media fluidized bed. For mechanical, I plan to use several sets of filter socks. The main issue I am having right now is what to do about a substrate. I was originally set on sand but have since been convinced that a tile bottom with only a little bit of sand would probably be better, maintenance-wise. After several trips to Home Depot, I think I have picked a ceramic tile that suits me but am wondering if it's completely inert. I know basic fired ceramic is, but with all the glazings that are used how do i know if the tile is 100% safe? One pic is of my wild caught motoro she has around a 17-18 inch disc diameter, one pic is of a bd/leo i got from Darren at monsterfishbowl, he is now a little over 14 inches. Another picture is the front shot of the new build..excuse the mess..still in the middle of moving in/construction.
 

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bcarlos

Member
Having kept a ray pond for several years now, I would definitely recommend bare bottom over substrate. It's just way easier to maintain!

This looks like its gonna be a cool project, looking forward to seeing some pics of it running
 

mmcgrath

New Member
Decorate only. Im not sure if I would like the look of pool tiles, im still trying to make my pond look as natural as possible and the idea behind the ceramic tiles is that i can buy ones that will look like a sandy bottom. My plan is to lay concrete board on the bottom of the tank, then glue the measured bottom of the liner down to that, then to lay the ceramic tiles on top of that. This way the tiles wont have any slip as the tank is filled. Putting something that could be toxic in with my rays is just not an option though. I see tones of vids and pics of tiled aquariums, how is the ceramic for those chosen? Or is it treated in some way before use int he aquarium?
 

mmcgrath

New Member
I have access to a slate pool table, i was going to rip it apart and use the solid piece of slate under on the bottom but again i dont know enough info about putting this in the aquarium and any effects it might have on ph or water quality.
 

mmcgrath

New Member
I found out from a reef site that slate is the better option over ceramic. Also slate pool tables are fine and are not chemically treated for any reason. I will be power washing the slate pool table today or tommorow and will hopefully get it in this week and post some more pics.
 

Cirrus

Arowana blogger
Can you figure out some way to access underneath the slate for cleaning purposes? Over time you will get fish crap collecting down there which will lead to anaerobic bacteria. If you plan on keeping and breeding rays this could be a long term issue for water quality. One idea could be to install one or more drains on the bottom of the tank so that with the flick of a switch you could use gravity to flush out the accumulated waste.
 

mmcgrath

New Member
Hey cirrus thanks for the input i have decided to leave it bare bottom with the liner and only add a small amount of sand (just enough for the rays to sift through and lighten up the tank a bit). The main issue with the slate for me is it has some very small pits in it. I had planned to seal it around the edges so anaerobic bacteria wouldn't be able to build up in the dead spots under the slate. I plan to rig up a vacume of some sorts that can be hooked into my first stage of filtration and will use this to clean the bottom once a week.

Next issue is ratio of k1 media. I am using k1 media as my bio filter, was hoping that someone would have some insight into the gallons needed to handel the bio load of several rays. I chose k1 media because if I were to run sand im thinking that I would have to much flex on my wooden pond durring the backwashes and this could lead to cracks. That info comes from people that use plywood tanks that they seal themselves. Im half wondering if they are worried about their rubberized paint sealer working or if its actually the wood they are worried about.

Insight is very appreciated about k1 media ratio and backwashing a wooden pond with a liner.
 

Cirrus

Arowana blogger
I can't help you out with that question. I have seen K1 used extensively in Holland; you can see it in use in some of the photos here: http://www.dragonfish.ca/oldsite/nikijigoi.htm

Maybe check with koi keepers, or better yet wholesalers or farms? I wonder if K1 is the industry standard for koi? It certainly worked well at the farm I visited in Holland.
 

mmcgrath

New Member
Hey,

Thought i would update on how the tank is comming. Im using an old 180 gallon tank for my filtration system and am building it in sort of a sump/moving bed kind of mannor. Im filtering with three filter sox (from a tripple split 4 inch pvc pipe). There is then a baffle before 100L of k1 media in a moving bed. This is then followed by a second baffle, then a return pump.

The Baffled section for the return pump, pumps 5000 gph (ish) back to the main tank, however 5400 (ish) gallons overflows from the K1 bio media section to the return pump section. The extra 400 (ish) gallons overflows a final baffle to a refugium where it is pumped back to the tank with a seperate return line.

For anyone curious it works out to around half a pound of feed a day per 50L of k1 media. This is a rough ratio used in koi ponds. Im planning to eventually have 100L of k1 but am starting with 50 as i was told to add it in two stages by several people i talked to.

Should have it all done by tommorow morning and will get some pictures up of the filtration and tank.
 

mmcgrath

New Member
Ok so the rays are in the new tank...I still have aalot of cosmetic work to do on it as you can see and once the rays were i didn't like how the water was flowing so there is duck tape on the return line right now until i can position it how i want it. Also the airstones will be removed once i have the flow figured out.

The first morning i had the biggest scare i have had since keeping rays. I woke up to find the male bd/leo in the overflow. He was ok but must have been stressed...i should of had a lid on it, but there is egg crate up for now while im making the lid.

I realize that its a mess but its a work in progress. The rays love it, my water is testing the same as it was in the old tank. Now just to make it all pretty without disturbing the rays.

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tomuhs

New Member
Awesome update! I know you mentioned a little dirty but would you mind taking some pics??

Glad to hear that the ray made it out ok. That's a pretty big scare. I've lost so many fish to the overflow even with so little room to get in there.
 
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