Pumping Water From Stream - Crazy Idea? Question 

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Nerium

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So there's this old cast iron bathtub down the bottom of a paddock where I live, not far from a decent sized stream. It's outside the paddock, but also far enough up from the stream to be above winter flooding ... it has a little ballcock so it must have been a water trough years ago! I've been wondering about turning it into a pond as it's a decent size and I have acquired a common goldfish who needs a home. But the pump for the filter would have to be solar. I've been researching trying to find out ways to make that feasible ... and I just had a thought.

I have no experience in this area so there may be a big obvious reason why this is a bad idea. Rather than run a filter, could I simply use a pump to divert water from the stream into the trough and then back into the stream with another hose? Effectively doing constant water changes while the sun shone.

This would be provided water tests of the stream looked okay. I would be housing one, maybe two goldfish. The location doesn't give me concerns about nutrient runoff from the immediate hills.I imagine I would turn the pump off in heavy rain where the water might get mucky.

Again there ...probably is a reason not to do this? Or multiple reasons???? But I figure even learning why not would be valuable ... and let me tell you it is SO HARD to search for info about the concept .... the closest I've got so far was about filling ponds measured in acres!
 

david1978

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I live by a small stream and the 2 biggest issues I see would be the water getting muddy every time it rains hard and the flooding issue washing the pump down stream.
 
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Nerium

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I was thinking of having the pump in the bathtub sucking the water up from there? Cause yes it would definitely go bye-byes if it was in the stream! !

And yeah, I agree, I could turn the pump off if there was heavy rain coming, but in the winter how often would that be ... and there would be the issue of sudden heavy storms sending silt everywhere before I had a chance to get to the off switch ...
 

david1978

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With the pump in the tub in you run into the issue of losing prime which you wouldn't notice for awhile every time the power is cut to the pump or the intake being washed down stream. Honestly a small solar pond filter may be the way go. Every warm day we get and the snow melts are creek turns colored so to me using it as a dedicated water supply would have too many variables unless you really baby sat it.
 
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Nerium

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david1978 said:
With the pump in the tub in you run into the issue of losing prime which you wouldn't notice for awhile every time the power is cut to the pump or the intake being washed down stream.
What do you mean here?? I've heard of priming a pump but don't know what losing prime is?

Our streams is clear unless there is serious flooding level rain, it is summer here now, and we don't have snow in winter. There are two consecutive ponds upstream which catch sediment. It would just be a matter of managing the situation in winter with consistent rain and raised stream levels and whether the practicalities of that would be a problem ... the rain would help fill the pond ... I'd have to have a good overflow/outflow pipe haha

Im aware of options re: filters however solar pumps don't run at night. The battery they can come with apparently isn't strong enough to bridge to daytime? (If anyone knows different do tell - remember I am not in america) and I do not know how to attach a different battery or how to combine other panels/pumps. My budget is around 200 nzd max. Unless someone has a really good guide online with pictures and ideally videos, I'm gonna need a system that is okay to not be running for hours.

I have seen a youtube video where a guy did a "filter" using a solar pump to move water through a bunch of water containers with plants in them but he hasn't replied to my questions about it.

I need something that's as simple as possible as my brain space is pretty full haha. Hence why I wondered about the stream water. Particularly as if it worked it would mean constant fresh water thru the day which would be hella cool
 

david1978

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Hmm new zealand. Losing prime is when the water leaves your suction hose and then it just sucks air till you re prime it. Another thought could you put the end of your intake hose far enough upstream that it would draft water all on its own? Water pumps are more efficient pushing water then sucking it up so I'm not sure if a solar pump would be enough. When I had a little preformed pond I had a square container with a sponge and some bio rings on the intake of a small fountain for filtration. And its tough when you don't put in a location. Lol
 

CleaHelena

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I really like we’re you are going with this. There will be some issues to overcome that haven’t been thought of. Make it a multi-year project and start slow.

Love the concept.
 
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Nerium

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david1978 said:
Hmm new zealand. Losing prime is when the water leaves your suction hose and then it just sucks air till you re prime it. Another thought could you put the end of your intake hose far enough upstream that it would draft water all on its own? Water pumps are more efficient pushing water then sucking it up so I'm not sure if a solar pump would be enough. (...) And its tough when you don't put in a location. Lol
Just keeping you on your toes hahah

That makes sense! And oh man that is a really cool idea about putting the pipe upstream, I will have to go downstream to have a look but it could be a possibility - definitely worth trying!

And that's good to know about sucking vs pumping out .... it's a shame I can't hire a pump for a day just to try it! The strongest ones ive seen on the local auction site say they can pump up 5m and I'm pretty sure the elevation is less than that, maybe half ... I guess it depends on how /much/ weaker the pull is ...

And thanks CleHelena! Taking it slow sounds sensible. I do have a fish to house but she is in a bathtub in the house after a bird poo mishap in her trough and it's made me realise she would be a lot smaller in that big old tub than I thought, as she is little even in the house one! So with some pond liner and cover from the sun I can likely feasibly keep her in there before I get a proper system sorted, even if it's just with plants, a solar bubbler and good ol' bucket water changes
 
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Nerium

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God, actually, just thinking about water changes ... if I got a pump that wasn't up to pulling from the river but could still pump out that height .... I could perhaps use a different system around the tub to get as much filtration as possible and then carry the pump down to put in the river to pump water up for changes at least hahaha
 

CleaHelena

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Nerium, I run with 4 patio ponds on my back porch once the weather is warm enough that frost isn’t an issue. I rarely perform any water changes with them. I load them up with anacharis and let the rain do it’s thing. Maybe this is something that will work for you.

You could also turn the tub into a green water pond. Fish love that green water.

I see the challenges you have with the electricity. How far down is the water line from where the tub will sit! Could you dig a little well and put a manual pump on it? That would look pretty cool if it the spigot was over the tub.
 
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