Koi Rescue
Phoenix Arizona

Timed water valve fill & sump barrel drain

My koi tank is in the back end of my yard. This is the entry way to get to my koi tank area. Sorry about all the dirt, see the retaining wall blocks on the left with the raised flower bed? I am making another raised plant bed to the right side, just haven't finished it yet.

The brown shed on the right is the enclosure I built around my pool pump and filter to protect it from UV damage, and also make it less noisy since we run it early in the morning when the electric rates are cheap.

One of the biggest continual chores with a koi pond is the weekly water changes, which can chew up a lot of time if you do it manually.

I have tried a number of different configurations, and this is my latest configuration which I really like.

The control box to the left is a regular yard irrigation timer. It came with our house and wasn't being used, so I scavenged it for this project. The sprinkler timer turns on a regular sprinkler valve which I hooked up to the valve tree at the top of the picture. Each valve goes to a different thing, and the last valve on the right supplies a loose coil of hose.

The reason I have 4 alike valves and one odd on the end is that I had that one in stock from another project, so just bought the other 4. They are regular hose bib type valves.

On the back side the hoses just dangle down and head off to their various spots to supply water.

The grey thing towards the bottom of the pipe is the sprinkler vavle that the water control timer turns on.

At the top of the picture is a hand valve with a cheap mechanical water timer I was using. Problem with that mechanical timer is that after a while of using it, it sticks on.

Now this is how I get rid of water from the tanks. You can see the valve on the side of the dolphin tank that hovers above the barrel, to do a water change I just open that valve up and it drains water from the tank down to my regular weekly level. The water just drops into the sump barrel.

For the K1 filter and the vortex barrel, they both are hooked up to the big clear hose that hooks over the lip. Since those 2 barrels are on the stand above the sump barrel, they quickly dump when I open their valves.

Inside the sump barrel I have a cheap $30 harbor freight sump pump with float switch. As the barrel fills up, the pump comes on automatically and sends the water out the valve tree mounted on the outside of the barrel. Those hoses take the discharge water to various places in my yard so my trees, shrubs and grass can have that nice high quality mucky filter water.

One problem with the sump pump is that it leaves about an inch of water in the bottom of the barrel, and if you don't get rid of it, mosquitos start breeding in there. I solve the problem with a hole in the bottom of the barrel and this stick to plug it up. I just sanded the end of the stick into a somewhat round shape, and as I jam it into the hole, it seals up pretty good. After the draining and pumping cycle is over, I just remove the stick, and that inch of water drains out.