I wanna start a pond. Help?
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > General Planted Tank Forums > General Planted Tank Discussion > Ponds


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-10-2011, 07:05 AM   #1
Eldachleich
Wannabe Guru
 
Eldachleich's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Aliso Viejo, California
Posts: 1,702
Default

I wanna start a pond. Help?


We have a pond. But ti came with the house. Its a real simple hole in the ground with a single water pump in the bottom for some circulation.

Anyways.. That pond is tiny, and mainly holds a bunch of plants. And its way off to the side.
We want a pond on our patio. A local nursery has a raised pond and it looks wonderful. But none of the staff seem to know anything about building one.
Its raised up about 4 or 5 feet. has cinderblock all around. A waterfall on one end and something that looks like a skimmer on the other. It is planted full of lilies, and has a couple fish and a waterfall. Pretty standard pond. But I have noticed a few things about it that perplex me. And the interwebs are failing me as far as information.

This pond is raised, and surrounded by cinderblocks. After looking for a bit I realised that these cinderblocks aren't held down in anyway shape or form. They arent cemented down or anything. There seems to be a big old layer of good soil in between the pond itself and the cinderblocks. They filled all the gaps in between with plants and it was basically a garden. Theres no wooden supports around the pond. And the pond itself is pond liner and not preformed.

I probably sound confused. It's cause I am confused. All the research I have done with raised ponds does not cover anything I have seen with this pond. We really really like this pond and I was wondering if anyone on here knew how to construct one. I;m sort of confused how it is supporting the weight of the water. The cinderblock/dirt wall it only about 3 feet thick at the bottom.
Also...
Now that I;m thinking about it..
What filtration system is best. We really want to keep some fancy goldfish in it and I am stuck on filtration. I really wanna build a waterfall filter but everyone seems to suggest a UV sterilizer as well to keep it clear.
For a waterfall filter all I would need is some hosing a pump and a tub for the filter media.. right?

They also have some sort of soil covering the whole bottom of the pond. they just stick whatever lilies and plants they want in it and they grow like mad. I asked what it was and the employees just said they didn't know.
Eldachleich is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 12-10-2011, 07:20 AM   #2
mordalphus
These pants? are fancy.
 
mordalphus's Avatar
 
PTrader: (272/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 7,997
Default

Soil in their pond is probably schultz aquasoil, pretty common in nursery ponds in my area.
mordalphus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2011, 10:55 AM   #3
metallicanick78
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
metallicanick78's Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Amston, CT
Posts: 436
Default

Those arnt to hard to build, I prefer to do half above/half below ground. But what you do is build the shape of the pond with cinderblocks, and kind of step it down to the middle. once you have the general shape, you mix up some cement and pour it right down the center of the blocks. some people use rebar also. but If you stack them with all the holes facing up and down, then you end up with a nice stack of cement that holds each stack together. Then you use play sand and underliner to smooth out the steps and protect the liner.

By far the best pond filteration setup you can have is a skimmer AND a waterfall filter. I used the savio compact, but I think you can only get the regular size one now. you can DIY a waterfall filter that fills from the bottom and either goes through bioballs then filter mat, or just rocks and plant it full of fast growers. Make sure you put the skimmer on the opposite side of the pond as the waterfall.

Depending on the actual size, you could add a bottom drain, I did on mine but I think I would have been ok without it. If you can get it somewhat dug down first it will help to overwinter fish. you want the actual ground to insulate the water, preferable below frost line. about 2-2.5 feet for all goldfish and 3-3.5 for koi.

UV setilizers are over rated, with enough bio filtration and plants your water will be clear! skimmer keeps out large particles and between the mats in the skimmer and a large filterfalls youll be set!
metallicanick78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2011, 10:59 AM   #4
metallicanick78
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
metallicanick78's Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Amston, CT
Posts: 436
Default

Oh, and I prefer my lillys in a large pot with just rocks. you can move it around and take it out for winter and cleanings. Keep the edges of the pond steep and no one can tell whats on the bottom and its safer for your fish. they can escape land and air predators faster.
metallicanick78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2011, 11:34 AM   #5
Eldachleich
Wannabe Guru
 
Eldachleich's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Aliso Viejo, California
Posts: 1,702
Default

Thanks!
Were avoiding.. well sort of refusing to use any cement here. We don't really wanna get into all that. I did however finally find a page explaining how to do exactly what I was looking for. However reinforcing the blocks does not sound like a bad Idea.

The pond itself is going to be around 500 - 700 gallons. Thats an estimate. But it should be close to that range.

I have a few questions though.
Since this pond is going to be positioned on the corner of our patio, the waterfall present a problem. We would rather not block the view of the yard with a giant waterfall. Well it wont be giant but my grandpa does want it to be at least 4 feet tall.
I had an idea. But am not sure how to work out the mechanics of it. I'm hoping you guys can help me hash it out.

I had the idea to place the waterfall at the bottom of the pond instead of the top.
Meaning at one point closest to the house, we would lower the stones slightly.
This way the water from the pond overflows naturally down a waterfall we have built below it. And then collects in a small pond at the bottom before being pumped back into the main pond.
I am having some issues with this though.
For one I am not sure if there will be enough surface agitation with this method for the goldfish.
My other problems include not know where the heck to put any of the equipment.
Should I fill the area below the waterfall with filter media, and then pump it back into the pond? If so where would the skimmer go?
Should I put a skimmer down there? How large are they?
Should I put the skimmer down there and have the water pumped back up to the other end of the pond. Up to a small but wide water fall with a filter in it? One maybe 4 - 6 inches above the pond water?

How would you guys set up this pond?

I'll try and sketch some plans to illustrate what I mean.
And to give you guys the general shape of the pond. So maybe..
I have no idea if that would actually help...
Eldachleich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2011, 01:26 PM   #6
metallicanick78
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
metallicanick78's Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Amston, CT
Posts: 436
Default

I built my pond with an 8x10 kidney shape with the skimmer on one end, and the other end has a waterfall that comes down from a smaller 3x3 roundish pond section. It sounds like you just want to do the revers. that should work. so your regular pond is say 5x5 or whatever, have that splash down into a small section like 2x2 with the skimmer down there. They are about the size or two 5gal buckets. the pump goes in the skimmer and have it pump back up to the main pond. you can make it so there is a tiny amount of splashing up top too. like 6" mini fall if you wanted more areation than the bottom falls would give.

Skimmers usually have a spot for mechanical filtration which doubles as bio filtration. and I know the savios have an option for a built in UV, although I dont use one with mine, not nessesary. and then at the top I would still make a filter falls but just bury it mostly so it only drops the water a few inches or whatever dosent block your view. If I wasent starting work tomorrow then id sketch it up for you, maby Ill have time later! But it will be easy for you im sure.
metallicanick78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2011, 05:06 PM   #7
Wildbill1957
Newbie
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 3
Default

What shape and amount of water do you want. Do you have the capability to have it half way into the ground? Above ground ponds shaped with 4x4's and liner look nice and are strong. Partial in ground opens up many more options and stability. A homemade filter in your pond are easy and cheap to construct. Over a few hundred gallons makes a waterfall filter essentially useless, being reverse flow.
Wildbill1957 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2011, 02:12 AM   #8
Eldachleich
Wannabe Guru
 
Eldachleich's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Aliso Viejo, California
Posts: 1,702
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildbill1957 View Post
What shape and amount of water do you want. Do you have the capability to have it half way into the ground? Above ground ponds shaped with 4x4's and liner look nice and are strong. Partial in ground opens up many more options and stability. A homemade filter in your pond are easy and cheap to construct. Over a few hundred gallons makes a waterfall filter essentially useless, being reverse flow.
Its hard to say because I need my grandpa to be here to hash out the specifics. And hes on vacation in colorado right now. He should be home in a couple days...
For now the general shape is a rounded diamond. Were putting it on the corner of our cement patio. Theres a big old planter there right now were gonna take out and replace with the pond. He is willing to extend it off the patio and into the lawn. But he doesnt know how much he is willing to extend it. Most likely 3 - 5 feet.
We would like to build it around 3 - 4 feet off the ground. What really appealed to us about the pond at our garden center was the fact that it was planted in between all the rocks. We would love for it to double as a garden on the outside.

We really dont want to build any sort of wooden structure. Though he might be willing to cement the basic wall together.

I'm estimating that this pond will be between 300 - 900 gallons.. Which is abig difference. Although honestly it will most likely end up between 500 - 700 gallons.

If we do extend it off the patio he would be willing to extend that part as deep as we wished.
Eldachleich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2012, 01:10 AM   #9
Eldachleich
Wannabe Guru
 
Eldachleich's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Aliso Viejo, California
Posts: 1,702
Default

Thanks everyone... after this I understood alot more about what I wanted,
I have some final measurements though.
Its going to be 700 gallons. Probably closer to 800.
2.5 feet deep for most of it and a steep drop to 4 feet for the very back.
We are now going to use cement. We want thou supporting wall to be pretty thin so it does not take up as much patio space.
Now will that fill the cinderblock method work? We only want the soil/rock layer on the outside to be 1.5 feet at the most.
The water fall has now been made smaller (thank goodness, he wanted a 5 foot waterfall) and relocated to the back. Its going to to be a rough rectangle shape.
The inhabitants are going to be a small school of whiteclouds, and 10 fancy goldfish.
The fauna in the pond is going to be water a lotus, two water lilies, some floaters and marginals.
Based on all that. What equipment would you guys suggest for me? We want to keep it as simple as possible.

Also any tips on building a waterfall would be super helpful.
Eldachleich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2012, 08:39 PM   #10
Diana
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 7,566
Default

You are thinking about what would be called a "Vanishing edge" in swimming pool terminology.
The main pond might be say... 2' above the patio, and 3/4 or more of the rim is indeed at 24" above the patio. 1/4 of the rim (maybe 3-4' long) (the part nearest the house) is at 23" high. Just that 1" of difference.
Here is why:
If you turn off the pump, the water in the pond that is 24" high will continue to drain over the vanishing edge until all the water in the pond is at 23". That 1" of water draining down must fit into the catch basin nearest the house, so make sure it is large enough.
Example: if the whole pond is 120 square feet, then 1" deep is 10 cubic feet, so the catch basin must hold at least 10 cubic feet more than when it is running. Maybe 20 cubic feet.

For a pond that is more than a couple of hundred gallons I would go with a remote pump and filter system if that is at all possible. The intake would be in the overflow part nearest the house.
Size your pump by measuring the length of the waterfall (the vanishing edge). To make a nice looking waterfall you want 1000 gallons per hour for every foot of length. So, if your vanishing edge is 4' long, the pump ought to be at least 4000 gph. I say at least, because there is also flow loss from the size and length of the pipe, and the filter.
Return to the pond via a wide waterfall that pours over boulders above the pond. Not high, but wide. This area will be built with pond liner under it, and expanding foam between the boulders to force the water over to make it look like a rippling stream. Yes, the higher you go the more like white water rapids it will get, but the higher you go the more of a view you are blocking off. If the maximum height you are looking for is 4', and the main pond is at 2', then this rippling stream effect would be 2' above the pond. If you can stretch it out (probably back into the garden) it is more stream-like. If it is closer to the pond then it is more like a 2' drop, a waterfall with just a few boulders.

Structure:
Look into gravity block wall material.
Versa-Lok, Keystone, Allen Block and others.
These are concrete blocks, but they are...
a) Intended to be installed without adding concrete fill.
b) Nicer looking on the outside, available in several colors that look more natural than CMU blocks.
c) Movable (in case you are renting and may need to take it down and not leave a mess)
d) Make better curves and irregular outlines
e) Are available in 'pocket' designs so you can plant the outside of the wall
f) Can be stacked up at different levels so you can build a higher area at the back, mid-height areas around most of the pond, and lowered area near the vanishing edge. You can build a wall 3' high without engineering using most of these products. (Read the literature from each manufacturer, they do vary)
g) Incredibly easy to install. No rebar, no concrete, no custom tools.

I do landscape design for a living, and I know materials pretty well. These blocks are about twice or more times the cost of CMU blocks, but all the advantages make them very much worth looking into.
Diana is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 05:11 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012