Waterproof concrete sealers are too expensive
I'm just getting into this whole water feature thing, although I was into it as a child. That was container gardening though, which is nothing in comparison with the project I've recently started.
I decided to use concrete, because it's real, and because I like real.
Mistake number one, was thinking that, because it's such a small feature, I would be able to get away with using a small amount of concrete. Needles to say, I'm pretty much having to redo it.
Mistake number two, was trying to take shortcuts halfway through, which ended up taking longer, because, again, I had to start over.
This time, I know better than to try to cut corners, but I do think that it's ridiculous that I should have to purchase an overpriced concrete sealer to waterproof the pond. I figure if more than 2,000 years ago, there were fountains, ponds, and baths--all without the use of monomer or polymer, that I should be able to do the same. I try to do things the way they were done before all of these laboratories started telling us that their way is the only way.
I just don't buy it.
So, I've used the traditional concrete recipie, and redone the pond with 3" of concrete. Tomorrow, I will add a layer of lime and powdered silica sand (I'm going to have to crush the sand myself). Apparently if the sand is powdered, it becomes reactive with the lime, and creates a waterproof seal. It is the way it was done thousands of years ago, and I think it's worth a try, at only $6.
Just in case that doesn't work out, it will at least give it a very smooth finish, to which I can add pebbles, or mosaic tiles. And just in case, I've purchased a 10 pound chunck of parafin wax. The paste of lime, silica, and cement that I'll be adding tomorrow, will give me a very smooth surface, and even if not waterproof, I figure that if I melt parafin wax, and paint it on, it will penetrate deep into the top layer of cement, fill in any gaps, and thus, waterproof it.
Parafin is non-toxic, and is $7 for every 10 pound block, which should be way more than enough to cover the area I'm working with.
So, if any of y'all have tried this, or have heard of this, please let me know. And either way, I'll keep y'all posted. Perhaps I will end up discovering the cheapest, and most assuredly non toxic waterproofer for ponds yet. (Or, maybe everybody knows of doing this, but nobody's mentioned it online, or in books, because it's a pond lover's secret.)