Here come the questions!!!

chubbypoptartMay 8, 2012

I guess I should already know this stuff forwards & backwards since I've already started....but It's in my nature to put the horse before the cart :P

I still won't be finished anytime soon but I'm getting closer. I still have to flatten out all the dirt around the pond. Like I said before with two toddlers, a puppy, a newly rescued kitten, Fl. heat, money, and me being 100lbs really limits my time/resources and strength.....but determination is my drive. My dad and hubby laughed at me when I told them I was going to dig my pond by hand.....well I'm laughing now....and probably have bigger biceps than both of them now too :P ROFL.

okay so here are a few questions

I plan on trying to find carpet for the underlayment for the liner.

1. Do I only line the vertical walls or the horizontal "floor" of the pond as well?

The pond is approx. 15' x 17' and mostly 2 ft. deep but the middle has a 3 foot drop off. according to calculators just over 5000 gallons.

2.I found a pump on Ebay that says 4,000 gph with a uv light. would that be good enough?

3. Do you HAVE to have a skimmer?

4. I have the preform pond and am not set on but was wondering if I could put it higher than the in ground pond and use it as some type of bog filter or skippy filter that pours into a stream eventually pouring back into the pond...Can anyone tell me how I would do that? I get lost when you start getting into piping and tubes and fittings etc. if some one could give me some step by step instructions on how I could do that I would love you forever!

Here's some pictures of where I am so far....if you see anything wrong please point it out! remember I'm not finished but the last thing I want is to have to re-do this thing!

View from back left corner. that little shelf to the right will be like a waterfall/island pouring onto the next level.





Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The rug liner goes under the bottom and the walls. The bottom is more important than the walls. You can cut pieces to fit the various bottoms and then bands for the sides. Scrounge from the carpet store dumpster after asking of course.

You don't have to have a skimmer or a uv light.

If you had a stream or bog you wouldn't need another filter either. We already talked about the preform. I was not suggesting any pipe or tubing. I was suggesting that you tilt the preform so that one end spills over into the pond below it. That spill would be part of the waterfall. The lower pond would extend slightly behind the waterfall. Think catching all the soup poured from a full sauce pan into a another pot where some of the soup may pour/dribble down the side of the pot and spill off the bottom rather than the rim.

If you are going to run a pump all the time, electrical cost becomes an issue. The mag drive pumps cost less to run.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 8:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You need to cover the bottom--the point is to protect the liner from stuff like rocks & tree-roots. You look like you may have sandy soil, unlike the "grows rocks" kind we have in New England, so maybe less of an issue for you. Remember you'll certainly end up walking on the bottom of the pond at some point (or someone will decide to test the ice & fall in!).

I wouldn't fuss too much about the dirt-smoothing until you've got the liner nearly in; you'll want a little bit of "hill" around the edges to prevent rainwater from running over your lawn & into the pond, so you need some there...well, not as much as you have ;).

Skimmer: For me, it's a blessing because I have tree leaves & stuff like that it removes; otherwise, I'd have to fish them all off the bottom of the pond, which is a pain (no bottom drain).

Pumps: Make sure you calculate the cost to run them per month before you choose--no point in saving $$ if it just goes into your electricity bill!

Do decide on your piping before you buy the pump. I've got a long stream, and...well, basically different pumps are better at different kinds of pumping, you need to figure out how hard the pump will need to work to push the water through pipes & up hill to know what amount of pump you need.

Your #4: Well, for me, I've got a skimmer on the main pond, and a pump in that. The pump connects to a long, long (flexible, under the mulch but not buried) pipe that runs all the way to the top of the pond, where it runs out onto the stream. You could do more-or-less that, with your preform at the top & then you make the stream with more liner. Not sure how to connect preform to liner. Liner to liner is pretty easy, though.

Congrats on digging it yourself, I know how hard it is (though I'm totally jealous of your sand...I suppose the benefit of rocky dirt is you get rocks for your stream, but sandy soil is oh, so much easier to dig!)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 9:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thankyou Chas. I know we've had previous conversations. Please don't think I'm ignoring you. Just simply trying to gather tons of varying methods and opinions :) My main concern about using the preform is it ruining the natural look I'm going for. I don't want to see a black tub at the top of my pond and I think plants can only do so much lol. I don't know I'll be planning for a while, while I'm saving up for the liner anyway. I looked at online calculators and it said about $20.00 a month for a filter if I remember correctly.

Meganmca, Thank you for your reply. I have no trees in my yard or in surrounding yards (all the neighbors have pools :/ ) So I don't know if I will need a skimmer. I'm not putting in a bottom drain either. No rocks in the bottom and I just want to keep it simple. I would say the sand was easier to dig the sense that i didnt have to stomp the shovel with each dig BUT it caves in on what you just dug out so I felt like I was doing double the digging lol

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 11:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I dont have a skimmer or a bottom drain. No rocks on the bottom, just a couple long handeled nets and Bobs you uncle :)

My pool at the top was made out of just pulling the extra liner up over the falls and into a bowl I carved out of the mound of dirt. That worked well with the Skippies behind because I put the edge of the liner in between the skippy outlets and the tank then siliconed it so there would not be leaking from the skippy outlets.

All my plumbing just runs from the under water pumps through the pond, out the other end (covered with rocks to hide it where they come our of the water) and hooked to the skippies. I used 2" and 1 1/2" inch hoses and waterever PVC fittings I needed to get them where I wanted. I used PVC glue outside of the pond but none on the hoses under the surface of the water since it would be no big deal if they leaked under water.

I will take some pics more specific to your questions when I get home tonight and see if I can get them posted.

I also have some great liner edge ideas I'll post to show you.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 4:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks pcan I would love to see them!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 5:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ok, so here is a little drawing I made with a happy little fish LOL.

Letter A is the way I originally did my rocks, but I had a hard time hiding the liner. So someone on another forum recommended I try folding the liner up to create a lip. This is shown in B, C and D. I did it all three ways around the pond depending on the area and what my plans were for planting. The plus side of this method is:

1. You wont get run off in your pond
2. You can add a couple more inches of water
3. You can plant much close to the water to help soften the rock edge.
4. You don't need as many rocks

Here is my (5000 GPH if I remember correctly) pump set up. This pump sits a little over 2' down in a low spot I created at the edge of the pond for it.

It is in a big black nursery pot with tons of holes drilled on all sides, covered with lava rock and right now a piece of quilt batting as I am patiently trying to clear the green water that bloomed about a month ago.

The hose is 2" with a 90 degree angle to bring it up and out of the pot. The hose lays in the water.

BTW: This was my only pump last year and really all I need. But I got another one this year for the other skippy and in case this one ever breaks down.

Here is the hose

It comes out the side of the pond just to the left of the water fall.

Then is split using a PVC T into 1, 1 1/2" and 1, 2" (I had it split into 2, 1 1/2" but had too much flow through my skippy so I put a 2" on the split that runs directly into the pool at the top of the falls. This reduced the flow to the skippy just right. (Note: you shouldn't have more than 2000 GPH running through your skippy as the water needs time to do it's thing in there).

Here is the 2" running straight into the pool:

And the 1 1/2" running to the skippy.

I used a cool little fitting with screws so I can easily unhook the hose when needed and it has an opening at that top that I use to seed the bacteria and it adds oxygen to the water. It also prevents siphoning of gunk back into the pond if there is ever a malfunction.

Here are the outlets. I used 2, 2" plumbing fittings I found at the store instead of the 4" thing the skippy site recommends so I could put them closer to the top and have more water in the tank.

The second pump is a 2000 GPH pump and sits in a small laundry basket in the center of the pond at the bottom (with a small crate turned upside down underneath to keep it just off the bottom). It is also covered with lava rock and quilt batting. My floating planter is anchored over it so you can't see it. There is an air stone next to it (the plants like the oxygen). The hose runs along the bottom and out the other side (right side) of the falls:

Then runs straight to the other skippy. You can see the cool fitting where the hose goes into the skippy in this pic.

I used scrap lighting grate to create a void so the floating plants don't clog the outlets. The plants in the other skippy are planted through the grating so they don't move and I don't have to worry about it.

Here is my pool at the top I mentioned earlier I just pulled the liner up over the falls and attached it in between the outlets and the skippy tanks so there wouldn't be any leaks.

I filled the pool with pee gravel and planted plants directtly in it.

And here are a couple other pics I just took for fun :)

Floating planter:

And pond pic

This is only my second year. I have learned a lot and have a lot more to learn. A couple tips I would give you is...

1. Look around the plumbing section at the local hardware store and find the fittings that work for you. Spend some time and look in the plumbing, toilet and sprinkler section.

2. Plant perennial bare root plants in your pond when possible. I have added some annuals this year but not near as many as last year.

Good lick and I can't wait to see it finished. Keep us posted.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 9:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here is what it looked like before the liner so you can see how I built the falls, pool and notched out the area for the pump. In this pic the pool at the top was 2 small pools rather than one large one since I did not do the skippies till this spring. It is 40" deep in the center and about 6" at the shallowest around the edge. The steps are at about 2' and 3'.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 9:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

WOW! Thank you so much pcan!! These pictures help a lot and I love your little drawing! lol!! As always the pictures are beautiful too :)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 10:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I completely agree that things should appear natural. If you were to use the preform, it would need to be set in and mostly covered. That was specifically why I suggested the soccer ball area. If that is not available, the liner would be great. The extra liner needed is small compared to the pond and can be cut off of one side (or draped over).

Regarding naturalness; You would be surprised what a few plants, vines, stones, drift wood and grass can do to hide liner or preform.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 8:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardengimp(9B Seminole Cnty FL)

Shelby, I think people who don't live on an ancient sand dune totally get the concept of no rocks. Only sand, sand and more sand. When I rebuilt my small pond this winter, I found that the used plastic garbage bags I used for lining the pond the first time worked just fine for the bottom. One of my big problems was the side walls sinking and caving in. I'm contributing that to (1) sand and (2) foot traffic along the sides and (3) heavy rains and (4) sand.

I reinforced the sidewalls with concrete block/brick and covered that with carpet. This kind of shows it.

I can't computer draw worth a hoot, but here I am trying to be a smidgen like pecan.

The blue aqua square on the left is my pump/filter box. It is inside the pond liner, on its own little dug out shelf cubby.

I have two 2" intakes (one close and one far) as well as the 'skimmer' cut out along the top front edge. The outflow is out the back side to a 4 way manifold.

One of the 4 feeds goes to an elevated flower pot I use as a bio filter. It goes from the manifold, to a check valve to a male threaded fitting poked through the hole in the bottom of the pot and secured/caulked from the inside with a female threaded fitting. Then liberally coated with flashing cement (inside & outside).

This flower pot/bio filter sits inside the pond liner, and the water overflows the top and trickles into a bog pond. I also added a threaded barb fitting through one side to get a bit of a small stream going down the rocks that cover all the plumbing.

I built my bog pond into the side of my pond, but you could easily do the same thing with your preform. Here is a photo during construction, you can kind of see it here on the tree side of the pond. It is just another deeper and wider shelf abutting the pond, with a stone wall separating the pond and the bog. Water from the bog seeps over and through the stone wall back into the pond proper.

You could easily do something similar with your preform. Then like chaos (I think it was) said, tilt it to flow into your pond, or put in a thru-wall connector to have a stream back to the pond.

Here are a few more views of the finished pond.

Now at some point you will need to decide how you are going to do your edging. I really love my rocks, but ..... I spent as much or more on rock than I did the pump and liner. I was in the midst of doing the edging on the cheap when hubs decided rocks would make a good birthday present. And I love them! What part of Florida are you located? If you can manage a trip to Pebble Junction (or someplace similar) that is the most economical place to buy rock.

There are other alternatives to purchased rock. Railroad ties, pressure treated lumber, concrete edging, make your own out of concrete and perlite. Probably more I haven't thought of yet. If you bounce over to the Florida Gardening forum you can ask the folks that pond what they have used.

Oh, one last thing. Being Florida and all, you may want to closely read your city zoning and codes. Many and more and more cities are going to wording that describes a swimming pool as something with a greater depth than 2 feet. In which case the state law trumps which requires swimming pools to have a ton load of safety features, particularly a really expensive fence and special gates to your back yard and ya-da ya-da.

OK, I'm probably rambling now, hope all this helps a bit.

I have to clip this link so I can study pecan's post better as I start the expansion this winter.


Oh - I linked where I ordered most of my specialty PVC parts. It is also a great place to browse around and get ideas about how to play tinker toys.

Here is a link that might be useful: PVC parts

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 9:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you for all your advice and ideas. Now I'm worried about reinforcing the sides. I thought the pressure/weight of the water itself would hold them up.....The hole is huge I can't imagine having to brick the whole thing in..not to mention how much space I would lose by doing so. I love your pond it's very cute and peaceful! Thanks again

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 11:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh and sorry I'm in the tampa bay area. actually pasco county. I called the "dig line" and told them all the details before I started and they gave me the clear. There are a ton of "rock" places but I haven't looked into pricing at any specific one yet.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 11:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was able to get all my rocks from the desert luckily. I am sure it saved me thousands of dollars. Out here you can contact the BLM (Bureau of Land Management), pay $10 bucks specify the area and go pick up your own rocks up to a ton. We also have 30 acres in the middle of no where with plenty of rocks and petrified wood. Many of the rocks came from there.

I am not sure if there is any BLM land out there but it is worth checking. But I think east of the missippi BLM is not common.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 12:23PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Dividing lotus this weekend
I have a Carolina Queen lotus that has to be divided...
Statuary versus Pond Pumps
I have a 300 gallon stock tank pond. I needed a slightly...
I'm a bad steward of my pond. :(
I only have a 300 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank sunk...
Question about pond vacs
I have a 300 gallon stock tank, sunk in the ground...
Sticky Monkey Flower Plant
I am trying to find more info on Sticky Monkey flower...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™