Help rebuilding indoor/outdoor pond

jojufullerJuly 27, 2013

Help!! We have purchased a house that has an indoor outdoor concrete pond. There is a pond inside that is 20 inches deep and 3 feet in diameter. There is a 6 inch pipe through the footer of the house to an outside pond which is 21/2 feet deep and 5 feet in diameter.

A previous owner drained it and filled the outside one with dirt and old tiles. The indoor one was just a big hole that they used for firewood. We have emptied the outside one and would like to get it functional again.

There are numerous cracks on the outside pond and the concrete around the edge is breaking off.

We consulted a concrete guy who gave us an estimate of $2,500 to break out the old concrete down to where it is stable and rebuild it.

We consulted a landscaper who has done numerous ponds. He suggested closing it and putting in a planter inside and lining the outside with rubber liner for a water garden. He didn't give us an estimate. It seemed like he was too expensive to even go that far.

I have several questions. What is the best way to repair this? Is there flexible fittings available to seal the pipe (with the curve of the pond) so fish can go indoors or out? Do I need to heat the water? What type of maintaince would be required on a pond like this?

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Here is the picture of the inside pond

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 8:52PM
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I don't have any advice on how to fix this but it is fascinating. I look forward to the solutions you come up with and seeing new pictures of the finished product with fish swimming from inside to outside!! Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 7:44AM
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Holly_ON(6a Ontario)

Really unique set up. Also looking forward to your solution to this interesting concept. I have seen indoor/outdoor ponds on TV programs but they have been built in multi million dollar homes.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 10:01AM
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Nice set up you have there. Yikes, that estimate is outrageous! I have no 'concrete advice' for you but I can tell you what I would do. (sorry, couldn't resist:)

First, I'd avoid pond contractors like the plague. Stick the word 'pond' in front of anything and the price doubles or triples, natch. Second, I'd get a couple more estimates from concrete guys before giving up on that. Perhaps even consult a [swimming] pool contractor who might be willing to take on a small job during the off season. Might require patience but the savings will be worth it. If he's not willing, I'd ask the pool contractor for references for a concrete guy.

Finally - and this is hit-or-miss - I'd take pics to your local big box store & ask if anyone there can offer knowledgeable diy advice. Yes, it's a long shot but I stumbled across an avid ponder with years of experience in the plumbing section of Lowe's one day while looking for fittings. He suggested a solution to my problem I had not considered that worked perfectly and was simpler/less expensive & time consuming than my original plan. If you get lucky, this will at least provide a base line for the time & material required even if the project is beyond your diy capabilities/willingness to tackle.

Bottom line, concrete CAN be patched. You don't mention your budget here but if all else fails, I'd slap a liner in that outdoor pond & hope for the best before I'd give up.

One concern is the diameter of the connecting pipe between the indoor & outdoor ponds where fish are concerned. Hard to discern from the pics but that doesn't appear to be a 6" id pipe to me. I'd err on the side of caution; wouldn't want a fishie to get hurt or worse, stuck, in the tunnel. A plumber can replace that pipe with a larger one for a reasonable fee if needed. OR you can cover it with a screen to prevent fish from traveling from one pond to another and still have fish.

If, after acquiring info & estimates, you decide to contract this out rather than diy, request a *firm quote* before you sign off on the work. Good luck & keep us posted on your progress. I can see those 'after' pics now...


    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 2:03PM
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