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reading like crazy - can't find my answer though!

Posted by rosiew 7 GA ( on
Sun, Oct 17, 10 at 10:49

Hi Pond People,

I'm putting in a pondless fountain, using a heavy plastic barrel (the brightest blue imaginable)for the reservoir. Finally got the hole perfect, and have placed the barrel into the ground. Barrel is 19" diameter. My questions are about covering it. Got some scrap grating (two pieces)which I cut into half-circle, about 2" wider than the opening. Found some smallish, various-sized rocks to cover it. BUT can't seem to get the grating to not show, first prob. Second is wondering how one accesses the pump for cleaning. Plan no waterfall - just a spurter/bubbler which I hope to get by using 1/2" copper piping - maybe two pieces of pipe, using a copper T fitting.

If this was your can of worms, what would you do???

Hope I haven't lost you by being too wordy. Can't wait for this little splashy spot by my patio.

TIA, Rosie

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: reading like crazy - can't find my answer though!

Perhaps this is overly optimistic, but if you cover your grating with enough rocks/gravel, the smallest that won't go through the grating, maybe you won't need to clean the pump? You might need the hole a little deeper for this to look right. In fact if you cover the grate with fine mesh hardware cloth you can use small gravel. I'd set the pump on a concrete block or something in case a little solid stuff makes its way to the bottom of the barrel. Most pond pumps can handle a little bit of tiny solid stuff, anyway. You'll have a bit more work to do on the rare occasions when you do need to service the pump, but if done right I think you can make it very low-maintenance.

RE: reading like crazy - can't find my answer though!

Sharon, thanks so much. I'll elevate the pump a bit - great idea.

The last pond I had was open and got lots of debris so I frequently had to clean the intake. Don't mind mantenance, just don't want to create work.

Electric went in yesterday! I am so psyched that I'll soon have the sound of water in the garden. May place a shallow basin on top of the grate so the birds and insects can get a drink.

So appreciate the help.
Rosie, Sugar Hill, GA

RE: reading like crazy - can't find my answer though!

Best of luck on the project, Rosie!

RE: reading like crazy - can't find my answer though!

  • Posted by drh1 z4 VT (My Page) on
    Mon, Oct 18, 10 at 20:44

Since it is to be a non-fish, non-plant and probably not visited by birds or any other critters you can keep is sparkly by periodically hitting it with a bit of bleach or with a good wallop of hydrogen peroxide. It will further reduce your maintenance.

Update on my project!

I have water! And electricity! And the wonderful sound of running water!

Tell me if I should open a new post. Have new questions. Using a single 1/2" copper pipe which is about 12" above the grates. Unless I just let the water bubble out over this into the reservoir, I get splashing on the rocks I placed over the grate. Concerned that the reservoir will empty itself. Arrgghhh. Know there's a solution, just don't know what it is, so y'all's advice sought.

David, thanks for the tip. I do hope though that, at the least, insects and butterflies will use this as a water source. Not hoping birds will come since this is at ground level and I have a cat.

Again, much appreciated.
Rosie, Sugar Hill, GA

RE: reading like crazy - can't find my answer though!

I think pondless waterfalls usually have a fairly wide water reservoir for this reason. What if you were to let the water trickle over an interesting object? The first picture that came to mind was one of those fountains where water sort of slides down over a vertical pane of glass, or maybe a stone sphere. Have the pipe come up through a terra cotta urn (seal the hole with silicone) and trickle down over the outside.

Of course, water only makes noise when it's splashing. You could put a circle of pond liner (or similar material) over the barrel with a hole in the middle that allows all water on the liner to land in the barrel. Cover the whole liner with pebbles or gravel. Just a thought.

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