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Emily's Pond Build Log

Discussion in 'Indoor/Outdoor Ponds' started by rainbowcharmer, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. rainbowcharmer

    rainbowcharmer AC Members

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    Ok, so I'm not ACTUALLY building yet. I'm in the planning stages. But I wanted to document, so here it goes:

    This is the pond area, marked off with garden hose. The hose is actually marking the edge of the liner, not the edge of the pond. The pond itself will be in about 1 foot all around from the area the hose is marking.

    A view from the patio (the dogs helped by dropping their toys in the pond):
    [​IMG]

    A view from the stairs of the patio:
    [​IMG]

    A view from the "narrow" end of the pond - this will be around 6 feet wide at the widest point INSIDE the plant shelf (plant shelf to be 1 foot wide):
    [​IMG]

    Another view from the 6 foot wide end:

    [​IMG]

    A view from the small hill below the pond (I may run a bottom drain here). Those shrubs are Variegated Weigela, which should eventually fill in to about 4' high and wide, but they're only a few months old right now - they will come about 2 feet from the edge of the rock line around the pond - enough room to have a walkway around the pond still:
    [​IMG]

    A view from the wider end (around 8 feet wide at the widest point inside the plant shelf). That top left corner here is where the filter/waterfall will go. We'll use the hill to help with the construction of the filtration/waterfall section:
    [​IMG]

    A view from next to where the filter/waterfall will be:
    [​IMG]

    I think the most expensive part of the project is probably going to be the electrician that we'll need to have run wiring from the front of the house (where the electrical box is at) to the edge of the pond. Hopefully we'll be able to do it without TOO much expense. I haven't started pricing that out yet. My filter will be a DIY filter out of a rubbermaid container that I saw on one of Lenny's links. I'm not 100% sure how best to make it accessible while still making it look like a rocky waterfall. But I'll worry about that later. :)

    We are planning to start digging before the end of the year. It doesn't really start to get cold here until January, so we'll be digging maybe October/November if all goes well.

    Any input, hints, suggestions, etc are always welcome. I want the project to go as smooth as possible, which is why I'm still in the planning stages. :)

    And now I have bought myself a little time since Hermes (the rescued goldfish) has a suitable tank to live in for as long as necessary. I don't want to rush into this and make expensive mistakes.

    Anyhow, I'll update on here as things progress. :)
     
  2. GoldLenny

    GoldLenny Senior Member? Do I get a 5% disc.?

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    I would start by taking a piece of iron re-bar and pounding it into your proposed pond area, every couple of feet, down to the depth you are planning... just to make sure you know what is down there. If you can pound the re-bar down to 3' deep in all areas of your pond, at least you know the digging will be a little easier. If you try to pound it down and run into solid rock formations a foot down, you at least will know that you might need some heavier equipment to help break it up. (I don't have that problem down here in N'Awlins... if I hit the re-bar too hard, it might end up in China. lol)

    Also... don't forget to check with your local utilities to have them mark the area as safe. There is usually a one-call type phone number and the service is free. They'd rather mark areas as safe first than have you hit a natural gas line and blow up the neighborhood. Look at what happened in San Bruno, CA when that lady was digging a hole for a rose bush (just kidddiinnnnngggggg!!!).

    Isn't there an electrical outlet somewhere on your back patio area or on the back wall of the house, that the electrician could tap into and run the conduit from there? Maybe run the conduit up from the light next to your back door, along the soffit to the left (when facing from the rear) corner of your house, then down to right below the patio, under the lip of the brick patio edge and then run the conduit around to near your steps and install a GFI outdoor outlet there, and then drop down conduit from that outlet to run underground to the edge of the pond where the filter will be and then use a 4" x 4" post to mount another GFI outdoor outlet there for you to plug in your pump, fountain, lighting, etc. They could also junction off of the first conduit heading to an outlet by your steps and run the conduit from that junction box to your pond filter area.
     
    #2 GoldLenny, Sep 12, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
  3. rainbowcharmer

    rainbowcharmer AC Members

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    We had all the utilities marked out when we put the fence in last year, so I'm confident that there is no issue with the pond area as far as that goes. Everything here is clay, but I'll try the rebar thing since that is not something I had thought of. :)

    The plan for this pond is to be 3' deep at the 6' wide end and 4' deep at the 8' wide end, with a set of 2' wide/1' long tiered stairs going down in one section next to the waterfall so I can get in and out without too much issue.

    I am ballparking the gallonage to be between 1500-2000.

    There is an electrical outlet on the back patio, however I was thinking it would be safer to have the pond on its own circuit. Or is that not really necessary?
     
  4. wespastor

    wespastor AC Members

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    It is better for the pond to have its own circuit but MAY not be necessary.

    Also check the slop of your land area it seems to slope heavy away from your house. That's OK just be prepared for some back filling on the low side or some kind of retaining wall on the high side.

    Overall it looks and sounds like a realy graet plan.

    Best wishes,
    Wes
     
  5. rainbowcharmer

    rainbowcharmer AC Members

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    Thanks Wes. It is somewhat sloped, so we will need to do a little grading, but I figure most of that can come from the soil that we remove from the pond itself to build up the lower end. That area is not as sloped as the areas on either side of it, for the post part, so I'm hoping it won't be too difficult.
     
  6. GoldLenny

    GoldLenny Senior Member? Do I get a 5% disc.?

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    I ran electrical lines to my three mini-ponds (under 1,000G each) and tapped right into existing outlet on the outside of my home, when I had it prior to Katrina. The stuff you will be running will be relatively low amperage so it shouldn't be much of a problem but you could have your electrican check your outside outlet(s) to make sure.

    As far as the utilities mapping things out when you put in the fence, are you sure they would have marked things in the proposed pond area? They usually just mark things in close proximity to the proposed digging, in my experience with them... they are utility company employees after all! You know... a six man crew with five watching while one is down in the hole doing the digging. LOL In my former career as a private investigator, I was taking pictures of an accident scene intersection and never really paid attention to what was going on in the background but the attorney who I was working for, when looking at my photos later on, called me up and was cracking up laughing as one of my pictures showed five New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board guys leaning on a barricade watching the guy down in the hole in the street. It was classic!

    One other thing.. when pounding the re-bar down, wiggle it around every pound so the hole is big enough for you to be able to pull it back out. Since you mentioned clay, I wouldn't want you to have to dig out the re-bar to get it out. LOL
     
  7. Rbishop

    Rbishop The glistening drop....
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    I would put more of a curve in it...over the length...narrow in the center...
     
  8. rainbowcharmer

    rainbowcharmer AC Members

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    I will call them and have them come mark again. Everything they marked (even though the fence was in the back yard) was in the front. Nothing went further back than the middle of the house. So I'm 99% sure there is nothing at all in the back of the house, but will call to verify.

    Out of curiosity - why more curved?
     
  9. Rbishop

    Rbishop The glistening drop....
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    Just asthetics..pleasing eye view...
     
  10. rainbowcharmer

    rainbowcharmer AC Members

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    Gotcha. I'll test that out with the hose and see how I like it. :)

    I am planning the plants around it as well, to help with the aesthetics too. I had originally curved it in on both sides in the center, but kind of liked it more straight on the 'back' side, but may change my mind again. :)
     
  11. GoldLenny

    GoldLenny Senior Member? Do I get a 5% disc.?

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    I was going to ask if the curve was for aesthetics or for a practical reason also. I couldn't think of a practical reason.... unless you one day wanted to put a little bridge over the pond so the bridge wouldn't have to be as long. The bridges look *pretty* and do provide some shade since it looks like your pond won't be getting much shade. You could also build a pergola over the middle or one end of the pond.

    Is this the same pond that someone (maybe you) were talking about having solar power for?
     
  12. rainbowcharmer

    rainbowcharmer AC Members

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    Same pond, but it doesn't sound like that's a feasible option, so I've put that idea on hiatus at the moment. Granted, not much shade right now, but the plants I have planned should help with that a little, but there will be sun in all areas of the pond at least at some point during the day - no permanetly shaded spots at this point. Will that be an issue?
     
  13. GoldLenny

    GoldLenny Senior Member? Do I get a 5% disc.?

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    Well, depending on how much the electrician is going to charge you, solar is still an option. If he's charging you in the thousands, it's definitely an option, if in the hundreds, less so but could still be viable when you factor in the cost of power over the course of many years.

    Lots of floating plants will provide shade to the water below them to help keep the water cooler in the hot summers and NOT feed an algae bloom like 100% sun will do. Also, they'll help to naturally filter some of the toxins/pollutants/nitrogenous waste out of the water... and provide hiding places for the fish in the event of a predator. Lilies, water hyacinths, etc. are good and depending on how much sun the pond is getting, you might have to cover 50% to 75% of the surface with plants to keep algae in check. If you ask around, you might even find a natural source of floating plants. We have water hyacinths in LOTS of places down here in the burbs and boonies of New Orleans... sometimes right on the side of the road in our bayous and swampy areas. A big ice chest or two and a big fishing net might get you all the plants you need. ;-)
     
  14. pbeemer

    pbeemer AC Members

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    eyeballing the ground slope from the raised patio to the pond area, i'd be a little concerned about the pond collecting a lot of rain. how does rain flow off / around the patio? if it likes passing through the pond area (or even near the pond, since you'll be modifying the local gradient around the pond), you should think about designing a diverter of some sort
     
  15. rainbowcharmer

    rainbowcharmer AC Members

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    The patio is very slightly slanted to the right hand side of the house if you're facing the back of the house - completely opposite direction from where the pond will go. We considered that when we built the patio specifically because we wanted a pond and knew the general location of it. I actually worked with the contractor to ensure that ahead of time. The water that hits the ground in front of the patio is going to head towards the pond, which is why we're going to use 2x6 boards as a perimeter around the pond with the liner up over top, so that it will be protecting the pond from any run-off. We will surround those 2x6's with stones to conceal the ridge around the edge of the pond. There will be 1 foot on the inside of the pond that will be at ground level, and the stones will be piled from there up and over the 2x6's so they will be concealed from both sides. If that makes any sense. :)
     
  16. WeedCali

    WeedCali Certified Dubhead

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    Oh very cool! i want a pond someday...
     
  17. Jennie Beth

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    Emily,
    One suggestion...have someone run a hose into a tub right about where you want your falls, and wander around the yard and patio, listening for the water. The in-pond waterfall will be even lower, since it falls below ground level and the hillside will block alot of sound. If your falls have their 'back' to the house and patio, you won't be able to hear the water, or it will be very muffled. If the falls are on the short end, and point a little toward the patio, the sound will come your way a bit more. When I built my first pond, I was very disappointed that you couldn't hear it at ALL from one side of the yard, or from in the house. It all pointed toward the neighbors' yard, who got a free view/sound of MY pond all year.
    Jen
     
  18. myswtsins

    myswtsins AC Members

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    Great suggestion Jennie Beth! This makes me want me pond so badly! Keep us updated please, looks like a great start!
     
  19. rainbowcharmer

    rainbowcharmer AC Members

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    I'll have to check into that Jen.

    I am actually planning a bench at either end of the pond to sit and enjoy it, but it would be nice to be able to listen from the patio too.
     
  20. Jennie Beth

    Jennie Beth AC Members

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    It's nice, too, to be able to see/hear it from inside the house. My current pond sits so I can see it from the kitchen window, and if the windows are open, hear it from the entire back side of the house. Great to fall asleep to:)

    Also makes the pond more 'year-round' when you can see it during the months that it is too cold/nasty outside to sit out next to it.
    Jen
     

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