A couple of kits -- who wants to window shop with me?


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Hey all! I have been looking at pond kits and feel that is the way for me to go, since I am a beginner. I really like the idea of a kit with components chosen to work together.

Although my pond will be about 8 x 11, I will have a few more shelves and a deeper area than most 8 x 11 kits allow for, so I've determined I'd like a 15 x 20 liner. I found both of these kits on Webb's Water Gardens. These are just screen shots. But if anyone would like to play around on Webb's website and look at these kits and components -- or if you are familiar with the equipment or manufacturer and would care to weigh in, I'd love your thoughts.

I was initially thinking I'd spend less, but I like the whole idea of the filter falls, and I do want the bigger liner.

atlantic.png savio.png
atlantic.png
savio.png
 
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sissy

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I got news for you the 15x20 liner will make a bigger pond .That is the liner my neighbor got and she ended up going bigger ,Her pond is about 3 feet deep and pond is 10x 16 and she had the extra for under the filter like I do mine and she is like me no skimmer .
 
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It will go a little bigger because you won't be making right angles, but curves and diagonals. But I just recently bought my liner from Webbs and the size was bang on what they said (well a few inches bigger). The one major ascetic difference between these two kits is the waterfall. The Savio is closed on the top, the Atlantic open (unless you can convert the Savio). That may have an impact on how you do your design.
 
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I don't know. They give a long list of things included but is this list made long to look like you are getting a lot for your money? For example in kit two they list underlayment. This is free just use an old rug from the curb. Thicker and better. A skimfilter base unit and a skimfilter base plate. What are they? Sounds like just part of the filter. Black foam...big deal a can of foam, plumbing kit, what is included probably $5.00 in plastic fittings that may not work for the way you have to run your lines. And the best is installation instructions. I wouldn't worry about things working together. After all you are putting a hole in the ground and filling it with water, All you need is something to move the water and something to keep it reasonable clean. Maybe the pump they sell wouldn't be the ideal one for your installation. If you don't have special needs like a high head then all you are concerned with is how many gallons an hour does the pump need to pump. A bigger pump will give you more volume. All pumps will move the water. You need a liner, and a pump. You can make a simple filter, and a water falls can be made out of a section of 2" pvc pipe. I would go with a skimmer because it gives you a place to put your pump as well as helping in the fall to keep the leaves out. Price out what you need and see if this is a deal.
 
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Both of these include skimmers. I think the Savio also has the ability to add filtration to the skimmer unit as well as in the waterfall. The "plate" is because they use the same base unit with different size weir plates for different flow rates.

Assuming you don't want to DIY, the Savio contains nothing major you won't need although you may not want a bottom drain depending on you installation. The Savio kit seems to contain a questionable additive or two based on the photos. From the Atlantic kit, I'd drop the auto fill and the lights.

Sure you can build a pond out of a liner and a pump and then a bunch of DIY projects made of stuff you can get at a big box store. But that's pretty daunting. If these kits give someone piece of mind, great. Not much in them will really go to waste. I didn't go the kit route, but bought each component separately and it was a whole lot of back and forth and planning (which I enjoy).
 
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I built my pond using a similar Savio kit from another vendor that offered a bit larger liner and no bottom drain (http://www.watergarden.org/Pond-Supplies/Pond-Kits/Bermuda-Pond-Kit). I was able to go a bit larger than the kit was designed for (17 x 15 x 2.75). The skimmer and the waterfall are built tough and I feel will last for years to come. If you read the pamphlets that come with the skimmer & biofalls, you'll see that they can handle quite a bit more flow than what the kit is designed for. Nice if you want to go bigger in the future or even ramp up the original installation. I did find that the 30' of pipe my kit came with was barely enough to make it from the skimmer back to the falls. Double check your layout to see if the 25' that these two kits come with will be enough.

The underlayment was simple and antiquate. I'd be careful in using tossed out carpet or padding since there is the possibility of nails and or staples which don't play nice with the liner.

The skimmer does have the ability to add two UV's or one UV and a auto filler, both designed to fit the filter.

Do LOTS of reading up front on what you will be needing for each section of your pond and you may, or may not see that a kit is the way to go. For me and the kit I purchased, it ended up being the right choice. Have fun!
 
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Thank you everyone! I appreciate all the input! I'm thinking I want the larger liner because I'm not 100% sure what the configuration of the pond will be -- I have big tree roots and stuff, so I may end up needing to enlarge my design, depending on how much I have to butcher the dirt to get stuff out. I'd like the option to go a little larger, which you can't do if the liner is too small. (8 x 10 could end up to be 9 x 13.) I want to do a couple different levels of shelves as well -- plus a deep area. I know that takes extra liner. Also, I'd like to do the edging technique that uses the extra liner as weed control (going up and over the berm of dirt around the pond and down the other side, covered with mulch or gravel.) As a beginner, I really want to have the security of having too much liner, rather than too little. I did price a lot of stuff separately, then started having a panic attack (not really. Just pond panic.) There are SO many options and I don't necessarily know what size or type of stuff I need. I like having everything bundled up together -- stuff chosen to work well together based on the size of the pond.. I don't want a bottom drain and I doubt I'd need lights. But these were kit options that had most of what I needed (plus some extra stuff that I didn't.)

Someone mentioned that the Atlantic waterfall is open and the Savio is closed. I have wondered about the open ones. They are usually covered with a flat rock or disguised in some other way, aren't they? It seems like chipmunks would fall in and drown in the open ones otherwise.

Thanks again to all for the input. I will also check out the kit you suggested, SShrub!
 
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You can always take the kit "apart" and buy the pieces separately omitting what you don't want. Extra liner is a good idea. For the open waterfalls, you usually turn this into a "pool" and disguise the fall part with a bit of flat rock and/or a piece of driftwood, etc.
 
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Oh, per another discussion, get yourself a reciprocating saw (Sawz-all) if you've got tree roots. It will cut anything but the largest roots like butter.
 
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Oh, per another discussion, get yourself a reciprocating saw (Sawz-all) if you've got tree roots. It will cut anything but the largest roots like butter.

I did! It is fun to use and helped me get out a tree trunk! Much easier than killing my shoulder with a pruning saw! ;)
 
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Oh yeah... about skimmers. Don't fish get stuck in the ones with little doors? Does anyone have a preference between the Atlantic and Savio as far as skimmers go?

I love the look of the Helix one that Eric the Pond Digger uses in his video tutorials, but $$$$!
 
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I built my pond using a similar Savio kit from another vendor that offered a bit larger liner and no bottom drain (http://www.watergarden.org/Pond-Supplies/Pond-Kits/Bermuda-Pond-Kit). I was able to go a bit larger than the kit was designed for (17 x 15 x 2.75). The skimmer and the waterfall are built tough and I feel will last for years to come. If you read the pamphlets that come with the skimmer & biofalls, you'll see that they can handle quite a bit more flow than what the kit is designed for. Nice if you want to go bigger in the future or even ramp up the original installation. I did find that the 30' of pipe my kit came with was barely enough to make it from the skimmer back to the falls. Double check your layout to see if the 25' that these two kits come with will be enough.




Hey, Sarcastic Shrub -- I've been reading and feeling pretty good about the savio. I called Webb's and the guy reiterated your comment about the pump being powerful enough for a larger/taller waterfall than some others. How do you like the savio stuff? What did you do about the closed top waterfall unit? How did you disguise it? I watched an interesting product review on skimmers on youtube. (Aside -- I learned that Eric Tripplet, the Pond Digger, actually designed the Helix skimmer he uses in his videos. I didn't know that! He doesn't toot his own horn!) Anyway, the reviewer (Practical Pond Solutions, I think) really liked the Savio, but said the main con was the higher profile. How did you disguise yours? I wondered if the rock look covers really blend in well, or if they are glaringly fake?
 
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I don't know why some of my replies show up as part of the quotation. Weird.
 
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Hey, Sarcastic Shrub -- I've been reading and feeling pretty good about the savio....

Glad to hear you are doing your homework!

How do you like the savio stuff?
Me likie. Granted I've never used any other system except home made so it's difficult to compare to others on the market.

What did you do about the closed top waterfall unit? How did you disguise it?
I used the cover that came with the unit. Since it does not get opened all that much (maybe a few times per year) I made a chicken wire top that could contain some ground cover & a rock or two. Hides it pretty well. Also, my set up puts the waterfall at the other end of the pond facing my view point so the entire unit is hidden behind driftwood, rock & plants. It's actually is not completely in the ground. Only about 1/3 of it is. The rest is hidden behind the rock & driftwood. I can get to it from behind. The pond was less than a few months old in this picture from last year:

after.jpg


Before the facelift:
before.jpg


How did you disguise yours? I wondered if the rock look covers really blend in well, or if they are glaringly fake?
I definitely think the fake rock looks exactly that way, fake. As I mentioned above, I used the same materials that I used around the pond to hide the not so lovely parts. I'm still finding ways to better hide the gnarly.

It's going to be a work in progress so don't fret about having it perfect out the door. Install the base system, add some plants here and there, then look at how you want to hide some of the not so pretty stuff using natural materials. It will be allot of work but so worth it.

Same pond, just last week:
2016_07_09_09_47_06.jpg
 
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"I made a chicken wire top that could contain some ground cover & a rock or two."

Do you have any photos of how you did this? I'm looking for ideas for concealing my ugly skimmer cover.
 
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Thanks for the pictures. Pretty pond!!!!!!

I am fascinated by the chicken wire cover idea as well.
 
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Sorry no picts of the how to. It's really simple to make though. With the cover on, I put chicken wire (the small hole, not the big hole stuff) over the top, folding it down over the sides about 6" all the way around, cut off the extra. Now pull it off and flip it over. Fold the overhang over itself to be about 2" - 3" high (puts the sharp cut parts into the middle leaving the soft rounded parts exposed) and now you have a cover that can be decorated any way you see fit. I didn't attach it to the cover, its simply sitting on top of it. Once the ground cover and a few large rocks were put on top, the wire didn't budge. Of course when I do need to get into it I simply lift the lid up and move it over to the side. Not perfect but it sure beats the fake rock and the big black box ruining my view. If you look at the first pict above again, you'll notice it was taken at the same down angle as the second pict but the cover on the falls is no longer noticeable in the second pict. Gotta love downed tree limbs. :)

I've seen others that do something similar with chicken wire but use a mix of goodies to create their own lightweight rock for covering whatever (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=make+your+own+rock). That was more work that I wanted to do, thus the quick -n- dirty chicken wire cover.
 
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