A FEW LAST-MINUTE NEWBIE QUESTIONS....


Mmathis

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1. Trim pond liner to 1-2 feet -- from what point are you measuring this distance? Water level, top of berm,...?

2. Are the products you use to anchor rocks ( for example ) a permanent adhesive?? IOW, if I fix some rocks together, then decide that idea doesn't work, will I be able to separate the rocks and reuse them?

3. As in the above question, are these products removable from the liner, or once stuck down, permanent?

[Explanation for #'s 2 & 3: I failed to make my rock shelves deep/wide enough. While they are perfect under regular circumstances, and are fine for the non-turtle sections, I wasn't factoring in that I'd need them deeper/wider since I will need to "stair-step" the rocks for the turtles to have a gradual slope into the water instead of a cliff. I think that I can adjust them somewhat once I get the support frame & false-floor in place, as I will be able to extend & layer the rocks out over this. As Hubby said yesterday, "Consideration for TURTLE POND VERS. 2." I love him!! Anyway, just wondering if I will have any "room to experiment" or leeway with placing, adjusting, and readjusting the rocks if I use a sealer or adhesive. Don't want a lot of loose rocks that could slide and be harmful to the turts.]

4. In an earlier post I asked about metal being in the pond. I have an idea for something decorative that doesn't involve putting anything metal IN the pond, but could involve a situation where metal could be in contact via rainfall, etc. I think the amt. of contact would be insignificant, but wanted some input. I'm extending a cedar picket fence around the area where the turtles will be. Since this will give the pondside viewer a cedar picket fence to look at, was thinking about attaching some small pieces of flat yard-art on that side. Of course, I'm sure I can come up with other options beside metal, but I see really cute metal things all over the place. Don't know if rust or other "toxins" would leach into the water....? Do you think a coat of something's like a clear RUSTOLEUM product would be adequate?
 
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fishin4cars

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1- If you can don't trim the liner, roll it under in folds, that way if you need to make adjustment later the liner is there to do so. The important thing is to have the liner completely over the berm if possible so any water and or dirt can flow away from the pond.
2 waterfall foam is not permanent it can be peeled off but It sticks for a LONG time. roofing sealant doesn't come off as easily when you want it to remove but if it's where the sun, cold rain etc will effect it it will break lose in some spots that slightly shift and move over time. under water or in the sun it stays put. (I can't answer why that is but it does it)
3, if possible try to secure the rocks where they won't slide without the adhesive. The more adhesive you need the more expensive the project and the more headach you'll have when the time comes you need to adjust a rock or something. I prefer to drystack and then come back and use the adhesive on rocks that don't want to stay put but I really want in a paticular spot. mortar works great but again, IF you need to make adjustments it's a royal pain. To me waterfall foam is probably the best product for the question above but it's also probably the most expensive alternative.
4. I think your on the right track on this, metal should not come in direct contact with the water if possible, the yard art needs to be kept a eye on once or twice a year and if it does start rusting move it to a new location. But the clear coat should help prevent that and for what your wanting to do it would be perfectly safe if allowed to dry completely before putting it out. Be sure and look out for pottery things as well, there are a good bit of wall deco made from pottery that looks really neat also and are made pretty much for what your wanting to use it for.
 
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I don't think metal will be a problem if it's just steel or iron as the resulting corrosion would just be iron oxide which occurs naturally anywhere high iron containing rock occurs in nature. Northern Ontario for example... lots of iron bearing rock that makes up the shoreline of many of the natural lakes, bogs and ponds. However, highly corroding metals like copper, bronze or aluminum can leach out very toxic oxides. If the metal is coated ( clear coat or paint ) I'd steer clear of those as they break down over time and can release toxins as well. If it's just a decorative object and made of steel or iron, I highly doubt you'd have any issues. Iron ions are naturally present in lakes. ponds and bogs, even in ground water for those on a well.... rusty toilet bowl syndrome .... but a bit of iron in the water is natural and not harmful. Also, some decorative ceramics with glazes contain toxic compounds. The ceramic itself isn't toxic but some glazes are. Many blue glazes for example have copper sulfate in them and release copper ions into the water. Fine for a coffee mug in short term contact with the liquid, but long term contact will release these toxins.

*edit* Another caveat ... if the pond is large enough and the water is changed over a lot either by you or naturally ( by rain etc ) a small object not made of iron shouldn't be a real problem either. Leacheates from most metals are released slowly.... so.... your call. Just so long as it's not lead or some other highly toxic metal. Water acidity is really what determines how fast a metal breaks down.
 

addy1

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Agree with the above, don't cut the liner, I have almost always in the past ended up unrolling it and using.
Rocks, I stack or use the expanding foam, since I have moved some that I foamed a good yank and the part, leave some foam on them but they do come apart.
 

Mmathis

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ADDY & LARKIN -- we didn't get the liner perfectly centered, but are OK all around (over 2 feet in some places and maybe as many as 4+ feet in other places), but on one side there is 15 or so feet. We're going to use that section for waterfall ( and little pieces for extra cushioning). How much should we leave when we cut this section?

LARKIN & PUGLE -- good info, thanks! I wouldn't have thought about what kind of metal, so as I search, I'll use caution. About the only time leaching would be a problem would be rain & lawn watering.
 

fishin4cars

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If you can keep from cutting liner don't, if you need the extra and it has to be moved then of cours you have to do what is needed. Anywhere that there is a seam/overlap is a place of concern for leaks. Even the best seam tape and overlapping there is still a possibility that a leak can form. If you can use the extra for the waterfall and not have to cut that would be the best way to go.
Curious, if it's off center, will the extra 4' be toward the turtle dens? that would be where I would want the extra so I could adjust along the edges if needed for them since that has always been the primary goal. that way if you need to make shallow banks for them to crawl out on you'll have that extra there if needed.
On the metal issue. Like Pugle said, that rust will be minimal. By the time you start getting much rust in the water the decoration is probably not going to be pretty anymore and will probably be removed anyway. I'm not a fan of any metal in the water. I don't want it in my drinking water and I don't want it in with my fish. I run PVC not copper or metal pipes, I try and use plastic pipe/hose clamps when I need to. but that's personal preference. I can tell you I've seen many many bronze and copper water features that had fish in the bottom section that did fine. So like stated, it's really going to be minimal leeching into the pond for what you'll be using.
 
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LARKIN & PUGLE -- good info, thanks! I wouldn't have thought about what kind of metal, so as I search, I'll use caution. About the only time leaching would be a problem would be rain & lawn watering.

If the decorative piece isn't in "direct" contact with the water (except for rain / lawn watering run-off), then I really wouldn't worry at all about metal toxicity, again unless it's lead or some similarly toxic metal. Even pewter can be toxic. Some really nice beer steins are made of pewter as well as some wonderful castings suitable as backyard decorations. Pewter is very commonly used for artsy stuff and is inexpensive and easy to work with, but it's a lead alloy.
 

Mmathis

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LARKIN - we have the length pretty well "centered," where there is more extra liner on the waterfall end. It's mostly the width that's off. Our piece ended up being square (30' x 30'). It was such a PITA to continue positioning it over, so we didn't get quite as much extra liner on the turtle side (maybe 2-3 feet). So the side opposite the turtle side has a LOT extra. That, we'll use for the waterfall. That's also where we put our 1-1/2 ton "sitting rock."
 
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Turtlemom, I agree with everyone else on the liner.. don't cut unless absolutely necessary.. bury it in the ground behind your berm if need be.. the foam is probably the easiest to use and as stated the bond can be broken later and generally you can peel or finger scrap most of the residue off of liner, as far as on the rocks just get a hard bristle brush like for cleaning tile grout and that will remove the rest off of the rocks and look like it was never there
 

Mmathis

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[quote name='don't ask' timestamp='1338771952' post='121872'] bury it in the ground behind your berm if need be..
[/quote]

I thought you weren't supposed to go below water level? If I burried it, wouldn't that be a problem?
 

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We have measurable iron in our well water, which is handled by an iron removal filter. However, the outside hoses are on a by-pass, so they get water directly from the well. I've kept fish in this water for 25 years, with no problems. As for lead, so-called "bunch" plants for aquaria were sold for many years with lead strips wrapped around the stems to hold them together, and I was told by a chemist that the surface of the lead would re-act with the water to form a coating that prevented further leaching of the metal. I used these weights in my tanks to hold airlines in place, some for many years, and they still look the same. as for pewter, yes, the old form contained lead, and was a major factor in Minamata disease ( cat dancing, mad hatter syndrome, lead poisoning) in Europe in the 1800's and well into the 1900's. Lead can still be found in pewter souvenirs, but anything intended to be used for eating or drinking is now lead-free.
John
 
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I thought you weren't supposed to go below water level? If I burried it, wouldn't that be a problem?

TM your liner is initially going over the berm right? i was just thinking to continue with the excess liner after berm and cover with soil and/or rock
 

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I left mine hang over a lot as the bottom and sides of the pond settled quite a bit after I added water to the pond .I ended up marking the liner after 3 days and it would drop an inch or two every couple of days ,which i didn't think would happen because I have clay soil .But I did put the pond in after the house was built and the ground was back filled from the basement dig out so that could have had something to do with it .My pond liner dropped over 8 inches when it slowed down and after that i just stopped checking it .
 
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Mmathis

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#2/3: have decided to make my own version of a ramp instead of rocks. Thought I would use some GREAT STUFF to make a sort of template over the "rock shelf" and up to the berm. Then I'll cover and mold cement over that. I'll shape it as naturally as I can, using coloration variation in my mixes. I'll place some small rocks or gravel throughout to give the turtles a foothold. If it works out, want to make this in sections for 2 reasons: I can lift them out easier if I need to, and with spaces between them, can make it look a little more natural and have places to stick plants. It won't look 100% natural, but my goal is turtle safety.

#4: found a way to attach my cedar pickets to PVC pipe using zip-ties [for the enclosure fence]. No metal needed. I may not need decorations on the fence (as in metal) as I've thought of a couple of other "decorative" options. One of those involves the use of plants. Haven't worked out the details yet, but will try to describe. The side for the turtles is a sloped floor. The turtle part will only take up 4 feet of that, which will leave about 1 1/2 to 2 feet of the "slope" that drops off to the deeper side. I can use that space as a plant shelf so the plants will be in front of the fence. Because that area is sloped, will come up with a way to keep the plants from going overboard :) Thinking about extending the PVC support frame as a "railing" to hold the plants. Or maybe I can come up with a way to make that area (about 10' x 2') into a bog......
 

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