About to attempt to rebuild our deck pond myself, with helpers. Intimidated!

sissy

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cheap ones at harbor freight if you live near one and 20% off coupon ,but you will find dunks work .I use them all the time
 
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I hope it will be ok for me to revive my old thread, so I can belatedly report on more progress. I simply did not take the time during the waning days of summer and autumn in my area. I ran out of $$$ and could not hire helpers any more, and as my sprained ankle began to heal, I buckled down and worked hard on the pond nearly every day until dark, for weeks. I took photos with my cell phone, but then it was stolen. It took me a while to recover most of those photos. So now I'm finally going to try and start posting photos of my progress again.
 
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Using the soil I had dug out for the new filter location, etc, I started making a mound to support the new waterfall. The pond is to the right in this photo, and the filter and retaining wall to the left. After the waterfall is built, I'll have to get that soil away from the finish bricks on my house, to prevent termites. Also, I'll need to make a flat place to stand, and some natural-looking flat-rock "steps" over the dirt hump, so cable technicians can easily access the junction box located just above the dirt pile in this photo.
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Glad your ankle is healed and you got to get busy and work on the pond!
 
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After much trial and error, I finally decided that none of my flat rocks were quite flat enough, to be stable foundations for someone to stand on. (Frankly, I didn't want to give cable techs any excuse to refuse to service my cable connections. ;)) I finally settled on re-using some flat concrete blocks which had been dug out during my excavation stage. Then I'll cover these with soil, then the pond liner, and finally put a big flat rock on top of that, and use waterfall foam to keep it from "rocking" underfoot.
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When shoveling in the hard clay soil, I found that pieces kept rolling downhill into the layers of liner and underlayment. To stop this action until I could tamp the soil down firmly, I lined concrete blocks along the edge of my new "hill." It worked, and trapped a lot of dirt and debris. Then once I had tamped each layer of soil in place, I removed the debris and put the blocks away. Now I could finally lay the liner over top of the soil mound which would support the waterfall. View attachment 117477 View attachment 117477
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Next I began stacking and "test-fitting" rocks to make my waterfall. I wanted to emulate the type of flat-rock waterfalls we have around here in Ohio streams, as I have always admired them. They look so natural and serene to me. Here are some example photoView attachment 117480 View attachment 117480
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s of creeks nearby which I really like:
 
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I'm really having trouble posting photos. It seems that if I add a 2nd pic, it repeats it. I intend to post two photos, but get three...one a duplicate copy. Hmmm?
 
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Of course I don't have enough space to make waterfalls as beautiful as the two examples I showed you. Mine can only be about 25-30" wide. I started stacking rocks, checking every few seconds with a level, and stacking some more, and tearing it all out, switching rocks, and assembling again.
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And again some more... You can see rain drops on the rocks. I worked and worked and worked, trying to get the waterfall just the way I saw it in my mind. The hardest part for me was getting up and down off of my knees, and climbing in and out of the pond, to retrieve rocks of different specific sizes, shapes, and thicknesses. Thankfully my sons and grandkids helped me sometimes...
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You are really moving along nicely and won't be long now.....................but don't you get snow and really cold weather there?
 
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I quickly came to realize that it is much easier to visualize a completed waterfall than it is to build one. Not only must you get the rocks level with sides secured against loss of water, but after reading all those posts here about trying to make it look natural instead of manmade, I was determined to try to make it look as natural as I possibly could, within the limitations of available space and rocks that I had at my disposal. I assembled it and tore apart again dozens of times over about 5 days. The fact that I had no equipment to move the rocks with made it tough on an old man's back
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, I can tell you!
 
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Yes, ice storm and snow both today. All schools closed, etc.
 
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And again. I even tore it back out a few times after having applied foam. I waited until it dried, but then didn't like what I saw. So I ripped it back out, scraped away the black foam residue, and did it again. And again.
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Soon I was coming up against a deadline. You see, back in early July when I started this project and drained the old pond, I rescued my one surviving goldfish, about 4-5" long. I had bought it at a bait shop a few years ago, and it was the only one not eaten by a roving mink last year. I took that lone survivor down to our lake, and put him in a fish basket...the kind fishermen use to keep their catch alive. I planned on him being in there for a week or two, and hoped it would survive the heavy wave action, snapping turtles, and curious kids in the neighborhood. But then I sprained my ankle, and the work pace slowed. I fed him once a week, but never expected him to survive. But by late October he was still strong and healthy in that old basket...unbelievable will-to-survive! Now I wanted to help him if I could. But they drain our lake down nearly 10 feet, starting on November 15th. I HAD to finish that waterfall and all my pump hookups, etc, to get that pond flowing, so "Tuffy" would have a place to live!
 
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I worked like an animal on the pond every day after work. But with the end of daylight savings time and the shorter days, I began working by flashlight, etc. Finally I started getting the actual waterfall itself looking closer to what I wanted (within the given space). It still looked like it had been dropped there out of an airplane or something, but I was hopeful that when I get some landscaping in around it and cover up all the liner, deck edges, etc, that it will look nicer. My youngest son is looking it over in this photo. He and other family members were a big help.
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Then I got a sudden chance to go to the Rocky Mountains with a friend. He needed me to drive him there and back in my pickup truck, and offered to pay expenses. I agreed, IF he would agree to help me bring home some big pretty rocks. We had a deal, and I found some FABULOUS rocks there. Too bad we couldn't lift the really, really cool ones I found. o_O
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So at last, about 2 weeks ago and using my "new" granite rocks from out west, I finally got the waterfall built into a shape I liked. I still didn't have the edges of the liner trimmed, tucked, or covered, and didn't have deck boards replaced, etc. But now I could connect all the pumps, fill it with water, and give it a try.
 
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While I had been at a trade show in Las Vegas, first week of November, they had HEAVY rains at home, so mother nature actually filled the pond most of the way. I put lots of waterfall foam in all the seams between rocks, etc. But here I made one of my errors of the project. I underestimated how quickly it would "skin over," in the cool November air. So for several seams and pockets I waited too late to throw gravel at the foam to get stuck in it and disguise it. I'm hopeful that time and natural algae, etc, will disguise it for me, or I'll have to rip it out and replace it correctly next summer.
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