Backyard water garden build begins!


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Hello everyone, I recently joined the water garden forum. I feel after countless nights spent researching water garden builds online and necessary equipment involved I am finally ready to begin my water garden journey. I live in a suburb with a fenced in backyard which is essentially a slope that varies in steepness depending on the section of it you are standing. In addition to the slope, the previous owners of my house planted the backyard with 100% invasive Asiatic plants which while beautiful serve zero purpose to my state's (Virginia) natural ecosystem. The invasive plants are also highly toxic to just about anything that ingests them. The water garden build gives me the perfect opportunity to rip all the invasive plants out and replant with 100% native plants. My backyard has a decent amount of trees which will most likely result in some minor root clearing and also contains a few dead stumps that will need to be cleared for the excavation locations. Last but not least I also have chipmunks in the backyard so just another fun thing I have to take into consideration. Ok, now that you have the lay of the land I can go onto the plan,

Plan
  1. Clear all invasive plants and dead tree stumps from backyard
  2. Begin excavation after measurements are complete (digging by hand)
    1. Pond dimensions are 12ft x 7ft x 4ft in a rectangle with a shelf at the 2ft depth
    2. Bog dimensions are 7ft x 7ft x 4ft in a rectangle
  3. Lay DIY concrete liner around perimeter of Pond and Bog for chipmunk protection
  4. Place Geotextile fabric & EPDM liner down
  5. Boulder/rock in pond, bog, stream, and waterfall
  6. Install underwater low voltage light and plumbing
  7. fill up/test for leaks
  8. mulch/replant backyard and pond with native plants
  9. cycle pond with live bacteria
  10. slowly stock pond (Most likely a few koi and nice goldfish)
  11. redesign upper patio section for firepit/ additional viewing location

I am currently working on step 3 in my plan and I am about to place the shipment orders for the liner, plumbing, and boulder/rocks. I will provide pictures of my current progress here shortly.
 
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Here are some photos of the current progress
 

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j.w

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Looks like a good start. Hope not too many koi as they need a ton of room to grow 3ft long and fat. I might stick w/Shubunkins that look kinda like koi only smaller and you can have more of them in there. All up to you and if you have great filtration then all the better.
Nice place you have there and good looking pup to help ya out w/all the diggin
1648508546668.gif
 
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Looks like a good start. Hope not too many koi as they need a ton of room to grow 3ft long and fat. I might stick w/Shubunkins that look kinda like koi only smaller and you can have more of them in there. All up to you and if you have great filtration then all the better.
Nice place you have there and good looking pup to help ya out w/all the diggin

Thank you! I don’t plan to put a lot of koi maybe 3 max the rest I’d be ok with shubunkins.
 

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TheFishGuy

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Looks like a good start! If you are going for a natural look I would recommend adding some curves to the shape and the shelves, but if you are going for formal then this looks awesome!
 
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What a cool property. Pond is going to look great in that setting. Don’t know if you’re looking for feedback or not, but agree w/ @TheFishGuy re: curves.
 
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Looks like a good start! If you are going for a natural look I would recommend adding some curves to the shape and the shelves, but if you are going for formal then this looks awesome!
Always looking for feedback! I wanted to add some curves to it, but digging into a slope to obtain the water level makes that challenging. I plan to make this look as natural as possible with the edging, boulder placement and the stream running from the bog and then waterfall into the pond. Hopefully all of that makes it look as if the pond was always here. I am shooting to avoid the classic look at all costs, but hard to to get rid of the rectangle with the space I was working with.

Question: has anyone ever ordered from halfoffponds.com before? that is who I just placed my order with for some of my equipment like the geotextile liner/EPDM liner, pump, skimmer, etc... Hoping they are somewhat reputable.
 

TheFishGuy

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Always looking for feedback! I wanted to add some curves to it, but digging into a slope to obtain the water level makes that challenging. I plan to make this look as natural as possible with the edging, boulder placement and the stream running from the bog and then waterfall into the pond. Hopefully all of that makes it look as if the pond was always here. I am shooting to avoid the classic look at all costs, but hard to to get rid of the rectangle with the space I was working with.

Question: has anyone ever ordered from halfoffponds.com before? that is who I just placed my order with for some of my equipment like the geotextile liner/EPDM liner, pump, skimmer, etc... Hoping they are somewhat reputable.
If you add some big boulders than I am sure you could get a really nice natural edge. I have no personal experience with half off ponds, but I have seen them around quite a bit.
 

addy1

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Nice looking hole!

Don't forget the three koi will make a zillion babies.
 
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Hello everyone, I recently joined the water garden forum. I feel after countless nights spent researching water garden builds online and necessary equipment involved I am finally ready to begin my water garden journey. I live in a suburb with a fenced in backyard which is essentially a slope that varies in steepness depending on the section of it you are standing. In addition to the slope, the previous owners of my house planted the backyard with 100% invasive Asiatic plants which while beautiful serve zero purpose to my state's (Virginia) natural ecosystem. The invasive plants are also highly toxic to just about anything that ingests them. The water garden build gives me the perfect opportunity to rip all the invasive plants out and replant with 100% native plants. My backyard has a decent amount of trees which will most likely result in some minor root clearing and also contains a few dead stumps that will need to be cleared for the excavation locations. Last but not least I also have chipmunks in the backyard so just another fun thing I have to take into consideration. Ok, now that you have the lay of the land I can go onto the plan,

Plan
  1. Clear all invasive plants and dead tree stumps from backyard
  2. Begin excavation after measurements are complete (digging by hand)
    1. Pond dimensions are 12ft x 7ft x 4ft in a rectangle with a shelf at the 2ft depth
    2. Bog dimensions are 7ft x 7ft x 4ft in a rectangle
  3. Lay DIY concrete liner around perimeter of Pond and Bog for chipmunk protection
  4. Place Geotextile fabric UNDER & EPDM liner down
  5. SECOND LAYER OF FABRIC UNDER BOULDERS OVER LINER Boulder/rock in pond, bog, stream, and waterfall
  6. Install underwater low voltage light and plumbing
  7. fill up/test for leaks
  8. mulch/replant backyard and pond with native plants
  9. cycle pond with live bacteria
  10. slowly stock pond (Most likely a few koi and nice goldfish)
  11. redesign upper patio section for firepit/ additional viewing location

I am currently working on step 3 in my plan and I am about to place the shipment orders for the liner, plumbing, and boulder/rocks. I will provide pictures of my current progress here shortly.
 
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Pond Equipment should be arriving tomorrow. :happy: Hopefully I can provide some progress photos over the weekend.

Equipment set to arrive:

ANJON LIFEGUARD 25 FT.X 25 FT 45 MIL EPDM POND LINER AND UNDERLAYMENT COMBO
ANJON LIFEGUARD 20 FT.X 20 FT 45 MIL EPDM POND LINER AND UNDERLAYMENT COMBO
PIRANHA SERIES 6,300 GPH DIRECT DRIVE SUBMERSIBLE PUMP - PN-6300
PB1137 - SKIMMER WITH 10" WEIR OPENING Max. Pump Flow: 10,000 GPH
Aquascape Dual Union Check Valve 2.0 2"
Aquascape Black Silicone Sealant
FLEXIBLE PVC PIPE 2" X 50'
(2) Bulkhead 2" FIPT x 2" FIPT
(1) 2" ball valve
3" x 25' EPDM Seam and Splice Tape
6" x 25' EPDM Flashing Tape
1/2 pint EPDM Primer / Splice Wash
(2) Tubes 10oz Black EPDM Lap Sealant
1 1/4" Seam Roller
3" Paint Brush
(6) 24oz Cans Waterfall Gun Foam
(2) 12oz Cans Foam Gun Cleaner
Steel Dispensing Gun
PVC cement combo


I opted not to go the entire pond kit route because none of them met the specifications I was looking for. I just picked pieces I wanted from different vendors. The bog plumbing will just be picked up from Lowes or Home Depot this weekend. The bog plumbing will consist of 4" irrigation plumbing with a snorkel to be flushed if ever needed. I will share photos of the bog plumbing so everyone can see the design.

 
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Pond equipment arrived Friday afternoon. I realized my initial plan of using the aqua scape dual union check valve is most likely a no go and will be returned. Looks like that piece of a equipment is meant to be used in a pondless waterfall vault with more space. It’s to large to be used in a pond skimmer. Easy fix though since I can just do the plumbing myself with a quick Home Depot/lowes run. A bit disappointed I don’t get to use it, but oh well. At least someone can learn from my mistake. All of the equipment I ordered arrived in good shape, but what I did think was a bit odd was that the pump which arrived was a anjon big frog 6300 and not a piranha 6300 like I ordered. Literally the same pump, but a different name which I thought was strange. Maybe someone more seasoned can shed light on this if the Piranhha pump line rebranded or something. And one final update is The rock shipment was placed this Saturday and will be arriving on Wednesday!
 

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Sorry no clue..............IM SURPRISED CHECK VALVE WON'T FIT

GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR BUILD
 
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oH I HAVE SEEN THEM SLIP THEM INTO THE SKIMMERS THERES ONLY ONE WAY IT WIL WORK AND IT IS VERY TIGHT
 
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Jhn

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I have a pair of those check valves from a pond we demoed out on a work site, they are a tight fit as @GBBUDD said, but it should fit in there. Looking forward to seeing your progress.
 
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Made a little bit of progress today. A lot of moving dirt, but I was able to set the skimmer in place. Finished doing my little DIY concrete liner on the walls for the extra chipmunk peace of mind. Took another look at the check valve and pump and looks like I can make it work. I’m thinking a fernco coupling to make the connection. It is definitely a tight fit though.
 

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I LIKE that you have the pond right up against your patio
 
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I Was able to get the bog geotextile fabric and Epdm liner in place. Not quite ready to do any liner cuts as I need to build a small burm up in certain areas to ensure I get the overflow into the correct corner. Good news is since I over bought slightly on the liner sizes I was able to cover almost the entire stream/waterfall which should make for only one liner seam. I dug out the stream that will feed the waterfall from the bog. At least now my vision can start to make sense to everyone. Hopefully I can get the pond lined tomorrow then start plumbing.
 

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