Building concrete and cold weather.


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I was thinking of building around a 10'x10' and 5' to 7' deep. The deck is 2' above grade on one corner and 6' on the other due to the slope. I thought I would have a 2' slope to a bottom drain in one corner. Was thinking of doing a 6" concrete wall and 4" bottom with steel reinforcing. The one side under the deck would mostly be above ground as well as an average of 2' or 3' all around. My biggest concern is the winter as it can get as cold as -30 C for a week at a time, average would be -10 to -20 C. Also We head to Arizona for 4 months after freeze up and would have no one to check on the pond. If I manage a build like this It would eliminate a railing and be above the deck so could sit on the edge
The form work is not a worry to do but do I coat the inside of the cement for the pond?
Should I add insulation on the outside?
Could use insulated concrete forms but would then have to use a liner, or mesh and plaster the inside.
Think I prefer to not to use a liner for fear of leaks as I occasionally have a dog jump into the small pond I have now.
Also was thinking of having an outflow from the pond to a lower smaller pond with several water falls on route as there would be about 10' from the pond level to a lower driveway or make it as 2 separate water features look as one.
 
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Do you want this to be a water feature with plants, or do you want fish in it year-round as well?
 
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I have a friend with a Koi pool and loved to sit by the poolside and feed them. So I was thinking of a 2 part system with a main pool for fish and then adding a water feature below the pool. I have around 10' height over 25' distance in front of the house. Here a a few pics of the area.

IMG_1012.jpg IMG_1013.jpg IMG_1014.jpg IMG_1011.jpg IMG_1012.jpg IMG_1013.jpg IMG_1014.jpg
 
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For starters, I would start considering a design that would allow you to isolate the lower secondary ponds so you could shut them off for your time away during the winter.
Koi, or any other fish, (koi especially because of their size) require well oxygenated water during the winter, so you will need to keep the water healthy and well circulated. You might want to be thinking of a mechanical room where you house the pumps and filters. The bottom drain will help keep the buildup of organic material down to a minimum. Decaying organic material will consume oxygen which is a concern when the pond has an ice cover.
A dome or cover of some sort over the main pond during the winter will help keep the pond ice free longer, which is a good thing.
I like the idea of an ICF wall because you can retain the heat from the earth below your frost line.
I don't think a screen with stucco or cement liner on the inside will give you much problem.

How unattended is your home during the winter? If someone is available that can check on it every few days, the mechanicals can be designed for some pretty basic checks if a power outage or winter storm were to occur.
A few days without oxygenated water will be fatal for the fish.
 
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I usually just shut the house down for the winter and have a neighbor monitor the snow for intruder tracks tracks. I have cameras that I monitor the house and property with the internet, could add one to a pond area. I think it would be great to remove the first section of railing on the deck and have a pond at sitting height, With that high of a pond side I would have to use reinforced concrete, the other 3 sides could be built up with rock and dirt to help insulate for winter. Could have an overflow to the lower section and lower the pond for winter to shut down the lower area.
With an overflow I would not require a skimmer and use the lower pond to screen out large floating stuff. There would be little getting into the ponds as there are no trees close by, don't even have to clean out gutters.
 
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If you have a camera for the pond, you'll need to think about what you're going to look for to be sure that water is circulating for the time you have ice cover.
 
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agree and koi get big .mine are now over 2 feet long and I use some sort of oxygen source here even in the winter .Which for me is only Jan.and Feb ..But in between we can get 60 degree days
 
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I am starting to rethink the idea of koi in the pond and just make a nice water feature. Might make 2 or maybe 3 ponds that cascade into each other. Still not sure what I will do because I leave for the winter a set of nature ponds will be easier.
 
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Without fish, your setup can be much simpler.
An air pump with a diffuser at the bottom of the big pond will be fine.
You could even get away without that for the first couple of years. It depends on what kind of organic buildup your pond accumulates during open water season.
 
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Welcome Ronfire :) I think a water feature / nature pond, would be lovely and allow you to leave for the winters, without worry.

I only have 4 koi and I go to some lengths to keep them healthy over the winter. Again, welcome !
 
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Doing the natural pond I will place a waterfall type filter at the top and cascade to 2 or 3 pools with a bottom drain and an exterior pump that I can drain the plumbing for the winter
 
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Back onto an old thread.
After much thinking and discussion on the front area the wife would like a pond in the back, so I guess it will be 2 ponds instead(y)
I like the looks of all the plants so I will have a pond at the lower level with goldfish, a bog filter marsh on the top with a pond in the middle for Lillys. Not sure if I will put lotus in the top or middle section, probably the middle as it will be deeper. This area will get full sun from around noon until sunset. Then onto the back yard with a similar setup but the pond are will be built on a flat area and much deeper for maybe Koi. Wont be until next year though had to many bill in the spring.
 

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