Central Florida pond under construction

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by shinksma, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. shinksma

    shinksma

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    Hey all,
    New to the forum, just registered, been lurking for a while as I considered options for the pond currently under construction in the backyard.
    I live in the Orlando area (central Florida), but I used to live much further north, where a frozen pond was guaranteed and I couldn't get the water warm enough all summer long to even think about a lotus. Now I'm wondering whether my new pond will be too warm for goldfish...
    Anyway, my previous pond in the northern climate was successful, so I'm not too stressed about how to make my new build work. Although the sandy soil presents some challenges - again, different from the clay/loam mix I previously experienced.
    Also most annoying is the lack of natural stone in the environment. I can't just ask a rural friend if I can come over to his/her property and take excess stone from the edge of the field that they would like to dispose of. No, I have to pay real money for rock!
    So the pond I'm building is about 13' x 9' x 2'. I used HDPE as a liner - it is indeed quite stiff when cool, but is managable when warmed up in the sun. The liner is in, filled with water, and the edges are being held down by patio stones - the liner will wrap up behind and over the patio stones and be hidden by the final edging material (flagstones/whatever).
    I'll be posting pictures sooner or later - I have taken photos during the major stages of construction, and the next phase is getting the rock/material that will edge the pond and hold the liner down. The rock/material is what I'm reasearching/browsing for now: do we want a flagstone look, or more boulder-oriented? What color scheme, if any? How many layers of flagstone (or how much boulder rubble)? It's a fine line between a natural-looking pond edge and something that looks tidy enough while also functional.
    Anyway, in the meantime thanks everyone else for posting pics and sharing thoughts - this site is a great resource,
    shinksma
     
    shinksma, Feb 11, 2013
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  2. shinksma

    sissy sissy

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    welcome and you want to go deeper as i live near NC and have to provide shade for my pond in the hot summer as it is just over 4 feet deep and should have been deeper .I layed my liner out in the sun for over an hour makes it much more plyable
     
    sissy, Feb 11, 2013
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  3. shinksma

    sissy sissy

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    Make sure you add an over flow area as heavy rains will really wash things out of the pond and make sure your sides are high enough .
     
    sissy, Feb 11, 2013
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  4. shinksma

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    [​IMG] shinksma
    If you want to hide the liner at the top so some of the rocks sit on a stairway kind of ledge it works great and looks more natural. Can't see a big gap of liner below the top rock edge that way. Here's what I'm taking about in a photo of my pond edge and others might post some diagrams showing how to do it. You can do it w/ flat stone also. See how the lower level of rocks are underwater?
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    j.w, Feb 11, 2013
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  5. shinksma

    sissy sissy

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    Is your overflow visible JW ,it is sometimes hard to explain and living in Florida with the storms the pond will need an over flow
     
    sissy, Feb 11, 2013
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  6. shinksma

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    Nope mine just leaks out some cracks between the rocks and flows downward as I built the pond up higher than the ground around it. We get lots of steady rain but not that torrential downpour stuff like back there in Florida. Once we did get a giant storm w/ tons of water and hail coming down off and on and I thought it was gonna rip our gutters off as they were overflowing big time. The pond looked like it was boiling over. All was well tho thankfully!
     
    j.w, Feb 11, 2013
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  7. shinksma

    shinksma

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    My sides will be roughly 3" or 4" above local grade at minimum, where there has never been more than an inch or so of standing water in the worst rainfall (TS Fay a few years back). The "far side" of the pond is built up about 12" from grade, since that is where the yard slopes off to a conservation/wooded area.
    Fortunately my soil is very sandy, and standing water is not an issue in my yard like I have seen elsewhere in the area.
    Yeah, still considering where to implement the overflow area, but it will be somewhere along that back side where excess water can flow away quite easily.
    I didn't want to go much deeper than 2 feet for this first pond (yes, already planning part 2 - well, parts 2 and 3, since there will be a connecting stream...). It is located in part shade, but I will monitor water temps for a while before I put any fish in it.
    Thanks for the additional tips!
    shinksma
     
    shinksma, Feb 11, 2013
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  8. shinksma

    sissy sissy

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    I know last summer I had to again put up the shade sails or algae would grow out of control and i would end up with green water after pond temps hit 90 degrees .I waited to long and usually put them up when temps hit 80 degrees .I live up on a hilltop and we get plenty of wind and was rebuilding the bridge and over flow and a new filter on the other side .
    [sharedmedia=core:attachments:51289]
    [sharedmedia=core:attachments:47605]
     
    sissy, Feb 11, 2013
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  9. shinksma

    DrCase Moderator Moderator

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    Welcome to the Forum
     
    DrCase, Feb 12, 2013
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  10. shinksma

    gardengimp

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    Welcome Neighbor! I'm just NE of you in Seminole County. I'll write more after a bit when I've got some more time, but so long as you don't have Koi and you plan extra water movement and cover, you'll probably be fine with 2'. That was the depth of the first third of my pond so that it would be within the state definitions of not-a-swimming pool (which swimming pools must be fenced in with special fencing, gates and self locking levers.
    Overflow with our sand is not the problem that Sissy and others might think of. Rather, you'll find over time that sand walls and edges are a major curse. Oh, and absolutely no local rocks. Gahhh. Allow me to introduce you to Pebble Junction in Sanford. Probably worth the drive.
     
    gardengimp, Feb 12, 2013
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  11. shinksma

    gardengimp

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    I'm back .........
    :razz:
    Anywhoooo - sand. And sand, and more sand. Parts of Central Florida are located on what eons ago was an ancient underwater sand dune. Sand, and lots of sand. We call it sugar sand, it is extremely fine sand. The kind you might buy up in clay country for a kids sand box. The bane of gardeners.
    Virgin, or undisturbed, the sand is very very fine, white and super compacted. Disturb it though? Then it shifts, and floats and settles. If you look at a soils chart for this part of Florida, you'll find varying definitions of sand, because at some point you will start getting some clay mixed in with it. Drift around Central Florida a bit, and you can find other bits of interesting soils. There are two major river systems that go through the area, so along the banks of those, you can find loam and in some parts you can find hardpan clay. Then go a bit more inland, and you bump into the ridges, the old underwater sea ridges which are limestone. And underneath all of it is a huge underground aquifer system of swiss cheese riddled limestone.
    So that is the playing field. In short, if you are in the sandy area of Central Florida, you like never, ever have any issues with standing water. The water just drains down through the sand too fast. My overflow for my pond? It is literally a section along the ground level low side of my pond that the liner is about 1/3" lower than other parts of the pond. And I never see any water draining out and pooling up. And I have never seen rain water overflow the top of the pond. But ..... I do have the pond walls built up about 6" or so, and some places more. Any rising pond water will just make it's way out the dry stack rocks that are above the liner and building up the side edges of the pond. Once it gets outside the pond, it drains away quickly in the sand.
    The problem I had last summer, when we had 10" rain in 5 days was the sides of the pond washing out. In particular, a really bad wash out problem where I had driven a 4" pipe under the sidewalk and connected it to the pond with a pipe boot. Settling stretched the liner enough to get a small hole in it. The first pond I built, (that I tore out and redid), the side walls caved in over time with rain and walking around the sides. When I rebuilt it, I reinforced the edge of the pond with concrete block, and along the path side have planted heavily with Mondo grass, which forms a dense root mat to help stabilize the sand.
    This year, I put the first addition in (the third pond build), and called it Pond 103. You can follow along here (which reminds me, I need to go update my thread with some of the final touching up stuff that's been going on. Pond 103 is 3' deep, and that is for two reasons. (1) if the city makes me fence it I say great! Because I really want that part of my front yard fenced anyway. And (2) if needs be I could put a false bottom on it using concrete block and kennel flooring. The original pond side is in a section of the front yard that would be a total hassle to fence, so even though I originally dug the deep part of that side to 3', I filled it back into 2'. This is because the State of Florida definitions on bodies of water deeper than 2 feet. And if a municipality adopts a stringent definition on swimming pool and starts to require 4' fencing, locking self closing gates, alarms and other astronomical stuff - well I don't want that on my fountain pond. So, it is 2' deep.
    My fountain pond is on the east side of my house, and under tree's. It gets part sun all day long, with a few hours of direct sun in the summer time. I run extra water pump volume to keep a high level of water circulating inside the pond. I also try to get as much plant cover over the top of the water as possible. Fish wise, I have goldfish, rosy red minnows and a betta. Oh, and keep in mind that during our hottest parts of the year it is afternoon rainy season, so generally speaking the hottest parts of the day have cloud cover. Which can be a double edged sword. I have given some serious thought to adding an air pump for summer time use.
    We brought home a few accent pieces of limestone and corral from the keys this Christmas, otherwise all of our rock came from Pebble Junction. They really do have the best prices and selection around these parts (even Disney shops at Pebble Junction). Their yard is amazing, it can give you all sorts of ideas.
    Here is a recent photo of our small pond. Some day I hope the vegetation grows in and it looks as wonderful as JW's pond.
    [​IMG]
     
    gardengimp, Feb 12, 2013
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  12. shinksma

    Becky Administrator

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    Hello and welcome aboard! :wave:
     
    Becky, Feb 12, 2013
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  13. shinksma

    shinksma

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    Hey gardengimp/dianne, thanks for posting such a good description of our soils. Yep, that pretty much sums it up - Florida is one giant sandbar, with the odd bit of clay or loam, and limestone underneath it all.
    Yes, I had heard of Pebble Junction, and visited there a couple of Fridays ago - there are lots of excellent choices, stuff from all over the country. It's not as cheap as "free", which is my preferred cost for rocks :razz: , but it is by far the most reasonable pricing I've seen in the area. We'll likely be returning this Friday to procure about 1000 lbs or so of some kind of flagstone. Good thing we've got a robust pick-up truck!
    I am curious whether you or anyone else can chime in on the topic of pond depth and the state of Florida considering anything more than 2' deep a "swimming pool". I've looked about for online resources that have the actual legal definition of pond vs. pool, but haven't found anything other than things that say if the swimming pool is more than 2' deep, it must be fenced - but nothing that says any water body more than 2' deep is considered a swimming pool. We have lots of naturalized-looking retention ponds in the area, and they aren't fenced. What's so special about a smaller pond in my yard, vs the one that is 20 acres in size and 8 ' deep across the street? They both would have fish, water lilies, grasses, and neither were naturally formed.
    Anyway, with any luck I'll have rocks around the pond by Sunday morning...
    And thanks to everyone for the warm welcome!
    shinksma
     
    shinksma, Feb 12, 2013
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  14. shinksma

    shinksma

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    Hmm, replying to my own post, but I did just find this, which may be of some guidance for Florida pond-owners:
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fe111
    Specifically, this part, which is detailed with some examples in the original material:
    Dunno if that helps, and of course I am Not a Lawyer, so this is not legal advice!
    shinksma
     
    shinksma, Feb 12, 2013
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  15. shinksma

    CountryEscape

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    Welcome to the Forum, Shinksma!!! Glad you have a fellow FL ponder to help you out. I, too, at first was thinking you needed more than 2' deep to help cool the pond in the summer, but sounds like you are going to be just fine.
    JW, hate to barge in on Shinksma thread, but can you please tell me what the underwater plant is in your 4th pic? Looks like a lily, until I saw the unusual blooms! Also, is your yellow-green grass like plant a Sweet Flag, miniature maybe? It looks identical to what I have in my bog, which is barely growing and this will be it's 3rd year. The tall green with yellow flowers, is that also a Flag of some sort? Seems Colleen has that in her pond, and loves the filtering it does and evidently floats on the water, roots growing and filtering below it. Thanks.
    Now, back to Shinksma's issues. I, too, would love to go find free rocks, and although there surely are tons of them around where I live, I don't own any property where I can just drive to a creek and start picking them up. Need to go and ask neighbors first, and then to go and pick up 5 or 10 rocks at a time, seems to take forever. My daughter collected about a half ton of rocks in UT two summers ago, since she was driving home that summer, so I have those rocks on my waterfall. I love the more natural edge look of JW's pond, and others', and wondering if my pond has enough extra liner tucked under to expand it to have that kind of look.
    Good luck on your rock purchase, and can't wait to see your construction pics soon!
     
    CountryEscape, Feb 12, 2013
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  16. shinksma

    shinksma

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    CountryEscape: I believe that tall green with Yellow flower plant in JW's pic is a Yellow Flag. Unlike Blue Flag, it likes water. And no worries about "barging into" this thread - I love it when things get a little tangential, because that's usually when I learn new stuff.
    I too need to look up or find out what that plant is in the fourth pic from JW. I'm sure it's listed in a book at home...
    shinksma
     
    shinksma, Feb 12, 2013
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  17. shinksma

    gardengimp

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    Shinksma, the city of sanford and seminole county started putting six foot fencing around all the retention ponds. I think it is a stupid waste of my tax dollars, but then I decided to go look up. There was enough ambiguity at the state level, coupled with a few high fluent cities defining two feet to be the depth to require fencing that I decided not to risk it. Keep in mind, my ponds are in my front yard. The side with the fountain would be impossible to fence and keep the look and feel. It is a decision only you can make, but I think Orange County is more progressive than seminole county. So less likely to ever be an issue. Herons however, they are a big issue. Grumble ....
     
    gardengimp, Feb 12, 2013
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  18. shinksma

    CountryEscape

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    Thanks, Shinksma, I agree the tall plant is a Yellow Flag. What I have that is small like JW's, is yellow/lime green varigated, and it's very small, I think the tag said "Sweet Flag". It has never flowered, and evidently grows very slowly, which can be a really good thing, actually. I am just wondering if it will eventually flower, or if the plant is the highlight itself. JW will chime in eventually ... she has Grandma duties these days with her new grand daughter born 2 days ago. Lucky her!!!
     
    CountryEscape, Feb 12, 2013
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  19. shinksma

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    Ha Ha grandma duties include backing off a bit too. Think they go home from the hospital today if all is still well.
    And I'm not really sure what that tall yellow one is but think Colleen calls it the Yellow Flag............I always just called it Yellow Water Iris. The plant in the 4th picture is Water Hawthorne and the blooms are really pretty small. They look big in the photos but that is misleading. They are really a nice fragrance:

    Water Hawthorne
    lily-like-aquatic [​IMG]

    [​IMG]Oblong leaves
    [​IMG]

    Blooming right through the ice!

    Water Hawthorne Aponogeton distachyus
    lily-like-aquatic
    Water Hawthorne grows and blooms in cool/cold water of late fall until the warm water of early summer when it then goes dormant. In early fall when the water is cooler again, it starts the cycle again and begins to grow and bloom.

    The white fragrant flowers are present from September until April. The flowers are held slightly above the mottled foliage that is oblong green.
    The undersides of the leaves are red in color.
    Flowers have a slight vanilla fragrance.

    NOTE: During the warm summer months and early fall months the bulb you receive will be dormant. The dormant bulbs can not be added to a cold pond, one below 55 degrees. In colder climates, purchase the dormant bulb and let them root as the water cools down. Then they will start to bloom in the fall.
    GROWING TIP: can be planted in the same pot with a water lily. The Water Hawthorne will be dormant when the lily is blooming and when the Water Hawthorne is active, growing and blooming, the water lily will be dormant.

    Truly unique one of a kind plant!
    Place 6 to 18" deep. Full sun or partial shade
    Hardy zone 6 or higher
     
    j.w, Feb 12, 2013
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  20. shinksma

    CountryEscape

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    I want one!!! Haha, that's amazing, they bloom when it's cold and frozen! I sure will be checking them out on the internet, see if I can locate any this coming summer. Sounds really unique.
     
    CountryEscape, Feb 12, 2013
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