Chewed holes in pond liner @ water level


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I have 2-125 gallon Kpi ponds set close together where one flows into the other. 2 days ago I noticed a small hole about 2”x1/2” “chewed” out of my liner. It is right where the water is about 1” deep and flows over into my first pond, Today I found a hole about 6”x 7” circle and small 2” pieces floating in my pond! What could be doing this? I have 6”-9” Koi in them and also for the first time all my circular pond Lilly plants are totally destroyed, eaten and what’s left, shredded in my ponds. I get 3” frogs with webbed back feet and green heads as well as yellow striped 3-4 ft. garden snakes swimming in them. Rodents would have to swim to do this. In the pond picture you can see white between them where it flows over. I’ve put small towels over the holes to hopefully detour any further chewing. You can see where I did this. Any one that could help me please! They are only chewing on my shiny liner not the ones with the rougher side facing up that holds beneficial bacteria. There are tiny little 1/2 circle bite marks all around the edges about 1/8” wide. Looks like a scalloped edge. The first ones I saw were just the outline marks but no pieces chewed thru. Please help! I had to stop the flow between the 2 because it’s leaking back under my liner into my ridged pond. The rigid liner has 3 tiny holes but I didn’t patch them prior to lining it. Do snakes chew?? A rodent, I would think, wouldn’t be able to get in the water to do this.
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Why only that one liner not the others? Has anyone encountered this before? I’ll try an attach pictures to this as well. Thank you!
 
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Mmathis

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Hello and welcome! Wow, you’re not kidding about the chew marks! In the 3rd picture, it looks like your fencing is in contact with the liner. Could that have caused a puncture? Anything with sharp edges — not wise to be around a pond. Are you losing water?

How long have your ponds been set up and running? Where do you live? Do you have any padding or underlayment beneath your liner? One member, @sissy has had a problem with critters chewing the liner from underneath. And believe it or not, I actually have a few places in my liner where ants have excavated holes — and it’s a 45 mil EPDM material which is very tough. Yours looks like it might be PVC.

I wouldn’t recommend using towels to detour water away, as they will absorb water and could wick it from the pond and toward the holes.
 
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Welcome @Champagne4us - sorry to see that it's pond troubles that brought you here, but hopefully you'll stick around once this gets sorted out!

I read the blog of a gardener who also has a goldfish pond. He had the identical kind of chew marks in his exposed liner that turned out to be raccoons. He never did figure out why they chewed the liner but it only happened one time and was above the water line, just like yours. The fact that your plants are also shredded makes me think raccoon, too. What is under the liner?

How many fish do you have in the ponds?
 

sissy

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I have seen here where mice ,moles and squirrels and skunks have chewed liners .I have had a mole chew my liner .They get under the edge in some cases and then chew to get out
 

j.w

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@Champagne4us
Boy that is an awful sight to see! I sure hope you can figure this out somehow. Maybe cameras? If this ever happens to my pond I'm done! Liners aren't cheap and repairing them can be a pain I have heard. So far I have not had to do any of this. I did have a racoon entering my pond awhile back but he must have just went for a swim a few times, messed stuff up and then gave up when I reinforced my fence and netting. I also took some flat short boards w/little spike nails pounded in point side up and set those on one side where he was active. They don't like walking on a bed of nails!
 
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I haven’t even got my pond liner in yet and am already worried about critters. We did have a mother raccoon and three little ones visit our backyard a while back and armadillos are a regular nuisance.
I did line the inside of my pond with 4 layers of those cement stones Lowe’s sells to prevent critters from getting to pond from underground.
Hope you find the culprit. In my previous home in Virginia I had many problems with chip monks gnawed on everything. I was told the we’re trying to get salt or other minerals.
 
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sissy

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I used milky spore to get rid of grubs that moles eat and then put all the roofing paper stuff left from my house build and then more milky spore and then the underliner .I have changed my liner out 3 times since 2014 ,moles and dogs destroyed my liners .Now my security camera on the pond has a warning signal that goes off when it gets heat warning
 

j.w

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One way to protect the top edge of liner from chewing critters coming at it from the outside and not underneath is to make a shelf/ledge around your pond a few inches down like a step and put the liner over that and then rocks down on the ledge in the water and then on top too all around the edge so no liner is exposed at all. Kinda like I did below. It won't stop moles or whatever underground critters are doing it tho.
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sissy

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I had concrete block under my liner on the top edge and that never stopped anything .They just put tunnels under the block .When they want something they go for it .This better be the last liner for me .I had lots of pieces to share with my pond friends here ,so they won I lost
 
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I haven’t even got my pond liner in yet and am already worried about critters. We did have a mother raccoon and three little ones visit our backyard a while back and armadillos are a regular nuisance.
I did line the inside of my pond with 4 layers of those cement stones Lowe’s sells to prevent critters from getting to pond from underground.
Hope you find the culprit. In my previous home in Virginia I had many problems with chip monks gnawed on everything. I was told the we’re trying to get salt or other minerals.
MajorDan I found a product for flat roofs it's 1/8 inch 4x8 sheets of fiberglass and a petroleum product similar to asphalt roofing. Very durable stuff and I cant see anything enjoying taking a bite of this stuff . best of all it's only 10 bucks a sheet and easy to work with it will bend in round lines more so then say 1/4 ply. I used it in my bog and I would have used it in the pond if I had found it before I put the liner in. in my case my concerns are grubs. you can see it in my blog here
https://www.gardenpondforum.com/threads/going-for-it-phase-one-12-000-gallon-pond.22563/
 
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I had concrete block under my liner on the top edge and that never stopped anything .They just put tunnels under the block .When they want something they go for it .This better be the last liner for me .I had lots of pieces to share with my pond friends here ,so they won I lost
Aquascapes has a product it's a wire mesh that you bend in the shape of your pond walls /floor and then apply a concrete skim coat. Or as I stated above you could look at the product I mentioned to dan. above
 
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sissy

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I am never rebuilding my pond ,if it happens again pond will be torn down and the fish left will go to the other house I own that has a pond with some of the babies in it .It is around 10 thousand gallons and was bigger but we decreased the size of it .It was neglected for years and frying pan creek has a gate valve that you can open and allow water into it .Which we have never done ,but it is there My friend .Mike can then have the fish .I have been slowly getting rid of my fish and if they stop having babies it would help .
 

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