Concrete vs liner

Discussion in 'Newbies to Garden Ponds' started by Loree, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Loree

    Loree

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2016
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Newport, Pennsylvania
    I've looked for threads about this but couldn't find any. If there are any there that I can't find, please direct me.........

    Of course now that this summer I dug and finished my 800 gallon liner-pond at my dad's house, we bought a house of our own and need to do it all over again. My fiancé works for a concrete company now and has made plans for this coming summer to dig (has backhoe & excavator lined up) and build me a bigger pond made of concrete. We do realize it has to be cured and possibly sealed in some way. But does anyone have any experience with a pond made of concrete? Are there any major concerns I should have with respect to water quality from the concrete? I'm still new to this ponding thing and I want to do things the right way for my fish.

    I had no idea my fiancé was planning this for this summer! I had already made up my mind that I was going to house my fish in stock tanks until NEXT summer, but I'm told it's going to happen this year! I'm excited that my fish are going to have an even bigger space to live, but the idea of concrete is foreign. Any thoughts, ideas or suggestions that might help me with this new endeavor??? Only have a few months to plan for this!!!

    Thanks in advance!!!
     
    Loree, Jan 11, 2017
    #1
    Tula likes this.
    1. Advertisements

  2. Loree

    Tula

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2013
    Messages:
    2,420
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I don't have a concrete pond, but I've read of concrete ponds being coated with xypex concentrate products.

    How exciting you'll soon have your own pond :)
     
    Tula, Jan 11, 2017
    #2
    peter hillman and Loree like this.
    1. Advertisements

  3. Loree

    Loree

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2016
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Newport, Pennsylvania
    Thanks! Like most on here, I've learned over the years what to do & what NOT to do, but this concrete idea just never crossed my mind! Actually, I'll be moving from here in PA out your way in Ohio to Fayette County!
     
    Loree, Jan 11, 2017
    #3
    Tula likes this.
  4. Loree

    sissy sissy

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Messages:
    25,823
    Location:
    Axton virginia
    only thing is concrete is set in concrete and you need to be sure this is the size pond you want .Also remember to think ahead for the unexpected when digging .Make sure also that the county does allow it and does not tax you for a pool and also home insurance .It costs me less than 5 dollars a year to insure mine from Brothern insurance .If some one gets hurt by it then it is covered .The yu never knows can hit you hard .I checked with the county to make sure that they had no rules on ponds .
     
    sissy, Jan 11, 2017
    #4
  5. Loree

    Loree

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2016
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Newport, Pennsylvania
    Yes, I've already thought of those things. The size is what is baffling me right now....oh how big to go?? And even tho we're out in the country, I've already thought of the need for a fence around the thing. We're planning on fencing in the yard anyway for the cats (another story--they make cat-safe fences--lol) I find it interesting that if it's lined, it's a pond, but if it's concrete, it's a pool. We close tomorrow, so that's definitely something I'll be looking into! Thanks!
     
    Loree, Jan 11, 2017
    #5
    peter hillman likes this.
  6. Loree

    sissy sissy

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Messages:
    25,823
    Location:
    Axton virginia
    Remember also about electric and find your best viewing area so you can enjoy it the most .Remember run off also .I live in a rural area also but the rules apply here concrete it is a pool and liner it is a pond .Mine is not fenced in since it is in the front yard but they have no rules on fencing since it is farm country and there are lots of farm ponds here .I try to check everything ,but I still messed up on my heat pump and thought I researched it well .Even went with the number 1 installer here and still not good .OH WELL can't win them all .:)I am done calling them every name in the book ;)
     
    sissy, Jan 11, 2017
    #6
  7. Loree

    Tula

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2013
    Messages:
    2,420
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Great :) When are you planning on making the move?
     
    Tula, Jan 11, 2017
    #7
  8. Loree

    peter hillman Let me think for minute....

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2015
    Messages:
    1,061
    Location:
    Reno N.V.
    :)Patience and planning make a happy ponder;)
     
    peter hillman, Jan 11, 2017
    #8
    Tula likes this.
  9. Loree

    Loree

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2016
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Newport, Pennsylvania
    We close on the house today. He's already out there, but I won't be moving til late spring/summer.

    UGH - I know. That's why I wasn't planning on this until NEXT summer. But with everything else that needs done to the house this year, my original plan may just stick. Want to get inside done before we worry about outside. WHICH will give me more time to plan this thing out.

    So, no one has heard anything bad about having fish in a pond made of concrete?? I understand about the permits, insurance & all that stuff. But what about the FISH....will they be ok? Do I need to do anything different? Watch for anything regarding different chemistry, etc?
     
    Loree, Jan 12, 2017 at 2:35 PM
    #9
  10. Loree

    sissy sissy

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Messages:
    25,823
    Location:
    Axton virginia
    I know concrete is acidic .There are lots of video's on you tube of all kinds of ponds that may give you an idea .Ponddigger and pond hunter are good sources on there for great info .
     
    sissy, Jan 12, 2017 at 2:39 PM
    #10
  11. Loree

    Loree

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2016
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Newport, Pennsylvania
    Wonderful! Thank you!!
     
    Loree, Jan 12, 2017 at 2:48 PM
    #11
  12. Loree

    sissy sissy

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Messages:
    25,823
    Location:
    Axton virginia
    I can raise ph that is why swimming pools have the spray on stuff
     
    sissy, Jan 12, 2017 at 3:53 PM
    #12
  13. Loree

    adavisus

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    Messages:
    947
    Location:
    carolinas
    Concrete is extremely alkaline as it sets, you need to keep it from drying too fast, slowing its curing rate will allow it to set harder.

    The lime of the concrete is hostile to fish when it leaches into the water, you need to research which best way to cure the concrete suits you.

    Weathering the pond for a few months over winter would work, coating the surfaces with sodium silicate will go a long way to sealing, 'fixing' the lime in the concrete

    Some structural strength is going to be a factor, strong enough to cope with the stress of ice expanding in the water months, or you will find the pond cracks under stress...
     
    adavisus, Jan 12, 2017 at 5:54 PM
    #13
    Gemma, Mucky_Waters and cas like this.
  14. Loree

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Messages:
    4,873
    Location:
    Pensacola, Florida
    While I applaud your boyfriends intentions, a completely concrete pond is a considerable investment in labor and materials. The entire structure, especially the walls, will need to be rendered structurally sound through the extensive use of rebar or other material. The wall will also need to be at least 4 inches thick. And as others have said, if your ground is subject to freezing and heaving during Winter months, wall thickness and reinforcement may need to be increased.
    There are several reliable 'fish safe' pond sealants available on the market.
    You have not mentioned what size (capacity) pond you are planning. The options of a bottom drain and/or skimmer need to be considered.
    Personally, I would use EPDM liner. It will be less expensive in the long term.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Jan 12, 2017 at 7:21 PM
    #14
    Gemma and Mucky_Waters like this.
  15. Loree

    Gordo33

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Messages:
    134
    Location:
    Willow Grove,PA
    Don Perry has built multiple ponds and faux rock using a cement mixture he has modified over the last few years specifically for ponds. Go to you tube and search his name. He has teaching videos showing several pond builds that are his and one for his brother and his cement mixes. . The admixes he uses creates a low porosity and eliminates the concern for leeching . He is located in northern Illinois and created his mixture to withstand the extreme cold. He has replied to emails and has been great sharing his knowledge and experience .
     
    Gordo33, Jan 12, 2017 at 7:33 PM
    #15
    cas likes this.
  16. Loree

    Mucky_Waters

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,723
    Location:
    BC Canada
    I don't know if you noticed that you got to completely different answers about how concrete effects the water. One says it's very acidic, one says it's very alkaline. That is the nature of getting help in forums like this, and that's just the beginning.
    Constructing a concrete pond that won't heave and crack in cold winter conditions can actually be pretty challenging. Meyers is correct that it takes considerable labor and materials. To do it right you'll probably spend more on rebar alone then you would on a liner, never mind all the concrete and sealer. And if it isn't designed quite right and the pond develops a crack after a particularly cold winter, I guarantee you are gona regret not going with the much easier, versatile and forgiving liner route.
    That being said, there are plenty of concrete ponds in existence, especially old ponds, alkalinity leaching is really only a problem in the first month or so until the concrete has had a chance to cure.
    I've built concrete ponds before, and in fact, I work with cement every day, but I firmly believe that liners are the way to go, especially for those with little or no experience. Ask yourself why almost all swimming pools now days are installed in backyards using liners rather than concrete construction? Both require careful planning, but only one is a lot more forgiving of errors.
     
    Mucky_Waters, Jan 12, 2017 at 10:37 PM
    #16
    Gemma, MitchM, CeeJayH and 2 others like this.
  17. Loree

    Loree

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2016
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Newport, Pennsylvania
    Thanks for all your responses! Looks like I have a lot of thinking to do..............
     
    Loree, Jan 13, 2017 at 1:13 PM
    #17
  18. Loree

    Lisak1

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    2,459
    Location:
    Northern IL
    I was going to say what @Mucky_Waters said... but he did it so much better! Good luck on your planning - can't wait to see what you do!
     
    Lisak1, Jan 13, 2017 at 2:57 PM
    #18
    Mucky_Waters likes this.
  19. Loree

    Usman

    Joined:
    May 26, 2014
    Messages:
    310
    I had 2 concrete ponds long time ago when i was teen , one was cracked from roots or got old so i was using other one it had 14 inch thick walls although after several years i could see some cracks still but didnt leak asfar as i know , it dsnt have any effect on fish , u need to treat it for some months with just water and draining it few times then algae coats and makes it better for fishes , you can enjoy it as pool too and can be made very large , we also used it for watering garden and veg as it was raised above . it will be better if you apply a water proofing coat .

    problems u can have are cracks after few years if not built properly as ground sets other challenge is making it look beautiful to merge in your garden , usually concrete ponds dont look natural if you like natural look and it needs to be raised a bit above ground , another disadvantage is you cant change its shape or extend or reduce it , u cant transfer it to new house as liner , hiding the border is difficult and will need to create shelves if you want plants rocks , cost will be double or 3 times more then liner
     
    Usman, Jan 13, 2017 at 4:40 PM
    #19
    peter hillman and Meyer Jordan like this.
  20. Loree

    Lisak1

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    2,459
    Location:
    Northern IL
    All good points @Usman. I think the two that would dissuade me the most are the cracking/heaving issues and the permanence. A liner pond would be easier to expand, easier to repair, easier to move to a new location and yes, easier to remove if you ever needed/wanted to get rid of the pond. Concrete is none of those.

    My mother-in-law had three small "ponds" (really they were fountains with large basins, but she called them her ponds) and insisted on concrete basins. She had them repaired every single year and not a year went by that they didn't leak like a sieve. Winters in the mid-west are just too hard on concrete with the freezing and thawing that we get all season long. She tried every product and method that was recommended to her over the years - nothing lasted more than a few months. We suggested EPDM liners year after year - she deemed them "tacky" and wouldn't consider it. Consequently she had water in her "ponds" for a few weeks and by mid-June she would give up and they would stand empty the rest of the summer. Actually they would hold just enough water to breed mosquitoes, so that was pretty!
     
    Lisak1, Jan 14, 2017 at 2:35 PM
    #20
    1. Advertisements

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. ezclone

    Attaching a EPDM Liner to a concrete wall

    ezclone, May 25, 2009, in forum: Newbies to Garden Ponds
    Replies:
    19
    Views:
    15,162
  2. ZmanArt007

    Concrete and Apoxy or Liner?

    ZmanArt007, Jun 22, 2009, in forum: Garden Pond Talk
    Replies:
    6
    Views:
    1,024
    DoDad
    Jun 24, 2009
  3. zoos47

    Timber screws VS spikes/rebar

    zoos47, Jun 28, 2016, in forum: Pond Construction & Equipment
    Replies:
    4
    Views:
    325
    ChrisP
    Jul 1, 2016
  4. Usman

    Airlift Vs Centrifugal water pumps, energy efficiency?

    Usman, Sep 21, 2016, in forum: Pond Construction & Equipment
    Replies:
    7
    Views:
    333
    sissy
    Sep 22, 2016
  5. Faebinder

    Marigolds vs Marsh Marigold

    Faebinder, Dec 5, 2016, in forum: Aquatic Plants
    Replies:
    9
    Views:
    157
    Faebinder
    Dec 7, 2016
Loading...