Contemplating building an above ground pond.....


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I have a very large deck in the back of my house and it needs a lot of maintenance (replacing boards, power washing, staining...) so we were discussing taking it down and rebuild it out of composite boards (is that what they're called?)
The cost would be tremendous, we'd have to do it in sections so we are considering many different options and after seeingpics of @Nepen 's above ground pond, we now wonder if it would be better to replace the lower deck with an above ground pond
We don't know anything about building and running an above ground pond, and I'm hoping to learn a lot in this thread so I can decide if it's something I want to do or not

First of all I would like to know if such pond can be build large enough for koi?
I live in zone 6 and some winters it gets really cold here, do I have to make it a couple of feet into the ground, and if so how do I transition from cement blocks to wood?
Do I need special pipes since PVC can (most likely) burst in extreme cold temps?

Any tips and recommendations will be appreciated!
 
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MoonShadows

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I am going to watch this thread closely. We put in a 425 gallon raised pond this past Spring, and already I want to go larger. While we have 15 acres of land, our "backyard" is small and fenced in both above and below ground, so no critters can get in. Besides, the soil is loaded with rocks and a shale shelf...part of it being some of the foundation for this old farmhouse. Bringing in a equipment to dig a larger pond is out of the question. I would love to build a large above ground pond wrapped around a ground level deck below our present deck. I'll be learning from this thread.
 
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I learned my lesson with the pond I have, we enlarged it 3 times, we would've saved a lot of money if we made it this large in the first place!
I said to myself if I ever build another pond, I would go as large as I can afford!
 

MoonShadows

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I had always wanted a larger, natural pond. In fact I have a natural spring that runs in a ravine about 100 yards behind my house. I wanted to dam that up and make a real pond. I had the area surveyed. I had to draw up plans for the County. They approved my dam and the relocation of what they determined was wet lands. The pond was going to be about 120 x 40 with the deepest part about 10 feet. I was already to start construction when I got about 2" of paperwork from the State. They wanted an endangered species study, a property run-off study, another study to make sure I was not flooding any historic buildings...the list was endless. I scrapped the idea once it became apparent just how much it was going to cost to satisfy the State.

My next thought was to dig a pond in the field behind our house, but I could only fill it with a well. That would have bankrupt me pumping all that water up to fill and keep full.

My little 425 gallon was one I found this past winter. After 22 years of wanting a pond, I bought it for our backyard....but, it was just to get my foot in the door with my other half. I have plans...oh, do I have plans!
 
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I would love a raised pond.....I'd have some of it below ground level and some above. I'm in the same zone as you and my pond if 3 1/2 feet....it was supposed to be 4 feet, but the pond builder, ran into some gigantic tree roots.

To get the depth needed for koi, in our zone, I'd suggest doing some below ground and the rest above ground...it also creates a nice ledge to sit on and interact with your koi.

Some of the advantages to this pond design IMO, are it's much easier to net your pond , create a winter cover, is aesthetically pleasing and you have a nice ledge to sit on :)
 
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I would love a raised pond.....I'd have some of it below ground level and some above. I'm in the same zone as you and my pond if 3 1/2 feet....it was supposed to be 4 feet, but the pond builder, ran into some gigantic tree roots.

To get the depth needed for koi, in our zone, I'd suggest doing some below ground and the rest above ground...it also creates a nice ledge to sit on and interact with your koi.

Some of the advantages to this pond design IMO, are it's much easier to net your pond , create a winter cover, is aesthetically pleasing and you have a nice ledge to sit on :)
I'm thinking 3' into the ground and 3' above ground. ..but I'm not sure how to transition from cement blocks to 4x4 pressure treated timber
Also where I live body of water such as pools and ponds, have to be at least 4' high or fenced in! I couldn't fence in my pond that's why it is covered with hard mesh, but I'm not sure it is up to code

You had to mention "multiple ponds" didn't ya?...see what you started? LOL j/k
 
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I had always wanted a larger, natural pond. In fact I have a natural spring that runs in a ravine about 100 yards behind my house. I wanted to dam that up and make a real pond. I had the area surveyed. I had to draw up plans for the County. They approved my dam and the relocation of what they determined was wet lands. The pond was going to be about 120 x 40 with the deepest part about 10 feet. I was already to start construction when I got about 2" of paperwork from the State. They wanted an endangered species study, a property run-off study, another study to make sure I was not flooding any historic buildings...the list was endless. I scrapped the idea once it became apparent just how much it was going to cost to satisfy the State.

My next thought was to dig a pond in the field behind our house, but I could only fill it with a well. That would have bankrupt me pumping all that water up to fill and keep full.

My little 425 gallon was one I found this past winter. After 22 years of wanting a pond, I bought it for our backyard....but, it was just to get my foot in the door with my other half. I have plans...oh, do I have plans!
The funny thing is that my husband was the one trying to convince me to build a pond, and I said "no way" for a long time! Then we moved to this house, with the 2 staircases and an odd area in between I didn't know how to landscape....now that I have a pond, and love my fish, I can't stop!
...so good luck with your "other half", you never know, she might just turn out to like having a pond, more than you do...and then you're in trouble!:ROFLMAO:
 
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I'm thinking 3' into the ground and 3' above ground. ..but I'm not sure how to transition from cement blocks to 4x4 pressure treated timber
Also where I live body of water such as pools and ponds, have to be at least 4' high or fenced in! I couldn't fence in my pond that's why it is covered with hard mesh, but I'm not sure it is up to code

You had to mention "multiple ponds" didn't ya?...see what you started? LOL j/k
Do you have to transition to pressure treated lumber? Why not do the whole thing in blocks?
 
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Do you have to transition to pressure treated lumber? Why not do the whole thing in blocks?
I thought about that but I was afraid the cement would crack in the winter ice cold temps!

Really!! You can veneer the blocks with most anything.
So you agree that I could use just cinder blocks and not fear cracking?
 
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Can a pond built this way be any size or is there a limit? I mean could I have a 3000gl pond built on cinder blocks?
 

Meyer Jordan

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I thought about that but I was afraid the cement would crack in the winter ice cold temps!


So you agree that I could use just cinder blocks and not fear cracking?
Don't know where you are located. Maybe someone with similar climate could shed some light.
 

Meyer Jordan

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Can a pond built this way be any size or is there a limit? I mean could I have a 3000gl pond built on cinder blocks?
You can probably go to a maximum height of 3 feet providing the walls are reinforced. Any higher would likely require at least double wall construction with more extensive reinforcing.
 
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You can probably go to a maximum height of 3 feet providing the walls are reinforced. Any higher would likely require at least double wall construction with more extensive reinforcing.
3' above ground or 3' total?
 
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3' above ground or 3' total?
What about 3 feet down and 2 feet above? This would give you 5 feet of depth, which is plenty for a koi pond and you wouldn't have so many structural concerns about going higher.
 
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What about 3 feet down and 2 feet above? This would give you 5 feet of depth, which is plenty for a koi pond and you wouldn't have so many structural concerns about going higher.
That would work! What's the limit in size, is there a limit?
That is 3 feet above ground. Typically any type of retaining wall structure over 3 feet requires, at minimum, a building permit.
Got it, thank you!
 

mrsclem

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Gemma- I have 2 ponds built partially below and above ground. Both were built with pressure treated lumber. one is 11x15, 2-4' deep, the other 10x10x5. We are in zone 7, never had a problem with freezing more than 10" deep. The 10x10 has 4x4 posts every 2 1/2' set in 3' of concrete and we do have some bowing of walls (6" after 6years). It can be done! I would say go all block. Our ponds are 300' from road access and on a hill so moving materials made wood the easy choice. Go for it!
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Gemma, I don't think there is a limit on size, with a block pond. I'd plan for something manageable for you :)
 
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I built my block above ground pond a couple of years ago. I don't see why you can't excavate and go down as well, providing you but in a good concrete foundation first.

See my showcase for details
 

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