CW's Back Yard Water Garden Begins!


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cas

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The pond is looking really good. And so great that the rocks are holding for all the swimming that is going on. I love it that your daughter is enjoying the pond so much. I wonder what will happen when you add fish.
 

Jhn

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They really put my rock work and other construction details to the test, including an unsanctioned cannon ball from the older kid.
That is the beauty of using large rocks, if done correctly, is they don’t shift and are great to walk across or access points in and out of the pond.
 
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API testing kit showed up today and took first tests carefully following all directions. PH is 8.2 and ammonia/nitrite/nitrate all reading 0. Will test tap water soon to see what’s in it.

Will continue to test weekly until I don’t care anymore.

Thinking I’ll try to find a way to test for human pathogens occasionally since there’s no chlorine and the family has been taking a lot of dips.

Pond has been running over a month now. Still no fish but assume the cycle is complete? Frogs seem to have moved on (or at least gone quiet) but their offspring are alive and well. Tons of water bugs, too.

Water has a green tint to it. Assume that’s algae consuming the nitrates and will continue either until fall or until I get a lot of plants established.

The irises have looked better. Not sure if the algae is eating all their food or if they just need more time to establish. They’re still in pots. I should probably find them a permanent home.

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I can’t keep V (daughter) out of the pond. She listens and behaves safely but wants to “swim” (in her life jacket) constantly. Up until a few weeks ago that meant Mom/Dad going in with her because she was too afraid to go by herself.

Last weekend, a 6-year-old came and hopped in with V. Suddenly, V couldn’t care less about mom and dad. She’s 100% comfortable in the water by herself now now. And starting swim lessons next week. Just needed an older kid to help her gain some confidence.

They really put my rock work and other construction details to the test, including an unsanctioned cannon ball from the older kid.

So far, all tests passed with flying colors. Was initially worried about waves from swimming going over the liner, but the way I’ve constructed my edging allows the large rocks to break the waves before getting to liner’s edge. Works great.

Otherwise, life has been a little hectic lately and progress has been slow, but having the pond functional has been great stress relief for all of us.

Property still looks like a bomb went off and I feel a lot of pressure to get everything finished, but at least I can relax to the sound of the flowing water as I work.

Really looking forward to getting the hot tub out of my way so I can finish the patio edge and, thus, finish the near side pond edge. That’s held up right now by work on electrical, which is getting closer to finished. A lot of complex code to follow when you’re installing 100 amps, a pond, a hot tub, and an outdoor shower all in close proximity. Going slowly and making sure I get it right so nothing has to be redone.

Thanks to everyone for following along and offering help. Lots more still to come.

Oh, and finally got some “floating shade” on the water.

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It's looking really good cw...I would caution my children swimming in it once you start to add fish and plants though...The bolstered heat index has brought many new surprises to our ponds and lakes..A pathogen test kit (if you can find one) would give you that extra confidence:)
 
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Just run a cheap fecal pathogen test CW. Then, if it’s positive, you can have your health dpt do a culture. Check out the WaterSafe kits. I used them for years to check my well water.

Thanks. Will look into that. Part of the problem has been figuring out what really matters to test for since there are so many possibilities.
 
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It's looking great! It's going to be fun watching how the pond changes as the landscaping matures around it. I can't help with advise on test kits, but I'm pretty sure your family is going to find it hard to stay out of the water!

I'm with you on the clean-up though. I'm at that stage as well. Pond is mostly finished, other than the near edge and the stream, but the rest of the garden looks like a war zone (well, technically, we are in a war zone, but still...). And the front yard is even worse; every available space is filled with solar panels and scaffolding, which was supposed to be delivered directly to the roof, only the roofer wasn't finished roofing when the delivery showed up. Sunday morning (tomorrow!) the solar team is due to arrive bright and early and start the installation. Going to be a busy start to the week!

Meanwhile, @bagsmom, how about some pics of the progress out your way?!
 
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And the front yard is even worse; every available space is filled with solar panels and scaffolding, which was supposed to be delivered directly to the roof, only the roofer wasn't finished roofing when the delivery showed up. Sunday morning (tomorrow!) the solar team is due to arrive bright and early and start the installation.

I lugged 37 solar panels up onto my roof with a rope and a ladder a few years ago. Seemed hard back then, but I hadn't moved 30+ tons of boulders yet, either. Would make that trade any day!
 
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I lugged 37 solar panels up onto my roof with a rope and a ladder a few years ago. Seemed hard back then, but I hadn't moved 30+ tons of boulders yet, either. Would make that trade any day!
Whoa! And no Barney to help out, either!

Fortunately, our solar project is mostly someone else's problem. The solar company oversees the project from start to finish, including helping us deal with bureaucracy, the electric company, electrical infrastructure, and potential alien invasion. Kind of scary though...it's the biggest home improvement project we've ever taken on, and has added a hefty sum to our bank depts. But it should provide us with decent passive income in the coming years, as the electric company has already contracted to buy as much electricity as we can produce.

So hopefully there won't be any problems other than keeping the solar guys from trampling what's left of the front garden. His Honor the Chef is going to make some sort of culinary treats for the solar crew and I'll be keeping the coffee flowing.
 
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Want to finish the edge of the pond. Can’t do that until I finish the edge of the patio. Can’t do that until I move the hot tub out of the way. Can’t do that until build the hot tub pad. Can’t do that until I install new electrical and move old electrical. Can’t do that until I dig some trenches.

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Having to be strategic in the "order of operations" has been an interesting (and frustrating) part of my pond build, too! Surely it must be good mental exercise, right? :p
 
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Want to finish the edge of the pond. Can’t do that until I finish the edge of the patio. Can’t do that until I move the hot tub out of the way. Can’t do that until build the hot tub pad. Can’t do that until I install new electrical and move old electrical. Can’t do that until I dig some trenches.

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The man likes to plan . But you'll be dead before you get to sit back and enjoy . Hell with the hot tub throw some gravel down and enjoy tinkering with decorating the pond for the rest of the year. You worked hard at building the pond enjoy it
 
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The man likes to plan . But you'll be dead before you get to sit back and enjoy . Hell with the hot tub throw some gravel down and enjoy tinkering with decorating the pond for the rest of the year. You worked hard at building the pond enjoy it

Exactly what I'm about to do. Electrical is almost done. Digging against the foundation was a cinch due to the sandy backfill used when the basement was dug. Of course, that's where every trade threw their trash. Found a lot of drywall scraps, nails, wires, and a few bottles of Seagrams. Pretty sure those belonged to whatever klutz built our chimney.
 
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I came up with a clever way to get a pull string into conduit so that I can pull conductors.

At first, I was adding the string as I installed the conduit, but that was a pain in the butt, constantly going from one end to the other and it would get in the way as I was trying to glue the joints. So I abandoned that plan and just installed my conduit runs without the string.

Then I took a length of string off the spool and tied a little wad of plastic from a plastic bag to one end. Then I stuck the wad in one end of the conduit and put my shop vac on the other end. 2 seconds later, I had a pull string installed!

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Also, I’m really enjoying working with pvc conduit. It’s so easy to bend and shape with a heat gun. No need for expensive fittings or precise bend measurements.

When I installed our solar panels, that required metal conduit. Measuring and making compound bends with EMT in the attic and between boxes was SUCH a pain.

If you ever want to install electrical by your pond, I definitely recommend rigid pvc conduit and a heat gun.
 
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