Finally Getting Around To Pond Building


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Hi all,
I'm back after not being here for a few months. Working and travel had gotten in the way and we had quite a late dumping of snow in NJ. Also my tractor broke and I've been on another forum trying to get it fixed this spring.

Happy to report at least my 10 fish which were overwintering in my garage are still all alive. Now time to dig like mad.

I've decided on the location and dug a template to see how if looks in it's location. Unfortunately my yard under 4 inches is all shale rock. Digging won't be easy so I'm only going down 3 feet then build up another 18" with landscaping rock and cinder blocks. The pond design at the moment will be egg shaped with a water fall feature on the narrower side.

I was planning to have the waterfall side to be narrower and deeper to so the fish can winter there at about 4 feet. The wider sections will graded to about 2 feet. I'm guessing the pond will be about 1000 gallons and roughy 8x5 feet in dimensions. Going with a liner, what size will I need? (Thinking 15'x20' 45 mil EPDM)

Been mostly window shopping in the popular pond liner store online. So my knowledge of other products are limited. Thoughts?
 
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sissy

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Welcome back and if you look at my build you can see my pond is about 2 feet above ground and that is done with concrete block .I did an outside wall also with raining wall block since I did not want to mess with cementing them .15 by 20 should be enough with some extra left just in the digging gets out of hand ,been there done that ;)
 

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Shale! One reason I went with a raised pond. You can't put a shovel in the ground anywhere on my property without hitting it. Keep us posted on your progress.
 

addy1

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Unfortunately my yard under 4 inches is all shale rock. Digging won't be easy
Sounds like our yard! We tried to put in some small trees, took all day with a pick and digging bar. After that honey bought me the tractor. The only reason we have a pond.
 
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got out about 2.5 inches of hero dirt yesterday before my wrists started hurting. Was originally planning to get some day laborers but my other yard projects are on hold till I get my tractor back. Anyway, here's a pic of the snail like progress

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Thanks @Nanner

As I mentioned in the OP, the pond will be egg shaped
I'm planning to terrace the bottom in three depths
half of the pond ( the waterfall side) will be 4 feet deep and the remaining half will split with 3 ft and 2ft
terracing is harder to than the grade, Any advantages to a terrace vs a grade from 2-4 ft?
 
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I was in Asia again a few weeks ago, found a few nice ponds off the beaten path in Shanghai. This was the former residence of a famous poet 300 years ago, what inspiration

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sissy

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and the water is green and the koi are huge in your pics and we want clear unhealthy water to make our fish sick ,Makes you wonder
 
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more digging during my work at home lunch break, about another 3" moved
going to rain tomorrow for about 4 days so want to be about half done by tonight

question: is it better for the sides to be straight down or a in a small incline? A small incline makes the bottom narrower, but seems more natural than a straight well like drop
 

Meyer Jordan

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more digging during my work at home lunch break, about another 3" moved
going to rain tomorrow for about 4 days so want to be about half done by tonight

question: is it better for the sides to be straight down or a in a small incline? A small incline makes the bottom narrower, but seems more natural than a straight well like drop

Vertical walls, to be on the safe side, should be reinforced.
 
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Concrete block (reinforced) or poured concrete.
wow, I hadn't considered that
I was just planning to lay on the liner the ground but was planning to lay down some old blankets to prevent punctures. This will be a relatively small pond, adding blocks to the side will require digging significantly more. Maybe concrete is better idea in my case, should I also be reinforcing the bottom as well?
 
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looked at my layout again and thinking to have it flushed against the deck with the waterfall on one side instead of center like the photos, thoughts?
DSCF0051.jpg


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Meyer Jordan

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wow, I hadn't considered that
I was just planning to lay on the liner the ground but was planning to lay down some old blankets to prevent punctures. This will be a relatively small pond, adding blocks to the side will require digging significantly more. Maybe concrete is better idea in my case, should I also be reinforcing the bottom as well?

Reinforcing is insurance against wall collapse. Not needed for the bottom (floor) of the pond.
 
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Reinforcing is insurance against wall collapse. Not needed for the bottom (floor) of the pond.
this these from home depot should work, only 4" thick compared to the normal 8"
Probably going this route for security, even though my ground is all clay and shale rubble
 

sissy

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not always true my sides are straight down and above ground over 2 feet and blocks are just packed with my clay soil and some rebar and has worked that way for years and even when I had to take the pond apart .Above ground I have an outside row of retaining wall block above ground.So mine has a wall with in a wall .you can see it in the showcase .Been like this since 2006
 

Meyer Jordan

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not always true my sides are straight down and above ground over 2 feet and blocks are just packed with my clay soil and some rebar and has worked that way for years and even when I had to take the pond apart .Above ground I have an outside row of retaining wall block above ground.So mine has a wall with in a wall .you can see it in the showcase .Been like this since 2006

From your comment above, your blocks are reinforced with rebar and packed soil. What are you claiming is not true?
 
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sissy

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I only have rebar in the corners as I was not sure but they are 3 block high with 2 top blocks that were solid concrete and nothing holds them in place and they are each 4 inch's thick by 16 long .I don't even have dirt against them .The block has rock between the retaining wall block and concrete block .I was told it would not hold but it has even when we had the earthquake .My soils was clay but that was all done right after the house was back filled so some of the dirt was back fill dirt .My sides of the pond are straight down and my bridge is even supported and you can walk on it .I got my retaining wall block from lowes the lip on the back is bigger .
 

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