First pond in 11years, and it's a mess. Hello

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Ouida, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. Ouida

    Ouida

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    Hi, first post. I just decided to dig a new pond with the advise of my 13 daughter saying she'd help. Well we dig a hole (9x5, and 24inch deep, with a deep side of 30 inchs), but rain has left it a sloppy mess of louisiana clay that u sink to your knees in. I have done this before, finished a small above ground pond two weeks before hurricane Katrina. It didn't survive, and that was 11 years ago. So I'm looking for advise. First, if I lay the liner now in this sloppy clay, will it sink down uneven? I plan to add pond rocks to the bottom. Any thoughts what I can do, rain just keeps coming.
    Also I have a plastic 55 gallon drum, and with searching this site, think I know how to make a skippy filter. My biggest problem is how to come out the drum to a short (12inch) waterfall. This is south louisiana, so I don't want a pile of rocks 3 ft high. In fact I can't find large rocks. So my thought was to take the pvc out the filter to ground level and attach it to a waterfall box which would need the water to flow up on its own. Will this work? Orginally I was going to cut the drum down and sit it on the liner for the waterfall. But that seems a waste of filter potential. Any advise, I will read everything. I really want my daughter to enjoy doing something outside. Ouida
    20170406_142203.jpg
     
    Ouida, Apr 6, 2017
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  2. Ouida

    sissy sissy

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    welcome and first you would need a liner to hold the water ..The clay may hold water but will always be mucky and muddy looking
     
    sissy, Apr 6, 2017
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  3. Ouida

    Ouida

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    Yes, I do have the firestone 45mm liner. Also I just realize after reading some more on this forum, that we will need to raise the sides slightly above ground, since the water table is so high. Glad I saw that post.
     
    Ouida, Apr 6, 2017
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  4. Ouida

    sissy sissy

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    Any runoff could be a problem also even with raised sides when you get really heavy rains .Is the pond in a flat area with no water running towards it .If you get fish what kind of predator protection will you need .
     
    sissy, Apr 6, 2017
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  5. Ouida

    Ouida

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    It's in a high spot in the yard, but one side is lower by 3inches as the yard then starts to slopes to the house. I plan to build this low side up. Would that be enough, or do all sides need to be built up to create pressure on the liner? It is ground water for sure, we had a major rain event a week ago, before that it was dry all the way.
     
    Ouida, Apr 7, 2017
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  6. Ouida

    sissy sissy

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    as long as the water can go somewhere when it overflows it won't pick dirt from around the pond .Most people do not add in an overflow part .If the pond is full you will need somewhere for the pond over flow to go so it will not pull dirt back into the pond .That low side will be the perfect spot as long as it is not to big .Think of it like a bathtub and that has an overflow diverter so the tub will not overflow it's sides
     
    sissy, Apr 7, 2017
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    Tula

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    If your skippy filter is gravity fed, I don't think it'll flow UP to the waterfall box. Could you have the water drop down from the skippy filter, to the waterfall?
     
    Tula, Apr 7, 2017
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  8. Ouida

    Ouida

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    That was what I wanted to originally. But so far, I can't think of a way to do that. Maybe last a stream, but for now I'm just trying to see how this will work with the water table, and such.
     
    Ouida, Apr 7, 2017
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  9. Ouida

    Waterbug

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    Mud
    Carpeting works pretty well to stabilize. But sink to your knee even with carpeting you can't walk on it. But you can lay the liner. Since you plan to add rocks an uneven bottom shouldn't be an issue. I like to mortar the rocks in place especially when there's a water table issue. Rocks are a bit denser than water so that helps with the water table. The mortar helps spread the weight more evenly, keeps rocks in place. You should be able to walk on the rocks after a day or two.

    Dry out the hole
    Some wood, 2x4s or whatever across the hole and the liner over that. The liner will extend about 2' beyond the hole edge. Must be set so the liner sheds water. Worst case the water collects in the liner and falls into the hole but still you'd be no worse off water wise. Some blocks, bricks, dirt around the liner edge to hopefully keep wind from blowing it. Or just wait out the rain. Generally the hole will have filled back in with dirt, so more digging.

    Water table
    It's not really the pond sides but the water level in the pond that has to be higher than the lowest ground level. The sides can help keep surface water from running into the pond, but grading can too.

    Like I said, the mortar and rocks being more dense than water means water level can be something like 4" or so lower, but I'd call that insurance. The weight, only once the level is above the water table level, will push the liner against the soil with more force than water from the ground can push against the liner. Can't break the laws of physics.

    Overflow
    IMO it is always better for the owner to control what happens to water when a pond overflows than to leave it to nature. In your case, with clay and water table and rain I'd really want an overflow. Just letting it overflow the liner is almost certain for the water to go under the liner. You should be OK but why risk it? Unless you have enough liner and slope for a dry stream bed type deal that you could be certain the water went away from the pond. That's kind of the same issue with the overflow pipe...it has to be able to go some place.

    Not sure why you don't want to try above ground again. Amy place where they can't bury people in the ground is a place where a raise pond should be considered seriously. Solves a lot of problems....but you should always get the pond you want.

    Filter
    Didn't really understand. But basically in and out pipes are run through the barrel with bulkhead fittings. From there the pipe can go anywhere you like pretty much, just not above the barrel top of course.

    I won't recommend cutting the barrel. They need the top rim to hold the barrel together. When cut the can misform and do who knows what.

    Getting a barrel to be a waterfall by cutting doesn't work very well. People used to bolt on lips which also didn't work. Pipe is way better.

    Skippy
    Fun to build. Not a great filter. I seriously doubt you will need a filter. Build for enjoyment only imo.
     
    Waterbug, Apr 7, 2017
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  10. Ouida

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    Hello and welcome from North Louisiana!
     
    Mmathis, Apr 7, 2017
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  11. Ouida

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Hello welcome to our group!

    You said it was dry before all the rain, is the clay muck due to the rain falling and run off? vs the water table raising?
     
    addy1, Apr 7, 2017
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  12. Ouida

    Ouida

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    Thank you for all that info, has me thinking, what have I gotten into. Lol. So it sounds like mixed rocks and mortar and spreading this on the liner? How does it not crack? Sorry, I haven't thought of this before. We were trying to make a natural small pond for frogs and a few goldfish. So we went with in ground as a way for backyard wildlife to find it. Seems I have no choice but to raise the sides a little to create more water above ground level. My thought is a level row of center bricks one inch higher than the high side. And slop the mud against them with the extra liner tucked between. Any idea if this would work? Sadly it will change the way we were going to landscape with some plants against the liner. We have no large rocks, can't find a source. But we were hoping to avoid the necklace look. And why we are trying in ground, above ground always seem more formal to me.
    Do u have an idea for a filter for such a small pond? That may do better. I should add, my husband is not helping. Lol, my last pond brought bad luck afterall. So it's just my 13 year old and me. That does limit some of our ideas. Also in the end, we are just wanting a little pond, I know many on here have beautiful ponds that are beautifully designed. We know ours will not be at this level.
     
    Ouida, Apr 7, 2017
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  13. Ouida

    Ouida

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    Thank you very much.
     
    Ouida, Apr 7, 2017
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  14. Ouida

    Ouida

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    Well I'm guessing water table was low and it was dry, I was teasing my daughter she would strike water anytime, but we got the whole two feet down just find. Then we had flooding rain twice. That was a week ago, and the yard is dry even low spots, but Everytime I pump the water out it refills in an hour or so. That makes me sure it's the water table. And thanks for the welcome. :)
     
    Ouida, Apr 7, 2017
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  15. Ouida

    tbendl T

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    Hello and welcome from South MS. You and your daughter can built it. I built mine all by myself and I love it.
     
    tbendl, Apr 7, 2017
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  16. Ouida

    Ouida

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    Oh thank you so much for the vote of confidence. We sure needed it. South mississippi, should be the same soil? Do you have it in ground or above? I'm now wishing we did above, but I just spent the day raising the side level to the highest point in my yard. Hoping that coupled with a rocky bottom will do the job and keep the liner down. I am worried at some point there won't be enough liner if I keep adding depth.
     
    Ouida, Apr 7, 2017
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  17. Ouida

    tbendl T

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    tbendl, Apr 7, 2017
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  18. Ouida

    Waterbug

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    I put some mortar onto the liner and then push softball to head size river rock into the the mortar until it stops at the liner. After you do an area you can smooth the mortar between the rocks with a sponge, and clean the rocks.

    It totally cracks, but that's OK. On the floor everything is locked in place even with cracks. The liner beneath holds the water. The only purposes the rock has is to provide a look many people prefer to bare liner wrinkles, and to protect the liner from people and animals feet. And when needed, helps hold down the liner.

    Clean off the rocks a bit so the mortar can bond, but not really needed. Pretty much impossible to do wrong.

    Going up the sides is kind of the same. As long as the sides slope out even a little gravity keeps it all together. Actual vertical sides are rare, and in those cases more care is needed.

    How it looks:
    [​IMG]
    And then with water...the texture of rock shows through. Bigger rocks show better.
    [​IMG]
    Any hard rock works. Depends on the look you want and budget, Rocks can be skipped of course and just be mortar or concrete or stucco.

    You can also make rocks. Fun. I normally prefer real, but the smaller the pond the easier I can scale rock by making them myself.

    Not sure I'm following how you might make the sides. Ways are endless so whatever works. Such a minimum height most anything should work. This is how I do sides:
    [​IMG]
    I set a "bond beam block", common at Home Depot, etc.. It helps me get a nice level top. They protect the soft edge from people walking, standing on the edge. The liner can be tucked inside and then covered with soil. That leaves 1-2" of exposed liner. Now plants can be grown really close and will hide the liner, although I always rock over the liner for protection.

    No necklace and plants are cheap and good looking. Even turf can grow over the liner and into the pond where it rots resulting in a very trimmed look without any trimming. I personally still like some rocks though.

    If you rock up and over it's better to leave a little air gap. Not totally needed, just reduces water wicking out of the pond.
    [​IMG]

    If you prefer pond type plants you can make a bed inside the pond which gets you away from the necklace and need for rocks. Lots of ways to build, but here's one. Instead of wood you can use bender board or just form with concrete.
    [​IMG]


    Going up 2-4" will not seemed raised at all. Soil from the dig can be used to raise the surround ground which will keep ground surface water away while not looking like a berm. Only a small area has to be a little low for water to escape. That area can be planted and you won't see the ground at all. Tricks of the eye.

    Wildlife will find its way no matter what. They do this for a living.

    First, a filter isn't needed. But for this type pond I like waterfalls and streams which are "filters" and better than Skippy which is a really old design. If no waterfall or stream then I like a Trickle Tower (TT) which is just a pile of rocks above the water surface and water from pump flows over the rocks. For bio filters these have been tested and proven to be about 10 times better than Skippy...when Skippy is clean...which isn't always the case. The TT almost never needs cleaning.

    A TT is really little more than a kind of waterfall, or vertical stream. Because it is 10x better it can be 10x smaller than a Skippy and in small ponds that's a big deal. One way people have made TT filters for small pond is by filling a strawberry pot with rocks and running pump hose up to the top. The pot can be on the pond edge with liner beneath or set on some blocks inside the pond. It's a great filter, super easy fun build, can be placed anywhere and lots of pot choices.

    Here's some examples...fountain is optional but people seem to like it. You get more sound.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There's also the stack of pot dishes, a bit more work. I don't like the look as much generally, but still nice.
    [​IMG]

    There's the "screw it, I'll make my own darn holes". Not as good as a filter though imo...holes too small. Good for bio, not so good for growing algae.
    [​IMG]

    The industrial look using plastic crates.
    [​IMG]

    Can't leave out the TT of the guy that turned me onto TT way, way back in the day. He did a lot of the early testing back when Skippy was popular and he was crucified in pond forums for years trying to convince people of TT being better than Skippy. His love of the hobby kept him going and slowly the forum "experts" had no choice to convert without of course any apology. Pond forums were a lot of fun back then.
    [​IMG]

    Lot's of options.
     
    Waterbug, Apr 7, 2017
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  19. Ouida

    sissy sissy

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    headstone behind strawberry pot ?
     
    sissy, Apr 7, 2017
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  20. Ouida

    Waterbug

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    Yep. WIlliam someone. Did a Google Image search and another thread here came up. Small world. We love saying the same thing over and over don't we?
     
    Waterbug, Apr 7, 2017
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