Garden Overhaul including Ponds and Streams


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Hi there,

We are total newbies to garden ponds, but now we're having our garden landscaped and as we've always wanted one we're putting some in... Probably two, it has yet to be finalised.

We'd like to put fish in one of the ponds, and I keep tropical fish so I know a bit about filters and cycling, but I have no pond experience.

Part of the garden is also being given over to a garden railway for my brother, so there will be streams as part of the landscaping around that. There will also be bridges and trains and such around the water :)

The idea is to have a waterfall from the right up near the house which will both go straight down 2m and also feed a small stream which will feed a pond (via a series of water falls) which will lead to another stream, which will feed another smaller pond, which will feed another stream and another pond, which will be the splash pool from the first water fall, which will contain a pump to bring it all back up to the top again.

I have had some advice in this thread: https://www.gardenpondforum.com/topic/13171-hello-from-berkshire/

I will be updating this thread as we go, and asking about different types of filter, pump, etc etc :)

I have some pictures of the garden as it is now, stripped out and muddy.

Also, we have a river at the bottom of the garden (past the wall of railway sleepers), it is a summer bourn, which means it is only there in the summer and disappears in October to come back in April.

I look forward to foruming with you :D
 

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addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
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How neat, we have a member here that has a total railroad set up in his back yard. Brain blanking on his name right now. With water ways etc, a real neat set up.

Welcome to our humble group!
 

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David V
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Neat. Good slopes away from house for waterfalls. I build my trains and tracks but you can get ready made track, probably cheaper online than at a store. You don't need to buy a lot of trains to have fun, maybe just a small one. I don't know where berkshire is, maybe NY but up north there's frost heaves and down south you got clay so what most people do is to make the track float on top of a trench filled with crusher fines, also known as quarter minus or slurry and about 12 other names. You get it from a quarry and fill your pickup truck with it. That provides drainage and the stones, which are smaller than 1/4" are jagged and lock together, looking like real ballast (river rock is not good to use). I use battery and remote control and some live steam but most use electricity and that's OK too. Try to keep the track level with a level or length of hose filled with water. Stakes and laser level work too.

You can make trestles easy with wood if you have a table saw to cut them and small brads and airgun or some other means of attaching them. Use Titebond III for stuff that gets wet as it's waterproof.

Like I said, you can have a lot of fun with just a small train and not spending a fortune. Get a flatcar so you can carry diffferent loads in it.

have fun
 

sissy

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yep from my neck of the woods he hails .I see you have a slope to your yard .se 18
 
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Berkshire, England, UK I'm afraid, not America. My brother already has 4 working trains and one which needs repairing. They are "G" scale trains, that's 45mm gauge. That rock sound good, is it like gravel you get for fish tanks sort of size, or bigger than that? I will have a look to see if you can get it anywhere around here, the landscapers might know of somewhere. Here we will get medium rain, occasionally heavy rain, frost and sometimes snow in winter, and hot dry summers. When I say hot, I mean English hot, which is about 30 degrees C max (I think somewhere in the 70s/80sF?) Aaron's trains are electric and will hopefully eventually run on a digital control system. If we win the lottery we might get live steam ;)

Thanks a lot for your help :D
 
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Hello. Um, I'm Weirdness555's brother. I'm the train-mad one in the family. Also, when my sister says "hopefully eventually", she means "Absolutely, certainly". I plan on Massoth digital control from the outset. Also, I actually only have 3 working trains, and 2 that need repairing. Basically, my aim is to include many, many picturesque parts with fantastic photographing opportunities :) W555's got all the details pretty much there. If you want to ask any railway related questions, I'm the Fat Controller (Literally) and the fishy stuff goes to my sister :)
 

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David V
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Hi, My railway is mostly 32mm with some 45mm representing English/US 18"/2' industrial types. I've got lots of friends in England/Scotland who model similarly. Bet they'd be happy to meet you and help you along.

Here's the site I belong to:
http://www.7-8ths.info/
 
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I'm a member of the G-scale group in the UK so that's at least a group I can ask for advice. This is just so I can throw in ideas while my sister does pond stuff :)
 

Mmathis

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This is sounding like it's gonna be a fun build to follow! Can't wait!

I grew up with a model train -- my Dad gave me one on my first Christmas, really! As a little girl, I developed a fear-of-electrical-things* and gave my train away to a cousin :( My Dad was growing a collection when he died about 10 years ago. All of that is up in our attic. No idea what's up there, as far as the sizes, etc., but may have to take a look-see!

[*What is fear-of-electrical-things? As an Air Force Brat, we lived a couple years in France when I was 3-ish. Not understanding the differences in current, I apparently both caused and witnessed several incidents that involved small fires. Geesh, that was when BAMBI came out, and I was traumatized by that movie! Years later I asked my Mom about it (why was I traumatized by BAMBI?) and she told the "electrical" stories.]

Anyway, not to hijack the thread, but I'm still a little cautious about electricity and water, as well. How do weather and exposure effect outdoor model trains? Are there any special precautions you have to take?
 
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That's the thing about G-scale and outdoor model trains. They are designed to run in literally any weather. Go on youtube, there are plenty of videos of g-scale trains (electrical) ploughing (plowing) snow. Also, that's another bonus with digital control, is you don't actually need to have loads of complex wiring. You just have one main trunk cable running under the track and then the track takes electricity off the cable at certain intervals. The digital signals are sent along the cable and the track, so no matter where the train is on the layout, it will do what it's been asked to do :D It's expensive though. The basic starting equipment (Base station, transformer, wireless controller and the receiver) is going to cost £1213 in the UK, which equals about $1937. I've got a budget of maybe £3000, so it should be enough to cover the equipment and maybe 350 metres of track (approximately 1148 feet). I'm hoping that I'll have a main line of about 140 metres per track, so 280 metres total main line track, and another 70 metres for the branch line. This might possibly be increased to roughly 120 metres if space permits it. As you can see, I do have plans for my railway ;) The garden will be in 3 levels, and my parents are allowing me to use the whole of the middle level for my railway ideas. It's about 100 metres from side to side and 3 metres widthways one side, widening up to about 6, then narrowing down to roughly 2, but I plan on using about 60 metres lengthways and leaving the rest of the space for a pond, ramp, chicken run and a railway shed :)
The general idea is to have 2 mainline running tracks in a oval and a branch line running along the edge of the lower level :) I will attach pictures of the garden so my description makes more sense, once I figure out how to do it. :)
 

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Running trains off remote control, battery, live steam and even clockwork is another option and you don't have to clean the rails for power.

Before I changed scales to 7/8" (1:13.7), I ran Lionel type trains outside even in the snow. Here's an MTH train (similar to Lionel) that indoors ran on 3 rails. I gutted all the electronics except for the motor and made my own R/C system for it. In the winter I put a snowplow on it and it plowed snow


So you don't really need G gauge/scale trains. Practically any indoor train can be run outside
 
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I don't particularly want to run clockwork or battery, simply because they need to be recharged/rewound all the time but track power isn't troublesome, and I was going to build some kind of track cleaner so I have a project :) I do want an live-steamer in the future. But it's definitely going to be track power :)
 

JohnHuff

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Wow, wonderful, really looking forward to seeing more of this project.
 
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Hopefully we'll have the gardeners back by next Monday so we can get going on the garden. We're estimating the major landscaping will be done by the end of next week, hopefully :) Hopefully another 4 weeks and the posh work will be done, and I can get around to digging up what the gardener put down :p
 
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Note: the ponds will be dug out by the gardeners before my brother gets to work his magic on the middle level.
 
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Pond digging will be done today. Plan has been refined to one pond plus splash pool. I know the pond needs to be 4' deep minimum, I am 5' tall so it might be worth making it 4.5' max? How long, how wide and what shape? I think I will discuss with my mother (family artist) but if anyone has any do's or don't's please let me know :D
 

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