Help needed, please - raised pond vs preformed liner!


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Hello Everyone

I am disabled [permanently in a wheelchair] and am about to buy a pond. For good reason [I cannot dig the hole, also I want to be able to see the contents as close as possible] I would like a raised pond next to my low wooden deck.

What I would also like is to have various levels within the pond for different plants. I would love a water lily, and am dithering between fish and wildlife - there is a thriving newt pond in a nearby garden, but that is deep water.
I do not want a pump or fountain.

What I have been looking to buy is a raised pond with a preformed liner so that I can position the plants properly. Unfortunately all I can find is a preformed "wildlife eco" pond [too small, too green plastic], raised ponds which are just tanks [with no levels/ or ways for wildlife to escape], and preformed liners [which are intended to be dug into the ground, and are not a match for the dimensions of raised ponds or raised beds]...

If I could find a preformed liner which fitted into a raised pond I would buy that and hope that floating the liner in the water would provide enough support for plants etc.

Does anyone know if that would work and/ or do you have any other ideas?
Many thanks!
 

tbendl

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Hi Bethan, Welcome to the forum. I'm trying to understand what you mean by floating the liner? Do you mean floating one of those preformed smallish ponds inside of a raised pond? I know there are people here who have raised ponds that might be able to give you and idea, I just didn't understand the floating the liner question. And do you have any pictures of the area you want to put the pond? It might help us figure out the best set-up for you.
 
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Hello and welcome. I tried using a preformed liner above ground once.... No good. Since it has odd shapes and shelves, it needs to be fully supported underneath, otherwise the whole thing bends and eventually the bottom buckeled under the weight of the water. How much space do you have? How many gallons are you thinking? What I would suggest is going to www.tractorsupply.com and searching "stock tanks". You will find a nice selection from very small up to about 650 gallons. I would set cinder blocks or milk crates in it to make plant shelves. A water or air pump to circulate the water is a good idea.
 
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Thank you for your swift replies.
I have a triangular wooden deck, facing north-west-ish, which gets the sun in the morning and late afternoon. It is about a foot/ 30cm above the ground. There are no trees close by.
I gather that waterlilies need sufficient sunlight so I was thinking of butting the pond up to the deck on the triangle corner furthest from the house [the long side of the triangle is against the house].
I was thinking of a medium raised pond, about 130-150 gallons, and would prefer it rectangular in shape rather than round or square as the access would be easier for me. [I can get onto the deck in my wheelchair but not onto the ground].
Re the preformed liner ,I was wondering if putting it into the filled raised pond would mean that the water in the pond underneath would support it? I can see that it would need some substantial support.
I will go to tractors supply to look for stock tanks.
Do the milk crates or cinder blocks contain anything which would poison or harm the fish, plants or wildlife?
And would the pump upset the water lilies - as I have been told they do not survive where there is turbulence?
Very many thanks
 

tbendl

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I don't think floating a pond would work. You would get too much gunk buildup underneath it and it wouldn't be stable at all. IMO.
And you can definitely use milk crates and cinder blocks without harm to fish, plants. or wildlife. Some koi keepers don't like the cinder block because it's rough edges can damage their koi but with a small pond you won't be keeping koi anyway.
The pump won't upset the lilies, and if you plan on having fish, you will probably need some type of filtration. A pump is a good idea just to keep the water from stagnating but there are ponders on here with no filtration or pump, but I don't think they have fish. I have a watergarden pond (ie no fish) and still have a pump to keep the water moving and not stagnant. I have lilies and frogs and dragonflies that visit.
Unless you can get someone to come out and build the form that you want and put a liner in, you are probably best off getting a stock tank. Easier to install I would assume since it's one piece. Hopefully someone on here with a stock tank pond can chime in and give you better first hand information.
Good luck!
 

Mmathis

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Hello and welcome!

Is there anyone you know who could do some work for you? Maybe dig & build a partial above-below ground pond and use a rubber liner? It could be framed out and supported for the above-ground part, and made to a height that would let you have access to everything. From what I've heard, pre-forms don't do well as above-ground ponds. A lot of our Boy Scouts do Eagle projects at nursing homes where they build gardens and such that are disability-friendly, so I know there have to be lots of ideas out there about doing the same with a pond.
 
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By the way - this is a picture of 'my' albino squirrel. She is three or 4 years old and had her first kitts this year [two, standard reddish brown, but with long white coat hairs]. We share the deck!

Apparently adult albino squirrels are incredibly rare. I would hate her to fall into the new pond, have no way of getting out, and drown. I will have to build her an escape route!
 
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Hello and welcome!

Is there anyone you know who could do some work for you? Maybe dig & build a partial above-below ground pond and use a rubber liner? It could be framed out and supported for the above-ground part, and made to a height that would let you have access to everything. From what I've heard, pre-forms don't do well as above-ground ponds. A lot of our Boy Scouts do Eagle projects at nursing homes where they build gardens and such that are disability-friendly, so I know there have to be lots of ideas out there about doing the same with a pond.
*******************

I've always been so independent. But you are right, there is probably someone out there willing to help. The magic will be in finding them!

Also, I have very little money, and feel awkward about asking for help when the only recipient will be me [and not a whole nursing home]!
 

tbendl

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The squirrel is beautiful. I have a pretty steep sided pond and lots of squirrels and haven't had to fish one out yet so I wouldn't worry about it, especially if it's a raised type.
You know Bethan, you could start with a water garden in a large pot. Depending on your finances, I have seen some of those that are lovely, albeit smaller and easier to work with.
 
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Maybe I missed it in your post or bio...but where are you located Bethan? Might help in finding some help and also know seasonal changes you will have to deal with...

Cool squirrel photo..thanks for sharing.
 
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I am just south of London, in the UK.

In a pretty sheltered spot, so able to grow tree lilies in pots and even brown turkey figs. Tomatoes, chili plants and strawberries without needing to be under glass. I think the coldest last winter was about 21 F, the warmest this summer was about 90 F [but the back garden, where the pond will be, doesn't get direct sun at midday].

I would like something bigger than a pot, so perhaps a barrel water garden?
I think I would like a goldfish or two... but would they survive the winter in a small container?
 
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Welcome Bethan! When I saw your squirrel, I immediately thought you might live here in the states (reading on I see you very much do not Lol!). There is a town in Illinois, that has white squirrels everywhere! There is something so crazy about driving through a small town and seeing white squirrels running around and running up trees! You said she had babies? They sound soooo cute!!
 

tbendl

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I know @addy1 had a barrel water garden before but I don't have any experience with them. I think provided you have a deep area (3 feet or deeper) the fish will survive the winter but since I don't have fish I can't give you specifics on that.
 

Mmathis

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We have a member here who lives in Plymouth -- he might have a better idea of what is available in the UK as far as products and services. I think he will have a good idea of what you are going through with your disabilities. His name is Dave, so let's just give him a "tag," here and give him a chance to chime into this conversation! @Dave 54

Someone else mentioned a "stock tank," and that does sound like a good idea, but again, would need to see what you have available. They aren't too big, but are big enough to have nice plants and a few fish.

Here are a few pictures I got off the internet....there is a lot of potential in a stock tank pond!
image.jpg


A couple of product examples....

image.jpg


.....possible ways to make it easier to access
image.jpg


And I like this one on the bottom -- they went all the way with it, didn't they :)

image.jpg



Oh, and BTW, when I first saw your avatar picture, I thought it was a ferret.....until I got a closer look at the head -- ears were wrong. So, then I thought it was a big rat. I guess "squirrel" never entered my mind 'cause I've never seen a white one.
 

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