I feel like Im going in the wrong direction.....


Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
19
Reaction score
1
Country
United States
So as the title says, I feel like Im going in the wrong direction but I really dont know. As a person completely new to ponds, I planned this pond to be roughly 11'x8' with a max depth of 30'. I was intrigued by those youtube videos by the "ThePondDigger" and really liked his designs with the multiple tiers all while lining the walls with rocks/boulders. As you can see from the picture, I pretty much have the pond dug out with the exception of the very bottom indicated by the 6" mark. As I began to get deeper (roughly 24") it appears that the dirt has turned to sand and is extremely loose. The lowest tier is very brittle and if I stand near the edge of the tier it will likely collapse. The first tier is solid and compact on top but once you get near the very bottom it becomes brittle right before the last tier.

After reading a few posts about lining the walls with rocks vs plain liner walls, I cant decide what I would like to do at this point. Especially since the lower I go the softer the ground is and Im not sure if it can support those large builders at the deepest sections leaning against the walls. My goal is to have a goldfish pond with plants. I already purchased the 15x20 liner, underlayment, skimmer, waterfall, pumps, tubing, filters etc. I have not purchased any rocks at this point and Im not even sure what it would cost for that material.Honestly, I have no idea what rocks cost. If its going to cost more then 500$ to line the entire inside of the pond with rocks then Ill probably pass. I also have to purchase rocks for the waterfall area.

Also, as I stare at the waterfall area I feel overwhelmed in trying to get this right. I think I have decided to have the waterfall just cascade directly into the pond from a height of about 14 inches. I loved the idea of the water trickling down along a few tiers and then falling a few inches into the pond but I dont believe I have the eye to do it correctly. Any tips/advice would really help

So I guess what Im asking are these questions....
1)Will this loose sand at the base of the pond be a problem if I choose to use rocks along the entire interior all the way to the top?
2)If the sand is a problem for rocks and I can not use the rocks, how should I restructure the pond to allow for liner only? Is it best to have the pond drop straight down to the max depth following the first shelf? OR, should I eliminate the lowest shelf, start hacking away at the first shelf to create a bowl type effect around the entire inside so it slopes to the bottom?
3)Do you see any potential problems with anything Im doing in the picture? Im also afraid of having rain runoff from around the waterfall sides. Im trying my best to reshape the area

20190725_145003.jpg
20190727_124605.jpg
20190802_122523.jpg
20190802_121021.jpg
1.jpg
 
Ad

Advertisements

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
35,581
Reaction score
20,319
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
Welcome to our group!

I didn't do rocks in this pond, did have them in a different pond, not totally lined but I did have rocks. This pond no rocks.

If your pond was mine, I would remove the lower shelf. Keep the first shelf. Dig a shallow shelf around the upper edge to put rocks on that will be part in the water part out to hide the liner edge. I would also put some of the excess dirt around the edge of the pond so it is higher than the rest of the land. Therefore no run off into the pond.

I would skip rocks they take up a lot of water room. Over the time the liner looks just fine as algae grows on it.

The water fall area, make sure it is part of the main liner, helps a lot with any potential water fall leaks.

Just my opinions others will have other opinions. lol
 
Joined
May 9, 2017
Messages
39
Reaction score
17
Country
United States
X2 on removing the bottom shelf. And I wouldn't make the top as wide. Don't want to give predators a place to sit and get you're fish. With the liner you have I would go a little deeper but you didn't say your location. At least 36" unless your winters are mild. And speaking for experience the more water the better. The first ponds I built were rock filled and I would never do it again. So hard to keep clean and I was always having problems ( sick fish and algae blooms). Some people like rocks in a pond just not me too much work. I would put them around the top but not in the whole pond. And If you don't use rocks the sandy bottom will be fine.
 
Joined
May 9, 2017
Messages
39
Reaction score
17
Country
United States
Check out the rock around the edge of the pond in this thread. And there is a drawing in it too.
 
Joined
May 5, 2019
Messages
146
Reaction score
148
Location
Kennebunk, ME
Country
United States
I built my pond this summer and went with stones similar to how the Pond Digger does it. I also hummed and hawed over going with or without for a while. Then decided to just do it and am glad I did, hopefully that will be case in a year or so. Stones are expensive unless you can find some being given away which there always seems to be on Craigslist however you need to pick them up and transport, that is the hard job. You could also go with rip-rap that up here in Maine seems to be stone that has been blasted out of ledge but it tends to have sharp corners and a lot of iron in it but must less expensive. I spent the money on nicer stones and yes it was expensive but that was the look I wanted. You can go either way as I have seen pics of those who only have stones at the top of their ponds and they look really nice.
 

j.w

I Love my Goldies
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
26,136
Reaction score
15,735
Location
Arlington, Washington
Hardiness Zone
USDA 8a
Country
United States
No rocks in my pond except around the top and on a small step down from there to hide the liner as in that thread @longhair posted about above. Also check out the drawing too that @addy1 posted in that same thread. I do have a plant shelf down about 18" from the top. My sides down are all pretty straight, just a slight angle. Did have to put a short fence and a wide weave net over my pond to keep heron and raccoons out. Small birds can still fly in for a drink. My pond is about 3&1/2' deep, 15' long and about 8' wide.

IMG_6050.JPG


IMG_6046.JPG
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
19
Reaction score
1
Country
United States
Taking the advice from the everyone's posts I'm going to proceed as follows...

1)goodbye bottom shelf
2) As addy said "Dig a shallow shelf around the upper edge to put rocks on that will be part in the water part out to hide the liner edge. I would also put some of the excess dirt around the edge of the pond so it is higher than the rest of the land. "....I really like that idea.
3)Not going to line the entire interior with rocks but rather just the first shelf like mentioned above

I'm located in Long Island and I have read that 30" for a depth is fine. But Ill likely go down to 36". I definitely want the liner to be completely hidden around the top perimeter and the picture J.W posted is a great example. That little sketch that addy did is actually quite informative and explains what to do as well.

Now, as far as the first shelf is concerned.....I can certainly trim it back to reduce the width. Since that shelf will be used to secure the rocks that protrude into the water line and to hold plants, do I really want excess surface area on that shelf that just sits there? Im guess what Im trying to say is..., does it look funny when looking straight down into the pond and you see almost like a black step with nothing on it dropping right to the bottom?

Ive also been reading a lot about bog filters and Im trying to convince myself to build one in the left corner. I was going to use 2 tetra flat box filters in the bottom of the pond for filtration but the bog seems the way to go. Im sure the flat box filters will do the job but bogs seem extremely popular. With a 11x8x3 foot pond with goldfish, will a 4x3x1 foot bog be adequate? Can someone link me a DIY bog building thread/instructions please?
 

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
35,581
Reaction score
20,319
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
Can someone link me a DIY bog building thread/instructions please?
Here you go.


With a 11x8x3 foot pond with goldfish, will a 4x3x1 foot bog be adequate?
I should work well, my one small pond has a tiny bog that helps, my linked together 6 ponds get well filtered with just my bog running. I have no other filters running.
 

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
35,581
Reaction score
20,319
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
do I really want excess surface area on that shelf that just sits there?
Make the shelf to the size you think you need to hold plants, if it is real wide skinny it down, more water room for your fish.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2009
Messages
781
Reaction score
463
Location
Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania
Hardiness Zone
6a
The shallow shelf for layers of flat rocks is what I have also done. It works great to hide the top part of the liner and create a natural transition from the ground to the water.
If you end up with extra liner, dont cut any off, just fold it under the rocks. You never know, you might need it some day.
When your pond matures, it will accumulate a layer of beneficial algae over most of the liner. You want this algae and it acts as part of the filtration. The point is that your liner won't really be that noticable.
 
Joined
May 9, 2017
Messages
39
Reaction score
17
Country
United States
Taking the advice from the everyone's posts I'm going to proceed as follows...

1)goodbye bottom shelf
2) As addy said "Dig a shallow shelf around the upper edge to put rocks on that will be part in the water part out to hide the liner edge. I would also put some of the excess dirt around the edge of the pond so it is higher than the rest of the land. "....I really like that idea.
3)Not going to line the entire interior with rocks but rather just the first shelf like mentioned above

I'm located in Long Island and I have read that 30" for a depth is fine. But Ill likely go down to 36". I definitely want the liner to be completely hidden around the top perimeter and the picture J.W posted is a great example. That little sketch that addy did is actually quite informative and explains what to do as well.

Now, as far as the first shelf is concerned.....I can certainly trim it back to reduce the width. Since that shelf will be used to secure the rocks that protrude into the water line and to hold plants, do I really want excess surface area on that shelf that just sits there? Im guess what Im trying to say is..., does it look funny when looking straight down into the pond and you see almost like a black step with nothing on it dropping right to the bottom?

Ive also been reading a lot about bog filters and Im trying to convince myself to build one in the left corner. I was going to use 2 tetra flat box filters in the bottom of the pond for filtration but the bog seems the way to go. Im sure the flat box filters will do the job but bogs seem extremely popular. With a 11x8x3 foot pond with goldfish, will a 4x3x1 foot bog be adequate? Can someone link me a DIY bog building thread/instructions please?
Do a bog! I have 50 koi and I am using a bog filter no problems in 3 years! You can check out my new bog build!
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2018
Messages
82
Reaction score
50
Country
United States
Welcome to our group!

I didn't do rocks in this pond, did have them in a different pond, not totally lined but I did have rocks. This pond no rocks.

If your pond was mine, I would remove the lower shelf. Keep the first shelf. Dig a shallow shelf around the upper edge to put rocks on that will be part in the water part out to hide the liner edge. I would also put some of the excess dirt around the edge of the pond so it is higher than the rest of the land. Therefore no run off into the pond.

I would skip rocks they take up a lot of water room. Over the time the liner looks just fine as algae grows on it.

The water fall area, make sure it is part of the main liner, helps a lot with any potential water fall leaks.

Just my opinions others will have other opinions. lol
I AGREE with addy that liner in time will be hard to tell that you are looking at the liner. But for me the look of rock Boulders down to gravel and looking natural just cant be beat .
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="
" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2018
Messages
82
Reaction score
50
Country
United States
I built my pond this summer and went with stones similar to how the Pond Digger does it. I also hummed and hawed over going with or without for a while. Then decided to just do it and am glad I did, hopefully that will be case in a year or so. Stones are expensive unless you can find some being given away which there always seems to be on Craigslist however you need to pick them up and transport, that is the hard job. You could also go with rip-rap that up here in Maine seems to be stone that has been blasted out of ledge but it tends to have sharp corners and a lot of iron in it but must less expensive. I spent the money on nicer stones and yes it was expensive but that was the look I wanted. You can go either way as I have seen pics of those who only have stones at the top of their ponds and they look really nice.
hows the pond looking kd you were close to adding water the last i saw
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2018
Messages
82
Reaction score
50
Country
United States
View attachment 123482View attachment 123483
[/QUOTE]
Anthony don't let that little bit of sand scare you . use it to your advantage and not a minus. You have the soils i could have only dreamed of having. If you are planning on no rock i would knock down the edges of your drops and make them slopes not straight drops. and in doing so i would dig out a good pile of your sand and then knock down the sides and compact the soils and then cover with the sand. sand is IDEAL to have as a base before placing underlayment and liner. But it must be compacted i simple home depot 12x12 plate and a wood handle is all you need they sell them. Now as addy said if you plan on rocking the pond i would change up some of your lines make some jogs inward to break up the perfect oval because once you start rocking it will look like a string of pearls. but if you do if you can get rocks that are 2 to 6" taller then your shelves this can hold back your base rock 3/4 " but in doing so once you place a boulder the best is to lift the liner and back fill with SAND pushing the liner up tight to the rock. this will remove cavities leaves to gather etc but also places to get a foot stuck. i opted not to as my boulders are quite large and i wanted the cavities for the fish to swim in and out off. " careful what you wish for a can't catch my fish to save my life as mentioned above plus two big fish caves and threes little chance" With the size of your pond id lean toward stone at the surface and maybe a couple choice boulders to make it look realistic Placed here and there and I would also cut into a shelf and make your fish cave. A must for the safety of the fish and also a place to get out of the sun.
 
Joined
May 5, 2019
Messages
146
Reaction score
148
Location
Kennebunk, ME
Country
United States
Something I forgot to add in my response is I have sand for soil mostly and I packed it down hard. This way there will be no movement underneath the liner.

Yes to a bog! I put one in and it is excellent, best decision so far.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
19
Reaction score
1
Country
United States
maybe Im heading in the right direction now....

1)added a 2-3" lip around the top perimeter to prevent run off
2)notched out a mini shelf on the top perimeter for rock placement
3)trimmed the first shelf back several inches and attempted to slope it
4)depth is appx 38"

Am I on the right track now?

I think I was able to get the waterfall in the correct position to allow it to trickle down some rocks then drop into the pond. With the all adjustments I made, the pond dimensions are 12'x9'x38". Pond calculators are telling me that my 15x20' liner is fine and will still provide roughly 6" of overlap.

New questions....
1)Is the liner supposed to go all the way to the base of the waterfall? If so, should I buy another small liner to cover the waterfall area?
2)Its normal to bury the hose connections heading to the waterfall right? In one area I have maybe 12" of soil over the hose. The hose is the reinforced kink free hose from webbs. It shouldn't collapse right? Ill try to avoid placing boulders over the line
3)I picked as many rocks as I could from the base and I will be using underlayment. But not matter how much I pick, new rocks area. Should I purchase some bags of sand to provide a smooth base?


I was able to find someone local who dismantled a pond and picked up all these rocks fro 60$. Great price compared to the local nursery
 

Attachments

Joined
Jul 12, 2009
Messages
781
Reaction score
463
Location
Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania
Hardiness Zone
6a
Yes, you need liner under your waterfall. Try to form the soil under it as to guide the water so it can only flow toward the pond. Slope it and form a concave shape. This way if any water gets between or behind the stones, it can only return to the pond. Create some shelves to support your waterfall stones to sit on. Then place your liner over it. Tilt those stones slightly toward the pond. Stack the stones like a brick wall to lock them in. Use smooth flat stones. It's better if your pond and falls liner is one piece, but many have used two. Just make sure you get good overlap. Some have used roofing cement to stick them together. I think it's called PL roofing cement.
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2018
Messages
82
Reaction score
50
Country
United States
Be careful with some of those new stones i can see some sharp edges it doesn't take much to cut rubber.

The pl adhesive your looking for i believe is the PL S30 roofing & flashing. Roofing cement often times relates to a asphalt based tar DO NOT USE THAT. The s30 is a polyurethane base sealant very strong. i just tried the gorilla equivalent we will see how it does.

Very rarely have i seen anyone say i got my rocks / boulders and then cut my shelves to fit the rocks. That's the way i did my pond it was just a big erector set.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2009
Messages
781
Reaction score
463
Location
Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania
Hardiness Zone
6a
The pl adhesive your looking for i believe is the PL S30 roofing & flashing. Roofing cement often times relates to a asphalt based tar DO NOT USE THAT. The s30 is a polyurethane base sealant very strong. i just tried the gorilla equivalent we will see how it does.
Good info! I'll have to remember that one. PL-S30, Asphalt= no, polyurethane = yes
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
19
Reaction score
1
Country
United States
Yes, you need liner under your waterfall. Try to form the soil under it as to guide the water so it can only flow toward the pond. Slope it and form a concave shape. This way if any water gets between or behind the stones, it can only return to the pond. Create some shelves to support your waterfall stones to sit on. Then place your liner over it. Tilt those stones slightly toward the pond. Stack the stones like a brick wall to lock them in. Use smooth flat stones. It's better if your pond and falls liner is one piece, but many have used two. Just make sure you get good overlap. Some have used roofing cement to stick them together. I think it's called PL roofing cement.
It looks like I only need another 5 feet of liner to cover the waterfall area. I wish I would of known and I could have bought the 20x20 instead of 15x20. Returning a 100lb liner isn't practical so Ill have to glue another liner to what I have.

Good tips on the rock layout for the waterfall

Be careful with some of those new stones i can see some sharp edges it doesn't take much to cut rubber.

The pl adhesive your looking for i believe is the PL S30 roofing & flashing. Roofing cement often times relates to a asphalt based tar DO NOT USE THAT. The s30 is a polyurethane base sealant very strong. i just tried the gorilla equivalent we will see how it does.

Very rarely have i seen anyone say i got my rocks / boulders and then cut my shelves to fit the rocks. That's the way i did my pond it was just a big erector set.
I was picturing in my head to use the stones I purchased for the top/outermost perimeter. They wont be hanging over the pond so Im not worried about them making contact with the liner. A local nursery wants 185$ for a ton of boulders. These things weigh 60-100 pounds which will probably give me 25 boulders. Since I decided not to line the entire pond with rocks, Im not sure if I should use these boulders for the first shelf followed by smaller rocks on top and placed on that mini shelf to hide the liner.
 

Attachments


Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top