Inherited Pond


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Greetings!
I excavated this pond that was installed by a previous homeowner. They filled it with dirt and a large leafed elephant ear plant. The basin which is about 1 foot deep has a 2" concrete slab at the bottom. A hole was broken out of the slab, perhaps to accommodate the roots of the plant. I'm afraid the water will leak out through that hole. I thought about a liner but it seems like it would be difficult with all the uneven surfaces of the structure. What would be the easiest/cheapest way to seal the hole?

It would be nice to have a few fish that would eat the mosquito larvae. Also I would like to keep the plant at the end of the pond if it will survive in water.

IMG_20210310_093047780.jpg
 
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Jhn

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If it were me I would just get a liner and rent a jackhammer and break out the rest of the concrete and be done with it.
 
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I agree with @Jhn not much there i would try to work with i would demo it all and start fresh. Clean the mortar off the rocks that you have and reuse them. A 2" slab can be broken up pretty easily if you dig under it and then pop it with a sledge hammer. If your digging is easy thats an option if not like jhn said grab a jack hammer and make it all go south. Most tropicals do very well with the roots in most to very moist soild if not in water. so i would say to your plant make a 6" deep area in the pond place that root mass on a bed of peat moss and sand mixed together. You tube has some great videos out there on building ponds here s a link to some crazy pond builds but as they are building just watch the techniques on how they do it and it should help direct you in the right direction . And i second the epdm liner ........
 

Mmathis

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Hello and welcome! Well, I was going to suggest an angle grinder for the sharp spots, but hey, if you can do it, go with the demo as suggested above.

Then, if you can/want to you can go with whatever shape/size that suits you. That looks shallow, so wonder if it was more of a water feature. Depending on where you live, you might want to go a little deeper (either dig down deeper, or raise the edges up). In hot climates, too shallow and the fish will bake. In colder climates, the pond can freeze.

I think you might have to remove the plants for the time being (so they don’t get damaged), but you have the perfect set up for a bog or wetlands filter! That means that the plants can be re-installed as part of the bog — along with lots of other pretty plants!
 
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Hum, I would carefully assess the overall situation. It looks like there was a waterfall to the right. Doubtful they would have gone to such effort for plant roots. I agree with @Mmathis, you first remove the plants and put them in a water filled container and then look to see what you are dealing with. The concrete does not appear to have any rebar so removal will be fairly easy but be sure that is what you want to do. Why not first remove the plants and post a couple of pictures before using 'dynamite' on the thing? :) You mention you want to have a few fish for mosquito control. Gosh, if you live in an area that doesn't get too cold you can do that with gambusia and not worry about the depth. You could simply repair the hole with concrete in that case. For the sake of the fish, coat the concrete with a pond safe, coating.
 

addy1

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Welcome to our forum!

That was my first thought, repair the concrete.
 
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Wow, thanks for all the great feedback. From the comments, it seems that most of you consider the existing basin unworkable. I really don't want to start from scratch. If I have to do that I will just bust it up and get rid of it entirely. If I can repair the hole I will try to salvage it.

By the way, I live in Houston, Texas - Zone 9. It gets very hot in the summer and, with the exception of a recent rare freeze, winters are pretty mild. The soil is mostly clay here. My understanding is that clay is less porous than other kinds of soil. What would happen if I just filled it with water as is? Would it hold water?
 

Jhn

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Trying to repair the hole if it is busted through the concrete bottom as it appears to be will be just as much work as demoing it in my mind. Filling the hole in with concrete then painting it with some type of waterproof paint seems like a pita.

As for if it will hold water or not, as is, it is unlikely. The simplest way to tell is if the dirt you dug out of it wasn’t a complete wet muddy mess and that area wasn’t a swamp even when it was filled in then no it won’t hold water.
 
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Is this going to have fish or is this water decoration in your garden ?
 
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The ground will absorb the water, especially in summer, when you couldn’t keep fish in shallow water that would survive in winter. As for mosquitos, just keeping water moving will prevent them, you want a good flow with a little bit of turbulence. As for fish, keep in mind a few things. Standard form goldfish such as common, comets, shubinkin, get about a foot long, and need roughly 60 gallons each. The fancy types like celestial, bubble eyes, are easy prey for cats, and raccoons. You could expand the pond, go deeper to provide depth for the heat of summer, and shelter from the random winter storms where things freeze longer than a single night. Native minnows are always a good idea. If you want more color, you could go with tropicals, but that will require an indoor tank for cooler weather.
 
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