It has begun


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All the above.. I know your not asking me but every rock every location is different. What works in one spot for the thumb is dangerous for another. AND DONT WORRY TOO MUCH ABOUT SCRATCHES UN K ESS THEY ARE DEEP. in time these go away. One word of advise I will give you is to place large boulders on smaller ones so you can get the straps out. In my opinion ALWAYS have fabric often lots of it under and up the back of the rock to keep the liner safe from the rock as well as pulling the straps out the bigger the boulder the more crucial this is. The other tip I can give is if you don't have a Boulder tall enough for what you want make a stand with other boulders Below the big rocks the fish love these as they make hiding places. And primarily from my build anyways it looks like a shadow line as you can't see the build up.
 
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@combatwombat - hijack away! I can learn something without navigating elsewhere.

@GBBUDD - I also had a bit of wall collapse over the winter, but it was an easy fix. I borrowed my wife’s boss’s dump trailer to pick up bulk rock and of course, it had a flat tire when I picked it up. I bought him a new one as a rental fee. As to current pond construction, I’m doing everything by hand. So I have to man handle every stone. I should be fine. Weak mind, strong back....

Weather held off long enough to start digging out the rocks from the pump vault/water storage area. I got an hour and a half of digging done before the rain started. That was about enough of that!

I decided to make lemons out of lemonade and spread the rock on a tarp to let the rain rinse it a bit. I also channeled my gutter to the pond area to test the liner and rinse it off. Maybe I’ll assemble the manifold today if I’m bored. If I do a little everyday...
 

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@MTguy: Sorry to hijack your thread for a moment...

@Jhn: Did you set the boulders with an excavator by yourself? If so, what's your process like for that? Do you strap them or just pinch them with a thumb?
As @GBBUDD said yes to all of that, set a lot by myself and some with help. I used two endless straps (can hook and unhook them quickly) so I could use them as big loops or run them through themselves so they would pull tight on the rock. Another trick when setting rock with straps by yourself....tie a rope to use as a a tag line to one of the straps so you can sit 8n the excavator and turn the rocks the direction you want them. Last thing I will add don’t reach way out to set any large rocks with the excavator turned cross ways to its tracks, unless you are experienced running one as the machine can and will tip. There are tricks to do it with out the machine tipping over, but it takes a certain comfort level and experience knowing your equipments limitation. Ideally, the excavator has a blade on it that you can keep in front of you and use as a stabilizer when reaching way out over it to set large boulders. I had to sit side ways to the pond occasionally(space constraints), and had to use a couple tricks I know to set it out the machines reach limit.

You can do as Gbbudd said and set the big rocks on Little Rock’s to get the straps out or have a 3rd strap and you can hook it up to an edge to lift the rock slightly then pull the other straps out. Also agree with him in use non woven fabric even double or triple it up under the big rocks. Where my leak was I just put one layer of the 8oz fabric over the liner and even a little Rock (150lb)cut through it, which I didn’t think would happen.

I set all the huge boulders with straps and set the smaller ones (but bigger than I can lift or man handle) with the thumb, depending on where I wantEd it to go. Just make sure to take your time to get a good grip on the rock as they will squirt out of thumb Occasionally. It didn’t happen to me while building the pond, but it happens sometimes while I am at work ( I build stone revetments and living shorelines on the waterfront as part of my business).
 
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@Jhn: Thank you, sir (and @GBBUDD, too).

tie a rope to use as a a tag line to one of the straps so you can sit 8n the excavator and turn the rocks the direction you want them
That's brilliant. Would not have thought of that on my own. Luckily, I'll probably have my dad to help most of the time, and he has run an excavator many times.

Last thing I will add don’t reach way out to set any large rocks with the excavator turned cross ways to its tracks, unless you are experienced running one as the machine can and will tip.
I've actually seen this (almost) happen. The guy I hired to dig the main pond for me was trying to take a big scoop of dirt with a 36" bucket fully extended. Almost dumped his excavator in the hole, but was able to set the bucket down and catch himself in time. Scared the crap out of everyone there.
 
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The one thing I wish I had done completely was to install non woven completely over the liner I did a full coat under the liner b I t I wish I had done a complete coverage ontop as well then just double up or triple like jhn said under the big or ones that have some edges.
 
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After last summer I am NOT wishing away the cool temps summer will get here.
 
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As @GBBUDD said yes to all of that, set a lot by myself and some with help. I used two endless straps (can hook and unhook them quickly) so I could use them as big loops or run them through themselves so they would pull tight on the rock. Another trick when setting rock with straps by yourself....tie a rope to use as a a tag line to one of the straps so you can sit 8n the excavator and turn the rocks the direction you want them. Last thing I will add don’t reach way out to set any large rocks with the excavator turned cross ways to its tracks, unless you are experienced running one as the machine can and will tip. There are tricks to do it with out the machine tipping over, but it takes a certain comfort level and experience knowing your equipments limitation. Ideally, the excavator has a blade on it that you can keep in front of you and use as a stabilizer when reaching way out over it to set large boulders. I had to sit side ways to the pond occasionally(space constraints), and had to use a couple tricks I know to set it out the machines reach limit.

You can do as Gbbudd said and set the big rocks on Little Rock’s to get the straps out or have a 3rd strap and you can hook it up to an edge to lift the rock slightly then pull the other straps out. Also agree with him in use non woven fabric even double or triple it up under the big rocks. Where my leak was I just put one layer of the 8oz fabric over the liner and even a little Rock (150lb)cut through it, which I didn’t think would happen.

I set all the huge boulders with straps and set the smaller ones (but bigger than I can lift or man handle) with the thumb, depending on where I wantEd it to go. Just make sure to take your time to get a good grip on the rock as they will squirt out of thumb Occasionally. It didn’t happen to me while building the pond, but it happens sometimes while I am at work ( I build stone revetments and living shorelines on the waterfront as part of my business).
I'm living vicariously through both you and GB! No rocks larger than one man can handle in my pond, but then, I didn't rock the pond nor have room for such landscape pieces.
 
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I'm living vicariously through both you and GB! No rocks larger than one man can handle in my pond, but then, I didn't rock the pond nor have room for such landscape pieces.
Mine is not covered I pay a price if I want to sit out at night. There's trade offs all around . But I do love my rocks
In the original part of the pond there's hardly 1 boulder I could man handle. Only the cave ceiling rocks are managable
 
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I’m doing everything by hand. No excavator for me! That should help with the scale. I live on the prairie so large rocks are out of place here. If the Egyptians can build the pyramids, I can build a pond.
 
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As you have already found out make sure you leave slack anywhere things may settle or shift. That way it won't stretch the liner and create a tear
 
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Just checking in... on myself? I've worked on the pond the last two weekends. The bog is 90% done, just needs a bit more rock work around the edges. The upper waterfall is built, but not foamed yet. I've expanded the main pond area because I had enough liner, so why wouldn't I? The overflow area is rebuilt after fixing the leak. I've got my distribution manifold built and if I really wanted I could hook up the upper bio filter/falls and the bog; but the stream isn't done yet so I would lose all the water.

A couple of questions for the hive mind.
1) Is lava rock sufficient for my bio-filter/waterfalls or do I need to spring for plastic bio-balls? I have two of the Aquascape waterfall filters (the cheap ones... if I was rich enough to afford the nice ones I wouldn't be digging a pond with a shovel).
2) I'm a little worried I won't have enough water flow in my waterfall to make it look "right." Has anyone added a hidden pvc pipe mid-waterfall to plus up the waterflow when you want the extra oomph? I'm looking for a picture for inspiration. I'll try to get some pictures up soon.
 
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Pics or it didn't happen!

Is lava rock sufficient for my bio-filter/waterfalls or do I need to spring for plastic bio-balls?
It's worked for many ponders for many decades. Maybe more like millennia. I think the bio balls will give you a lot more surface area in the same volume of space and be easier to remove if ever necessary.

Has anyone added a hidden pvc pipe mid-waterfall to plus up the waterflow when you want the extra oomph?
Not sure I follow. The look of the stream/waterfall will be determined by the flow rate of your pump at the head pressure you're working with and the width of the spillways you have built into the falls.

If you're talking about sticking a pvc pipe higher up in your stream to funnel water off to somewhere lower, I think you would only do that if you were trying to get another falls some place where the natural fall of the waterfall would not bring the water to. Taking water from higher up the falls and inserting it somewhere below—where it would naturally end up anyway—wouldn't do much.

If you're talking about running a separate pump that outputs halfway up the falls just to get a better visual appearance from more flow, then yeah, that would totally work.
 

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Will just add, personally, with a properly sized and constructed bog I wouldn’t bother putting any bio media in the waterfall box/filter, they end up just catching crap and clogging up ime. Besides between the bog an pond itself there should be plenty of ssa for the bacteria to colonize.
 
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Will just add, personally, with a properly sized and constructed bog I wouldn’t bother putting any bio media in the waterfall box/filter, they end up just catching crap and clogging up ime. Besides between the bog an pond itself there should be plenty of ssa for the bacteria to colonize.
Thanks for this. I was kind of thinking along these lines too, but it seemed like a waste to not use the space provided. I’m already pushing water through it, have the media bag, etc.
 
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If you're talking about running a separate pump that outputs halfway up the falls just to get a better visual appearance from more flow, then yeah, that would totally work.
This is what I was thinking, but can’t picture how I’ll hide the pipe without “breaking the seal” of the waterfall. I could probably push more water to this falls and reduce to my other one too, but the idea of a party pump setup piqued my interest.
 

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Thanks for this. I was kind of thinking along these lines too, but it seemed like a waste to not use the space provided. I’m already pushing water through it, have the media bag, etc.
I took mine out and threw it away, currently my water fall filter is overflowing with forget me nots, cant even see it. So my suggestion is use it as another place to put plants.

56F3D68A-42F1-404B-882D-401DBC4099FD.jpeg
 
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This is what I was thinking, but can’t picture how I’ll hide the pipe without “breaking the seal” of the waterfall. I could probably push more water to this falls and reduce to my other one too, but the idea of a party pump setup piqued my interest.
Got it. Plants would probably work best. Squeeze the pipe between two boulders and then plant some sort of spreading, ground cover plant next to it.

Another option is to go through the liner with a bulkhead so the pipe stays below grade the whole time.
 
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I took mine out and threw it away, currently my water fall filter is overflowing with forget me nots, cant even see it. So my suggestion is use it as another place to put plants.

View attachment 139038
My waterfall filter starts underneath my covered deck, so it’s really shaded and there isn’t much vertical room for plants. Still good to know that I don’t “need” it most likely.
 
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Well, you sure have a good sense of humor and a good outlook. Looking forward to following along !
 
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68CBFE7C-54E0-4D94-8E24-BFC2B3960C20.jpeg
From the upper deck looking down. Waterfall from under foot, bubbling rock across the way. The bog filter is underneath, it has a septic chamber for settling, about 11” of 3/8 pea gravel and another inch of river rock on top. It should have about 2” of water on top, then exit over a negative edge to a stream. Obviously it still needs edging treatment and finishing touches.
 
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