Making a pond smaller


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Hey guys, this is my first post. I came here looking for some info on how hard it would be to change the brand new pond we just had completed. From the beginning I wanted a small pond with a little waterfall but what I got is twice the size. I paid a lot for this pond and I'm upset that it isn't what I wanted. If I was willing to spend the money to do so, how big of a project would it be to have it reduced in size? I'd like the waterfall shrunk way down - at least by half- and the noise reduced significantly, and I'd like the pond itself to have more shape as well as be smaller. This is what I have now:
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I'd like something closer to this size, maybe not quite as small but definitely as low:
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How out of luck am I? It's very upsetting to realize that not only did you not get what you wanted, but you actually paid MORE for it than if you'd gotten what you asked for, due to how much bigger it is.
 
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First off, what size is it in gallons? Did you want fish or just water and maybe plants? If you want koi, you need at least 1000 gallons per fish. Goldfish require 60ish gallons each. That’s a rough rule of thumb for those fish. If no fish, it looks like that is a liner made pond. Try talking to the contractor, explaining your displeasure. The repair would mean draining it, lifting the liner and pre liner, back filling the edges with dirt to make the shape/ size you want, packing said dirt, and placing liner back. As for the water fall, that may be tricky. It’d mean removing all the rocks, dirt, then digging the hole deeper, packing the dirt, then putting the dirt and rocks back. It would be easier on you to make the contractor fix it, but if you end up doing it, try watching lots of YouTube on building ponds. The Pond Digger on there is very knowledgeable. If this is your first pond, and you might maybe want fish sometime, I’d say leave the pond size as it is. You can add rock and change the angle on the water fall to reduce noise, but if you wanted a smaller water fall, you’d have to dig it out, which would mean messing with the liner.... a big headache, especially if you’re new to ponds.
 

addy1

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Welcome to our group!

The pond looks great, but if you want smaller it will be some work to do it. If you want to have fish leave it the size it is.
 
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I'm so sorry you paid big bucks for something you didn't want! That is frustrating!!!! On the plus side, it is a lovely water feature. As others have said, if you want to have fish, don't make it smaller. Fish really do need room. I think 85% of us on here wish we had made our ponds bigger, not smaller. As far as water chemistry goes, a larger pond is MUCH easier to keep in balance than a smaller one. My suggestion would be to make your concerns known to the contractor -- but consider living with the pond for a while and see if you can enjoy this larger version of what you wanted. Give it a chance. You might be surprised to find you actually like it! I hope that in a week or so, you decide you are happy with it after all. It really is very pretty! Good luck!
 
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Welcome to the GPF! Sorry that you found us out of unhappiness... stick around and we'll help you love your pond!

It's too bad you didn't get what you were hoping for when you paid good money for the pond of your dreams. HOWEVER the fix may not be as hard as you think.

My suggestions:
1. Landscaping - get some plants around that pond and you'll be AMAZED how much better it will look. You have so much space to grow things in your design, so that's a plus! And getting it planted will help reduce the sound a bit too. Right now it's like noise in an empty room - once you get furniture in a room the sound is absorbed and not as echo-y. Same with your pond. Some bushes, some plants, etc will help soften the look and the sound.

2. If the waterfall sound bothers you that much, ask your contractor (or another plumber that you trust, as it's really just a plumbing change) if you can put a ball valve on the line that feeds the waterfall so you can play around with the flow a bit. Or maybe ask your contractor to come and work on the waterfall - a few well placed rocks can break up that flow a bit so it's not as crashing. You've got some nice rock work there - a bit of tweaking may help tone things down. A true professional will want you to be happy so you will tell all your friends how great they were to work with!

Side note - we had an issue with a big, well established landscape firm last summer - they would never return our calls which was frustrating. So I did what I normally would not do - I left them an honest but negative Yelp review. Two days later they called me - they sleuthed out who I was because my user name was not obvious - and they are coming back to fix the issue. The power of social media is great. If this is a big firm and they hope to continue in this line of work, they will not want to see negativity online.
 
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Thank you everyone for your input and encouragement. I really appreciate it. I think I will try and see if there's a way to adjust the waterfall to quiet it more, maybe adding a few rocks or something. We did have them put in a ball valve but even turned down the sound isn't very tranquil and sounds to me like a bathtub. I'm not sure the gallons but it is 3 feet deep and about 8 by 10 feet in size. We do consider getting koi but I think they'd be okay with something smaller. But for now that is a moot point. I'll try to give it some time to get used to it not being what I had in mind. Aside from the size, the biggest thing for me is the sound. So I'll try to find a way to improve that. Thanks again for welcoming me here and giving your feedback!
 
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j.w

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@mochashello That is such a pretty pond. I think w/some added plants around the edges and some even crawling into the side of the water you will be much happier. Koi need lots of room. Your pond is about 1800 gals.
 

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Its a beautiful pond. I think it's just a matter of going from no pond to large pond, big change. You will get used to the noise of the water in time. Get some plants around the pond, they will help soften the look and the noise as well. Most people here wish for a larger pond so I wouldn't rush to downsize just yet. Give it some time and I'm sure you will learn to love it.
 
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This is a first! Most of us look to enlarge our ponds after experiencing them.
I personally love the sound of rushing water, but everyone is different. If you can't tone down the water flow with the ball valve, maybe look into diverting part of the pump output directly into the pond with a "Y" fitting. You can have the ball valve restricting the flow to the waterfall and the rest of the water will pass through the other side of the "Y" fitting into the pond. Or change the pump to something with less output. Keep the old one as a spare or just in case you need more water movement. You can always just have it output directly into the water which won't create much noise.
If you want to add fish and keep their size to a minimum, look into shubunkin. They are a cute colorful fish that don't grow very large.
As suggested, once you establish plants in and around your pond it will enhance, beautify and make everything look more natural.
Oh, by the way, your pond looks awesome!
 

sissy

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koi get very large mine are way over 2 feet long and bought them back in 2005 You can get a smaller pump to make it less noisy good fish are fat fantails they are small and cute and they are slow because they have to wiggle their butt to move and if used to you like mine are they will love to swim into your hand and get a belly rub
 
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I want add the point of fish ownership. I don't know if you are interested in adding fish, but its quite enjoyable sitting there watching and feeding them. It's very relaxing. My elderly mother-in-law walks up to our house just to sit there and feed them. Our grandson get enjoyment out of it too.
Plus, fish are part of the pond's natural cycle. The fish create waste which feeds the plants which keep the water clean.
 
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Thank you everyone for your input and encouragement. I really appreciate it. I think I will try and see if there's a way to adjust the waterfall to quiet it more, maybe adding a few rocks or something. We did have them put in a ball valve but even turned down the sound isn't very tranquil and sounds to me like a bathtub. I'm not sure the gallons but it is 3 feet deep and about 8 by 10 feet in size. We do consider getting koi but I think they'd be okay with something smaller. But for now that is a moot point. I'll try to give it some time to get used to it not being what I had in mind. Aside from the size, the biggest thing for me is the sound. So I'll try to find a way to improve that. Thanks again for welcoming me here and giving your feedback!
We do welcome you. Read through some of the posts. There’s info on how to keep things clean, lots of ideas of what may go wrong, and how to fix it, etc.
 

Rex

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I'll echo what everybody else said. I think you have an awesome pond. I think it would be a ton of work to reduce the size of any part of it. Give it time, I think it will grow on you. Put some fish and aquatic plants in it. I just built a pond and I'm already wishing it was bigger.

If your ball valve diverts the water, you could divert as much water as you want. Even down to a slight trickle. As mentioned, I do think you could adjust the rocks to quite it down some also. If you divert a lot of water and you end up with fish, you may have to add an aerator to ensure the fish get enough oxygen. Work on landscaping behind and around the waterfall.
 
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your new pond looks amazing in its infancy,im also new to this ponding a month now and already wish my pond was bigger
a few plants added will help lift it and take it to the next level
 

snoozer

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A smaller pump will reduce the flow and sound. Plants in and around the pond will soften the looks. I think it is beautiful
 
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It would be almost as difficult to make it smaller than to build a new pond. You would start with a hole already dug and go from there. Basically, everything has to be taken apart. I would drain the pond and pull the liner away from the sides. Then get some fill and put it around the edges until you get the desired shape. You'll have to do some digging but you can put that dirt back where you want it filled in. I would try to save the waterfall and just add a valve to adjust the water flow.
 

sissy

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if you paid to have it installed then you can call the contractor and they can change it or they can change thew noise it makes .To me it is too pretty to destroy
 
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Welcome to the forum!

How you plant will depend largely on what growing zone you're in. To add a little more confusion... :) I agree that cutting back the flow of the falls will lessen the noise, and maybe some smaller rocks/stones in the way of the water flow to break it up. The over all diameter of the pond could be visually lessened by installing a floating island. A couple of potted plants in the island would also absorb some sound, plus provide shade/shelter for the fish particularly If you are in a hot zone.
 
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brc

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Reducing how far the water falls at a time would go a long way to reducing the sound. You could also change the way the water falls - make it pour smoothly back into the pond instead of crashing down all those steps.
 

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