Modern styled koi pond and pondless waterfall plans


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See pics below of what I'm trying to achieve and current progress. Welcome any tips as to best options for keeping the water clean and clear and ideas to resolve known issues indicated below.

First, the conceptual design. Although its not clear in the drawing below, the waterline should be 4-6 inches below the top of the concrete patio (not flush as it appears in the illustration). Also, although it appears the the basin is stainless steel, its going to be 4 inch cement cap block.



The design features a 3x10 foot koi pound that's 16 inches deep and built up with 4 inch cap blocks stacked on end, mortared together on a 4 inch poured in place concrete footing. There will be a rubber liner.

I'm uncertain as to how to best keep the pond clean and water clear. I plan on having some annual tropical lillies as well as a few perennials. There will be small goldfish added to the pond.



The water feature/fountain is to be made of 6 inch concrete blocks with an aluminum "U" channel adhered to the top and serving as the rill to flow the water onto the pondless waterfall below. The base will consist of blue mexican beach pebbles. The catch basin below each waterfall will simply be holes lined with pond liner or rubber trash cans linked together via 3/4 inch rubber tubing. The waterfall pump will be located in the deep end of one of the trash-can/catch-basins. Water will flow through a rubber tube up to the bend in the aluminum U channel rill.

I would like the patio to serve as one edge of the pond as you can see in the pic so that the edge appears to float over the water. The challenge with that is that the bottom of the poured concrete patio needs to be cut to remove the uneven concrete formations from the pour (see pic below) in order to get the liner secured under the patio edge on that side. Welcome your suggestions here.





The dig



 
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For keeping the water clean and removing waste, I'd certainly be open to having a bog filter of some sort if I could keep it hidden behind the blocks that make up the fountain base. Are there bog plants that do not grow tall (to stay hidden and not detract from the clean aesthetic)?

The pond will be appx 3-4 foot wide by 10 foot long and 16-18 inches deep. Since it will be in the front yard, I need to check local code but I believe a safe depth would be less than 24 inches deep.

Should I connect the water feature water flow to the main pond or keep them separate?

Does the pond need a bottom drain? If not, what's the consequences?

The pond walls will consist of two rows of 4 inch concrete masonry cap blocks laid on end and mortared together. The liner will be laid in that and secured with a top row of 4 inch concrete blocks laid flat.

Thanks in advance for your help. I'd like to educate myself on the basic options for this size pond.

To keep the rocks from falling into the pond, I'm considering using landscape edging as below: http://www.homedepot.com/p/ProFlex-No-Dig-40-ft-Landscape-Edging-Kit-3001HD-40C/204801470

...But I'm unsure as of yet how I will secure the edging to the cap blocks that form the top layer of the support structure.



 
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View attachment 98847

From what I have learned on this forum, 3' x 10' x 16" (@ 300 gal) is too small for Koi.
Thanks for the welcome!

If the volume is too small for koi, I'm fine with goldfish and tropical lillies. The top priorities for this project are aesthetics, sound and visual. It will be next to a front door courtyard and serve as a focal point to guests approaching the front door of the home.
 
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Welcome! You will get some great advice on here! My neighbor just did something similar. She has a house built in the 19 teens, but really likes a modern, clean-lined, simple style. She just re-landscaped the whole yard (including pond) and it's super midcentury looking. Her pond is concrete, half in ground, half above ground. Probably about the same measurements as yours, but deeper. I'm thinking 16 inches will be too shallow for a number of reasons -- one of them being southern heat! But your rendering looks really neat! I'm sure with the help of all the experts on here, you will be able to tweak your design to get what you want!
 

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welcome but koi get huge so they would not be good for your pond and the depth may heat up the water way to fast .You could use lotus also .Goldfish will breed way to fast
 
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I talked to our local code office today. They are ok with anything that's not over 24 inches deep. Beyond that depth it requires a fence, which is out obviously. So, 24 inches it is.

As for fish, I want them to stay small and I like the deep orange varieties. Koi is out I understand so no problem. There will be lillies to help provide the fish with some hiding spots and shade from the sun if the 24 inch depth doesn't.
 
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Welcome! You will get some great advice on here! My neighbor just did something similar. She has a house built in the 19 teens, but really likes a modern, clean-lined, simple style. She just re-landscaped the whole yard (including pond) and it's super midcentury looking. Her pond is concrete, half in ground, half above ground. Probably about the same measurements as yours, but deeper. I'm thinking 16 inches will be too shallow for a number of reasons -- one of them being southern heat! But your rendering looks really neat! I'm sure with the help of all the experts on here, you will be able to tweak your design to get what you want!
Thanks! Pics?
 
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This is the pond done by Brendan Butler Landscaping. He is out of the Atlanta area. An awesome guy, if anyone in the metro area needs someone. In the meantime, Vestaviascott, this is another take on a contemporary looking pond.

Now that I'm studying the picture, I realize in the final product, they did a lot of infill with dirt and gravel. When the pond was dug and built, the concrete edge was above ground level -- then they added dirt and stone around it.
 

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It's nice the way you've planned it all out! But I don't think you will be able to keep koi -- goldfish would be OK, though. And for it only being 16-18" deep, be sure to have some shade -- plants such as a water lily would work -- water that shallow will probably heat up quickly in the summer.
 
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Welcome Scott. Very cool plans and I like the modern design. For one thing you definitely need to stay with goldfish otherwise keeping the pond will be a very unpleaseant experience. Cutting the concrete should be pretty easy if you have the right saw or you can hire someone for that. The proper saw can be expensive so if you are doing it yourself you can rent one and be sure to use something to protect your eyes. If you are hiring someone try looking up concrete barbers or something like that. For filtration you can definitely do it with a bog. Maybe consider a raised box between the house and the pond and raise up your address a little. The box can waterfall into the pond if built correctly and you can fill it with floating plants such as water hydrangeas or water lettuce that will float at the top. If you don't put in too many fish (start with 3 or 4) it will work fine and if you are happy with it you can try adding more later. I guess my one question would be about errosion under your sidewalk that might have dirt fall toward your pond. You may need to put a concrete footing under your walk next to the pond to keep the soil intact. Good luck!
 
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very neat plan , the patio side seems complicated , what is ur plan ? what i can think is that uil need to 1st level the edges then built small wall under it from 1 or 2 bricks just under the patio edge and leave 2 inch gap between patio and that lower wall , then after placing liner place the liner edge in that gap sandwiching it then sealing that gap with cement or anything

theoretically you will not need bottomdrain with goldfishes and with this depth but if u can then its always better to keep floor clean . You wil need good mechanical filter / pressure filter to keep it super clean as u will be able to see its floor and even little debris will b visible , pressure filter will be easy for u to hide .
 
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It's nice the way you've planned it all out! But I don't think you will be able to keep koi -- goldfish would be OK, though. And for it only being 16-18" deep, be sure to have some shade -- plants such as a water lily would work -- water that shallow will probably heat up quickly in the summer.
Thanks for the helpful advice. I will not be raising koi in this pond. It will be goldfish only (perhaps a few frogs if they can work here, but I'm fine with just goldfish). My kids are excited about that.

The maximum water depth for a front yard pond in our area is 24 inches, so that's what it's going to be. As deep as code allows.

I am definitely concerned with heat gain in a shallow pond - Bama summers get real hot - but I'm going to try to use lillies to help shade the pond and we'll see how it goes. It will get appx 4 hours of full sun daily. As its oriented east to west across its long side and the house is oriented to the North (sun rises behind the house so the pond is shaded until midday). There are some large trees across the street and our house sits very low from the street level, so the sun dips below those trees around 4pm.
 
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Mmathis

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With that much shade and the addition of a plant or 2, you'll probably be OK as far as the temperature goes. It's the ponds in full sun that can suffer.
 

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