My “Final Pond” build thread


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When I imagine trying to carefully squirt waterfall foam into the spaces between the flagstone & then trying to press gravel into the top the only scenario my brain can come up with is a mess. I'm seeing hands & fingers covered in foamy gravel, or the foam expanding up out of the cracks & getting everywhere but where it's wanted. Maybe I'm just a messy builder, though. :oops:
Yup. I can also attest to foam work being messy based on my recent build. I would highly recommend that you use some type of disposable gloves if doing a lot of foam work. It's very difficult to remove from human skin, even if using some type of solvent. Basically, you have to let it wear off.
 
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Before you get to crazy with the shovel and depth you need to think about your rock that your going to use. The absolute biggest part of digging a pond that is left out is to dig your shelves to the size of your borders. Not the other way around. If using large boulders steeper backs to the shelves can be made and have the rubber and liner pulled back and backfill to the boulders. Now i know thats not the direction your heading . But I do believe you will want to have a good slope to the back of the shelves. you may even want to create a little pocket to the shelf toward the vertical where your first row of rock will sit in As it has something to hold the rock in place. If you are using basketball or baseball sized rock.
Save mom and dads money as any rock underwater will look just like its neighbor as the entire pond will get covered in a peach fuzz of algae. This is the good stuff to get to. Where there's no algae growing thats not a benefit to the pond.
As far as your stone floor yes under optimum conditions you can see your bottom as i can in my pond , but colors are all the same 'peach fuzz'
To do as your thinking youll need a minimum of 2" but I'd rather see 4" of sand placed below you flagstone. As the more impact there us to the stone tge more the sand will shift and weaken. Thus my recommendation of 4 inches of sand below.
Patience paitence and more paitence is a ponds best friend. I will admitt i finished my dig and install by July. The first year the latter in the year the less balanced your pond will be for the winter months. If you do have a strong winter where you are.
At 12 a rock thats big and heavy will be childs play at 16. Take my word for it. Look at 8 to 12.
So while I admire your drive at 12 like Lisa said you have not even begun to experience what's to come. But I do see that your not lazy, you have goals and your all over it Good for you young man.
But if you are digging and you have not answered how or what your doing to the bottom or how deep and at the depth how many shelves you'll make. i would suggest you sit down and draw it out ,spell it out and get back to the group for some more input. Location of skimmers falls shape and depths can all be crucial in design and care. Once you remove material in digging basically you can only go bigger to get a reduce.
. I have seen your posts and options. And often they are spot on and better then some of the adult opinions. Theres an expression measure twice cut once. Well in this case plan twice dig once.
Good luck
 

TheFishGuy

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Before you get to crazy with the shovel and depth you need to think about your rock that your going to use. The absolute biggest part of digging a pond that is left out is to dig your shelves to the size of your borders. Not the other way around. If using large boulders steeper backs to the shelves can be made and have the rubber and liner pulled back and backfill to the boulders. Now i know thats not the direction your heading . But I do believe you will want to have a good slope to the back of the shelves. you may even want to create a little pocket to the shelf toward the vertical where your first row of rock will sit in As it has something to hold the rock in place. If you are using basketball or baseball sized rock.
Save mom and dads money as any rock underwater will look just like its neighbor as the entire pond will get covered in a peach fuzz of algae. This is the good stuff to get to. Where there's no algae growing thats not a benefit to the pond.
As far as your stone floor yes under optimum conditions you can see your bottom as i can in my pond , but colors are all the same 'peach fuzz'
To do as your thinking youll need a minimum of 2" but I'd rather see 4" of sand placed below you flagstone. As the more impact there us to the stone tge more the sand will shift and weaken. Thus my recommendation of 4 inches of sand below.
Patience paitence and more paitence is a ponds best friend. I will admitt i finished my dig and install by July. The first year the latter in the year the less balanced your pond will be for the winter months. If you do have a strong winter where you are.
At 12 a rock thats big and heavy will be childs play at 16. Take my word for it. Look at 8 to 12.
So while I admire your drive at 12 like Lisa said you have not even begun to experience what's to come. But I do see that your not lazy, you have goals and your all over it Good for you young man.
But if you are digging and you have not answered how or what your doing to the bottom or how deep and at the depth how many shelves you'll make. i would suggest you sit down and draw it out ,spell it out and get back to the group for some more input. Location of skimmers falls shape and depths can all be crucial in design and care. Once you remove material in digging basically you can only go bigger to get a reduce.
. I have seen your posts and options. And often they are spot on and better then some of the adult opinions. Theres an expression measure twice cut once. Well in this case plan twice dig once.
Good luck
Thank you for all the advice, I definitely do believe I will be able to see the bottom, as I am very well able to with my current one, do you think just doing flagstone for example the edges of the shelves to hold in pea gravel would save time and money?

I will most definitely do some amount of sand or such under the flagstone for level, and yes we do get fairly strong winters, zone 4a.

The pond will be 3ft deep, as seen in other parts of this discussion, with minimal 1ft shelf, just about a foot in some spots and none in others, with the majority being 2ft, and a fairly small 3ft section, mostly for overwintering, I do have it all drawn out, just on the ground with marking paint.

The falls will sit where they do now, with a revision later, but skimmer and the actual falls will stay in the same place, and because this will only benefit about half of the pond, there will be a bog filter for the other side, that will look like a beach area, just with plants plants plants.
 
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Thank you for all the advice, I definitely do believe I will be able to see the bottom, as I am very well able to with my current one, do you think just doing flagstone for example the edges of the shelves to hold in pea gravel would save time and money?
In a "swim " pond no its not a great idea because flag stone is not very thick. You seem to love your flag stone you will want to protect your epdm where ever the edges of the flag stone get close to the liner. And it has no weight to hold back gravel and or pea stone. If you put it at enough of and angle and lock it in with foam. So long as the foam is protected from the sun I believe though unsure it may hold the flag stone for many a year. But others here have said it just falls apart regardless. I will find out in time because that's close to what I did on my expansion to the pond. Its all in the blog below.


I will most definitely do some amount of sand or such under the flagstone for level, and yes we do get fairly strong winters, zone 4a.
If you purchase heavier underlayment you can get away with less sand and depth to dig.

The pond will be 3ft deep, as seen in other parts of this discussion, with minimal 1ft shelf, just about a foot in some spots and none in others, with the majority being 2ft, and a fairly small 3ft section, mostly for overwintering, I do have it all drawn out, just on the ground with marking paint.

The falls will sit where they do now, with a revision later, but skimmer and the actual falls will stay in the same place, and because this will only benefit about half of the pond, there will be a bog filter for the other side, that will look like a beach area, just with plants plants plants.
Wish you luck.
 
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Having never done this myself I'm just imagining what the end result would be, but the idea of 4" of sand under flagstone at the bottom of a pond worries me. I'd be concerned about what might build up in that sand over time. Much the same that you hear when people worry about a gravel bottom, except in this case you will have sand that's trapped under flagstone and just collecting and collecting and collecting muck over time. Again - maybe I'm over thinking this, but that's something I would really think about.
 
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If you watch the latestes pro builds and using huge boulders they have moved away from fabric and have gone to several inches of sand or stone.. again not being a long term keeper I have seen over and over way overgrown ponds with clear water and feet of muck. I dont belive muck is a negative to a pond but more another carateristic to the ecology like Brian has said he has not cleaned out his pond in over ten years. And sand being as dance as it is I doubt any serios amounts of contaminants can work its way in to any large amount.
 

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Have about 3” of fine grain sand in the shelves, planting beds in the shallow portion of my pond. In 10-11 years haven’t had anything build up in it. As Gbbudd suggested, the fine grains of sand really prevent the larger decaying plant debris/mulm from working its way down into it. I ran my hand through it this summer nothing but sand in there. The fine sand grains also provide a larger surface area for bacteria to populate more so than the larger pea gravel.

It was pretty much an experiment on my part with the sand, applying some methods used in the setup of reef tanks. Now I will say the sand isn’t in the deepest portion of my pond, where detritus would tend to collect. it pretty much has stayed where I put it even with koi in the pond rooting through it.
 
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I'm sure you guys are right - just my brain thinking through the situation. I will say though I've seen Brian's pond. He doesn't "clean" it, but it's pristine. Jets and aeration and water flow that you won't see in a natural pond.

The biggest difference I would see between a natural pond with feet of muck and a liner pond with a bottom lined with muck is, well, the liner. The natural pond has the benefit of nature on it's side, both above and below that muck. The interaction with the earth under all that muck can happen in the natural pond. The liner stops that from happening in a man made pond. Nature terminates at the liner.
 

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Check out this channel. They built a swim pond with a flagstone bottom.
I did see like a life update from them a few months ago, and I remember that pond! never knew it had a flagstone bottom!


for the rest of all this, this thread be movin fast! I think when the time comes, I will see how sharp/unlevel the stones I have are, and if they are pretty flat, just only go with a small 1 inch or so of sand, but if they are very jagged possibly o with 3 inches or so.
 
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I understand the intent to the upflow from the bottom . But I think it requires to much energy to effectively do that job by the time the water works its way up through the gravel yes it is clean filtered water but its not moving much of anything i think a couple well placed venturi return jets can do the same job if not better. Not to blow my own whistle but the video I have where the go pro just floats on the surface of the pond and makes its way around the pond twice with no hangups is moving the entire pond in a counter clockwise rotation on the outside perimeter and the main drain in the middle sucks in the debris. Now its hardly fool proof but it has worked pretty good for me the falls are pointed in the same direction as is the jets and it seems to do the job .
 
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TheFishGuy

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I understand the intent to the upflow from the bottom . But I think it requires to much energy to effectively do that job by the time the water works its way up through the gravel yes it is clean filtered water but its not moving much of anything i think a couple well placed venturi return jets can do the same job if not better. Not to blow my own whistle but the video I have where the go pro just floats on the surface of the pond and makes its way around the pond twice with no hangups is moving the entire pond in a counter clockwise rotation on the outside perimeter and the main drain in the middle sucks in the debris. Now its hardly fool proof but it has worked pretty good for me the falls are pointed in the same direction as is the jets and it seems to do the job .
I am glad you feel so strongly about the Water circulation methods used in that video, but the sole purpose of that was to show the stone bottom, not saying I should construct a pond in exactly the same way they did, I am most definitely not using any of the methods used there for my pond, as it seems highly inefficient, but that was not the purpose of it. If you would like to discuss that there is a feature called "create thread" that I am sure so many people would willingly discuss that with you, and with passion. the point of this thread is the construction of a pond, not to nitpick a video that was meant for one reason and became a topic of another reason.
 
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Hello Fish Guy I hear your only 12 and building ponds I was 12 when I started my first pond I wish more young people would get into this hobby. Keep on keeping on as I like to say and just enjoy every minute of your project. I am currently digging a five foot deep pond and it's lots of work but I enjoy it. Can't wait to see your finished pond.
 

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Hello Fish Guy I hear your only 12 and building ponds I was 12 when I started my first pond I wish more young people would get into this hobby. Keep on keeping on as I like to say and just enjoy every minute of your project. I am currently digging a five foot deep pond and it's lots of work but I enjoy it. Can't wait to see your finished pond.
thanks so much for the encouragement! Wow! five feet deep!:eek:That does indeed sound like a lot of work!
 
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thanks so much for the encouragement! Wow! five feet deep!:eek:That does indeed sound like a lot of work!
Yes and all by hand one bucket at a time. I wish I had a small backhoe that would be cool but nope just me and my tools I have a hammer drill and shovel attachment on my wish list to buy soon so we shall see.
 
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So pond digging was slowed down for several reasons, school got quite a bit more intense, teachers realllt getting the hang of online stuff, and I can no longer sneak away from my laptop for a couple of hours in the middle of the day.......
plus me going camping this weekend.


I have had a chance to expand the expansion, and have to decide whetherU should pu try energy into adding a few hundred more gallons into the pond size, or adding a bog, what do you people think I should do?

also, slowed down diggin progress as of a couple days ago;
E6D4288A-E96F-42BB-9348-E3CCC3825236.jpeg
 
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