Need advice: sleeper pond with viewing window


teckpham

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Been busy with work, so very slow progress on the pond.
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Most area have at least 2 layers of underlay.
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Got some water in it to help with removing wringles and folding of the edges. I am planning to fill it up to just below the windows frame before I'm starting to cut the liner for the windows. This should help with avoid stretching the liner bonding to the windows if I filled it after and not have enough slack in it.
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The pond doesn't look good without the windows I think
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Hopefully, the windows will go in next weekend.
 
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teckpham

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I had a hard time finding something like the bulkhead to connect the bog to the pond. They are either too small or doesn't support the 50mm thickness of the sleepers. I found some 65mm pipe type that can support 50mm thickness, but they are like $70 each.

I ended up making my own from some cheap parts, using gutter down pipe, acylic sheet and some stainless bolts.
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The same thing for the water spillway into the cistern as well.
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Can you share more details about these DIY bulkheads? How are they water tight? The liner goes under the acrylic panel, right? Is this above water level?
 

teckpham

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They are at the water surface level. The acrylic panels on each side will squeezed the liners to the sleeper. With the help of silicone and by tightening the nuts and bolts, I hope it will do the job.

I will post some pictures of it when I get home today.
 

teckpham

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My testing one. Since it is only at the water surface, I don't think it needs to be really well designed?

Silicone under the acrylic and around the pipe.
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I think I will have to insert a piece of acrylic in the middle to stop the bowing.
 

brokensword

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My testing one. Since it is only at the water surface, I don't think it needs to be really well designed?

Silicone under the acrylic and around the pipe.
View attachment 144568View attachment 144569
I think I will have to insert a piece of acrylic in the middle to stop the bowing.
from some of my own 'watertight' experiments, I found silicone will 'stick' to pvc but not exactly make it watertight. If you scuff the plastic, it'll hold better (supposedly; am still experimenting). That is, it DOES adhere but you can peel it off pretty easily after it sets up. There doesn't seem to be a lot of great options for this, though there are some pvc-friendly epoxies (I haven't tried those as I need to be able to get the seal off and the epoxies look to be permanent). That said, imo, it should work but just pay attention if you ever have a leak, check at the silicone seal first.

You may be able to just put silicone in the bowed openings, esp the top. Did you silicone the pvc gutter to the wood? Doesn't look like it. Also, the wood, esp if it gets wet, is going to swell. And then you'll have contraction when it heats and/or dries out. Not sure how much of either you'll get, but it's something else to watch for. Were it mine, I think I'd have put the liner all the way through to keep the wood away from any splash but rain is going to get at it anyway, so just realize you'll get some expansion/contraction just because it's wood.

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I have found silicone is good between 2 compressed surfaces but not to good for bonding thinks together.
 

teckpham

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from some of my own 'watertight' experiments, I found silicone will 'stick' to pvc but not exactly make it watertight. If you scuff the plastic, it'll hold better (supposedly; am still experimenting). That is, it DOES adhere but you can peel it off pretty easily after it sets up. There doesn't seem to be a lot of great options for this, though there are some pvc-friendly epoxies (I haven't tried those as I need to be able to get the seal off and the epoxies look to be permanent). That said, imo, it should work but just pay attention if you ever have a leak, check at the silicone seal first.

You may be able to just put silicone in the bowed openings, esp the top. Did you silicone the pvc gutter to the wood? Doesn't look like it. Also, the wood, esp if it gets wet, is going to swell. And then you'll have contraction when it heats and/or dries out. Not sure how much of either you'll get, but it's something else to watch for. Were it mine, I think I'd have put the liner all the way through to keep the wood away from any splash but rain is going to get at it anyway, so just realize you'll get some expansion/contraction just because it's wood.

View attachment 144586
Thank you for the feedback and suggestion.

For the swelling issue, I will give the PVC a bit of room and fill the void with the sealant I have then. The wood doesn't expose to the weather at all as it is covered by the liner and a piece of decking wood will be on top of that. It will still have some temperature changes through out the day thought.

I have bought some of this sealants: Idealseal MS290 MS Polymer Sealant. Just haven't have time to try it out yet. I won't be installing these things until I have the windows installed and not leaking. Need to fill the water close to it first before the installation. Definitely don't want any liner stretch around it.
 
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teckpham

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I have found silicone is good between 2 compressed surfaces but not to good for bonding thinks together.
Yes, I found that out when I did my first pond. I was trying to seal the spillway design like I had posted. It didn't stick, but the compression does the trick.
 
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This will be amazing when it's finished! Makes me extremely nervous to think about, but you sure seem to understand all the challenges and have the skills to do the work!

@GBBUDD posted the Aquascape video of their indoor pond with a viewing window. I've seen it and it is amazing... however it did fail and had to be rebuilt. I don't know if they posted a video about the rebuild and what they learned or not.
 
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Ah thanks for the home town info . I have not seen anything saying it had failed. @Thanks @Lisak1 I'll stop sharing that video. If I remember correctly they had the glass on the rubber I think that maybe the weaknes you can't put a lot of pressure on glass.
 
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brokensword

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Ah thanks for the home town info . I have not seen anything saying it had failed. @Thanks @Lisak1 I'll stop sharing that video. If I remember correctly they had the glass on the rubber I think that maybe the weaknes you can't put a lot of pressure on glass.
just for reference; my dad was a bricklayer and understood concrete too, so built himself 4 large aquariums out of cement in the basement. They all were reinforced with re-rod, had angle iron frame cemented in and were in the area of 175-250 gallons each (a far cry from most outdoor above ground ponds!). He built them all interconnected, two above the other two, so the whole structure was unified, and had 12" load-bearing block wall behind them. The windows were approx 4' x 2' each. He used some sort of oil-based caulk/tar (I don't remember exactly but there was no silicone involved) as a sealant between iron angle frame and glass. The entire inside was coated with cement paste, brushed on. I think the glass was 1/2" thick. Been a long time so I'm trying to remember details. The walls of the aquariums were the width of 2x4s and I know he had re-rod bent 90 deg on every corner.

The idea here is, it takes a LOT to hold back water and still keep structural integrity. Since wood is inherently pliable, there's always that risk of failure, ESPECIALLY when you start adding non flexible parts like window frames and glass/plexi. Keeping the structure from moving too much, or, managing such movement, is key. Indoor aquariums don't have the weather to worry about, everything is static and can be controlled. Outdoors, not so much. Were it mine, I'd expect any wood structure to have faults fairly soon after going through a couple seasonal changes. I'd have made it as I described above; all concrete, all reinforced with iron and affix any framework into the structure. And of course, the foundation has to be solid so the winter can't heave it up and down (or if it can, the whole platform has to move as a unit but I'd just dig a footing below such frost lines and go from there).

I once had an argument with Waterbug re the waterproofing of said aquariums (that my dad built) with he maintaining not possible, even though my dad used these without leakage for a decade and then I took over for another 10. Guess some gotta see it to believe it!

Okies, we return you to our regularly scheduled program...


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teckpham

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This will be amazing when it's finished! Makes me extremely nervous to think about, but you sure seem to understand all the challenges and have the skills to do the work!

@GBBUDD posted the Aquascape video of their indoor pond with a viewing window. I've seen it and it is amazing... however it did fail and had to be rebuilt. I don't know if they posted a video about the rebuild and what they learned or not.
Hahaha, I am very nervous also. I've spent more time staring at it then actually doing the work lol.

That Aquascape's pond failure now has me thinging again.... :unsure:
 

teckpham

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Thank you for posting your experience on this kind of build. Yes, if I have to start it again, I would be doing it with concrete blocks and re-rod like you mentioned.

I think it was my stubbornness and lack of knowledge at the start that got me into this. I have built decking around the backyard and wanted the pond looks to be intergrated into it.
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The decking walkpath on the side of the pond will be connecting to this deck area.

Since wood is inherently pliable, there's always that risk of failure, ESPECIALLY when you start adding non flexible parts like window frames and glass/plexi. Keeping the structure from moving too much, or, managing such movement, is key.
From your and @GBBUDD feedbacks, I am trying to make the metal frame and glasses as a single unit so that not much stress is acting on it due to the wood warping. Hence the reinforced concrete base with the metal frame embedded in it. Wood at the top are mainly to stop the frame from bowing.
 
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brokensword

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And then you're wondering why it is taking so long..... o_O
nah, we just assume you're related to CW somehow...:p


It's going to look great, I just hope you don't get issues for a LOOOOOOONNNGGGG time, ya know? The kind of issue you'll have won't be the typical 'ah, I got a leak; what's wrong?' and more 'AHHHHHH---I GOT A LEAK! Lifepreservers, anyone? Anyone? Bueller?'


;)


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teckpham

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nah, we just assume you're related to CW somehow...:p


It's going to look great, I just hope you don't get issues for a LOOOOOOONNNGGGG time, ya know? The kind of issue you'll have won't be the typical 'ah, I got a leak; what's wrong?' and more 'AHHHHHH---I GOT A LEAK! Lifepreservers, anyone? Anyone? Bueller?'


;)


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snorkel.jpg

Hahahaha, I have already started thinking of getting this one and attach a longer hose so I can stay under longer to fix the leak :ROFLMAO:
 
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4x4 or 4x in any horizontal orientation is rather weak. It will suffice for smaller ponds . 4x6 or 6x6 are far superior to hold back water so long as tge 6 inch is in depth. But even still it requires some pins or screws/ nails to tie it all together. If you look at the end of the beam /tie you can see the growth rings of the wood placing those grains opposite of each other makes the wood far stronger as well.in this regard you want the growth rings to point at the center of the pond or away from on the horizontal. While lag bolts and screws are great. Drilling and driving rebar pins is the strongest. Lay out the first two courses.. drill them out with a bit just smaller then the rebar +5 at a minimum. Drill through the two layers and drive the pins a good foot and a half deep into the ground this will insure your solid with the soils. Lay the next course staggering the pins/ rebar between where the lower rods are so forth and so on . You already learned about staggering the ends. If you want to help insure your but joints you can always do half lap joints with glue and screws.
Are you planning a window ?
 

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