Need Help Getting Started

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Hi everybody. Long-time lurker. New to ponds. Put in my first last summer. It's a small pre-formed, half-in and half-out of the ground. I'm a long-time aquarium hobbyist, so fish, plants, filtration and water chemistry aren't new to me and I had no problems.

I'm attaching a photo of where I want to put my next pond. (Yes, it's cluttered and hideous. It's been a long winter.) It's not an ideal space, but it's the only space available to me at this point. It's against the house where we can see it, it's partially shaded, and it's next to an outlet. The open yard is covered in bikes and swings and squirt guns. So this is the spot fate has given me, for better or for worse.

It's not level. More importantly, runoff comes down the sidewalk on the right, makes a right turn and flows across the bottom sidewalk. It takes some of the dirt from that patch when it does, and - here's the fun part - that runoff has at least a little bit of crud from the street in it. The water in the street can't actually jump the curb, but water from the public sidewalk water can come down my way.

So I'm going to need to build up, build a berm, right? I've been going over ideas all winter and have yet to form a plan. The back left corner will be where the waterfall goes. That's all I know. Should I build the entire space up? The space is about 4x4; not a big pond. I've not yet figured out what kind of rock I want to use, or how exactly to construct. My husband is not handy, and my 3-year-old will be lurking around trying to fall in so I need stability in the border rocks. Do I add dirt first? Do I take the dirt I excavate and use it to build the berm?

Would anyone be willing to tell me what you would do if this was your space with which to work?
 

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sissy

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I am going through the same thing but need to put in a new liner but melting snow and heavy rain have put me on standstill .Don't want to collapse anything or the hole filling with water
 

JBtheExplorer

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Would anyone be willing to tell me what you would do if this was your space with which to work?

Well, if it were my space, I'd probably try something like this.
I'd build a brick or wood wall, as low or high as you want. I'm not sure if that area is all dirt of if sidewalk is under it. If you can't dig down, you'll probably want to build up higher so the pond isn't too shallow and also so your 3 year old doesn't fall in. I did a couple of quick photos with a low wall to give you a basic idea of what I'd do if that were my area to work with. I didn't add your waterfall or anything but it still might trigger an idea for you. The first is with a flexible liner. It would give you more water because the liner could go right up to the brick and be tucked under. You'd have to make sure the wall was built sturdy enough to handle the water weight.

small pond.png


The second is kind of what a preformed would be like The area would have to be filled with dirt first, and then the shape dug out. This would allow you to plant plants around the pond, but obviously the pond shape/size isn't really up to you then, its whatever they sell that would fit. Which would of course limit how many fish and plants you could add compared to the flexible liner

small pond2.png


I hope you guys like my beautiful depictions :D
 

sissy

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retaining wall block .Since you have your deck there it will bring it up closer to you sitting on the deck ,plus it will give you a place to sit while you are down near the pond .Electric has to be thought of also because the closer you are to the house the easier it is to run electric.Along side my side walk ,but it is just pavers .redoing pond so messy .This way maybe you only need to dig a foot or so
 

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morewater

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Make sure to use a GFCI for your pump (ground fault circuit interrupter).
 
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Well, if it were my space, I'd probably try something like this.
I'd build a brick or wood wall, as low or high as you want. I'm not sure if that area is all dirt of if sidewalk is under it. If you can't dig down, you'll probably want to build up higher so the pond isn't too shallow and also so your 3 year old doesn't fall in. I did a couple of quick photos with a low wall to give you a basic idea of what I'd do if that were my area to work with. I didn't add your waterfall or anything but it still might trigger an idea for you. The first is with a flexible liner. It would give you more water because the liner could go right up to the brick and be tucked under. You'd have to make sure the wall was built sturdy enough to handle the water weight.

View attachment 66345

The second is kind of what a preformed would be like The area would have to be filled with dirt first, and then the shape dug out. This would allow you to plant plants around the pond, but obviously the pond shape/size isn't really up to you then, its whatever they sell that would fit. Which would of course limit how many fish and plants you could add compared to the flexible liner

View attachment 66346

I hope you guys like my beautiful depictions :D

You TOTALLY RULE! Thank you for taking the time to do this. Those are two very good options!
 

morewater

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If you already have a GFCI, there's no real need to have another one installed if you merely bury your wire within conduit (or use armoured cable) to get it to the new location and use the existing GFCI.
 

sissy

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How old is your home it as some newer homes have it built into the sub panel.Your breaker will have a button on it . .Also make sure your pond is on a dedicated circuit and have more outlets than you need better to pay once for that service .I have a switch on my outlets this way I do not have to unplug things ,I just turn off the switch .Also remember to use in use exterior grade boxes that have the cover on them and it should say in use box on it .This way it has an opening in the bottom of the cover for the power cord to go out .I use the metal ones a little more expensive but found some of those ones with the plastic cover crack over time
 
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Sissy, it's over 100 years old! But, of course we've had to update the electrical. And just a few months ago I had an exterior box installed on its own circuit. But I like the switch idea.
 

JBtheExplorer

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I'm excited to see what you decide to do. I hope you share the process on these forums. I enjoy seeing what others do with their ponds.
 

sissy

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I had my switch put inside the house so that if I saw a problem or the electric goes out it will not cause a surge to the pumps .My son put in all my electrical and was the one that suggested it and a breaker with a built in surge protector .That way one does not need to be put down by the pond and if it goes off in the house you here a distinctive click sound and you can check to see whats wrong
 

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