New here, new pond/waterfall under construction


Lilbitsoulshine

Linda aka: Lilbitsoulshine
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Hi all. New here, and new to ponds.
I am in the middle of construction on my backyard pond/waterfall.got the idea from pintrest and started watching YouTube videos on diy backyard ponds and waterfalls....
It's all being done by myself, and I have used as much upcycled/recycled materials as possible. My underliner and liner is/was an old tent, tarps, scrap carpet and a pool cover along with a purchased roll of plastic. All the rocks were from a very small pondless waterfall I made last year and from rocks and stones I've gathered from family and "ISO boards on Facebook) I've only bought a pump, roll of plastic, and 2 cans of waterfall foam so far. But will be buying a few large flat sandstone slabs i will need for the top and bottom of waterfall. I Started digging back in May, got sidelined by an unexpected foot surgery in June and just this week have been able to start working on it again. The pond itself is dug, the underliner and liner is in. Filled the pond to check for leaks let it sit filled for few weeks (no leaks, yay me!! lol) drained it and I began cutting the cascades into the waterfall (huge hill of dirt from the pond) on Monday and will be adding the liner to that tomorrow. I purchased the pump for the waterfall from harbor freight its pretty awesome.
I do have a couple questions for ya;
Do I need a filter for this pond?
The pond is aprox 6 ft long aprox 5 ft wide and at deepest end (waterfall end) is 24" deep no idea at all how many gallons of water it holds.
I got the waterfall part from a gal on Facebook, its like the "biofalls" I have seen on YouTube videos from aquascapes. I noticed inside Thiers is some "foam looking inserts"? Wondering if that's the filter part?! My neighbor gave me his old pool filter to use, but I'm not sure if I'm going to use that or not. didn't seem to want to work right....
Do I need to use a filter? And do I need a skimmer?
The waterfall pump moves 2150 gph and waterfall will be on 24/7 if that matters at all to have a filter or not.
I appreciate any info, and look forward to learning from ya'll and sharing my photos of b4, during and after with you all. My friends and family think I'm crazy for doing all this, but I am really enjoying it, its been alot of work but I love knowing I've built this.
I've always loved being by the water, now I will be able to be near the water all the time.
I'm not going to be adding fish.
Thank you in advance for any help, info and ideas.
Linda
Aka: Lilbitsoulshine
 
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Mmathis

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Hello and welcome! Like your screen name, BTW.

From the dimensions you gave, it's about 450 gallons, maybe less if you have a shallow place.

If you're not having fish, then there's no need for a filter.
 
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Welcome!

When you say "roll of plastic liner" what exactly is that? Lots of ponders love to find ways to build without spending a lot of money, but certain things are critical to a good pond. The liner leads the list of things that I would not recommend skimping on.

And yes, in a bio falls that foam pad stuff is for filtration. Those would get pulled out and rinsed on a regular basis. Many people also add plants to the top (floating water plants generally) to add to the filtration. If you have no fish, your need for filtration is reduced - in fact you don't need any at all if you choose to go that route. Although lots of people set out to have no fish and find themselves adding them later - looking at you @tbendl ! - so you may want to include filtration in your plan just in case!
 
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Lilbitsoulshine

Linda aka: Lilbitsoulshine
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Welcome Linda. That's quite a project you have going. Very surprised your combination liner is not leaking. Pictures would really help.
Thank you!
I was so very carefully installing and using the materials for my liner. The pool cover and plastic are both very thick, and so far 'knocking on wood' there are no leaks... I will post some pictures tomorrow ;)
 

Lilbitsoulshine

Linda aka: Lilbitsoulshine
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Hello and welcome! Like your screen name, BTW.

From the dimensions you gave, it's about 450 gallons, maybe less if you have a shallow place.

If you're not having fish, then there's no need for a filter.
Thank you!! ;)
 

Lilbitsoulshine

Linda aka: Lilbitsoulshine
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Welcome!

When you say "roll of plastic liner" what exactly is that? Lots of ponders love to find ways to build without spending a lot of money, but certain things are critical to a good pond. The liner leads the list of things that I would not recommend skimping on.

And yes, in a bio falls that foam pad stuff is for filtration. Those would get pulled out and rinsed on a regular basis. Many people also add plants to the top (floating water plants generally) to add to the filtration. If you have no fish, your need for filtration is reduced - in fact you don't need any at all if you choose to go that route. Although lots of people set out to have no fish and find themselves adding them later - looking at you @tbendl ! - so you may want to include filtration in your plan just in case!
The roll of plastic I used was from Lowes, real thick plastic. Between the pool cover and that, I was very careful installing and so far, no leaks. I just finished adding the liner to the waterfall and did a few water tests and there were no leaks on there either so tomorrow I start placing all my rocks... ;) I will be posting pics tomorrow ;) thank you so much!!
 

sissy

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Welcome and mot rolls of plastic from lowes are either 3 mil or 6 mil plastic and will freeze and crack in the winter .I know i used it the first year in my water fall since i did not have enough liner .That very winter it cracked and leaked .I even doubled it up ,that was 11 years ago and never did that again .I live 15 minutes from the NC border so we don't get real cold winters
 
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"Real thick plastic" is not durable - as @sissy said it will crack, and quickly. I would not recommend relying on it for pond liner. Having no leaks when you first fill your pond is not the same as having no leaks a year from now or 20 years from now. Nothing strikes greater fear in a ponders heart than a leaking liner (well, OK, maybe a visit from a heron!) but you get my point. You're putting a lot of time and effort into building your pond - the last thing you want to do is have to tear it apart to put in a new liner.

Obviously it's your pond and you can do what you wish - and I do hope the best for you, really - it's just that experience has shown that plastic will not perform like pond liner because IT IS NOT rubber. Two different materials. Yes, plastic can keep water in a hole, but for how long? A 45 mil EPDM liner can hold water for 20+ years. A pond builder we met this past weekend said he just pulled a liner from a pond he built 25 years ago, and he was able to reuse it. It was as good as new. That's what you want to see in a pond.
 
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sissy

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Lots of liners will hold water pvc ,tarp liners and 20-30-40-45 mil epdm (even seen 15 mil epdm ) will all work but the colder your climate is the harder it is on the liner around the top edges especially .I have a neighbor who used an old pool liner 25 years ago and still no problems ,I saw a pond that has a pvc liner that after 15 years now that is just starting to get brittle .They are going bigger so did not matter and if you plan on changing it out it would not matter .Seems we all end up going bigger or changing things .
 

Meyer Jordan

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Lots of liners will hold water pvc ,tarp liners and 20-30-40-45 mil epdm (even seen 15 mil epdm ) will all work but the colder your climate is the harder it is on the liner around the top edges especially .I have a neighbor who used an old pool liner 25 years ago and still no problems ,I saw a pond that has a pvc liner that after 15 years now that is just starting to get brittle .They are going bigger so did not matter and if you plan on changing it out it would not matter .Seems we all end up going bigger or changing things .
In areas that experience extreme heat like the Deep South and parts of the U.S. Southwest, plastic and vinyl liners will quickly lose structural integrity and leak.
 
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n areas that experience extreme heat like the Deep South and parts of the U.S. Southwest, plastic and vinyl liners will quickly lose structural integrity and leak.

Even though we don't have the extreme prolonged heat here in the Midwest, exposed plastic of all types degrades very quickly here, too. I bought a couple of plastic totes for some garden boxes... just an experiment - didn't expect them to last forever, but I was shocked when they were completely disintegrating after one season. Granted they were completely exposed to the sun, but I was was still pretty surprised at how fast they became brittle and cracked. And the cold is just as detrimental as it turns plastic brittle and fragile.
 

Lilbitsoulshine

Linda aka: Lilbitsoulshine
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Thank you all for the lil kick in the rear lol
I'm gonna empty the pond before winter hits and will either add the proper underlayment and liner then , or wait until spring keep it empty of water and then add right liners in spring.
I'm just about finished...only thing left is a truck load of dirt, and truck load of river rock..... my 3 large flagstone pieces at bottom 2 cascades of waterfall need to be placed and pavers along edge to hide liner better....
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Mmathis

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It may be just me, but I would go ahead and change it out now, if your budget allows. The winter cold can be very unforgiving to plastic, and if you were to get a leak over the winter.....well, I wouldn't want to be changing things out as an emergency situation during February. OK, I just re-read where you said wait until spring, but keep it empty. But still, you could have wall collapse, esp. if you have a lot of rain.
 

sissy

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Best time to buy your liner is late fall or winter and before Christmas because they have great sales and it will give you time to compare prices also .I would leave the water in it to stabilize the sides so it does not cave in .
 

Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls

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Thank you all for the lil kick in the rear lol
I'm gonna empty the pond before winter hits and will either add the proper underlayment and liner then , or wait until spring keep it empty of water and then add right liners in spring.
I'm just about finished...only thing left is a truck load of dirt, and truck load of river rock..... my 3 large flagstone pieces at bottom 2 cascades of waterfall need to be placed and pavers along edge to hide liner better....View attachment 84489 View attachment 84490 View attachment 84489 View attachment 84490

Good idea to install a fishsafe epdm liner & underlayment in your pond. We have a similar climate here in Rochester, NY and it is the only liner we use during pond installs or renovations. Placing rock over the liner will help protect it from UV rays as well as a create natural look for your water feature. Since you will be removing the old liner anyways, and if budget allows... you may want to look at adding filtration to reduce future pond maintenance as well. Looks like a perfect location for a water garden...right next to your patio!
 
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Lilbitsoulshine

Linda aka: Lilbitsoulshine
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I've been away for a bit... Working on my pond. I did away with the liner/underlayment and just stuck the preformed kidney shaped pond in the huge hole, back filled and created a small zen gardern right next to it. I'm planting grass seed today in front bed and all up waterfall hill. Been working on this sense May, sure feels good to be done.. Just in time for fall...lol
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