New pond build, lots of questions

Discussion in 'Garden Pond Talk' started by TLWR, May 1, 2011.

  1. TLWR

    TLWR

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    I warned you - lots of questions....

    details:
    The pond is going to be a raised pond built with landscape timbers, about 7' x 12' and 18" deep, so around 950 gallons or so - give or take a bit.
    We are in southern AL (south of I-10), so it will be seeing year round use.
    We are building it for our 3 indian runner ducks, with the possibility of adding a 2-3 more this year. Ducks poop. A lot. So the main concern is filtering as much of the poop out of the pond as possible so I don't have to drain this thing so often. (their current swimming hole is a large kiddie pool with slide (yes, they use it) that gets drained every 3-4 days. As it is getting hot here, 4 days is a stretch and nobody wants to be in that pool!)
    Pond will be away from the house near/under some trees to provide shade for the ducks and overhead protection from their flying predators - so the pond will basically be shaded for much of the day with some bits of sun reaching it, but won't be hard shade - it's at the edge of the shade line of the trees - so part sun/part shade, I guess.


    Questions (we'd like to cut costs where we can, but don't want to have that lead to issues after we are done):
    Liner - trying to decide on 45mil Firestone EPDM vs Total Pond Pond liner 20mil that has the mesh stuff between layers of pvc that says it is uv and puncture proof. We saw it today at Lowe's and it seems pretty sturdy.

    Underlayment - What is better to use for this set up, normal pond underlayment or like the thin Styrofoam insulation to pad against the roughness of the landscape timbers?

    Filter - planning to do something along the skippy or similar lines. I know the bigger the better, but how big should I be aiming for with ~950 gallons for ducks? Do I need to head to TSC or a feed store to find a stock tank or can I use a nice flower planter or the 35 gallon round preformed pond for half barrels? So trying to figure out how big it needs to be at the least and go from there in deciding what to use to create a filter.

    Filter media - what options do I have for the above type/size filter when it comes to media to give me nice clear water that is as duck poop free as possible? I've seen lots of mention of the scrubby pad type of things, but have also seen lava rock used. I don't get how the rocks would work though.

    Pumps - DH is doing some research on that. Want something that won't eat up the electricity, but I want to get as much duck poop water into the filter as possible (and duck poop doesn't seem to naturally fall to a low spot - it just sits where ever in their current pool that I have sloped - it goes to the bottom, but not a low spot that I've noticed anyway. So open to suggestions on that as well.


    I'm hoping to order the liner (and underlayment if I use normal pond underlayment) this weekend.
    We picked up all the timbers and rebar and stuff to build the frame today as well as the light grid for a filter and a shower drain for the pond.

    Thanks for any and all suggestions :)



    The pond idea is like this, but not this size...
    [​IMG]
     
    TLWR, May 1, 2011
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  2. TLWR

    mrsclem mrsclem

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    Have you done research on using landscape timbers? We live in Maryland and have used them for raised flowerbeds and found that they are prone to termite infestation and rot very quickly. Our ponds are built with pressure treated lumber (4x4 posts and 2x12s). Not sure how the timbers will hold up in your area.
     
    mrsclem, May 1, 2011
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  3. TLWR

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    With the filter media, stick with the scrubbies, strapping, plastic rabbit fencing, the thicker bird netting all work great.
    I am a lover of bogs, they work good for filtering and grow great plants.

    A bottom drain, retrofit or built in will really help you.

    I am using the es4200 for my bog filter, runs very quietly and not high electric use. dodad here sells pumps, he might be able to help you with price. I have heard that laguna also makes good pumps.

    The liner I prefer is from bend tarp and liner, very tough stuff, around .45 per sq foot no underlayment needed. But you would have to have shipped unless there is a supplier in your area.
     
    addy1, May 1, 2011
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  4. TLWR

    stroppy stroppy

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    hi there TLWR i had never heard of indian runner ducks ...so i googled it very nice looking ducks they look big !! maybe a silly question but how do they get in and out of the pond ? im guessing they have there wings clipped so they cant fly ? tell me more about your ducks i think its a cool idea to have as pets :0)
     
    stroppy, May 1, 2011
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  5. TLWR

    taherrmann4 Tmann

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    Pond liner - I wouldn't skimp here I would go with 45 mil, it will last a long time and I have found it to be very puncture resistant.
    Underlayment - I can't remember what I have but it is a thick pond underlayment fabric that I got in a 25x50 roll very heavy duty and does not break down. Still looks like it did the day I put it in only dirty on the one side.
    Filter media - I have a savio filter and it uses the poly strapping type stuff. My laguana filter uses the bio balls, and if I had to do all over would save the money and use the doc bio filter with the plastic fencing.
    Pump - I have had a sequence external pump for 6 years now with absolutely no problems.
     
    taherrmann4, May 1, 2011
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  6. TLWR

    TLWR

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    mrsclem - the landscape timbers here are treated, so they should be fine.

    media - plastic fencing.... does it have to be the thin netting type? Or can it be the slightly thicker kind like - let me see if I can find a pic (we have tons of it since I used it for temp fencing in the back 4 acres before we put up real fence last fall) - with the ducks and my garden pool... figure I have to use the water to water the garden anyway, may as well let the ducks play in it and give me free fertilizer in the water for the garden!
    Will this type of plastic fence work? We have lots.
    [​IMG]

    They are actually small ducks. My 3 girls are 3 to 3.5 pounds. They fly, but not far and not well. They use their wings to help move quickly, but are only about an inch or two off the ground. And they fly off the deck in the morning to the ground sometimes. They aren't a flying breed of duck so much, so no clipped wings.

    They've mastered stairs, so they have a cement block to get into their pool and they use the steps to the slide in the pool to get out.
    [​IMG]

    They started laying eggs in early January and one girl has given me an egg a day since then. Another lays an egg most days, but seems to skip a day here and there and the third was broody and laying eggs anywhere she could make a nest that wasn't in their duck house and then stopped laying and then started to molt so wasn't laying and now I get an egg now and then from her, but the shell isn't hard, so the dogs usually get those ones. I'm guessing at some point she might start laying real usable eggs again - maybe.
    They are entertaining ducks. I raised 3, so they are pretty friendly - they don't climb in your lap or anything, but they will run over to see me when I go outside, especially if I have a dish of veggies for them. They aren't too loud, but can quack up a storm if they want your attention for something.

    The three girls late last year - they've filled out a bit more, but didn't get much bigger than that.
    [​IMG]
     
    TLWR, May 1, 2011
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  7. TLWR

    shakaho

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    It seems to me that you would do well to have a bottom drain in your duck pond emptying into a LARGE bog. You could then pump water from the bog into a drum filter. Addy is our expert on bogs. You should look into aquaponics.
     
    shakaho, May 1, 2011
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  8. TLWR

    stroppy stroppy

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    very interesting thank you for showing me photos of them they look very cute and make a nice pet by the sounds of it ;0)

    i also reckon a bottom drain would help you keep it clean
     
    stroppy, May 1, 2011
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  9. TLWR

    TLWR

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    already have the bottom drain for the pond. Laying it out now to decide between a 7x10 or 7x12 layout.
     
    TLWR, May 1, 2011
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  10. TLWR

    mr.spooky

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    all that i can add is that if your going to do this with landscape timber,,,treated or not,,, it might be a smart move to (ofcorse nail all together),,, but after you get about 12 inches high or so, take a LONG drill bit (12"), drill down through all, and hammer in a piece a rebar every 3 or so foot apart. this will lock them all together. nails will HOLD them together, but landscape timber will warp and bow, treated or not.
    this might be a extra step,,, but it sure beats kicking yourself in the arse later:beerchug:!!!
    spooky
     
    mr.spooky, May 1, 2011
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  11. TLWR

    TLWR

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    Already have rebar and a 18" drill bit so we can drill them all at once and then get the rebar in.

    We bought a top piece (decking boards - the top rail thickness) 16' long so if it does bow a bit, it will all do it, top included lol

    DH would really like to be able to do the filters with the large planter pots (22" diameter and about 18-22" tall). Will that work? Or would we need a couple of them? Or will that not work for some reason?
     
    TLWR, May 1, 2011
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  12. TLWR

    sissy sissy

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    my friends but geese and yes they make one poopy mess ponds for them are better shallow and have some way to drain the poop because it can be really smelly .I found bottom drain with a dirty water pump works best fill it as your draining it or you will never get it clean and you will be doing it every 2 or 3 days can sometimes be more in the summer when it's hot .The pond water use for flower beds and boy you will have healthy flowers .But also becarefull because of bacteria can cause skin problems and breathing problems for some people .My koi aggie also .
     

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    sissy, May 2, 2011
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  13. TLWR

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Tlwr the thicker fencing you have would work great for a filter.
     
    addy1, May 2, 2011
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  14. TLWR

    blessedfamily

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    Love the ducks..very cute. I have two geese that showed up this year that my neighbors chased off so now they are camping in my yard. I have not seen them in my 1,000 gallon pond yet just sitting next to my waterfall. I had two ducks that came every year but the geese chased them off I guess because I only seen them once this year. I know geese are mean but unless they mess with my pond or kids they can stay for a little :) Sissy I love your pictures too.
     
    blessedfamily, May 2, 2011
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  15. TLWR

    sissy sissy

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    drop dead fred is the boss of his geese flock and lets you know it too .He is the grey one standing up honking his orders to the others.Sadly 1 died a week ago no idea why just found him dead .
     
    sissy, May 2, 2011
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  16. TLWR

    blessedfamily

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    I have the Canadian geese over here..mean suckers but like I said they can stay in they don't mess with my things lol. That is sad one died..poor thing.
     
    blessedfamily, May 2, 2011
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  17. TLWR

    Shdwdrgn

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    A suggestion for underlayment... I hit up my local carpet store, and they let me raid their dumpster. My entire pond was padded with thick carpet, all for free.
     
    Shdwdrgn, May 2, 2011
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  18. TLWR

    sissy sissy

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    They are pet geese and the 1 that died was the mate to drop dead fred or at least 1 of his mates he is a womanizer lol
     
    sissy, May 2, 2011
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  19. TLWR

    TLWR

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    We thought of that - padding or carpet.
    Wouldn't that get nasty from dampness in the ground? That's why we kind of moved on from that idea.


    This is what we did yesterday - the rest will have to wait until the liner is here. Don't want to cut the timbers until we've done a test fit to figure out the corners and what not and find we have a larger pond than we do liner...
    [​IMG]
     
    TLWR, May 2, 2011
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  20. TLWR

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    Lots of peeps use carpet, blankets anything soft and it would take a long time to decay underground I would think and if you buy a good liner you should not have a problem w/ whatever you choose for the underlayment.
    Love the ducks........had some when I was a kid. Now you can tell that this was a really long time ago and these pix are antiques now, like me :cool::

    Casey and Kelly

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    j.w, May 2, 2011
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