New pond, nervous about winter

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Spartamets, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. Spartamets

    Spartamets

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    Now I'm a little ambivalent about what to do. I have way more than enough liner to easily exceed overlap requirements as described here. I have 8 feet of width for a pond that is 2 feet deep. I can have the overlain liner go three feet beyond the water's edge and two or three feet across the bottom of the pond. Or some kind of combination of excess on top and at the bottom. The 10 feet of length, meanwhile, is enough to cover the lowest edge that needs to be lifted up. (The existing liner, except for by the skimmer, also goes about two feet beyond the pond edge at that spot already.)

    Morewater, you are right that the holes are for pipes and power cords entering/exiting the skimmer box. They are where water drained from. I just watched it happen again after intentionally filling the pond high enough to see if it would happen again, but because of the duct tape, the water seeps out imperceptibly. It took a few hours for it to lose about 1/4 inch.

    I'm not sure I explained the freeze situation clearly enough. I don't think the ground froze. I think the water that was already under the liner froze. I'd say I overfilled the pond by three inches in the days immediately preceding the deep freeze, because I hadn't yet realized the water would escape those skimmer holes. That three inches of water under the liner, upon freezing, expanded and pushed up the water that was still in the pond. The water on the pond surface did indeed freeze, solidly. The significance of the net is that the ice surface became, in effect, identical with the netting. Because the netting also dropped down to touch the water surface under the weight of the ice, there became a solid ice plane that followed the contours of the netting, but that also dipped down to include much of the pond surface. That is how I think water continued to get behind the liner. I'm only speculating, but there was a LOT of water under the liner after the freeze, and the only water that got back there after I refilled the pond after the thaw was the tiny bit that I made available to do that by overfilling the pond to reach those skimmer holes. I think I'll take some pictures tomorrow. By the way, we hit 58 degrees here today. I'll take that in December anytime.
     
    Spartamets, Dec 23, 2016
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  2. Spartamets

    Tula

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    Tula, Dec 23, 2016
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  3. Spartamets

    Lisak1

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    I'm not sure I'll explain this in a way that makes any sense, but I'll give it a shot.

    When you overlap liner, you want to do it in an application where the water will flow down - a waterfall or stream specifically. Gravity will keep the water from backing up, but only if the liner underneath continues in the up stream direction for several feet. On a pond wall you don't have that advantage and the water will want to creep up the wall (or wick) and over the edge because your wall is relatively straight up and down. Any extra liner beyond the edge really won't matter as it can't prevent the water from moving upward past the edge. You could have 20 feet of extra liner at the top edge, but unless it were somehow standing straight up, it might as well be 2 inches. The extra liner at the top will either be folded to conceal it (the most common edging method) or laid flat on the ground and covered with gravel or mulch. In either case, it will not extend more than a few inches past the top edge if you finish the edge of your pond with the intent of hiding the liner.

    Does that make sense? If I were one of those creative types I would draw you a picture!
     
    Lisak1, Dec 23, 2016
  4. Spartamets

    snoozer

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    snoozer, Dec 23, 2016
  5. Spartamets

    snoozer

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    I would listen to the advice of Morewater and Meyer Jordan, they have the experience to guide you in the right direction in regards to raising the skimmer and the edge of the lower side of the pond. I to had to raise the grade on one side of my pond. The berm that holds the header pond for the waterfall and the stream took 120 yards of dirt to get what I needed in height. Thank god for skid loaders and a talented son.

    I don't believe that there is any way that the water under the liner was frozen. For that to happen, the water above the liner would have had to freeze solid all the way through then continue to the water under the liner. If you had temps well below zero for an extended time it may be possible but with only a thin layer of ice for a couple days it didn't freeze. If it had frozen your fish would have turned into fish popsicles.

    Take time to enjoy the pond, even in winter it is peaceful and calming to sit next to.
     
    snoozer, Dec 23, 2016
  6. Spartamets

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    If, and I emphasize IF, the edge of your existing liner was above the water level of the pond, overlapping with a separate piece of liner would work. But then, if this were true of the existing liner's edge you would not need to overlap any additional liner. You must consider were the lowest point of your present liner's edge will be in relation to the new higher water level that you are seeking. If it is lower, the pond will leak, no matter how large this overlapping piece of liner is; short of relining the entire pond basin.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Dec 23, 2016
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  7. Spartamets

    snoozer

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    One funny thing that runs through my head after reading the thread and the mention of the hippo, it the silliy song, I Want a Hippopotamus for Christamas
     
    snoozer, Dec 23, 2016
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  8. Spartamets

    Spartamets

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    This is the million dollar answer. Thank you, Meyer, and thank you everyone else. By piecing all of the various points together that so many of you have been making, I am developing a clearer understanding of everything. From what Snoozer just wrote, it looks like my theory about skimmer holes (bulkhead openings) being the source of under-liner ice expansion was wrong. I know the ground wasn't frozen, either. The side of the pond that I want to raise and that I considered overlapping with the new piece of liner is opposite the waterfall. From what Lisak1 wrote (and it was perfectly clear), it's on the opposite side of the pond from what I would otherwise be able to get away with. Because I would be using it to raise the edge of the pond, the part I would cut away from the skimmer will be below the water line. So the liner overhang idea is now totally gone. Again. I felt confident that the idea would be shot down, but I had no idea that these would be the reasons. There is no way I could have thought it through on my own.

    I'm sorry to be repeating questions and ideas; when I learn new info, my calculations get readjusted accordingly. This is a case where the sum total of information has now become conclusive. I have to raise the skimmer box without disconnecting it from the liner, taking advantage of the slack that I left in the liner when I built the pond. This will happen in the Spring, and I hope my back-and-forth has not dissuaded you from walking me through the process when the time comes to execute this plan, Meyer. I should have some kind of small-scale venting on hand and ready to install then, too. I will use sand under the skimmer as per morewater's advice. The extra liner will eventually find some kind of use, maybe to line another short stream when I get in the mood for more pointless headaches. Thanks again to everyone. You all know a ton, and collectively you have been providing me with a well-rounded education. There are a lot of angles to pond construction, many of which I didn't even know existed despite all the research I did when I was performing the actual labor.
     
    Spartamets, Dec 23, 2016
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  9. Spartamets

    Spartamets

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    You pack a lot of advice into your messages. I always miss some. I will ponder these options over the next few months. I am a fan of simple, long-lasting and, especially, cheap. Thank you.
     
    Spartamets, Dec 23, 2016
  10. Spartamets

    Lisak1

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    @Meyer Jordan just said in a few words what it took me a paragraph to say! haha!
     
    Lisak1, Dec 23, 2016
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  11. Spartamets

    Lisak1

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    Don't be sorry! Better to get it clear before you start the actual work. We read everything we could, drew countless diagrams and talked through our pond build for MONTHS with every person who knew a single thing about ponds before we moved a single shovelful of dirt.

    And also remember - getting a variety of opinions is not unusual when discussing ponds. You'll frequently see that here - we don't all agree on every aspect of pond ownership. By hearing lots of differing viewpoints we were able to make some conclusions on our own that actually went against what a few "experts" told us - for example, we wanted a negative edge that fell off into an underwater rain storage area. Several experienced pond builders told us not to do it - they said our fish would continually swim off the edge. In five years, it's only happened one time and that's when a dog jumped in and chased the fish right over the edge. We were also told not to build a pond with only a "bog" for filtration - "they" said we would never have clear water and our fish would die. Here we are - continuously clear water and healthy fish.

    So keep asking questions and weigh the advice you get and you'll do just fine!
     
    Lisak1, Dec 23, 2016
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  12. Spartamets

    sissy sissy

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    I just jumped in with a shovel and pond .But I had no access to puter and this forum .Plus my dad and I built a pond when I was a child so had his knowledge to go by .But I have learned a lot on here .I went against a lot ov conventional build stuff .No skimmer and no bottom drain .No need for a skimmer since not much falls in the pond and no bottom drain because cutting a hole in the bottom of my liner scared the daylights out of me .Pool net is the best thing to have .Lava rock is my favorite filter material and it is old fashioned but why change what works .Lots of aeration and plants in my filters really help
     
    sissy, Dec 23, 2016
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  13. Spartamets

    Lisak1

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    I've seen lots of ponds without skimmers - that's definitely an option and you have one less thing to maintain.

    Here's one thing I have noticed, though, with a skimmer - the water surface sparkles when you are pulling/pushing the water to the pump. We don't get many leaves in our pond, but we do get a LOT of pollen/dust/fine debris that builds up on the surface of the water and causes it to look dull very quickly. When you keep the water moving toward the skimmer (or in my case, the negative edge) the water stays mirror-shiny!

    Just something to think about for those who are considering skimmer/no skimmer...
     
    Lisak1, Dec 23, 2016
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  14. Spartamets

    snoozer

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    I have a skimmer on my pond and need to have with all of the maple tree flowers, seeds, leaves pollen, etc that ends up on the surface. One thing i don't have is a true filter. I think pond size is on my side as it is 35'X20' and 30 inches deep. The rocks around the pond are on the plant shelf and the gaps and spaces between the large boulders are filled with river rock. You can see what i mean in the picture i attached. I guess the whole pond is one big bio filter. The matala mat in the skimmer box is the only hint of a mechanical filter in the whole thing.
     

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    snoozer, Dec 24, 2016
  15. Spartamets

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    Fish load is the determining factor here.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Dec 24, 2016
  16. Spartamets

    snoozer

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    if I could talk them into staying still i could count them one day.
     
    snoozer, Dec 24, 2016
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  17. Spartamets

    sissy sissy

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    Why did you decide on that depth .I would think where you live deeper would be better .
     
    sissy, Dec 24, 2016
  18. Spartamets

    snoozer

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    Knowing what I do now, I know it should be deeper. We dug by hand and hit the maple tree roots and everything else hidden under the dirt. The yard is full of fill which consists of rocks, asphalt, concrete chunks and whetever else they found 60 years ago to toss in the low area where the house was built. It is also clay soil here that either sticks to the shovel when soft or is like a rock when dry. My son found a couple of intetesting shaped pieces of concrete and asphalt that he incorporated in the rocks on the berm. The water level ended up being 30 inches which isn't terrible but should really be at least 36. If we had a backhoe to use when we built it, it would have been deeper but sometimes you just run out of ambition when the dig is by hand. I have 3 koi and the rest of the gang are comets and shubbies and they have been hanging in there. Only had one bad year when we had extended below zero and freezing for well over a month. I sat outside and cried when the ice started melting and the dead fish started showing up. That was the one and only time i ran an aerator in winter.
     
    snoozer, Dec 24, 2016
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  19. Spartamets

    sissy sissy

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    I had to deal with shale and couldn't go any deeper and knowing that yours must have been a real bear to dig .Shame they did not bury a chest of money ;)
     
    sissy, Dec 24, 2016
  20. Spartamets

    snoozer

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    Money would have been nice.
     
    snoozer, Dec 24, 2016
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