New pond, nervous about winter

Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Messages
182
Reaction score
120
Location
Baltimore
Hardiness Zone
7a
Country
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.
 
A

Advertising

Joined
Sep 14, 2013
Messages
3,961
Reaction score
3,102
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio
Hardiness Zone
6 A
Country
I'm glad that your siphoning worked out for you, Spartamets. That's your immediate issue taken care of with little muss or fuss (the best way).

The "extra" holes in skimmers are easily sealed off using bulkhead fittings or by simply blasting them full of waterfall foam, waiting for it to dry and then cutting off the excess. There are also circular adhesive EPDM patches that can be put over the holes. I'm suspecting that those "holes" you're referring to are actually the holes for the water lines to come through the side to reach the pump, and not for overflow purposes. There's usually an actual overflow port incorporated into most commercially-produced skimmers.

Where could I find bulkhead fittings for my Savio skimmer? I went to Lowes and asked someone in the plumbing dept. and they had no idea what I was talking about.
 
A

Advertising

Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
6,975
Reaction score
7,836
Location
Northern IL
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!
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Messages
421
Reaction score
325
Location
Franklin, Wisconsin
Hardiness Zone
Zone 5b
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.
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Messages
421
Reaction score
325
Location
Franklin, Wisconsin
Hardiness Zone
Zone 5b
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.
 

Meyer Jordan

Tadpole
Joined
Oct 10, 2014
Messages
7,177
Reaction score
5,640
Location
Pensacola, Florida
Hardiness Zone
9a
Country
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.
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.
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Messages
182
Reaction score
120
Location
Baltimore
Hardiness Zone
7a
Country
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.
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.
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Messages
182
Reaction score
120
Location
Baltimore
Hardiness Zone
7a
Country
I'm glad that your siphoning worked out for you, Spartamets. That's your immediate issue taken care of with little muss or fuss (the best way).

The "extra" holes in skimmers are easily sealed off using bulkhead fittings or by simply blasting them full of waterfall foam, waiting for it to dry and then cutting off the excess. There are also circular adhesive EPDM patches that can be put over the holes. I'm suspecting that those "holes" you're referring to are actually the holes for the water lines to come through the side to reach the pump, and not for overflow purposes. There's usually an actual overflow port incorporated into most commercially-produced skimmers.

I'm finding it hard to understand, however, that the water below ground froze, but the actual pond water (at the surface) did not. Had the water creating the Hippo "froze", you wouldn't have been able to siphon it from under the liner if it was in a solid state. Given your weather region, I don't think that your frost-line would be frozen this early in the Winter.

When you're going to re-position your skimmer, dirt isn't the way to go. You need to use something that's going to drain any water that might accumulated under the skimmer (ie. sand).

Your plan to drape your excess liner when you adjust your skimmer height is problematic. Look into altering the inlet port of your skimmer. I've run into skimmers that were incorrectly installed in the past, that due to surrounding plantings, etc., were too much of a pain to pull, reposition and re-install. The inlet port of the skimmer can be altered to adjust the height without the need to pull the entire unit. The skimmer inlet port can be cut lower and the existing liner re-attached.

If the skimmer needs to be raised, it can be accomplished by enlarging the skimmer inlet (cutting upwards) and then sealing the undesired lower portion with a piece of "cut to measure" acrylic or Plexiglas. Or you can opt to move the entire thing. Each situation is different and requires a different approach. There's more ways to kill a cat than kissing it to death.

There are all kinds of tweaks that can be done to make the whole process simple(r), cheaper, more effective, longer-lasting and aesthetically-pleasing.
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.
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
6,975
Reaction score
7,836
Location
Northern IL
I'm sorry to be repeating questions and ideas
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!
 

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
31,396
Reaction score
14,418
Location
Axton virginia
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
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
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
6,975
Reaction score
7,836
Location
Northern IL
No need for a skimmer since not much falls in the pond
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...
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Messages
421
Reaction score
325
Location
Franklin, Wisconsin
Hardiness Zone
Zone 5b
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.
 

Attachments

Meyer Jordan

Tadpole
Joined
Oct 10, 2014
Messages
7,177
Reaction score
5,640
Location
Pensacola, Florida
Hardiness Zone
9a
Country
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.
Fish load is the determining factor here.
 

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
31,396
Reaction score
14,418
Location
Axton virginia
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
Why did you decide on that depth .I would think where you live deeper would be better .
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Messages
421
Reaction score
325
Location
Franklin, Wisconsin
Hardiness Zone
Zone 5b
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.
 

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
31,396
Reaction score
14,418
Location
Axton virginia
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
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 ;)
 
A

Advertising

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top