New waterfall and stream build


Joined
Sep 30, 2022
Messages
22
Reaction score
14
Country
New Zealand
Hi guys,

I am planning on building a waterfall and stream in my back yard. It will be a pondless job as I have young kids and the boss said no ponds lol (yet). I am in New Zealand and water feature stuff is expensive here, especially lately so I will be sharing my ways to bring this cost down. I am not on a very tight budget but am def not paying the prices they charge here for some things. NZ is not cheap in general, there is the normal "koi tax" and also inflation!

For reference, I am quite experienced in landscaping, have kept aquaria for a long time and for the last few months have watched untold videos and read forums on this so I def have some good knowledge, just not the experience in building something like this.

It won't be a super quick build as I am fairly time poor at the moment with a new job and kids, etc but will am planning to crack on as much as possible as we are now in spring here and want this done soon.

I will start with some pics of the site and see what you guys think of my basic idea. I plan to do a waterfall with a drop of about 4 feet and maybe 12 feet long, then into a stream approx. 25 feet (we use metric here but assume most are in the US so will try and use feet when I can lol). The waterfall will be built up against a small retaining wall and the site below is mostly flat. It starts to dip down after the bridge slightly but it wont be a problem to create a gentle slope for the stream. I want it fairly tranquil but will use a ball valve to make it adjustable. I do want some stream noise!

Anyway let me know your thoughts on the site and general plan (note the waterfall rocks are shopped into the plan and not there yet. Cheers!
 

Attachments

  • IMG20221002165354.jpg
    IMG20221002165354.jpg
    272.5 KB · Views: 36
  • Capture.jpg
    Capture.jpg
    244.9 KB · Views: 37
  • IMG20220917162302.jpg
    IMG20220917162302.jpg
    264.5 KB · Views: 36
  • IMG20220917162951.jpg
    IMG20220917162951.jpg
    261.7 KB · Views: 35
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Sep 28, 2022
Messages
63
Reaction score
34
Location
franklin Va
Hardiness Zone
7b
Country
United States
I Love it.

Have your heard of Ozponds he is all about beautiful ponds on a budget and his is from you side of the globe.

The black planter can you incorporate that or is it the boss's?
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2022
Messages
22
Reaction score
14
Country
New Zealand
Thanks and yes have heard of Ozponds! I will be incorporating half of the black planter so the waterfall spillway will be right back against the house wall and then tumble over the wall. Gives me more room and a bit more height to play with. And the boss has "dominion" over interior decorating and I have the same over the garden so (almost) free reign :D
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2022
Messages
63
Reaction score
34
Location
franklin Va
Hardiness Zone
7b
Country
United States
If you can get the permit form the boss. What about a small above ground pond like in the middle of the black planter or remove/ rework the planter to have some smaller falls with plants tucked it some rock work.

I don't know, just some thoughts. With the plants you have in your yard it will be awesome
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2022
Messages
22
Reaction score
14
Country
New Zealand
Thanks and I would love to have a small pond at the beginning but anything my 2 year old can stick her head in is a no go and I dont want to put mesh over it, etc so will have to use a spillway straight into the waterfall. There are ways to make it look more natural :) Which reminds me, looking as natural as possible is of high importance! I know it will take a while to achieve this with rock work and planting but def a priority.

That brings me to one of my first ideas about DIYing. There are very limited options for premade spillways here and they are very expensive!

Exhibit A: https://nzpondsupplies.co.nz/products/biological-waterfall-filter $225 USD (for a fancy bucket!)
Exhibit B: https://nzpondsupplies.co.nz/products/aquatic-lifestyles-large-spillway-waterfall-diffuser? $184 USD

Other than fancy, even pricier stainless steel ones that's about it locally so I am hoping to DIY one. Any tips appreciated. I am considering using a square planter tub, attaching a bulkhead and then securely attaching a spillway cut from either a large plastic dustpan or a paint roller tray, see pics. Thoughts? Would it be best to have a lid too?
 

Attachments

  • IMG20221002112543.jpg
    IMG20221002112543.jpg
    122 KB · Views: 13
  • IMG20221002112828.jpg
    IMG20221002112828.jpg
    121.3 KB · Views: 11
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Sep 30, 2022
Messages
22
Reaction score
14
Country
New Zealand
????? koi tax ??????? say what i thought NEW ZELAND HAD THEIR ACT TOGETHER
Lol, sorry it's a term I have heard others use for the markup that aquarium and pond supply shops add on to items that you can get elsewhere like a hardware store for cheaper, just because it's for an enthusiast hobby :)
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2022
Messages
22
Reaction score
14
Country
New Zealand
Some plastics are near impossible to glue try to find a solid piece . Like a tote box and cut the side and heat bend your spillway.

2 years old huh ....you need a lid and a lock ;)

A lid and a lock to store the 2 year old? :D

What about something like this? It's 10 gallons so should be big enough? The pump I am looking at goes up to 18,000 litres/ph (4750 gph) but as mentioned I will put a flow regulator valve on it.

Would attach a bulkhead nearish to the bottom with a downwards facing elbow on the inside?

Capture.PNG
Capture.PNG
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
10,015
Reaction score
7,925
Location
Ct
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
OK YOU ASKED FOR INPUT

1. you have the start of a raised bog THIS is the best filter BY far as FAR I am concerned . a couple more landscape ties some rubber and pea stone or 3/4 river rock and you will have crystal clear water ALWAYS
A. You can turn your planter into a bog with minimal effort and dollars as you already have 3/4's of it already built and the type of tropicals you can put in the bog and the colors and shapes will truly compliment that garden.

2. Forget the spill ways, but the drop from the bog to the stream is the most common area for water loss and you will need to keep this in mind as it can get tricky. but if you keep the area around the spill way from the bog in the shape of a flattened out horse shoe the rocks / boulders on the sides can catch the splash from the water fall. A SIMPLE LITTLE splash getting out side of the rubber containment can add up to hundreds of gallon a week or day.
The other thing is a water fall is great but a stream with water bouncing off rocks and the way down a to or 3 foot can be just as eye appealing as is a water fall when done right

here's some builds i collected look at the third video on page two . yes it is a lot more than what your building but if your a landscaper and artistic it should give you some ideas. https://www.gardenpondforum.com/threads/some-very-impressive-pond-builds.26353/page-2.
In my posts below there are other similar ideas
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
10,015
Reaction score
7,925
Location
Ct
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
Lol, sorry it's a term I have heard others use for the markup that aquarium and pond supply shops add on to items that you can get elsewhere like a hardware store for cheaper, just because it's for an enthusiast hobby :)
got cha we do have a view tax here and other such BS taxes so KOI TAX was not that far fetched i know when the tax man comes by and see's my pond he will tack on some tax dollars
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Sep 30, 2022
Messages
22
Reaction score
14
Country
New Zealand
OK YOU ASKED FOR INPUT

1. you have the start of a raised bog THIS is the best filter BY far as FAR I am concerned . a couple more landscape ties some rubber and pea stone or 3/4 river rock and you will have crystal clear water ALWAYS
A. You can turn your planter into a bog with minimal effort and dollars as you already have 3/4's of it already built and the type of tropicals you can put in the bog and the colors and shapes will truly compliment that garden.

2. Forget the spill ways, but the drop from the bog to the stream is the most common area for water loss and you will need to keep this in mind as it can get tricky. but if you keep the area around the spill way from the bog in the shape of a flattened out horse shoe the rocks / boulders on the sides can catch the splash from the water fall. A SIMPLE LITTLE splash getting out side of the rubber containment can add up to hundreds of gallon a week or day.
The other thing is a water fall is great but a stream with water bouncing off rocks and the way down a to or 3 foot can be just as eye appealing as is a water fall when done right

here's some builds i collected look at the third video on page two . yes it is a lot more than what your building but if your a landscaper and artistic it should give you some ideas. https://www.gardenpondforum.com/threads/some-very-impressive-pond-builds.26353/page-2.
In my posts below there are other similar ideas
Thanks! I hadn't really considered a bog but I have read a little on them and it would be cool as I would like some aquatic plants (and crystal clear water!) What kind of flow rates can they handle? Enough for a decent stream? I do want more than a trickle :)
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 18, 2020
Messages
2,211
Reaction score
2,052
Location
Pacific NW
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
Looks like the perfect spot for your feature. Look forward to seeing it come together.

I would use the plastic tote idea you have for your spillway, but don’t try to make it separate from your liner. Envelope it in your liner and just allow the water to spill out of it and down your waterfall like it’s originating from a spring.

Better yet, use something like a milk crate turned upside down so that you can cover the top in rock and gravel. Then stick a plant or two around it and that will help disguise the origin a lot.
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
10,015
Reaction score
7,925
Location
Ct
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
Thanks! I hadn't really considered a bog but I have read a little on them and it would be cool as I would like some aquatic plants (and crystal clear water!) What kind of flow rates can they handle? Enough for a decent stream? I do want more than a trickle :)
this is what a bog can do
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2020
Messages
2,211
Reaction score
2,052
Location
Pacific NW
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
What kind of flow rates can they handle? Enough for a decent stream? I do want more than a trickle

Bogs work best with a lower flow, but this is easily worked around by splitting the output of your pump ahead of the bog. Send one leg to the bog @ ideal flow rate and dump the rest out on top. Best of both worlds.
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2022
Messages
63
Reaction score
34
Location
franklin Va
Hardiness Zone
7b
Country
United States
Thanks! I hadn't really considered a bog but I have read a little on them and it would be cool as I would like some aquatic plants (and crystal clear water!) What kind of flow rates can they handle? Enough for a decent stream? I do want more than a trickle :)
You did not consider a bog!! what was the black boxing and the end? I saw that a some kind of DIY aqua blocks.

I did not say "A lid and a lock to store the 2 year old" that sound like a good idea though. I will have to think on it.:LOL:

As a koi keeper I see a pump before a sieve a bad idea think (poo smoothie) with no fish that perfect!!

Ohh!! the black boxes was a intake bay? for your leaf litter.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Sep 30, 2022
Messages
22
Reaction score
14
Country
New Zealand
You did not consider a bog!! what was the black boxing and the end? I saw that a some kind of DIY aqua blocks.

I did not say "A lid and a lock to store the 2 year old" that sound like a good idea though. I will have to think on it.:LOL:

As a koi keeper I see a pump before a sieve a bad idea think (poo smoothie) with no fish that perfect!!

Ohh!! the black boxes was a intake bay? for your leaf litter.
Sorry if its not clear. The "grid" at the end of the stream is where the aquablocks will go. I have found exactly the same product sold as "drainage modules" or "stormwater retention blocks" for about half the price you pay for branded aquablocks here. At the top of the waterfall there is a black box on the plan which is intended to be the spillway.
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2022
Messages
22
Reaction score
14
Country
New Zealand
Im not ruling out any filtration at all but MANY build videos do not have any, other than the gravel over the reservoir I guess. Is it a risk to not include something with a pondless build?
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Sep 18, 2020
Messages
2,211
Reaction score
2,052
Location
Pacific NW
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
Ah reservoir and bog are about the something just different names.

They’re typically different things. Bog is full of media to provide surface area for bio filtration. Reservoir is empty space for capturing as much water as possible.
 

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