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Hi All.
I'm an experienced fish keeper who focuses on planted aquariums. I've decided to build a pond with a waterfall\stream feature.

I'm looking at the waterfall/ stream being about 5-6 feet long with 2/3ft drop and 2ft wide, opening out into a pond basically triangular with the short sides around 6-8 ft.

The purpose is mainly wildlife although we do have a goldfish the daughter won at a fair years ago that could do with an upgrade from the 60ltr it's currently in. I'd also like to have an small area for marsh plants/ reeds and surround with a small mound of wildflowers leading into the lawn rather than stones or edging slabs. I want it as natural as possible with maximum benefit for wildlife ( Although I understand that a goldfish wont help in this regard).

As well as this I'm considering attempting DIY filtration system passing water through a water butt to feed water to the top of the water feature.

Any advice, links and/or criticism of what I'm looking at would be most welcome.

Thanks
 
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Make sure you build the waterfall correctly. There has to be a liner underneath in order to have a positive return of water to the pond.
99% of pond leaks end up being the waterfall.

The waterfall liner has to be correctly shaped. It not only needs to be pitched downward, but it should be dramatically concave shaped so no water can escape over the sides.
Rocks or stones that cover the liner are there for looks. The liner below is the basic heart of the build.

Let's talk liners...stay far away from cheap PVC liners for anything related to your pond. You want either 45 mil EPDM or HDRPE.

If you want a natural maintenance free filter that also serves as a beautiful planter, look into bog filtration. There are lots of threads here on bog filtration. As long as it's sized correctly, it will be the only filter you will need. No UV lights either.
 

j.w

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and welcome @BeesKnees
 
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Thank you all for the replies.

I'm going to be replacing some of the paving in the garden as part of the work and intend to build the slope for the waterfall from the paving slabs. The waterfall will have a wall running down one side which I intend to attach the liner to and hide with rocks, the other side by the raised beds will be trickier, although it does mean I already have a 6 inch retaining wall.

I've attached an image with rough markings, although it will be bigger than where the boards are. I doubt I have space for a big enough bog, although the idea of using reedbed/bog filtration does interest me and would be great for wildlife.

NB: Just noticed the image does foreshorten things. Hopefully my scribble makes sense.
 

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addy1

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Your marsh plants, your stream if carefully planted can add filtration. Your water butt filter could be a plant filter,
 
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Thank you,
Can you explain what you mean by a plant filter.
If I've understood correctly then the aim would be for the stream to run into a deeper bed of gravel leading into the marsh planted area and the water return to the pond from the planted area so plants draw up nitrogen. Effectively extending the distance the water returning travels so there is more time for nutrient uptake,

tbh, I'm still unsure on equipment.
Perhaps something like this as a skimmer
with a pump to draw the water to the top of the stream (unsure on which).


It's great to be talking about natural cycles rather than the artificial world of aquaria.
 

addy1

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If I've understood correctly then the aim would be for the stream to run into a deeper bed of gravel leading into the marsh planted area and the water return to the pond from the planted area so plants draw up nitrogen. Effectively extending the distance the water returning travels so there is more time for nutrient uptake,
yes plants are great about cleaning the water. I filter only with a big bog, one of my small ponds is filtered with a small planter bog. Pea gravel and plants for the big pond, kitty litter and plants for the small planter bog.
 
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Why would you need a filter?
This is a very good question that I'm now asking myself.

Being from an aquarium background I initially assumed a filter would be a must but the more I think about it, providing I have circulation and aeration to prevent the water stagnating then it's probably unnecessary.

I've been looking at videos etc and as the pond won't have any overhanging trees I suspect all I need is a pump to draw water to the top of the water feature.
I would still like to feed this into an area of marsh plants that filters into the pond if possible.

I guess if this becomes a fish pond in future I could attach external filtration
 
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The filtration via bog will prevent green water once established. And is virtually maintenance free. (may have to thin the plants from time to time)
 
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This is a very good question that I'm now asking myself.

Being from an aquarium background I initially assumed a filter would be a must but the more I think about it, providing I have circulation and aeration to prevent the water stagnating then it's probably unnecessary.

I've been looking at videos etc and as the pond won't have any overhanging trees I suspect all I need is a pump to draw water to the top of the water feature.
I would still like to feed this into an area of marsh plants that filters into the pond if possible.

I guess if this becomes a fish pond in future I could attach external filtration
just realize, when you pour water OVER a 'marsh' area, you're not going to get the same biofiltration that you would if you sent water DOWN and forced it up past/through a pea gravel bed. Plants do one thing--they take up the nitrates. You're going to have ammonia and you want the bacteria to break this down into nitrites. You'll want the second set of denitrifying bacteria to then turn it into your nitrates. So, pouring your pond water over will only give you whatever surface fitration you can get and it may indeed turn into a clogged, algaed mess with little biofiltration happening.

Were it mine, I'd definitely plan on sending your pond water via pump to a bog for above said filtration. You can have a tee or wye at your pump and take one lead to go to your falls and one to go to a bog. Search 'bog' here and read the many threads to further understand what I'm suggesting. You can still have your marsh area but you'd benefit greatly from a bog as well. Lots of folks have turned their bog output into an additional waterfall area, further aerating the pond. In time, this is a no maintenance system (other than thinning plants periodically) and self-sustaining.

The main reason I noted all the above is that you want more than just plants, you want surface area for bacteria. With only one fish, it may not matter but the health of your pond and all those critters you're looking to attract, will still benefit from a balanced system. Otherwise, you may find the algae nudges your pond into something less than optimal.
 
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Thank you all for the great information, I have some thinking to do about how to plan this out.

Sounds like I will need separate circulation to the bog/marsh area which reminds me of the old undergravel filters we used to use in aquaria and also to the water feature.

This makes a lot of sense as I can have the filtration running 24/7 and the water feature when desired.
 
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That's absolutely awesome!!

I think one of the problems I may have is that the area I'm planning as a bog ( still can't get used to calling it this as I always think of peat bogs) will have overhanging trees, if I'm not careful I could be introducing nutrients through rotting leaves .
 
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That's absolutely awesome!!

I think one of the problems I may have is that the area I'm planning as a bog ( still can't get used to calling it this as I always think of peat bogs) will have overhanging trees, if I'm not careful I could be introducing nutrients through rotting leaves .
I also have lots of trees.
Perhaps a leaf blower will keep the leaves out. During the Fall season, I erect a net over the pond and bog to prevent this. Just a basic PVC pipe frame bow shaped upward and covered with pond netting.
 
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OK,
I've had a redesign.
I plan to forget the stream element and make a 6-12 inch high retaining wall for the bog section with a waterfall return to the pond.

This makes the plumbing much simpler, although I will need to think carefully how to run the liner through the wall section.
 

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although I will need to think carefully how to run the liner through the wall section.
I laid my liner over the dividing wall. Then piled stones over that to hide the liner.

I made my bog walls high, probably a bit too high, to allow for possible expansion... height wise.

I also laid the liner over the rest of the walls. Then covered with more stones.

The vertical liner at the inner part of the walls between the gravel and the top of the walls was easy to hide. I just piled stones right on top of the gravel.
20200425_162318.jpg

20200521_140616.jpg
 
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addy1

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That looks great, come cover mine, I have raised the liner a few times, it needs some covering. But when the plants grow you never see it
 
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@addy1 this post just showed today as toeing a new post. It's not the first post that has been around for some time that just now shows up.
 

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