Newish Pond Owner

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So about a decade ago my parents got a pond for our backyard to go inside my dad's train tracks, and it everything went smoothly, no issues or anything. However this is when I was not involved with the pond, and also before our shed was moved across the yard and over the pond, breaking some edges, and also effectively ending the ponds' life there.

Now after more than 3 years of sitting stagnant, with its waterfall on its side, all grandeur lost. I have decided that its my turn with the pond to see what I can make of it. I have completely emptied the pond of all water and gunk that was in it, then I filled it back up, and covered as many cracks as I could with some old decorative houses. After going to purchase a new filter I began filtering the water that was I had just placed in the pond. A family friend, who also had a pond, gave me another 2 filters, a fountain, a floating fountain, and 2 more pumps.

Since the pond isn't large enough, or has need I only have 2 of the 3 pumps/filters in currently installed. One is going to the waterfall, and the other is going to the fountain (that is currently missing the piece to make water effects). The only sort of chemicals that I have put into the pond have been Smartpond Algaecide, and Carefree Pond Products Sludge Eater. I took a sample of my water in to my local freshwater aquarium/pond store, and was told that my PH would be normal after treating it, since I have not done so. I plan on using Pond Prime to treat my water and have it ready for live plants and fish, after I finish filtering the water until I can see the filter.

If you have any advice on how I could fix the cracks in the corners of the pond, or a way to speed up the filtration of the water it would be much appreciated.
 

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What are the benefits of pond liner over a preform? I do like the idea of digging it out more, I want to put that middle part of the track on a bridge over the pond.
 

sissy

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Liners are always better .I only use a preformed for my lotus plant and addy uses a stock tank Preforms raise are just not as sturdy since they use recycled plastic now
 
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So just empty it, pull the preform out, dig it as deep/big as I want then what would be the best steps for laying liner? Is it just the liner or would I put something else underneath it?
 

peter hillman

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I like the miniatures but you can't save that tub. A liner a little larger than that wouldn't cost very much and will look more natural.
 

addy1

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So just empty it, pull the preform out, dig it as deep/big as I want then what would be the best steps for laying liner? Is it just the liner or would I put something else underneath it?
Put some old carpet, carpet liner under the liner. Just remove any jagged rocks from the bottom.

Dig first then measure and buy your liner.
 
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What are the benefits of pond liner over a preform?
To answer your earlier question...the type of plastic performs are made of can't be patched. They can in theory be welded but they're so thin welding is difficult. Plus the reason it cracked I suspect is the plastic itself is breaking down.

Benefits of liner over preform:
1. Cheaper - generally.
2. Much easier to install. Get any fixed preform, stick tank etc... to be level and set at the right height is not easy. There are tricks that help, but most people don't know them or follow them. Preforms look extremely easy to install properly...which is why they sell. A liner too high on one end...no problem.
3. Hiding the edge seems to be difficult since is seems to be rarely done. Also helps to protect from UV and plastic lasts longer.
4. EPDM lasts a really long time in UV...25 years. More if protected from UV. Other liners less so, but still good life.
5. Can't customize a preform.
6. Difficult to change, add multiple pools, etc... at least for most preforms.

Liner ponds can be small if you want small. Here's a 30 gal pond I installed in the middle of a lawn. Sprinklers kept it full. A little bog on the right there with some plants. Was one of my favorite ponds. Mosquitofish that I'd feed mosquito larve, fun to watch when I got down close. About $20 for liner and mortar, bit more for a small pump.
 
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Do the liner.

1- you can dig deeper with a liner now. So pond will be deeper.

2- less chance of damage from frozen water.

3- all the advantages listed above.
 
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addy1

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I did fix a plastic preform, twice. Using my favorite pl roofing goop and some pieces of liner. It held for years, but I finally got tired of them shifting heaving. I yanked the two I had, dug the ponds deeper and stuck in some liner.

But my crack was not like yours, mine was right at the curve under water, I think ice did it, happened during one of our real cold winters, it froze solid.
 
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Thank you all so much for the information. Tomorrow I begin the process of emptying out the water from the preform and then I will start to dig out what I want the new pond to look like. I will do what @addy1 did, and post pictures of the pond as major changes happen to it. When I purchase the pond liner, where would be the best place to pick some up. I don't plan on digging out towards the single part of the track, so it will not get any wider. I do plan on digging towards the part of the track that goes through the middle of the mulch and put it on a bridge going over the pond.
 

addy1

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Not the cheapest, but you can get them at lowes and home depot this time of year in the garden center. I think I paid around 100 for the liner to replace my bigger preform.

Get EPDM do not get a PVC liner even though cheaper, they are more fragile, don't last as long.
 
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Seems to be getting harder and harder to get EPDM locally. Have to watch price, can vary a lot. I generally buy online...especially for smaller ponds.

EPDM is very forgiving. PVC and poly are a little harder to work with, easier to poke a hole in (despite seller claims) but pretty easy to deal with in a small pond. If covered with mortared rock it's very well protected from holes and UV so generally not a problem after install. I wouldn't shy away if PVC or poly was easier to get. Not much total cost difference between these and EPDM in a small pond.
 
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Today was the beginning of my renovation of the pond. I emptied the water out, evened out the sides and floor from where the perform was, then I started digging towards the railroad tracks to begin making the canyon/ bridge over the pond.
 

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sissy

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After you have to build some little cabins and stuff to make it look like a lake and cabin resort
 
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Once the pond is fully dug and has some water in it. I am planning on making a mountain out of all the dirt that is being placed just behind the pond and creating a small tunnel for the train to go under. Then I will be focusing on making the houses look more like a small mountain town hopefully with some on the mountain.
 
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That is going to look so pretty! We toured a pond once that was all designed around a HUGE train set up. I'll see if I can find a photo and post it. It was quite impressive!
 
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