Reconstructing/revamping shelves 17 year old pond + plants? (newbie)


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Well the savings go on then. Been saving my fun bux to order it. Going to be a bit longer.

If I find some plastic paper holder drawer with a flat front opening, can I use that as the waterfall box? Lol
Figure it can be like 4” deep to save room but maybe not.
View attachment 144764
I used something similar but it was deeper (file cabinet plastic box from Big Box Store) and cut two 1" vertical slits on either side and 12" long at the top, took a heat gun and warmed the narrow piece, then folded it perpendicular to form the weir. Make sure you have something solid and straight beneath when you bend or upon cooling, the weir blade will not uniformly distribute water over it and it'll pour more than sheet. My box had a top which was handy for hiding the weir box at the top of my waterfall with flat slate stone on it. I used 1-1/2" bulkheads for the inlet and attached to a feed from one of my pumps (I have 2 of these box weirs; one for each main waterfall). So, it can be done on the cheap.

smilie-sword-twirl-masked.gif
 
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February means pond season is almost upon me again and working on details to finish project.

Rebuilt the bridge yesterday, increased the height since there was little room prior.
IMG_0999.jpg

IMG_1011.jpg




Need to make a waterfall spillway also. Likely get new tubing, hopefully not backordered - but planned to do DIY waterfall spillway. Unless I hack plastic/heat gun/full DIY, this is the best I found. It's 6" deep, but the lip is only 2", about 11"x11" if I recall.

Still hoping to do some type of small cascading spillways into the main river. The box looks a little big for the area when I think about the size and diameter of side rocks. (of course it would be IN the dirt, but trying to get a feel)
IMG_1006.jpg


IMG_1007.jpg



Menards had an 8" waterfall spillway. It was rather affordable about $30. Size was 8" by 6" by 14" i think. I think I need to find the appropriate sizes/fittings and what hose I'd need, but feeling more inclined to go that way, and maybe I can fashion some small filter in it (since no other filtration in pond other than intended plants, no bog).

IMG_0997.jpg
 
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February means pond season is almost upon me again and working on details to finish project.

Rebuilt the bridge yesterday, increased the height since there was little room prior.
View attachment 147596
View attachment 147599



Need to make a waterfall spillway also. Likely get new tubing, hopefully not backordered - but planned to do DIY waterfall spillway. Unless I hack plastic/heat gun/full DIY, this is the best I found. It's 6" deep, but the lip is only 2", about 11"x11" if I recall.

Still hoping to do some type of small cascading spillways into the main river. The box looks a little big for the area when I think about the size and diameter of side rocks. (of course it would be IN the dirt, but trying to get a feel)
View attachment 147597

View attachment 147598


Menards had an 8" waterfall spillway. It was rather affordable about $30. Size was 8" by 6" by 14" i think. I think I need to find the appropriate sizes/fittings and what hose I'd need, but feeling more inclined to go that way, and maybe I can fashion some small filter in it (since no other filtration in pond other than intended plants, no bog).

View attachment 147595
I'd seriously figure out how to make part of your soil berm/waterfall into a bog filter for two reasons; anything you put in that weir will be small, almost a non existant/functional, and harder to change out/clean, PLUS, you'll be cleaning probably more than your enthusiasm will carry you. Two; a bog filter will do a lot more and be practically maintenance free; you'll just need to thin plants every now and then. Just my 2 cents.

And re which container; if you go larger, you can always camouflage any 'extra' portion you don't want to see and even narrow it down to your liking, should the sheeting action/waterfall be too much. With a smaller one, you can only go smaller so it better be the visioin you want right out the get go. Use bulkhead fittings with holes cut (I used a hole saw bit) and flex pvc, but not the 'kink-free' tubing they like to sell with most filters/pumps that are smaller scale. It IS kink free but it's also cheap and will break suddenly/sooner than you wish.

That larger one though looks like it might be a bit flimsy; I used something from a big box store, but it was file box duty, a bit firmer and with a top, which came in handy for the camo treatment because I could put rocks on top (flat, all the way across to support the weight). Then I put plants behind and around to naturalize even more.

Nice bridge mod!
 
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I'd seriously figure out how to make part of your soil berm/waterfall into a bog filter for two reasons; anything you put in that weir will be small, almost a non existant/functional, and harder to change out/clean, PLUS, you'll be cleaning probably more than your enthusiasm will carry you. Two; a bog filter will do a lot more and be practically maintenance free; you'll just need to thin plants every now and then. Just my 2 cents.

And re which container; if you go larger, you can always camouflage any 'extra' portion you don't want to see and even narrow it down to your liking, should the sheeting action/waterfall be too much. With a smaller one, you can only go smaller so it better be the visioin you want right out the get go. Use bulkhead fittings with holes cut (I used a hole saw bit) and flex pvc, but not the 'kink-free' tubing they like to sell with most filters/pumps that are smaller scale. It IS kink free but it's also cheap and will break suddenly/sooner than you wish.

That larger one though looks like it might be a bit flimsy; I used something from a big box store, but it was file box duty, a bit firmer and with a top, which came in handy for the camo treatment because I could put rocks on top (flat, all the way across to support the weight). Then I put plants behind and around to naturalize even more.

Nice bridge mod!
Still not sure on the bog idea and/or the space/appearance. Not sure I can be sold, so I struggle with my stubbornness plan and the "best" it can be.

This is the waterfall spillway (8") Im considering: https://www.amazon.com/pond-boss-Waterfall-Spillway-8/dp/B00VBP5TQS
Picture below with why I like it after consideration.

And piping, I think everyone was talking about this? https://flexpvc.com/cart/agora.cgi?product=3_Flex_PVC_Pipe_1_inch
As everyone knows, I'm a horrible artist by I'll try.
Why I dont think larger than 8" will likely work well now.
* The retaining wall blocks cut into the available space downward, additionally, the large red circle will be the first pool the waterfall goes into.
* The box lip/weir is only 2" but the total height is 6". It additionally needs height to "drop" the falls (who'd do 2" drop?), further increasing the height increase (or attempts to dig it down, which means the whole berm gets lowered).
* The rocks on each side to set the frame will have some relative diameter relative to their height. Height is the main concern, but the rocks will be large, and the space is only about 13-15" wide depending on how you consider it. the large rock on the slope would be larger than the top back to balance it a bit...still would look awkward at this size.

The 8" spillway makes me not have to do any DIY. The shape is more conducive to the space restraints. The weir/L shape allows the coverage mound to be smaller in height/oddity. I'm getting a 3000gph pump so it'll probably have some initial kick coming out 8", but I plan to have wider cascading spillways which will achieve some of the falls effect.
the amazon reviews also shows DIY filters.

I guess I was against guying any kind of waterfall filter/spillway. Now that I have something to visualize the space again, it just doesn't seem feasible larger than 8". The waterfall box from amazon fits a lot of checkmarks for me personally. (not in an expertise sense though)
IMG_10062.jpg
 
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Your pond is looking good and I've been enjoying reading the construction talks. I am a recent bog convert from 20+ years of various filtering systems. The bog really is an easier way to filter for clear water and fun for planting in. I used a similar spillway for a number of years and it worked just fine for the size pond I had. Have fun! Spring is around the corner.
 
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Still not sure on the bog idea and/or the space/appearance. Not sure I can be sold, so I struggle with my stubbornness plan and the "best" it can be.

This is the waterfall spillway (8") Im considering: https://www.amazon.com/pond-boss-Waterfall-Spillway-8/dp/B00VBP5TQS
Picture below with why I like it after consideration.

And piping, I think everyone was talking about this? https://flexpvc.com/cart/agora.cgi?product=3_Flex_PVC_Pipe_1_inch
As everyone knows, I'm a horrible artist by I'll try.
Why I dont think larger than 8" will likely work well now.
* The retaining wall blocks cut into the available space downward, additionally, the large red circle will be the first pool the waterfall goes into.
* The box lip/weir is only 2" but the total height is 6". It additionally needs height to "drop" the falls (who'd do 2" drop?), further increasing the height increase (or attempts to dig it down, which means the whole berm gets lowered).
* The rocks on each side to set the frame will have some relative diameter relative to their height. Height is the main concern, but the rocks will be large, and the space is only about 13-15" wide depending on how you consider it. the large rock on the slope would be larger than the top back to balance it a bit...still would look awkward at this size.

The 8" spillway makes me not have to do any DIY. The shape is more conducive to the space restraints. The weir/L shape allows the coverage mound to be smaller in height/oddity. I'm getting a 3000gph pump so it'll probably have some initial kick coming out 8", but I plan to have wider cascading spillways which will achieve some of the falls effect.
the amazon reviews also shows DIY filters.

I guess I was against guying any kind of waterfall filter/spillway. Now that I have something to visualize the space again, it just doesn't seem feasible larger than 8". The waterfall box from amazon fits a lot of checkmarks for me personally. (not in an expertise sense though)
View attachment 147614
give me a bit of time and I'll draw up something that I think might better show what I mean and how to build it...
 
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give me a bit of time and I'll draw up something that I think might better show what I mean and how to build it...
Okay, some decription and drawings for you.

Basic idea is; dig out a 18" depth 'box shape' at the top of your dirt pile. Your actual bog will be 6" below the laid landscape stone wall. You want this in case the water in your bog rises. In this bog box you'll place your weir. You'll put a liner inside this box and let it continue down into the next level, where your 'shallow pond' will be, which is where your waterfall pours into. Back to the bog box; you fill with pea gravel after placing manifold pipes and your inlet tubing from your pump. I'm being brief here as there are details, but you can inquire if you decide this is how you want to go.

The water will go into the manifolds and rise up through the pea gravel. The water pours over the front of your bog box and down rocks into your shallow pond, the same where your waterfall pours. You'll also take a lead off your piping to the bog and supply your weir to get the 'sheet action' waterfall. Use balll valves at the inlet to each for controlling how much water goes where.

The shallow pond overflows and drops into your river. Now, you should have a one piece liner that includes the bog box, down the slope (and under your deco rocks) then into your shallow pond and out, then over hangs and drops into your river. Your river liner is separate and should go UP under this bog/waterfall/shallow pond liner by 12" so as to prevent wicking. The river liner goes up under the above liner by 6" for the same reason.

You put plants IN your bog and anywhere you don't have deco rocks on that slope. The details are up to you. I've included a last pic of an example of what you could do and tweak as your vision requires.

First pic is the front view;

Duxwig front.jpg



second pic is a cross section;

Duxwig cross section.jpg


third pic is showing plant examples;

Duxwig plants.jpg


and last pic is a visual example of what it could look like.



Duxwig pond design2.jpg




Scale may be off, but I think you get the idea. You'll basically dig your bog and weir into the hill, then carve a low point down lower for your shallow pond, and place rocks to please you.


Anyway, maybe this helps? A bog filter would give you a lot of quality time to enjoy and not that hard to install at all. We got lots of peeps here to help and many witness testamonies to verify it's worth it. You're already going to need the liner under any waterfall/weir you install, so you're just making it larger to include the top of the hill bog.
 
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This is like a front facing water fall? What if the plan is to do the small falls facing along the mound which snakes back as a U into the river. (Don’t need to redraw pix). My plan has been that, haven’t really considered the front facing and with the size and depth I would need to move the whole mound right to where space is. I’m more inclined to stay w the original snaking plan as I can visual it better for idea.

Okay, some decription and drawings for you.

Basic idea is; dig out a 18" depth 'box shape' at the top of your dirt pile. Your actual bog will be 6" below the laid landscape stone wall. You want this in case the water in your bog rises. In this bog box you'll place your weir. You'll put a liner inside this box and let it continue down into the next level, where your 'shallow pond' will be, which is where your waterfall pours into. Back to the bog box; you fill with pea gravel after placing manifold pipes and your inlet tubing from your pump. I'm being brief here as there are details, but you can inquire if you decide this is how you want to go.

The water will go into the manifolds and rise up through the pea gravel. The water pours over the front of your bog box and down rocks into your shallow pond, the same where your waterfall pours. You'll also take a lead off your piping to the bog and supply your weir to get the 'sheet action' waterfall. Use balll valves at the inlet to each for controlling how much water goes where.

The shallow pond overflows and drops into your river. Now, you should have a one piece liner that includes the bog box, down the slope (and under your deco rocks) then into your shallow pond and out, then over hangs and drops into your river. Your river liner is separate and should go UP under this bog/waterfall/shallow pond liner by 12" so as to prevent wicking. The river liner goes up under the above liner by 6" for the same reason.

You put plants IN your bog and anywhere you don't have deco rocks on that slope. The details are up to you. I've included a last pic of an example of what you could do and tweak as your vision requires.

First pic is the front view;

View attachment 147622


second pic is a cross section;

View attachment 147623

third pic is showing plant examples;

View attachment 147624

and last pic is a visual example of what it could look like.



View attachment 147626



Scale may be off, but I think you get the idea. You'll basically dig your bog and weir into the hill, then carve a low point down lower for your shallow pond, and place rocks to please you.


Anyway, maybe this helps? A bog filter would give you a lot of quality time to enjoy and not that hard to install at all. We got lots of peeps here to help and many witness testamonies to verify it's worth it. You're already going to need the liner under any waterfall/weir you install, so you're just making it larger to include the top of the hill bog.
 

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plastic gets brittle . I use sump pump hose on my koi pond and so far it has lasted since 2009 and only had to buy extra when i rebuilt the pond and got 2 laguna pumps . Learned 2 is better than 1 . I learned that the hard way when my pump went out in the summer and it was hard to find a new pump
 
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This is like a front facing water fall? What if the plan is to do the small falls facing along the mound which snakes back as a U into the river. (Don’t need to redraw pix). My plan has been that, haven’t really considered the front facing and with the size and depth I would need to move the whole mound right to where space is. I’m more inclined to stay w the original snaking plan as I can visual it better for idea.
the way I see it, you want maximum prime viewing from that doorwall as that's what you'll see if looking out or even going out and heading toward the pond. This 'plan' means all you need do is carve the hole for your box and shallow pond. No snaking, no worrying re how deep/if water is flowing over the 'snake' part. But this is YOUR pond, not mine; I'm just approaching it as what I'D like to see. I just want you to consider a bog filter incorporated because it will make your life that much easier AND give you a lot more 'garden' because you'll plant stuff in the bog that can be for either texture or color. Many use annuals in their bog, which flower all summer, so there's lots of options. I figured if you 'saw' what it might look like with incorporated bog, you'd see it's not really that much more work or cost. And when I hear peeps say they're going for a waterfall filter...aye yie yie yie yie! IMO, that's the size you'd have for an aquarium, not a pond, esp since you now have nature to help dirty the premises!

If going sideways and snaking; you'll still need the liner under it all, in a concave shape so any splashing still makes its way down to the shallow pool portion, and it still has to be under your shallow pool for the same splashing/leaking idea. ALL your frontage should be underlined with this liner, no matter if you put all rock or some soil for plants to grow. MOST leaks seem to be at the waterfall, so if you line everything, it can leak and you can ignore it. The whole front facia as depicted in the pic SHOULD be underlined with liner, imo.

You will probably have problems containing this snake idea as to get the effect, you can't go too shallow and snaking means you also won't see this stream as easily re curves and camo rocks you're going to use. If you put any plants on either side, you'll lose visibility there, too. IMO, a waterfall is really one of the best features of a pond and in your case, you can create multiple with just your hill, some plumbing, valves, and creative facia placement.

Just some further thoughts; again, tis YOUR pond, I'm just helping with visualization of ONE idea. When I first dug my pond, I had only the one patio-facing waterfall, which I rebuilt and tweaked 7 times until I got it right enough to stop. Then I expanded and it started all over again but this time, I knew I wanted to also have tall falls (the first was step-wise) and since I already had the height, I just threw it out at a different angle, but did as I suggested above--underlined the whole 'hill' I was using so no matter what I ended up with, any water was caught and directed back into the pond. You can see some pics of what I ended up doing in my showcase; look for the 2019 pics of the expansion. The original is in there too, if interested.
 
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the way I see it, you want maximum prime viewing from that doorwall as that's what you'll see if looking out or even going out and heading toward the pond. This 'plan' means all you need do is carve the hole for your box and shallow pond. No snaking, no worrying re how deep/if water is flowing over the 'snake' part. But this is YOUR pond, not mine; I'm just approaching it as what I'D like to see. I just want you to consider a bog filter incorporated because it will make your life that much easier AND give you a lot more 'garden' because you'll plant stuff in the bog that can be for either texture or color. Many use annuals in their bog, which flower all summer, so there's lots of options. I figured if you 'saw' what it might look like with incorporated bog, you'd see it's not really that much more work or cost. And when I hear peeps say they're going for a waterfall filter...aye yie yie yie yie! IMO, that's the size you'd have for an aquarium, not a pond, esp since you now have nature to help dirty the premises!

If going sideways and snaking; you'll still need the liner under it all, in a concave shape so any splashing still makes its way down to the shallow pool portion, and it still has to be under your shallow pool for the same splashing/leaking idea. ALL your frontage should be underlined with this liner, no matter if you put all rock or some soil for plants to grow. MOST leaks seem to be at the waterfall, so if you line everything, it can leak and you can ignore it. The whole front facia as depicted in the pic SHOULD be underlined with liner, imo.

You will probably have problems containing this snake idea as to get the effect, you can't go too shallow and snaking means you also won't see this stream as easily re curves and camo rocks you're going to use. If you put any plants on either side, you'll lose visibility there, too. IMO, a waterfall is really one of the best features of a pond and in your case, you can create multiple with just your hill, some plumbing, valves, and creative facia placement.

Just some further thoughts; again, tis YOUR pond, I'm just helping with visualization of ONE idea. When I first dug my pond, I had only the one patio-facing waterfall, which I rebuilt and tweaked 7 times until I got it right enough to stop. Then I expanded and it started all over again but this time, I knew I wanted to also have tall falls (the first was step-wise) and since I already had the height, I just threw it out at a different angle, but did as I suggested above--underlined the whole 'hill' I was using so no matter what I ended up with, any water was caught and directed back into the pond. You can see some pics of what I ended up doing in my showcase; look for the 2019 pics of the expansion. The original is in there too, if interested.
I’ll give it a look and consideration
 
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One problem I now see after looking at that spillway is no method to connect the liner or seal it. Seems like most just let it hang over which isn’t what I was hoping for either, or would the liner go under the bottom of it and up the back, a hole where the tubing goes in?
(Talking the spillway I posted)
 
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Ie: white is the 8” spillway/tube question, brown is the liner. There appears no holes/faceplate up/under/on face so not sure it could/would attach there?
4AE3908E-3F59-40B0-BBDD-C15959BD9DD9.jpeg
 
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Ie: white is the 8” spillway/tube question, brown is the liner. There appears no holes/faceplate up/under/on face so not sure it could/would attach there?
View attachment 147665
no, just take it up and over or, near the top of your weir with a bulkhead fitting. You can then raise the pea gravel up to cover and voila; it's disappeared. You can put the bulkhead at the bottom of your weir, too; same idea; cover with pea gravel. The spill way should be lower than the back of your weir where you'd attach the bulkhead fitting. If you want to discard the fitting, just go up and over. You're going to cover/camo this whole thing anyhow; not much harder to just lay some flat stone on top of the hose/weir.

And yes, I'd run the liner HIGHER than the weir. If you're going to put this weir IN your bog area, you then would surround it with pea gravel anyhow and your liner would be set back. Again, make your liner and bog box walls 6" higher than your final weir/spillway height to allow for water rising as roots and pea gravel get clogged a bit, which will happen.

Even if you go weir and rock camo only, make sure the liner is both higher and wider than your weir area.

Re the liner face showing; you get creative with rock facia, so you design this whole waterfall area knowing you'll be putting rocks of various sizes/shapes, maybe some soil, a pot for plants or two, etc, AS your facia in mind. Think of this as a stair effect; as you go up, the stairs go back. On each step you'll put rock. The stairs has the liner on it, so you're putting rock and whatever on this step. Gives you stability and a structure to make building easier; rocks won't slip as they're already supported. You put larger first, fill in with smaller, with plantings, soil, moss, etc to make it look natural.
 
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I'm still thinking lack of space for front facing.
Back of wall to where river starts is 44"
"Top" is roughly 46" long
From the inside of the retaining wall block, to a little over where it slants down is 17"

The waterfall/spillways would have to fit in 24-30" of space if it falls directly into the river.



IMG_1015.jpg
IMG_1018.jpg
IMG_1021.jpg
 
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I'm still thinking lack of space for front facing.
Back of wall to where river starts is 44"
"Top" is roughly 46" long
From the inside of the retaining wall block, to a little over where it slants down is 17"

The waterfall/spillways would have to fit in 24-30" of space if it falls directly into the river.



View attachment 147727View attachment 147728View attachment 147729

trust me, you have a good amount of space to work with. if you're going to have your weir 'pour' directly into the shallow pond below, it'll take up less room and be on the front edge anyhow. You'll still have plants both IN the bog box you'll create at the top of the hill and IN your actual weir, if you want them--just would have to insure they can't get out, but lots of peeps have plants in their weir boxes. And you can have the overflow from the bog trickle down rocks and into your shallow pond too. Compare this 4'x2'-3' box that can be as deep as you want it (even all the way down to grade) to what you're proposing to buy and put IN your weir! Just having something is a lot better than nothing and still better than a waterfall filter kit.

You could even design so your weir is just below the bog which could then FEED your weir and then pour out the blade portion. Remember that 'stairs' structure I mentioned? That's how you'd do it; put your weir on step 2, which is one step below your bog top and one step above your shallow pond.

And yes, it WOULD mean moving all that dirt if you wanted to maximize this bog but you'd need at least 18" depth from the top. Should be easy digging as you just put it there...(and don't think I don't know what I'm about here; moved dirt FROM my dig which was on the sides, to a compost pile 50' away. Two weeks later, I brought it alllllllllll back, to create necessary berms!!)
 
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Are there any small project easy to watch bottom fed big filter tutorials?
I’m way better with visual. On 2/16, I’m feeling inquisitive about the idea but the pipes / intake area are my puzzle now so wanted to see how a submersible pump works w all this.
 
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Are there any small project easy to watch bottom fed big filter tutorials?
I’m way better with visual. On 2/16, I’m feeling inquisitive about the idea but the pipes / intake area are my puzzle now so wanted to see how a submersible pump works w all this.
I believe @poconojoe has a nice step by step pic tutorial; will have to get him on speaker. Alternatively, I'll whip up some drawings showing each piece and spec, later--dinner time now!
 
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I believe @poconojoe has a nice step by step pic tutorial; will have to get him on speaker. Alternatively, I'll whip up some drawings showing each piece and spec, later--dinner time now!

I’m on page 29 of the bog thread. I’ve seen pictures so the idea is more clear and I can imagine how I could cover it generally, but I still have issues.

1. Still size. Measured an 18x18x box to visualize on the soil area and it’s tough to see the with the grading of the hill LxW. I’d have to…

2. Our retaining wall is purposely higher on one side. I’d have to rebuild it all the way around. Appearance eh. Where the mound is now would drop into the river and large open area to right where former spillpool was.
Wall/Mound being built/leveled on the right more could give room for a rectangular bog box say 12-15” x 3’.

3. Issue with above rectangle is mound/drainage tube. hydrostatic pressure issues in our area due to soil/Lake Michigan, so mound has drainage tube at a slant to about 12” from soil top. (Bog box depth)

4. We live in northern Wisconsin. It’s negative degrees often and even the lake freezes over. I don’t have much belief the pond would stay circulating or the bog box freezing due to the size.

5. Frozen water + pvc = not good so I’d be inclined to drain the entire pond in November before it snows and refill in March. This would have pvc pipe all the way from the bog to the pump? My worry is water build up over time backing into the pvc and freezing (if the pvc runs all the way and down 2’ for a connection port to pump). I’d have less worry if the pvc ran parallel w the ground, and then the pump connected to it somehow via say 2’ hose from where it is in the water. (Is this possible?)

Edit in 6. In the bog thread there were concerns of freezing water in straight sides bog boxes and expanding water busting them. Considering I’d drain my pond for winter, I’d imagine this would be a non issue correct?

Edit in 7. Does the pvc for the bog box come in from the side near the bottom, or directly up from the bottom (would need a 90deg elbow/head pressure?)

Edit in 8. The pond came w a Latina power jet 2000. I plan to upgrade. Any difference in calculating the head height pressure for finding a pump? People mention adjusting theirs? Does it matter?

If that all checked out, my visual sense w the mound and river is to do the rectangle size have it empty more to the right side so it fall into the existing spillpool. The weir(or is it called spillway?) would be at a 45 degree angle to help create a tier.
 
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I’m on page 29 of the bog thread. I’ve seen pictures so the idea is more clear and I can imagine how I could cover it generally, but I still have issues.

1. Still size. Measured an 18x18x box to visualize on the soil area and it’s tough to see the with the grading of the hill LxW. I’d have to…

okay, replies first, designs second;

From what I see, you have enough room for a box shape either dug or built from wood and lined both ways. Don't sweat the actual dimensions; work with what you have. I'm sorry to say, you'll have to dig the dirt out and make room for what you're attempting, no matter the direction.
2. Our retaining wall is purposely higher on one side. I’d have to rebuild it all the way around. Appearance eh. Where the mound is now would drop into the river and large open area to right where former spillpool was.
Wall/Mound being built/leveled on the right more could give room for a rectangular bog box say 12-15” x 3’.

no, your wall is just fine. We're going to take out some dirt and install some conc slabs (for sturdy waterfall support) and the bog box, plus your shallow pool.
3. Issue with above rectangle is mound/drainage tube. hydrostatic pressure issues in our area due to soil/Lake Michigan, so mound has drainage tube at a slant to about 12” from soil top. (Bog box depth)

can't see how this is a problem; just incorporate it into the bog/stair design. There's plenty of latitude to just build over/around it.

4. We live in northern Wisconsin. It’s negative degrees often and even the lake freezes over. I don’t have much belief the pond would stay circulating or the bog box freezing due to the size.

it's okay to have your bog freeze, including the pvc pipe. Now, I suggest rigid pvc in the designs below but what I did was use 4" drain tile piping and it won't crack like pvc might. The flex pvc pipe I show as your lead in should have a T and screw piece so when winter approaches, you can open this and there won't be any siphon effect. If your pond is at least 24" below ground, I believe you'll be okay, but there ARE ways to keep ice from getting too deep and affecting your system. Easy ideas later.
5. Frozen water + pvc = not good so I’d be inclined to drain the entire pond in November before it snows and refill in March. This would have pvc pipe all the way from the bog to the pump? My worry is water build up over time backing into the pvc and freezing (if the pvc runs all the way and down 2’ for a connection port to pump). I’d have less worry if the pvc ran parallel w the ground, and then the pump connected to it somehow via say 2’ hose from where it is in the water. (Is this possible?)

You don't need to worry; the flex pvc can 'flex', and I've not heard any stories yet about peeps having issues with flex pvc, but I HAVE heard re rigid pvc. You'll see I advise to route your flex pvc pipe feed from your pump up the river and then, up your hill and going in over the bog box where it will attach to your manifold. You can easily camo such a design (it's what I did). So, no rigid water filled pvc to worry about. When you open the tee mentioned earlier, you'll allow the water to drain OUT of your flex until it gets to river/pond water level. So, that's safe too, even if not necessary.
Edit in 6. In the bog thread there were concerns of freezing water in straight sides bog boxes and expanding water busting them. Considering I’d drain my pond for winter, I’d imagine this would be a non issue correct?

see above; releasing the water so it can't siphon means you'll only have water in the flex pvc that is at river/pond level. You're good.

Edit in 7. Does the pvc for the bog box come in from the side near the bottom, or directly up from the bottom (would need a 90deg elbow/head pressure?)

Try to avoid straight 90s as it adds head pressure. What I did was route the flex pvc (it flexes, so you can conform to your situation without ANY fittings except ball valves and unions. USE UNIONS wherever possible; you'll thank me later! I suggest just looping the flex pvc up and over the bog box, shoving it down into your box, attach at the bottom to your manifold, and you're done. A manifold is a pipe with slits cut (details in my design drawings) where the water gets out and then rises up through your gravel/stone. You CAN use bulkhead fittings for both but it's just another leak point, more labor, and not necessary, as long as you're okay with camo later re rocks, etc. Again, it's what I did. I have two leads that are 'exposed' above my bog and I hid them with 'fake' rocks.


Edit in 8. The pond came w a Latina power jet 2000. I plan to upgrade. Any difference in calculating the head height pressure for finding a pump? People mention adjusting theirs? Does it matter?

If that all checked out, my visual sense w the mound and river is to do the rectangle size have it empty more to the right side so it fall into the existing spillpool. The weir(or is it called spillway?) would be at a 45 degree angle to help create a tier.
Look up the head pressure charts associated with each pump; get something that will be more than enough at the head height you're working with. If you get an underpowered pump, you'll not be a happy camper. With my suggestion of 'two leads' FROM your pump, you'll get better efficiency and that will help, not to mention giving you options. Each of these two leads should have a ball valve so you can control exactly how much water goes where. Put one near your bog to manifold feed, and one from a tee that supplies your weir. The other lead, can just lay in your pond and cause some circulation or you can hook it up to a water feature or even create another waterfall, somewhere. It too should have a ball valve so you can shut it down if you need more for the other lead. I had one 'extra' lead on mine and just let it exit the pond then lay at an angle and pour back into the pond. Eventually, I used this as my log waterfall. Pics in my showcase, if interested.

I don't like the adjustable volume control pumps; I'd rather do it with ball valves and multiple leads. Same effect, no electronics/working parts to go wrong and cheap. More options this way, too.

IMO, having your fall pitch right will give you more issues re 'how the water gets down to your river' than if you go front face forward. Front face forward means you don't need any 'river' route down the hill as you already have the pitch. Stack up rocks and let the water pour, splash, meander between; it's all aimed toward your shallow pool anyway. The designs below incorp those ideas. To do it to the right would involve similar ideas but you have less lineal distance to get that water back to your river. You'd be creating a river with the same liner beneath, same rocks as deco/structural entities, but have to do hairpin turns and visually, you'd not see it from that doorwall. The other pic I posted showed you visually, the type display you can create. I see meandering streams down hills as needing a lot more length and breadth than I think you have.

Basics are; dig a box, fill with stone over piping, let it overflow as a waterfall. Using your weir also gives you a 'sheeting' waterfall within your bog overflow. The shallow pool below catches it all, then it overflows into your river. Easy peasy, just got to move some dirt and build a nice stable base for the box and weir, and your camo/deco waterfall rocks.


okay, pics, finally! First shows the plumbing at the pump, in your pond; (I forgot to add the unions at #3 so you can easily disconnect the lines from the pump, if you have to clean/replace/service the pump.)
plumb at pump.jpg


second pic is basic front facing bog build, similar to what I already posted;



bog build.jpg


third pic shows cross section and 3/4 views + more instructions;


Duxwig schematic detail 3.jpg
 
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