Small solar powered pond build


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Since my back yard was previously covered in flagstone and cement I did not want to cut into it to pull electricity to run a pond. I decided to go solar. I had my contractor that had done the previous work on my yard come back and do this build for me. I did the electronics and piping and he did the digging and cement work.

pond_build_001.jpg


I decided to match the Arizona Gold flagstone and white caps to match the wall next to it.

pond_build_004.jpg
 
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How it looks today. I am still waiting on the contractor to return with three large flagstone to cover the skimmers and a shelf for the future fish to hide under.

pond_build_031.jpg


The waterfall was splashing outside the pond so I made a pool on the first step. Bonus, the birds like to drink from it.

pond_build_032.jpg


The bog is not finished. It needs flagstone inside to seal the liner.

pond_build_033.jpg
 
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I have 2 660GPH pumps for the waterfall and two 240GPH pumps for the bog. There are two 100W cells, controllers, marine batteries on separate circuits.

pond_build_017.jpg


pond_build_028.jpg
 
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The skimmer boxes are DIY from totes. They have bioblox I designed and 3D printed. I need to make more. They each hold two pumps and not shown is a leaf basket that fits at the intake. They are working well so far and keep sucking in my water lettuce. They are dirty since I keep the tops off most of the time waiting for large flagstone to cover them.

pond_build_020.jpg
 
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If I need to replace or upgrade a pump in the future I made sure to run the electric wires thru PVC. It would not be that difficult to dig it up but would make more work to do it. The same with adding more solar panels if needed.

pond_build_027.jpg


Abra Cadabra. pipes gone.

pond_build_03029.jpg
 
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nice work! Wow designing and 3d printing your own parts. Did you wire up and build the those circuits for your fuses, charge controller, etc also?

I love the idea of using solar.

Are you planning to put fish in the pond?

(Sorry if you’ve answered all of this elsewhere)
 
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nice work! Wow designing and 3d printing your own parts. Did you wire up and build the those circuits for your fuses, charge controller, etc also?

I love the idea of using solar.

Are you planning to put fish in the pond?

(Sorry if you’ve answered all of this elsewhere)
Thank you, I did wire it up. Here is a better picture. I need to clean it up a little.

We plan on just a few koi and maybe some fancy goldfish as well. We are waiting on the bog to get finished and have everything running correctly before introducing them. My wife is getting a little impatient though.

pond_build_029.jpg
 
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The contractor returned today and completed the inside of the bog filter. It looks much better. One thing he misunderstood was the manifolds were supposed to go under the gravel not on top of it. Oh well I will fix it this weekend.

pond_build_037.jpg


He also brought more large pieces of flagstone to cover the skimmers and a shelf for the fish to hide in. I might just use the skimmer covers to make this larger and use some weathered wood I have to make the covers instead. This is 2 feet deep, why does it look like 6 inches?

pond_build_038.jpg


I also decided that the two 240 GPH pumps would not be enough for the bog so I purchased two more 660 GPH pumps. I will have to shoehorn them into the skimmer boxes.
 
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For another perspective this is the view from 2017 when we had the back yard renovated. The grass was great for a few years but declined fast for many reasons so it was time to replace it with something better and more drought resistant.

flagstone_035.jpg
 
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Well that didn't work. The bog is still leaking. It is getting under and behind the flagstone and going over the liner. The solution was to cement the whole thing. They will add the top coat tomorrow and seal it with a fish safe liquid rubber in a few days.

pond_build_039.jpg
 
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One thing he misunderstood was the manifolds were supposed to go under the gravel not on top of it.

That is a big red flag.

The solution was to cement the whole thing. They will add the top coat tomorrow and seal it with a fish safe liquid rubber in a few days.

That’s another one. If your bog liner is short right now in the very beginning, it’s going to be way too short once your plants all grow in.

You have a rubber liner, yes? Proper solution would be to replace it with a larger one, make the bog smaller, or seam on an extension.

I think your contractor’s proposed solution is going to work long enough to get them through their warranty period.

I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, just want to make sure you get the best pond you can!
 
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That is a big red flag.



That’s another one. If your bog liner is short right now in the very beginning, it’s going to be way too short once your plants all grow in.

You have a rubber liner, yes? Proper solution would be to replace it with a larger one, make the bog smaller, or seam on an extension.

I think your contractor’s proposed solution is going to work long enough to get them through their warranty period.

I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, just want to make sure you get the best pond you can!

Unfortunately the problem is not so much the contractor but hiring good people. He has had a problem for the last year getting people he trusts working for him.

He will make good on any problems. He has done a lot of work for us. The guy that started the pond quit after a few days. The liner was plenty large enough but he did not lay it under the top flagstone but cut it under it then was never to be seen again.

He ended up pulling the guy who did the flagstone out of retirement again (The first time was to do the flagstone in the picture above) to fix it. I bought the fish safe liquid rubber that will go over the cement. It is made for just that. Link to it. as long as it's above the waterline I don't see why it wouldn't work.
 
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I thought I should add that I spent a lot of time talking to the contractor yesterday on how to resolve it. He has built many waterfalls but has not made fish ponds before. His solution was to cover the cement with hot tar. I did some searching on it and it seemed to be toxic for fish in the long run so I told him that would not work for what we are making.

I found the fish safe alternative and hope that will make it work. I will update this post as it progresses.
 
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Doctor mcboy

hes dead jim
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i have had a couple of home improvements in the last year. one was all new windows and new showers. when i called them on their sub par ( half ass ) installation jobs they cry we can not get good help it is not us. i call bs on that. the level of craftsmanship and pride in ones job has slid a lot in the last 10 years. now if you do not watch them they will slide one in you deep, with no remorse. and take your hard earned money for it.
 

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