Specifically, small ponds


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Hi everyone -- I've posted on the forum a couple of times. I'm in Northwest Georgia in the US. FINALLY going to build a pond after about 20 years of wishing. My budget and my physical space will only allow a small pond. Probably 6 feet x 4 feet, with a little waterfall. I know that larger ponds often make for a more independent, low maintenance system. Smaller ponds are more easily thrown out of biological balance. I'm going to be using a liner, rather than a preform. Wondering if all you with small pond experience would care to chime in. My hope is for a small, natural-esque, rock pond to attract frogs, birds and to house a small number of goldfish. Looking to go inexpensive (although I know your most important expenditure should be a GOOD liner.) Wondering what sort of filtration system I should use, considering that the pond will be small. I would welcome and appreciate your thoughts!
 
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Welcome! You have hit the mother load of pond ownership help. Lot's of wonderful folks here.

By rock pond if you mean the bottom layered with small rocks then I advice you not to go that route. If you have plan to have fish ( actually even without fish), eventually muck will collect between the small rocks and be a cleaning nightmare.

I suggest using a 45 mil EDPM liner. For ease of use consider an in pond pump with flushable out of pond biological filter. Doctors Foster and Smith is a highly reliable online pond products seller. They provide good advice to their customers. Take your time in planning. It will certainly pay off as you build your pond.

Living in North Ga you probably have access to great rock, stone and boulders. I'm very envious. Good luck!
 

Mmathis

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I know your space is limited, but you might want to consider adding some space for a BOG (AKA veggie filter). For some, it's the only filtration they have and it provides both mechanical as well as biological filtration. No need for a filter that sits outside the pond that you then have to disguise -- it's basically an extension of the pond that you grow "bog" plants in. Or it can be an external set-up, too. Plus, if done right, is low maintainence. I think it would be perfect for a smaller pond! There are several on here who have made an external bog out of various containers that flow water back into the pond like a waterfall. The possibilities are endless.

Addy has a pinned thread that tells all about construction, planting, etc. I'll see if I can find it and post the link for you.

Here it is. Kinda long, but packed with good information!

https://www.gardenpondforum.com/threads/bog-building.6894/

HAPPY PONDING!! You're gonna love it. Oh, and even with limited space, go as BIG as you possibly can -- you're right about the biological balance -- it is easier to "keep" a larger body of water.
 
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Mmathis

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Welcome! You have hit the mother load of pond ownership help. Lot's of wonderful folks here.

By rock pond if you mean the bottom layered with small rocks then I advice you not to go that route. If you have plan to have fish ( actually even without fish), eventually muck will collect between the small rocks and be a cleaning nightmare.

I suggest using a 45 mil EDPM liner.

Living in North Ga you probably have access to great rock, stone and boulders. I'm very envious. Good luck!

Ditto.
 
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Thanks everyone! I took a few shots of my pond-to-be area. Keep in mind we are still in the gloomy days of winter! I took a few of the beginning of the dry creek, and a shot of the rock wall -- just as an idea of what we have. I want the pond to be harmonious. When I stay "rocks" -- I don't mean in the bottom. I have read all the stuff on here and it sounds like that would be a bad idea. I mean "rock pond" as in rocks all around it. Rocks in the waterfall to trickle down! OK -- let's see if I can figure out how to add pictures!
IMG_6295.JPG
IMG_6298.JPG
IMG_6301.JPG
IMG_6302.JPG
 
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PS -- ignore the scaffolds. We are restoring old windows. Also, at the corner of the house, we have an outlet for heavy duty outdoor use. Figure we can dig underground and run gfi electrical through conduit. That area is my wheelbarrow route, too. I will have to leave a fairly wide path to maneuver on one side of the pond. Maybe a pea gravel "beach" or "terrace." The grass doesn't grow well in that little circular area anyway.
 
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morewater

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Be sure to use a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) to power anything electrical in and around your pond. Looks like you've got a nice location for your plans.

If you're going to use pea gravel, just remember that it's not easy to get all the leaves off, particularly when a leaf blower is capable of blowing pea gravel as well as leaves. If you're determined to use pea gravel, line your excavated path, etc. with landscape fabric (weed control) prior to filling with pea gravel.

Try to fool some friends into doing the digging, get them to read "Huckleberry Finn", butter them up with some beer...........
 

sissy

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You will want to also take care of that downspout because it heavy rains it could really flood the area .I ran all my tubing like that under ground about 30 ft and hand dug it on a down slope so water was well away from the pond .I have another one at the back of the house but that is run into a dry creek bed
 

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It would be cool if you could incorporate your rock bed into the waterfall. Like somehow put liner at the end of it and that's where your waterfall would come out, making it look like the entire rock bed is actually a stream, but in reality only the last foot or so of it would have water, trickling over into the pond.
Also, just a tip, make sure you have level surfaces in the pond for plants, they have to be deep/shallow enough and wide enough, depending on what the plants need.
 
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You will want to also take care of that downspout because it heavy rains it could really flood the area .I ran all my tubing like that under ground about 30 ft and hand dug it on a down slope so water was well away from the pond .I have another one at the back of the house but that is run into a dry creek bed
Sissy -- yes, as I was looking at the pictures, I thought about that too. I will have to give it some thought. I am thinking that for a variety of reasons, the side of the area closest to the house will have the gravel beach / wheelbarrow path. I'll put the pond over closer to the wall and will probably steal some space from the perennial bed too. Hoping that will give the rainwater enough space. That part of the yard doesn't get excessively wet, so I am hopeful!
 
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It would be cool if you could incorporate your rock bed into the waterfall. Like somehow put liner at the end of it and that's where your waterfall would come out, making it look like the entire rock bed is actually a stream, but in reality only the last foot or so of it would have water, trickling over into the pond.
Also, just a tip, make sure you have level surfaces in the pond for plants, they have to be deep/shallow enough and wide enough, depending on what the plants need.
JB -- when you say "rock bed" do you mean the dry creek path seen in the photos? That is a cool idea! But the dry creek is our access path along that side of the house. I'm thinking of using the rock wall as the waterfall area.... maybe building up the area with cinder blocks and dirt. I need to research how to do it all. I went to a fantastic water garden store yesterday and got so many ideas! Now if I could just find a ton of money!!!! :)
 
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JBtheExplorer

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JB -- when you say "rock bed" do you mean the dry creek path seen in the photos? That is a cool idea! But the dry creek is our access path along that side of the house.

Yes, and you could still use it as a path as well. Here's kind of what I mean. You'd still have the room to walk through, and water would only be on the last foot or so, which you could also extend a bit.
IMG_6298_2.jpg
 
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Yes, and you could still use it as a path as well. Here's kind of what I mean. You'd still have the room to walk through, and water would only be on the last foot or so, which you could also extend a bit.
View attachment 66873
Oh wow -- I am impressed with your technical skills! (I'm planning to just use markers and draw on print outs! LOL!) That is a cool idea, although with the whole need to run a wheelbarrow and lawnmower through there, I don't think it would work. If not for that, though, that would be REALLY neat! I love all the ideas. I can put them in my brain and stir them up -- then see what comes out! THANK YOU!!!!
 
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Big Lou -- yes -- very good thought! We have been thinking about all this stuff... Really, this is the only place we can put it. I'm planning to make sure it's as far over to the other side of the property line as possible -- and it will be small. I'm thinking that roofing will be the only thing that would be a big problem. For that, we could use cinder blocks around and cover with big sheets of wood for a day. For everything else, we'd be doing the DIY thing, and we would be VERY careful. We have so many bugs down here, you can't sit outside without dousing yourself with DEET. We want the pond to be visible from our screened in porch -- so that's the place. I think it will be ok. But I soooo appreciate all these thoughts. With such a great bunch of brains and experience, I know someone is going to point out something I haven't thought of!
 

JohnHuff

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I'm concerned that with your pond and stream in close proximity to your house there could be future issues regarding home maintainence access. Such as repainting, roofing, windows, etc.. Just saying........
On the other hand, centuries of castle design has taught us that a water feature around our domiciles is a proven defense against home invasion.

May I suggest:
moat1.jpg

Any burglar faced with this is sure to try your neighbor's house instead.
 
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