Stream doesn't look natural


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Hello I'm two days into building my stream, falls and pond. After spending hours picking out stones and laying them in place I'm not sure if I like what I'm seeing. Maybe it's too early to judge but I'd rather fix it now instead of later. I'm working on a 40 foot stream that will end in a pond. The problem I'm having is that I don't think it is looking natural. A natural stream has dirt sides and not stones lined up but if I do it that way I'm afraid that when it rains it will wash the dirt bcak into the stream. I'm working alone so I am limited to the size of the rocks that I ca carry up the hill. Any suggestions or comments will be appreciated. pond and waterfalls 004.JPGwaterfall 004.JPG
 
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Welcome to the group! The first thing I am going to tell you is GOOD LUCK with being happy with every rock placement. I cant tell you how many times hubby has torn apart our present waterfall ... nothing wrong, just ONE rock here, or ONE rock there, that he wasnt thrilled with.

I think your rock work looks pretty good. Remember, as the surrounding greens grow in, and any plants that you add, will soften the starkness of the rocks.

One thing I see, and I DO NOT KNOW if it is a concern or not, is where the liners are overlapping ... hubby always uses one piece liners, so I dont know if there is anything you need to address at the overlaps ... seam tape? adhessive? or if it is okay for them to simply lay one on top of another ... I know others here have some long streams, so maybe they'll chime in if it is a concern ...
 

taherrmann4

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Welcome to the forum. I agree with Capewind once everything grows in it will look more natural. Take a look at mine there are links in my signature to pics of my pond. At first I didn't think they looked natural but today I think it looks pretty good. You can always add other things to help it look natural, like a log over the creek or plants planted between the rocks etc. You will never be 100% happy and that is when you tweak and tweak and tweak. I have redone my creek two major times but lots of minor adjustments.

The one thing to make sure on is that your liner goes up far enough on the sides, on the left side it looks low but could just be the angle. Once you add rock in the bottom it will raise your water level up by however thick your rocks are.

good luck.
 

HTH

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Leaking water falls and streams have got to be one of the most common problems when building ponds.

When water moves from one liner to another you have to seal or bond them or water will work it way between them and you will be hunting for the leak.
 
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Hello and welcome mgmine,

I agree with the other replies regarding aesthetics. It's going to look like a construction project until it get's established with greenery and has water flowing.

I didn't notice the seams but taherrmann4 mentioned the liner height on the edges. I also see something along this line, too.
What I see is that the landscape outside of the liner on each side slopes down to the stream. Currently, there doesn't appear to be much vegetation there and there is a lot of exposed soil.
I am worried that a good rain would wash any loose soil over the liner edge, into your stream bed and thus into your pond and you'll have a big mud pit for a pond.

Does anyone else see this? Or is it just an illusion of the picture / angle? Or am I jumping the gun on a work in progress? Can't really see the landscape to the left, but on the right it looks like a high bank of soil up towards the bush.

Catfishnut
 

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Mine works down a steep slope, 85 feet, the upside has a lot of dirt banks. I always made sure the liner was laid so any dirt washing would not enter the stream. Later the dirt has settled, the rocks settled, the plants filled in. I did not like mine either, added plants, rocks out side of the stream bed, out into the dirt, so it was not just a rock stream bed in a mound of dirt. Added large boulders to stand on, flat rocks to walk across it. Each the stream has water collections all along it, each turn is a pond. I run mine on a timer, so I wanted water to stay in the stream when it is off.









 
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HTH

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I understand your desire not to line the stream with a continuous row of rocks.

Thinking about it I am sure some one here has worked this out. Maybe some dwarf fescue grass sod laid up and over the stream edge lip. If that makes sense Would be nice if one could grow it in some sort of mat.
 

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Something I thought of in the middle of the night........... the rocks on the edges, they look more natural, laying flat not up on edge. try to stack edge rocks.
 
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Thanks for the feedback and posting pictures. Most of the dirt on the left side is what was excavated and will be removed. The left side is the low side of the hill so I'll be leaving enough so that both sides will be the same height. I'll try the rocks flat and see how they look. As far as the seam goes I would have used a long piece of liner but I happened to get a deal on a 15 foot square piece.The seam is a concern but I saw on Youtube that if it is overlapped by at least 3" it should be fine. I overlapped it by about 15" and dug the slop at a steaper angle where they meet. I would like to seal it but the cost of doing so would run over $50 dollas which would elminate any savings I have on buying the square liner. I hope I don't regret the decission.
 
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The location of that seam pretty much guarantees that it WILL leak. Sorry. You should be able to find something cheaper than $50 to seal the two pieces together.
As for the edges, it's best if you can at least fold the edge of the liner up vertical and try and pinch it between rocks on the inside of the liner and on the outside. Better yet is if you can fold it back over the rocks on the inside a bit and cover the folded liner with more rocks. Laying the liner flat on the ground like that is a sure way to invite soil washed into the stream area.
the best way to proceed is to seal that liner pieces together, then lay the edge rocks that hold the edge of the liner properly, then run the water to get an idea how it will flow and start laying a few of the in stream rocks to see how the water will flow around and over them. Don't worry about covering the entire liner until you get the flow you want. As you start to see the water flow you might want to stop the water and mortar (or foam) in some of the stones to get the water to flow over the top of them better. This will mean stopping the water flow and motaring in the rocks and letting it set for a day or two and the running the water again. The whole process could take a week or more, but the end results will look and work better that trying to do it in one shot.

Anyway, that my advice.

waterbug had posted some nice pictures of how to deal with the liner in a stream, maybe he'll read this and post them again.
 
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I figured it would be at least $50 for the seaming because a search only turned up tape for about $5 dollars a foot plus the primer. If there is a cheaper way I'll try to find it. Any idea if rubber or silicone caulking would work? One ggod sign was that it rained for nine hours yesterday and when I checked under the overlapped area it was dry. I know what you are saying though water always seem to find a way out.
 
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If you look at streams the rocks lay on top of each over and only a few here and there up on end .
 

addy1

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When I seamed my stream, the places that did not have a good drop, take the one liner, make a u and tuck the other liner in with another u, I used pl roofing goop, 5 bucks or so a tube, squirted it in, Laid a heavy rock on it, let it sit, no leaks 4th year.

If you need some tape I have extra, can send some to you cheap, if not free, pay postage. Let me know how many feet you need and we can negotiate. Acetone cleans the liner well for the tape.
 
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I learned the hard way. A improperly joined liner will sooner or later become a nightmare. It's better to either replace the joined liner with a new solid one or hire a professional to attach your current liners together. I had to rebuild my entire 2400 pond due to my bone headed mistake. Trust me.
 
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addy1

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HTH said:
Was it here that we talked about a product in a caulking gun tube. P51 or something like that.?
5200 or something like that, marine sealant.

ror works great for some stuff, I built up the sides with rocks, used ror here and there.
 
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mgmine said:
The problem I'm having is that I don't think it is looking natural. A natural stream has dirt sides and not stones lined up but if I do it that way I'm afraid that when it rains it will wash the dirt bcak into the stream.
You are right that a natural stream does not have stones along the sides. However a natural stream going downhill will expose rocks in it's bed. When you have plants growing among the rocks at the edge, it will look fine. Ferns are really great for this.

You do have to take care of seaming your liner.
 
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Here is the latest progress. I only had a few hours before the rain and black flies got to me. I decided to change some of the rocks around and replace others. I managed to get some bigger rocks on the right to replace a bunch of smaller ones as well as replace one of the larger cascade rocks with two thinner ones. Still tweaking things. The first picture is the after and the second picture is the before. It may not seem like much of a difference but every move changes the look a little.
 

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