The hole in my backyard

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by tbendl, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. tbendl

    tbendl T

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    Hi everyone,
    Like so many others it seems, I bought a home with a "pond". I use that term loosely in that I really have a leaky liner covering a hole in my yard. I am in the process of renovating the hole into a pond. I have been reading a few forums and everyone has been advocating a bottom drain but now I am reading about the possibility of using a bog for filtration instead. The pond is about 19x21. I'm not sure of the depth yet as I haven't gotten to the bottom of the liner currently in. The bottom is covered by a few inches of muck and then at least 1 foot of sand. I'm assuming the depth to be about 3+feet. I had visions of throwing in a recycled billboard tarp, building a waterfall with my submersible pump, throwing my feet up and having a cool beverage by my new water feature....Butttt it seems that I need to plan a little bit better as far as filtering the water. I am open to either plants or fish or just water but would like some tips on the easiest pond to maintain/build and then see if the pond fever sets in to do more elaborate builds. Thanks in advance!
     
    tbendl, Jul 14, 2014
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  2. tbendl

    tbendl T

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    Here are some pictures to give you an idea of what I'm dealing with.
     

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    tbendl, Jul 14, 2014
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  3. tbendl

    dieselplower

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    Wow what a huge disaster! Do you want it to be that large? Having that much area would require more like 2 or 3 bottom drains to be effective. I would be tempted to dig one half deeper and fill in the other side with what was removed. You could go the bottom drain route but it isn't required. A pump in the bottom would also work. I think a skimmer going to a waterfall is always nice as well. Oh and if you don't want fish, you can surely skip bottom drains.
     
    dieselplower, Jul 14, 2014
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  4. tbendl

    tbendl T

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    Well that was kinda my thought, no fish so I was hoping not to have to do the bottom drain and if I am reading about bogs correctly, I may be able to bog a large section of the kidney shape, put a waterfall pretty much in the middle where my pelican sits, and maybe call it a day. I am reading Addy's post on her pond install as she seems to be the "Boggess" of the forum. Lol.
    I don't have to worry about freezing since I live in the South but I do have to worry about Algae, since, well I live in the South and it gets pretty dang hot down here.
     
    tbendl, Jul 14, 2014
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  5. tbendl

    dieselplower

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    You sure could do half bog half pond but that would require digging it all out for an entire new liner. The kidney shape is also not ideal for a liner. Think about the extra folds. Round-ish is better.
     
    dieselplower, Jul 14, 2014
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  6. tbendl

    Shan

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    We have a pond because we needed a bigger space for my children's goldfish that I ended up really liking. If we didn't have fish, and I was in your situation, I would make it into a smaller pond, add a fountain to watch the birds bathe, throw my feet up, and have a cool beverage. :)
     
    Shan, Jul 14, 2014
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  7. tbendl

    timvz

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    Fish will be better for the nitrogen lifecycle of your pond, but you can always just throw fertilizer in. If that is too large an area for what you want, I would also try deepening one side and filling in the other. Once you get it running, I imagine it will be very tempting to add fish. They add at least as much interest, IMO, as a waterfall. Very fun to watch. And, plain ol' goldfish or comets don't cost much. I didn't bog my pond because I didn't know enough when I started. Next pond I build will have a bog. Fish would probably also make your bog grow better as they will stir the gunk a bit and add some of their own.
     
    timvz, Jul 14, 2014
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  8. tbendl

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Think on the positive side! You have a hole without digging! I would leave it the size it is, dig a shallow bog on one of the sides, use the dirt to help build a nice waterfall. It looks like your ponds edge is level with the dirt of your yard, you could use the bog dirt to build up the edges of your pond. I would also dig a shallow shelf around the pond to hold rocks that will nicely cover the liner, they would be part under the water and partly above the water, looks great.
     
    addy1, Jul 14, 2014
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  9. tbendl

    tbendl T

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    Well I was under the impression that I had to dig out the old liner which meant if remove the top layer of gunk and move the 1' of sand. Do I have to remove the old liner? After reading about the bog as a filter could I use 1 1/2 of the pond as a bog, put a submersible pump in and let the bog filter the water for me? If I planned the bog level correctly that could essentially be my waterfall feature as well right?
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
    tbendl, Jul 14, 2014
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  10. tbendl

    timvz

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    Would be a short waterfall, but yes water flowing out of the bog could fall into the pond as a waterfall. I would remove the liner if it was me. Looks like a lot of plant material in there too. That will decompose and compress over time if you build on top of it, causing your liner to stretch. Sand would be ok, though. I would also put the bog on the opposite side of the pond from where you will sit. Looks like it could be in that little protusion from the kidney bean (about 1/3 of the area?). Also, consider going out there and poking lots of holes in the liner that is there and letting it fully drain before moving material around. It will weight less, but might take several days.
     
    timvz, Jul 15, 2014
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  11. tbendl

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Deeper is better where it is hot, helps keep the water cooler. I would muck out the stuff and remove or really cut up the old liner, you don't want water to get between the old liner and the new liner.
     
    addy1, Jul 15, 2014
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  12. tbendl

    michey1st

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    Much of the manual labor (the digging) is nearly done for you, and what you are left with is the fun part -- making it your own! If you are going to make a bog, you'll need to raise the edges around it in order to give enough height for a waterfall feature. I like the idea of digging the pond side deeper and using that dirt to shallow up the bog area. Then, consider something like cinder blocks to raise the edges around the bog even further to give you a waterfall.

    Also, never underestimate how much gravel you will need in order to adequately fill the bog (which is why I recommend trying to fill it in so it isn't more than 12-15 inches deep including the raised edge. My bog is TINY (about 4' x 3' by 12 inches down, and it took me 20 bags of pea gravel to fill. If I knew how much I would need going into it, I would have just gotten some delivered in bulk and saved some coin.

    Lots of potential, here! Can't wait to see it evolve!
     
    michey1st, Jul 15, 2014
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  13. tbendl

    CometKeith

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    hi Tbendl, You are off to a great start with your pond. With the ideas presented above it can be really nice. Re:fish...Just throw in a few goldfish and then you can relax. They will multiply over time but it won't be too much work for quite a while.
     
    CometKeith, Jul 15, 2014
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  14. tbendl

    Lisaebetten

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    Your gonna have a lovley pond!!!! Looks like a lot of work getting the growth out but you can then fill it and track the water level for leaks. Maybe you don't have any!!!!! I hope you keep us posted with updates. With that size you will need some nice sized filtration, bog or mechanical what ever your choice.
     
    Lisaebetten, Jul 15, 2014
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  15. tbendl

    Fishylove

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    Welcome tbendl! I love love my bog, in fact I envy addy's bog and wish mine was as big ha! We added our bog after the initial pond was built. The water is crystal clear even with the carpet algae on the sides and... Well everything lol. But that's ok! My fish eat it and keep it "mowed" lol. Don't be scared of a bog it really is very simple, especially how addy explains it. I have so many plants exploding everywhere in the bog I'm going to have to thin before long :)
    Oh and my bog spills over back into the pond.
    Good luck!
     
    Fishylove, Jul 15, 2014
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  16. tbendl

    RobAmy

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    Very nice pond. You will have a little work in front of you but it will be worth it in the end. Your getting some great advice. Do not rush into it, think about how you want the end result. It will be easier to do it now then later. I would keep it as big as possible, more work now will make maintenance easier later.
     
    RobAmy, Jul 15, 2014
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  17. tbendl

    tbendl T

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    Thank everyone for the positive comments. I am reading all the bog information I can find and trying to get a better idea of the best way to proceed. I'm sure I will have more questions after I get a better handle on what will possibly work and what won't. I do have another quick question. If I put the new liner in, build a waterfall to aerate the water and pot a few plants in the bottom with a submersible filter/pump and plan on cleaning it out every year would that be the easiest and least expensive way to go?
     
    tbendl, Jul 15, 2014
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  18. tbendl

    max384

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    Great looking hole!! I like the look of the shape of the pond. Though it certainly looks like there's a ton of work ahead of you!!

    Are you sure that the liner is actually leaking? If it's an EDPM liner, they're tough to put a hole in and generally last practically forever. I think mine had a 20 year guarantee. Could there be a low spot letting water out? Or maybe even mistaking normal evaporation for a leak? It would be great for you if you didn't need to buy another liner.
     
    max384, Jul 15, 2014
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  19. tbendl

    tbendl T

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    Thanks Max384, and there are a number of holes in the liner. I discovered one on Saturday while digging some of the dirt away from the side.... By "discovered" I mean a snake came slithering out of the hole, scaring the crap out of me. So yeah, I've got a hole. Lol Also the kidney section on the far side of the pond is not covered as high as the rest of the pond only allowing it to fill to a certain height. I am going to use a recycled billboard tarp which is relatively inexpensive and if I make sure to cover the liner that is exposed to sun with rocks, I think I'll get quite a few years out of it.
     
    tbendl, Jul 15, 2014
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  20. tbendl

    Lisaebetten

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    My first thought was, man look at the stuff in there and I don't see 1 rock responsible for it!!! o.k.I'm a bad snarky person, time to let go a be free!!!
     
    Lisaebetten, Jul 15, 2014
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