Trying to educate myself on best pond setup has made me more confused


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Hello pond enthusiasts!

I’d like to begin by stating I’m totally jazzed about the prospect of having a pond and water feature next to my house! I’ve seen and read much on this subject but have found in doing so, I’m more confused and indecisive than ever. While I appreciate there’s more than one way to skin a cat, there seems to be so many ways to build/have a pond it’s overwhelming!

Nothing I’ve seen or read exactly fits my situation, I’m sure it’s out there somewhere but haven’t found it yet.
I’d love to try and make this without it costing a small fortune. However, I don’t want to cut costs and a few years down the road worry about water leaking in or under my house.
Pond size approx. 5’x8’ wide depth tbd. what would be a good depth? 2’ will be above ground.

I’d like to have koi and from what I’ve read if I get 1000 gallons I could have 4 koi.

My main question at this point is should I do a liner or concrete/render the sides? We are putting it right next to the house (one wall of the pond will be our house) which has a brick face.

I purchased slate tile that I’d like to use for the above ground walls in the front of it but should I render over the brick in the back and affix the tile to that? If I use a liner instead, what’s the best way I can affix the tile to the liner over the brick?

The pictures, I just started digging out the existing planter and expanding it so, the brick and the drainage pipe in the middle will be removed.

Also the pond will be shaded, I’d like to have pond plants for filtration, we live in zone 6. If I can get the right pond set up, would I even need an additional bio- mechanical filter? If so, what would be the ideal set up for this space?

we are planning on a waterfall on the back brick wall.
 

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Hello pond enthusiasts!

I’d like to begin by stating I’m totally jazzed about the prospect of having a pond and water feature next to my house! I’ve seen and read much on this subject but have found in doing so, I’m more confused and indecisive than ever. While I appreciate there’s more than one way to skin a cat, there seems to be so many ways to build/have a pond it’s overwhelming!

Nothing I’ve seen or read exactly fits my situation, I’m sure it’s out there somewhere but haven’t found it yet.

The first real question I have is, should I do a liner or form it with concrete. We are putting it right next to the house (one wall of the pond will be our house) which has a brick face. I purchases slate tile that I’d like to
I would be willing to bet your town building codes might have something to say about the house foundation being part of the pond.

You came to the right place for ideas.

TAKE SOME PICTURES OF YOUR AREA this will give others get a real feel of your project and not what they interpret from your words. my pond build is a bit long but can be found here

My Pond build can be seen here ---> https://www.gardenpondforum.com/threads/going-for-it-phase-one-12-000-gallon-pond.22563/
 

j.w

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@Fruit loop
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If I were you I would stick w/a smaller type of fish like shubunkin goldfish as they have coloring similar to koi but not huge fish.

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Hello pond enthusiasts!

I’d like to begin by stating I’m totally jazzed about the prospect of having a pond and water feature next to my house! I’ve seen and read much on this subject but have found in doing so, I’m more confused and indecisive than ever. While I appreciate there’s more than one way to skin a cat, there seems to be so many ways to build/have a pond it’s overwhelming!

Nothing I’ve seen or read exactly fits my situation, I’m sure it’s out there somewhere but haven’t found it yet.
I’d love to try and make this without it costing a small fortune. However, I don’t want to cut costs and a few years down the road worry about water leaking in or under my house.
Pond size approx. 5’x8’ wide depth tbd. what would be a good depth? 2’ will be above ground.

I’d like to have koi and from what I’ve read if I get 1000 gallons I could have 4 koi.

My main question at this point is should I do a liner or concrete/render the sides? We are putting it right next to the house (one wall of the pond will be our house) which has a brick face.

I purchased slate tile that I’d like to use for the above ground walls in the front of it but should I render over the brick in the back and affix the tile to that? If I use a liner instead, what’s the best way I can affix the tile to the liner over the brick?

The pictures, I just started digging out the existing planter and expanding it so, the brick and the drainage pipe in the middle will be removed.

Also the pond will be shaded, I’d like to have pond plants for filtration, we live in zone 6. If I can get the right pond set up, would I even need an additional bio- mechanical filter? If so, what would be the ideal set up for this space?

we are planning on a waterfall on the back brick wall.
I will place something between your house's wall and the pond(concrete wall or something like that). EPDM liner to be sure at 100% against any kind of leak.
1000 gallons is min. space for a full grown Koi(can be a fish of 60cm and more-over 2 feet), i will go for shubunkin or sarasa goldfishes for sure, smaller and easier to keep in that space(they will spawn and you will have more and more).
If you got right balance between plants and fishes you can avoid mec-bio filter, maybe can just add like surplus hidden behind the waterfall...
About zones i pass, because i don't know what they mean...aren't used in Italy. is lowest temperature during winter?
 
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I will place something between your house's wall and the pond(concrete wall or something like that). EPDM liner to be sure at 100% against any kind of leak.
1000 gallons is min. space for a full grown Koi(can be a fish of 60cm and more-over 2 feet), i will go for shubunkin or sarasa goldfishes for sure, smaller and easier to keep in that space(they will spawn and you will have more and more).
If you got right balance between plants and fishes you can avoid mec-bio filter, maybe can just add like surplus hidden behind the waterfall...
About zones i pass, because i don't know what they mean...aren't used in Italy. is lowest temperature during winter?
Thanks for the tips!
 
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I would be willing to bet your town building codes might have something to say about the house foundation being part of the pond.

You came to the right place for ideas.

TAKE SOME PICTURES OF YOUR AREA this will give others get a real feel of your project and not what they interpret from your words. my pond build is a bit long but can be found here

My Pond build can be seen here ---> https://www.gardenpondforum.com/threads/going-for-it-phase-one-12-000-gallon-pond.22563/
thanks! I never considered codes. If it's a bad idea to put the pond here, now is the time to know.

I really liked having it at the front entrance for a cool wow factor and because our space is limited. It seemed to make the most sense. Will the weight of the water be an issue for the foundation? I'd really rather not get codes involved.
 

brokensword

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I think you can get what you want with some tweaking of your parameters. Put 18" or so of ground/dirt between your house wall and the pond edge. Use a liner as it's easier and faster. If going 2' above, I'd aim for 2' below. Goldfish (shubunkins is one type) would be better for 1000 gallons. If you want koi, think 1000 gallons for the first one and 250-500 for each additional. I think you mentioned wanting natural plant filteration, so that's a good idea in the form of a bog filter (actually, upflow wetland filter). Do some searching here for both ideas and directions and see if it's something you want to employ. If you do, you won't be sorry; many of us are using this form of filtration and enjoy all the time we NEVER have to clean pads, etc!

If you want the slate look, make your 'above ground' portion from ground contact 6x6s and affix the tile to the face for effect. The liner would go in, up the wall, over, and can be fastened to the top of the wood box, where you'd then put more tile as coping or another form of edging.

Putting the pond near but not ON the wall also gives you planting area to naturalize your pond, too.


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Building without knowing and consulting codes is not advisable. In the states for one we have call before you dig or misutility what ever you call it in your area digging for any reason without a locate number is against the law
 

brokensword

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Building without knowing and consulting codes is not advisable. In the states for one we have call before you dig or misutility what ever you call it in your area digging for any reason without a locate number is against the law
ya know GB, I understand where you're coming from, but NO ONE is going to tell me I can't dig on my own property; period. Now, if you're meaning large scale pool digging, running sprinkler lines, foundation leak problems, or planting a tree AND you're unaware of where the utilities are, then yes, Miss Dig please stand up, please stand up! I've had issues re 'codes' and municipal oversight as in; I wanted to do most of my house myself and the moment I tried to 'overdo' the plumbing to insure easy cleaning (i.e. I put in 4" pvc UNDER my conc basement for all the drain tile and toilet leads etc), they revoked the permit. So, just hired a plumber to tell me what the code officers wanted to see and did it myself anyhow. Still, nothing wrong with me oversizing and insuring less problems. Just because the code officers in my area can't think outside the box doesn't mean what I was doing was wrong. They also made me take my kitchen sink waste plumbing and instead of having it drop through the floor and under, I was forced to BUILD a half wall to house this SAME plumbing and then drop it through an existing WALL 10' away to the basement below. Same function but you know what I was thinking; more unnecessary cost+work as well as issues if I ever had to snake this pipe/replace etc. So, once I got the occupancy permit, I cut the pipe and dropped it back through the floor. I can now easily get at it if I ever need to. Same with an 2 bathroom water supplies; where I had ALL the plumbing in the basement under the main floor, except for the upward lead, they made me route them through existing walls. Haven't actually finished that bath but when I ever do, guess what I'll be doing? I did alter the main bath that was also connected and once again dropped both waste and supply straight down through the floor and tied them to the main sanitary system.

Stuff like that; and I know, most peeps don't get into building their own house but I sure didn't get any latitude or was even given much chance to do so. I did it anyway, so I'm seeing this as 'another way for the city to get money out of me' by demanding I pay for a permit to do something I already know I can do.

And I know the counter argument; a permit is there to protect the NEXT buyer of the house, some such sh*t like that. Makes sense ONLY if the perspective buyer doesn't get an inspection BEFORE they buy and these days, who does that? Hell, most folks have to fix stuff that wouldn't pass code before they sell and they lived with forever until someone else NEEDS the house up to code before anyone is happy.


So, I understand; no issue recommending the poster get some idea about codes but I'd find out sideways and NOT call city hall; once alerted, they could put so much bureaucratic nonsense in front of you that the whole project won't seem worth it.

Okay, done ranting. Sorry, your comment sort of struck a nerve. I could go on with some of the issues I had trying to BUILD MY OWN DAMN HOUSE and dealing with HOA and city oversight.


[no twirling knight emoji, this time; not in the mood]
 
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Welcome @Fruit loop. Looks like you're getting lots of advice. I agree with all of it. Go for smaller, colorful fish instead of koi in 1,000 gal. Life will be easier. Get to know your local ordinances like @GBBUDD said, and don't put the pond wall right up against the foundation like @brokensword said. That's asking for trouble.

@brokensword: The reason the building inspector wanted your plumbing in a wall instead of through the floor was for fire separation. Every hole you put in your floor is a conduit for fire to travel between floors. In most AHJs, a floor is a fire rated assembly. That usually doesn't mean you can't go through it, but you have to fire seal around your penetrations. Maybe this was before they made fire rated caulk? Or maybe the inspector didn't think to make that suggestion. Or maybe they're just hard-nosed and don't allow a floor penetration when it's not absolutely necessary.

That's awesome that you built your own house. Would love to do that. Have a pond here I need to enjoy for a bit, though.
 
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brokensword

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Welcome @Fruit loop. Looks like you're getting lots of advice. I agree with all of it. Go for smaller, colorful fish instead of koi in 1,000 gal. Life will be easier. Get to know your local ordinances like @GBBUDD said, and don't put the pond wall right up against the foundation like @brokensword said. That's asking for trouble.

@brokensword: The reason the building inspector wanted your plumbing in a wall instead of through the floor was for fire separation. Every hole you put in your floor is a conduit for fire to travel between floors. In most AHJs, a floor is a fire rated assembly. That usually doesn't mean you can't go through it, but you have to fire seal around your penetrations. Maybe this was before they made fire rated caulk? Or maybe the inspector didn't think to make that suggestion. Or maybe they're just hard-nosed and don't allow a floor penetration when it's not absolutely necessary.

That's awesome that you built your own house. Would love to do that. Have a pond here I need to enjoy for a bit, though.
naw, I know about fireproofing; did that to any hole from the basement level into the upper floor. I KNEW where I was building it was a more 'stuffy' area, just hadn't run up against it before (I was young, no experience dealing with such types). I DID keep all the other permits, so it's not like it was a total war. My dad was a bricklayer and built the house I grew up in, so it wasn't like I was a total newb to the idea. Only built because being self-employed, the banks wouldn't consider my income, just my wife's, when we wanted to buy a house. Really limited 'where' we could buy simply because any nice/safe area, we couldn't afford. Doing the numbers convinced me I could build for the same price we were trying to buy for.

Story gets a bit more intersting/frustrating; when I went to the banks to get what was called a construction loan, they flat out refused. You want to know the reason? They said I couldn't build for the price I wanted the loan for, despite I had ALL the numbers verified. Since I was doing all the labor (95% at least), it came down to a materials list. We already owned the lot, so it should have been a slam dunk.

Now you want to know the kicker? I actually did build and it came out 10K higher than I listed but I also added a third car to the garage and the same slice of area straight through the house, in essence adding about 400 sq foot more living space along with the extra car allotment, including a now wider driveway.

And in case you were wondering, no, I didn't bother pulling any permits to build the pond; I knew what was code/expected and did it the 'right way', just in case I'm ever under scrutiny. Didn't need the city taking my money nor watching what I did. That's the kind of area I live in and I've come to realize its more beneficial than not.

Here's my HOA story for you; when i submitted my plans to the city, they needed HOA sign off, so met with them. They only signed IF I agreed to plant screen/shrubbery next to both sides of my driveway. And you know why they wanted this? Because the neighbor to my immediate east was a carpenter who kept a trailer with work related tools/equip on his driveway and the neighborhood didn't like seeing it. So, they found out I was a landscaper and threw me into my neighbor's category and figured they'd now need to keep a different neighbor's house across from my driveway screened so MY equiptment wouldn't be seen.

Funny thing was, I have ALWAYS kept all my stuff inside the garage; there's never nor had there ever been, any mess from what I do.

So, do you think I planted the shrubbery when I finished the house? Careful how you place this bet--I think you can tell by now what kind of person I am, hey? I mean, do you KNOW what salt can do to an evergreen over a season? One of the stupider and biased decisions anyone's ever made against me.

Oh btw, that same neighbor that wanted screening before I would be 'allowed' to build moved 4 years later. I hate jumping through hoops and don't forget those that put them in front of me...


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addy1

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We have had to deal with HOA's in FL where we had the majority of our rentals, one issue after another.

There it is mainly bored old folks peaking out of their windows reporting on everything you do. At one place the tenant died, the neighbor raided the place (we think, she did have a key) before we could get down there. TV computer and other stuff gone, she claimed he did not have them. Yeah right.

Then we got letters from the HOA from her complaining we changed the locks, made to much noise fixing the place up for sale on and on and on. She even called the cops on us. Had to hire a lawyer to contact the family up in NH they refused to come down and remove his stuff. Gave them a drop dead date get it out or gone. Well they never showed up.

Whew all rentals are gone, all we have left is his parents old house that we have not been down to in two years. His one son has gone down a few times, one to teach virtually during 2020, had a great time free living and now more visits, keeping a eye on our place.
 
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ya know GB, I understand where you're coming from, but NO ONE is going to tell me I can't dig on my own property; period. Now, if you're meaning large scale pool digging, running sprinkler lines, foundation leak problems, or planting a tree AND you're unaware of where the utilities are, then yes, Miss Dig please stand up, please stand up! I've had issues re 'codes' and municipal oversight as in; I wanted to do most of my house myself and the moment I tried to 'overdo' the plumbing to insure easy cleaning (i.e. I put in 4" pvc UNDER my conc basement for all the drain tile and toilet leads etc), they revoked the permit. So, just hired a plumber to tell me what the code officers wanted to see and did it myself anyhow. Still, nothing wrong with me oversizing and insuring less problems. Just because the code officers in my area can't think outside the box doesn't mean what I was doing was wrong. They also made me take my kitchen sink waste plumbing and instead of having it drop through the floor and under, I was forced to BUILD a half wall to house this SAME plumbing and then drop it through an existing WALL 10' away to the basement below. Same function but you know what I was thinking; more unnecessary cost+work as well as issues if I ever had to snake this pipe/replace etc. So, once I got the occupancy permit, I cut the pipe and dropped it back through the floor. I can now easily get at it if I ever need to. Same with an 2 bathroom water supplies; where I had ALL the plumbing in the basement under the main floor, except for the upward lead, they made me route them through existing walls. Haven't actually finished that bath but when I ever do, guess what I'll be doing? I did alter the main bath that was also connected and once again dropped both waste and supply straight down through the floor and tied them to the main sanitary system.

Stuff like that; and I know, most peeps don't get into building their own house but I sure didn't get any latitude or was even given much chance to do so. I did it anyway, so I'm seeing this as 'another way for the city to get money out of me' by demanding I pay for a permit to do something I already know I can do.

And I know the counter argument; a permit is there to protect the NEXT buyer of the house, some such sh*t like that. Makes sense ONLY if the perspective buyer doesn't get an inspection BEFORE they buy and these days, who does that? Hell, most folks have to fix stuff that wouldn't pass code before they sell and they lived with forever until someone else NEEDS the house up to code before anyone is happy.


So, I understand; no issue recommending the poster get some idea about codes but I'd find out sideways and NOT call city hall; once alerted, they could put so much bureaucratic nonsense in front of you that the whole project won't seem worth it.

Okay, done ranting. Sorry, your comment sort of struck a nerve. I could go on with some of the issues I had trying to BUILD MY OWN DAMN HOUSE and dealing with HOA and city oversight.


[no twirling knight emoji, this time; not in the mood]
You're hilarious!! Warn Soap box just got kicked over!
 
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Welcome @Fruit loop. Looks like you're getting lots of advice. I agree with all of it. Go for smaller, colorful fish instead of koi in 1,000 gal. Life will be easier. Get to know your local ordinances like @GBBUDD said, and don't put the pond wall right up against the foundation like @brokensword said. That's asking for trouble.

@brokensword: The reason the building inspector wanted your plumbing in a wall instead of through the floor was for fire separation. Every hole you put in your floor is a conduit for fire to travel between floors. In most AHJs, a floor is a fire rated assembly. That usually doesn't mean you can't go through it, but you have to fire seal around your penetrations. Maybe this was before they made fire rated caulk? Or maybe the inspector didn't think to make that suggestion. Or maybe they're just hard-nosed and don't allow a floor penetration when it's not absolutely necessary.

That's awesome that you built your own house. Would love to do that. Have a pond here I need to enjoy for a bit, though.
Thanks for all the input! Much appreciated!! I've been looking into building a bog. The problem is I have little space there. So now I'm trying to figure how to use the very large concrete planter on the other side of the driveway. Oye!
 
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I think you can get what you want with some tweaking of your parameters. Put 18" or so of ground/dirt between your house wall and the pond edge. Use a liner as it's easier and faster. If going 2' above, I'd aim for 2' below. Goldfish (shubunkins is one type) would be better for 1000 gallons. If you want koi, think 1000 gallons for the first one and 250-500 for each additional. I think you mentioned wanting natural plant filteration, so that's a good idea in the form of a bog filter (actually, upflow wetland filter). Do some searching here for both ideas and directions and see if it's something you want to employ. If you do, you won't be sorry; many of us are using this form of filtration and enjoy all the time we NEVER have to clean pads, etc!

If you want the slate look, make your 'above ground' portion from ground contact 6x6s and affix the tile to the face for effect. The liner would go in, up the wall, over, and can be fastened to the top of the wood box, where you'd then put more tile as coping or another form of edging.

Putting the pond near but not ON the wall also gives you planting area to naturalize your pond, too.


View attachment 144235
Thanks for these great suggestions. As I said to another helpful soul, I've looked into building a bog but don't have a lot room there where the pond is. So now I'm trying to figure out how I can convert the large built-in concrete flower bed across the driveway. It's getting complicated.
 
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my mad idea...if photo is the right space

So when you open your door you ll see waterfall like main thing, waterlilies(1 or more) to cover surface and give nice effect and some plants in perimetral zone to give more natural effect....
BTW is just an example


trie.jpeg
 
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my mad idea...if photo is the right space

So when you open your door you ll see waterfall like main thing, waterlilies(1 or more) to cover surface and give nice effect and some plants in perimetral zone to give more natural effect....
BTW is just an example


View attachment 144306
Wow! That was fast! You've got skillz!! Ive read somewhere on this forum to go bigger if possible. I wished I could go bigger. I should add a picture of the flower bed across the driveway. But that would be crazy.
 
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Wow! That was fast! You've got skillz!! Ive read somewhere on this forum to go bigger if possible. I wished I could go bigger. I should add a picture of the flower bed across the driveway. But that would be crazy.
Go bigger with the space that every1 got. A bit insane if you have a driveway between...for any kind maintenance or if(cross fingers) hot a leak...but anyway anything isnt impossible.

And important thing is what you want...if want just a relaxing and nice place this is enough...just dont be greed with fishes and you will not have problems.

As always, this is just my newbie idea.
 
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my mad idea...if photo is the right space

So when you open your door you ll see waterfall like main thing, waterlilies(1 or more) to cover surface and give nice effect and some plants in perimetral zone to give more natural effect....
BTW is just an example


View attachment 144306
Missed that you need a wall in the upper part of the photo too, at the corner
 

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