Will be putting in a fish pond with waterfall this summer.


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Will be putting in a fish pond with waterfall this summer. Would like to use this forum to make sure i am on the correct track.

1. The fish pond will be 4 ft deep 16 ft wide and 4 ft front to back. I live outside of st louis area so I will need a heater that will keep the pond warm during the winter months.


2. The waterfall distance: from top of the waterfall to the fish pond will be 4 ft. So I will need an appropriate pump for that distance.


Thank you!
 
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j.w

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@ewllustration
Some here use those cattle heaters when the weather is freezing. I prefer Laguna Max Flo submersible pumps but I took the cage off of it and had it hooked up to a prefilter. Laguna pumps get good power savings. I like Pondmaster also. Had one for my waterfall for many yrs.
 
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This photo will give you a better idea what I am starting with
 

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This photo will give you a better idea what I am starting with
Welcome! I would worry about roots from the trees trying to puncture the liner. I know they make flexible concrete you can put in to help prevent that, or they make metal or plastic barriers you can dig down into the ground. Also, you'll definitely need a skimmer or intake bay or something like that since those trees are going to drop a bunch of leaves into the pond.
 
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addy1

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Welcome to the forum!

I just use a pond breather to keep a hole in the ice on our pond. No heater to keep the water warm.
 
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Rashad, the whole interior will be cinder blocked and concreted, so no worries concerning roots. skimmer is a good call I will definitely do that!
 
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I want to line it with blue tile so the water will always look blue. I hope basic tile morter wont harm the fish?
 
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You have to take advantage of the hill side behind the area whether for a stream or a bog
 
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You think rubber is slick with some algae try ceramic tile
 

brokensword

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as others have mentioned; you don't need a heater to have fish, assuming you're looking at koi, goldfish, or something native that doesn't need a river flowing through it. Not to mention, heating a pond in the winter is going to cost you a fortune.

If you're going with concrete blocks, do some research and watch some videos but the basic idea is you'll need to fill the block holes with cement (not mortar; and you should be cementing the blocks, not mortaring them) and every other hole should have re-rod top to bottom. All this said, you'll need to seal the inside. And even then, you may still run the risk of deveoping a leak as mother nature likes to push and pull during the winter. If you're going to go the block route, backfill against the walls with sand.

Too, your pond floor should be cement with wire reinforcement or more re-rod; better if you can integrate the re-rod of the floor into each wall. The idea is this; when you build a house, you have foundation that is below the frost level. And upon this, you build with the blocks (old fashioned) or poured cement. The weight of the house on top helps strengthen the walls against nature's push in the winter and rainy seasons. You don't have this weight to help so your walls will experience sheer forces. The cement and re-rod helps hold it all together but it won't prevent evenutal cracks.

The ideas presented above are tried and true and a lot less problematic for the typical garden variety pond owner. That is, use a liner and it's both easier, cheaper, and more secure than cement ponds.

The tile idea while nice on paper truly will disappoint you in no time, as noted by mrsclem. Algae is going to cover everything and your pond interior will be green. Which isn't something bad; you want this as it is part of your balanced pond--which is your goal. As an example of 'everything's green'; I used two colors of sandstone for my bog wall. Spent a goodly amount of time laying it all out so it looked natural. Didn't take more than a month and every rock was covered with algae. I could have gotten cheaper and easier rock to work with but I was going by what I wanted, not what was going to happen. Tile in a pool is different as you're using chems to keep the algae at bay. In a garden pond, you're going to get algae and like I said, it's the good stuff that clings to everything submerged.

Also, consider your waterfall; most don't look to build the 'volcanoe' type waterfall, which is what will happen to yours if you don't consider the landscaping surrounding the pond. You want to make it gradual and natural. Google some waterfall vids and see some examples of taller waterfalls that don't look like they suddenly erupted out of the flat earth surrounding the pond. Look also at lower falls and see if the ideas work for you.
 
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It would be best to have an EPDM liner rather than trying to waterproof concrete blocks or plain concrete.
There have been so many threads here about sealing problems or cracking concrete.

I suggest you build your walls, then drop in a liner. Or better yet, dig a hole and drop in a liner, then you won't need to build walls.

When I dug mine, I rented a small backhoe called a Terramite. It cost me $300 for the weekend. It was well worth it.

Either 45 mil EPDM or HDRPE are the best choices for liner material. Do not use a PVC liner. The prices are attractive, but it will fail quickly and you'll have to tear everything apart to replace it.

As others have stated, you don't need to heat your pond for the winter.
You just need to keep a small hole in the ice for gas exchange.
You can do that with a 40 watt pond breather or a 250 watt pond deicer.

One of the biggest problems people have are they add too many fish or introduce koi when the pond is too small.
Remember, the fish will reproduce and before you know it, you're overpopulated which leads to poor water quality.
It is said that your first koi needs at least 1,000 gallons and 250-500 for each additional koi.
So, you might want to stick with goldfish and shubunkin. Shubunkin are in the goldfish family and are very colorful with long flowing fins. They are a very nice looking fish that don't grow too big.
 
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Question: How do I calculate how many gallons 4 ft deep 16 ft wide and 4 ft front to back would be?
 
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