Yet another newb pond construction thread


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Welcome to the next level.
I too had the reef aquarium but i did so in the days before kalkwashers . The infancy of bio balls and live rock. My avatar here is actualy a picture of that the next step that was divorce she got my money and the salt talk and i built a planted tank. And i heard the same there you can do that you cant do this it won't work. if you weren't detered by 15 years of fish keeping i imagine you know the fundamentals and can make about any design work. The planted tank i had was open toped where i started with desk lamps quartz halides. not only did it work i placed 148 in the ada competition. sorry i don't remember the year but the tank can be found typing padarium vivarium i am unsure but i think you'll like. . The next evolution was to build a waterfall on the top of the open fish tank . which then became a water proof shelf basicly creating a bog with peat long long long before this bog stuff ever came out. and to top it off i placed two finches in this area by simply running window screen down from the ceiling.
But enough there the point is don't be affraid to give things a shot i believe strongly i can make my system work with minimal effort but to someone else not so much and vise versa.
You have some fantastic top soil there and lots of it . how ever thats something you'll need to be very carefull with as n matter how much compaction you may add just add enough water and it will wash out. On the plus side sprinkle a little grass seed and the roots can stablize your soils rather quickly.
Your bottom drain for it to work really well you may want to concider the bottom of the pond as a bowl with the drain at the deepest point. which brings the next point. and a member here back then gave me this tid bit that by code i had to have two drains on the sam pipe so if someone got it the deep water they could no get held down by a drain check with your local building codes.
You have the shelve all around you build but they are very even and round did out a corner even if it's only a foot deep and three feet as a jog can do A lot to make it look natural and it was always there. Whoops just noticed the closest wall is not rounded.
I don't know your particular soil but as was mentioned if it is as i believe i would have a tarp to cover the pond and keep the water from ever seeing the edges of your selves.
If you dig out one area of your middle self and bring it down to the bottom of the pond it's a fish cave you only need a large piece of flag stone or similar and trust me your fish will love it especially in the winter.
Ok enough of my two cents nice bones thus far looking forward to your build.
Oh yeah and i whole heartedly back the bog as well.
i to make a area / island for bog plants but as they will absorb through there roots they can do what a bog filter does.
If you think this response is long my build can be found this in the blue text below
I am actually pretty sure I've seen your old paludarium/ finch enclosure on google before! There are not too many palidarium finch enclosures around.

Heres my planted tank.

Thanks for the tips. I'll check out your build.
 

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Very nice!!!!!!

As much as i love the pond i miss having the tranquility right next to my lazy boy in my living room.
PALDARIUM.jpg
107239-642d1c1b11e66a07ac7870514dca8043.jpg
 
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Yep, that's the tank I was thinking of! Small world.
Also, I just browsed through your build log and am blown away! I'm starting to think I need to think about using bigger stones. I really dislike the look of using all small field stones without anything to break them. It makes a pond and waterfall just look like a rock pile on the corner of every field around me.
 
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Thanks

Even if only a couple boulders are used the appearance place just so can do a lot

One trick i have used is to find the biggest and flattest rocks slip fabric under them and you can make a sling for 4 men to help carry. and if you stand it up and place an other rock in front of it or a tree stump you'd never know it was thin and not a big boulder
 
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Thanks

Even if only a couple boulders are used the appearance place just so can do a lot

One trick i have used is to find the biggest and flattest rocks slip fabric under them and you can make a sling for 4 men to help carry. and if you stand it up and place an other rock in front of it or a tree stump you'd never know it was thin and not a big boulder
I've seen the rock sling technique before. I'm going to look at boulders tomorrow after I do some trenching for the electrical and plumbing.
 
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It's starting to become very apparent I should have joined this forum months ago before I made any decisions about doing a pond.
 
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As they say it's not written in stone un till it is. I know the feeling you want to see water in the pond in the worst way but if it takes an extra year to get this built now it's nothing in the sceme of things when you have sat at your pond for 20 years
 
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As they say it's not written in stone un till it is. I know the feeling you want to see water in the pond in the worst way but if it takes an extra year to get this built now it's nothing in the sceme of things when you have sat at your pond for 20 years
Agreed, I should probably pump the brakes a little. I was thinking if I rushed, this pond could be ready to run before the weather turns so I can have it all ready to go when spring comes back around. Being in a rush makes it more stressful than it needs to be.
 
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Don't let me deter you from your dream. I'm obsessed with creating habitats and fish . But sharing ldeas, lessens and mistakes with others here is why we are all here.
 
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Agreed, I should probably pump the brakes a little. I was thinking if I rushed, this pond could be ready to run before the weather turns so I can have it all ready to go when spring comes back around. Being in a rush makes it more stressful than it needs to be.
One word of caution as i started digging mine the day after x mass i believe it was is to buy a tarp and keep the excavation as dry as possible. i orginaly was going to be 8 feet deep it's now just 6 feet deep
 
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Just to add to the great advice you are already getting. Be aware koi can destroy your plants in your “bog” or what I would call planting beds built into the pond Or perhaps a passive bog. With put some planning, it can be done. Bogs tend to be around the edges of ponds and water systems in nature where they filter run off from land not actually in the water system proper itself.

In my first pond I built around 25 years ago, I added koi and had shallow shelves with plants in pots....they pretty much destroyed any plant that touched where they could reach. Long story short built another pond, as a plant filter for the pond with the koi in it, had around 7,000 gallons between the two ponds and the one pond was nothing but plants.
Then we moved 11 years ago and I built my second pond, which is 10,000 gallons. This pond has a lot of shallow planting beds made of pea gravel, as well as fine grain sand, a true bog filter ( bit undersized at the time) this time I planted the plants first and didn’t add koi until a year or so later. The koi were small too. Now 10 years later the planting beds are overflowing with plants, the koi ignore them for the most part, lilies growing in the pond, the koi ignore those as well. The only plant in my current pond that is in a pot is some Thalia and yellow flag iris everything else is planted bare root.

Point being with some planning and patience you can have koi and a natural eco pond as well. My current pond is loooaded with fish, koi, orfes, catfish, goldfish and 7 turtles. Filtered by nothing but plants, which I have used in both the ponds I kept with fish. I did upgrade my original bog this year in this pond, enlarging it to a centipede /snorkel/aqua blocks style bog, as the pind got a net strung up high over it to keep predators out, so without population control upgrading the filter system via a better wetland filter was a must.
 
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One word of caution as i started digging mine the day after x mass i believe it was is to buy a tarp and keep the excavation as dry as possible. i orginaly was going to be 8 feet deep it's now just 6 feet deep
I already had mine covered last week when I heard there was a chance of rain. Definitely don't want a bunch of rain or snow ruining all the hard work.
 
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Just to add to the great advice you are already getting. Be aware koi can destroy your plants in your “bog” or what I would call planting beds built into the pond Or perhaps a passive bog. With put some planning, Bogs tend to be around the edges of ponds and water systems in nature where they filter run off from land not actually in the water system proper itself.

In my first pond I built around 25 years ago, I added koi and had shallow shelves with plants in pots....they pretty much destroyed any plant that touched where they could reach. Long story short built another pond, as a plant filter for the pond with the koi in it, had around 7,000 gallons between the two ponds and the one pond was nothing but plants.
Then we moved 11 years ago and I built my second pond, which is 10,000 gallons. This pond has a lot of shallow planting beds made of pea gravel, as well as fine grain sand, a true bog filter ( bit undersized at the time) this time I planted the plants first and didn’t add koi until a year or so later. The koi were small too. Now 10 years later the planting beds are overflowing with plants, the koi ignore them for the most part, lilies growing in the pond, the koi ignore those as well. The only plant in my current pond that is in a pot is some Thalia and yellow flag iris everything else is planted bare root.

Point being with some planning and patience you can have koi and a natural eco pond as well. My current pond is loooaded with fish, koi, orfes, catfish, goldfish and 7 turtles. Filtered by nothing but plants, which I have used in both the ponds I kept with fish. I did upgrade my original bog this year in this pond, enlarging it to a centipede /snorkel/aqua blocks style bog, as the pind got a net strung up high over it to keep predators out, so without population control upgrading the filter system via a better wetland filter was a must.
I appreciate the advice. Honestly, it wasn't until I went and visited a couple local ponds when I decided I wanted to keep koi. Now that I'm learning more about them I'm nervous about keeping them. I like plants, i want lots and lots of plants.
 

Jhn

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@GBBUDD Its funny you mention keeping salt/reef tanks...I remember starting in that hobby when the way to go was keeping the fish in a sterile environment too ...dead coral, under gravel filters etc.. To now I still have a 220 gal. reef tank filtered with nothing but an algae turf scrubber and live rock.

Pretty much apply the ideas behind my reef tanks now to ponds using plants to filter the water. Had to figure that out on my own though 25-30 years ago before the advent of the internet. Figured if I can use natural filtration methods in a reef tank can sure a s**t use them in a pond. Just using aggressive growing but easy to remove weed out plants in a pond instead of macro algae or (micro algae on a scrubber) in a reef tank.
 
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@GBBUDD Its funny you mention keeping salt/reef tanks...I remember starting in that hobby when the way to go was keeping the fish in a sterile environment too ...dead coral, under gravel filters etc.. To now I still have a 220 gal. reef tank filtered with nothing but an algae turf scrubber and live rock.

Pretty much apply the ideas behind my reef tanks now to ponds using plants to filter the water. Had to figure that out on my own though 25-30 years ago before the advent of the internet. Figured if I can use natural filtration methods in a reef tank can sure a s**t use them in a pond. Just using aggressive growing but easy to remove weed out plants in a pond instead of macro algae or (micro algae on a scrubber) in a reef tank.
I have glass to build a 7 foot long 30 inch wide and 30" deep pumps undergravel/ bed heater led lights all the fixins but not sure if it will become salt or planted. the planted did go with the colors of the living room and the salt while far more intresting in life . the colors being deep blues and purples it just doesn't flow with the room like the planted tank did . i'd love to have about a dozen ghost blennies with one outcrop of poping zenia
 
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Jhn

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I appreciate the advice. Honestly, it wasn't until I went and visited a couple local ponds when I decided I wanted to keep koi. Now that I'm learning more about them I'm nervous about keeping them. I like plants, i want lots and lots of plants.
I am the same way like my koi but like my plants just as much. You can do both, let the plants get good and established first before adding the koi. It is what worked for me, half of my pond is an absolute jungle of plants and I have alot of koi only about 10 are well over a foot, but have a lot like 30 or so of smaller ones 12” and under. If you plant aggressive growing plants (water celery, forgetmenot, or water cress) bare root around the pond edges in the rocks giving them time to get a foot hold, it will give you multiple benefits, ie food....the koi won’t be able to eat them fast enough, a plant that will suck nutrients out of the pond like crazy and it softens the edge of the pind giving it a more natural look. Also, the amount and variety of life that will establish self sustaining populations in the periphyton layer, plant roots and gravel from worms, to aquatic insects, various insect larvae and even gammarus shrimp, is endless.
 
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Jhn

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I have glass to build a 7 foot long 30 inch wide and 30" deep pumps undergravel/ bed heater led lights all the fixins but not sure if it will become salt or planted. the planted did go with the colors of the living room and the salt while far more intresting in life . the colors being deep blues and purples it just doesn't flow with the room like the planted tank did . i'd love to have about a dozen ghost blennies with one outcrop of poping zenia
Yeah the interesting variety of life in salt tanks is what draws me to them similar to what draws me to ponds.

Never got into freshwater planted tanks, but yours (the one for your avatar)is awesome looking. No doubt if you could create something similar again, it would rival any reef tank in beauty. Doubt you could go wrong either way, reef or planted for your living room.
 
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true dat but salt tank is 10 times the price at least.
Planted tank cost me a bit of bird seed they ate and pooped into the open top tank which fed the plants which kept it healthy but i had to trim the plants every week
 
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true dat but salt tank is 10 times the price at least.
Planted tank cost me a bit of bird seed they ate and pooped into the open top tank which fed the plants which kept it healthy but i had to trim the plants every week
That would have been cool to see the bird aviary over a planted tank, very creative idea. Thinking and experimenting like that is how advances in these hobbies are made and makes it fun too. Too many in these hobbies are stuck in their old ways to think outside the box and be creative. To busy telling you it will fail if you do it like that or it will never work, when they themselves never tried it.
 

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