DIY on a Shoestring Budget forum: DIY Pond

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Imagethreegardeners
Feb 15, 2010 2:22 PM CST
Name: Lee Anne Stark
Ontario, Canada
Perpetually happy!
We did one this way 6 years ago and it still looks good!
It can't be huge but it will be a nice size.
We found an old water bed liner at the dump. Brought it home and cut it open to make one large piece and used that as the liner for our pond. Asked around at some farms where they were happy to have us haul away nice flat rocks.
Did the digging and rock planting ourselves.
The only cost was for a cheap water filter. It broke down after the first year and we haven't bothered to replace it...the right plants will keep the algae down...here in the North anyways.
ImageHenryr10
Feb 15, 2010 9:39 PM CST
Name: Ric
Cincinnati, Oh
Thanks Lee Anne!

Do you have any pictures you could share?

We tried the Water Bed liner and it worked well.
The problem was we wanted to go bigger.

W/ our new one we went to a Clearance Sale at the local pet supply house.
We picked up a 20' x 10 ' 45mil EPDM rubber liner for 80 dollars US.
That was enough liner to do a 13 x 5 x 3' deep pond w/ plenty left for the waterfall.

For the Pump we found a new in the box Sump Pump at a Garage Sale years ago for about 20 dollars US.
The first time we tried in in our little 100 gallon preform pond it threw almost all the water straight up in one shot.
We had a geyser in the backyard....lol!

W/ the new 1200 gallon pond it works perfectly.
Runs a waterfall and brook w/ plenty of power left over.

Ric

Thumbnail by Henryr10

“The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That's the deal.”
C.S. Lewis
Image1AnjL
Feb 16, 2010 2:04 AM CST
Name: AnjL/Annmarie
CA Sierra Mts
Nice pond Ric!

Did you already have the stones?

Here is a pix of the pathway and pond I installed 2 years ago. The pond sits in the left corner behind the chair. I used one of those plastic pre-formed ponds at the hardware store. I dont like it, it has a slow leak in it somewhere. Someday I'll have my stamina back so I can go dig it back out and use a liner instead.

Thumbnail by 1AnjL

All Things Hobby
All the coffee in Columbia will never make me a morning person!
Image1AnjL
Feb 16, 2010 2:05 AM CST
Name: AnjL/Annmarie
CA Sierra Mts
Here is a top view of the pond before we planted in there

Thumbnail by 1AnjL

All Things Hobby
All the coffee in Columbia will never make me a morning person!
ImageHenryr10
Feb 16, 2010 2:00 PM CST
Name: Ric
Cincinnati, Oh
The stones we buy from a friend who builds rock walls and patios.
He gets it all by hand locally.
We buy his leftovers and a bargain price.
We can pick our own for free but don't have a truck so.... lol!

Ric
“The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That's the deal.”
C.S. Lewis
Image1AnjL
Feb 16, 2010 2:03 PM CST
Name: AnjL/Annmarie
CA Sierra Mts
wow, wish we had a place locally that we could go 'find' them! My sis has a piece of property in WA and alot of river rock on it. When we re-did moms garden, we just drove to sis's house and loaded up the Durango. I wanted to load it up again and bring some of those back here to CA for my garden LOL!
All Things Hobby
All the coffee in Columbia will never make me a morning person!
ImageBlissfulGarden
Feb 21, 2010 4:24 PM CST
Name: Evey Blalock
South Louisiana / Zone 8b

Ric, you know that wrought iron lattice by your pond is just screaming out that it wants a Japanese clematis on it!!! That's the perfect setting for one.

Our first pond was pre-formed. It was a mom's day gift from my kids when we lived at our second house. When we moved, they insisted that I dig it up and bring it with us! Our second house was shaded during a large portion of the day. The pond did well in shade because algae was seldom a problem, but it made companion planting a challenge... and keeping leaves out of the pond was a pain. Here's a pic of the pond just as spring was emerging:


Thumbnail by BlissfulGarden

ImageBlissfulGarden
Feb 21, 2010 4:25 PM CST
Name: Evey Blalock
South Louisiana / Zone 8b

And here's a picture of the garden it was in... next to our carport:

Thumbnail by BlissfulGarden

ImageHenryr10
Feb 21, 2010 8:16 PM CST
Name: Ric
Cincinnati, Oh
Pretty Pretty Evey!
Very Soothing!

That's actually a Copper Trellis we build years ago for hanging Mini Hosta on.
It now fence art.
Would copper be OK for a Clematis?
Not familiar w/ Japanese Clems but I will be looking at them I guarantee.
Robyn is always looking for new spots.

Ric
“The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That's the deal.”
C.S. Lewis
Imagetomatofreak
Feb 22, 2010 11:18 AM CST
Name: Alma
Phoenix & Cottonwood, AZ
USDA zone 9b, Sunset 13 & ??
Ric, what is the black thing behind the pond? Is it something to recirculate the water?
Alma
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. – Thomas Jefferson
ImageHenryr10
Feb 22, 2010 12:17 PM CST
Name: Ric
Cincinnati, Oh
Ah that's a Skippy Filter alma.
Basically a gravity flow Bio-filter that should never need cleaned.

http://www.skippysstuff.com/biofiltr.htm

Cost about 30 dollars DIY if you buy your own parts and have a stock tank or 55 gallon plastic drum.
Parts kits are sold for about twice to three times that OR
you can buy them ready made for hundreds....lol!

I am going to start a thread on them soon.
It took about 2 hours to build.

Amazingly it's been running all winter and we were in single digits and teens for long periods.

Ric

Thumbnail by Henryr10

“The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That's the deal.”
C.S. Lewis
Imagetomatofreak
Feb 22, 2010 9:36 PM CST
Name: Alma
Phoenix & Cottonwood, AZ
USDA zone 9b, Sunset 13 & ??
Thanks, Ric. I have a little 35 gallon preformed 'pond' and keep hoping we'll get to build a real pond, complete with all the trimmings before too long. So I'll be learning from this thread. Everything at this house is DIY. With all that's been going on here, there's not an extra penny for a contractor. Not to mention that with the horrible experiences we've actually had with contractors in the past, we're not eager to hook up with another one anytime soon.
Alma
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. – Thomas Jefferson
ImageHenryr10
Feb 22, 2010 9:47 PM CST
Name: Ric
Cincinnati, Oh
You have an advantage over us w/ your climate.
We had to go at least 30" down because of the winters here.
You could easily get by w/ 18" as long as it wasn't in total sun.
Combine the Skippy w/ a long fall and you'd get a nice cooling affect.

Though in Phoenix I'd think you might want to go much like we were forced to by lot size.
Narrow and deep would reduce evaporation in that dry climate.


Thumbnail by Henryr10

“The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That's the deal.”
C.S. Lewis
ImageBlissfulGarden
Feb 22, 2010 11:18 PM CST
Name: Evey Blalock
South Louisiana / Zone 8b

Actually, Ric, in Zone 9b the 18" would not be enough. You're right that evaporation would be a huge issue... and her fish would be poached even if not in full sun. The water warms up very quickly even in the shade here... and I'm 8b.

Here's a picture of my brother's DIY pond from early December. He lives just outside Cleveland and has to regularly cut holes in the ice during winter for the fish to breath during the snow months.

Thumbnail by BlissfulGarden

Image1AnjL
Feb 22, 2010 11:22 PM CST
Name: AnjL/Annmarie
CA Sierra Mts
Thumbs up nice!! But I dont think I'd wanna go out and poke holes in freezing water Smiling
All Things Hobby
All the coffee in Columbia will never make me a morning person!
Imagetomatofreak
Feb 23, 2010 10:44 AM CST
Name: Alma
Phoenix & Cottonwood, AZ
USDA zone 9b, Sunset 13 & ??
As long as I'm here, I don't think I'll ever need to shovel snow or cut holes in ice! Evey is right about the water getting hot. The little 35 gallon job is deep, but I have taro growing in it and I put up an umbrella in summer to try to cut down on evaporation. So far, I haven't even put mosquito fish in it. Although they're much needed here...
Alma
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. – Thomas Jefferson
ImageHenryr10
Feb 23, 2010 10:53 AM CST
Name: Ric
Cincinnati, Oh
In your climate you might even get away w/ Guppies!
“The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That's the deal.”
C.S. Lewis
ImageBlissfulGarden
Feb 23, 2010 12:03 PM CST
Name: Evey Blalock
South Louisiana / Zone 8b

I had goldfish thriving in my small preformed pond for many years (you can see them in the pic above). Obviously, that pond was too small for Koi.

The pond we have at this house is a true "cement pond" constructed by the original homeowners long before ponds in the garden were popular (think... 50 years ago). It's a mortar and brick construction in the courtyard area. When we purchased the home several years ago, the entire courtyard area was totally overgrown with weeds and vines. The pond was a mosquito and mud-filled mess that had not seen fish in many, many years. I did find three snapping turtles and two mocassins when cleaning it out... but I didn't think they would be the best household pets and relocated them rather quickly!!! To my glee, there was one more surprise waiting with the pond. Once I cleared out all the vines, I discovered a terrific rock waterfall on the halfwall by the pond. The plumbing in it was broken long ago, but I was able to repair it and get the waterfall working again. To my further delight, I talked with the family of the original owners and found out that the rocks for the wall had been hauled here lovingly from their grandmother's home near Hot Springs, Arkansas... coincidentally the very location I myself had spent many happy summers as a child. =)

This pond holds about 200 gallons and has done well supporting the goldfish. It's much easier to keep the water maintained at a healthy level than it was with the former pond. I think the minimum I would go in the future for a pond that supports fish would be 150 gallons... just from the maintenance standpoint.

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