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Old 07-10-2012, 08:40 AM   #1
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Considering a small pond.


Hey there, guys. I'm thinking about putting in some sort of a small pond in our yard. The idea is to do something like this, but oval shaped and a bit smaller.



There's a section of our yard that's kind of secluded, so I thought it'd be cool to put the pond in with a bridge which kind of gets you to the area that's well surrounded by trees, bushes, etc.

I have absolutely no idea what I'm getting into with this. I'd clearly have to rent a backhoe of some sort, as it would take me years to dig by hand. It'd be nice if I could get it about the average depth of your average fish pond... like the kind of thick black plastic ones you can get at hardware stores and drop in place.

I hadn't planned on any pumps or anything, but thinking about it now if there's fish a bubble pump would almost be needed to keep from freezing... or else I could bring the fish inside in a massive tub and keep it running in the basement until spring.

What I'm mostly concerned is about how to set up the actual pond. I mean, it clearly has to be lined with something. I suppose I could look for a super large plastic liner but I'm not too sure. I'm also a little unsure of the tree nearby, which will be within 5-5 1/2 feet @ the closest point.

What do you guys think? Doable? If so, any advice on getting started?

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Old 07-10-2012, 08:58 AM   #2
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Considering a small pond.


If you don't have that water circulating you will end up with a stinky, slimy, stagnent, mosquito larva haven. Thats all I've got. someone else will help you with the logistics and construction of the project

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Old 07-10-2012, 10:33 AM   #3
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Considering a small pond.


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If you don't have that water circulating you will end up with a stinky, slimy, stagnent, mosquito larva haven. Thats all I've got. someone else will help you with the logistics and construction of the project
I understand. No circulation = my own personal swamp! I guess the next question would be... what degree of water circulation do I need to prevent that? I wonder if I could squeak by with a smaller pump.

A family friend has an absolutely massive pond... the thing must be the equivalent size of a pair of 3 ambulances stacked together... but they're also paying 40-50 a month in additional electricity costs (during the summer) for the pumps they run. I definitely want to avoid that, but I don't want a swamp. Ehh...
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:49 AM   #4
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Considering a small pond.


I'm not sure where you're located, but try googling a pond store. They sell liners and pumps. They can give you specific advise for your area. You can then check online for any materials you would need.
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:54 AM   #5
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Considering a small pond.


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I'm not sure where you're located, but try googling a pond store. They sell liners and pumps. They can give you specific advise for your area. You can then check online for any materials you would need.
A pond store? They actually exist? Besides the stuff you find in the garden center at Lowes and Home Depot I never really saw anything else for this situation.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:13 PM   #6
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Considering a small pond.


There's a few of them around St. Louis. Also check with local nursery's and garden centers. They tend to sell that stuff as well.
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:57 PM   #7
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Considering a small pond.


Google for koi pond forum, or pond forum and you'll get all kinds of information on pond building. There's a lot to learn. Are you planning to have fish? If so, you'll need to build it right to keep them alive, with the necessary filtering system. As far as pond pumps go, the size of pump will depend on how many gallons you have, and how high you need to pump the water (as in a waterfall, etc.). Big box stores sell energy hog pumps. I found Pondmaster pumps to be relatively economical and pretty energy efficient. You can also set up an external pump, which I don't have experience in. You'll need to learn about types of liners also, all are not made equal. Checking out a few books on pond design from a library might be a good place to start.

Last edited by Pianolady; 07-10-2012 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:48 PM   #8
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Considering a small pond.


You can plan a natural plan with appropriate ecosystem so yours does not turn into a swamp. You can also buy bacteria that will break down algae so it does not stink.

Just do not underestimate the maintenance and cost especially if you plan to introduce fish. A friend in Central Illinois has a beautiful pond with a carefully designed ecosystem and it looks great. He also watches lawn waste runoff as best he can (high nitrogen fertlizers escalate algae growth). He heats his all winter and you do not want to see his heating bill! Another friend brings his fish in for the winter.

Call your local university extension and as suggested, whether it is called a pond shop or something to do with water features, stop by and visit. Your local golf course maintenance guys/gals will talk with you. Looking into Koi or other pond fish societies is a good idea too.
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Old 07-11-2012, 06:42 PM   #9
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Considering a small pond.


Plan it and do it right, or don't do it at all.

When I bought my current house there was a "koi pond" in the back. It consisted of a crudely shoveled hole, a bit of black pool liner fabric, some cinder blocks and railroad ties. There was a pump, but you had to run a 100' extension cord to it. Which they did; turns out that they buried a plain old extension cord in the yard which came up through the floor of the shed and was plugged into the wall behind a set of shelves (that took a bit of sleuthing and digging around in the lawn to figure out). The pump had failed but was still energized (it was not on a switch), and whatever fish were in the pond were deceased and decayed beyond recognition. The mosquitoes loved it.

Needless to say this was immediately dismantled and filled in as soon as we moved in. I'm glad to say it took a few kilobucks off the cost of the house by its presence during the inspection

Last edited by Thunder Chicken; 07-11-2012 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:40 PM   #10
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Considering a small pond.


I used to have a pond I built. Turned out ok. Depth is important for whether it will freeze solid or not. I think I remember reading that if you have cold winters you should have a spot in your pond 3 or 4 feet deep. In my pond, I had a problem with green water until I bought a uv pond filter on ebay. Made the water crystal clear
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:29 PM   #11
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Considering a small pond.


Rubber roofing makes a great pond liner--

a a water race filled with living plants makes a good filter--

36 inch deep will allow for over wintering fish in Illinois if you add a plastic green house in the winter--

Pump needs to run year round---into the plants in the summer---splashing nto the center of the pond in the winter---You will have a power bill---

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