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Old 07-26-2010, 12:00 AM   #1
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Easiest, most cost-effective way of building a natural looking wall around a pond?


I have a small plastic kidney-shaped pond in my back yard that I keep fish in; my first problem is that the fish will jump out and die on my lawn if I don't keep a screen over it. My second problem is that no matter what filter, pump or other equipment I use, I still have constant algae and water quality issues. I think the second problem could be solved, or at least greatly helped, by some water plants. However, I can't put any in there with the screen over the top of the pond which is why I'm thinking of building a small (16 to 20 inches tall) wall around the edges of it.

So my question is: what is the easiest and cheapest way of building a wall like this while still maintaining a fairly natural and appealing look? I was thinking of something involving decorative stones but it doesn't necessarily have to have those. Any ideas or advice would be much appreciated!

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Old 07-26-2010, 11:49 AM   #2
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Easiest, most cost-effective way of building a natural looking wall around a pond?


Any chance the pond is deep enough you can drop the water level the required distance and then place hanging plants/water plants around the edge to hide the pond structure?

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Old 07-26-2010, 01:02 PM   #3
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Easiest, most cost-effective way of building a natural looking wall around a pond?


Well, stone walls are not inexpensive but they look the most natural. Based upon your post I assume you aren't retaining anything with the stone wall. Assuming that is correct, you have several options if you are looking for the easiest and least expensive methods (I always try to do things the best possible way even if it is more expensive. I find you frequently waste more time and sometimes even money trying to do everything the least expenisve method. But, we need the money and most of us don't have extra right now).

1) using larger stones rather than small, flat stones you can simply dig a shallow 3-6" deep x 18"-24" wide trench and set the stones on top of undisturbed soil. The wall should be wide enough to run two rows of stone side by side (stagger joints). Then you simply take more stones (smaller but varied) and dry stack it (no mortar) on top of the base rocks. If you live in an area of frost your rock wall WILL move but at the end of the winter you will simply adjust the rocks that have shifted significantly or restack the fallen rocks.

2) do the same as above but set rock wall on top of 6-12" of compacted gravel. The more expansive your soil type is and the more freeze thaw your area experiences dictates deeper gravel. It always helps if your gravel bed drains somehow.

3) do 1&2 above but use mortar to set the stones above the base stones (the mortar can be hidden - i.e. the exposed joints don't have mortar out to the face). The stones might still move from freeze/thaw but this might be a better solution if you have kids and don't want the rocks to move so easily.

4) most expensive option is to put a reinforced concrete footing under the wall.

If you are planning to buy any of the numerous manufactured concrete "stones" for walls then follow the manufacturer's instructions. You can also google "drystack stone walls" for more detailed instructions and videos.
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