Anybody interested in pond building techniques?

Discussion in 'Life After Brown' started by dannyboy, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    IF there are, I can and will post photos of ponds as they are constructed, and give pointers and tips for those of you that want to do your own.

    I gave a seminar on the process last Sunday at the multistate garden faire. Like I said there, its better to learn from other's mistakes and its cheaper too.

  2. toonertoo

    toonertoo Most Awesome Dog Staff Member

    I was actually going to email you. I want one for Mothers day, but Im only allotted about 500$. I dont think it is possible for that amount. I looked around, and I dont need anything fancy, just a nice little pond by the entrance to my deck. Can I leave fish in it all winter, North Ohio? The ones Ive seen at Lowes etc, dont seem to be the way to go. But I know NOTHING, I just want one.
  3. retired

    retired Guest

    I'm interested. Been thinking about putting in a pond for a few years but never have gotten around to it.
  4. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    Tooner, I hate preformed ponds. They are much harder, and not any cheaper than using rubber liner for your pond. Getting those things level is a real bear, and getting the proper support under it all is almost impossible.

    I might think about installing one for a grand, but I would have to wait till things got really slow.

    As for Ohio weather, that is a tough one. How cold does it get and for how long. I remember the winters in easter Iowa and the ground was frozen for months at a time with no or very little thawing going on.

    I would build the pond at least 4 if not 5 feet deep to allow a part of the pond not to freeze. Also a cattle trough warmer helps keep a hole in the ice for the fish to be able to breathe.

    If you just want the sound and no fish, try a pondless water feature. Many people like them, you can add plants to some if you wanted, and cut them off in the winter.

    I will try and post several over the next few days.

    About 95% of what I do now is rebuilds where the owner built one, or a ponding "professional" built it and screwed it up.

    Lucky for me and my knees, I dont do much of the climbing or actual work, I leave that to my son and a couple of others that I use.

    This first one is a view of the pond as I first saw it. The guy had built it in 1985 and when it came time for the liner to water proof it, he had no idea on how to do it. He contacted me in July and said the pond had to be ready the first week in September for his sons wedding. I love a challenge, what can I say.

    The thing had water in it because the bottom was below grade and the drainage level of the surrounding area.
    Copy of 1 1 The first view from the fallsa.jpg
  5. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    Hehehe, his wife is a real patient person, to put up with that in the back yard. The house is in a neighborhood that has $400,000 and up houses, so not a run down area.

    These are some other views of the challenge.

    The one on the left is after we removed all the cat tails, which had to be done by hand and barefoot. It also shows the effects of 13 years of water and some fish action under the footers, a lot of dirt was missing.

    After we smoothed out and filled under the footers with concrete, we sprayed the pond with polyurea to water proof it. We then started on the cosmetics of the pond.

    Copy of 1 10 Lower pond pre-mucka.jpgCopy of 4 11 View from upper pond, righta.jpg
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2006
  6. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    These are photos of the finished project. We were laying stone in the walk way the day of the wedding, but we pulled it off just in time. Much of the last minute stuff was due to the owner changing things. Like adding a Budha and a 9 foot lighthouse. Also some of the things he wanted were not my taste or style, but what the heck, he is the one that has to pay for it and live with it.

    The bride by the way had quite some art work on her back and legs.

    The upper pond was 13x24, the lower pond is figure 8 shaped, 44 feet long, 6 feet deep and 19 feet accross at the loops of the 8's. It also has two bottom drains to aid in the pond being self cleaning.

    In the last photo you can see everything getting ready for the wedding.

    He had the bridge that went across the narrow part of the pond

    Copy of 4 14 The finished joba.jpgCopy of 7 8 The bridgea.jpgCopy of 7 11 Upper view from the fallsa.jpg
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2006
  7. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    And here is the main water falls and the one going from the upper pond into the lower pond.

    Nothing against the Budha, not my style, but he insisted.

    Shame, been up and running for over two years and now he gets transfered and has no place for a pond. New owners I think are going to make it into a hot tub (the upper pond) and a swimming pool in the lower one. We will have to see.
    7 10 Finished product both fallsa.jpg7 12 Bride on bridge.jpg
  8. toonertoo

    toonertoo Most Awesome Dog Staff Member

    WO#W, I didnt like the preformed ponds either, I guess Ill have to wait til I have more $$$$, coz I want it spectacular like the pics, you posted. Its pretty cold here in the winter. Iam only 100 miles South Lake erie, I would guess avg temp jan feb about 20, although we were extremely lucky this past winter. No One has one around here, if they do they are the crap ones. What a great thing to have a talent for, so beautiful.
  9. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    Its not all glory, many days I wonder why. But I do enjoy creating something that is pretty.

    Ive got one right now that is simular to that one, but it is better as far as a pond in the yard. Will post some by this weekend.

  10. ikoi62

    ikoi62 Active Member

    Thats some real nice work there:thumbup1:..makes my pond look like
  11. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    All ponds can be improved on sometimes. And if it was your first pond, then you made lots of mistakes. Building a good pond is not just digging a water tight hole, it needs to be planned a bit more than that.

    Anyway, thanks for the compliment.

  12. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    This was the project for the last several weeks. Mud pond about 3/4 acre and about 10 feet deep.

    The water falls on the far side are almost 40 feet long with a drop of 8 feet. The pump is pushing almost 13,000 GPH through it from the bottom of the pond. The well that is filling the pond is adding an additional 30 GPM and is why the rock on the left side has turned a rust color. It is the dissolved iron in the water that is hitting the air and precipitating out. after the pond is full, I will remove the iron oxide and it should stay clean.

    The fountain sprays 26 feet up with a 45 foot wide spray. The colored lens are to be sent next week, but for now the clear lights look great.

    fountain and water falls at dusk a.jpgThe water falls a.jpgNight view of fountain i.jpg
  13. dannyboy,

    Did you design the waterfall? Why didn't you make it more natural looking? Was this a 'natural' pond that was improved, a swale turned to pond, or a totally engineered pond? Is 10' deep enough where you are to prevent freezing too deep? Is this for Koi, or something else?

    Sorry for all the questions.

  14. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    Hi Susie

    I build what I do to please the customer.

    Try it some time.

  15. scratch

    scratch Least Best Moderator Staff Member


    I am interested in building a waterfall/pond garden. I have enjoyed your posts on this subject, I wish I had a camera on my route so I could post some pictures of what I see everyday on my area.

    I am in the early stages of planning one of my own I would like to build in front of my house. I live in a cul-de-sac lot and my house sits behind a hill, which gives me a great site to build a waterfall coming down into an about 8x10 ft pond in front of my front door. I have a large granite boulder, about twenty feet long that has a large oak tree growing right next to it that sit about thirty feet in front of my house. I have a concern about this oak tree's roots. If I put the pond where I want too, will the weight of the water versus the weight of the dirt displaced damage the roots? I haven't started digging the pond yet, so I don't know the location of the roots, especially the large ones.
  16. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    It shouldnt. Trees can overcome a lot when it comes to pond building.

    Later on when I find the photos I will post one of a pond that one of our drivers put in. It is U shaped all the way around a bradford pear.

    One thing to check if you live in a city or somewhere there are laws on the books, you might have to keep it shallow, or put a fence around the pond.

  17. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    Here is the photo of the pond that Donald built. I gave him the bug!:cool:

    He did do a really nice job of it and mostly by himself. I helped out some on the rock and design, but he did most of the work himself over about four weeks after work.

    The pond is at the back side of the diving board of the swimming pool in his back yard and is about 3-3.5 feet deep. you can also see how he really surrounded the tree on three sides with water, and now after three years + and counting, no problems at all with the tree.

    I thought you might also get a kick out of his pond cover he built out of some scrap greenhouse cover we got from lowes when they rebuilt their garden center. He used it and some metal conduit. The three sections fit tight enough not to let much in, but the rain. Each section is also very easy for one person to take off and put into the garage for storage.

    Donalds pond 2 ia.jpgpondcover a.jpg
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2006
  18. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    After I take the weekend off, I will post some additional photos of ponds that are complete.

    My better half and I are going away for the weekend, as we have been married for 30 years this week.

  19. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    Here was a project that I was honored to be asked to make happen. This was actually to be just a plain old water catchment area that new shoping centers are forced to put in to catch rain water run off. The owner asked me to assist in making it look better, and had the idea of a water wheel as part of the design. He also had a property that he was selling that had a gazzebo and a bridge that were no longer needed, and had them extra if I wanted to use them.

    So this is kinda what we built. Really nice to have all the heavy construction equipment available to do some of the big stuff.

    Unfortunately, when a lot of the work is done by those that dont have a clue, you have the dam being two feet lower than the ground and gazeebo.

    The rocks inside of the pond weighed anywhere from 20 to 28 tons, and the rock with the water coming out of it is totally natural. All we did was find it and clean out the dirt.

    Exit 14, pond shot BC.jpgexit 14 main pond bc.jpg
  20. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    Well here is the one of the stone with the water coming out of it

    The stream bed is 75 feet long. Wanted to finish it up with stone, but the project ran out of money when he built the farm store. For those of you that like woodwork, that might be something for me to post some photos of.

    Exit 14 water fall BC.jpgExit 14 Streambed semi finisheda.jpg