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water garden ideas and questions

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willowdancer blog photos
Joined: 3/08/2009
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 89
Posted: Sep/15/2010 6:21 PM PST

I have a huge front yard that is very boring and a pain to mow. I thought what better solution to sprucing it up than putting in a small pond? I haven't talked to any landscape places or nurseries, I have mostly been reading over the forums here and brainstorming. So far the main criteria I have in mind are 1.) I want it to be about two feet deep in the deepest spot and to have approximately 100 sq feet of surface area. 2.) I want to have a waterfall feature and to keep fish. My first problem arises with I have no idea what all kind of hardward I am going to need. Do I really just need a liner and a pump? How do I fidn out how many gallons my pond will hold so I will know what type of pump to get? Also, there are no power outlets on the ouside of the house and we would really love to hook the pump up to a solar panel or something so we dont have to stretch extension cords all over the place. I can't really look into solar panels for the pump until I find out what kind of pump I will be needing so I can know how many watts or whatever it will be using.

I am thinking I need to just invest in a book about waterscaping or talk to some professionals: we would realy like to do this project ourselves without having to hire anyone, but we want to do it the correctly the first time so the whole project doesn't become a pain and an eyesore.

Any advice or input would be greatly appreciated: I feel like I am in so far over my head and I have hardly even begun!
MamaBearBSA photos
Joined: 8/14/2002
Location: Altoona, Iowa (near Des Moines)
Posts: 4992
Moderator
Posted: Sep/15/2010 8:21 PM PST

Mine is small but it was a preformed plastic drop in liner. I do believe Bugnuts was one of the heavy rubber fabric liner types. I will drop him a note and ask him to drop in here and see if he can help you out. I know you have to dig out your hole, then I believe you add a layer of sand then the liner. Then add flag stone or other large rocks around the edges to hold it in place.

As for the pump, mine was included with my liner so I really didn't have to do anything but drop it in and plug it in (I had an outdoor plug in place already). I am also not really knowledgeable about the solar panels. Sorry.
willowdancer blog photos
Joined: 3/08/2009
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 89
Posted: Sep/15/2010 9:06 PM PST

Thanks for responding!

I am thinking that my best course of action is going to be to go to lowes or home depot and talk to the people there; maybe go by a few landscaping places and pick their brains a bit. If I can find a preformed liner that is big enough I think that may be what I go with just out of ease, but I am afraid that it is going to be a little more expensive than what I am prepared to pay for.

Would going with laying a rubber liner and doing it that way be less exensive? Either way I am going to have to dig a big hole... thats gonna be fun :P
bugnut blog photos
Joined: 9/06/2007
Location: Kellyville, Okla
Posts: 2176
Posted: Sep/16/2010 4:48 AM PST

WillowDancer, I posted a thread in this forum, showing step by step on building a pond, with the the exception of, laying the used carpet that covered the bottom and sides. http://my.gardenguides.com/forums/topic/68040
Of course we used a backhoe, just because it was free and right next door.
I do have a few suggestions about when you do build your pond, is build it larger than you think you want it now, because it will never be large enough, once you have it built and you are enjoying adding plants and fish.
And the other suggestion is when you make your plant shelves pn the sides of your pond, make them a little wider than you think they should be, and be sure to slant the bottom of the shelves away from your pond, so the plants, when they get sort of top heavy, won't want to fall over into the pond.
If I can be of any more help, please don't hesitate to ask.........John

I forgot to add how to determine how many gallons will be in your pond.
The formula is; length X width X average depth X 7.5 = gallons

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willowdancer blog photos
Joined: 3/08/2009
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 89
Posted: Sep/16/2010 4:08 PM PST

wow, thanks bugnut! I checked out that thread and your pond is such a work of art! Ideas are realy starting to flow :-P

I have a few specific questions:

Is it better to have a pond in a shady area or one that is sunny? We are thinking we want the pond in the front yard because we have so much unused space there but it gets hardcore full sun. We do have some shady spots in the back yard that we could put it, but it wouldn't be as accessible and I was worried about falling leaves becoming an issue in the fall *I dont want to hate my life if I have a busy week and dont get to clean out the pond and end up with a puddle of muck*

If it isn't too much to ask, bugnut, could you *or anyone else with a pond or ponding knowledge* provide a kind of grocery list of the materials you used for your pond? not necessarily what plants, but like what kind of liner *and how much* as well as what kind of pump you have and if there is any other hardware that is necessary that I am not aware of. We really want to get an idea of how complex this project is going to be and the more I look around online the more aware I become of how clueless I am about ponds.
MamaBearBSA photos
Joined: 8/14/2002
Location: Altoona, Iowa (near Des Moines)
Posts: 4992
Moderator
Posted: Sep/16/2010 8:35 PM PST

You can do a pond any where. Full sun may require you to change your filter a little more often ans it is the sun that the algae loves. If your pump is the proper size and you have a good filter, sun won't be an enemy.

As for a shopping list, mine was a kit deal from Menards. I bought it as a "last years" clearance model so I saved big money on it (a pond is a pond - I couldn't believe it was last years MODEL buy it was LOL). Everything was included. All I had to do was dig the hole, drop in the liner, fill with water, place pump in, plug pump in and go.
willowdancer blog photos
Joined: 3/08/2009
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 89
Posted: Sep/17/2010 7:08 PM PST

I think I might just go for a kit! That sounds so much simpler than what I thought it was going to be! I dont know why I was expecting rocket science or something, lol :-P

If I go with a kit will it be possible for me to one day expand on the pond using a liner or by perhaps joining the first pond kit to another pond kit?

Attached is a rough idea of what I think we want the eventual pond to look like:

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MamaBearBSA photos
Joined: 8/14/2002
Location: Altoona, Iowa (near Des Moines)
Posts: 4992
Moderator
Posted: Sep/17/2010 8:52 PM PST

Actually the have multiple kits that can be connect to each other. This allows for expansion, multilevel heights and different looks. They have them around here at all the hardware store (Menards, Lowes, Home Depot etc.) out door garden centers. They have them at the fine garden centers too but they are more expensive and from what I can tell no better quality. And if you look now you may be able to get them on an end of season clearance.
MamaBearBSA photos
Joined: 8/14/2002
Location: Altoona, Iowa (near Des Moines)
Posts: 4992
Moderator
Posted: Sep/17/2010 8:57 PM PST

i am promoting any particular brand or sales site but this link will give you an idea of what I mean by the kits...

http://www.gardensupermart.com/store/preformed-pon d-kits.php
bugnut blog photos
Joined: 9/06/2007
Location: Kellyville, Okla
Posts: 2176
Posted: Sep/18/2010 2:25 AM PST

willowdancer, I have just over $200.00 dollars in mine. The pond is 8ft wide and 12ft long, and 3ft deep. So I bought a 20ftX20ft liner, and used old carpet under the liner. I bought a 2000 gph pump, and 20ft of 3/4in tubing. The rocks and labor is where I saved a lot, because the rocks are from my property, back when I cleared it up for my lawn, and the labor was free, a gift from family and neighbors...............John
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