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FAQs on Water Feature Design 3

Related Articles: The Outdoor Garden Pond: Tips, Tricks and Reminders for Ease of Care and Beauty by Anthony Calfo, Designing Water Effects, Size/Shape, Siting, Constructing Ponds,

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Ponds, Streams, Waterfalls & Fountains:
Volume 1. Design & Construction
Volume 2. Maintenance, Stocking, Examples

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Small Pond Goldfish Pond Survival      9/25/14
I have a 765 gallon, irregular shaped, sunken pond. It is a 45 mil. EPDM liner pond. It is a few weeks over 1 year old. It has a pH of about 8. It has a uv, a fountain, and a submersible filter with a water pump of about 625 gph. 2 of my adult fish died about 2 days ago. A calico Shubunkin goldfish and a big white comet. They got gill damage. They got it from being cooped up with 11 other goldfish. They were in a way too small 50 gallon tank, with no filter or aeration. They stayed in there for a day and overnight. My fault entirely. I should have known better. I got 2 new replacement fish for them today. A little yellow comet and another redheaded Shubunkin. They are both about 2 inches long. I live in the Arizona desert. Will the 2 new fish have time to build up their size and reserves before it gets too cold?
<Should do, but depends on how mild your autumns are and how cold it actually gets in your winters. Remember, Goldfish can feed and metabolise down to 10-12 degrees C, using low protein foods such as wheat germ, but below that they shouldn't be fed anything at all until springtime rolls round and it warms up above 10-12 C. Very small Goldfish may do better overwintered indoors, and your 50 gallon tank should be ample for that.
Mortality of yearling Goldfish can be quite high in cold climates where ice forms over the pond, but Arizona might well be mild enough for yours to do okay.>
Thank you.
<Welcome, Neale (in the UK). Have cc'ed RMF to add a more Southwestern USA perspective.>
<<IF the pond is large enough, deep enough, protected by structure from much influence of (weather) elements... to not vacillate much thermally (see WWM re as always); the biota should be fine here. RMF>>
Re: Small Pond Goldfish Pond Survival       09/25/14

Thank you Neale! :)
<Most welcome.>

Pond and Pool construction About Finished! 7 Megs of pix! Idiocy!      4/1/14
Pictures of my pond after the pool construction has been completed.
Pool and pond update. They just got done with the final construction phase of our pool today. All they need to do now is acid wash the pool and fill it with water. The water in the pond is still clean, except for some muck at the bottom I will be cleaning when everything is done. The fish (4 comet goldfish) are all still alive and doing well. Thanks to the blue tarps we used to shield the pond during construction, no dirt or dust got
into the pond. All seems well at the moment. Any other advice on keeping ponds and pools together would be appreciated. Thank you.
<Read on!>

some pond planning questions     2/22/14
Hello WWM Crew!  Although it doesn't quite look it out the window, spring is coming!
 I'm reading, learning and planning for it!!!!!  I'm looking for a reasonable custom acrylic maker to design an indoor rectangular shaped (with rounded corners for Pearlscale goldfish) pond for me, 10'L x 5'W x 4'D
<... this construct is going to cost at least several thousand dollars... perhaps a couple of tens of thousands>

 (any referrals for the Poconos region of PA
<Oh! Am sending your note to Michelle Lemech; who lives in the area>
or thereabouts would be appreciated!!!!) with custom stand (of course!) that I'd like slope bottomed to a bottom drain to gravity feed an EazyPod filter from Evolution Aqua.
From what I gather, it is customary to turn over the pond volume 1-2 times an hour; the pond will be +/- 1500 gallons (5674 liters)  so will the turnover rate be 1500 gallons an hour?
<I'd make it at least twice this>
  Do I need to size the pump after the EazyPod for this rate, or will I need to size it differently to  accommodate the protein skimmer as well?
<... hard to adjust skimmers on freshwater systems to work>
---it requires 3000 liters per hour (793 gallons per hour) plus the height to get to the top of the unit at the top of the pond?  How do I size the pump for the two units, or do I need two separate pumps? back to back?
<Better to use separate pumps for sure>
 Similar questions appear for the piping dimensions, what are they based on?
<Lengths of runs, turns, induced drag. A more/less safe guess is to use the  diameter of the lines on the discharge sides of your pumps... If they're (likely) 1.5 or 2 inch... this is what size plumbing I'd use>
  The examples on EAs website show the MAX rates for the EazyPod-10,000 l p/hr (2,642 gallons p/hr) and the rate shown on
Clarity's website is for the MAX rate of 3,000 l p/hr (793 gallons p/hr) with 40mm tubing dimensions.  EAs example drawings show a 4" bottom drain to 4" piping.
<This can (and should be) reduced down to 2"... no need for larger>
 If my tank is smaller, for fancy goldfish are smaller than their Koi cousins, but just as messy and as such require overkill filtration,
should it run at the rates/sizes for the actual size of the pond or at the maximum rate of each appliance?
<For the pond>
 How do I size the bottom drain (4" or 2")
pumps and tubing (4" or 2")?
<40 mm... 1.5">
I'd like to send the return water from the EazyPod to a Clarity CL3 foam fractionator and two water returns to help circulate the water (I believe the CL3 needs 1.5" tubing, that leaves 2.5" available to split into two 1.25" TPRs)  I am going to hold off U.V. for now, I want to move into our retirement home first (closing next week!!) and get an idea of how much natural light there is to affect the pond before I decide if U.V. lighting is needed or not. 
Where do valves/unions/ball joints, etc. go?
<See, read on WWM re:
  and please explain the use of each type (very confusing), and when to use which one.  EAs site recommends installing "an isolating valve (3" or 4") (90-115mm) slide or ball valve on your inlet gravity line before the EazyPod."  So if that needs an
additional one prior to the unit, does the skimmer need one before it too?
 And of course, which type/size?
Okay, to summarize, HELP! with the sizing of bottom drain (4" or 2"), pipes/tubing (4" or 2"), external pumps to get a 1500 gal. sloped bottom pond thru the bottom drain, to the EazyPod With Air filter, to the Clarity CL3 foam fractionator and into the pond.  Being a beginner is brutal---thanks for any guidance you can give me!!!!! 
Lisa     Also, do you rec. buying a bottom drain that is aerated?  Did I miss anything important to filter this pond?  Thank you so much yet again for so freely sharing hard to come by advice!!!
<I encourage you to read a bit more re your options... reducing the length to 8', the height to two or so feet will save you a great deal of money on this project. Bob Fenner>

260 gallon pond. Design... filtr., maint., ongoing      7/7/13
I am planning a pond for my new backyard.
It will be 260 gallons.
It will be a round pond.
It will be sunken into the ground.
It's dimensions are going to be:
3.5' L x 3.5' W x 3.1' deep
It will have a geotextile underlayment of about 1".
It will have a butyl flexible liner.
It will have edging made of red bricks and mortar.
I live in the Arizona desert.
I do not plan on keeping plants.
I plan to keep comet goldfish in this pond.
I plan to add many floating fake plants to help shade the pond.
My questions:
Which filtration setup would be better for this pond?
<... why do you continue to write back again and again... Why not just search and read re on WWM?>

Submersible pump, with a fountain head and a uv. Combined with an aeration pump.
How often should I empty the pond to clean it using this setup?
<... also covered. Are you unable to use the search tool?>

Or should I use:
External gravity pump and uv, connected to a bottom drain with an aerator.
How often do I empty the pond to clean it using this setup?
Thank you.
<... Are you trying to trick me? It won't work. B>
No Tricks     7/8/13

Not trying to trick you. Just making sure I got all my bases covered before I begin my pond.
I do not want to make a costly mistake, or misunderstand the tons of useful information on your site. I will try again to pinpoint the information you have been trying so kindly to direct me to.
Thank you for your time.
<Might I point out more specifically what sort of filter I'd likely use?:
Maintenance... I'd have you read over the articles and FAQs under the tray on the pond subweb en toto.
Bob Fenner>
New Pond Questions       3/10/13

I plan on making a round pond.
It will contain comet goldfish.
Its dimensions are:
3.4' in diameter by 3' deep
It is going to be 195 us gallons.
It is going to be in the Arizona desert.
It is going to have 10 sq. feet of surface area.
It will be a shallow sunken pond.
How much cfm will I need to aerate this pond?
< A couple...>
 Would a small fountain be enough to aerate it?
Also, how many comet goldfish can I keep in this pond?
<When small, a dozen or so... as they grow several less>
what gph would I need to run a water pump for a filter in this pond?
<A few hundred gph>
Any suggestions on what type of filter system would be best for this pond?
<Could be a canister type... but I'd make something like the olde ALS 550 as gone over on WWM. B>
Thank you.
Controlling Pond Livestock Levels, algicides   7/11/13

I plan to have a small, shallow, sunken, round pond. It will be 3.4' in diameter by 3' deep. The pond will be 195 gallons. The pond will have 10 sq feet of surface area. The pond will have a submersible flat box filter filled with pea gravel. The filter will be rated for 50-250 gallons. The filter will be attached to a 306 gph submersible pump and fountain kit. I plan to use a plant and fish safe algaecide
<There is no such thing... Might I ask, what is this magic material?>

 to control algae. Possibly add a uv later. I plan to scrub the algae and do a partial water change once a week. Water ph will be 8. I plan on keeping 3-8 comet goldfish. I plan to clean the whole pond once a year, in the spring. I plan to clean the filter once a week to once a month.
I live in the Arizona desert.
My question:
What do I do when the fish in my pond become too numerous?
<Remove them... trade them to a local fish store, other hobbyists>
I already heard of these solutions:
1. Using spawning mops to collect eggs, then boiling the spawning mop to kill the eggs, then feeding the eggs to the fish.
<No; don't do this... won't work and will pollute the water>
2. Giving the fish to a store that sells them.
3. Giving the fish to a breeder or trader.
4. Giving the fish away to people who want them.
5. Euthanasia. I really do not want to try this one. Especially if the fish is healthy and surviving well on its own.
I cannot put them in another aquarium inside my house either.
Any other suggestions on what to do with pond fish I cannot keep in my pond?
Thank you.
<Numbers 2-4. Bob Fenner>
Re: Controlling Pond Livestock Levels... NOT algicide, but preventative      7/11/13

The magic substance is a Tetra brand pond algaecide.
<Ah, thank you. Searching on the Net re active ingredients I find this disclosure:
"It is made of the effective natural substances (peat and barley straw)"... Can be seen here:
It comes in a green bottle. Doctors Foster and Smith website has it for sale along with other pond and pet products. And thank you for your reply.
<These materials are "magical"; in that they do help prevent algae proliferation AND do appear "safe" in many settings. I encourage you not to wait till there are such, but to use the product per instructions, as a preventative. Bob Fenner>
Pond Construction and Care. Design, liner maint. f's     7/12/13

My round pond will be 3.4' in diameter by 3' deep.
It will have a butyl liner.
It will be shallow.
It will be 195 gallons.
It will have a surface area of 10 sq. feet.
It will contain comet goldfish.
It will have a 2' wide standard red brick edging.
It will have a submersible filter, 306 gph pump, and fountain kit.
The filter will have pea gravel media in it.
Would I need to wear a pair of waders to clean it?
<No; I would stay out of such a system (small volume, liner...)>

Would I need a pond vacuum?
<... some sort of cleaning tools. There's quite an assortment of possibilities>
What sort of uv should I use? Submersible? Inline?
<This... see WWM re>

Do I need to seal the bricks, to protect them from deterioration from exposure to the water?
<Nice to have some sort of hard structure for the berm for protection and to keep stuff and animals out. B>
50 Gallon Pond Questions. STILL refusing to use WWM    7/13/13

I have a 50 gallon above ground pond in my backyard. It have had it since April of this year. I live in the Arizona desert. The pond contains 1 comet goldfish. It contains a filter, 306 gph pump, and a fountain attachment. The pond is cleaned weekly by partial water changes, fish waste removal, and scurrying algae.
My pond is having a problem with too much algae at the moment.
<Common in small basins/ponds in warm areas; especially if exposed to sun>
I located another filter, pump, and fountain kit, with a built in uv. The pump is 679 gph. The uv, I know, will help. But is 679 too much gph for my 50 gallon pond?
<Not too much, but not likely much help here either.... READ HERE: ... see below>
Also, if I use my current filter system, how would I install a submersible uv on it?
<... sigh... I wouldn't... READ HERE:
and the linked files above. B>
 How would I rig it up with an external inline uv?
Thank you.
Is this pump too strong?   7/13/13

Hello. It's me again.
I am planning my shallow, sunken, round pond.
3.4' in diameter by 3' deep
It will have 10 sq. feet of surface area.
It will be 195 gallons.
I plan on keeping 3-8 comet goldfish in the pond.
I located a submersible filter, pump, fountain, and uv combination filter for this pond. The pump has a gph of 679. Is this gph too high for the pond I plan?
I am sorry to bother you all the time, but I have extremely poor math and computation skills.
<... not necessary to have here>
I am always getting my searches and computations wrong. You are so much better at these things than I am. I just want to get my information and computations right, so I do not get it wrong for my pond. This will be my very first sunken pond. I am very nervous about getting things right. Also, would a pump with a gph of 306 or 325 work to power the filter, if the 679
gph  pump is too powerful?
Thank you for your time and patience.
<Please... search, read ahead of writing us. Bob Fenner>
50 Gallon Pond Questions. STILL refusing to use WWM    7/13/13

I have a 50 gallon above ground pond in my backyard. It have had it since April of this year. I live in the Arizona desert. The pond contains 1 comet goldfish. It contains a filter, 306 gph pump, and a fountain attachment. The pond is cleaned weekly by partial water changes, fish waste removal, and scurrying algae.
My pond is having a problem with too much algae at the moment.
<Common in small basins/ponds in warm areas; especially if exposed to sun>
I located another filter, pump, and fountain kit, with a built in uv. The pump is 679 gph. The uv, I know, will help. But is 679 too much gph for my 50 gallon pond?
<Not too much, but not likely much help here either.... READ HERE: ... see below>
Also, if I use my current filter system, how would I install a submersible uv on it?
<... sigh... I wouldn't... READ HERE:
and the linked files above. B>
 How would I rig it up with an external inline uv?
Thank you.
Is this pump too strong?   7/13/13

Hello. It's me again.
I am planning my shallow, sunken, round pond.
3.4' in diameter by 3' deep
It will have 10 sq. feet of surface area.
It will be 195 gallons.
I plan on keeping 3-8 comet goldfish in the pond.
I located a submersible filter, pump, fountain, and uv combination filter for this pond. The pump has a gph of 679. Is this gph too high for the pond I plan?
I am sorry to bother you all the time, but I have extremely poor math and computation skills.
<... not necessary to have here>
I am always getting my searches and computations wrong. You are so much better at these things than I am. I just want to get my information and computations right, so I do not get it wrong for my pond. This will be my very first sunken pond. I am very nervous about getting things right. Also, would a pump with a gph of 306 or 325 work to power the filter, if the 679
gph  pump is too powerful?
Thank you for your time and patience.
<Please... search, read ahead of writing us. Bob Fenner>
Pond Aeration Question    7/14/13

I plan to have a small, shallow, sunken, round pond. It will be 3.4' in diameter by 3' deep. The pond will be 195 gallons. The pond will have 10 sq feet of surface area. The pond will have a submersible 679 gph pump, filter, uv, and fountain kit. I plan to scrub the algae and do a partial water change once a week. Water ph will be 8. I plan on Keeping 3-8 comet goldfish. I plan to clean the whole pond once a year, in the spring. I plan to clean the filter once a week to once a month.
I live in the Arizona desert.
I know cfm is used to measure air flow for small air pumps, and hp is used to measure air flow in larger air pumps.
My questions:
If I get an aerator, What cfm rate would you recommend for the above pond?
<Already responded to>
Do I need to look at hp rather than cfm for this pond?
<Nope... a Tetra Luft pump will be fine>
What cfm rate would you recommend for a 50 gallon, above ground pond, containing 1 comet goldfish? Do I need to look at hp rather than cfm for this pond.
<See Tetra's site re>
Where on your site can I find information on cfm and hp for aerator flow rates?
Thank you again for helping me.
Pond for Arizona      7/17/13

I was planning a 3.4' diameter by 3' deep shallow, round, sunken pond. I was told this would be too small for Arizona. If this is true, what diameter would you recommend the pond be? How deep should it be? I plan on keeping 2-3 comet goldfish in the pond at the least.
<Read here:
First tray: Design>
Retaining walls. Ever more random pond design/const. q.s     7/20/13
When would a pond need a retaining wall?
<Mmm; when there's some chance of the edge falling over, or in... from a hillside let's say. B>
Preformed pond question    7/20/13

Do they make preformed ponds out of EPDM or butyl?
<Mmm, yes; liners, pre-cut/sizes>
If so, where can I find them?
<The Net>
I am looking at a round pond preferably. But I will also accept a kidney shaped one.
I need a bare minimum of 3.4' diameter by 3' deep.
Do they make EPDM or butyl preformed ponds in this size? Thank you.
<... keep searching>
Sunken Fiberglass Pond Edging    7/22/13

I am looking to install brick edging around a preformed fiberglass pond. The pond will be sunken.
What do I need to do to properly install brick edging with this pond?
Thank you.
<You'll need to not fill the pond/basin up to the lip of the fiberglass... the brick needs a foundation dug and poured around the edge... See reference works on brick/block work re... likely no re-bar or wire mesh needed... just a trench of poured small-size (3/8") grade gravel... B>
Flood and retaining wall     7/23/13

The area I plan to put my pond has flood issues during monsoon season. I an on putting in edging to help keep the water out of the pond. Would I also need to install a retaining wall?
Thank you.
<A good idea to have something in place... maybe this and/or a French drain. B>
Test pond in Arizona     7/24/13
I am planning  test pond. Its dimensions will be:
40" L x 20" W x 18" deep
It is made of rugged, uv resistant, rigid plastic.
It will be sunken in the ground 18"  deep.
It will be a rectangular pond.
It will be 50 gallons.
It will contain 1 comet goldfish.
It has a 2" lip on it going into the pond itself.
I plan to install brick edging on it.
Will this pond do okay in the Arizona heat?

<Depends on where placed... keep reading>
Should I install it like I would a rigid liner?
Is it ok to install a brick edging?
Thank you.
Retaining wall question    7/24/13

I am plan<n>ing an 8" retaining wall around my pond.
Do you have any recommendations on how to build such a retaining wall for a
shallow, 3' deep, 484 gallon sunken pond. The pond is square and located in
the Arizona desert. It will be a small pond next to a large, shallow pool.
Surcharges will eventually apply to the retaining wall because of this.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Thank you.
<... you've been referred to look this up in masonry references... The
make-up of the wall, foundation, mortar, reinforcement (if necessary) are
dependent on what is being "retained", what sort of block, brick is
employed. If a simple, free-standing structure, likely herring-bone... B>
New pond plan questions    7/24/13

Hello. I live in the Arizona desert.
I am now planning a sunken, square pond.
The main pond will have the minimum dimensions:
4.9' L x 4.4' W x 3' deep
It will have a slope on one side.
The slope is where I plan to place my submersible filter system.
The filter has a 679 gph pump, fountain attachment, and a built in uv.
The pond will have a butyl or EPDM liner.
The pond will have a minimum of 484 gallons.
The pond will have a 22 square foot surface area minimum.
The pond will have an 8" bo<a>rder of bricks all the way around the main
I plan to keep 3 comet goldfish in this pond minimum.
The maximum number I might keep in this pond I calculated to be around 9
fish. But I do not want quite that many.
The pond will be aerated with the fountain.
My questions:
Can I turn the brick border into an 8" wide retaining wall?
<Likely so>
Is a fountain alone enough to aerate this pond adequately?
<Yes; as stated prev.>
Is the pond adequate enough to comfortably house 3 comet goldfish?
<And this too...
Thank you.
Retaining wall plans.... fdn.      7/29/13

I live in the Arizona desert, on a flood plain. Most of the time things are pretty dry. But during monsoon season the area I live in experiences flooding. I am planning a shallow, square, sunken pond. The main pond will be 4.10' L x 4.11' W x 3' deep. It will be roughly 379 gallons. There will be a large, shallow pool and a tree near it. I plan to build an 8" wide wall around the pond to keep out flood water. The wall will be made of standard red bricks. I plan to make the wall 2-3 bricks high. This would make the wall itself around 5-7 inches tall. Is this high enough?
<Can't tell w/ the information provided; but likely yes>
And would I need a foundation for this wall?
<At least a Class 2, yes>
Would I need to lay down compacted gravel as well as concrete if a foundation is needed?
<This might do by itself, but I would put down concrete/foundation>
Will just using concrete on the foundation be enough for the foundation?
Thank you.
<Welcome. B>
Flood Water and Drainage, ongoing pond des.     8/9/13

Hello. I live in Arizona. I am beginning construction on a shallow, sunken, square pond in my backyard. It will be an EPDM liner pond. I am working on digging a 3' L x 3' W x 3' deep hole now, for the deepest part of my pond.
We have sandy, soil full of grit, gravel, and rocks. Are soil is short on organic mater, contains potash, is low in nitrogen and phosphorus, and is high in calcium and sodium. Digging is slow because I have a bad back and many rocks. I live in a desert floodplain. So during monsoon season my backyard dose flood.
I plan to build in a concrete footing 4" deep around the edge of the pond to stabilize it. I also plan to add  a brick wall that will be around 8" tall. The wall is designed to keep flood water out.
I read in a pond construction book that if water is not drained away properly the liner membrane will bubble up. They recommend in this book that if the soil has poor drainage issues to add a drainage system.
Given the information I have provide, would I need to install a drainage system?
Thank you.
<You will not likely need such a drainage system. I suspect your pond will be full most of the time, and that the original grade under it will allow any water to percolate. B>

How Much Would I need for my pond?   7/29/13
I live in the Arizona desert, on a flood plain. Most of the time things are pretty dry. But during monsoon season the area I live in experiences floods. I am planning a shallow, square, sunken pond. The main pond will be 4.10' L x 4.11' W x 3' deep. It will be roughly 379 gallons. It will have a EPDM liner. It will have 1" layer of underlayment and 2" layer of sand. It will have a 679 gph pump, filter, uv, and fountain combination submersible filtration system. There will be a large, shallow pool and a tree near it.
I plan to build an 8" wide wall around the pond to keep out flood water.
The wall will be made of standard red bricks. I plan to make the wall 3 bricks high. This would make the wall itself around 7 inches tall. The wall will be held together by mortar. The wall will have a concrete foundation 4" thick. How many pounds of sand would I need? How many pounds of concrete? How many pounds of mortar?
Thank you.
<... can only guess-timate... Sand... 300 lbs., concrete maybe four sixty pound bags if you want to use pre-made/mixed; mortar you could make yourself (just sand and cement, water...) or buy pre-mixed as well... maybe three bags (sixty lbs. ea.). B>
Re: How Much Would I need for my pond?   7/29/13
Thank you so much for your reply. Do I need to put a waterproof concrete sealant on the concrete foundation?
Thank you.
Re: Power cord and pond wall   7/29/13

Did I get the installation right except for the biological cycling part?
<... yes>
Re: Power cord and pond wall   7/29/13
Whew! Thank goodness. Thank you so much for all your help and patience.


Power cord and pond wall   7/29/13
I need to place the power cord for my filter under a wall I am planning for my pond. I an to take the following steps:
1. Dig the main pond, and the trenches for both the wall and the electric cord.
2. Pour the concrete foundation for the wall. Wait until the concrete is dry. Add any sealants needed. Let dry again.
3. Add 2" of sand to main pond. Do I add the sand to the concrete foundation too?
4. Add 1" of underlayment material to main pond and wall area.
5. Add EPDM liner to main pond and wall area.
6. Place power cord that has been placed in PVC protective pipe. Do I put sand over the cord and PVC?
 Place submersible filter in pond
7. Place mortar then bricks. Let dry. Cover cord trench leading from the pond to my outdoor outlet.
8. Fill pond slowly with water. Add water Conditioner and algaecide.
<... No algicide. See WWM re>
Plug in filter with uv built in and fountain attachment. Let water settle for at least 12 hours or more. Add 1-3 fish. Done!
<Uh, no... see WWM re biological filtration for ponds. Like aquariums they have "run in periods" to establish needed microbes>
Is this basically what I should do? Please correct me if I did my planning wrong. I am not planning on having plants in my pond unless they are fake.
Thank you.
<Keep reading>
Outdoor outlet and pond permission   7/30/13

Is it legal to place an outdoor electrical outlet on a wooden steak, in the ground, by my pond, in Arizona?
<It is legal in California... I'd rig as or through a GFI/GFCI>
Would I need a permit to install an outdoor electrical outlet in Arizona?
<Not as far as I'm aware; but I'd contact a pond group there and ask re>
Would I need a permit to dig my own pond in Arizona?
Would I need a permit to have someone dig the pond for me?
Would I need a permit for water usage for my pond?
<I doubt it>
Thank you.
<I live in Ca.>

How Much Sand, Mortar, and Concrete, pond des.       8/10/13
Sigh! My pond just seems to keep growing on me.
I have begun construction on a pond. The pond will be an oddly shaped square. It will be 11.8' L x 7.1' W x 3' deep. It will be 963 gallons. I plan to add an EPDM liner, 1/8 of an inch underlayment, and 2" of sand. I plan to make a brick and mortar wall around the whole pond. The wall will be 8" wide and 8" tall minimum. I plan to make a footing for the wall 4" deep out of concrete.
How much sand, concrete, and mortar roughly would I need for a pond this size?
Thank you.
<... and eight bags of concrete mix (sixty pounders); that will have sand and concretions/crushed rock... >
Re: How much sand

I am constructing a pond. The pond will be an oval. It will be 11.8' L x
7.1' W x 3' deep. It will be 963 gallons. I plan to add an EPDM liner. I
plan to use 2" thick layer of sand for an underlayment.
How much sand would I need for this pond?
Thank you.
>... do the math... how many square feet per liner here? How many cubic
inches in a cubic foot? 231... half if there's to be 2"... so how many
inches in a foot? 12... divided into half of 231, divided into the number of square feet you have here in building this basin. Ok! B>
Re: How much sand      8/11/13

Thank you! Even though my math skills are horrible, I will try to use the equation you so kindly provided. You would not believe how difficult it is to find simple equations for such simple questions on the Internet. Thank you so very much!
<Ah! Am very glad for your comments and efforts. B>

Footing, Cam's pd      8/14/15
Hello. I live in Arizona. I am currently constructing a medium-sized, irregular shaped, sunken pond. The main pond's dimensions are 7.8' L x 5.5' W 2.9' deep. Is this deep enough?
<For most purposes, yes...>
It will have a 9" deep shelf near the top of the pond. The right and left sides will slope towards the bottom.
<... as well as the front and back>
I plan on putting in a wall around the pond. The wall will be made of standard red bricks and mortar. The wall will stand roughly 7" tall. I plan to make a footing for the wall 8" Wide and 4" deep. Is the footing wide enough? Is it deep enough?
<Yes and yes>
The pond will look something like the 2 drawings below when the main pond has been dug.
Thank you.
<W. B>

Pond construction    8/23/13
I am building a medium-sized, sunken, irregular -shaped pond. The pond will
be 11.8' L x 7.1' W x 2.9' deep. It will be roughly 855 us gallons. It will
have a shallow end, where the filter will be. And it will have a deeper end
in addition to a deep area. It will have short slopes and vertical walls.
There will be a concrete footing and a brick and mortar wall. A picture of
the pond design is posted below. This will be an EPDM liner pond with
underlayment material and 2" of sand.
Do I need to layer the sand just on the bottom of the shelves and deep
area? Or do I need to put sand on the slopes and vertical walls too?
Thank you.
<Depends on the nature of the ground... no sharp stones, sticks? No need
for sand. B>
Re: Pond construction    8/24/13

I have soil full of rocks. Even on the vertical walls. It is full of grit
as well. No roots yet. But a very young tree will be planted on either side
of the pond. Can I put sand on the vertical walls?
<... No; IF you have a concern re puncturing the liner, I would cut, place
olde carpet twixt it and the basin/hole>
And as the trees age, will their roots puncture my pond membrane?
<Rare... the real risk is the ones that are cut off in making the hole>
If so, what can be done to prevent this as the trees mature?
Thank you.
<Welcome. B>

Wall construction for pond    8/28/13
I plan to put in a red brick wall for my pond. It will be 8" high and made of mortar and standard red bricks. It will have a concrete footing 8" wide and 4" deep.
Do I start to lay bricks in the concrete footing when it is still wet? Or do I  wait until the concrete is dry?
Re: Wall construction for pond    8/28/13
Thank you!
When the concrete dries, do I dig the dirt away from the trench I dug for the concrete? Or do I leave that dirt in place as a wall between the concrete and my underlayment?
<? There shouldn't be any dirt... twixt the surrounding barrier/wall and the pond. B>
Concrete Footings     8/29/13

Do you put liner and underlay under or over concrete footings?
Thank you.
<Can be under or just to the side of. B>

Re: Concrete Footings – 8/29/13
Do I put anything, such as sand or underlayment, between the concrete and the liner?
Thank you.
<You don't have to... bear in mind; anything "loose" here will likely find its way in time in your pond/basin>

Pond Construction Questions... Re re... 8/31/13
Had a bobcat come in and do some digging on my pond. The pond changed sizes on me AGAIN! New pond information and questions are listed below.
<... Just scale all that you and I have sent back/forth. Do you know where this is archived on WWM?>
I am constructing an irregular, sunken pond. It will have a wall made of
standard red bricks and mortar. It will have a concrete footing 4" deep and
8" wide. The pond will have a 1" runoff area. It will be an EPDM flexible
liner pond. I live on a desert with soil that is full of grot, sand, and
rock. We get frost, but it is usually no big deal like it is everywhere
eles in the country. The total pond area will be 14.1' L x 11.3' W x 2.9'
deep. The main pond, where the water will be, is 12.5' L x 9' W x 2.9'
deep. I plan to have a shallow end 9" deep on one end. My deep area will be
in the middle. This will have vertical walls, with areas knocked out to
allow fish access to all areas of the pond. And I will have a deep end on
the other side. This area will be 18 inches deep with a gradual slope. The
pond will be around 2,441 gallons.
I plan to use a 2" layer of sand on the bottom of my shallow end, deep
area, and deep end.
How many pounds of sand would I need?
How much concrete would I need for the footing mentioned above?
How many standard red bricks would I need to make a wall 3 bricks high?
How many pounds of mortar would I need for the wall?

Pond Construction Questions; ongoing design f'     9/7/13
I have dug my pond. I am preparing it for my flexible 45 mil. EPDM liner.
The dimensions for my main pond, where the water will be, is 12.5' L x 9' W x 2.3' deep. I plan on adding a 2" layer of sand to the bottom and shelves in my pond. I will also be adding an underlayment material 1/8 inch thick. This will shrink my deep area from 2.3' to 2'.
Is 2' enough water for goldfish in the Arizona desert?
<.... read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pddessize.htm
and the linked files above>
Also, I am planning a small wall around my pond. The wall will be made of standard red bricks, laid out vertically. The standard red brick is around 2 1/4 inches high.  The wall will be 1 layer of bricks thick. Is this high enough to keep out flood water?
<Can't say from here; are you in a major flood "zone"?... >
I also plan a footing for the wall. I made a 2 inch deep trench around my pond already. The footing will be 2" deep x 8" wide. It will be made of concrete. Is 2 inches of concrete enough to make a footing?
<Search WWM re... a Class 2 foundation should be deeper... at least four inches. B>
Thank you.

Re: Pond Construction Questions 9/8/13
I live on a flood plain.
<... then plan accordingly... A "high enough" wall, and or drainage... B>

Flood and wall question – 09/9/13
I live on a floodplain in Arizona. Above is a photo of what my backyard now looks like after today's rains. Got about 2 inches or so. The dryer area, by the back of the cinderblock wall, is where I put my pond. The area where I plan to put my pond was not completely submerged. But some of the flood water did breach the area I plan to place my pond. I hope you got the
picture I sent so you can see what I mean better.
<I see it/this in your image>
Will a 2 1/4 inch wall, made of standard red brick and mortar, be enough to protect the pond from the occasional Arizona downpours we have?
Thank you.
<You know; I'd make this barrier/wall two courses of brick high... for a few reasons: To make sure it will keep out periodic flooding; to make it stronger (build in a herring-bone fashion, the upper tier straddling the lower); for looks, and so folks won't be so inclined to trip over in approaching the pond. It may also deter some animals from getting into the basin as well (at least Gopherus tortoises)... B>

Re: Flood and wall question – 09/9/13
I looked up herringbone pattern. It seems to lay out on a horizontal plain.
I need an edge with a vertical plain. Can I stack standard red bricks vertically 2 bricks high?
<Better overlapped half way>
Re: Flood and wall question – 09/9/13

Outstanding advice! The wall will be stacked thusly and made 2 bricks high.
Thank you!
<Ah, welcome>

Pavers vs. Bricks for Pond Wall     9/10/13
I am building a wall for my pond. My original plan was to use standard red bricks to do so. But now I have been told I will have to use concrete pavers.
<Actually; either/both will work. Have used them many times>
 I included a picture of the type I was told i will now be using above.
These pavers are colored red, like a bit like Standard red bricks. They have one side that is flat, like a normal brick or tile, and another that is curved for decoration. They are square-shaped. The sides are smooth on the edges. They look to be 4" high.
Can I use these pavers instead of standard red bricks to build my wall?
Thank you.
<As stated; yes>

Re: Pavers vs. Bricks for Pond Wall     9/10/13
What a relief! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
<Welcome... times three!>

Change of Plans to Finish Pond     9/13/13
Just wanted to give you an update on my pond. It will be finished by a landscaping company. This was not my choice, but the help is appreciated.
<Ah yes; such projects look simple, easy; but there is a LOT of physical labor, lifting involved. Best to have at least good help>
They kept most of my original plans for the pond. But they did dig the pond deeper and plan to make my deep end deeper.
<Good; easier to maintain, drain if/when times come>
My deep area is now 3.3' deep. Don't know how much deeper they will make the deep end yet.
<Will have to see after it's (concrete work) done>
 They plan to put in my 2" layer of sand today. They have also changed the plans I had for the wall again. The wall will now be 8"-12" wide and 6"-8" high. It will also be made entirely out of smooth concrete. That is all the updates. My only question to you, is it ok to make the wall out of pure concrete?
Thank you.
<Ah yes; can be made of all concrete... You can later opt to add decorative elements to this. BobF>
Re: Change of Plans to Finish Pond     9/13/13

I hear concrete and mortar are toxic to fish. Would I need to seal the concrete wall with a fish safe sealant?
<... READ here:

Concrete woes     9/14/13
I was told the concrete wall I am planning for my pond will make the water more alkaline.
I plan to keep goldfish.
Would I need a chemical additive in the water to buffer it?
<... should be acid-washed as a part of the construction process...>
Or should I try a non-toxic waterproof concrete sealer?
<Could... this is all covered... on WWM
Thank you.
Are these sealant ingredients toxic to fish?    9/14/13

polyester-polymer and polyurethane
Are either of these toxic to fish?
<... depends... of and by themselves; where applied, cured properly, no.
But don't "stick" to concrete by themselves. Why don't you just search and read on WWM?
Re: Are these sealant ingredients toxic to fish? How to improve WWM, content, format wise?   9/14/13

I am sure the information is someplace on your great sight.
<Site... the search tool. Are you unable to find, use it?>
I am just not always sure what I ought to be looking for specifically on your websites.
All the other equally great information included often confuses and frustrates me.
... read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/thorselfaqs.htm
and the linked files above.
 I appreciate your help anyway though. I would be lost without you.
Thank you many times over.
<<It is our desire to inform folks with useful, pertinent information in a timely manner. Is there a better way to do this than what is presented? We can (obviously) only help English speaking/reading people of capacity and willingness... But is the "medium" itself here at fault? B>>

Temporary buffer solution? Ponds     9/15/13
I can't put my sealant on the newly laid cement wall for my pond for 4 weeks. The sealant is supposed to be non-toxic. It contains both polyester-polymer and polyurethane. Are these two chemicals toxic when used together?
Can I use a buffer solution on my pond, to stop the effects of the cement, at least until I can get it sealed?
<I'd acid wash it... the SOP is on what site?>
If so, do I use the solution every day because of the cement?
Thank you.
 Cement pond wall curing question    9/15/13

Do I let the cement for my pond wall cure before I add water to my pond?
<Yes; but do keep it moist. Your contractor will show you how to do this>
Or do I just let the cement dry and then add the water? If I have to let the cement cure, will my EPDM 45 mil. Flexible liner be ok in the sun for 4 weeks and 3-4 days?
<I'd keep the liner out of the sun. B>
Re: Cement pond wall curing question    9/16/13

The liner has already been placed in the pond. It has already been in the sun for 2 days, 3 if you count the few hours of sun it got Friday. Has this caused the liner irreversible harm?
<No; though would be better to shade it AND the concrete in such a (hot, direct sun) setting in the summer>
Acid washing is also out of the question.
<? Is a standard procedure... diluted (usually) HCl... have you read the SOP on WWM as directed? Perhaps it's time to turn you loose... IF you don't want my/our input, go elsewhere>
The sealer I will be placing on the cement only requires the cement cure for 4 weeks and that the surface be dry when it is applied.
<Yes; am familiar>
Also the cement wall will be going in over the liner, on the very edge of the pond. Another reason not to use acid.
<...? Won't damage liners; or remain in place...>
The wall will not be touching the water. But my filter has a fountain attachment. It will inevitably splash water on the cement wall. I could not design the pond differently. I can hold off for a while on adding fish if needed. But I wonder, can I add fish to a pond, with cement that has not been cured, if I use a buffer on the water?
<No; I would not do this>
Also after the cement has dried, will the water splashing on it damage the cement while it cures?
<It needs to cure first. Bob Fenner... who encourages you to go, look elsewhere for information>

Nearly Done    9/17/13
Pond is almost done here is the latest photo of it.
<Ah, very nice>
Nearly Done
Thank you.

Uh-oh! Cement is in my pond!    9/17/13
I told the landscapers not to get cement in the pond. But you know how well some of them listen . . . I will get out what chunks of cement I can. But . . . Do I wash out the pond when the cement dries, then empty out that water before refilling the pond with fresh water? Or do I fill the pond and just let the filter run to clean it out?
<Wait a few days... to not disturb the curing border... Then CAREFULLY (and not during the midday hot sun...) with no shoes on... making sure to not step on pieces, and puncture the liner... remove as much as you practically can of the large bits (don't worry re the fines). B>
Thank you for talk on cement    9/18/13
Whew! What a relief. Thank you for your help.
Sealant choice  

This is the sealant I will be using. LastiSeal brand. They say it can be used with Koi ponds. So I think it will work for my wall. Just one thing. I have to wait 4 weeks for new cement to cure before applying it. As long as the water is not touching the wall, can I keep water in the pond during these 4 weeks if need be?
<Read the reviews on Amazon; should work for what you have in mind; yes to the rest>
Cement curing time?

Laid the cement for my pond wall today? How many days do I wait for my cement pond wall to cure, before adding water to my flexible liner pond? Is three days good?
Thank you.
<Should be; ask your contractor though>
Re: Cement curing time?    9/18/13

Thank you! I sent an e-mail to you with a picture in it on the finished pond. Disregard the typed text in that one and enjoy the picture.
Cement pond wall cure time?

Forgive me if I asked before, but I really have to know. I have a cement
wall for my pond. It was just laid yesterday. The rest of the pond is a
flexible liner pond. I would like to put water in the pond as soon as
possible. How many days should I wait for the wall to settle before adding
water to the pond? Should I put in water today or tomorrow? Here is a photo
from yesterday of the pond.

Thank you.
Are you joking? This has been responded to twice already

Re: Cement pond wall cure time?    9/18/13
Yeah sorry about that. I thought I sent the message wrong the 1st time. My bad. One update for you. They are planning to fill the pond with water today. The landscaper seems to think it is ready for that.
Cement dust removal question

There is some cement dust from the construction of my cement pond wall in
my pond. It has collected like fine sand in one area of my pond. To remove
it, could I use a pond vacuum to do it rather than empty the pond?
<Just leave>
wet/dry shop vac to remove cement dust?    9/19/13
To remove my cement dust, could I try a wet/dry shop vac instead of a pond

Re: Cement dust removal question      9/19/13
Thank you.
Water in the pond!      9/20/13
Finally got water in my pond! >RMF stated... would have waited a few days< 455 gallons in all. It is not a medium pond now. It is now a small pond. Added chemical treatments for the water (conditioner, algaecide, >Not added this< bacterial additive) this morning. Hopefully the electrical will be finished today, so I can plug in the filter soon. Will be adding a layer of pea gravel on the parts of the liner still exposed between the water and the cement wall. It will be a medium-sized, smooth gravel. I will wash it before I install it. I know it will roll to the bottom. I plan to do so by fishing the gravel out and placing it back where it is supposed to go. Tedious to do, I know. But I will manage to do it. Checked to be sure this gravel would not harm my planed goldfish before I chose this option too. Is it too late to install a retaining wall for the gravel now that the liner and the water are in the pond? >No sense resp.< I'll let you know when the whole thing is done. More updates as they come. Thank you.

Trees by my pond      9/21/13
Queen palms got placed near my pond today. Do you think they will harm my liner as they grow?
<Search WWM re landscape around ponds>

Pond Filter is Finally up and running!   9/21/13
The filter is finally up and running in my pond. Is smooth, medium-sized pea gravel ok to use as a filter media if you don't have another option?
<Covered on WWM>
What kind of fountain head attachment shape should I use to reduce water loss from wind? Frothy, bell-shaped?
Picture of pond included below. Thank you.

Comet as dither fish?   9/21/13
If I wind up having no choice but to use a dither fish, Would a comet goldfish make a good dither fish for my pond?
Thank you.

Dither fish in the pond!      9/22/13
This is Ping-Pong. He is a white comet goldfish. He was a feeder fish. This beautiful fish would have been turtle food for sure if I had not rescued him. I've had him since April of this year. Finally he has a big pond! Will be the only fish in the pond until the pond is done cycling in 2 months.

River rock and pond    9/25/13
Using River Rocks In A Goldfish Pond

Will smooth large river rock hurt my pond's goldfish or the water?
<Rocks usually found in fast moving streams tend to be very dense and hard.
Years of water movement have moved the rocks around and have eroded the edges and left them smooth. They are usually chemically inert and safe for ponds and aquariums. The only real hazard is one of the rocks rolling down from being unstable. Chuck>
Crack in Cement Wall      9/25/13

Granite as edging?      9/26/13
Granite as a Pond Edging

Is granite OK to use as a pond edging for my flexible liner pond?
< Chemically granite is fairly hard and durable so it will not react chemically with the water. Chuck>
Finished Pond!      9/26/13

Finally got the rock in the pond. settled on granite for the rock. The ground will have a path of red pavers, similar in color to the cement wall, and grass around it. At least when the landscaping is done. The pond is finished though, except for cycling and sealing the cement. Here is a photo of the finished pond! Enjoy!
Final Final Pond
More rocks got added to the pond. So now it looks less empty. The pond will now look as pictured above for good. Thank you for all your assistance in helping me build this beautiful little goldfish pond.

New Pond With New Fountain Head; will the water be wet?      9/28/13
Got a new fountain head on the filter and a new placement in the pond for it. We have high winds where I live. Will the high reaching fountain head, in the picture above, catch in the wind?
Thank you.

Just wanted to let you know ...     9/28/13
Just added 3 new fish to the pond. They are all rescued feeder comet goldfish. Just wanted to share some pictures of these beautiful rescued fish with the ones who made their new home possible. Thank you all!

Pond Filter Problem     11/24/13
Oops! I made a new pond owner mistake. I waited too long to clean my
filter. Now it has stopped working. Do you think cleaning it at this point
will get the filter started again? Or should I just get a new filter? Thank
<.... what?

Pond Rehab Query 4/22/11
Greetings from Charleston, SC!
<Hey Mitch!>
I have a customer who has a concrete pond
measuring 20'Lx10'Wx4'D. Being that we are below sea level, and having a fairly small yard to work with (He lives in the city) and being that it is a concrete pond, we are trying some alternative approaches to filtration. He has no filtration,
and has asked me to work up the best solution. (We are attacking the filtration, then when the pond is functioning, we will move on to aesthetics.) He does have a large UV sterilizer,
<One that I hope/trust has sleeved lamps>
so that is one less item we will need.
<A note: Your improved diagram depicts two ball valves to isolate, service the UV. You need a third... to direct some/all the water through the unit... in the plumbing line above the UV>
I was wondering if you could provide some insight to how we should approach some issues. I have found some In-Pond skimmers (Easy Pro Eco Series) that will work for the surface debris, in conjunction with a high flow solids-handling pump.
<Mmm, do be careful here... You really do NOT want high pressure along w/ high flow... better to use half speed pump/s...>
(The in-pond skimmer is the same as one you would have through a liner when a pond is excavated, it just eliminates the need to demolish the concrete and serves the same purpose.)
<Thank you for this; am familiar>
I was interested in the potential of 1-2 "retrofit" Bottom Drains. I was hoping you with your expertise in this field could give me some insight/suggestions.
<Mmm, better to not rig the pump intakes to such lowest areas, but instead to "pick up" recirculated water about at half depth... Do place plumbing/drains (if it were new...) to be able to vent or periodically pump, drain from such "bad water" areas, venting solids that accumulate there>
I have considered plumbing from the bottom drain(s) to a bulkhead through the skimmer (near the bottom), adding a basket or sieve to collect the debris so it does not clog the mat (post primary skimmer basket). (Unfortunately a settling chamber is a difficult proposition, otherwise I would run the bottom drain(s) to such a chamber).
<Ah yes>
Does this sound like the direction I should pursue?
<Again... I would just (during the summer every few weeks) pump from the lower drain areas... but a plumbing manifold could be arranged to pump from them. I would not recirculate the lowermost portion of the water and the accumulating debris from there>
So, from the bottom drain(s) and skimmer weir, through the debris baskets and skimmer pad, through the pump, out of the skimmer.
<And as w/ swimming pool and spa use of such skimmers, do have a smaller diameter, alternate intake to the pump... lest the skimmer basket, filter media become too clogged, the water level be too low...>
Then we are routing the plumbing T'd straight to the waterfall with bio-media, and the other side of the T is going through the UV sterilizer with a ball valve to reduce the flow for optimum UV performance. I am still unsure as to
how we are going to design/implement the main biological filtration. I have been reading, re-reading your articles in the Ponds Construction/Filters/FAQ's and would like your personal take on this issue.
<All I know is archived on WWM... the bigger the better, fancier, one-time-purchase media better by far than rock...>
Does this sound reasonable for filtration of a hybrid Koi pond/water garden?
I have attached a crude sketch of the general plans for the filtration. Do you think it is okay to have the return plumbing in the pond up to the filtration on the upper left hand portion?
<Yes... you can paint it to match... algae will grow over, conceal in time>
(We intend to hide the PVC with plants for aesthetics.) Yes, there will be plants (mostly floating islands) and Koi (minimal stocking). I truly appreciate your time and any suggestions you may have.
Thanks in advance!
(P.S. Thanks for your help on the other issue I had with another customer with the bloated goldfish. We are considering bringing the affected fish to our local exotics vet to have blood drawn, cultures run, etc.
<Mmm, again, I suspect there really are no principal pathogens at work here...>
Either way, he
knows now that he needs both proper filtration/environment/husbandry, as well as the proper diet. And I also found a commercial pond pellet with around 10-11% protein and 4-5% fiber! Thanks again Bob!)
<Welcome! BobF>

Re: Pond Rehab Query 4/23/2011
Thanks for the suggestions Bob! I am more and more leaning towards building a good upflow filter for this pond.
<Better than down flow for sure>
I have used these before in my last job as a LFS retail manager. They seemed to hold up fairly well with minimal maintenance (with proper/thorough mechanical filtration in place of course!) The only question I have in regards to this is the way the pump is affixed to the filter. In my previous store, the pump was T'd off with a ball valve going into the aeration tower, with the rest of the water going back to the display tanks, and the overflow from the upflow filter going back into the sump. I am guessing I should have the flow directly into the aeration tower at the top portion, still T'd off to the UV with a ball valve to control the flow to the UV. (Yes, the UV does have a coated quartz sleeve)
<Mmm, I'd trade this unit out... for sure... for one w/ this mat. or Teflon sleeving. The TMC Vectron units are my fave... can be gotten through Quality Marine in LA... the one you have there does not really work when the water is cool temperature... Most all the time>
Now, I believe the volume of water from the overflow (at the top of the upflow filter) will be enough to power the waterfall tank... Do you agree?
<With an "adequate" pump (see WWM re) and plumbing diameter (likely 1.5 or 2" ID) it should be>
I was also interested in what you meant by recirculating the water from mid-water. Should I have some sort of screen over the inlets, or other protection so fish don't find themselves in a pipe?
<Yes, assuredly>
Or should I just run a
45/90 degree fitting at the end of the inlet towards the wall of the pond?
<Do use screens>
And I have been reading more on pumps, and I am still in-between several different models. Submersed solids-handling/External with check valves to keep prime/Self-priming external...
The possibilities seem endless! I need something that is reasonably priced, but gets the job done.
<VERY important to realize the real cost (operation) here...>
If I were to turn over the surface area once per minute, I would need a 12,000 GPH pump!
This seems a bit much to me, I was thinking something closer to 6,000 GPH.
Any suggestions?
<Yes: Sequence... also avail. through QM>
I want enough flow to power the filters and waterfall; to keep the pond clean and healthy, have a calming waterfall sound. I don't want the customer's backyard transformed into Victoria Falls! Thanks for your time and all you do!
<Again and ongoing welcomes. BobF, out to the desert>

Sealing Concrete Block... pond, below grade, wall shared with living space... 4/5/11
<Hi there>
We are building a large house in NE TN somewhat against a mountain. The bottom floor of the house is all concrete block poured full of concrete with lots of rebar.
<Every cell likely... built to code>
The goal is to create a very large fish (trout/bass) pond between the back wall (water directly against the back wall) and the base of the mountain - about 40' long and 7' feet deep against the house. Thus we are looking for a material to seal the block wall permanently in the eventual event the liner decays and breaks. Other side of wall is actual sheet-rocked living space so it has to be 100% sealed. Also looking for your recommendation of long lasting pond liner.
<Posted: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/linerspdconst.htm
I'd go with EPDM or Butyl Rubber>
Pond will be drained, cleaned and inspected every couple years.
Thank you for your consideration,
Ryan H.
<Not knowing re your local building codes, the likelihood of freezing weather (earthquakes?) there in Tennessee, I am won't to give much advice w/ confidence here. I would definitely enlist (pay for) the input of a local (building) engineer, use the code for building a structural wall against the depth of pond here. There are between slab materials as well as block sealing products (Thoro et al.) to utilize, but I'd go for the "swimming pool equivalent" cement/plaster here in addition to the installed liner. Bob Fenner>
Re: Sealing Concrete Block 4/5/11
Thank you very much for your input. No zoning here at all...and I have already calculated pressure vs. structural expectations - looks fine.
Knowing what I am doing, what all can I buy from your store?
<... I would NOT do this w/o inspections by licensed engineers... Too much to risk by failure. BobF>

problem on your Pond Related Links page 2/14/11
<Hello there>
I'm contacting you about your pond links page
(http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pondlinks.htm). I've bookmarked it and wanted to provide positive feedback because it's been such a help!
I'm a teacher and have been using the Koi information from your page as a reference while working on a school project to get a fish pond built for the kids.
<I see>
On a side note, I did run into a link that no longer is active: Atlanta Koi Club - URL: http://www.atlantakoiclub.com/
<Ahh, a part time job just keeping up with such links... there are hundreds of thousands, actually more than two million on the site>
Anyway, as my way of saying thank you, I thought I'd share another resource a faculty member gave me. I figured it fit in with the content of your page and you and/or your users may find it useful. It's called, "A Beginner's Guide: Koi Fish and Koi Ponds" -
http://www.pondworld.com/a-beginner-s-guide-koi-fish-and-koi-ponds.aspx .
<Ahh! Thank you>
It has a ton of information on Koi fish and Koi ponds (classification, diseases, care, etc). It might be a be a decent replacement for the bad link even. If you end up adding it and want to give a class shout out, that'd be great, I'm sure the kids would get a kick out of knowing we have a friend out in cyberspace!
Hope I could help and keep up the good work.
Mrs. Anne Hughes
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

June Pond Pulse 7/8/09
This is only a partial list of information you will find in the JUNE
issue of POND PULSE. Click Here <http://pondpulse.com/2009/06_09.pdf>
to go directly to the Newsletter.
Message from the President, Rocke Huntington
Albert Einstein is best known for the theory of relativity. He also
had a passion for Hollywood and the movies. He even wrote a movie
script that was made into a movie at MGM. It was not well received
upon its release&&&.Click here to read more
Certified Wildlife Ponditat
Welcome new Certified Wildlife Ponditat
members&.Click here to read more
InfoTanza", October 21-24, Atlanta, Georgia
"Industry Wide InformationExtravaganza & Symposium Trade Show, The
only neutral trade show that has the contractors that you want&&..
Click here to read more <http://pondpulse.com/2009/06_09.pdf>
So, you've got a case of Green Water Syndrome? Cheer up,...&..Click
here to read more <http://pondpulse.com/2009/06_09.pdf>
ABC Covers Ponditat For Humanity 09
This past weekend saw the IPPCA and a dozen of its TopGun&..Click
here to read more <http://pondpulse.com/2009/06_09.pdf>
IPaWGS Corner
Koi Club Calendar of Events... Click here to read more
Hot Topics Being Discussed On IPPCA Message Board
Aquascape is a leader, Did your pond PUMP quit way before it was
supposed to? KHV Spreads From Lake Mohave, FYI if your a KHA&.. Click
here to read more
The Wishing Well
The wishing well is a lovely landscape ornament&&. Click here to
read more <http://pondpulse.com/2009/06_09.pdf>
In this article we are going to discuss filtration...Click here to
read more < http://pondpulse.com/2009/06_09.pdf>

May Pond Pulse, industry bulletin 06/03/09
> This is only a partial list of information you will find in the May
> issue of POND PULSE. Click Here <http://pondpulse.com/2009/05_09.pdf>
> to go directly to the Newsletter.
<Outstanding... and a good model for what PAA's bulletin might look like one day. BobF>

<Very nice Tom. Thank you for sending this along. Bob Fenner>
Subject: March Pond Pulse -- 4/30/09
This is only a partial list of information you will find in the March issue of POND PULSE. Click Here
to go directly to the Newsletter.
Message from the President, Rocke Huntington
Mark your calendars this event is one you don't want to miss! Click
here to read more <http://www.pondpulse.com/2009/03_09.pdf>
InfoTanza", October 22-24, Atlanta, Georgia
"Industry Wide Information Extravaganza & Symposium Trade Show, The
only neutral trade show that has the contractors that you want&&..
Topic for INFO TANZA" 09 Announced Click here to read more
There has been a lot of talk about the good and the bad of &...Click
here to read more <http://www.pondpulse.com/2009/03_09.pdf>
Why Did Goldfish Survive?
So why would goldfish survive in terrible water &&..Click here to
read more <http://www.pondpulse.com/2009/03_09.pdf>
Who is Your Competition?
Welcome to PondBiz Magazine. Our goal is to help this industry
&&...Click here to read more
Mentor Program Event
Where: Simpsonville, Kentucky
When: March 30 or 31 (Weather Permitting)Click here to read more
IPaWGS Corner IPaWGS update &&.Click here to read more
Sponsors Product of the Month Click here to read more
Top 10 April Fool's Day Hoaxes of All Time &&...Click here to read
more <http://www.pondpulse.com/2009/03_09.pdf>
PART 1 Are you thinking about building or having a Koi pond built?
&&.. Click here to read more
Members Of The Month Check out the members&&&.Click here to read more
< http://www.pondpulse.com/2009/03_09.pdf>

Make a new pond? 4/14/2009
With the warm weather starting it has gotten me thinking about pond season.
I had moved during the winter and was able the get my remaining two Koi out of the pond, and slowly warming them up. They are currently in a 90 gallon tank with some other smaller Koi that I have picked up. My current pond is approx. 200' by 100' with a depth going down to 8'.
<Wow! This is a "lake" here in S. Cal.>
There is also an island approx. 30' long in the center of the pond. I am hesitant to add the Koi into here because this pond is fed via a stream, and drains out into a stream
<Stop! I would NOT stock these carp (yes, Koi, Nishikigoi are the same species as the common carp...)... as there is too likely a chance of them getting loose downstream>
that hooks up the ditches, and other streams throughout the area. To me there would see to be too much chance of something escaping for this too be an option, as well as the possible spread of pathogens from the Koi.
For this reason I am considering building a new pond, I am looking for recommendations on size though. The fish that I am planning on keeping are Koi and golden Orfe. I was currently thinking something 20' x 15' x 5', do you feel that this would be big enough for up to 30 full grown individuals?
<Yes I do>
If not what would you suggest?
<Oh! Have some old articles (though still pertinent, accurate) re pond design here: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm
Start at the top>
The area that the new pond would go would most likely go nearer to an area that is somewhat swampy, would this have any affect on the pond it regards to excavating, or water retention of the soil.
<Mmm, can't say w/o more data, or being there... I would use a liner... See the above Index re Construction...>
One last question, I was planning on growing out the Koi until the 12" mark before adding them the pond, would a kiddie pond be a reasonable thing to do this in, or could there be some chemicals given off by the plastic?
<Mmm, not really a good idea... such pools are too unstable...>
The reason for doing this is because I lost most of my fish to herons, except the larger fish.
<Look into various types of screen/covers... A simple wide-mesh black netting over the top of the main pond is likely your better choice here>
Thank you for your time
<Enjoy the process, planning... anticipation... Take your time at this stage... much easier than fixing things later. Bob Fenner>
Re: Make a new pond? 4/14/09

Thanks for the original reply, I just have one follow up though. How would a small pool be unstable?
<Little volume... and thermal insulation above ground...>
There would only be maybe 6 fish in it at one time, and I would add additional biological and chemical filtration.
<Still less suitable than a/the pond>
It would also be going in a building that does not fluctuate must temperature wise throughout the day.
Would this create a stable environment?
<Better...... and provide a cover for...>
If not I will be looking into making a small liner pond for this purpose.
Thanks again
<Real good. BobF>
Re: Make a new pond? 4/15/09

Well after looking around my house I found a spare piece of liner that I am going to use instead of a pool.
Again thanks for your help.
<Real good. B>

Reef Pond/Shark Pond Question- Lighting in Winter and Heating 07/28/2008 Hi Bob, I sought help and got some good advice from your site when I was building my 240 gallon marine reef tank, sump, fuge, big frag tank etc some years ago. I enjoy the living room tank but living in So Cal (by San Marcos/Escondido) I enjoy living outdoors more than in. <Mmm, yes... have found that many parts there are more mild than down south where I live half the year or so in Mira Mesa> About 5 mo.s ago I built a 30 foot by 25 foot Koi pond that is thriving, the big Koi I got have lots of growing babies. I got to thinking that an outdoor pond for my reef may be good to give them more space and cut down on halide light costs- also my sailfin tang will get really big and my 240 may be a bit small for it. I have an area that is 8 foot by 20 foot in the yard that is available and I could build a concrete frame with pond liner over it. I was thinking that I could divide that into two parts for a small outdoor pond so each part would be 8 by 10 feet and 3 feet or so deep. With one part reef and the other part small tropical shark like cat or bamboo and plumb both together- do you see any issues with them being in separate ponds but the ponds plumbed together? If both are tropical I thought it'd be all right. Plumbing/flow is okay because I can use some big external pumps and I can use a bigger skimmer than I have now. Sunlight could light the reef but I'm not sure if it would need supplemental sun like some halides in winter- <Mmm, no need for extra light... perhaps other than some for you to enjoy, work on the systems when it's not light enough outside> thoughts on that because halides would be expensive to run with whatever heating I'd have to do? Heating is also what I am trying to figure out for the colder months. <Yes... a major expense here> I've read about solar heaters and pool heaters etc but don't have concrete thoughts on how to heat it. <Yes... an important note to utilize some form of rust/rot-proof "exchanger" whatever method is employed... I'd have SDGE (San Diego Graft and Extortion amongst the hapless Enron By The Sea types in S. Cal.) come on out, give you their ideas re comparative (install and operational) costs... but gas heaters with a "secondary loop" (the exchange mechanism) have proven to be (in the past) the more economical means... vs. novel heat pumps, any electrical device...> I live on top of a mountain so it doesn't get too hot here with a breeze flowing over nearly all the time in summer. I'm really thinking this would be nice, but cannot quite figure out the heating and supplemental halide in winter questions. Many Thanks (for all the great info you provide), Flo <I'd also look into some means of conserving heat here... perhaps some type of simple to automated "cover"... greenhouse overhang... Bob Fenner>

Indoor pond question for Koi -Liquid Nails/Cinder Block construction 5/10/08 I have 5 Koi ranging in size from 9" to 15" and was using a Rubbermaid horse trough for wintering them. <This may not be necessary depending on your pond construction and ambient temperature during the winter. Koi can generally tolerate fairly cold water if adequately fed prior and proper precautions taken. Do check out http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pondsubwebindex/pdmaintwint.htm and related articles/FAQ's regarding this.> In summer they go into an outdoor pond. Anyway, they are outgrowing their winter home and I am wanting to build an indoor pond using concrete cinder block (8x8x16") and a pond liner. I would have used wood for the outer construction but I got a large amount of these blocks for free. Can't argue with free. <Certainly not.> This will be built on top of a sturdy level concrete basement floor and the interior will be lined with old carpet before liner is placed inside. The basement temp. is 67 year round and I use artificial shop lights on a timer during winter. I have filtration to handle up to 1200 gallons at present. My question is... can I use the bonding agent Liquid Nails for concrete to adhere blocks together? <Yes, it is possible/usable. A good alternative to mortar.> Or would I have to use mortar? I don't want to have to use mortar if I don't have to. It would be easier in a basement to use the Liquid Nails in a caulk gun. I have used this product outside on retaining wall blocks and 8 years later you cant kick them apart. <I bet, it is a good product.> But I don't want a flooded basement either. What are your thoughts? Sherry <Do look at the manufacturer's web site, they do offer an adhesive particularly for these blocks. Good luck, Scott V.>

Re: Pond des., pb. 10/3/07 Thanks very much for your prompt and thorough response. You said you are about to be out of net reach so perhaps this reply is too late but, here's hoping... <Here for another day> The only point I didn't understand and would love to hear more about was your comment as follows from my question about the currently built 45 degree walls >The contractor left long sloping edges that I don't like very much. They slope nearly 45 degrees around the shallow end. ... <Mmm, yes... not good for maintenance, but better to avoid having the basin crushed, pop-out during coldest weather> I am not familiar with the concept of Basin crush, pop out from cold weather. <In areas where the ground freezes down a bit, and there is a good deal of water, lack of compressibility to the soil... the expansion with freezing can indeed crush the sides, even "pop out" the basin or swimming pool...> I don't want to assume the previous contractor was totally looped, if he had some wisdom for this Denver climate I want to understand it before I tear it down. Are vertical walls more susceptible to bulge later from frost heave than are degrees of slope? <To some degree, yes> If so perhaps I will have to research local builders and see if I can get an idea what works locally. <Mmm, have been to Denver... and see on the Net that the area does not usually get much of a "freeze"... the micro-climate can be of sizable influence as well... if there are large trees, structure near by... this will reduce freezing as well> I will start contacting local building firms in the mean time (in case you are away for the time you thought you would be away and cant respond to this follow up) and see if I can learn more about this concept. Again, my thanks for your time to reply. David Groover <Glad to help. BobF>
Re: Pond des., const. for cold weather 10/4/07
Ooops, I have another question already. Well, same as before, if you are still around ... and thank you - again. <Welcome> Yes, another day, just go your second response, much thanks. Yes, Denver is really not that bad in the wither. But it can definitely hit below zero temps for periods of time. Last wither was blizzard after blizzard and weeks and weeks of below 10 degrees, a relative rarity but these are changing times for the weather so one can't tell for sure. <I see> I want to know about building with winterizing in mind just because this has become my project and I want to build a good reputation. And that usually comes from building good ponds from a viewpoint of construction, beauty, and maintenance planning, and being good at timely delivery and customer care. <Good characteristics> This is Denver where it can get very cold in the winter. You also have quick thaws as the sunshine is very intense here. Therefore one would assume people would want to run their water features year round here. I built a patio water feature for a friend last year in Colorado and she kept it going all year. I asked her to turn off the pump when the water had frozen and it was a very small line, easily repaired if burst so I didn't worry. The pump sat in the feature so it never got solid with ice and I didn't worry about that either. <Okay> But now with this size of project and having had to dig up many pipes back east that had broken (the joy of leak detection) I am certainly thinking ahead as to how I want to design this. Both for practical reasons like, is the back-flow valve I would put in what I will likely use, a bio filter, is going to allow me to drain off the water that was raising out of the pond to fill the bio filter, and for potential repair work. Should I install a bleed valve somewhere near the outtake line from the pond for winter clearing of standing water in a pipe before a freeze? <That or insist the folks leave the system running year-round... this volume, shape should resist freezing... if so> Or, does water always seek its own level so I needn't worry as it will just reset to the level of the pond anyway? <Mmm, no... some systems have to be drained... Otherwise other mechanisms employed that resist freezing> Or, do I use a larger diameter pipe, more than the flow volume, so that when water does start to freeze and expand, it has a little room to move as it were? Is schedule 40 PVC better than the consumer grade PVC as it is a stronger PVC if I am at all worried about freezing? <Mmm, no... still have to worry regardless> It seems to me that if I am building a large system like this I should over-build it in a way that I shouldn't have to make the homeowner worry about rushing home to turn it off if there is a freeze warning. Seems kind of silly doesn't it? But I appreciate being able to ask the question and to be reassured. <Again... I would leave the circulation going continuously> And this is probably somewhere on the site so sorry to ask but as I have your attention, what is recommended as a depth for water carrying pipes when there will be a freeze? I expect when I dig I will remember as I used to do it so often. Perhaps 12 inches? <Maybe> You asked me earlier what the homeowner wanted? Amazingly, he seems to not have discussed this with the former contractor. <Or vice versa...> He wants plants and fish and the water fall. He has some dogs which will probably go swimming. I warned him about this as you a are probably already aware, critters sharp claws and EPDM liners don't usually get along very well for very long. <Err, I would NOT make a liner-only basin of this size. We installed such features for years... but with shotcrete, concrete and reinforcing mesh over the liners...> He didn't seem to care though. Therefore I envision this as getting it to the finish line ASAP with winter just around the corner with an eye to good future maintenance in my construction techniques. I see a good design made better but not an overly perfected look to the finished pond as in Japanese garden (which I love) or other forms of more formally prescribed beauty. I envision more of a Buddhist "I am one with nature" beauty that won't die all together form doggy dipping but will also be a part of a natural Colorado canyon landscape idea. Thanks very much again. David Groover <I'd read a bit more before committing to this project. Most all my pertinent efforts are posted here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm, though some occur with better graphics, editing in books, manuals. Bob Fenner>

Pond substrate -- 06/19/07 Hi there, <Howdy> I've just built a pond in my back yard and I was wondering if I can use marble chips to cover the bottom. <Mmm, I definitely would NOT> Thanking you in advance for any advice you can send me. Tony <Having most anything purposely on the bottom of concrete or liner ponds is not a good idea (best to leave bare)... as these become detritus, trash traps... causing troubles in turn (algae growth, a loss of dissolved oxygen...) and all turn indistinctly dark, un see-able in a short while anyway. If you are looking for some quality of chemistry/physics from the CaCO3 marble chips, it's best to isolate them in part of the filtration, water flow... IF you are looking for their look, better to stain, embed material that will get you this in the permanent matrix of the bottom. Bob Fenner>

Re: Pond, design... 6/6/07 Dear Bob, Thanks for your emails, wisdom and suggestions. <Welcome> Please let me know if it's more appropriate for me to pay for your consultation services and guidance. I would be happy to do so. I don't want to take advantage of your helpfulness which I both need and want. My goal is to fix the situation as I had hoped to the first time. <I understand, and no charge for chatting over the Net> What guidance can you provide regarding creating something like that filter at Philips in La Jolla? <Mmm, plenty... is posted on WWM> Is that possible/smart in my situation and safe for fish and frogs? Do you know anyone who can do that, that we can hire? <As stated... I would visit with the local Koi Club, look through the "Yellow Pages", have folks come out... make up your own mind> I know someone who did pond related work for me years ago who might be able to follow whatever guidance and direction you might provide but if you have recommendations for qualified people, I would prefer that. <Have been "out of the loop" for so many years I no longer have useful input/referral> Or, if you know of any good people who can do the work, including the filter etc. (I thought I had good people this last time when I "upgraded" so I'm obviously not the best judge in this area.) Both physically and time-wise I definitely need to hire someone to do the job right. <Okay> What type of filter/pump/system would be safe for frogs and fish that would also be low maintenance? You mentioned a screened filter, etc. Thanks, Bob. With appreciation, Shendl (Shane) <... Please... read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm and consider checking out the local library for pond books... Bob Fenner>

Pond (what did Maynard G. Crabs and Krebs say to the question of "Work"?) 5/23/07 Dear Robert, My pond needs help. It was redone a year ago and the system is not working as we had planned/requested. We need a system that will not cause injury to the frogs, fish, etc. that inhabit the pond. So far, that part has been a disaster and it looks like we will be deconstructing the pond and redoing part or all of it. Do you do pond construction? Consultation? Suggestions? <No longer any actual work... but some consulting... Is this something we might chat up over the Net? If so, please do send along your queries, statements, graphics if you'd like, to the Crew@WetWebMedia.com address. Bob Fenner> Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much. Sincerely, Shane

Questions, low maint. pond 5/23/07 I¹d love to know more about creating or having someone create a critter friendly pond that doesn¹t require much maintenance (by me). Here are some photos of what it looks like now. <These are mimes... didn't come through. Try as attachments next time> The pump and filtration system will be removed shortly by the people who installed it and so I¹ll be basically starting over. Are there pumps and systems that won¹t suck frogs and fish into the system? <Mmm, yes... some very nice units with built-around screens are available...> Also...If you no longer do pond construction, do you have any referrals of trustworthy humans that do? Thanks, Shane. <For which area geographically? Much of this can be done by an individual... with time, reading... Bob Fenner>

Pond... design... 6/4/07 Dear Robert, I wrote to the other email address but never heard back. Don¹t know if it reached you or not. <We've recently moved the site, WebMail...> I'm hoping you can provide some guidance and referrals that would allow me to create a pond that is super safe for fish, frogs and other critters in the area. You mentioned that there are screened pumps/filters that should help with that. <Yes...> I¹m also curious about the low maintenance system I read about at Phillips of La Jolla. <Ah, yes> Our pond now has an existing system but kills fish and frogs, plus it leaks. We¹ll be taking the equipment out and need something that will do the trick (safe, low-maintenance, etc). Hiring someone to do the work would be our first choice. Advice, referrals, suggestions? Thanks so much. All the best, Shane <... Where are you located? Have you read through our Pond subweb?: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm Bob Fenner>

Pond bottom drain installation... Well, construction period 5/23/07 I am planning to build an approximately 8,000 gallon pond with a 3-tiered waterfall that has an approximate 7' head height. I have been advised to install a 1/2 HP minimum 4000 GPH at the skimmer and a 4000 GPH at a bottom drain, which would go to an Aqua Ultima II filter system and then to the falls. The skimmer pump would go directly to the falls. <Mmm, a bunch to state here re seeking out, knowing what you're doing re pump, filter choices here... You want to thoroughly investigate your choices... as filtration is the biggest source of trouble and ongoing expense in pond keeping... The Sequence line of pumps I would especially take a glance at...> Is there a design, plan or pictures of how this might be put together? I could use all the help I can get on installation. <? There are many... again, you can end up spending a few hundred dollars PER MONTH on operating such a water feature... Either do the studying yourself... There are standard works in print re all aspects... My book parts on such are posted: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm from design, construction, stocking, maintenance... or hire folks who you trust know what they're doing... to put in a system that will work... You will find I am a HUGE fan of liner technology... you can run all the plumbing internal of this... including up and into the falls, making a structural trough... For now, read. Bob Fenner> Kirk

Fish display, RMF, NEI... at Del Mar... in the eighties? 5/11/07 <Oh man! What year was/is this?! BobF>

Help me, please! Patio pond designs 5/14/07 Hi Crew! My mother and I are moving from a house to a townhouse, where the only place we can have our fish is on a deck. Right now they are in-ground in a large pond, but they would have to move to a smaller above-ground pond. We want to build an L shaped pond that would fit in a corner, large enough to fit our fish (we have 4 Koi and 2 comets) and also serve as extra seating. My mom and I would most likely be building this on our own. Luckily we already have a pump, liner, bubblers, etc., but we need help on what to do to start out. We want to use wood, kind of making a planter box pond. Can you help us? Or if you can't give extreme details, can you direct us to someone that could? We're moving in a few weeks and really don't want to leave the fish. Please help ASAP! Thanks for your time and consideration. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i1/pondDIYCalfo/diy-pond.htm and the linked files below. Bob Fenner>

New pond... design/iatrogenic problems 12/3/06 Hi, <Hello there> I've done a bit of research but have not found the answer to these questions. We've recently installed a small pond between 2 patios in our back yard in the Pacific Northwest. It measures approximately 8' x 12' and is 20 inches deep <Mmm, too shallow... will be too variable in temperature to be stable... hard on livestock> with a thin layer of small gravel in the bottom. <Is this intended to be a biological system? You don't want gravel at the bottom... as you will learn> It also has a small waterfall for circulation. We've added pots of water plants, lily pads, floating lettuce and hyacinth and some others. We bought 12 goldfish and they seem to be enjoying the pond immensely. <You will need to bring all this life "in-doors" during the winter months...> My first question is about feeding. The pet store clerk and the water pond clerk both said that they don't feed their fish. <See WWM re... no feeding during times when temperatures dip/stay below about 55 F.> It increases the nitrate levels in the pond, plus the stores sell them really fast. <...> So-do we need to feed them or will they feed on the plant material and what ever algae grows in the pond? <See WWM...> My second question involves our new pond inhabitant. A rather large bull frog just appeared yesterday. He seems to enjoy the pond too. <And your fish> Because it is the end of September, I'm wondering if he plans to hibernate here. As I mentioned, the pond is only 20 inches deep with a little gravel. Is that enough depth? <Not enough...> Plus there is no mud for him to burrow into. I hope he's had his fill for the year, because I don't want him eating my fish. Should we "encourage" him to leave? <I would, yes> Any help you can give is much appreciated. We're new to water features and want to do it right. I suppose we need to figure out about testing the water too. What is the correct ph balance we should try to maintain? Thanks for your help. Sandy <I strongly encourage your reading of what is posted on ponds on our site: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm From the top down... including pond design... Yours will be problematical due to its size, shape, the gravel... Bob Fenner>

Pond Overwintering, not reading 8/19/06 Ok well I live in Pennsylvania where it is pretty cold and the pond will freeze. How deep does it have to be. <Mmm... depends on what you intend to keep in it, where it's located relative to "structure", whether you intend to employ countervailing strategies to prevent it freezing over/all the way to the bottom... 4 to 6 feet likely...> Also is there any specific brand of food I should feed them or what should I feed them to get their fat up for the winter. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pdmaintwint.htm and the linked files above... Bob Fenner>

Making a beach 7/7/06 I have a property on a very small lake where the lakefront is currently quite dominated by weeds and lily pads. It has been a beautiful setting for years, however, I am thinking about making some changes due to the addition of a son to our family. I would like to convert a small section of the lake front to a beach for wading and playing. I have accepted the fact that cleaning up the current growth is just going to be about manual labor. <Mmm... if a really big area, and draining is possible, do look into lowering the water level and using "power tools"... a back-hoe, skip-loader can/will do this job in a jiffy... And you may well want to fabricate/build a "safety bench" area to keep the sand back, make the swimming area... at this time> What I am looking for is advice on how to create the beach area. I am thinking about a space about 10-15 feet in width that will go about the same distance into the water. Could I use a PVC pond liner as a base (keeping in mind that it will have to be installed underwater) and cover that with a mixture of pea gravel and sand? <Mmmm.... can/could... Need to know more info. re the make-up of the basin... substrate presently. I strongly encourage your having some contractors in the field come out and bid this job, if nothing else to glean possibilities from their input. I would not use a liner here... unless it were to help in construction of a concrete shell over the intended area> Is there any other solution that might come to mind. I would appreciate any help you might provide. <A basin within the basin is what I would make... along and outside the edge of the existing. Bob Fenner> Designing interior water features 6/9/06 Hi Robert, <Emilee> I am a designer who really enjoys designing indoor water gardens/water features. I have a important question. Is there a market for interior landscaping? <Yes... over the years we were in business, we designed and built out several> I feel there is lack of interest sometimes to market these. Is there people who are all generally interested in water falls in their homes? Which State? <I imagine most all large urbanized areas> Water Features are rare and luxurious. <Less rare all the time> How is your point of view towards indoor water features? Regards, Emilee <Most every garden and indoor setting can benefit from them. Bob Fenner>

So many questions! Biological pond design, construction 4/14/06 I am building a new pond. I expect it will be under 3000 gallons by the time it is complete. It will have a waterfall with about an 8 ft. head (from bottom of the pond to top of the falls). So far I have purchased the liner (EPDM 45mil.) and the pump (Sequence primer 6000). <Good products> I need direction on where to go next. (1) Bottom drain. A friend tells me I do not need an integrated bottom drain but can use an suction-type model. True? <Mmm... bottom drains are great to have... your next pond or the one after will likely have... after you've done "other ways" of periodically draining the lower/est region/s otherwise> If so, what do you recommend. <Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pdplumbing.htm> (2) Second, since the Sequence has an integrated basket strainer, do I need a skimmer? <Mmm, yes... perform different functions actually... and much easier to use a surface skimmer, clean this... rather than the strainer (intended really only to keep large objects out of the volute)> My concern is that the skimmer could allow air into the pump - not good! <Uh, no and no> If I need a skimmer, what do you recommend? <See WWM...> (3) Pump housing/cover. What do you recommend for this? <See WWM... a housing is best, above or sub-grade... with provision for disallowing flooding...> (4) Filter. I am contemplating purchasing the Aquadyne Bead filter because of its efficiency and I suspect I do not need anything else to go with it (such as a waterfall filter or mechanical filter. Does this make sense? <Yes, and no... I would use additional filtration here... or leave space for retrofitting, adding later... which you will likely do> Thanks for your help! Liz in Lakewood <You've got a good start here Liz... keep studying, taking good notes for now. Do try to find, get out to a local "Koi club", "aquatic garden association" meeting, to see other folks ponds, get their direct input re what they did, would do now... Bob Fenner>

GARDEN POND Magazine !! 8/24/05 Hello, I am very sorry to bother, but I am hoping you might can help me with this problem. I am desperately looking for some information on a magazine that I can't find anywhere. I want to subscribe, but can't find out how. It is called GARDEN POND and is a Quarterly release. I have seen it on eBay, but it always gets by me. I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks Tom <Ah, the owner/publisher has recently changed their name... to Bowtie (from Fancy pub.s)... see here: http://www.bowtieinc.com/corporate/ Bob Fenner>

Planning a pond and large reef system in southern Cal. Dear Mr. Fenner, <Joe> I live here in San Diego, and am in the process of planning out 1) a freshwater pond, and 2) a marine reef aquarium. <Ahh, Carly Simon's "Anticipation" is coming into my sound-memory ego... but that Bono song on the Bose head-set is pervasive> The pond is project one, to be executed shortly, <"Keep digging..."> and the reef aquarium, to be executed about a year from this summer once I feel that knowledge acquisition is complete and the finances are in order (300 gallons, double sided in a thick wall, with the entire wall above and below dedicated to the aquarium and its maintenance... somewhat expensive). <Worth it> Anyway, the questions: 1. Which pond/Koi places in and around SD do you endorse? <Mmm, been out of the biz for too long, but I do know that I would attend a few of the local Koi Club meetings and ask around there... get bids... look at the folks work... Not too hard to "be your own general contractor here... lots of good folks... e.g. KRC for rock... to help> 2. Which places do you endorse for reef/saltwater aquaria? <Ron Elander at Octopus' Garden is honest and competent. Victor at VJ's also on Convoy, seems to know what he's doing and is a pleasant fellow. Some of the folks at Pat Hurley's Aquatic Warehouse and Fountain's know what their stuff... and Chris at Vet's Pets out east...> 3. Are there clubs you find value in? <Oh yes! As a matter of coincidence, the local marine club is meeting at our house in Mira Mesa this coming Tuesday... and the fellow that heads it up (Maurice Bullock) and I are heading up to L.A. to visit folks in the trade on Thursday... You're welcome to come with us> 4. Finally, do you operate a business here? <Did so with many wonderful friends for a couple of decades... but retired from actual "work" in 94...> Joe Kraska San Diego CA USA <Bob Fenner>

New pond and reef system in SD <"Keep digging..."> Several days with a concrete saw and a jackhammer to dig out the previous owner's work... <Ughh, no fun> no taste in ponds, I say (plain gray? and you shaped it like that? and plumbed it how?!) but I secretly suspect he consulted a structural engineer for the concrete. <Heee! Like Point Loma H.S. demo... school was said to be earthquake unsafe... company went BK in trying to break-up, remove concrete...> Now that I know quite a bit more, I suspect this one screams "concrete guy" and not "pond guy". Lots of people probably try to save money that way, eh? <Ah, yes, or largely blind ignorance> Anyway, I'm building the pond, every last piece, by hand. Myself. The level of fanciness I desire simply isn't in the budget otherwise, and I'm really enjoying working with my hands. <Yes!> And the price per ton over at KRC ain't really that bad, as you say. Funny you should mention, was there for the first time today. :) <I have a very strong intuitive sense> I was wondering which stores you'd endorse for fish and supplies, not contractors. I find myself in the unbalanced position of knowing more than I'd care to about the various online services, and basically nothing about my local area except what I can find in the yellow pages. :) <I see... unfortunately just individuals at, not actual stores... RonE at Octopus' Garden, Ed at Aqua Fauna, Chris at Vet's Pets, Judy (Hoffa) at Fountain's... livestock varies, but they will know re...> ><Oh yes! As a matter of coincidence, the local marine club is meeting at our house in Mira Mesa this coming Tuesday... Tuesday, say you? When? And open to visitors? Joe. <Please see here: http://www.sdmas.com/ actually... just did, and there is no meeting notice... though there is contact info. to MauriceB... Yes, open to all... Seven PM (or slightly earlier) on... in Mira Mesa. Bob Fenner>

Aquatic Gardens

Ponds, Streams, Waterfalls & Fountains:
Volume 1. Design & Construction
Volume 2. Maintenance, Stocking, Examples

V. 1 Print and eBook on Amazon
V. 2 Print and eBook on Amazon

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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