View Full Version : Pond Idea

06-14-2009, 01:16 AM
Hi, before I ask anything, I wanted to thank you guys for all your help. You guys actually know what you're talking about and care about fish... it took me a while to come across any place like this, and I wanted to thank you guys for hanging out here and helping people out new to the hobby so effectively and without asking for anything in return. Hopefully, as I become more knowledgeable, I'll be able to help out some as well.

Before I started keeping a bettafish and a goldfish, I thought I had done my research. I read lots of websites and learned tidbits here and there.. but I really hadn't learned all that I needed to know. I found myself doing the same thing for ponds, but I think I will ask you guys if you can point me in the right direction first.

I have taken pictures of the area I want to put a pond at. Its in our back yard, next to our gazebo which has power run to it.

The area which could be used for the pond is about 7 feet by 3 feet, but I would probably want to do a more rounded design for a pond. For circulation, I would want a small waterfall type feature at one end that gave the whole pond a bit of circulation.

I would like to keep 3-4 fancy goldfish in here, or as many would fit in such an area. I could dig fairly deep, but I'm not sure how deep would be too deep.

Any advice you guys have on what to read or what to do would be awesome. I don't need to start actually buying anything just yet... this is all just speculation for now. But it would be really nice to have a pond stocked with a few happy goldfish back there. :goldfish:

Anyway, before I scare you all off with this mountain of text, here are my pictures of my proposed area.


06-14-2009, 01:24 AM
I dont know much about ponds but as for depth where do you live at? If it is a place that gets real cold you either need a deep enough pond that it wont completely freeze or a big enough tank to put the fish in for winter. Thats about all I got to offer sorry lol

06-14-2009, 01:37 AM
We live in Mobile... it very rarely freezes here lol

06-14-2009, 04:20 AM
Looks like a fine spot for a pond and it's good that it doesn't freeze. Depth won't matter as much so it's pretty much up to you. Get a good filter and not just a pump. Some floating plants will benefit the pond.

06-14-2009, 05:05 AM
Check out this pond!http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/showthread.php?t=39863
I think its well built and designed! He has some good knowledge about ponds!

06-14-2009, 06:34 AM
Yes... it would be REALLY cool to hear from smaug here about his ideas... he seems to be the resident expert on ponds here! I tried to get through his thread, I read about 20 pages , skipped some of the early middle ones though because it was just so much to take in.

One thing I'm worried about are stray cats and dogs. We recently lost our rabbit after it was chased out of its great enclosure we built for it. It found 6" of a weak spot between the house and fence post, and pushed in and chased the rabbit out. We looked all over for the little guy but we couldn't find him. There are a lot of woods around here, so even though I put up flyers and mounted a massive local campaign to find him, no luck.

But there are a lot of stray animals here... so I was thinking to keep my fish safe from cats it would need to be a bit deeper and maybe have hiding spots. Does anyone have experience with this?

06-14-2009, 12:03 PM
Hey there.Thats a beautiful spot for a pond.There will be some issues to deal with.The shrubs and the tree will have lots of roots which will make it hard to dig and over time cause puncture problems with a soft liner.Leaves in the water will be an issue as well and the shade that it sets in will take some plants off your list.I would use a preformed liner made from heavy plastic or a fiberglass unit.There are many shapes available and with a good pump and an auxiliary fountain round isn't your only option for good circulation.Small fountain pumps can be placed in the pond and used like power heads in a fish tank.From the scale of the area I would say you could have at least a 500 gal pond there,deep is better with 3ft being very nice,the whole thing doesn't need to be that deep just a hole in the center that is at least a 3rd of the size of the pond in circ.I am unsure if preformed liners are sold in that size so if you really want a soft liner pond [better choice depending on ground conditions]I suggest 2 layers of puncture proof underlayement [its cheap at 40 cents a sq ft] 70c sq for liner.Your ground is sandy down there?You may have to consult a landscaping comp on how to form your edges and slopes so they stay put for you.As for pumps,if you go with a soft liner use a skimmer /waterfall setup this way any leaves or other stuff that falls in will be removed.If you go with 500 gal get at least a 1000 gph debris handling pump with 1500 gph being preferable.You have a lot of shade so I don't think a uv clarifier will be necessary.Cats are not an issue,nor are dogs.Raccoons barely,mink ,omg don't get me started on mink,they are TOO smart.Ive not lost anything to them but people around me have.Herons are the biggy,they can clear a big pond in one eve.Herons are easily defeated by making your pond not easy to fly from,they like a running start and have difficulty's taking of quickly.PM me for another heron deterrent.(blush) :hmm3grin2orange:

06-14-2009, 06:08 PM
The ground here isn't very sandy, its pretty solid - a bit hard to dig through but it can be done with some hard work. In the long term though, I guess that is a good thing.

Do you have an estimate on how much a project like this might cost? I would be doing the work, but my parents would need to foot the bill since its their house... they are interested in having a pond back there and I wouldn't mind building it. My dad is a fairly good handyman type guy as well, so he could probably repair just about anything that goes wrong with it. I would rather do double layer of the puncture proof material as well, since it would be cheaper and easier to get the shape and size I want for the pond.

Thanks for your help! :mrgreen:

06-14-2009, 07:18 PM
A 10ft round pond with a 3 ft max and a 2.5ft avg would come out to 950 gal
you would need a piece of 45mil epdm liner 18 ft sq that is 324 sqft of liner at about 75 cents per sqft that is ,then underlayement at 40 cents sqft x2.depending on the use of a skimmer a good one will cost you. A`waterfall for a pond this size would be about the same as the skimmer.A pump to do at least 1500 -2000gph ,solids handling are best as they are difficult at best to prefilter.
243 dollars for liner
259 dollars for underlay
275 dollars for skimmer
275 dollars for falls
175-200 dollars for solids handling pump
100 dollars for good quality kink free hose and asst plumbing fittings
or you can go this route http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=5163+5174+12254&pcatid=12254 and not have to worry about pieceing it all together,this is a good kit and the only one I would recomend to buy as a kit.You can order the xtra underlayment from them as well.The equipment that comes with this kit is a bit overkill for a 900-1000 gal pond but more is always better when it comes to outdoor ponds.Take it from me,I have already had to get a bigger pump then the one I started with.Never undersize the pump!

06-14-2009, 08:30 PM
Ouch. I was looking at more like $300. Lol. Would it be possible to hit under $500? Maybe a smaller pond with just 3-4 fancies or so? There isn't much possibility that they would spring that much for a pond at all. Maybe like 75-150 gallons instead of 950?

06-14-2009, 08:54 PM
In that case go with a pre formed pond,with smaller ponds a soft liner isnt really the best bet.Good ones in the 150 gal range can be had with all the stuff needed for around your range.Sorry I got carried away(blush) I started out with a 150 gal pond and had it for over 5 yrs till I built my bigger one.
here is a pic of it in full bloom.maybe it will give you some ideas to use.

06-14-2009, 09:22 PM
Why don't the liners work in smaller ponds? It seemed like a good idea to me (and a cost saver.. since it isn't that expensive) - and I could still get a more custom feel.

What I had in mind was something like:
Measure out the pond's shape and size
dig the pond
line it with the liner
connect the filter on one end to the waterfall on the other with the tube and pump (haven't seen exactly how those work yet)
put rocks around it to hold it in place
fill it up

and then put fish in a while after that.

I'm sure there are lots of important things I don't yet forsee, and as you said the liner may be a bad idea.

Could you revise my planning a bit from your experiences?

06-14-2009, 10:33 PM
I never said they dont work but your earlier post said you wanted a roundish pond and preformed liners come that way commonly.Using a soft liner is just a bit harder imo .You are correct that a soft liner is cheaper for sure,giving you more for your money.They are just a bit more fragile as well.They both have there benefits,the preform will last longer but be more expensive,the soft liner is easily punctured but more easily fixed then a preform.Your steps for putting in a soft liner are spot on for the most part and it is no different to plumb a soft then a preform.As for a pump and waterfall thats pretty simple as well.Get a good pump that will pump twice your ponds volume an hour.Get a submersible model and make sure it has a good prefilter so you can clean it out,once a day isnt uncommon.Run hose to the falls [at least 1"id]and keep the run as short as possible to avoid pressure loss.Make sure to incorporate a good amount of bio filtration,at least a quart of media per 30-40 gal,this is the most important part of your filtration.Many waterfall boxes include this in there design.Here is a good link for purchasing these items.

06-15-2009, 04:20 AM
Alright - lets see how I am doing here.

For a filter I was looking at this one:

But this one is really cheap for the 100 gallon filter... so if I could get this for a 100 gallon tank that would be good.

Looking at this pump:

Those look like the main parts I need. Do I need anything else big from the site? I figure I can get the liner and tubing at home depot or somewhere like that for about the same price.

06-15-2009, 06:32 AM
Is there a pond store near you? If so, go there and see if they can help. I'm sure they'll be glad to. Have them help you figure out all the equipment you need then buy it online. Chances are it will be cheaper online. At least get a few things from them so you're not completely blowing them off.

06-15-2009, 09:29 PM
That first external filter is a quality unit,the second,not so much.Honestly you dont need that much mechanical filtration ,check out this waterfall unit.You can pack these full of coarse foam and biomedia and it will be as good if not better then the box unit.It is what I use except bigger.
the pump you list is not meant for pond use,try this one instead,I have used these personally and it lasted for 3 yrs 24/7 usage year round.
http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/prod/199254/product.web,better yet go up to the next higher model if you can afford it.For the liner,make sure to get it from a pond specific store or web site,there are different grades and the stuff that is made for rubber roofing can be toxic.So I hear anyway,I wouldnt risk it.

06-15-2009, 09:51 PM
sorry to double post,I keep forgetting your budget.I realize now that the watefall unit may be more then you want to spend.The first filter you list wopuld be good for you then.A water fall unit can be rigged using a clean 5 gal bucket as the container and bio aread.

06-16-2009, 12:05 AM
Oops, the second link you posted is the same as the first. Could you resend the pump? Thanks :ssmile:

06-16-2009, 12:07 AM
I would live to but something seems to be wrong with there site at the moment.

06-16-2009, 12:14 AM
Hmm.. it works for me! :sheep:

06-16-2009, 01:02 AM
oK it finally came up for me.
this one or the next size up would be a good pump.

06-16-2009, 02:42 AM
Well I talked with my dad about it, but he had another idea for a pond, in a different spot.

We have a screened in porch, and next to it, a patio with one wall made of a garden enclosed by bricks. The screened in porch encloses another wall, and the house encloses two other sides.


The plan would be something like this:

Plan would be to put the bricks all along the wall which is currently marked by shed doors, and fill them with dirt. However, on the right corner, we would dig a hole in the dirt, add liner, and make a pond over there. Space is a bit more limited, but I figure we could probably still get a good 75-100 gallon pond in that location. That should be plenty of room for about 4 fancies wouldn't it?

Assuming this were the new location, would any changes to equipment be needed?

06-16-2009, 08:49 PM
No changes at all,4 fancys would do fine in a pond that size.

06-17-2009, 12:20 PM
Ok - also, I found a local craigslisting for water plants.

Are these good prices, or do you have a website with these pond type plants which are cheaper?


06-17-2009, 09:01 PM
Prices for most of those plants are almost twice that where Im from.You will be limited to what you can plant in a small pond.You could have 1 smaller lily and a handful of hyacynth and maybe 1 umbrella plant.That would fill the surface rather nicely.The goldfish will eat the roots of the hyacynth but it will take small goldys a while to wreck them,meanwhile they act as good filters and shade.Any of those plants require at least 8 hrs of full sun a day to grow well,if you cant provide that ,dont waste your money.Dont even bother with a lotus in a small pond,even the dwarf variety get huge.