View Full Version : Slytin's Pond Build from Scratch

07-16-2010, 07:33 PM
Hi everybody, I just joined been cruising your post for couple days and decided to put up my project. I decided to build a pond in my backyard that would support fish. I plan on doing a pond aprox 12x20 down to 4 feet for fish in the winter. Not sure if that depth is needed in central Texas, but I read thatís a good depth for winter. I plan on staggering to a depth of 4 feet similar to a upside-down pyramid. Iíve called to have my lines marks so I donít blow myself up, and Iím off to get a building permit today. I would love any recommendations on the whole process only experience I have is a 70 gal fish tank.
Iíve been doing a picture journal of my progress believe me digging in Texas is worth showing. Iíve hit bedrock at 12Ē deep pulling rocks that weigh as much as I do.

1 Hour
2 Hour
4 Hour with some major rocks.

07-16-2010, 09:24 PM
Hey there!Welcome to the site.Im glad to have yet another pondy among us.It looks like your serious about your hole in the ground,thats awesome.Last year I built a bigger pond myself and had a thread about it start to finish.Here it is ,maybe there will be some useful info for you.The 4tf depth you are shooting for is very good but in Tx wont be needed as insurance against cold but will be more useful to keep the pond cooler.

07-16-2010, 11:09 PM
Welcome to the Fabulous AC!:22:
Its looking good.I agree that the cold in Winter should not be an issue in Texas but it did snow there last winter.If it does freeze then 4ft should be safe.thumbs2:
It really doesn't matter where you dig.lol There is always something in that hole that doesn't want to come out!lol

07-17-2010, 01:35 AM
Thanks, I will check out that post looks great for what I'm doing.

Lady Hobbs
07-17-2010, 04:15 AM
Doesn't this make ya just love people that bury cement slabs! What a pain to dig that out. TX can get mightly hot, as well, and that 4 FT depth should help with the cold weather and hot weather.

You need to buy a few cases of beer and invite some husky friends over with shovels!

07-17-2010, 02:53 PM
Just built one myself... best of luck with your build!


07-19-2010, 02:05 AM
This weekend I went to the local pond shop, and checked out their ponds got some qoutes. After seeing their ponds and the cost of equipment I decided to shrink my pond down abit. The pond I originally set out to make was 8000gal, and they didnt carry anything for that size in stock everything would be special order. So I decided to bring the pond down to 9x15x3. Which brings the pond down to 3000 gallons. I believe the pumps in the store were rather over priced. Does anyone have good recommendations on quality pumps in filters?

07-19-2010, 11:12 AM
for a real good pump 3000gph+ it's going to seem expensive. but these pumps are made to run constantly and are good workhorses at low amps. Cheaper pumps seem to use more energy and will cost you much more in the longrun. keep an eye on how many amps it draws. I just built a pond about the same size as yours and got a 3650gph pump for $150. Look for "mag-drive" motors, they are considered top notch.

to save some $$ on a filter, you might wanna look into a DIY 'bucket-filter' or bog filter.

07-19-2010, 12:59 PM
for a real good pump 3000gph+ it's going to seem expensive. but these pumps are made to run constantly and are good workhorses at low amps. Cheaper pumps seem to use more energy and will cost you much more in the longrun. keep an eye on how many amps it draws. I just built a pond about the same size as yours and got a 3650gph pump for $150. Look for "mag-drive" motors, they are considered top notch.

to save some $$ on a filter, you might wanna look into a DIY 'bucket-filter' or bog filter.

The pond shop was asking 350-400 for a pump. I look online and found mag-drive for 200.

07-19-2010, 04:20 PM
The trouble with ponds,especially big ones,is the size pump needed to do it right.A 3000 gal ponds should have a 6000 gph pump.That being said,my 2500 gal is being done with a 3500 gph hydrive.The biggest issue with filtering a pond ishnot mechanical but bio filtering.A 3000 gal pond needs at least 25 gal worth of good bio media to sustain a med fish load of koi.I use a skimmer and bio fall combo that are bboth packed full ofh coarce pad media.Canister filters get dirty very quickly unless they are very large.

07-19-2010, 06:10 PM

Can you explain to me how skimmer works? Do you have a pump that sits in the skimmer? Is that the only pump or do you have two. If that is the only pump does it circulates enough water from the bottom of the pond?

I was looking at getting the same skimmer as you.

07-19-2010, 09:46 PM
The skimmer is dug into the side of the pond with its opening at water level and just a bit higher so when the full water level of the pond is just an inch or so under
the uppermost edge of the opening anything that floats on the surface of the water goes into the skimmer.The pump
sits in the skimmer and is piped to a waterfall or other

filter.I think somewhere in my thread there is a pic of the box the simmer came in to tell you what model it is.Go with a minimum of 1.75 tubing for this ,anything smaller really drops the flow.Also keep the distance between skimmer and waterfall at a minimum to avoid excess loss of flow.To get the best possible current in my pond I use a small 750gph pump in the pond that I move around from time to time as conditions warrent.

07-20-2010, 05:56 PM
Here is the hardware im looking at. Please let me know what you think.

$300 SKIMMER PRO 5000 1
$190 Patriot Pressure Filter with Built-In 11 Watt UV for Ponds to 3,000
$200 Tetra Pond Debris-Handling​ Pump DHP4200, Ponds up to 4000 Gallons
$130 Pondmaster Pro Biological Filter Falls 3000

Am I missing anything?

07-20-2010, 06:16 PM
Doh can't edit my post.

Instead of patriot pressure system. I might end with with

$177 Tetra Pond GreenFree Clarifier UV2, 18 Watts, Ponds up to 4400 Gallons

07-20-2010, 06:18 PM
I never thought that pressure fiters were needed in larger ponds and The tetra pumps are not the best choice.Ill get back to you later with some choices that are better suited.

07-20-2010, 06:22 PM
Thanks Smaug.

07-20-2010, 09:47 PM
alrighty,here is the pump I have and recommend,either this one or the next size up.The other large pumps available draw big juice and will cost too much for electric. http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/prod/206341/product.web
And here is the uv clarifier,mine does a great job but be careful when matching a uv to your pump of choice,too much flow for the light and they don't work,bigger light then flow is what you want.
for filtration use coarse media pads cut to fit your skimmer bucket and bottom of your water fall.I use 2" thick stuff bought from my pond shop.The inlet for the water fall is on the bottom of it.simply cut round pads to tight fit then fit them down in the bucket.The natural up-flow does the rest,this stuff also works as bio media.Do the same thing to the skimmer.Your pump will be laying flat in the bottom of the skimmer just cut pads and lay over top of the pump.This functions the same way as the skimmer.Pressure filters are very nice if you buy one big enough and even then you may be cleaning it out 3-4 times a week when its warm.I clean my falls and skimmer twice a month by simply pulling the pads and hosing them off outside with non chlorinated water.BTW,the links provided are from a great place to get this stuff from.

07-20-2010, 10:21 PM
This is great info. We only have one pond shop here, and its 30mins away. So having a good website is nice.
I will try get some pictures up tonight with my latest digging results.

07-21-2010, 01:58 AM
Here is the latest pictures.

This is 7 hours of digging total

This is the bone yard.

07-22-2010, 12:11 AM
I just noticed you are going with the 3000 series waterfall.That will do the job but as they say,for just a few dollars more.I recomend the 5000 as it comes with bio media and has a huge capacity for filter media.One added benefit is the rather large open top that can be used as a planter for itrate hungry dwarf cattails.They absorb huge amounts of nutrients from the water and multiply like crazy allowing for the use of them in container throughout the pond.
Here is what mine looks like.This started as just a 2 gal container of them last year at this time and they will over winter if there roots are placed well below the ice line.

07-22-2010, 03:09 AM
Thanks for the info. I like the way they hide the waterfall I might just take you up on that idea.

08-02-2010, 11:47 PM
Latest. I'm about 2 1/2' down.

08-03-2010, 02:59 AM
Thats a lot of rock.I dont envy that digging,Ill bet your dog likes goin down there to get in the cool dirt.Thats the makings of one nice pond,take my advice,go as deep as you can stand digging.I would have went lots further on mine but the drain field for our septic system got in the way.

08-03-2010, 04:24 AM
It's more rock then dirt. We feel like were in a quarry when digging.

08-03-2010, 07:19 PM
This is the excavated "dirt".

08-03-2010, 10:19 PM
Lookat the bright sid3.You wount have to be a sucker and buy rocks for scaping:hmm3grin2orange:

08-09-2010, 03:35 PM
I have my pond filled and electrical ran. Water flow is running until I get a chance to build the waterfall. Problem is with my pump didnít have enough head pressure to run the line to water fall with UV Clarifier on it and cycle enough water. So for now I just setup the skimmer to pump straight to the waterfall bucket. I order another pump that will be purely the waterfall/uv clarifer pump, and my current pump will be the skimmer pump. That should be enough water cycling. I notice though that my water has turn murky in last two days with no UV clarifier is that normal?


08-09-2010, 09:58 PM
That looks way nice!Yes it is very normal for the water to murk on you and it probably isnt even green water algae yet.Mostly its just cloudiness from the small amount of mud on the liner and other debris from outside.Without the uv gw will happen in about 2 wks and it will be bad.I didnt install my uv till about a month after getting the pond running ,I wanted to see just how fast and effective it was.I let it go till my water was pea green,3-5 days later it was clear as a bell .Keep in mind that without 75% shade or more even a uv light wont wipe out all traces of green water.Dont worry though it is harmless and the fish wont care.
How big is the pump from your skimmer and what size secondary pump did you get?

08-09-2010, 10:36 PM
3200 and 2100
HyDrives Proline

08-09-2010, 11:25 PM
How much head height and length of hose did you have between the skimmer and the falls?I assume the 3200 was the original pump running the skimmer?Also,what size hose are you using.Im not bashing your setup,Im simply curious as to what is impeding your flow.Im using the 3200 with 1.75 tubing and 16ft of run with only 2 ft of head.

08-09-2010, 11:45 PM
Looks great!
Who needs to join a gym when diggin a pond!lol:19:

08-10-2010, 01:24 AM
36' long 3' high into a waterfall bucket. We went a long way around to keep the tubing, and uv clarifer hidden.

08-10-2010, 03:08 AM
Looks great!
Who needs to join a gym when diggin a pond!lol:19:

Thanks, Yeah i've lost some fat in this 100 degree weather.

Check it out. I've got visitors

08-10-2010, 04:15 PM
And they seem to REALLY like the place too! As for your plumbing run.yup that splains that for sure.

08-10-2010, 06:13 PM
I have frog eggs all over the pond now. I thought it was string so I got stick to pull it out with got little tiny bit above water and little black dots covered by clear goo. I wonder if they will make it to tadpoles since this is a fresh pond.

08-10-2010, 09:54 PM
They should hatch,might not many of them make it though.Might not be frogs either,could be the lovin toads little ones as well.