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IT’S EASY TO ADD A NEW AND EXCITING DIMENSION to your home by introducing a beautiful, natural-looking waterscape in your home. The wonderful thing about waterscapes is their flexibility. They can be designed to fit into whatever space you have available. You can create a large free-form outdoor pond, an intimate porch or patio tub garden, or a unique indoor waterscape. All it takes is a little imagination, some spare time, and the right materials. The results are truly satisfying. Listen to the soft, relaxing sound of lightly cascading water. Enjoy the intimacy of your own quiet spot... the beauty of natural stone and exotic water plants. Experience the unbelievable relationship that develops between you and your fish who surface to take food from your hand. TODAY THERE ARE PRIMARILY TWO BASIC MEANS USED IN CONSTRUCTING AN OUTDOOR POND Flexible EPDM or PVC pond liners or rigid preformed shells. The flexible liner gives you greater design creativity, while the rigid shell is sturdier. Make your choice and let’s get started. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION This is your most important decision. There are three key factors to consider — sunlight (you want some sun and some shade), leaf-shedding or pollen-emitting trees (you want as few as possible) and drainage or runoff (you want to stay away from low-lying areas). Using these guidelines, location selection becomes a decision based on your property and what you are looking to achieve — visually and aurally. Because, besides being wonderful to look at, the addition of a stream, waterfall or fountainhead gives the added dimension of sound. Take your time and plan carefully — repositioning a pond is a major undertaking! FLEXIBLE LINER POND CONSTRUCTION First thing is to determine the size and shape of your pond. Try drawing pleasing shapes on paper before beginning. This will give you a bird’s eye view and will help giving you a direction. Rectangular shapes are formal, free-flowing are more casual and natural. Allow for variation in water level by planning a rock shelf about 8” below the maximum water level, as wide as the coping you intend to use.With the liner pulled vertically behind the coping stones and anchored with backfill, the water level will be able to vary by 8" without ever
exposing the liner to view or damaging sunlight. For safety, reduced maintenance and convenience, plan on allowing room for a flat plant shelf 12-18" wide and 18" below water level all the way around the pond. Making the sides as vertical as possible denies predators easy access to your fish. Without a ramp or beach, waders like raccoons and herons will have no way to enter the pond. In addition mosquitoes and string algae will have no warm, shallow water to grow in; and the pond water will be easier to circulate and will stay cooler. Another advantage: at 18" deep, the flat plant shelf is not only ideal for lilies and lotus, it’s an easy step out of the pond for anyone in it. Depth is determined by your location and use. If you plan to have fish and you live in an area where there is winter freezing, you should have a portion of the pond at least 24-30" deep, otherwise an average depth of 18" is enough (See drawing A , warning below and note on page 12 for city code caution. Next, get a long garden hose, string or rope and layout the shape on the ground. Bigger is better because a pond seems to diminish in size when viewed from eye level. When you are satisfied with the location, size and shape, you are ready to begin the actual construction. Take your time, make this a fun, family project. JUST FOLLOW THESE EASY STEPS 1. Begin by excavating inside your line to a depth of about 18", digging from the center outward. Make the sides as vertical as possible. At the base of the sides, make the bottom flat for a plant shelf 12-18" wide all the way around the pond, even if the pond will go deeper in the center. Dig outside your line to a depth of 8" for the rock shelf, wide enough for the coping you intend to use, and be generous; you may decide to plant marginals in a bog area behind the coping (drawing A), and you will be backfilling behind the coping everywhere else to hold the liner in place. Put the soil on a tarp to prevent damage to the outlying area. You may not have to dispose of any dirt if you plan carefully. Use it for a waterfall or to make a 2-3" tall berm all the way around to keep runoff from entering the pond. 2. Check the ground level (See Drawing B). Place a number of stakes around the perimeter. Select the “Key Stake”, the stake that appears to be the average ground level. Mark that level with a piece of tape or marker pen. Using a straight 2 x 4 and a carpenter’s level, go from the Key Stake to Stake #1 and mark it when the 2 x 4 is level. Similarly, continue around the perimeter from stake to stake marking the level spot. If possible, check the measurements by stretching the 2 x 4 across the width or length. Run a string around the pond at the level mark and use this as your guide for raising the ground level. If you need to raise areas, build up fill at least 4-6" above level to allow settling. Once your level line is marked, measure down from it to ensure that the rock shelf is also level. 3. After the hole, shelves and pockets have been dug and leveled, remove any stones, rocks or tree roots, and smooth the surfaces. To protect the liner from puncture holes, use a Pondmaster underlayment, 1" of sand, indoor/outdoor carpeting, carpet padding or 2-3 layers of damp newspapers. 4. Drape the liner in the hole. It should extend at least 12-18" outside the top edge. Place rocks or other heavy objects temporarily around the outside to hold the liner in place. Some curves or corners will create excess material. Fold the liner on itself to take up the material, the pressure of the water will keep it in place. 5. Begin filling with water. Check to be sure everything stays in place and the liner doesn’t get pulled away from the edging area. By running the liner under the edging and extending it you can accommodate varying water depths. Stop filling when the water is about 1-2" below ground level.
6. Cover the excess liner material with decorative stone or other material. Apply your edging. This can be free-form rocks, slate, brick, or any other material that suits your design. Overhang the water with edging by at least 2" to hide the liner. 7. Before adding plants or fish, let the water settle for two days (for treated city water) or use Pondmaster Chloramine Remover. This is not necessary with natural well water. Ask your pond dealer for suggestions. 8. Ponds normally require some sort of aeration and filtration to promote healthy plant and fish life. Pondmaster products include a complete selection of energy-efficient pumps, filter systems, fountainheads, and decorative waterworks. Ask your dealer to show them to you. COMPLETING THE JOB Once the construction is completed, attention should be given to the handling and treatment of the water. This very complex, closed environment is changing all the time due to internal and external considerations such as waste products from aquatic plants, fish and visiting birds and animals as well as the effects of rain, snow, leaves and other airborne contaminant’s. THE COMPONENTS AND WHAT THEY DO. Illustration 1 shows some of the various components that are typically included in a complete filtration system. In this installation a submersible pump is used in conjunction with a skimmer. It passes pre-filtered water to a biological filter that, in turn, empties into a waterfall. Illustration 2 shows a submersible pump pulling water through a submerged filter and sending it directly to the pressurized filter which, in turn, passes it to a waterfall. POND PUMPS These pond pumps are the ‘engines’ that move the water. Your pond may have one or more depending on the size and complexity of your installation. They may be either external or submersible. Their pumping capacity should be correlated to the total number of gallons in the pond and the pumping height (the difference between the level of the pump and the highest point to which it is asked to deliver water – also called ‘head height’) and the specific function they are asked to perform. SKIMMERS These pond skimmers are permanently mounted devices that house a pump and whose primary function is to filter floating surface debris out of the water. This primary filtering reduces the amount of organic matter that settles to the bottom of the pond that can decay, building up hazardous ammonia and nitrate levels. In addition, the skimmer pre-filters the water entering the pump, thereby minimizing pump clogging. BIOLOGICAL FILTER AND FALLS A biological pond filter and falls is a complete waterfall filtration/aeration system. It takes the water from the skimmer or pressurized filter and passes it through a filter mat and other filtering material. The filtered water then passes over the opening, or weir, and returns to the pond. The passage of the water over the opening aerates and oxygenates it, helping to improve water quality. PRESSURIZED FILTERS
This is another method of filtering pond water. It can be supplied by pre-filtered water from a skimmer or directly from an external pond pump and submerged filter box. A pressurized system employs bio-mechanical filtration through its internal filter media. The processed water can be directed back to the pond through an outflow hose or sent to a waterfall to be aerated and returned to the pond. Optional UV lamps are available to help control algae in most pond environments. AIR PUMPS AND DE - ICERS These products are used in areas where pond water is subject to freezing during long, cold winters. The object is to keep a portion of the pond surface clear so that toxic gases are allowed to escape. The air pump or pond aerator accomplishes this by sending a stream of air bubbles and warmer bottom water to the surface preventing icing and, at the same time, aerating the water. De-icers or pond heaters keep the surface water around the unit heated, effectively preventing icing-over. ULTRA - VIOLET LAMPS Submersible UV lamps are designed to control waterborne algae, clear green water and prevent the spread of disease. They do this by passing the water through a chamber and subjecting it to ultraviolet light. Light in this sector of the spectrum can reduce the level of most algae and ‘bad‘ bacteria. These pond sterilizers or pond clarifiers must be sized to the number of gallons of water in the pond to be effective.
WINTERIZING In colder northern climates where trees lose their leaves and the water drops below 50°, you must take steps to protect the pond, the fish and the aquatic plants. At the first hint of the changing weather, place a pond net over the surface of the water to prevent leaves from falling into the water and sinking to the bottom. When the trees are bare, temporarily remove the netting and clean all debris from within the pool. Cut back hardy plant stems to approximately 1" and position so that stems are just above the water level. Turn off all the pumps and drain the filters. Add salt and water conditioner. If you live in an area where the water freezes, it is best to install either an air pump and/or a pond heater to keep a portion of the surface free from ice to allow the accumulated toxic gases to escape from the trapped pond water thus promoting a healthier environment for aquatic and plant life.
Recommended Pump Sizes for Ponds Approx. Pond Size Pump Size 200 gal. (3'x6'x18" deep) 190-350 GPH 300 gal. (4'x8'x18" deep) 250-500 GPH 500 gal. (6'x8'x18" deep) 350-700 GPH 10'x12' or larger 8'x12' or larger 7'x10' or larger Liner Size
700 gal. (7'x9'x18" deep) 500-1200 GPH 1000 gal. (8'x12'x18" deep) 700-2400 GPH 2000 gal. (10'x13'x2' deep) 1200-3600 GPH 4000 gal. (13'x17'x2.5' deep) 6000 gal. (16'x20'x2.5' deep) 15'x20' or larger 12'x16' or larger 11'x13' or larger
20'x30' or larger
25'x35' or larger
Determining Liner Size Liner Size 8' x 12' 10' x 12' 16' x 20' Finished Pond Size 4' x 8' 6' x 8' 12' x 16' Depth 18" 18" 18" Approx Gal. 350 550 2150