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Nick

Building a pond, the basics

As part of Project:Deck Herefordshire, it has been decreed that I remove our existing, flawed pond, and replace it. I have a minidigger on hire, so it won't be too much of an effort.

Is there more to it than digging a hole, lining it with sand, and putting in a pond liner? Keeping edges level, and trapping the excess liner under big stones?

Do I need underlay?

The filtration and pumping I'm fine with, but the construction is new to me.

Choice of liner? Any glaring rules?

Someone here will be an expert...
tahir

Round here we dig a hole and wait for rain
vegplot

Absolutely essential you line the hole to make it water tight. Order 2 tonnes of quick lime and mix with water (you need a to do carefully in small batches). Fill hole with resulting slaked lime, cover, leave for 6 months, then call me to collect. A pond will form later.
Nick

How much will I have to pay you to take it away?
dpack

im not an expert but from observing other folks ponds those with a good ,thick,flexible liner seem to be maintenance free.using soft sand to blind the scrape and being careful to avoid any creases/folds extends the life of the liner.

use water to stretch the liner before making the edges

small ponds are best with a ridged liner big ones with sheet

if there is a deep part (a metre or more) for fish to use as a refuge in icy weather it helps them survive

if there is a gentle slope at at least some of the edge tiggy and froglets etc can easily exit the water
vegplot

Nothing, if you donate a weeks worth of labour at a time to suit us. Transport and accommodation not included.
dpack

ps chainlink fencing wire or similar is the only certain heron proofing if you want posh fish.
wellington womble

Re: Building a pond, the basics


Is there more to it than digging a hole, lining it with sand, and putting in a pond liner? Keeping edges level, and trapping the excess liner under big stones?


That's how we've always done it. The tricky bit is getting the waterfall right (I don't like the ones that sound like someone weeing in a pond. A gurgling stream is more difficult to achieve)

You can line the edges with turf, if you prefer. And some shallow areas are nice if you want to put plants in baskets. We had a chunk of drainpipe for the fishes to hide in, and never lost any to herons that I know of.

It's years since I had a pond. I'm quite envious.
BahamaMama

So, mistakes I have made....

Dig hole, line with sand, line with fleecy soft stuff, line with pond liner, avoiding all sharp stones, sticks etc.
Make sure pond is not on a slope
Make sure pond is not under a tree
Minimise folds and creases in the liner where possible, capilliary action empties the pond quickly
Pond edges and margins need to be much wider than you think if you want pond planting
The pond needs a sensible depth over a reasonable space, as said before if you want fish and wildlife
Consider where the pump and filter are located, both for aesthetics and ease of access for regular cleaning and maintenance

Our pond is one of my favourite things in our garden but if I were doing it again I would do it differently :-/
dpack

i have been told of heron losses in a variety of places but they do seem to get mentioned re koi rather than re frogs etc so it might more of a problem the more expensive the livestock Laughing
BahamaMama

So, mistakes I have made....

Dig hole, line with sand, line with fleecy soft stuff, line with pond liner, avoiding all sharp stones, sticks etc.
Make sure pond is not on a slope
Make sure pond is not under a tree
Minimise folds and creases in the liner where possible, capilliary action empties the pond quickly
Pond edges and margins need to be much wider than you think if you want pond planting
The pond needs a sensible depth over a reasonable space, as said before if you want fish and wildlife
Consider where the pump and filter are located, both for aesthetics and ease of access for regular cleaning and maintenance

Our pond is one of my favourite things in our garden but if I were doing it again I would do it differently :-/
Nick

Location is set, but size is flexible. I'm thinking as large as I can. Probably get in trouble if I minidigger the geranium collection, tho.

Do we know what flavour membrane is better? I suspect PVC is rubbish, and butyl is the best, but I'm seeing lots of EDPM suggestions.
BahamaMama

Location is set, but size is flexible. I'm thinking as large as I can. Probably get in trouble if I minidigger the geranium collection, tho.

Do we know what flavour membrane is better? I suspect PVC is rubbish, and butyl is the best, but I'm seeing lots of EDPM suggestions.


Ours is butyl and has been in for almost 10 years with no problems. It is expensive but has been trouble-free. I don't know anything about EDPM.
vegplot

If you find a supplier of butyl or EDPM would you let me know? I need some liner for my lime pit. Nick

http://www.pondlinersonline.co.uk/pond-calculator

SiL used these after some research, and says they're good. Promise to be cheaper than anyone else. Trawling around suggests they're keenly priced.
Cathryn

That's the one I came up with after similar research. I did find the same stuff in a garden centre not at all far from you. They had a very large off cut at the end of last year, still not quite large enough for the hole we've dug. I might be tempted to poke around in the back of their pond exhibition area and see if they have any left and make the hole to fit. They were very much cheaper at the time although that time wasn't Spring when peoples thoughts turn to planting stuff (that's gardening for most people on downsizer).


We are having to do some major landscaping in the garden with very big diggers so the pond is on hold. No-one told the frogs and various swimmy things that have already moved in.
Nick

That's the one I came up with after similar research. I did find the same stuff in a garden centre not at all far from you. They had a very large off cut at the end of last year, still not quite large enough for the hole we've dug. I might be tempted to poke around in the back of their pond exhibition area and see if they have any left and make the hole to fit. They were very much cheaper at the time although that time wasn't Spring when peoples thoughts turn to planting stuff (that's gardening for most people on downsizer).


We are having to do some major landscaping in the garden with very big diggers so the pond is on hold. No-one told the frogs and various swimmy things that have already moved in.

There are quite a few garden centres not far from me. Any clues?

For example, have I met you there?

And, any idea how big? I think I want about 5m x 5m.
Cathryn

Yes that one. That's around about the same size as out pond but I wasn't within a few miles of it to risk buying what was still an expensive amount of liner. the piece we saw would probably have done it. It was half price plus Jack doesn't buy anything without bartering and had already begun negotiations. vegplot

I informed them they misspelled metre. They said thank you. They responded quickly, that's always good. Nick

Now see if they've blocked your email address. dpack

just a thought but have you considered the level of the water table where you want a pond .?

if you dig a hole in some places a liner is irrelevant as the thing fills from the sides
Cathryn

Mine does but not for the whole year. It dries out in summer. Pity. I could redirect water to it, now that's an idea since we are digging out large parts of the garden.

Might be more difficult for Nick to leave it and check if it stays full if he decks all around it.
Nick

It's going where we have had a pond for years. But, this one will be larger, and with less of a hole in the liner.

Water level is satisfactory, or, once in 15 years, 8 inches too high.

Still, free range gold fish are all the rage.
dpack

if the ones that went on "holiday"return i recon they will be huge by now Laughing vegplot

Mine does but not for the whole year. It dries out in summer. Pity. I could redirect water to it, now that's an idea since we are digging out large parts of the garden.

Might be more difficult for Nick to leave it and check if it stays full if he decks all around it.

You've a flippin' great pond outside your front door.
Nick

http://www.pondsuperstores.com/

Worked out the cheapest.
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