Anbody Out There Doing Quality Work???????

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by stxkyboy, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. Green Gopher

    Green Gopher LawnSite Member
    Messages: 105

    Nicely said Victor,
    to operate any other way would irresponsible business.
  2. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    Ok, now you've got me pissed off! I don't normally try to re-post someone's entire post, so I've tried to trim it down some.
    That's complete BS! I'll explain why here in a minute, and you started to explain why in your next sentences.
    I'm VERY sure that this was explained! A reputable pond builder/landscaper/home builder/anybody in the service industry will explain possible problems with ANYTHING before installation. They will also give the benefits too, and let the customer wiegh them against each other. If you are saying a "reputable" pond builder would NOT have built on that site, no matter what, then I guess I don't know any reputable pond builders. As I said, that job turned out be $100k+. Are you saying you would walk away from that, even after all of the potential problems were explained? You're nuts if you do...

    Oh, BTW, the pond WAS netted. And I can't speak for the homeowners on what the intent for use was, I simply do not know, and you and I can only speculate, but we will never know for sure, now will we?

    Actually, it had TWO skimmers. Both pumps were housed in them. You would be surprised how much draw they had...

    If I agree with you on any one point, this is it. I'm not too fond of rocky bottomed ponds either, and I did have to clean it out one spring. It was a b*tch, and I doubt if I ever build one with a gravel bottom. It really didn't have even a noticeable smell when full of water, though drained, it did have the typical pond/fish smell.

    Actually, it was closer to the third year before that happened. And it wasn't exactly because the novelty wore off. He was hit pretty hard by the stock market, I have a feeling he was invested in a fair number of tech stocks. And he got married. The whole budget for the grounds (not just the pond) was cut to next to nothing. Had this not happened, I'm sure the pond would be fine.

    What it boils down to is a matter of preference. I'd rather have the pond that I posted the pics of than the pond at the top of the 3rd page of this thread (was that Phish's pond?). Actually, I'd rather have the money that went into the pond that I posted, but that's a different story.:D

    I guess what pisses me off the most is you guys are sitting there "armchair quarterbacking" everything. I know I'm guilty of it too, but you guys seem to be doing it slightly more severely than I am. You don't know the whole story of my pond, I don't know the whole story about yours. If I've pissed you off, I'm sorry, but to attack the integrity of the company that built this pond is WAY off base. I take it personally, even though I no longer work for them. See where I'm coming from?

    We all have different ways of doing things, that's a given. Are they all wrong? No. Are they all right? Who's to say? What works for you may not work for me. But that's why we are here, is to learn from each other, not attack.

    I've ranted/rambled long enough. I'm done.

  3. WeatherMan

    WeatherMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 692

    Wow you all have kept me entertained:D This thread started out with stxkyboy bashing our ponds:angry: That made some of us upset as we should be:blob2: Now every pond you put in is a learning experience:blush: You learned from the first to build the second then the from th second you build the third, and so on and so on.
    As far as the pond your old company did Dan, personally I would have never put the pond in that spot I would have found another spot on the property with less trees or left the job to some one else and yes it would be hard but I would give up a 100k job because I think my name and reputation of my work is worth a whole lot more then 100K.

    Dan do have any pics of ponds you built yourself?

    I have ask stxkyboy several times to show pics.
  4. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,430

    I stand firmly behind everything I said Dan. Nothing about it is BS. The statement that I made, about a reputable pond builder not making that pond, is right on the money. It might make you mad Dan, but that's a fact. A reputable pond builder would have explained the problems associated with building that pond, where they built it, and refused to build it there. A company out for a buck, would have done exactly what the company that you're trying to stand up for did. Just because I wouldn't have built the pond there, doesn't mean I couldn't have found another location on their property that I deemed suitable for a pond (like Weatherman said). If the customer told me the pond had to be built at that location, you'd better believe I would have walked. Like Weatherman said. The name, and reputation of my company is worth more to me than that. As far as me being nuts. Well...each company owner has to decide where they are going to draw the line on making ethical decisions. For some people, money is more important than ethics, and integrity.

    To address the next comment you made about the intended use of the pond. I do know what the owners intended to use the pond for, because of what the heron took out of the pond to the tune of $1800. That answers the intent question.

    I said that the pond didn't look like it had a skimmer. I never made any definitive statement that claimed I knew as a fact that the pond had no skimmer, or skimmers incorporated into it's design.

    The pond might not have developed a bad smell yet, but if the owners didn't stay on top of cleaning that thing. It wouldn't be long before it did start to smell really bad. The smell I'm talking about is the smell of the anaerobic bacteria going to work.

    One of the qualities of a well DESIGNED pond, is a pond that is easy to maintain. If a homeowner has to throw tons of effort, and money into maintaining the pond a company installed for them. They don't have a well designed pond...PERIOD.

    The only thing we agree upon Dan, is the fact that it all comes down to a matter of preference. Responsible, knowledgeable pond builders PREFER to not build ponds like that, and pond builders that are just out to make a buck, PREFER to take money from people, and could care less about ethics, let alone how many headaches the homowner's pond will cause them.

    I'd much rather have the pond that Phish built, than the pond you posted pics of. The amount of work I'd have to put into the upkeep of that thing would make me hate to think about that thing when I came home every day. Ponds are to be looked at, and enjoyed. Not to be slaved over when their construction is completed.

    As far as armchair quarterbacking. I'm doing nothing of the sort. When I don't know something, I don't make a definitive statement. I simply state that "I don't think that something is so", or that "it doesn't look like your pond has this feature". By doing so I'm not overstepping my knowledge of the subject.

    I'll come right out, and tell you as a fact though Dan. I do question the integrity of the company that built that pond. I'll never know for sure, but I personally have no doubts that the company in question knew all about the problems that pop up when a pond like that one is built. There is nothing off base about my saying this about the ethics of that company.

    We may all have different ways of doing things Dan, but some things are the same no matter how you slice it. There are certain places a pond should not be built, and that's a fact. That's a fact no matter how you look at it. Everyone does have different ways of building ponds. That's why I love seeing new ponds on here. I love to look at them, and try to figure out how the builder made the thing. I also like to look at them, and figure out how I would have made the thing.

    I'm not attacking you Dan. You really didn't have anything to do with that pond. You merely stated that you started working for that company after the pond was finished, so I'm not talking about you. I'm talking to you, about that company. Not about you.

    In closing. I thought it was hillarious when you asked if that pond was a quality pond. Like there was no doubt that it was of impeccable quality. Furthermore.....I almost fell out of my chair when Stxyboy chimed in, and said, "now that is a quality pond". His statement just confirms my earlier comment about not being able to identify something if it came up and bit someone in the butt.

    I hoped you enjoyed this one Weatherman. :D
    Please keep the pics coming of the true quality ponds guys!

    Over, and out.

  5. bcx400

    bcx400 LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 77

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with building a pond in the woods, provided the customer is completely aware of the maintenance issues. Dan- the pond pictures you posted look great.

    Aquascapes VolcanoFalls have contributed to some of the most ridiculous looking ponds I have ever seen. I have used the Volcanofalls, and find it difficult to naturally blend in when building a waterfall. I have yet to try a bog filter- now this shows promise for building 'natural' looking ponds.

    Before I get criticized for not knowing anything about anything...
    I have installed some ugly looking ponds in my lifetime. Great mountains of topsoil, Volcanos, and rings of riverstone all help to create un-natural looking ponds. Granted, plants and time will soften the volcano-effect.

    Now the pond building industry is still fairly young- I expect we will see great advances in products over the next several years. I would love to try Aquascapes bog filter concept. Anybody out there using this?
  6. ckf

    ckf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    I have to agree with Victor and Weatherman on this and would have walked away if there was not another suitable spot on the property for it. Even though it was 100k does not mean it is worth it. It takes along time to build an outstanding reputation and only an instant to destroy it. In the long run, it is very possible that you would lose alot more than you made on that job. Think about that before you see the dollar figures in your mind and you might also walk away

    P.S. It is a beautiful setup though. I was just saying it is in a less than ideal area
  7. WeatherMan

    WeatherMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 692

    Victor: well what can I sey I'm still entertained LOL and I agree with you.
  8. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,430

    You're certainly entitled to your opinion. That's what makes the world go round buddy.

    Lol Weatherman. :D


    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    Hi pond builders. This post seems to have some knowledgeable people posting on it so I would like to ask a question. I know it's been a month but, I do not do ponds now but would like to in the future. I have a lawn service now so I don't think I could go to work for someone to learn how to build -design- plan -maintain a pond. I want to be educated about it before I do it for customers so can I read (which books) - go to training(where)- take a course, or go to school for this. Is this something I could learn over the winter. I have seen Aquascape info, is this any good and what else, if anything, can I do to learn. I know that you learn by doing and from your mistakes but don't want to be saluted every time I drive through the neighborhood because I destroyed poeples yards. Seems like there is a lot to learn and a lot to consider so I'm a little sceptical about build a pond in a day and your in business. ( not that the info would be bad, Just think there is a lot to learn to be conveyed in one day) Thank you for any help.
  10. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,430

    There are 3 basic types of ponds that you're likely to find customers wanting you to build for them. Each of the 3 have different qualities that need to be addressed during their design processes.

    Type 1
    Watergarden: A watergarden is just that (an aquatic garden). This kind of pond is made, and designed to house plants, and flora. The owner might decide to put a few small fish in to complement the ecosystem they had you create for them. This type of pond doesn't normally have much of a bioload. A bioload is created by the fish breathing, and creating waste in the water. The plants in the water usually keep the nitrates created by the fish to minimum, if not non-existant levels. Because of this, filtration is not nearly as important as it would be in a ornamental fish, or a goldfish pond. In this kind of pond, the plants and flora are the focal point. Because this kind of pond is designed to have lots of plants, it is common to design shelves into the walls of this pond (depending on the depth).

    Type 2
    Goldfish or ornamental fish pond: A goldfish or ornamental fish pond has the fish as the main focal point. This type of pond requires more in the way of filtration than a watergarden would. This kind of pond has more waste being produced by the larger number of fish. A device that increaes the amount of disolved oxygen in the water is a good idea in this kind of pond. There might be plants in this type of pond, but the percentage of plants to fish leans more towards the side of the fish. This kind of pond should have at least one skimmer under a lot of situations, and a bottom drain is a good idea too depending on the size of this kind of pond.

    Type 3
    Koi pond: A koi pond should be designed with sufficient volume to accomodate fish that can grow to lengths of 3 feet, or more (under certain circumstances and conditions). It is recommended that a koi pond should be at least 4 to 5 feet deep, and a depth of 6 to 7 feet would be better. Due to the large amounts of waste these fish produce, it is necessary to design plenty of filtration into this kind of pond. A water moving device, or devices are highly recommended for this kind of pond due to the increased demand for disolved oxygen in it's water. A koi pond should have at least 1 bottom drain, and at least 1 surface skimmer. Depending on the size, more would be better. This kind of pond normally will not have shelves built into it's walls because koi and plants normally mix like oil and water. Koi tend to destroy plants by either feeding on them, or uprooting them. If the 2 must be kept in the same pond, it is recommended that you provide some kind of barrier to keep the plants safe.

    To learn about how to build a watergarden, or an ornamental fish pond, you'd probably do best by hanging out in one of the many forums online that address these types of ponds. To learn about koi pond construction, go to this website. Go to, and read all you can. My koi pond uses tons of priciples that you'll find on there. Good luck, and if I can help you. Let me know.


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