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New Project - HELP!

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by Brian_Jess_00, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. Brian_Jess_00

    Brian_Jess_00 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I'm planning on installing a pond this coming spring and haven't had a whole lot of experience to date.

    Is there anything I can / should be doing now to prepare? I figure I still have a few months before the real work starts....


  2. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Yeah... PLAN
    Is it for you or a customer
    Think bottom drains and skimmers
    Think settlement chambers and external pumps
    Where does the electric come from. Do you know a licensed electrician. do you need a permit.
    Is it a waterfeature, lily pond or for nice fish
    Do you want to sit on it or have ot down low
    what about the patio around it, lighting, drainage

    Well there is a place to start
  3. Brian_Jess_00

    Brian_Jess_00 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Thanks for the replies guys.
    The pond is just for me, not for a customer. I was also wondering about total price for the project minus maintenance into the future. I'm picturing a pond roughly 20 ft x 12 ft. Any ballpark I can expect?
  4. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    It actually brings up an excellent question. It seems very simple but is a question that everyone building a pond for themselves or someone else needs to answer before beginning anything.

    What do you want to do with it?

    Waterfeature? If so, you probably do not need a bottom drain, I would put a skimmer in and you can probably get away with a submersible pump and you do not care if it freezes solid in the winter.

    shallow lily pond with a couple cute (i don't care if they live or die) fishies? probably the same answer as above

    Nice liliy pond, with nice fish (that I want to live more than one season) that is low maintenance? yes to a bottom drain going to a settlement chamber that then feeds your external pump, the depth should be no less than 3 to 4 feet and a skimmer that is pulled to the same pump.

    Nice koi pond: all bets are off on this one, these are typically sized in 4000 gallon increments and are meant to be extremely maintenance free with high turn over rates, at least the entire pond in one hour
  5. LTL

    LTL LawnSite Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 98

    You can still have a nice pond with beautiful plants and nice big koi or goldies without having a bottom drain or an external pump. Definitely have a skimmer. Contact your local pond retailer about cost for materials and the right size pump. It is recommended to have the water recycle at least once every hour to reduce maintenance. To find out rock estimates, length times width divided by 40 equals tons of stone. This equation is for a pond around 2 feet deep, which is deep enough for fish. Use a 1:2:1 ratio of big:medium:small stone. I'm sure I will get opposing responses to this, but I have seen many many ponds built this way and function properly with very little maintenance.
  6. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    LTL, we will have to agree to disagree on bottom drains and leave it at that. The ease of maintenance with one outweighs everything else.
    If a lilly pot tips over in the pond how do you clean it up, with all of the leaves and seeds in the fall how do you get them out? It is just too easy to install not to have one. I would rather have a customer pull a valve and watch all of the "stuff" go out of the bottom of the settlement chamber in about 3 seconds than have to clean the pond with a net nonstop


    We will also have to agree to disagree about putting rocks inside the pond, it is a long term mainteenace nightmare.

    I am not stuck in my ways, I have built several rock with no bottom drain ponds. I just know better from experience and do not install them anymore. If the customer wants one I say NO THANKS

    But it does bring me back to the question, what do you want to do with the pond?

    I like easy

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