It was all I could do to keep from hanging up on him and then he told me he would build me a liner pond for $35,000!!!!!!!!!!! I almost crapped my pants!!!!! That's when I thought I would try to reach you again through your website. I don't know if you are retired or not but I have seen your work and it sounds like you know what you are talking about. I would love to talk to you about my project. I only live a couple of hours north of you in Torrance Calif. My name is Steve Baker and my home # is (310)542-0219 and cell # is (310) 617-6119. I look forward to talking to you and thanks so much for returning my email. Steve
I have an improperly constructed concrete pond that came with the house. It is 25X13X3. With one area is 16" deep. This pond does not have bottom drain and leaks water. I have read so many pond designing websites and bought several video tapes and books. All gave me general ideas but not specific such as how the drain and skimmer pipes are sealed from leakage or how many inches the bottom drain should be protruding out of concrete pouring concrete, etc. I am a Seabee who does lot of constructions and very handy. Your articles seemed to be non-biased, honest, and worth my asking. I want to build a 17X13X4 and 7X7X4 quarantine pond.
This pond will have 14" wall above ground. 1. What materials should I obtain from you that will help me properly design and build my ponds and water falls? 2. What are the recommended building materials? 3. How much discount do I get for buying materials and supply from you. I can provide you a construction licence and resale permit if you need? Thank you for a great website. Michael
Thank you for your gracious comments... first things first. Send me afew digital pictures of the entire pond, including a few close up pics of bond beam, skimmer if any etc. Can you see any cracks? If so take close up picture. How old is the concrete? How thick? has it been surfaced with anything? Was rebar used to construct it? Are there trees near by? It might be a good idea to bust a 12 in hole in the bottom to determine the answers to some of the questions. Yes I can help you accomplish your goal a lot faster and more specifically if I have more info. We will then proceed further ok? Doug
Forget the existing pond, the sides are about a 45% angle for herons to wade in and for collecting debris. The concrete is about 3 inches thick, rough, and supported with only chicken wires. It has minor cracks, no bottom drain or skimmer. I spent many hours cleaning it and not enjoying it and therefore I already excavated about half of it. I found the concrete deteriorated and crumbled in some areas. Some other areas were built on another concrete slab. In summary my pond has just about everything your pond articles said to avoid. My back yard looks like the acropolis, rocks lying everywhere. I will send you pictures when I get home tomorrow afternoon.
I have already spent much more than $149 dollars on rather worthless books and tapes regarding liner pond construction and design. I feel that I can learn a lot from a person that built over 1900 ponds and gives honest and unbiased advice. Just let me know what I need to get from you to build a pond that you yourself would build. By the way I sent one of your article to my friend. Thanks, Michael
I am building a water feature right now and could use your help.You have to be a swimming pool contractor in Los Angeles if you are going to dig a 3 foot pond. Can't koi survive in less. I have a friend who has a pond that is 18 inches, and he has had his koi for about a year now. Raphael
Koi can survive and be healthy in 18 inches of water as long as you have a good filtration system ,also you need to have 40 to 50% plant covering on the pond such as hyacinth or lilies to help protect the fish from cranes and egrets etc. The ideal design is to build a deck totally surrounding the pond about 12 inches above the water surface. This prevents the cranes from being able to bend over and grab the fish. I highly recommend you read my articles be fore you do anything,,, 26 years of knowledge for free, could save you a lot of money in the long run! Best Regards, Doug
What is your dry mixture formula. You said before 7 bag concrete, 40% pea gravel and stealth fiber mixed in. I haven't inquired locally yet but is this formula something that is well know in the industry?" for example, If I had a truck deliver will they know what this formula is or am I going to have to mix it myself. My pond will be too large to mix by hand. I was thinking about reddi mix out of a concrete cart. I hope I am not irritating or inconveniencing you with these questions. I know how to lay concrete its the formula I am concerned about. I am in the Plains or Zone 5 in the gardening term. Thanks Dan
The most common mix is the standard mix for driveways, sidewalks, patios etc... which is 2500psi... its referred to as a 5 sack mix. I recommend a 7 sack mix with stealth fiber for pons up to 4000-5000 gallons. Anything over that I would recommend using shotcrete which is pumped under high pressure and is 5000 to 7000psi. The concrete I'm talking about is delivered in redimix trucks and is pumped through a 4 inch hose to the back yard. I highly recommend you read all my articles prior to commencing your project. It could end up saving you hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
My construction manual covers everything you would ever need to know in regards to professional pond co A small example Dan would be if you did not know you needed to order your concrete with a two inch slump and it was delivered as usual, sloppy as if it were going to be used in a driveway pour or sidewalk. You would end up with the whole bottom of your pond with sloppy concrete , unable to stack or trowel it! Before you start please study! It could end up saving you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in mistakes. A water garden should bring you more pleasure than anything you ever spent your money on, not your worst nightmare. God speed and blessings, Doug
Thank you very much. I want to order your whole package as you advertise. My pond is a shotcrete project. I will send you pictures of before and after. I have estimated it to be about 17-20,000 gal. I have decided to purchade you training course and want to thank you for all your help. Thanks Dan
Great site. Lots of great information I can't get locally. I have a question. I have a 350 Gal preformed pond, I want to buuilding a 14"-17" wide waterfalls, have it go down a stream and dump back into the pond which is about 22' away. A local place advised me to use a 2400 GPM pump for the 14" waterfall (preformed filter and waterfall kit) or 3600 GPM pump for the 17". Something that just hit me was when I start pumping water out of the pond, for a short while, a lot of water will be leaving the pond before it starts arriving again to recirculate. How much will it be down? I know I can add water but when I shut it down for the day or so, I'll have more water then the pond can hold. Is this the proper way to handle this? Which pump would you recommend and any further ideas to make this work. Thank You very much for your help. Gary
I'm sure you ment gph not gpm. You are exactly right, 350 gal pond is not enough water to handle a 22 ft stream 17 inches wide unless you leave it running. However, every time you do shut off the waterfall or stream it will overflow unless you keep the pond level low enopugh so that it will handle the water returning from the stream when it is turned off. In that case you will need an AquaFill to maintain the proper pond level. Doug
I find your articles super helpful. Once question about the Mortar mix you've come up with. There are many different types of Thinset, can you use the Full Flex Thinset - Latex modified as carried by McLendon's hardware ? We're about to build a liner pond, and would like to set the rocks in Mortar to make it more kid safe. Also, does it make sense to apply a thin layer of mortar across the bottom too to make it more consistant (avoiding the wrinkled liner) ? Thanks in advance, Hans Loland
Full Flex Thinset - Latex modified is fine with s-Type mortar... you will down the road wish you never built your pond out of a liner... The pond liner track record speaks for itself: 1. More than 37% of all waterfalls have serious structural damage within three years of construction. 2. 57% of homeowners say they are rather unsatisfied with the way their waterfall came out after the project was completed. 3. One in three waterfalls and ponds are leaking water within nine months of completion. 4. 63% of “do-it-yourselfers” say they wished they had the proper information from the “get go” or that they had hired someone. Best Regards, Doug
Reading your great article on building goldfish ponds. Just wanted to patch mine. The main pond doesn't leak but the waterfall part does (a bit) wanted to use the thinset mix but can't figure out what you mean in the article..45# thinset? S-Type mortar mix? can you give me some brand names. I guess I just mix all together and pour over the existing. The fish only need be out for 4 days/? Thanks in advance for your reply, Greg
The expression patch always scares me! Patch usually means just that, patch! You need a shell under a waterfall, concrete or liner. If it is leaking thinset isn't going to help. One drip of water per second from a pin hole produces 5 gallons in 25 hours. That water is leaking under the falls and softening the ground causing the waterfall to settle even more, creating more cracking. Rocks and cement or mortar and thinset is not waterproof. I recommend you get my construction manual and do it right! If you don't, you will never enjoy your water garden properly and will spend hour of your time and energy patching leaks and paying water bills. The manual in the book stores is $250, however on the website it's only $49 on CDrom. Best of luck to you. At least read my articles, they are free. Best Regards, Doug