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JDat
New Iberia, LA
Member since Nov 2011
271 posts

Landscape Pond
I have a large section of my flowerbed that I'm considering making into a small pond. I would think it would be 150-200 sq ft of surface area. Have the old school pump leaking water into it. I would def have to go with a flexible liner. Small skimmer with a pump feeding the fake pump. 2' depth with a 1' edge near the sides. Should mainly be shooting elevations and lots of manual labor.

Any experience out there? Tips?


CrawDude
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Apr 2019
1542 posts

re: Landscape Pond
Tons of information out there, here’s one LSU AgCenter pub LINK but getting advice from those who have one, that they built themselves, will be your best info. I’ll be interested in following this thread.


JDat
New Iberia, LA
Member since Nov 2011
271 posts

re: Landscape Pond
Thanks. I never think to go to LSU ag center. This is good info. I've done some research, but would like to hear from someone who's done this.

I don't want to create maintenance monster. Hoping a couple plants and correct number of fish, and a balance system can occur. But I've read most places to "clean it out" in the spring.


CrawDude
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Apr 2019
1542 posts

re: Landscape Pond
No doubt you want advice and tips from someone that’s built one and has to maintain one, and of course, if they had to do it all over, what would they change.

I have a friend that has a good size one, designed and built by his son who is a landscape architect, so it has all the landscape (greenscape and hardscape) features, that allow them to sit around it and enjoy on a daily basis. Beautiful system, I think he told me every 5+ years, the system is drained and cleaned. But my friend is also an aquatic scientist so he understands fish stocking, not over feeding fish, proper aquatic plants to use, proper use of chemicals if needed, etc.


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keakar
Member since Jan 2017
13463 posts

re: Landscape Pond
skip the water lines and pumps, go with the solar powered mini fountains for circulation https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2487261.m570.l1311.R1.TR10.TRC2.A0.H0.Xsolar+powered+fountain.TRS0&_nkw=solar+powered+fountain+pump&_sacat=0

also keep in mind this will attract every animal for a mile around as their watering hole
This post was edited on 3/24 at 1:00 pm


LSUDUKE
LSU Fan
Lafayette
Member since Oct 2007
963 posts

re: Landscape Pond
old thread on ponds

Just let me know what questions you have and I'll do my best to answer them.


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JDat
New Iberia, LA
Member since Nov 2011
271 posts

re: Landscape Pond
Appreciate the bump Duke. Guess I should have searched first.

Where it's at, it will get 3/4 of the days sun, starting in the morning. So am I asking for lots of issues dealing with algae? How do you fight it? Chemicals?

Plan on having a few fish in there. Would a complete drain and clean be necessary yearly? Maybe a draw down and water replace every so often? With the fish, do I just refill with hose?


LSUDUKE
LSU Fan
Lafayette
Member since Oct 2007
963 posts

re: Landscape Pond
I'll try to cover everything here. It's very important to get everything right the first time. My pond was the first one that I built and I'll list some of my problems.
The area where the waterfall was had so much weight on it and I didn't do anything special right there but I woke up one morning and the entire waterfall section had fallen into the pond.
It hadn't rained for a while and I was filling it with the garden hose and I forgot the hose running and the next day all of the fish were dead because of the chemicals in tap water.
One day we had extreme rain and the ph level was thrown off and it killed the only goldfish I had but the koi had survived.
I'm sure there's more but that's what I can remember right now. I'll list the items that will work well for a smaller pond with links. Whatever liner you get make sure it is EPDM rated if you want fish.

Filter
Pump
Aerator
Waterfall if you want one
Keep in mind you'll need a place to put the filter, right now I have 2 that I have hidden in the corner in my pic that I tried to hide with pickets matching my fence. Most filter come with the uv lights built in and I also bought one of the uv bars for the water to pass through and with direct sunlight on the pond these didn't help at all. If you have an area where you build a waterfall with lots of rocks around it I would built it a little bit higher than the rest of the pond and pack the dirt down really well. I also bought from Lowe's what is kind of a piece of concrete plywood to put underneath it to help stabilize it.

Now as far as algae, good luck. At first I had a few plants in mine which I heard helps but it only makes it worse. I've tried all kinds of chemicals, powders, that barley hay among other things to try to control it and nothing worked. What I have in my pond now is called beneficial algae which pretty much just covers the rocks and the sides of the pond. What I was getting is called string algae which starts growing on the rocks and the sides but it grows out in these long strings that will consume the entire pond if you don't stop them and they are a nightmare. I've heard that having a bunch of lily type pad plants really helps but I didn't want my pond to barely be visible, I wanted to see the fish. Since I built the pergola in my pic algae hasn't been an issue at all but 3/4 of a day of sunlight will ruin your pond.

I'll post a pic of my current pond and some of my older koi are now about 16-18 inches long which would cost several hundred dollars to buy but they were about 5" long when I bought them and cost about $30 each. They will also grow to a size that is related to the size of your pond so keep this in mind. If you want your fish to grow bigger then you need a bigger pond and right now I would love to make mine a little bit bigger. So I guess I'm basically saying make your pond a bit bigger than what you have in mind right now if you want to keep fish.

For maintenance most of the pumps it says you can switch a valve and backwash them but this really doesn't work that well. It depends on the time of year but during the summer about once a week I will turn everything off and then take the pads out of the filter and the waterfall and hose them off then put it back together. This only takes about 15 minutes. Another thing you can do is pump maybe 1/4 of the pond every 2 or 3 weeks then refill it with tap water. Just don't go over 1/4 or you risk hurting the fish. As far as cleaning the entire thing out it depends on your taste. Right now I could really let mine go another year and not clean it but I think I'm going to clean it. There are different methods you can do hear but one of the problems is all of the dirt and crap that has collected on the bottom of the pond. If you ever want to clean it and take the fish out make sure that you pump the pond water into a kiddie pool or something like that then pump it back in, you don't want to put the fish back in to tap water. I might have forgot a few things and I gotta go but I'll post anything I forgot later.
This post was edited on 3/26 at 6:22 pm


LSUDUKE
LSU Fan
Lafayette
Member since Oct 2007
963 posts

re: Landscape Pond
(no message)
This post was edited on 3/26 at 6:23 pm


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JDat
New Iberia, LA
Member since Nov 2011
271 posts

re: Landscape Pond
Appreciate it Duke.

Looks like the combo of too much soon and too little water will be a horrible combination. Really glad I asked these questions before I started digging!


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jrobic4
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Aug 2011
643 posts

re: Landscape Pond
I'm not against doing some things solar, but I have one of those janky arse floating solar pumps, and it won't even keep up with my sugar kettle!


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