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  1. #1

    New pond build - First pond!

    Iíve been reading a lot of these threads for a while and I have been looking forward to starting my pond build since I moved into the house nearly 5 years ago. For most of the time Iíve been here Iíve been working on the house itself, which was a bit of a tumbledown wreck when I moved in and is now about done, after a big extension and a load of extra workÖ..

    Having turned my attention to the garden, I started with building some raised beds out of reclaimed azobe sleepers (which are chuffing heavy!) to take some of the soil from the pond hole and to divide the garden.

    The hole you can see in the front of the picture is a soak away for a drain in my pump room (which will be a partitioned part of the shed) for easy dumping of water when needed and for aco drains which will aid in draining the patio.

    With that done, I moved onto MOT for the patio bed as once the pond hole was dug, it would need a barrow for 10t of itÖ..and the dumper was easier!

    More pics in next postÖ.

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    Last edited by Shropshire_Tom; 21-05-2023 at 06:29 AM.

  2. #2

    The soak away was filled with gravel in sturdy supermarket veg plastic crates (great deal from Solent Plasticís eBay shop!) and will have the membrane folded over the top and zip tied to the pipes coming in.

    Jumping around in terms of order, but before the beds were filled, I ran all of the wiring for the outside lights so the beds could be planted. I have down lighters for the patio area and spike lights to illuminate the tree ferns from underneath.

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  4. #3

    The pond hole was then dug. I was aiming for 4.5m x 3m roughly with an ideal depth of 1.3m ish. It isnít far off at 3.9m x 2.7m and around 1350mm depth. I hadnít set myself strict size limits as I wanted to eyeball it so the size was proportional with the beds and what will be the patio area.

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  5. #4

    Next I raked the bottom roughly level and started the laborious process of getting the MOT in. The machine had gone off hire by now so it was all by hand. I hate shovelling MOT!! New pond build - First pond!

    With the MOT in, I was playing around with BD placement.

    I have a bunch of concrete sections that supported an old and throughly rotten greenhouse so thatís now gone and the concrete is for rebar stand-off.

    I concreted in the bottom drains yesterday in roughly the position of the last picture. They are piped to roughly final height now and today I want to get some concrete around the swept bends to stop them moving when the base is poured on Tuesday.

    Later in the week, the builder is starting the block work. Iíve got to get on the phone on Monday and order the windowÖ..but Iím excited to see it start coming above ground in the next week!

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  7. #5

    New pond build - First pond!

    In terms of filtration, I have a 600mm x 1000mm 4 tier shower from the same guys that did the bottom drains. This will be fed from a built in skimmer (also from the same place), via a settlement drum, for which Iíve got a tasty flowfriend pump which will return directly to the pond after the shower and will live inside the shed pump room. The JB Plastic skimmer has a healthy opening on it so I hope it can support the flow from the flowfriend at full chat during the summer, if not, some modification to increase flow might be required! I plan to run the pump very slowly in the winter.

    The BDís will feed a RDF (undecided on brand - the Burtons drums are currently pretty high on my list) to a stage 2 bio. The stage 2 bio is currently being considered. Iíd like anoxic as Iíve had good results from it in my fish tank, but Iím debating a fluidised K-type filter bed because Iím not sure Iíve got enough room for all the baskets Iíd want for an anoxic. Will let you know when I do the plans for the pump house, but if thereís room for anoxic that is likely where I will go.

    From there thereís two outputs - 3 x 4Ē feeds to 3 airlifts (which I havenít built yet but have the pipe forÖ) which will return to the pond at about water level, give or takeÖif my levels are right.

    A single 4Ē feed will then go to a sleeper pond Iíve built which is roughly 1.2m cube. This pond is for water lilies, assorted plants and will probably have a few goldfish in it to keep the mozzies down. The plants will go into biocenosis baskets, no soil. Weighted down with large stones to keep the goldfish at bay!!

    The 4Ē BD which is already in that pond will then go to another settlement barrel before being pumped by a 30k litre vario pump through a Lacron pool filter which will be repurposed with K-series media to a water blade returning on the same end as the airlifts (opposite end to the BDís in an earlier post). There will also be a return below water level where the blade can be isolated in the winter to prevent chilling.

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    Last edited by Shropshire_Tom; 21-05-2023 at 07:13 AM.

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  9. #6

    New pond build - First pond!

    All of the pipe work is in pressure. The BDís are all 4Ē and the skimmer is a 3Ē. I have the pressure pipe for the airlifts too. I have already run a 110mm soil pipe (above ground) so I can have a T from the BD drains as soon as they come up out of the ground so I can purge them.

    Iíve been arguing with myself over boxweld liner vs fibreglass since the fist thought I had. The thought of that much fibreglass gives me a headache and Iíve never been convinced about glassing into BDís - please donít jump on that, I know a lot of folks do it and have no issues and Iím happy about that, but it isnít for me. So a bloody big box weld is probably where Iíll go. Incidentally, I understand about the water pressure working in your favour for glass in BDís (very well actually, Iím a mechanical engineer by trade).

    Donít know what else I can tell you at the momentÖ..Iím excited and looking forward to seeing some fish in it! In terms of fish, the main pond will be koi with a couple of Stellate Sturgeon.

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  11. #7

    Got the bottom drains concreted in on Saturday ready for the concrete pour tomorrow. The rebar turned up at last so will be the builders first job in the morning.

    I managed to use up the last of my concrete building up and over the swept bends where they turn vertically, so Iím hoping between that, filling them with water and stacking a few bricks on top the bottom drains wonít float away or move as they are bang on level and at at the same height.

    For the civil engineers amongst us, I ran out of rebar lengths so to tie the pads for the bottom drains to the main pad I used what I had on handÖ.which was threaded bar and square washers New pond build - First pond! should do a good enough job of holding it all together. Probably would have been fine anyway. But I canít help but mess and reinvent the wheel.

    Thereís 4 cube of concrete being pumped in tomorrow and will give about 315mm depth. Thereís also 600 dense blocks and 3t sand arriving in the afternoon and 20 bags of cement. The blocks are going broadside all the way up. I plan on pouring concrete between the outside wall and the edge of the hole when I pour the pads for my workshop and shed/pump room. That will give it a ring of concrete right down to the full depth. If thereís a nuclear apocalypse, Iím draining the pond and putting a roof on it, I think itís one of the strongest structures around!

    The (admittedly mechanical) engineer in me canít help but think this is all massive overkill for a garden pond. On the other hand, better to do it right once than badly twice. And if I spend years nurturing tadpole koi to giants, Iíd be gutted if the pond failed.

    Iíll get some pictures of the pour if I can tomorrow and post.

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  13. #8
    Update on the window situation. Iíd talked myself into a framed window, but the lead time is 5 weeks and Iím not sure I want to wait. I had thought the place I use might build them to order, but I hadnít anticipated 5 weeks! Iím currently toying with the idea of a frameless infinity window set into the block work, which is significantly cheaper. Iím thinking 2m x 0.6m x 31.5mm heat soaked toughened jobby. Cotswold Koi has them advertised straight from the manufacturer. Iíve read on here about people eating Tuff-X too, so Iíll give them a call tomorrow. Have to bribe my cousin to come and give me a lift with it as it will be bloody heavy!

    Iíll sound the builder out tomorrow about cutting the internal reveal for me when he does the blocks so itís easier. Iíll let you know the progressÖ.

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  15. #9
    Morning of the concrete pour and my fish tank filter just started making a god awful noise and stopped pumping. Going to have to look at that now before the bacteria all start to curl their toes! When it rains it poursÖ.

    Got to tape the BDís up and fill with water then fit the rebar then should be good for a pour at 12:00hrs.

    I went with 3 BDís for overkill but Iíve read a lot of people on here saying they wished theyíd done more, so hope it isnít going to cause me any piping problems later on!

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  16. #10

    Rebar is in and ready for the pour later on today. We had a long chat about rebar over the BD pipes bs no rebar. In the end we decided to rebar it because itís such a thin layer of concrete. We plan to get as much as we can over the top and with it being well packed underneath (when we pour) and filled with water we are hoping it will be strong enough. In hindsight, maybe I should have depot a 90 on the 4Ē coming out of the BD and dropped it 300mm. That would have necessitated a normal 90 though as two swept would have made it really deep. All the 90 are swept for the BDís as I donít want to restrict flow.

    Iíve seen a lot of others BD set up like these though, so Iím hoping it wonít be an issue. With it being a box weld too it doesnít have the sensitivity to movement that fibreglass would have. Fingers crossed!!!!

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  17. #11

    Blocks, sand and cement (1st load) are here and ready to be carted around the back. Second load is due this afternoon after the concrete pour, so Iím thinking they can stay on the drive until tomorrow as everyone will be plenty sore by then.

    Will post some pouting pictures later. If anyone is reading these, wish me luck!!

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  19. #12

    Well thatís nearly 4 cube of concrete in. Nerve wracking process! The lads are floating it now, Iíll post some more pictures when it is floated the BDís stayed put (though got buried for a while, glad I had them gaffa taped up). Relatively little drama all told. Hope the rest of the build goes that way!

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  21. #13

    Well itís all done, floated and starting to cure. There was maybe 8mm too much depth so the BDís had to be trowelled around but there will be enough give in the liner for that. Iím praying the 1Ē air pipes are ok. The lads didnít know where they were treading when they were sorting it out so Iím hoping at least 2 of the air feeds have survivedÖ..

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  23. #14

    The guys have certainly got the sunshine for the block laying. They are hoping to get a few layers down today but donít want to go too high as the concrete has barely been down 24 hours now. The lion share of the blocks will go down tomorrow and finish the blocks on Friday.

    Decided to go with a frameless window so will get on the phone today to see about getting that sorted. Will keep you posted New pond build - First pond!

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  25. #15
    Senior Member Rank = Jussai g mac's Avatar
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    May 2020
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    looking good Tom
    7500 litres
    Filtreau combi with uv.
    Some koi

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  27. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by g mac View Post
    looking good Tom
    Thanks! The lads are fair flying along.

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  28. #17

    Theyíve flown today. The finished level is about 12Ē down from the piece of wood you can see in the second pic. They would have done another 4 courses today if the concrete had had longer to cure but they knocked it on the head where you see it now and tidied up and will move on tomorrow.

    Should start to get an idea of the overall look tomorrow as the window hole will take shape and the returns will start to be bedded in when they get towards the top. With them being airlift returns, they are at roughly water level, give or take.

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  30. #18
    Senior Member Rank = Adult Champion Twhitenosugar's Avatar
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    Apr 2020
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    Looking good!

    Great progress and it looks like you have really done your home work on getting it right first time around.

    Good to see another air lift convert. They really are an efficient way to pump water in a gravity set up.

    Sent from my Pixel 4a (5G) using Tapatalk
    13,000L fibreglassed raised pond with window

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  32. #19
    Junior Member Rank = Fry A.B Koi's Avatar
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    May 2023
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    Looking like a quality job this. Looking forward to seeing the finished article


    YouTube Channel -

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  34. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Twhitenosugar View Post
    Looking good!

    Great progress and it looks like you have really done your home work on getting it right first time around.

    Good to see another air lift convert. They really are an efficient way to pump water in a gravity set up.

    Sent from my Pixel 4a (5G) using Tapatalk

    Regarding the airlift, I was looking at pump power consumption and even with my solar panels, couldnít justify the cost in summer. If I was lucky with the solar panels and got high quality pumps - which I would have done - it would have broken even at best with the summer, which makes the pond a heavy investment as it would also really include the solarÖ..

    So airlifts it was. Thereís some truly shocking flow rate calculations out there on the net, so Iím really unsure what the final flow will be. Some of the calculations I saw had no compensator for pope diameter or bubble size, which will be two of the biggest factors (after lift height) that determine flow rate. So, suck it and see I think! Should be plenty.

    With the flowfriend on the skimmer and the cheaply Chinese varioís on the lily pond moving it all around, there should be plenty of movement and turnover.

    If anyone does have a set of those expensive flow meters that sit on the pipe and wants to pop over when done and tell me what flow I achieved theyíd be more than welcome. Failing that, Iíll see about getting a cheap water velocity meter and calculate the approximate throughput.

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