Journal Gold fish pond and summer house

Franks

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26 Aug 2015
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210
Having waited 4 weeks for a pressure treated Summer house to be supplied (as they only had non-treated in stock) from Gardenbuildingsdirect, they’ve made a manufacturing error. The floor and roof is made up of 4 pieces and they’ve managed to make half of the floor and half of the roof in different sized T&G timbers 4.5 and 5.5 inch!

They are saying that this is structurally fine so see no problem with it! Would you lay kitchen floor tiles of two different sizes? I think not...


Eurgh!
 

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Franks

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Well I spent two days contemplating the floor and with the persuasion of my good wife - just got on with it. I will put a floor covering down. I’m thinking a nice grey laminate floor or even tiling it or similar?

The structure is in. Just have decoration to finish. Another coat of cream treatment, pelmets, glazing and doors to fit.
 

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Franks

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210
Yep. Decided against laminate for that very reason. I ended up painting it a slate colour and used marine varnish to finish and make it ‘mopable’. The best part of all this crap weather recently is that it’s allowed me to ensure it’s water tight - it is now. Very much so.

I went round it with sealant at all seams before adding the cloaking strips. I also found a few gaps in the T&G which I’ve sealed. On the interior I’ve used expanding foam and then shaved back so it’s seamless. No insects at all through any gaps was the order of the day here!

I’ve painted it all up now, added some furniture, electrics, created a French drain on the front to prevent up-splash from the rain. I’m also sowing the grass seed back in where I’ve damaged the lawn working in between the last months rain!

Now I’m in a predicament regarding the pond and would appreciate some advice.

I’m straying away from adding a rocked aquascape pond as I think it won’t look natural up against the fence. I quite fancy a raised pond?

I’ve already got a Hozelock easyclear 600 all in one pump/uv etc so this with a bell fountain would be great initially while growing in some plants before thinking about fish stock.

I’ve swayed between the Norlog 175 and 300 gallon setups and even the 275 gallon Koi pool which requires a sump digging out. I plan on mulching or stoning around this area (same stone as French drain on summer house).
I can get the 300 gallon Norlog for £320.

https://www.norloguk.com/pools

OR I’ve found this - which is only 700 litres but has side windows? I could literally sit in the summer house looking directly into the side of the pond. Stocked with plants, White Cloud Mountain minnow and Shubumkins?

I’d probably go for the green hexagonal model without pump but it’s still £600!
https://www.gardenaquarium.co.uk/gallery

Because of its smaller size, I could then build a small nature pond next to it and have the plants from that grow and almost integrate into the Garden Aquarium in some way? This would add more presence as 700 litres isn’t much. I have loads of EPDM liner and gold/brown/copper sandstone.

In either instance, I’ll be lighting the ponds internally and perhaps externally around plants too.

What do you guys think?

(I’ll update with most recent pics tonight :)
 

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martin-green

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8 Aug 2011
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221
The DIY pools look "ok" but I seem to remember some years back reading that they are not as good as they make out. One thing to point out, they all say they come with a pump (No problem with that) but they have no filtration and no way of adding one and still looking nice. Yes you can try the "natural" route but if you do that you cant have a pump as most plants dont like moving water.
Also, one thing that really bothers me is the gaps between each "layer" yes they are small but over time the liner will expand and fill the gaps, this creates ridges on the inside of the pond where all the dirt acumilates and you can't get it out. (Not unless you want to take it apart and scrub it)

I would suggest you build your own, but plan it first, so that way you get what you need, not what you are "given" and try and make it fit.
 

Franks

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26 Aug 2015
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210
I’m inclined to agree. I’m now going full circle with my thinking and going back on my thoughts since I decided to mock up a section of the pond edging I could create with a vision I have in my head.

I’ve attached some photos of the summer house finished and the view it could give.

The pond shape I’ve outlined is 8.5ft x 6.5ft and is likely have thick shelves of at least a 12-18in with a final depth of 2.5ft with a fish cave incorporated.

I’d also use the 20mm pea gravel stone intermixed on the shelves and as a substrate in the very bottom layer of the pond.

The stone is beautiful - really nice copper, brown and greys in there.

Thoughts on this over a raised pond?
 

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zozo

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Following this with interest.. :) I'm also planning to dig me a small pond next year or so.. Also had thoughts about a raised pond with infinity window. But to make that realy solid, long lasting and fool proof it definitively needs to be a la @frederick thompson style, concrete, bricks and polyester coating. Any other way with wood and liners etc, i think it wont be a long term success.

Concrete etc. ever lasting if done correctly but a major and rather expensive undertaking. And my personal draw back it's hard to make it look realy natural. At least in the small size i have available it might just look to bulky. Thus i think for now i go with diggin an hole and use epdm liner. I still have a year to brainstorm and gather ideas and inspirations.

What actualy pulls me over the line(r) to go diggin is the simplicity in building a very (cost) effective filter system for it. i'm definitively will give this principle a go.

Only thing is it needs to be sized down to fit, since i'm not planning to build a dip pool. But regarding the technical aspects, its the most effective and cheapest filtersystem we could make. It runs solely on a simple air pump. Can't have a beter relative maintenance free filter system build in the pond itself.

What i find also very inspirational are the video's from PondGuru.
The way he hides the liner with the use of edging stones and at the same time creates a wildlife invironment under these stones for amphibians etc the hide under it. :)
The end result is very natural and aids the development of a healthy biological invironment

Another pro in that air driven under gravel filter system, is microbiological organisme such as the crustaceans in the water column are not sucked in and shred to pieces by an impeller. :)
 
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martin-green

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8 Aug 2011
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221
I like the look of pea shingle at the bottom of a pond, but in practical terms for a pond its a waste of time.

The reason is not that it doesn't work, its the fact that as and when, you have to empty the whole pond and clean it all, its not so bad with a fish tank as you dont really have that much (gravel,usually) but in a pond with pea shingle it must be a 4 - 6 inches deep and if your pond is 8 x 10 feet that is very roughly 5 tonnes of gravel that you will have to dig out (Careful not to puncture the liner) clean and put back, that is why pond owners don't do it, they either have an uncovered base or they install a bottom drain during constrcution.
 

zozo

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Well it's something to take into consideration regarding the ponds volume.. And there are always alternatives to get around future issues. :)
Than pea gravel or what over substitute is used can also be put into managable sized net bags, not hindering its function.. If it ever needs to be taken out you wont need to dig out the majority.

That's the same thing as in a filter.. Nobody says you need to throw the biomedia in unbaged or else?? Than why throw it unbagged into a pond?
 

Franks

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26 Aug 2015
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210
I get the points made but I’m dubious of some of the information. The guy from Anypond builds nearly all of his ponds using a rock and gravel technique and the guys at Aquascape in the U.S put in huge ponds in the same way.

I’d also not be putting in 5-6inches of gravel substrate - it’d be about an inch. Effectively, there won’t be any liner on show whatsoever.

I don’t get the mentality or aesthetics of a pond which then has loads of pipe work going in/out and three or four massive blue barrels providing filtration. It’s pretty ugly and looks more like science experiment over a natural looking pond.

When it comes to cleaning the substrate, i’d go about it in a similar way as I would a fish tank. Perhaps using a vacuum to sift the substrate stone once a month or so? Probably take around 15 mins.

I’d be running U.V and a pump which would assist with water clarity and all the rock/stone and plants should provide adequate filtration.

Like this:
 

martin-green

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221
I like the idea of bagged media:thumbup:
What I can not help but wonder is how many bags will it need, and what will they look like when in the pond?
Assuming there is 5 tonne of gravel, you want to easily lift each bag, so if we said 10Kg / bag that is 10 bags / tonne, 5 tonnes = 50 bags. :stop: (Just had a quick google, sacks for ponds over £5 each :eek:) got to be fish safe.

I can understand them being used inside a filter, out of sight, no problem, but in an open pond? I could not find any pictures of gravel in multiple bags in open ponds:nailbiting:

As I said, I understand the idea, but if it is a good / well used idea why is it not spoken of more often? (I also know about the "pond spider" filter system, but again, its hardly mentioned.)
 
Joined
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hull
Following this with interest.. :) I'm also planning to dig me a small pond next year or so.. Also had thoughts about a raised pond with infinity window. But to make that realy solid, long lasting and fool proof it definitively needs to be a la @frederick thompson style, concrete, bricks and polyester coating. Any other way with wood and liners etc, i think it wont be a long term success.

Concrete etc. ever lasting if done correctly but a major and rather expensive undertaking. And my personal draw back it's hard to make it look realy natural. At least in the small size i have available it might just look to bulky. Thus i think for now i go with diggin an hole and use epdm liner. I still have a year to brainstorm and gather ideas and inspirations.

What actualy pulls me over the line(r) to go diggin is the simplicity in building a very (cost) effective filter system for it. i'm definitively will give this principle a go.

Only thing is it needs to be sized down to fit, since i'm not planning to build a dip pool. But regarding the technical aspects, its the most effective and cheapest filtersystem we could make. It runs solely on a simple air pump. Can't have a beter relative maintenance free filter system build in the pond itself.

What i find also very inspirational are the video's from PondGuru.
The way he hides the liner with the use of edging stones and at the same time creates a wildlife invironment under these stones for amphibians etc the hide under it. :)
The end result is very natural and aids the development of a healthy biological invironment

Another pro in that air driven under gravel filter system, is microbiological organisme such as the crustaceans in the water column are not sucked in and shred to pieces by an impeller. :)
Zozo. A lot of ponds that have been up for years are railway sleeper type ponds.
You can buy sleepers without tar as new.
My mate has had his pond for about 12 years now. With windows. 4 feet deep.
And a retro bottom drain to a drum and
Jap matting and a bit of other stuff after drum for his bio. With box weld liner. A lot of people have gone that way. As it's one of the cheapest methods after an inground
Pond .
Filters can easily be made out of blue barrels with k1 plastic air for moving bed and boiling to clean to waste.
Admittedly they don t look good on the eye.

That's why myself I had a filter house built.
My grow on tank has home made filters
With grog rock. And jap mat.

If it was not for my grand kids me personally would have stayed with an inground pond. Main reason better for keeping the fish warmer.
And I would never use an inpond pump ever again. Mash to much crap up. To much fines. Which means more and more pond maintenance. When I was younger I did not mind that. But now a lot older
I bought gear that all cleans its self. Plus koi when over 30cm are poo machines.

on the gravel on the bottom. For koi for me it is a no no. Bio time bomb. For illness
That's why I took it all out my top pond.
But if I had just wild fish like tench mirror carp and fish like that. There a hell of a lot more hardy. What I myself call wild fish.
I would have it.
In all the years I have had fish. The only one s that get ill are my koi.
Parasite wise. I never have a problem with tench orfs goldfish grass carp. Mirror carp
Once I thought about getting rid of koi.
But I love the koi breed to much . I love the colours to much and the fish its self

In my last pond I did not have a bottom drain
Since having one. For fish keeping. It's the best think been invented for a fish pond.
Fred





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martin-green

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8 Aug 2011
Messages
221
Bottom drains are good, but I would say not needed in this instance.
A bottom drain needs somewhere to go to, often a vortex chamber, then from here to the filters, if you have a heavily stocked pond, or if you have Koi (They produce a lot of poop) then yes have a bottom drain and vortex chamber, but if its just for a few fish and plants, I would say its a bit OTT (Not to mention the cost)
 

Franks

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26 Aug 2015
Messages
210
I’m inclined to agree on the bottom drain, I’m after something quite natural looking if I go ahead with an in the ground pond. Failing that, an above ground pond with some nice planters etc.

That 300 gallon Norlog pond is just shy of 2 feet tall. Would that present a problem in Winter for gold fish I.e too cold?
 

zozo

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I like the idea of bagged media:thumbup:
What I can not help but wonder is how many bags will it need, and what will they look like when in the pond?
Assuming there is 5 tonne of gravel, you want to easily lift each bag, so if we said 10Kg / bag that is 10 bags / tonne, 5 tonnes = 50 bags. :stop: (Just had a quick google, sacks for ponds over £5 each :eek:) got to be fish safe.

I can understand them being used inside a filter, out of sight, no problem, but in an open pond? I could not find any pictures of gravel in multiple bags in open ponds:nailbiting:

As I said, I understand the idea, but if it is a good / well used idea why is it not spoken of more often? (I also know about the "pond spider" filter system, but again, its hardly mentioned.)

Indeed with 5 ton gravel you are talking about quite a massive pond, i guess at least a 10 to 15 m³ total if not larger.. And i have to honnest, i have zip experience with building and or maintaining anything this size. I'm planning a maybe 3 to 4 m³ small pond in my backyard.. That is managable, even with an under gravel filter setup.. yet no idea how much gravel it would require, maybe 1 m³. Putting that in bags with a 10 cm lose gravel capping is doable. And not such a big deal. If necessary it's a day work diggin it out and filling it up again if it ever needs a cleaning. I gues before that time arrives it might even be ready for a total redesign anyway.

Laking personal experience i can only quote this comedian when it comes to large sized organic pools running on under gravel filter principle.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3IeH8JL4fJFCLfd4Qj7q4A
And it seems to work a treat.. As everything artificialy constructed and maintained it likely will have pro's and cons as well. You named, if it ever needs a cleaning, your busted digging out the gravel.. Number 1..

When ever that will be i have absolutely no clue.
 

dean

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6 Apr 2012
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Location
Warrington, Cheshire
A raised pond gets colder than s sunken one
So a 24” deep pond above ground will be to cold for fish in winter
Even goldfish need 36”

Unless you remove the fish during the winter months

A bottom drain is not overkill
Yes it has to go somewhere
They are not expensive use 2” on small ponds
Take it to a butyl lined filter bed (2 compartments) connect a pump and pump water down to a grid of pipes drilled so the water comes up through the filter media then falls back into the pond

You can plant the filter bed
You can even use it to grow veg (hydroponics style)
All depends on if the water is above or below the surface level of the media

Use the expanded clay media = lightweight good surface area and allows a good flow
Easy to maintain
Pump is easy to access
Can isolate filter bed
Very simple to do



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