Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Building a Fish Pond and Waterfall - Part 3

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Part 3

Continued from Part 2
Join me, as I put the finishing touches on the pond
and get to fill it and turn it on.

Step 14
Covering the PVC lining with round river rock.

This was the fun part. I took 3-4 days to carry wheel barrows of the round river rock to the pond and piece by piece lay it in a way that conformed to the way the water would flow, as well as weigh down and also cover the liner appropriately. I even got a little Mermaid statue to put at the waters edge.. :)

(Click images to enlarge)

Step 15
Trying to blend the liner with spray paint.

I didn't want the black liner to show through the rocks, so I had 2 options. Either I'd have to spray it with waterfall filler foam (And I would need a lot!), or I could prime it and then spray paint it with pvc/plastic paint. The thing about the PVC liner is that after some time, even if it is showing through, it gets dusty and gray and sort of looks like a rock surface anyway. But I thought, hey, why not spray paint the external part anyways, to make it look more natural from the get-go. Here are pictures of the liner sprayed with plastic/pvc primer (white), then sprayed with light and dark brown textured paint.

(Click images to enlarge)

Step 16
Finishing off the liner covering.

After spraying, I used the remaining river rock to cover up all the little black bits that showed.

(Click images to enlarge)

Step 17

The Pond Lighting.

I bought elements of the Pond lighting kit from Home Depot.
A 100Watt Transformer, 3 Submersible lights with 20W bulbs and a 20foot waterproof cable for each. Also bought a timer, so the lights only come on in the evening between a certain time and shut off by night. The Transformer already had a timer built in, but I needed the extra timer, so I could run a secondary submersible pump to keep the water current going.

(Click image to enlarge)

Once I finished the setup and connections for the lights in my garage, I carried the assembly and put it in the pond, using river rock to anchor and hide the lights and the cables, as much as possible. Don't forget that once the pond is filled, the inner surface of the pond will get a light carpet of green water algae, so the black cable will not be seen.

(Click images to enlarge)

Step 18
The Intake Screen installation.

I bought intake screens and topped them off with a valve assembly to prevent backflow. Glued it all together with PVC cement and teflon tape.. :)

(Click images to enlarge)

Attached the Dual Intakes at different heights at the ends of the intake pipes laid through the concrete base. Arright, nearly done biatches !!

(Click images to enlarge)

Step 19
Making a table top, so the fish can hide underneath.
And lets not forget the water plants !!

Both in the Hot summer and cold winters, the fish would need a place to hide. Plus there's the problem of predators like Cranes and other fish eating birds!
So I laid out flagstones over three curved concrete arches and bought some water plants, including 2 pots of waterlillies !! Hope that's enough... time to fillerup !!!

(Click images to enlarge)

Step 20
Filling up the Pond !!
... and turning on the lights :-)

I have waited for this moment for 8 months !!! Ever since I first thought up the Pond idea. Now I finally get to fill it ! I rented a Water meter from the local Water garden center (Same place I got the water plants and where I will buy the fish from.. ) The water meter will measure how many gallons I've pumped into the pond, so I can thereby calculate how much treatment/gallon etc, I may need in the future.

(Click images to enlarge)

Here are pictures of the filling, with the lights on even ! It took all of 6 hours to fill the pond and It was so very beautiful, I nearly cried ! (Yes, I get like that)
The wife was really excited with all the progress. Thats her sitting on the viewing bench. (We bought the bench from Half Moon Bay, really nice strudy one, made of concrete., with lions as the legs.

(Click images to enlarge)

Step 21

The Barley and Beneficial bacteria treatment.

Now a fish pond is the polar opposite of a swimming pool. In a swimming pool, one needs to destroy algae and bacteria and keep the water sparkling clear, so people can swim in it. Chemicals like Chlorine and strong algaecide are used.. In a fish pond however, one needs to keep the water clear, while at the same time not make it toxic to the fish and the plant life. This involves keeping the pH value of the water constant and at a state where beneficial bacteria thrive and green algae grow, but not cloud the water. The water needs to remain clean and clear. Thats why I have the filter and the UV Clarifier built in. This runs non-stop 24/7. I also gave the water the barley treatment. Decomposing Barley in the water causes the string algae to sink to the bottom and get sucked in by the filter/pump. also it keeps the water clear. The beneficial bacteria are cultured in the waterfall weir, to keep the balance in this mini-ecosystem.

I got a lot of this stuff from 123ponds.com. They are really good and deliver on time and nicely packed. I'd recommend them. Plus their website is well laid out.

Step 22
Turning the Pump / Filter / Waterfall ON !

POWER ON !!!! haha
Aaah the soothing sound of flowing water and a trickling stream.. Wonderful !

(Click images to enlarge)

Step 23
One week later. Living breathing pond.

The Waterlilies have reached the surface from their pots, the natural algae are setting in.. The pond is beginning to come to life... All that's remaining are the fish !! Need the pond to be biologically ready before I put the fish in..

Step 23
The Fish are here !!.

Bought them small, because they are cheaper that way, and they get to acclimatize when they're smaller and grow large in their pond. I didn't get Koi Carps, since I've been advised that they are very delicate and prone to many illnesses and are harder to maintain than Goldfish and other small carp breeds, So I got goldfish, Not the flower tailed, chubby azz variety, but the hardier streamlined ones..

I was worried about the cranes and other predators, so I bought this water scarecrow spitter thingy with a motion sensor.. hope it helps...

Step 24
Taking a breather and filling my beer mug.

The time has come for me to grab a chilled one and sit back and enjoy my back yard.. So I bid you adieu and hope I've entertained you and hopefully informed you on the joy of building something from scratch.
I will leave you with the picture of my pond from what it was a year ago and now.



Not bad ... not bad at all.. Cheers..


  1. simply beautiful.

  2. Awesome! It really takes talent to make it look so professional... Can't imagine I'd have the patience and planning ability to see something like that through...

    maybe I could just hire you :D

  3. Why did it turn green? Can't you put in some treatments to make it clear like a swimming pool?

  4. Thanks for the comments, In answer to your question.

    I can't put chlorine or any treatments used for swimming pools for the pond, because it will make the water toxic for the fish.

    Ponds are supposed to have natural algae as a lining on the bottom, thats why the water appears green, but the water itself is clear, you can see the bottom. Also, It is under constant circulation with 3 different pumps and a waterfall, so the water does not get stagnant.

    I will add the fish in a few days and then take a few more pics :)

  5. Eye-getting post! For keeping natural life survival use Concrete Pond Coatings for support of your pond with guarantee. It's valuable for breaks yet safe for fish and plants.