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View Full Version : Finished Pond Renovation



dweav44
10-08-2007, 01:31 AM
This is my third thread to post about this pond. The first two were for planning and questions. I am a landscaper in Memphis, TN and have had experience with water features, but this was my first attempt at building a true koi pond. I most certaintly couldn't have done it without this forum and the great people on here that love koi. :bow: Thank you all who have given advice and encouragement.:bow:

The pond is finished with the exception of plants and those should be done by the end of October. My only regret is that I didn't take enough pictures to show in detail each step as many of the experienced people on this site do. I'll try to do better next time on that.

Below you will see what the old layout was. It comprised of a lower pond which was filtered by a bog that was about 1' higher in elevation. The water would flow over a 5' wide weir into the lower pond. The lower pond was about 2 1/2' deep with 1 skimmer and a waterfall that was fed by a submersible pump.

Some Changes - turn the bog into a pond, make both ponds 5 1/2' - 6' deep, put 5 skimmers in lower pond, put 4 bottom drains in lower pond and 2 in upper, install returns, use nexus filter system, renovate waterfall, make weir from upper to lower pond wider.

I will add pictures and stories (good:yes: and bad:no: ) as time rolls on.

Ellie
10-08-2007, 01:45 AM
Very pretty country you got there! Will the other ponds be filled?

dweav44
10-08-2007, 02:19 AM
Ellie, above are the pictures of the old setup. I will be showing the renovation of the ponds that are in those pictures. Sorry if I didn't explain well enough at the beginning.

Daniel

dweav44
10-09-2007, 01:22 AM
After draining the bog, removing about 3 yards of pea gravel, and pulling up the liner it was time to dig. We took this pond from 2 1/2' to 5 1/2' deep. It was my first time installing pipe for a project like this and it was tough at first. I am using 2 koi toilets and 7 returns(3 are returned from the nexus filters and the other 4 are from the lower pond that will feed the falls from upper to lower pond) After fighting with the rigid pipe for the returns I finally decided to use flex pvc.(not pictured) I found that I wasn't as confident in the bond of flex pvc with rigid as I was with rigid to rigid, but no problems yet! I was glad to have the plumbing of the upper pond finished!:yahoo:

Next: the concrete collar.

kdmatrix
10-09-2007, 03:03 AM
Looking good...:cool:


...After fighting with the rigid pipe for the returns I finally decided to use flex pvc.(not pictured)You can use weed burner to bend the rigid pvc pipes....:punk1: :punk1:

dweav44
10-09-2007, 11:48 PM
To sure up the walls around the upper pond we were advised to pour a concrete collar. We also poured the foundation for the new weir. I wasn't expecting concrete to be such hard work. We rented a concrete buggy to haul the concrete from the truck in the front of the house to the back. Highly recommended!! Some more advice for the first timers like myself - it is better to have too many supports for your concrete forms than have your forms give way. Also, have the concrete a little more wet than normal so you will have plenty of time to work with it. That's all for now.

rctfan2
10-09-2007, 11:55 PM
Man that is going to be a super awesome pond when its renovated

dweav44
10-10-2007, 09:26 PM
After taking down all of the concrete forms it was time for underlayment and liner. I made sure to have enough liner. I don't have any pictures of the holes being cut into the liner for the BDs or the returns, but I was sweating bullets. Everything turned out fine thanks to Kent's pl roof and flashing adhesive. Until next time.

DW

Dwight
10-12-2007, 04:29 PM
Wait .....I just got past the idea of a landscaper learning how to build a proper koi pond .............

Anyway it's looking good !

vipldy
10-12-2007, 04:32 PM
That is real pretty:clap: Love the back where plants will go:yes:

Marie

majederr
10-13-2007, 09:55 AM
Thia is in pa?

dweav44
10-13-2007, 12:42 PM
Majederr -

Memphis, TN

dweav44
10-16-2007, 09:51 PM
After completing the upper pond it was time to get started on the lower pond. After moving 6 albino catfish up to the completed pond we drained the lower pond and had a serious cleanup of sludge just to get to the liner. After removing the liner we found 3 inches of concrete that needed to be busted out because we were going deeper. It was my first time to use a 90lb jackhammer and it was a workout. It went into the concrete fairly easily; it was the getting it back out that was tough.

With the concrete busted up in 3' x 5' sections it was time for the fun. The skid removed the concrete rather easily. I moved into the hole forward and backed out with the load. I tried to turn around one time and got stuck. It was quite soupy under the concrete in low areas. I was a male with a BIG machine- I could do anything.....right?:To funny: The skid did most of the digging and we used shovels to get the finish grade.

Nightstorm
10-17-2007, 11:07 AM
Very nice. Can't get enough construction photos.

One question - have you considered removing that one large tree on the left (as per pictures) of the lower pond? My experience is that trees like that don't ususally live very long when half of their root system is covered. I don't know how long the original pond was there - if its been there for years then that tree may have developed its roots in the other direction as it grew from a sapling, so it will be OK. Although even then, a huge tree right up against an expensive new pond that has an uneven root system... Personally, I'd consider removing that one.

dweav44
10-17-2007, 08:10 PM
Nightstorm - Good eye! We ended up taking out the tree for those exact reasons. The tree was also not allowing us to create a smooth edge for the pond. It's outa there!!

Thanks.

dweav44
10-17-2007, 10:50 PM
It was time once again to build forms for a concrete collar. I at least knew what I was getting myself into now that I've completed one collar(upper pond). Not really... this pond was twice the collar length and it also had areas that needed extra lap board to smooth out the wall. This was the form that we didn't have enough supports for and as we poured the concrete it pushed out the bottom. We quickly made more supports an fixed the problem before it was too late.

The other pictures are showing how we installed the skimmers. YES we concreted them in. I'm not sure that was the best, but we weren't planning on moving them any time soon. We were going to try to pour all at once, but we couldn't get the skimmer to line up flush with the form because of the form's curve. So we poured the collars and left space for the skimmer to be installed later. i guess if we have to move the skimmers we can bust up the concrete around the skimmer without disrupting the rest of the collar. We have a total of 5 skimmers in the lower pond. You can see our methods of installation of the skimmers in pictures 4 - 8.

Dwight
10-18-2007, 02:02 PM
Five skimmers ????? Why so many ?

dweav44
10-18-2007, 08:12 PM
Dwight - there are several reasons for five skimmers. The big one being that the ponds are directly under quite a few trees and the ponds catch alot of debris. There were several areas that were notorious for stagnant surface water and these skimmers take care of that. I'm also using three of the skimmers to feed the upper pond about 12,000gal./hr for the overflow from upper to lower. As they stand the skimmers have to be cleaned daily to keep up with the trash and we aren't even in Fall yet. Nets are ordered. Thanks for the question. What surface area will a skimmer with a 8.5" weir handle?

dweav44
10-18-2007, 09:38 PM
These next pictures show the plumbing for the lower pond. We installed four 4" koitoilets with air, seven returns, and one midlevel pickup for the stand alone water fall. The filter pit was to be tucked away so it wouldn't be visible from the pond area. We ended up putting it around the other side of the pool house which put it about 150' away. Wow...a big trench and alot of damage!! The filter system is gravity fed and so far so good.

davecais
10-19-2007, 12:31 AM
Looking good...:cool:

You can use weed burner to bend the rigid pvc pipes....:punk1: :punk1:

Also, they make extra deep couplers for flex PVC. Kent sells them and so does flexpvc.com (http://www.flexpvc.com/cart/agora.cgi?cart_id=6360527.10544*A60RZ7&product=PVC-Couples-Unusual they are at the bottom) but I would get them from Kent. I only like using flex for very short lengths where things either just aren't lining up correctly or space is too tight. I tend to use 16th turns and/or heat and bend. Be careful with the heating as it is easy to get the pipe seriously out of round.

Lori Jo
10-19-2007, 12:37 AM
That is really exciting stuff! Keep the pictures coming! It is really a nice setting!

dweav44
10-22-2007, 11:00 PM
The first picture is of the old waterfall. The water from the old waterfall was hidden too much by the rock that made up the feature so it had to be renovated as well to match the new design. I really didn't have an idea as to what I wanted the falls to look like until we got in there and started working. I believe it will match up well with the falls from the upper to lower pond. I am attempting to plant a jap. maple inside the smaller block wall that you see in the 5th picture. We'll see. The falls will be powered by an external pump drawing from a midlevel pickup.

Noahsnana
10-22-2007, 11:25 PM
Super build thread... isn't water exciting :yahoo:

dweav44
10-23-2007, 11:08 AM
It has been very exciting. It is also nice that I will see this pond alot being that I maintain the landscape and will also be maintaining the water quality of the ponds. I'll need more help of course with that. You guys don't know anyone that knows anything about koi do you?:To funny:

dweav44
10-29-2007, 09:31 PM
Next on the list was underlayment and liner. I wasn't concerned about the underlayment as it was light and easy to maneuver, but the liner was a different story. 35' x 70' Ouch!! I still don't know how 6 guys were able to move that liner into possition and stretch it out. I wish I had it all on tape. You guys would have had a really good laugh. Liner went in and we all went HOME!

dweav44
10-29-2007, 09:52 PM
So much for suspense.

FishOCD
10-29-2007, 09:55 PM
Oh poor baby. Y'gotta be faster next time! No one can keep secrets around here.

Suspense or no, you did a fabulous job

Leekinneykoi
10-29-2007, 10:08 PM
So much for suspense.
Just keep posting, you have done great work, and many of us like the building parts, its teaches many and gives ideas:yes: . Thanks for all the threads, and man thats one massive liner:eek1: .:yes:

luke-gr
10-29-2007, 10:43 PM
Yes, please do keep going. :yes: Im dying to see this come together.

stephen44
10-29-2007, 11:15 PM
I knew it was this build when Gene posted his pictures - but wasn't going to say - yes keep on going - I'd love to see the steps of how it is constructed -

Actually knowing the finished product makes it all the more fascinating to see how they were achieved :yes: :yahoo: :clap:

Mark_NoVA
10-29-2007, 11:50 PM
Wow, spectacular! Great work!

Just Jessie
10-30-2007, 12:21 AM
that is going to be fantasic. Love the photos. Can't wait to see running water.

Larry Blauvelt
10-30-2007, 03:26 AM
:clap: good job keep going!

dweav44
10-30-2007, 10:07 PM
Sorry, this is where we started to take even fewer pictures than before. Here we used "midway brown" flagstone for the weir. What a challenge!! Since we knew we were only going to have about a half inch of water flowing over(about 12,000gal/hr.) we didn't have much room for error. We layed the flagstone as best we could and waited to test. After some tweaking we felt satisfied with the results. This will act as the skimmer for the upper pond. We had to get in the water to place all of the boulders under the weir. First, we moved the large boulders in by having 4 guys in the water(yes, me included)with a plank that we made out of 2x4s. The lucky guys, out of the water, would roll the boulder over and get it onto the plank that was already half way in the water. We then lowered the plank and rock into the water so that it would be lighter and walked it to the other end. At the destination we proped the board onto the ledge and worked the boulder into place. What fun.:no: I was glad that my crew was willing to get in the water to get the job done.

Leekinneykoi
10-30-2007, 10:16 PM
Sorry, this is where we started to take even fewer pictures than before. Here we used "midway brown" flagstone for the weir. What a challenge!! Since we knew we were only going to have about a half inch of water flowing over(about 12,000gal/hr.) we didn't have much room for error. We layed the flagstone as best we could and waited to test. After some tweaking we felt satisfied with the results. This will act as the skimmer for the upper pond. We had to get in the water to place all of the boulders under the weir. First, we moved the large boulders in by having 4 guys in the water(yes, me included)with a plank that we made out of 2x4s. The lucky guys, out of the water, would roll the boulder over and get it onto the plank that was already half way in the water. We then lowered the plank and rock into the water so that it would be lighter and walked it to the other end. At the destination we proped the board onto the ledge and worked the boulder into place. What fun.:no: I was glad that my crew was willing to get in the water to get the job done.
:clap: :clap: :yes: Thats what we like the "HEY HOW DID THEY DO THAT ???"
part. :punk1: :cool:

Ronin-Koi
10-31-2007, 09:18 AM
DWeav44,

That is just incredible... wow... I keep going back to look at your construction photos. You did a great job in planning this pond out. In looking at your first sketch, I would not have imagined that your pond would end up looking so inspired. Wow again.

Knowing now how the pond ends up looking like in no way detracts from the awe that many feel as we see how the pond was constructed. I hope the water was not too cold or those fellows in the water might still be shivering. Heh.

- Wayne, loves the "upper pond skimmer"... Very nice...

alluringkoi
10-31-2007, 10:12 AM
Nice pond, isn't this the one that Gene posted?

FishOCD
10-31-2007, 11:43 AM
You did an incredible job designing and building this pond for your clients, Daniel! And I think it is very cool that you will be able to watch it mature as you continue to maintain the pond and the landscaping. You need to get HGTV out to do a feature on your gorgeous project!

dweav44
11-01-2007, 10:12 PM
I really don't know what to say about this step. Plug in the pumps and let them do their job. The total waterfall feature has a flow of about 24,000gal/hr. The weir is supplied by 3 Savio skimmers (8.5" weir) containing Tsurumi pumps(3pn). The other falls are supplied by an external pump(Performance Pro 2hp) fed by a 3" midlevel pickup. All of the skimmers have the new Savio 50 watt UV lights and they are working well. The skimmers are also doing well as I'm catching all sorts of leaves an frogs. I'll try to answer any questions you might have about the things I left out.

PrettyBoy
11-01-2007, 11:16 PM
all I can say is wow, im pretty much speechless

JMorris271
11-01-2007, 11:25 PM
Completly Wonderful! Wow!

d.koi
11-01-2007, 11:30 PM
I was just wondering, when you stack big boulders, like the ones under the large spillway, as well as the retaining wall rocks, what you use to hold them in place?

dweav44
11-02-2007, 01:27 AM
d.koi - The boulders are dry stacked with the bottom row being farthest from the wall and as you add rows you just set them closer and closer to the wall. Sometimes you have to add a rock or two behind to help support the next row. Once you get a boulder good and set it's not going anywhere. To get the dry stacked look on walls you lay the stone in layers and only add mortar to the back half of the stone as you go. We didn't use mortar for the stones in the waterfall because I always like to be able to change anything if need be. Stay away from round stones when dry stacking a wall. Hopefully that answered your question.

edward molloy
11-02-2007, 11:17 AM
What a nice job you guys did, looks like you had some large boulders to move around , bet that was fun
Love the way the water flowes over that flat area,looks like glass
Best of luck with it , you worked hard for it

luke-gr
11-02-2007, 11:43 AM
I was wondering about the gallonage on the waterfall. Wow!

Dwight
11-02-2007, 02:33 PM
Goes to show what a landscaper can do when he/she decides to build a proper koi pond. The two skill sets don't have to be mutually exclusive. Good job. Bet you can think of about 100 improvements for the next one.

Yen
11-02-2007, 02:45 PM
So beautiful, this is the kind of water feature you see in Water Park!!!

Yen

koiaddict
11-02-2007, 04:33 PM
That is f'n stunning!

GloriaL
11-02-2007, 04:46 PM
Absolutely incredible. That is everybody's dream pond!

tom.graf
11-02-2007, 05:02 PM
That is f'n stunning!

and then some, Awesome!

dweav44
11-03-2007, 02:22 AM
Goes to show what a landscaper can do when he/she decides to build a proper koi pond. The two skill sets don't have to be mutually exclusive. Good job. Bet you can think of about 100 improvements for the next one.

You are right about the improvements. It would have been a much higher number if it weren't for all the help from people on this forum.
Thanks for all your comments.

dweav44
11-12-2007, 08:27 PM
Last thing on the list was to install all plants around the ponds. I was able to find just the right Jap. maple for the waterfall. That could have taken a while since I can be quite a perfectionist. The filter pit contains 3 nexus 300, 6 dolphin AV50 air pumps, 3 performance pro pumps, and some wild plumbing. That is all for now. Gene has ordered some fish for us from Japan and those are do in within 3 weeks. WOW!!

kdmatrix
11-12-2007, 08:32 PM
Wow... very nice. Love the waterfalls.... Great job!

Cowiche Ponder
11-14-2007, 12:11 PM
I'll add another WOW here too! Never would have thought from those first pictures the work of art that would be at the end!

Yen
11-14-2007, 12:15 PM
Everything about this pond is just so beautiful!

Yen

asnatlas
03-18-2008, 12:00 AM
WOW, that is AWESOME !!!

icu2
03-18-2008, 01:37 AM
Somehow I missed the finish of this build, but, as everyone else said, WOW!!
It is beautiful!! :eek1:
I read through the entire build...
I was really interested in the "skimmer" effects of the top pond... but
realized my 32" weir probably isn't comparable to this one! :rolleyes: :punk1:
Daniel, you (and your helpers) did a wonderful piece of work!! :bow:

dweav44
03-19-2008, 01:41 AM
Thank you...it was a lot of fun to build. I was given freedom to design it any way I wanted. A once in a lifetime opportunity.:yes: I can't wait for spring to get here. It will be nice to see the plants sprout around the pond and watch the jap. maple leaf out.

Daniel

JMorris271
09-04-2008, 11:11 PM
Would be great to see some current shots of this beautiful pond build.

asnatlas
05-10-2009, 08:08 AM
Any updates ??