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Thread: Is this fiberglass ok, or does it need re-doing?

  1. #1
    Nisai
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    Apr 2010
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    Is this fiberglass ok, or does it need re-doing?

    I am having a koi pond built by a professional local pond builder who fiberglassed it for me. He left it just over 2 weeks before putting in any water, it was kept totally dry with a cover all that time. The water went in and it developed 2 small stains on the side and bottom. Lee said this was due to the chemical stuff still acting. He was tempted to leave it, ie empty and dry it for a week and try again filling it, but he took advice from his supplier who suggested rubbing the green top / flow coat down to the fb, masking the good green coat and reapplying the green paint stuff. Trouble is, IMO, it has made an originally fantastic job look like a bit of a repair / patch up. If it works, then maybe I will just have to live with it. Lee will leave it for a week, minimum, then put some water in the bottom and see how that reacts. If it cracks or peels the whole lot will need removing and totally redoing. He accepts this, he is very professional, and asked me to let him know of a fiberglasser that he may request that they take over the job of fiberglassing the pond.
    I wrote that in a private note a week ago to a fiberglasser, edited for here. What follows I wrote yesterday.

    NB* – the image shows dust on walls, this will wash away, don’t judge on that.

    I attach a photo* of where we are now. I am looking for open and honest advice, not an opportunity of anyone trying to make money where it is not needed. Please accept my apologies on being to the point. When I was talking to a certain man about the fiberglassing that Lee did he could see no issues with it what so ever. I guess that he would be the first to open his mouth about something if he was not happy. I don’t want to put Lee to work on dismantling something that doesn’t need dismantling that is fine and dandy, if it is only a visual thing. He has put one third water in to check for leaks and see if it peels etc. If that is the case, even Lee says it will need re-doing. But I need to be sure in my mind that all is ok, that is the reason for this email, a second opinion.

    Can I ask a few questions. 1, What is the absolute waterproofing part? Is it the green flow coat or the underneath fibreglass?

    2, you can see where Lee stripped the green down to the FG and re applied the green flow coat – could that ever be a compromise? Bearing in mind that FG does need repairing from time to time for whatever reason so presumably doing this sort of thing is routine and does not compromise the pond or water holding capabilities of the pond?

    3, How much damage is Lee likely to do and how difficult will it be to remove the FG? It is wrapped around the bottom drain and two 2” inlet pipes.

    Lee has mentioned about putting G4 on the “seams” if that is what I want, but that should not be necessary, he also said if I want to check it he would put in a few cheap fish to see how they get on, but again that should not be necessary. I just want to be sure it won’t leak nor kill my koi. I guess that algae will cover the seams in time anyway.

    I am looking for open and honest appraisal from others, based on what I have said and the image. If it looks fine etc then I will be happy. If you need more info, a better pic shout.

    Thoughts?

    My Koi Fish Pond, Built by Lee Trivett of Roundhill Landscapes. Photo Gallery by Tony Hobbs at pbase.com a reminder of my build, with a few pix.

    Thanks in advance.
    Tony

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Is this fiberglass ok, or does it need re-doing?-ffpb0900.jpg  

  2. #2
    Nisai
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    Painted. photo - Tony Hobbs photos at pbase.com

    that is what it looked like before it was filled, I did NOT take any pix of the stains, but they looked like brush strokes, and showed as pale green when water was in pond. Here it looks perfect, and that is I guess what I crave for... but am I being silly!

  3. #3
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Just curious, whos idea was it and why the color "green"?

  4. #4
    Nisai
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    Bit off topic, but I don't mind.
    It was Lee's idea, it will go green with algae anyway, so why not start with the colour it will go? Looks nice, doesn't it?
    What colour would you have had? and WHY?

    Thanks for posting.

  5. #5
    Oyagoi woodyaht's Avatar
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    I am busy today, I'll try to post later.

    A few quick questions:

    I take it you are in the UK?

    I would assume your final green coat is "gelcoat"?

    What kind of surfacing additive did the installer use in the final coat of gelcoat?

    If you hold your finger tips against any given surface of the final coat for 15-30 seconds, do your fingers stick?

    If you are in the UK we might have a problem with language/words used with the products applied. While I may call the final green coat "gelcoat", you may call it "green flow coat".

    So we might have to post at each other a few times to understand the products.
    “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed” Adolf Hitler


    Chris~

  6. #6
    Nisai
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    Yep, in UK.
    I took a pic of the pot used, its got lots of green paint on sides, but will put it on here later. It says Top Coat. The green on the sides OF THE POT is wet. Lee used an accerent to make it "dry" on the walls of the pond I think - sound right? He mixed something to the green paint anyway...
    The walls of the pond are DRY - no question there. My fingers do not stick to pond.

    Gelcoat / flow coat - sorry, Lee has explained it to me a few times.... but still over my head.

  7. #7
    Nisai
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    this is a pic of the paint pot - not very informative!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Is this fiberglass ok, or does it need re-doing?-ffpb0901.jpg  

  8. #8
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quicksilver View Post
    Bit off topic, but I don't mind.
    It was Lee's idea, it will go green with algae anyway, so why not start with the colour it will go? Looks nice, doesn't it?
    What colour would you have had? and WHY?
    Thanks for posting.
    BLACK

    Because the green algae on the sides of established ponds turns "black".
    Black shows the fish off better and looks better in my opinion.
    Most people prefer "blue", but it is such a waste to have such a pretty blue pond turn black with age.

  9. #9
    Nisai
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    Others agree with Black?

    Might be too late for me if I don't rip out the fg.... but interesting thoughts, thanks!

  10. #10
    Oyagoi woodyaht's Avatar
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    I am back.........

    Ok, for gelcoat to dry you have to add a catalyst (MEKP). From there it depends on the gelcoat product itself. You can buy gelcoat with surfacing agent/wax in it. But normally in a 5 gal bucket you get standard gelcoat which needs the additive. Surfacing agent/wax seals the surface and makes the final product food grade. If he added the surface curing agent/wax the final finish will have a waxy look to it, and not be very shiney like a new car.

    There is another additive here in the US that is a clear product you add to the gelcoat to make it food grade. This product leaves the surface very shiney like a new car.

    If you don't add a surfacing agent/wax, etc, the gelcoat will remain tacky so you can apply more coats without sanding......... As to why I asked if your fingers stick to the surface. If the gelcoat didn't have/get a additive added, it may leach chemicals into the water which make it a non-food grade finish.

    If your guy put a surface curing agent/wax in, or the gelcoat was supplied with it already mixed in, you should be fine.

    I have added water and fish within 12hrs of doing a final coat of gelcoat, and never had a problem.

    If there was any grinding done in or around the pond to the raw fiberglass, make sure you wash everything down very well. The fiberglass grindings that make you itch are a major irritant to the fishes gills.

    Fiberglass makes one of the best ponds IMHO!!!!!!!!!!! My pond is glassed, and my QT tank is fiberglass as well........ I did fiberglassing for over 20yrs.

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