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Thread: My dream koi pond build

  1. #1
    Oyagoi kntry's Avatar
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    My dream koi pond build

    I've been slack in posting here. I've been so busy with life and work, I haven't had time to even read.

    I'll start at the beginning and skip the junk. LOL

    The pond was going to be 10x25, sloping 5-7'. We dug a hole approx. 14x30 8' deep. I was going to put a concrete floor and cinder block walls. I had the blocks ordered and DH decided we should get a price on having someone do a mono pour of the walls and floor out of concrete. We found a guy who came out and put up OSB forms built on 2x4 studs on 12" centers, top and bottom plates, and put 00 highway mesh in the hole. Then he didn't show up to put the floating wall and tie the highway mesh together.

    I started looking around for someone to spray gunite. After calling 3 concrete companies and many pool builders in the area, I called the guy they all recommended and used. We agreed on 8" walls and floor, broom finish, he'd tie the wire together and would set the 4 skimmers, 2 BD's and 4 TPR's.

    I know NOTHING about gunite or how to set the skimmers, etc. for gunite. They came out, got everything ready and showed up the next morning to spray. I thought it looked great at the end of the day. I was worried about the BD's not being level but I asked him 3 times during the spray to make sure they were level so I thought he did.

    Not knowing anything about gunite, I somehow thought the concrete would come to the top during the drying process because what I saw had craters and holes and lumps in it. I'm naive'. The next morning when it was rock hard and still had craters, holes and lumps, I stopped payment on his check. We fought, I had him call my DH and they showed up the next morning to put a smooth-er layer of concrete so I could seal it. The broom finish is F-A-R from smooth with boot and hand prints, swirls and ridges but at least I could seal it.

    Once the forms were removed, I measured the walls. Just over 4"! Most of the concrete must be at the bottom and in the rounded corners because we used the same amount as required for 8" walls. We are in a battle, probably heading to court right now.

    The bottom drains are 1/2 bubble out of level over 12", there is absolutely no concrete or wire behind the top 8" or so of the skimmers, they sprayed gunite over the flanges on the BD's and into the bottom drains. The walls are so thin because they put the skimmers so far back into the corners, they would have covered up the entire face of the skimmer if the walls would have been 8" thick.

    The finished pond is about 11x26' sloping from 5-7', mostly 6'-7'.

    I've put 1 coat of primer and 3 coats of Rubberizeit but the pond was already holding water. I found that out when Isaac came through. Between the rain and ground water, the pond had about 5' of dirty water in it that stayed till I pumped it out.

    The white standpipe between the BD's is supposed to be a relief valve so the pond won't pop out of the ground. I haven't figured out how it works yet. They put some slits in the bottom of the pipe and shoved it into the clay. I can't figure out how ground water is supposed to get through the slits when it has clay in it and all around it??? I have to cut it down, try to dig out the clay on the inside of the pipe and cap it.

    DS just backfilled it last weekend. I have the filter pit smoothed out and I'm getting ready to form and pour a 4" thick slab wide enough for the cinder block walls, sieves and S/G filters. I'll fill the rest in with pea gravel once I get the plumbing done.

    Someone gave me a 10'x6' deep water tank that we buried last weekend. I'm going to do the plumbing tomorrow and put some 10-15" koi in it to start the cycle and make sure it's safe. I have a big girl coming home from Purdin in 3 weeks. I was hoping to have the big pond finished 2 months ago but life and Hurricane Isaac got in the way.

    Notice the one pic of the first accident of the build. Hopefully, the last! No one was hurt.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My dream koi pond build-7-5-12-iron-.jpg   My dream koi pond build-6-24-12-finished-hole-prior-gravel.jpg   My dream koi pond build-8-4-12-bobcat-doing-headstand.jpg   My dream koi pond build-8-19-12-wall-4-inches-wide.jpg   My dream koi pond build-8-19-12-skimmer-no-concrete-behind-.jpg  

    My dream koi pond build-10-14-12-pond-filled-.jpg   My dream koi pond build-10-26-12-rubberizeit-completed.jpg  
    The views expressed above are my own personal views and, as such, do not necessarily reflect the views of the AKCA or the KHA program.
    SANDY

  2. #2
    MCA
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    Honmei MCA's Avatar
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    Sandy,

    Y'all have been through the ringer on this pond. Sorry it has been a PITA. Wishing you and DH every success with it. It will up and running in time for the holidays!!!!


    BR, Michael

  3. #3
    Oyagoi Flounder's Avatar
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    Sorry about the problems you had Sandy, you should have contacted me. All my ponds are gunite, I tthink I've told you this in the past.

  4. #4
    Oyagoi kntry's Avatar
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    Ryan, you did tell me your ponds are gunite. I put too much trust in this guy, thinking he knew what he was doing.

    2 letters later and reporting them to the BBB, he's coming out Saturday to see what I want done. Since the pond is back filled on 3 sides, I want him to spray another 4" thick wall, 18" high which would be ground level on those 3 walls. On the wall common to the filter pit, he can spray all the way to the ground. He's going to have to put wire around the skimmers to tie all the walls together before spraying.

    He is going to have strict instructions that he cannot get any gunite on the inside of the pond or on all the pipes I have wrapped up. When he sprayed the pond initially, all the skimmer pipes had gunite all over them. It made it difficult to put fittings on them.

    I want him to explain to me how the "relief pipe" is going to work when it's imbedded in clay and I cannot shove a piece of rebar through the center because it's solid.

    He has a lot of things to correct, at least the things that can be corrected.

  5. #5
    Oyagoi Flounder's Avatar
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    Sandy, since the email did not go through I'll post it here:

    Hi Sandy I have enclosed a picture of what the construction should be like when you are using gunite to build a pond. Any good gunite contractor should already know this. If you look at the picture the walls and floor should be a minimum of 6 inch thick anything below ground. The cove is the turn where the floor and the wall meet, this should be 8 inches. The bond beam is the area that's above the ground and this should be 12 inches thick if to code but I think 10" is ok too.



    If you have already backfilled the side of the pond that's 4 inches that's okay but anything that's above ground should be 12 inches thick. There is not much you can do now below ground but I'm not concern much since the force of the water pressure will be exerted upon the wall and into the ground. The area that's a concern is the concrete that is above ground since there will be no back support for it. The contractor should be able to spray some more gunite into the side of the pond that's currently 4 inches thick thats above ground but make sure that there will be more steel attached for the new concrete to attach into, this also reinforces the concrete structure. If i were to do this I would drill half inch holes into the current gunite halfway and then attach number four rebar into it, space it 8" apart and then form a cage around the area that's aboveground. This may be overkill but the bond beam will be alot stronger.

    Looking at your pics from the forum he missed a lot behind the skimmer so have him spray more gunite around it, 8-10" thick to support the skimmer against the water pressure.

  6. #6
    Oyagoi kntry's Avatar
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    I've been spending every spare second trying to finish the pond. Sorry for not posting very often.

    Here is a brief summary of what's happened. The Rubberizeit didn't stick to the bottom and about 2' up the walls so I pressure washed it off. I had to wait until now for the weather to get hot and stop raining to reapply it, which I did over the weekend. I used 50 lbs. of Water Stop on all the places where water was coming through the gunite. It seems to have helped but there are still 3 "bubbles" in the new rubber. They are not bad and the water in the pond will push them down. The pond holds water without the Rubberizeit so if it doesn't hold up again, I'm not worrying about it.

    The pit is way too small so I had to put the S/G filters outside the pit and there are pipes running everywhere. I have pea gravel in the bottom so I can walk around to clean the sieves. I ran a water pipe through the pit to the autofill and added a faucet and a 1 1/4" pipe directly into the pond for fast filling after water changes.

    As of today, I have finished everything except the planter box around the waterfall, the roof over the pit and the electrical wiring. I'm praying everything runs correctly and there are no leaks! I'm hoping to start putting water in Thursday and the fish in 2 weeks.

    I have lots of pics but these are the most updated.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My dream koi pond build-2-18-13-piping-pit.jpg   My dream koi pond build-4-20-13-pit-wall-finished.jpg   My dream koi pond build-5-27-13-waterfall-finished.jpg   My dream koi pond build-5-27-13-south-pond-wall-finished.jpg   My dream koi pond build-5-27-13-north-wall-finished.jpg  


  7. #7
    MCA
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    I know how it is when you up to your ears in gators.


    Try to meter the water when you fill the system so will know if/when it becomes necessary to dose something.

    We all will keep our fingers crossed!!!!

  8. #8
    Oyagoi kntry's Avatar
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    Michael, I have the meter set up already. I'm going to drain the rain water out in the morning and use the shop vac to get the dirt out of the bottom drain pipes, clean the S/G filters and start filling it up.

    I'm beyond excited!

  9. #9
    MCA
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    Reckon it will fill in one day? Are you gonna seed the new filters from the currents ones or let everything start from scratch.

    Wishing you every success with the new pond system this weekend!!!!!!!!!!

  10. #10
    Oyagoi kntry's Avatar
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    The pond is full and has been running for a week today. I have a few issues to fix but so far nothing major. I forgot to put shut off valves before the leaf baskets on the 2 skimmer pumps. I have major air belching from the TPR's if I open the skimmer to S/G filter pumps wide open. So far, the only way I've been able to control it is by cutting the pumps back about 1/4. The spitters aren't working with the way I set them up so I ordered a small mag pump to put in the waterfall basin and I'm going to run a flexible hose through the pipe in the bottom of the basin into each spitter.

    I'm planning on moving the fish next weekend if no other issues come up before then.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My dream koi pond build-6-1-13-water-level-pond.jpg   My dream koi pond build-6-1-13-pond-full-waterfall-running-bd-air.jpg   My dream koi pond build-6-1-13-front-view-waterfall.jpg  

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