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Thread: Above ground concrete pond..advice needed!!!

  1. #1
    Honmei Brutuscz's Avatar
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    Question Above ground concrete pond..advice needed!!!

    So...I am moving to a new home. Of course, I am already planning the pond. So far..it will be 20 X 13'. It will be part in ground and part above ground. It will be be 2.5 feet below ground and 32 inches above ground. The above ground part will be made with 16X8X6 inch blocks. So, four blocks high is 32 inches. I am also using an epdm liner. I know some people have used cement blocks...with no sealer, just the weight of the blocks to hold the water. I am afraid they will bow-out and I will have a problem. My question is....should I mortar the blocks in place...or will concrete adhesive be good enough? I have read the adhesive is quite strong for permanent bonding...but I want to hear from the pro's!!!
    I am also interested in the best way to level the ground, and make sure the blocks go down even. Thanks for any advice...trust me, it is needed!!!!

  2. #2
    Oyagoi koiczar's Avatar
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    Your idea sounds great for the new pond. One suggestion - it has to do with the height above ground. Keep in mind, the higher you go, the more pressure that is exerted on the walls from the sheer weight of the water inside. Also, it's gonna be damn hard to try to sit that high off the ground when you want to relax and feed the fish. Also, maintenance is harder to do when you have to reach over the wall for anything. We have found that when building a pond such as this, 16" - 24" is ideal. That's 2 to 3 blocks high. Now, when you factor in the use of a concrete adhesive it makes it very solid. The weight of water from inside won't be as much of a concern either.

    Are you planning on using concrete capping or adding something like a flagstone to the walls and top? If you're interested, I can send you a few pictures of what it would look like with the flagstone. It comes out absolutely beautiful. You can use the adhesive for this as well, and then use a cake decorating vessel to place the mortar. Send me a pm, and I'll send you the pics

    Mike

  3. #3
    Honmei Brutuscz's Avatar
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    The reason for almost 3 feet is 1) my two dogs can easily jump 2 feet into the pond..but they have never tried to jump a three foot fence. and 2)lots of kids in this neighborhood. I will have my yard fenced in...but I figure an accident is less likely if you can't just trip and fall in.

    I was going to go to a height of 32inches, then place the liner. I would then use a red 2" thick stone on top. I saw a nice one at home depot that would fit fine. Do you think the concrete sealant will be strong enough for 32" or will I have to mortar the blocks(which I would rather not do!!!)
    For the asthetics..I wasn't sure. Either paint the blocks. Put trellis over it...or some type of panelling. Maybe just lots of plants around it.
    The reason the height doesn't bother me for viewing is my deck will overlook the pond, and I have a high viewing chair. I would love to see the pics you have. Please email them to [email protected]
    I really appreciate the help..my current pond was just dig a hole and throw in a liner...this is a whole new ballgame!!!

  4. #4
    Jumbo Regenmeneer's Avatar
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    Brutuscz,

    last year a friend of mine has build a pond that is about the same as the one you are planning. Check out this link:

    http://www.nishikigoi-online.com/php...pic.php?t=6313

    I'm sure you won't understand the text, but there are many pictures to view that you'll find interesting. If you have any questions, let me know!

  5. #5
    Jumbo jnorth's Avatar
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    What state do you live in? You might want to go deeper to get below the frost line if you are up north.
    Koi-Unit
    My personal koi page Updated 7/8/07
    ZNA Potomac Koi Club

  6. #6
    Honmei Brutuscz's Avatar
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    Regenmeneer..very cool link!! My design is much simpler..but this definitely helps. I was just going to have a 2.5 foot deep hole and build the wall around it. Then throw in the liner. Since I am probably doing it 100% myself (except for a guy with a backhoe)...I wanted it to stay simple. I live in Connecticut. I wasn't so worried about the frost because the total depth will be 5 feet. Am I wrong in that assumption?

    My main question is ...will concrete adhesive be strong enough to handle the water weight? Or...do I absolutely need to mortar the blocks?
    Thanks for the help!!!

  7. #7
    Daihonmei
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brutuscz
    Regenmeneer..very cool link!! My design is much simpler..but this definitely helps. I was just going to have a 2.5 foot deep hole and build the wall around it. Then throw in the liner. Since I am probably doing it 100% myself (except for a guy with a backhoe)...I wanted it to stay simple. I live in Connecticut. I wasn't so worried about the frost because the total depth will be 5 feet. Am I wrong in that assumption?

    My main question is ...will concrete adhesive be strong enough to handle the water weight? Or...do I absolutely need to mortar the blocks?
    Thanks for the help!!!
    just solid pour the block and have a lentil and rebar run one above ground level.

  8. #8
    Jumbo Regenmeneer's Avatar
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    Brutuscz,

    aren't you afraid the hole will cave in due to the weight of the wall?

  9. #9
    Tosai tom&zuma's Avatar
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    Laser level

    I used a cheap laser level and an old camera tripod to level the block edge of our last pond (8 x 12') and it came out +/- 1/4". We used it again our new pond (12 x 20'), should work just as well.

    Tom

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutuscz
    <snip>
    I am also interested in the best way to level the ground, and make sure the blocks go down even. Thanks for any advice...trust me, it is needed!!!!

  10. #10
    Tosai tom&zuma's Avatar
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    BTW you should use 8 x 8 x 16 blocks (not 6") for stability and also you can get 4 foot radius curved blocks for the corners. Makes a much cleaner and stronger structure.

    As for the soil stability, every dig is different. We dug a 5' deep hole with sides at less than 10 degrees for the top 3 feet, and it has been stable for more than 6 months (don't ask!). They built cathedrals 1000 years ago mostly by trial and error too...

    Tom

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