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  • Gunnite, or block for new pond

    High everyone. I am new to this board and would like some opinions please. I am planning my second pond, to replace my first (liner) one and am trying to make fewer mistakes this time. I am wondering if there is any preference as to gunnite, or block construction for my new pond. Thanks in advance

    John Stevens
  • #2

    All else being equal, I think you will find that gunnite gives you much more flexibility in shape and in contouring the walls as you decide. Often, however, all things are not equal.

    Comment

    • #3

      Thanks Mike. I am leaning towards gunnite. I have a friend who owns A pool company that would let me work with him, I could do alot of the initial digging, shaping, and rebar work myself. Then he could come in and spray. I may even be able to barter for some of the gunnite cost. What were you refering to that "all things being equal" , "but often they are not" ? Another question, if I might,What is the product of choice for over spraying , or painting the pond walls?

      John

      Comment

      • #4

        John,
        when i saw your post i thought to myself," now that guy's not in the UK". While it doesn't say on your avatar from whence you come, it's gotta be the states!

        Since there are others in this world who don't have access to gunnite, you really need to take advantage of your situation and use it.

        most of my buddies in the UK use block followed by fiberglass. It's more expensive and more lasting. But hey we should ( like water) take the path of least resistance! What size pond are you thinking about?

        I always like to suggest you take your predetermined depth and double it for your width and then double your width for your length. After your all plumbed and ready for filling PROMISE ME ONE THING! You will get a water meter so that you know to the exact gallon what you pond takes. You will thank me profusely if you ever have health issues and must know the exact gallonage to deliever a proper doaagae of meds!
        Dick Benbow

        Comment

        • #5

          John:

          Based on what you said about your friend and gunnite, I'd definately go for the gunnite...

          This site: http://www.pondpetsusa.com/newpond.htm will show you how Tom's pond was built from the time he cut his first grass sod out until the gunnite was completed... Somewhere else on this board is the completed project...do a search for Tom, and it may come up or if Tom sees this he may post a path to the site...

          He sealed it with CIM... If money is no object, I'd look at polyurea spray...again check out Mike Ms thread on the polyruea pond project in this section... Depending on your soil conditions, you may be able to spray the polyurea directly onto the soil which is covered with a thin membrane...KOI USA has an article about a pond built this way...( Two to three months ago)

          Hope this helps...

          Aloha! Mike

          Comment

          • #6

            Thanks Mike , and Dick. Sounds like gunnite is the way to go. I am from the states. Pennsylvania to be exact. I am planning a pond that will be in the 7,000 to 9,000 us gallon range. I saw some of the post on mikes project in florida. I am aware of c.i.m. and the poly spray. Any advantages of one over the other? I have also seen many ads for hecht rubber and wondered about that option. it seems alot less expensive. I am a little concerened about spraying directly on compacted soil. Are you aware of succesful ponds that are done this way? My current pond is about 3000 gallons .Its plenty big, just not deep enough(44" at the deepest, and only 24" in the shallow portion.) . I will most likely double the depth, but keep the shape about the same. I assume the only reason the concrete shell has to be coated at all is to keep ph from running into the 8-9 range? Thanks for all your input.


            John S

            Comment

            • #7

              John,

              Gunite is the way to go if you can afford it. Make sure to ask that fiber be added to the mix: this will prevent hairline crack from forming. Experienced pool contractors can work gunite to a fairly smooth fisnish but you have to ask for it!

              Sealer is not added to prevent high pH: concrete can be cure in a few days with acid. The main reason is that concrete to some extent will tansfer water out of the pond: it is porous. In addition, depending on the sealer choice, it will add to the smoothness of the pond wall to prevent koi abrasion (they sometimes get excited).

              Dyed plaster finish is good but more fragile than other solutions available these days: CIM is one, fiberglass is very popular in the UK (but very expensive), and there are epoxy paint products that will withstand time a be safe for the fish. Avoid the rubber spray type unless you live in a very dry soil area (desert :-) because water infiltrating from the outside of the pond through the concrete will eventually "bubble" the rubber off the pond walls.

              I hope this helps.
              Arthur

              Comment

              • #8

                John:

                Polyurea installed by a good contactor is the way to go, if you have the money... Have seen a number of ponds in our area where the rubber sealer has peeled off...

                For myself, I've always built poured in place concrete ponds, sealed with Thoroseal... Used an epoxy 1:1 Insul Guard pool paint, over the thoroseal, on the last pond to give pond a smoother surface for koi to flash against and to keep the pH neutral (we get 7.5 out of the pipe) without the hassel of acid treating the pond...

                Aloha! Mike

                Comment

                • #9

                  Thanks everyone I will keep all this good information in mind as things procede.
                  I do not have unlimited funds. as I turn my thoughts toward filtratration I would love any input you folks can suggest. I will have a very difficult time fitting a gravity fed system in place. I am concidering a system like Art Lemkee just installed. Two bottom drains, to 2 Bead filters, to 2 bio-reactor, to U.V. to waterfall, and t.p.r. Two seperate loops.


                  John

                  Comment

                  • #10

                    Originally posted by john stevens
                    Thanks everyone I will keep all this good information in mind as things procede.
                    I do not have unlimited funds. as I turn my thoughts toward filtratration I would love any input you folks can suggest. I will have a very difficult time fitting a gravity fed system in place. I am concidering a system like Art Lemkee just installed. Two bottom drains, to 2 Bead filters, to 2 bio-reactor, to U.V. to waterfall, and t.p.r. Two seperate loops.


                    John
                    john, my pond is 7500 gal. i have one bead filter ,one bottom drain,one uv,one skimmer,a water fall.....done deal and pond runs perfect,never have had any water problems!!!!!!

                    Comment

                    • #11

                      Kerry, 7500 gallons and one drain? What is your turn over rate? JR

                      Comment

                      • #12

                        hey Kerry, Welcome to the board. Like JR, I'd like to learn a little bit more about your pond. How long it's been in operation. the amount of fish you keep etc.
                        Dick Benbow

                        Comment

                        • #13

                          i have a twister vortex,the bigger fluidart challenger filter,and turn my water about every hour.i have 16 fish withe biggest one about 24 in.have the pond 1 year

                          Comment

                          • #14

                            Thanks Kerry. See that is the part that confuses me? You have 7500 gallons of water and one bottom drain. And I assume your pump is in front of the big bubble bead? How can you get 7500 gallons through that pipe ( what size is your drain pipe and how long is the run?) and past the resistance offered to the pump by the bubble bead? JR

                            Comment

                            • #15

                              bottom drain is 4in. pipe to the vortex,then 2in. to the pump.distance(to pump 25ft.)skimmer line to pump is 2 in. and about 30 ft.pump pulls 90% of its water from the skimmer and 10% from the vortex.system is gravity feed.my water is crystal clear and never have had to use chemicals to keep it that way.also have never had any water problems.i do a 5% to 10% water change about every 10 days but as the fish get bigger will have to do that about every 7 days.last year in 3 months my fish at least doubled in size!!!!!

                              Comment

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