By RES World
Types of pond construction
This is the simplest to do, you just dig a hole a little bigger than the unit.
Place a layer of sand down on the bottom, use this to level it, you want to have the water level
the same distance from the top all around. When backfilling along the sides use water to ensure that it fills in all the voids.
Place edging rocks along the top and you’re all done.
These take a little more work, but they let you be more creative in the shape of the pond.
DO NOT USE the rubber sheeting they use for roofing, it will release petroleum products into the
water and kill whatever aquatics you put in there.
The most durable liner is synthetic rubber (EPDM) 45 mil. There also is Polyethylene 22 mil. When
buying the liner you can either buy a precut rectangle and then dig the hole to match it, or dig the hole first and calculate
what size liner you will need. Measure the length and width, to each dimension add 2 1/2 times the deepest part + 1 1/2 feet
for the edging. After digging the hole, smooth the dirt out removing rocks and roots, make sure the top edge of the pond is
level in all directions. Place a layer of sand down and lay the liner in and smooth it out. Next add the water, as the water
is filling the pond smooth and adjust the liner making folds in it to fit the shape of the pond. After the pond is filled
you can trim the edging back, I recommend leaving at least 6" of edging, place rocks on top to cover and hold the liner down,
save a couple pieces of the lining in case you have to patch a hole. You can also make an aboveground pond with a wood frame
or concrete blocks
Pouring a concrete or spraying gunite requires reinforcing bars and wire mesh and is best left
to professionals. The method I use is much like mortaring a stone wall or block wall to make the floor and walls. After the
concrete has cured for 2 weeks I apply 2 coats of a waterproofing paint called "Dryloc". After waiting for the paint to cure
you fill the pond with water and let it sit 24 hours and then drain it. Refill it and let it stand for 2 weeks this stabilizes
the PH (by removing free lime), then drain the water and refill and your all set. You can speed up this process up by etching
the concrete surface with a brush before it dries with muriatic acid (2 parts acid 1 part water) until the concrete stops
Ponds for turtles
To deter predators you should make the pond so that the water is at least 18" deep.
For turtles I like using the concrete type pond, besides being the most durable, with the inside
painted I can see what is going on all the time. With the dark liners I find it hard to see the bottom unless the sun is directly
overhead. If you plan on keeping the turtles in the pond year round, make sure you make it deep enough so that it doesn't
freeze solid and provide a few inches of debris on the bottom for the turtles to bury in when they hibernate. If you want
the turtles to stay in the pond, overhang the edge of the pond with large flat rocks a couple of inches above the water level
so they can't climb out. Also you will need a overflow outlet to maintain this water level in case of heavy rain, a short
section of 1 1/4" PVC pipe through the wall works fine.
If you want them to be able to leave the pond, you will have to fence it in. Some turtles are excellent
climbers, I have seen Red-Eared Sliders climb a chain-link fence; a wood fence should have vertical slats. Also bury the bottom
of the fence 3" into the ground so they can't dig under it.
Their are hundreds of different models and sizes that are available for ponds. The filter you select
should be based on the size of your pond and on what you plan on having in it. A small pond (less than 200 gallons) can function
will a submersible filter that has the pump inside the unit. Above 200 gallons you should be looking at an external bio-filter
with only the pump in the water. If your just going to have plants and a couple of small fish I would buy a filter that is
rated for your gallons as an absolute minimum, but if you plan on adding more fish or turtles I recommend that your filter
be rated for least twice your ponds gallons. To determine gallons Length x Width x Average depth x 7.5. You want your filter
to be a low maintenance item, the longer you can go without disturbing a bio-filter for cleaning is what you’re looking
for. One of the more important components in a pond bio-filter is a prefilter. This will eliminate the larger particles from
reaching and clogging the media. Remember you really can't control what your pump will send to the filter, rotten leaves,
worms, etc.... I use a wire screen tube over the intake of the pump to grab the really big pieces but the amount of muck that
does get sucked up and collected by the prefilter is amazing. To size the pump for an external filter, measure the surface
area of the filter media in square inches, multiple that by 2 or 3, that is the pump in gallons per hour you’re looking
Now determine where the filter is going to be placed, measure the vertical distance from the pump
to the filter, which is your head loss. A 500gph pump might only give you 300pgh at 3 feet. Generally pumps will list the
gallons per hour they will deliver at different heights right on the box, if not they do inside with the manual. REMEMBER
any outdoor electrical appliance especially where water is involved MUST be plugged into a GFI (ground fault interrupt) outlet.
If you want to save some money you can make your own filter. Attached is a basic diagram of the
filter that I made and use both inside and outside. You should check with your town or city building department, they might
require that your pond or yard be fenced in. Remember little kids are always are always getting into something what you don't
want is for them to be near your pond without supervision.