this is the website which specialises in water features.
Step 1: Research and Plan
Here are my mistakes and do learn from them instead of repeating them.
The first picture shows how my front yard was in such a mess which is why I choose this area in the first place.The rest of the pictures show my progress from cleaning the area to digging and finally making the pond (well sort of).
Step 2: Planning
I really wanted to use the EPDM Liner because it's more easier to work with, unfortunately most the stores did not even know what it was even though I showed them pictures. I went to places where they build pool mould and asked them for my pond but however it was too expensive which left me with the option of going for concrete (again many mistakes were made here).
Before improving the old pond an overview of the new pond was designed onto paper and a list of the materials required was also prepared.
Materials required to build the pond.
- Wood planks (to make the mould to retain the concrete)
- Pick (to help in digging)
- Rebar / metal bars(to add in the beams to reinforce the concrete)
- Bonding wire (to bond the rebars)
- Nails (to join the wood planks )
- Hammer (to fix the nails into the wood)
- Bucket (to remove soil, carry concrete, tools, debris etc...)
- Machette (to cut any roots found in the ground)
- Measuring Tape
- Hoe (to dig and other uses)
- Masonry level
- Saw (to cut the wood planks)
- Ruler or Straight piece of plank (we used that to put the masonry level on in order to get a good measurement)
- PVC Pipe (used to build the two beams as it saves times without the need to build a mould)
- Broom (to clean out debris)
- 2 pound hammer and chisel (used to break rock or concrete)
- Crowbar (help in digging, removing nails and dismantling mould)
Step 3: Preparing site and start construction
Then I started to dig again further more where I came into contacts with roots and rocks which thankfully were easily removed. In the meantime in the corner additional soil rocks and root had to be removed in order to make way for the drain pipe by being careful not to damage the existing water line.
The first thing to do was to align the drain pipe correctly and inclining it about 5 degree angle towards the bottom of the ditch and securing the pipe temporarily with soil. Then slowly adding the concrete in the centre of the hole and by moving little to the side and covering the front. While the Concrete is Still fresh cut the PVC pipes to equal length and push them in them the mortar,at the same time cut two pieces of metal bar of the same length and use bonding wire to attach them together then put the rebars inside the PVC pipe in the centre by sticking them in the concrete and do the same for the next beam.Since the base would be filled just with concrete, I placed some rocks on the concrete base in order to save some concrete.Then the additional concreted is poured in order to fill everywhere and reach the satisfied level.
Step 4: Constructing the Side walls Base level
Step 5: Adding 1st level outer Walls.
Step 6: Adding the 2nd and last level retaining wall and backfilling the empty space.
For the mould of the final retaining wall, the mould had to be secured from the inside of the pond with nails affixing the wood on the 2nd level retaining wall. Since there were spaces left outside as well which were too large, another outer mould had to be built and just placed around without the need of fixing as it was flat on the ground and also as concrete would be poured in it would just stay in place. Then concrete was poured in and left to dry for two days.
After two days the concrete dried and the last two moulds were removed and dissembled. Soil was added around the pond to fill the gaps and level everywhere but about two inches were left around the retaining walls as later grass would be planted and also to avoid water from going in during heavy rain which would carry debris and dirts.
Problem 1 : After the backfilling with soil, it was time to clean all the debris and materials used. When I was cleaning the plants leaves, pathway and watering the soil around the pond I noticed that water was entering inside showing signs of leaks specifically coming where each level of retaining walls were built one onto the other.
Step 7: Patching the cracks and spaces with mortar, adding walking slabs and fill water to test.
On next day however the water was being retained only at the base. In the meantime I actually planted grass around the pond and added other decoration. After two days when the concrete slabs were ready my mason added mortar on the downside of the slabs where it will be resting on the edge of the pond and on the pole. By using a hammer, measuring tape and masonry level the slabs were correctly aligned put into final resting area.
Event though the pond was not ready I wanted to decorate it and add water to see the effects and also testing it's retaining water level. After that I actually removed all the rocks and clean the pond.
Step 8: Grinding walls for interior masonry wall rendering, painting with Eco retaining water paint.
We mixed a special powder to the concrete while preparation so that it would again strengthen further the concrete to be able to hold water, I have also included the product picture.it is the Super Sikalite which is a waterproofing agent for mortars.
After the rendering was complete I sealed the exit pipe by first adding rocks and finally adding concrete on top and letting it to dry. After waiting about two weeks to let the concrete to settle, I also ordered a special eco-paint which is based on water and also friendly to the environment and not toxic to aquatic plants and animals again pictures have been included.
The pond was painted with 4 coatings of paint and letting it dry about 2 days in between.
Step 9: Decorating pond and adding aquatic plants and animals.
Then I added some small fish, frogs and a plant where again I took all of them from the river. At first everything seemed to go right but the problem was that the inhabitants died and only the plants remained alive. It wasn't the water because it came from the river itself, as for the pump it would run only about 2 times a day for about an hour.
further investigation showed that these fishes could not adapt to such a place but the larger ones such as "tilapia or berry rouge" would definitely adapt. Well on the time I publish this instructable which is on the 3rd december 2012 the pond is empty but by the end of the year I will try my best to introduce other fishes and plants and post pictures.
It took about a year, maybe less to do the pond, I did learn things from that and this is what I am sharing with all of you. Please comment about the right and wrongs of my doings which is much appreciated so that I can learn from my mistakes and also others can learn from that.thanks