How To Build a Natural Pond Step By Step
Hi I’m Chris from Aqua Gardening. In this video, I’m going to describe the proven 20 step process to build an Aquascapes pond kit, making building a pond fun and easy
Once a location for the new pond has been determined use a can of marking paint to draw the shape of the pond on the ground, making sure to keep the dimensions true to the size of the kit being used.
Place the skimmer box and bio falls filter along the perimeter of the pond taking into consideration the main viewing areas from inside the home, as well as outside.
The bio falls will be the source of the main waterfall so position the unit facing those areas. Flexible PVC pipe is used to connect the filters and transfer the water from the pump to the waterfall. Laying the pipe now and burying it in the berm during excavation will save digging it in later. Prepare to set the bio falls by installing the bulkhead fittings provided. Use a pair of channel locks to tighten down the fittings and create a watertight seal.
Multiple inlets offer an option for multiple pump applications or for easily connecting the plumbing, no matter which direction the pipe is coming from. Using silicone around the threads of the fittings cap of the unused side with a plug and install an NPT fitting to connect the flex pipe.
Remove the bio falls and prepare a flat and stable base for it to be set. the bio falls filter can be raised up or dug down depending upon the application, just make sure it's set to scale with the landscape.
Compact the soil with a tamper to avoid future settling and reposition the filter so that it sets level side to side and leaning slightly forward. Once set, stand inside of the unit and backfill around the front and sides leaving the back exposed to hook up the plumbing.
Use the PVC glue included in the installation kit to connect the pipe.
Apply the glue liberally to both clean components and then insert the pipe into the NPT fitting holding it firmly in place for about 20 seconds to allow for curing. proceed to backfill the area with loose soil and compact the dirt around the plumbing components to protect the connection.
Begin excavating the first shelf of the pond approximately 20 to 25 centimetres on your way to the 60 centimetre maximum depth specified by your pond kit.
Start in the middle and use the soil to build up a berm around the bio falls. Dig a small trench around the perimeter of the pond for the exposed pipe outside the berm, lay the pipe in the trench and backfill around it with the loose soil.
Before completely burying the pipe, now would be a great time to add an optional Ion Gen water clarification system. simply measure and cut out a section of ,pipe to accommodate the device, preferably in a low traffic area around the pond. use the PVC glue to attach the pipe to the Ion Gen fittings then hold firmly for 20 seconds before backfilling the area with loose soil.
Prepare to set the skimmer by marking around the filter and digging down approximately 50cm. Continue excavation of the first shelf and skimmer hole while building up and levelling the berm around the bio falls.
Once the first shelf is dug mark out and dig the second shelf another 20 to 24cm. Use a laser level or transit to set the water level with the skimmer and be sure to check the shelves inside the pond for depth consistency.
In preparation for setting the skimmer use a pair of channel locks to install the bulkhead fittings in the discharge ports. use silicon to create a watertight seal as you thread the NPT fittings into the bulkheads and tighten them down with channel locks.
To avoid settling use a hand tamper to create a solid flat base for the skimmer to be set. in order to function properly the filter should sit level side to side as well as front to back proceed to backfill around the filter with loose soil while standing inside the unit to prevent shifting.
Re-check the level after backfilling and be sure that the depth of the first shelf in front of the skimmer is 7 to 10cm lower than the bottom of the faceplate opening. prepare to connect the plumbing by measuring and cutting the pipe to the proper length once again use PVC glue to attach the pipe to the NPT fitting and hold for 20 seconds to allow for curing. Continue to backfill and compact loose soil around the pipe and skimmer. An optional overflow pipe can be installed out the other side of the skimmer or simply plugged if not required.
Mark out the third and final shelf of the pond and dig down until you've reached the specified kit depth of 60 cm using a flat shovel to cut 90 degree shelves will make stacking boulders much easier and more stable than sloped walls.
Once the basin is fully excavated and clear of any loose rock or debris it's time to install the protective pond underlay, lay it in the basin and conform it to the shelves starting at the bottom. next bring in the fish-safe EPDM rubber pond liner. Much like the underlayment, start at the bottom and pull down the liner to conform it to the pond shelves, doing your best to remove any large folds in the liner along the way.
Prepare to hook up the skimmer by pulling back the liner and cutting the underlay to expose the face. Fold the liner back over the skimmer face leaving slack at the bottom, and use your finger to trace out the opening.
Using the trace line as a guide cut out the rectangular shape 4cm inside the mark position the skimmer faceplate through the cut-out and expose the backside. To stretch the liner firmly around the component use a thick bead of silicone over the screw inserts before lining up the faceplate and attaching it to the skimmer.
Install the four corner screws first and then the rest in any order you choose.
Begin to rock in the pond by placing boulders along the vertical walls of the pond floor. Use a variety of sizes as you stack rocks in the pond much like building a stone retaining wall. If a boulder doesn't fit right flip it turn it and twist it, and if it still doesn't work set it aside and try a different one that will lock in place.
Be sure the tops of the stacked boulders sit 5cm higher than the liner in order to retain the gravel on the shelves.
Continue to work your way up from the bottom making sure the stone walls are stable as you go. Consider the waterfall while rocking in the pond and be sure to use large stones to frame out an entry point into the pond position. A few underwater lights between the boulders and lock them in place with small boulders. Run the light cables behind the rocks and wrap excess wire around the fixture. For ease of bulb replacement when the pond is full use a mixture of gravel to bury the light cables and any exposed liner along the shelves and pond floor the gravel can also be used to fill any voids between the rocks and provide extra stability to the pond walls.
Prepare to install the pump by assembling the check valve and threading it onto the pump discharge. Place the media rack first and then lower the pump down into the skimmer.
Connect the pump to the plumbing by hand threading the collar piece on to the check valve. An adjustable overflow fitting is provided and should be threaded into the opposite discharge outlet. position the filter pad around the check valve and lock the skimmer basket into place using the front tabs.
Set the skimmer lid on top and prepare to wash down the stones. use a garden hose to rinse the stones from top to bottom and a clean-out pump to remove the dirty water once the pond has been rinsed down a few times. Once the dirty water is pumped out pull the clean-out pump and begin to fill the pond.
Begin waterfall construction by setting a spillway stone between the large framing rocks at the ponds edge, fold the liner back and prepare the waterfall area by excavating the soil just below the top of the waterfall spillway stone. This will prohibit the gravel from washing down from the flow of the waterfall. Prepare to attach the Bio falls snout by lining up the filter opening and cutting the liner accordingly.
Once again use a thick bead of silicone over the screw inserts and install the snout by lining it back up and tightening down the screws the top.
Two screws should be lined up and installed first and then the rest in any order you choose. Set the media rack at the bottom of the bio Falls and follow it with the filter pads. Install the rock tray last and continue building the main waterfall. black waterfall foam is used to fill the gaps and voids between the rocks and keep the water flowing visibly over the rocks. Allow the foam time to cure before moulding it in place and disguising it with gravel. Continue to add rock and gravel throughout the waterfall area and use black waterfall foam wherever necessary. Use small cobbles to fill the rock tray and cap it off with gravel to help blend it into the berm.
Additional topsoil isn't always necessary but it proves to be useful for dressing up your berm plus the nutrient-rich soil provides a nice base for the perennials planted around the pond. Finish off the berm where you created the waterfall by building a small retaining wall behind it.
Cut the berm back to expose a dirt wall and set some larger boulders in place. Once set backfill the boulders and tamp the berm as soon as the pond is filled to its proper level and all the foam is dry you may test the pump and waterfall. if you aren't happy with the aesthetics of the waterfall you can play smaller stones on the waterfall spill weight to alter the flow with everything running.
In the pond at the correct water level go around the perimeter of the pond with a pair of cutters and leave yourself roughly 15cm of excess liner for edging.Trimming the liner after the waterfall is running will alleviate the possibility of cutting your line or too short and forming a low edge once the liner is trimmed.
Come in with rock and gravel for edging to break up the monotony of all the gravel edging. We also do some dirt edging dig a trench and fold down the liner against the rocks.
Backfill the trench with dirt and compact the area.To avoid settling this type of edging is used to bring landscaping right to the ponds edge.
Finish off the berm by landscaping around the water feature and bringing in mulch to prevent soil erosion. It's time to clean up make sure the entire site is cleaned of debris and extra materials. Review the pond owners manual with the home owner for general maintenance practices and add the recommended dosage of beneficial bacteria to jump start the ponds ecosystem.
With a professional Aquascapes pond kit and a proven step by step process you can transform any landscape into an aquatic paradise.
I’m Chris from Aqua Gardening, for safe healthy environments that benefit you and your family.