All ponds from the back porch

Finishing Touches

The first thing we noticed when we took the form off the stream was how ugly the concrete was. On the sides, it would be a simple task to cover the cinderblocks and poured concrete with tile. The end was another question. We could cover it with tile, but we were concerned that it would get too wet, leak inbetween the tile and the concrete, and wouldn't stay stuck, and it would be very difficult to cut the tile to match the curve on the concrete. We decided to get a piece of aluminum and bolt it to the end. I chose aluminum because when aluminum oxidizes, it forms a protective layer instead corroding away like iron or steel would.

All ponds from the back porch

We played with a lot of ideas about how to get the water to flow from one pond to the next. We considered cutting the livestock tank and putting in some sort of lip so that water would spill from one tank to the other. We thought about doing something with concrete and rock to form a waterfall, but we didn't have any good ideas about how to support all the concrete.

All ponds from the back porch The design we chose was to punch a hole in the upper livestock tank, insert a pipe fitting, and hide all the fittings with a stack of rock supported by a board. The fitting in the upper pond is an elbow, so that we could skim water from the large pond to the lower one. Viola, an instant waterfall!

HAHAHA!!! Remember the karma kops are watching! Robert and I were so pleased with ourselves.

All ponds from the back porch

It didn't work as planned. It was great for a few days, but then a bit of parrot's feather got caught in the pipe, the upper pond started overflowing, and the lower pond drained. That's when we added the plate shown to the left. The idea was to add a standoff so that only a very thin layer of water would skim over the top of the plate to the pipe. The plate was held about an eighth of an inch under the water with the pipe fitting sticking up slightly to the water's surface level.

All ponds from the back porch That worked great for a few days, but then a bit of parrot's feather got caught in the pipe. We cleaned it out again. Then some anarchis blocked it up. We swore at it and cleaned it out. Robert put a switch in the lower pond that shut off the pump when the water dropped to a certain level. We went a while cleaning out the pipe and refilling the pond. Once a snail crawled in the pipe and clogged it up.

We decided that we were wasting too much water and re-examined our design. I suggested that the problem was that the plate level was too far below the water level. Was there any way to raise the plate? We couldn't come up with one. Was there anyway to build up the plate? No, but we could bolt another plate on top of the first one, so that the surface sloped up OVER the pipe fitting. This caused the water to get shallower and shallower until it just barely flowed over the edge of the pipe. Finally, we had solved the problem of plants clogging the pipe.

Parts List
1 one inch plastic elbow 0.59
1 one inch plastic female threaded 0.39
2 one inch plastic male threaded 0.59 each
8 inches one inch plastic pipe 1.00
1 8"X24" Aluminum Sheet 7.29
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This page was last modified Thursday, 02-Sep-1999 08:04:16 PDT