Bruce on the thread I posted earlier I had all of the materials laid out but here is what I did.
Also for 'Bruce Kania's website' http://www.floatingislandinternational.com/
That is where I got the initial ideas from. They have great products but was a bit pricy for my blood. Thats why I came up with the following. It has been in my pond for 2 years now and looks great and holds up well even over the winter. I also love the fact that I can tie the line down to my areation system and keep the island from floating around too much and always find my system. The fish love love love it and stimulate the plants to grow by eating the root system that comes through the bottom of the island.
If you want to try this island it was an inexpensive one and all the wildlife love it and some people who stop by are amazed that it is not a real island. I had one little girl tell her mother that the island moved and her mother scolded her saying that islands dont move. I have fun telling her that she was right and mommy was wrong!!
If you want I think PaPond also build this and you can ask him how his turned out. Good luck!!!
1. 8 Floating noodles - ones kids use to play with ( should have holes all the way through them. Got mine at the dollar store for $1 each.
2. Heavy Duty Garden fabric. Stuff you get at Home Depot or Sams ( I got 200 ft of it for $25 at Sams club ) only used about 20 ft of it all together.
3. Found some bio mesh material at Home Depot ( sort of like a straw feel or texture material used for starting grass of plants - it was Held together via thin plastic type of mesh on both sides ) that was about $15 but only used part of it.
4. Heavy duty plastic rope - about 100 ft. $2.50 at walmart.
5. 30 lb test spider wire of other good mono fishing line, for stitching things together.
Thread rope through noodles and tie ends so that it holds the bent shape you desire. I made a outside loop with about 5 noodles. Then threaded other noodles and made spokes in the loop to provide support for the structure above.
Took heavy duty landscape fabric and looped a portion around the outside frame of noodle structure. Used sewing machine and hand sewing to sew a pocket where the noodles ( outside structure only ) would fit into. This left the rest of the material to just sit on top of remaining spoke structure. leave enough loose material to allow about a 5 to 6 inch dip. This will be what you fill in with the bio mesh material.
Placed bio mesh/mat material into and on top of fabric sitting on top of noodle structure. Tied and sewed that to the sides of the structure and to the landscape fabric. This holds the material in place until the plants start growing.
Seed the bio mesh material with whatever you want to grow. Place specific plants in place if desired.
I then used the rope up from the diffuser system to tie to the bottom of the island structure. I gave it enough of a swing to move away from the main bubbles by about 15 ft. This allows the fish to stay under it at all times.
As for the questions, this is the second season out there and yes I did leave itin all winter. The ice formed over it and snow did as well, but it held up better than I expected. COme spring I did nothing more than add more grass seed where I wanted things to grow better.
I have found as the FA grows around the structure I move some up to the sides and on the edges of the structure where the noodles are the high point. By doing this I am using the algea to be the bio structure that the grass grows onto and the softens the edges to the water and make it look less like a fake island and more like grass growing right down into the water.
I hope that this helps. It took me all of about 5 hours to build and put into place