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#495635 - 08/30/18 01:44 PM Exposed Pond Liner / Fish Habitat
78703TX Offline


Registered: 08/30/18
Posts: 2
Loc: TX
Hey guys. First post here although I have been reading through lots of the wealth of information available prior to registering.

I'm 2 years into a 1 acre tank on my family's ranch in South Texas and boy has it been a pain in the butt. We had a low spot (where all of the water runoff would end up and sit for a while) dug out to about an acre, 20 feet deep from high water line to deepest point. We had a solar well installed. But the damn thing has never held water. Hurricane Harvey hit us hard last year with at least 18" of rain. Pastures and culverts along the road were holding water for weeks; my tank was completely filled but was bone dry 3 days later. The soil in the area is a caliche/clay mix with some sand, which obviously isn't ideal. We had bids to bring enough clay to put down a 2' layer which came out to $100K (not happening). I have looked into tank liners that require 1' of "sediment free top soil" to be laid on top of it. The cost of the liner, soil plus transportation put me right back in that $100K range.

So now what I'm looking at now is a UV resistant "Aqua 30 Coext Geomembrane" liner that supposedly can be laid right on top of the soil and left exposed. Has anyone here had any experience with something like this? Can I expect to grow a decent fish population using this application?

Thanks in advance.


Edited by 78703TX (08/30/18 03:28 PM)

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#495718 - 09/01/18 06:45 AM Re: Exposed Pond Liner / Fish Habitat [Re: 78703TX]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 14026
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
I would think that clay/loam/sand would be an ideal mix. Evidently not in your case.

I believe I would check around for clay. How far away is the clay?

Btw, welcome to pond boss. Where in South Texas are you?
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It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

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Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#495740 - 09/01/18 01:28 PM Re: Exposed Pond Liner / Fish Habitat [Re: 78703TX]
Mike Whatley Offline


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 1210
Loc: Louisiana
I don't understand this either. My small pond is about 80/20 sand/clay and I only loose water thru evaporation. You may want to look into soil flock. Not sure how expensive it is, but I've read posts where it's been used to seal leaking dams with good results.

Welcome to the forum, BTW. I'm a fellow Harvey victim too, as well as the '16 Sabine River flood. Hope y'all came thru it without too much grief.
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#496187 - 09/11/18 01:19 PM Re: Exposed Pond Liner / Fish Habitat [Re: 78703TX]
78703TX Offline


Registered: 08/30/18
Posts: 2
Loc: TX
Thanks for the responses guys. I'm just South of Goliad- we got some strong wind/lost some trees and roof shingles but all in all were very lucky it calmed down as much as it did and that the rain didn't stall over us.

Yes unfortunately with our pond the water seems to drain out of it like a bath tub with the drain unstopped. It's unusual because before they dug it out, the low spot there naturally held water for months with the loss due to evaporation.

We have actually been offered clay from someone in Cuero free of charge but the bids to transport and lay it down came close the that $100K which we really cant afford to do at this time. That's why I started researching the liners but can't find any information on their ability to sustain a fish habitat when exposed. We looked into burying a different type of liner with a full foot of top soil, which we have plenty of nearby, but again the cost of transport and laying it in wasn't reasonable for us.

We had one guy suggest dumping a bunch of bentonite in there and running a bulldozer back and fourth until it's compacted but said it would be expensive and wouldn't give anything close to a guarantee.

Like I said I'm completely new to this and just stepped in after the rest of my family has all but given up on making the tank happen. The guy we always hire to transport materials, do road work, leveling etc (who gave us the estimates for moving clay, dirt) took a look at it and said if it were his property he'd just abandon hope and leave it as is which didn't give me much confidence.

Does anyone know of any professionals in my area who might be able to help me out?

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#496199 - 09/11/18 07:15 PM Re: Exposed Pond Liner / Fish Habitat [Re: 78703TX]
jpsdad Offline


Registered: 05/20/18
Posts: 331
Loc: Texas
78703TX,

With your situation it may be hard to find someone willing to take on the risk of a guarantee. Here are a couple of thoughts.

This pond pretty deep for a 1 acre pond and you mentioned it was bone dry. The only way this can happen is if the bottom is exposed to water conducting strata. Caliche has varying amounts of clay and lime. Where the lime prevails it is very brittle and water dissolves pathways through it. In north Texas, the springs are often sourced to fractures in the caliche. There might be exposed fractures providing the pathways.

You didn't mention if their is a ravine providing the depth or if it was actually dug 20 feet deep. I think if it were me, I would consider using the topsoil from the land. You need to be sure that no rock strata has exposure to the water. It would probably still percolate some but this should abate over time as organic matter accumulates. In time I think you'd have a pond that holds water well enough to meet your purposes and expectations.

You should still find help as you are doing. Slope of the bottom and its thickness would be important to the stability of your repair.

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#496201 - 09/11/18 08:21 PM Re: Exposed Pond Liner / Fish Habitat [Re: 78703TX]
John Fitzgerald Online   content


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 2212
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
Given my experience with a leaker I haven't been able to fix, I would fill it in. Mine is in all clay, and still leaks due to so far unknown causes. Sorry, cannot give you much hope.
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#496230 - 09/12/18 06:05 AM Re: Exposed Pond Liner / Fish Habitat [Re: 78703TX]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 14026
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
I'm believing or guessing that the bottom is exposed sand. Nothing else should be able to drain an acre in 3 days.
_________________________
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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