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Hi, I'm still new and learning alot from this site. The Pond is coming along real fast, it's close to an acre, nicely shaped with a neat pennisula. The question, I have now that we are drawing near the end is what are the advantages/disadvantages of using #1 Limestone vs #12 riprap or leaving the Pond natural (no stone whatsoever). Water level will probably drop 2 feet and the idea is some people like aestetic looking white rock. I thought maybe the stone if we put it along the curve before, at and after the damn would be more erosion control. What are your thoughts as far as erosion control/wave action against the dam--rock or no rock??? If we're going to use any rock, we will be doing it next week. Be nice if we had a few in the area to look at to see just how the stone does look when it's low. Of course, I'd be more tuned to do it as an erosion control. Any thoughts?




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Rock is OK for erosion control but really doesn't take the place of grass. For it to really work, you would have to use it to the top of the dam. I kinda doubt that you will have significant wave action on a one acre water hole.

OK, all that said, I'm doing both. I have the grass but in some areas where there is heavy runoff and resulting erosion and sand washing in, I'm piling rocks to slow the water down as well as the suspended sand.

One good thing about the rock is that the grass doesn't seem to conveniently cover prior to erosion. Still, I would try for grass and whatever weeds happen to show up. Then use strategically placed rock.


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I would not use limestone. I could very well cause too alkaline water and associated excessive algae growth. If your water tests show you to have very acidic water it might be OK in smaller quantities. The experts will hopefully weigh in.

Edit:OK with an acre pond, there should not be a problem.


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Agreed with Dave; a one acre pond is a nice piece of pond, but not enough surface to be overly concerned for erosion issues from wave action. The only other erosion issues would be inflow areas or egress at the spillway. Both of these last two would relate directly to excessive drainage to the pondsite. Since you have not mentioned it, we operate with the assumption that there is no concern for high volume drainage.
The rip-rap look is a choice. Personally, when I see rip-rap, it screams "man-made erosion prevention"....not natural. When somebody mentions rip-rap, I don't think of natural landscaping...I think of highway overpass run-off channels and drainage ditches. Sorry to be so blunt...just my tastes.
Vegetation comes off much easier on the eyes, IMO. Some type of grass or mix of native grasses. If it is an area that can remain overgrown and doesn't require constant mowing and trimming, consider a blend of native grasses. If you can run the grasses up the bank and incorporate a narrow strip of the surrounding pondsite, you will be creating a wonderful zone for birds and a host of bio-diversity. This, in my eyes, is beauty. You could include wildflowers. The downside to native grasses is they take 2 - 3 years to grow out and fill in. Your local NRCS office can be of great help for this kinda stuff. If you have enough area to be developed, you may qualify for cost-share from the NRCS; see my Pond construction thread and go about 1/2 way down the page to one of my posts about W.H.I.P.
If you are still concerned for excessive erosion, include a turf reinforcement mat Geo-tex fabrics thread

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http://www.pondboss.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=20;t=003056;p=1
If that photo shows up you can see an example of rip rap that I cemented in. Prior to cementing the rock did little to slow the erosion. The look is a personal thing I, like Brettski, prefer vegetation, but my erosion was on the heavy side and I thought I needed to do something fast, hence the rock. 18 months later the grass I planted on the outside of the pond bank is doing fine. I also found that even with the cemented rip rap water flows under it. So on the next pond I will use vegetation. I know now that if I had spent as much time and effort on planting and caring for grass I would have ended up with less erosion overall. Also Cecil Baird 1 has a thread where he talks about using burlap in conjunction with grass seed.


1/4 & 3/4 acre ponds. A thousand miles from no where and there is no place I want to be...
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i should stay away from this thread w/ a ten foot pole. if you dont have a local source of rock either on your own property or local quarry, it is REALLY expensive to get, at least out here. Fortunately, my whole property is on bedrock,,,,,,,rock, rock, more rock....the more the merrier, i love looking at it, using it, i mulch my plants w/ it....keeps the gophers out and moisture in ...... i collect rocks, have them in the house on shelves, the birds, lizards, snakes, toads, frogs, salamanders, wildflowers, adn below water i'm sure the gambusia and GSF are loving every rock i got.....to each his own.

it is quite easy to place rocks and minimize the "man-made" appearance......take a look at any japanese garden book....mimick nature.

sorry, i had to pipe up on rocks. dont listen to me Mark.


GSF are people too!

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Thank everyone for their replies. We're SO excited with the Pond and it's got it first water going in! We rode around a couple of weeks ago and we remembered the retirement place his Mom is at has rock around it and we have decided - NO ROCK. We want the pond to be more natural looking and if a problem down the road, we'll deal with added rock whatever then (even though it may be more costly). We did an aerial measurement and looks like the pond is at 1:12 acre. I'm going to put a couple of willows on the Penninsula and a corner with some pines and leave the rest for easy mowing (as my hubby has to do that part \:\) ) Skip the rock, give me a peddle boat (does anyone know what brand/average price are on one with a motor--I see lots running $600 to $900--I'd buy a used one even)--I've got time to shop? The Farmer's Wife.




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You might want to think about the willows. Common willows are extremely invasive and spread by root. They also suck an unbelievable amount of water. Lots of us spend way too much time killing willows. I probably either pull or spray 50 to 100 per year.

If you do decide to go with a couple of scenic willows, select the weeping willow. It doesn't spread.


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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I'm probably a little late on this since you have decided against the rip-rap but..
I built my 1/2 acre pond in October of 2003. It promptly filled later that fall. During the dry weather we had in August of 2004 the pond receded to an all time low of almost 2' below the overflow, exposing several feet of unsightly clay bank. The pond is only about 100' out my back door and I personally did not like the way it looked. There was a distinct erosion line around the pond caused by waves below which no grass would grow. We used this line as a guide to place geotextile fabric followed by about 90 tons of #2 limestone delivered and placed by "slinger" truck. It stopped further erosion, gives the little fish and other creatures a place to hide and has reduced the amount of trimming I have to do. The price seemed pretty reasonable.

Keep in mind that if the water level drops 1' on a 5:1 slope, 5' of "natural" eroded, plantless, clay bank will be exposed giving good opportunity for crabgrass and other weeds to take root. The rip-rap and geotextile fabric also make it very difficult for cattails to get started and the water stays clearer.

Here it is right after placement


Here it is 2 years later when the pond is full





"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." Stephen W. Hawking
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Yours looks fine with the rock. We kept toying with stone/no stone/stone. It would be easier and less expensive to do now, we decided to try the natural first, and if we didn't like the waterline (what you said we would be afaid of). If we don't like the way the 2 ft drop looks, we're going to slinging next. I'll show Mark your pics. Our pond is about 1:12 acre, close to 20 feet deep at the far end with a pennisula (i had to have that one). We have the overflow pipe and a small pipe by the house left to go along with more rock and couple of tree stumps. Next week we are doing the seeding ourselves (what a way to spend a vacation). \:\)




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MarkECIN admits:
 Quote:
(what a way to spend a vacation).
BINGO! Exactly the M.O. that likely landed ya here in the first place. In my life, this IS the way to best spend vacation time. Pictures of that trip to the Mexican Riveria are OK to look at now and then, but re-visting the various project accomplishments on a regular basis cannot be beat! Hmmmm....Mexican vacation or Pond....tough decision, eh?
Meet ya on the dock.

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Brettski, that reminds me.....
...before we decided I kept thinking garage/pond/garage/pond (already had a garage on the house)--need I say NO MORE -- there was no decision--we both wanted the pond. Not to mention a vacation comes and goes, but a POND ! You can vacation anytime all year long!! (my hubby's 2 cents)! See you on the dock! Thanks.




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Hey, when ya make to the end of the dock, can ya bring a couple of pix of the project? Better yet, can ya post 'em on this thread? If you haven't figgered it out yet, you will get not only praise for your endeavor, but sometimes these Pondmeisters can see things that you and I can't and they can offer ideas and advice.
Good to have ya here. Tell hubby that $.02 is a popular PB forum payment....have him make a direct deposit with a post so we can meet him, too. ;\) \:\)


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