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#4128 03/24/07 09:36 PM
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Hey everyone great forum. I signed up to this great community to enlighten my pond brain cells and maybe get some help along the way. I hope so because your looking at a man thats beating himself to death, because im doing it myself, by shovel, yes.

Well, NO actually its not very fun, but I decided I need to get into shape a lttle more and the exercise factor is already payin'off. I will feel better knowing it was done by my own craftsman ship, these hands. im weird like that, sorry.

Anyway, lemme give u a quick rundown on the history, then current problem and solution I have enabled.

About 5 years ago me, my brother, and a few friends, had alot of great fishing holes, we decided to make a small stock tank style type pond to hand feed them into monsters.

Didnt know much about pond building nor our soil, so we just got a backhoe for a day and dug a 7 foot, no slope pond about 60x20 oval. Well we notice there are springs everywhere next when its filled, it wont hold.

I then discover a huge tree stump in the middle of the back dam and begin to dig a trench 20 feet beyond the back of the dame and clay pack it, then built another dam making the pond into like and L shape.

I did that with a shovel and had blisters for 2 Christmass's. The pond withstood through Katrina and I guess all the rain and wind and trees that fell in it cause it to settle cause it actually held at 4 feet until yesterday.

I decided it was time to make it deeper and develop it more. So the 2 pumps i use for aeration, i used to pump into a 15x20 hole I have right next to the dock for a stock tank I JUST DUG 2 DAYS AGO, after im done i will create a nice 7 foot waterfall from that point.


I got the hole dug, it wont hold water so i have divided the pond that 90x 60 ina L shape as of now into three section by hand digging a pumped area after I drain it, and let the waste high deep muck settle so I can get it out. Im gonna pump the water into the small hole to keep it filled, which is aerating it, while the other end I have in the 3rd of the other part filled is aearated as well. And I just can give up, I'll tell you why now.


The pond has 10 channels 15 plus pounds, I threw 30 bluegill in the tank thats well over a pound and a half I mean HUGEE. And one lonely but happy bass. Thats the prob, that bass is 8 lbs but the coppernose in there and a few hybrids have over produced to were it looks like 10 million minnows were overtaking the entire pond. Also, now I got thick green slime type of algae formed so I drained the back end and began my adventure.

Now the conclusion. As i was diggin my trench for my pump i notice all over the pond it starts with model like clay gray/red. then I hit the tips of tress stumps? and white sand is about 2 feet down, then it goes to a ornage/red/gray clay and sand thats as hard as cement. The good thing it this is about how deep I would want it. it would be about 6 feet, enough to where I would feel fine with stocking some bass, instead of the bg that are killing my pond by overpopulating. I'm gonna take alot of pictures of my my different question and hope you can help on my journey. I just wanna make sure that bottom point i hit will hold water, cause i dont have the money for a liner. I spent my money to liner the small stock pond and the waterfall area.

My first questions are. What kind of soil does it seems I have? does that third layel I hit of rock hard clay/sand mix that I can't even get my shovel make every alright?

Also where the sand and tree stumps are springs are flowing even where my stock small hole is when I fill it, I can see water flowing out the back I gotta plug that. Thanks and pictures coming- Josh

ps- glad to be aboard

#4129 03/24/07 09:38 PM
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Oh by the way ANY experts or near experts on here that can help, tell me what kind of pics u need to help gain some understanding and i will take them pronto, thanks.

#4130 03/25/07 07:21 AM
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Hey Josh, welcome!

Job 1 is going to be getting your pond to hold water. Wihout that, everything else is futile.

Wherever you have sand and gravel, you will probably have to cover it with a thick layer of tamped (or "puddled") clay. You may have to dig deeper, because the clay needs to be at least a foot thick, and preferably 18". You can save your clean clay in a special pile, and use it for sealing later on. If the stumps are in sandy areas, they will have to go. Do you have access to a backhoe?

Good luck on your project. It sounds like a lot of work, but you sound determined to succeed.

#4131 03/25/07 11:33 AM
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Here are some of the pics i took early this morning. I really need some help, lol. Josh

http://www.pond.homestead.com/pondproject.html

#4132 03/28/07 05:39 AM
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Welcome, Josh.

Interesting project. What's the maximum width of the pond, and have you considered a liner?


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#4133 03/28/07 09:31 AM
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Thanks Bruce. The top of the pond is around 23 feet wide, then as you go back to where the deck is that area is around 80 feet. Then across that area its 50 across that.

I have some liner for the small stock pond im gonna build a waterfall for. I'll have pics up for that soon. But I also have tested something interesting.

When Katrina hit we got FEMA blue roof. This is a weather resistant type plastic, tough, and has netted weave through it. It was made to resist weather and water. and I have tested it and it works pretty great. Also i got 3 huge rolls of it, so i may try to layer the pond with 2 layers of this then a clay blanket over that. Who knows it may be what im looking for.

#4134 03/28/07 09:48 AM
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Your pond is similar to one I've considered installing in my CRP land, but I'm afraid of these water table/leakage type issues. The liner may be the way to go. You should get some internet quotes before you buy anything because there is a lot of variability in price.


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#4135 04/03/07 08:29 PM
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Josh,
Cool. I would suggest exposing and digging out all the sand first. Around the edges dig it out so you leave a hole in the bank. Also remove all stumps and tree roots, digging them out so you leave a hole. Then slope the sides back, using that clay to fill all the holes and add a little extra around the sand layer. Your shovel handle makes a great tamper to pack with.


Make it look easy,
http://zhkent.com
#4136 04/04/07 08:37 PM
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Do you have trouble with the dirt sticking to the shovel?


Make it look easy,
http://zhkent.com
#4137 04/05/07 07:47 AM
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 Quote:
Originally posted by zhkent:
Do you have trouble with the dirt sticking to the shovel?
Yeah it sticks pretty bad too, i'm finding myself the deeper I get the more it sticks, then i hit the sand.

Another problem with the sand is, right when I hit it, there is usually a stump, then the area i have dug out, not matter how big or small it is, it's full with water overnight from the springs im guessing.

Funny too, cause before I installed my liner in my garden pond, i tried to let the spring fill it or though it would keep it filled. Nope, it dropped an inch and hour at full tilt, and i notice 50 yards behind it water running out like a cut jugular.

It seems the uphill side has the spring water running down out always, and as you go downhill, is the undergound channels just run it out into out small wetland creek in the back. I could be wrong. I've tested my entire 20 acres. The soil is all red clay on the top, 5 feet down, then springs all over. The clay is soo hard in some spots, u cannot pentrate it.

I made our driveway by just smoothing out our soil, after a year it was so hard i was like '' dang ''.

Its gonna be tough to find what will work, but as of now it held at 4 feet. I wanted 6-7 to elimate sunlight penetration to the middle, i just hope i dont screw up the entire level by hitting the sand everywhere. I used a pump though, so the intergrity of the dam is not bothered, its just not the matter of getting one side done and working my way up.

On a good note, I caught a bass if you can believe it, 7.8 pounds out of there on a minnow i caught while draining, I put him in the water garden pound, with a few 1 pound blue and a big 8-10 pound cat. I've caught a few green sunfish, which i wanna elimnate, and a couple big 5 pound mud cats. I dont know the state record but i know a certain mud cat in mississippi is under 5 pounds, i think i may be close. Its the speckled kind. I stocked 150 channels 2 years ago, none are there, I guess the crane that was in there cleaned em all out.

When i show the pic, i feel good knowing, that the fish are healthy and well fed and are growing at the rate i predicted. Now its just getting my depth, aeartion plan, and water quality under control, and im gonna have a good hole. Determination is at 10 out of 10 right now.

Cant wait to show yall my water garden pics. Its Awesome, I got a 4 step water fall already built, i made a homade fall system out of plywood, gorilla glued some of the 45 firestone liner i used for the pond in the inside to protect, and saved myself about 1,200. I also fenced in area and bought 2 ducks. lol

Thanks for all the input, ill post back after work and some pics after i get the next level of things done. Thanks again, and peace out- Josh

#4138 04/05/07 08:11 PM
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Josh,
Fill a 5 gallon bucket with water. Dip your shovel in it before each scoop. The water works as a lubricant and helps the mud to come off the shovel better.
On the holes that will fill up, you might want to fill them with clay and pack it in right away.


Make it look easy,
http://zhkent.com

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