“That pond could use a few little tweaks.”

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The 3-levels of pond, from last May. The top two pools are shallow and small, which is a liability in the desert summer heat. Back in 2010 I dug the lowest pool down and put in a new liner; that was a practice run on what comes next.

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Here the top two ponds are stripped down to their liners, with all their stone stacked on the bench to the top/left. The waterline snakes up from the bottom pool to the right and into the partially buried garbage can (home of the filter system), then continues through the wooden platform-box to spill into the top pool. 

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All the new pond hardware is ordered and en-route, so a full day on prep of removing flagstone,  and river stone.

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This is the algae soup bowl; 4’x8’x20inches deep. The two plastic buckets at the top of the frame guard a tasty pair of plants from the brood of Quail that live in the yard.

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I have put a bubbler in the lower pool to keep it oxygenated while the pump / waterfalls are off.

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The footprint of the new pond is laid out, tamped and leveled, with precast retaining wall bricks put in place as a guide.

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Time for a good old-fashioned hole-diggin’. Dig out the hole onto a pile next to the hole, then dig that pile into the wheel barrow, then cart the dirt as backfill to the covered watercourse behind the green shed.

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This whole section will get filled, then I’ll fill in under some of the old trees with the rest. This follows the old watercourse that I set into pipe and buried a few years back to reclaim this section of our yard from the neighbors.

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The pond will have a deep level (3′ or greater) and a sloping shelf for plants. The alluvial soil is sandy and tends toward clay, but no rocks. It is wet and sticks to the shovel like heavy tar. 

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All dug out with a shadow of the quail weather vane. The layer of sand cushions the pond liner.

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It took a 15 x 25′ liner to cover the 8 x 8′ footprint. 

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The retaining wall is built and includes a new waterfall mouth that regulates the flow into a 16″ wide cascade.

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So much plumbing. The blue tape shows roughly where the new piping will connect to the filter lines. Last fall I built a bypass for the filter for winter, housed with the filter inside the can; it is still running in winter mode. The looped tubing connects to the filter’s cleaning valve, and needs to be hidden. Everything needs to connect up to the black box under the flagstone- that is the back end of the waterfall regulator.

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After filling the pond the water needed to sit for 24 hours so we didn’t shock the fish with chlorine. The wait time allowed runs to the hardware store to fit out the waterlines. It lives!

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The cascade rolls out well clear of the wall and has a big voice.

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I rebuilt the plumbing for the lower pond as well, with this goose-neck connection and a hard line down to the pump.

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Kaye’s big yard frog nestled in and mostly submerged with the pond lilies.

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The aluminum figures all find new places.

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I put in another few days; re-fitting the metal mesh to guard the fish from raccoons, building out the back-end to hide the plumbing, and resolving the giant dirt piles. So many tweaks that needed pre-tweaking, yet tweaked out in the end.

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