Sunday, December 16, 2007

Done with Digging!

Well, since my last post, we moved from design phase into digging. Lots of digging! I have a series of photos to show the progress...

Modest Beginnings
Thanks to a group of friends, real progress!
Building on the group work and digging deeper (~4' deep)
Laying in the pipe that will carry the water from the pump (will be inside the black skimmer box on the bottom) to the hydroponic beds inside the garden fence. Note that I partially filled in the opening in the top step. Since we originally had intended that end to be a "deep end" and have the pump situated there, we left that open. Given the new arrangement with the skimmer (the pump sits inside the skimmer), I had to backfill the step back in. I wasn't able to get it as high as the other steps, but we should be able to stack rocks there to get it up to height once the liner is in.
Pipe's covered up, and a rough outline of a waterfall is in place. Note the large plastic tub. That will be a bog and will also serve as a grow bed, but for more typical pond-oriented vegetation
So, the idea is simple. Water flows into the skimmer box where the skimmer takes out leaves and other surface-floaties. Water is then pumped through the black pipe, which will be completely covered, into the garden area and into some sort of hydroponic grow box. We'll probably get a couple more of those 110 gallon plastic tubs, as they look to be about the right size. The water will fill up each plastic tub, which, in turn, will flow into the next plastic tub, and eventually out of the last plastic tub (pictured above) and out through a waterfall (base construction will be out of cinder blocks) and back into the pond.

Still left to do...
- Get underlayment and liner installed. This will require a 25' X 25' liner, just for the pond, which weighs about 200 pounds. So, I'll need to get some help! I'll also need a small liner for the waterfall (size yet to be determined).
- To secure the liner, I'm going to have to get some rocks delivered. These don't have to be fancy rocks, as any rocks that will be inside the pond will end up getting covered in algae. You want rocks and gravel inside your pond to serve as a place for the beneficial ammonia-converting bacteria to attach to and also to hide the liner.
- Get power to the area. I've already purchased an outdoor outlet set and outdoor wire, but I need to dig a trench (>12") from the pond to the shed, where I plan on installing a mini-breaker box to provide power. Having a double out let pond-side will be nice, in case we need to plug anything else in. The pump itself will run 24 hours a day.
- After the liner is in place, I can work on constructing the waterfall, as it will sit on top of the pond liner.
- Get dirt, gravel, and rocks delivered. Dirt to build up the bog and waterfall area and any parts of the berm that need work. Gravel to fill up the grow beds and disperse inside the pond to conceal the liner. And rocks to landscape the pond, hide the waterfall cinderblocks and waterfall bog plastic container.

So, that's where we're at for now. Looks like we'll take a short break from pond work for the holidays, but I'm really hoping that we can be pretty much up and running by the end of January!!

Look for another update after the liner's in place.