How To Choose The Right Pond Liner?

For those who are serious about aquatic wildlife, it makes sense to capture that enthusiasm with your very own piece of nature. What better way to do so than having your own pond? Like any peaceful body of water, this can become a place where you can lose your thoughts. Whilst your imagination is running wild, you have to remember the practical requirements of a pond in order for it to be habitable for wildlife. Your first thought should be a pond liner.

What Is A Pond Liner?

Before building a house you have to dig the foundations in order for the structure to stand and be capable of withstanding the test of time. Imagine a pond liner as the foundation for your pond. A pond liner or equivalent, such as a Pond Shield, should be installed in all ponds as they prevent water from soaking in to the ground. They also act as a barrier for plants and weeds growing around the edges. This should ensure that no greenery breaks through, leaving your pond’s water crystal clear.

Pond Liners For Different Needs

Before installing your pond, you have to consider some very important factors. First of all comes size. Determining the size of your pond will enable you to decide on which form of pond liner to choose; for example, some pond liners are better designed for smaller ponds. Secondly, budget. The budget you have to spend on your pond will ultimately determine everything with regards to size, shape and what sorts of aquatic wildlife you’ll be able to attract.

PVC Pond Liners

Flexible and easy to move, PVC pond liners are sometimes chosen by those with a small to medium sized pond. If your pond is free of flora and fauna, this lining might be suitable for you. However, there are negatives. PVC pond liners have been known to become brittle as time passes. This is a factor you must consider before introducing fish to your pond as you may need to carry out repairs frequently, which would mean disturbing or removing them. PVC liners can also look a little unsophisticated.

Rubber Pond Liners

Rubber pond liners are very durable and can easily adapt to changing temperatures without breaking, making them a superior choice when compared to PVC competitors. They would certainly be a better option if, for instance, you had a wide range of aquatic wildlife situated in and around the pond.

Epoxy Coatings

Non-toxic epoxy is the best way to seal a pond made of a solid constructed surface like concrete, stone or steel for example. Pond Armor products, such as Pond Shield non toxic epoxy, offer all the protection of PVC or rubber liners whilst lending your pond a much more attractive look and minimizing ongoing care.

Pond Essentials

Whether choosing a PVC, rubber or epoxy pond liner, it is essential that you don’t forget to install two crucial elements. Firstly, you should ensure that your pond is fitted with a pond liner underlay. Pond liner underlay and preformed ponds will prevent weeds or roots penetrating the liner. Once your pond is full it can be a tricky task repairing such damage. The underlay also keeps subsoil compressed and stable. Secondly, it’s important to check whether your liner is U.V. stabilized. Over a period of time, exposure to the suns rays can have a detrimental effect on the pond’s liner.

Stephen Adamson is a landscape gardener who enjoys blogging about his passion in his spare time.

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Are Pond Liners Toxic?

The above question is very important especially when you are building a pond to hold plant or animal life. If the liner turns out to be toxic, you cannot successfully keep aquatic plants or animals in it. This therefore means that you will not achieve your objective of having the pond constructed in the first place. In an effort at helping readers understand the true situation on this matter, you need to get some information on the composition of the liner before you can get an answer to the question; are pond liners toxic.

For starters, the answer to this question could be either positive or negative depending on the kind of pond liners you are talking about. With so many designs and a wide variety of brands in the market to choose from, the answer to the question will depend on the choices you make.

Often construction materials are made out of certain chemicals that are aimed at making them more durable and resistant to attacks from insects and other possible causes of damage. The problem then becomes making sure that any of these chemicals are not part of what makes up your new pond liner.

Are Pond Liners Toxic? Here Are Tips for Choosing Non Toxic Pond Liners

The first thing that should come to mind when looking for pond liners is the effect it will have on the animal or plant life that may be introduced into the pond. With this in mind, you need to try and make sure you avoid products that are not designed for housing aquatic life in the pond.

Retailers that carry product may already know the answers to your questions and you should ask them.  If they are not familiar enough about the product you can always move up the chain to the manufacturer of the product.

Talking to the manufacturer can be of great help. They can provide you with technical data sheets that will allow you to see how a product has been tested and what the results were.

It is important to remember that any pond liner you chose will be in direct contact with the water that the fish and plants live in.  Making sure it is safe before applying it is very important to their health and well being.

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Why Pond Sealer is Better than a Pond Liner

If you are contemplating a backyard pond or water fountain, it is important that you spend some time evaluating the various methods available for lining your pond. After all, you cannot simply dig a hole and fill it with water; you need some type of liner to ensure that the water stays in place and that you can create the beautiful pond you have envisioned. There are a variety of options available and choosing the one that is right for you will depend on the type of pond you want to create, your budget and, of course, your own personal preferences. There are pre-formed pond liners that can be purchased to use as a pond enclosure; however, if you want something that will last for a longer period of time and that will also provide more flexibility, consider using a liquid pond sealer. These sealers are simply brushed on and form a waterproof barrier that can be used to create a beautiful pond or water fountain in just about any environment.

Fortunately, a liquid pond sealer can be an easy and affordable solution when you are looking for the best pond liner. This type of sealer can be applied to almost any material and will form a barrier that is not only waterproof, but flexible and durable. These benefits will certainly help to ensure that your pond looks great and remains intact for many years. Additionally, the liquid sealer used to create this barrier is completely safe for plants and fish, which makes it an excellent choice for any water pond or fountain.

The use of a pond sealer is certainly an effective way to line any type of pond; however, there are some people who prefer to use an alternative method. For example, you can purchase a pre-made form that can simply be placed in the ground and is ready for you to fill. These pre-made molds are available in numerous sizes and shapes and can be an excellent alternative for anyone who does not want to go through the trouble of applying a liquid sealer to the surfaces of their backyard pond. Another excellent solution would be to use a special liner that is designed to be used in a pond. These liners are similar to a sheet of plastic and are applied to the surface of the pond prior to filling. They can provide a waterproof barrier that is as simple as lying down a sheet of special film designed for this purpose. This method has the added benefit of being extremely affordable.

While there are certainly a variety of different solutions that can be used to seal a backyard pond, not all of them are as effective or convenient to use. For example, liners that come in a sheet can be extremely difficult to fit properly into the contours of your pond. Additionally, pre-formed pond liners can limit your design creations and are not as durable as a liquid sealer. There are certainly many advantages in choosing a liquid pond sealer over other types of liners. When installing your own backyard pond, seal it with the convenience and durability of a liquid sealer.

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Applying a Concrete Sealer

There are many things you should keeping mind when applying a concrete sealer. Generally these can be categorized into surface preparation, sealer application and inspection. This way it is easier to follow along because you will know what phase you ought to be in regarding any specific topic. The assumption is made that you already have your materials in hand and are ready to go.

Following that line of thought, the first thing you need to consider before applying a concrete pond sealer is how the surface ought to be prepared. Concrete, like many other surfaces has its own unique properties that need to be examined before applying anything to it. First and foremost is the type of concrete that is being sealed. There is some confusion at times in regards to what concrete is. Concrete is a mixture of sand, rock, cement, lime and water. The sand and rock components can actually vary in size some which will eventually determine the over-all strength of the concrete in the end.

Mortar is not concrete nor is cement concrete although these terms are by and large used synonymously to describe concrete. The fact is that mortar for example, is use mainly for adjoining brick or block but should not be used where concrete should be. Mortar has no rock and if used like concrete, will end up being too weak to perform properly.

With that said, it will now be assumed that you are working with concrete. The surface preparation for new concrete dictates that the concrete cure at least 28 days before preparing (7 days for accelerated concrete). Once cured properly, the concrete is cleaned using a mixture of one part muriatic acid and three parts water to clean the calcium sulphate from the surface. It is rinsed off and left to dry. Older concrete should be cleaned the same way.

Now you are ready to begin applying a concrete pond sealer. There are four types of tools that can be used to accomplish this:

Tool Pros Cons
Paint Brush Good for tight areas and cutting in Difficult to control sealer thickness
Paint Roller Excellent for moving material over
larger areas
Sealer applied thinner so multiple coats may be necessary to build up to the minimum thickness
Squeegee Great for smooth surfaces, coating can be applied in one coat Poor for uneven surfaces, can be tough to learn for new users
Spray Gun Perfect for larger areas both smooth and uneven especially when larger amounts of material need to be applied Not ideal for small jobs

While each of these methods is equally as effective if done properly, it is important that all instructions are followed.  In the case of Pond Shield epoxy, there are very specific recipes for mixing the sealer that should be used.

With that said it is best to take you time and really make sure that you have covered the surface well. After applying the concrete sealer, you need to inspect the surface. Most people tend to think that if the sealer looks good from afar that it must be completely intact. This is not true. The concrete surface may have small flaw that will allow a sealer to settle down into leaving very small areas that are not entirely coated anymore.

Because of this it is recommended that each square foot of surface be inspected for flaws and touched up as necessary. All it takes is one flaw to become a leak that will more than likely cause you more grief than it could have if the small amount of time was spent inspecting the surface before the sealer was put into service.

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Pond Armor Colors

We offer eight standard Pond Armor colors including Black, Clear, Tan, Gray, Competition Blue, Sky Blue, Forest Green and White. We also can mix any solid custom color that you choose.

Many people often ask what the best color is to choose. It is difficult for us to recommend a specific color because everyone’s tastes in color is going to be different. The simple answer is that you should choose a color that you think will compliment both the water feature you are coating and the surrounding area.

For example if you have a mostly natural setting, then the Pond Armor colors like Tan or Gray might suit you best. If the area surrounding your water feature is more artsy, then you might consider Competition Blue or Forest Green.

Clear is typically used when one is trying to maintain a specific look, like a concrete surface that is already stained, or a portion of a water feature that include either real or faux stone work. Waterfalls are another great use for Clear.

Sky Blue and White are almost always used for fountains and swimming pools, though there have been people who have coated their Koi ponds with these colors too. The reality is as mentioned above. Chose a color that you like and that best fits the water feature you are coating and its surrounding area.

Don’t forget that we can also mix customer colors too. The easiest way to accomplish that is to get a color chip of what you would like us to make for you. Please only choose a solid, single color.

If all else fails, there is always Black. Remember the days when you could choose any color pond liner that you wanted as long as it was black? Well we make Black also and contrary to what some may think, using Black in your water Feature will not affect the water temperature at all. That is unless you have virtually no water in the feature at all.

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Essential Tips on How to Build a Pond

I found that prevention is better than cure! A garden pond must be constructed correctly to prevent a load of problems later on. This collection of tips covers pond construction, some ideas to copy nature, pump selection and even something on a bog garden.

These ten tips on how to build a pond have been acquired through experience. I have had my fair share of fixing leaking ponds. During these difficult times I have found some excellent solutions on how to build a pond that copies nature and which is durable.

1) Dig the pond hole slightly larger than the required final size. Avoid steep sides else all your lining materials will slide down to the bottom. This is an allowance for all the layers of material that will be placed in the hole. Line the hole with underlay or a thin layer of sand before you place the pond liner. This will prevent any sharp stones or roots from penetrating the liner and causing a leak.

2) Make indentations in the bottom of the garden pond hole where plants will be planted. Put down the underlay and pond liner. Place the plant pots in the preformed indentations and line the pond with a layer of washed river sand (sharp sand). Finally place the pebbles on top of the sand. Although your plants are still in pots, it will appear as if they are growing through the pebbles.

3) Make a ledge around the garden pond approximately 3 inches (75 mm) below the final water level. Build your rock edging on this ledge and backfill with soil. It will appear as if the rocks form a natural barrier keeping the water in the pond.

4) A sandy beach which gradually slopes into the water provides an excellent area for wildlife to get safe access to the water. Also make sure that there is a clear view for the birds from this beach. They will not feel threatened and will stay longer and possibly have a bath as well!

5) A durable garden pond is created by plastering the liner with a 25 to 35 mm layer of mortar. Mix 1 part cement with 2 parts river sand and one part building sand add a waterproofing agent. Use only enough water to make the mixture workable. Line the pond in one go.

6) Natural rock and mortar have different temperature expansion rates. This means that with time, cracks will appear between any rocks built into the edge of the pond and the mortar lining. Your pond will eventually leak. This is how to build a garden pond using a natural rock finish on the rim:

a) Line the pond with mortar.

b) Place a thick layer of mortar on the rim where the rocks will be placed.

c) Place a layer of plastic cling wrap on top of the mortar.

d) Firmly push each rock into its position on top of the cling wrap. The mortar will take the shape of the rocks.

e) Remove the rocks and cling wrap after the mortar has dried. Temporally store the rocks so that you will be able to position them back in exactly the same position later.

f) Apply silicone sealer to the mortar and “glue” the rocks into their correct positions. The seal will not be visible. Ensure that you use a non-toxic sealant or else your fish will surely die. When dry, the joint will be permanently sealed! Please wait until the silicone has completely dried before filling the pond with water. This procedure requires patience, but is well worth the effort. Doing it right at the start will save you time and expenses later – Guaranteed!!

7) Use the correct size pump if you are going to filter the water and or have a fountain. Take the loss of head in the filter into account when choosing your pump. Also choose a pump one size larger than you think you will need. It is easy to throttle the flow back a bit if it is too much, but you cannot increase the flow if it is to slow!! Do not reduce the size of the pipes. Use the same diameter pipes as the pump inlet and outlet. Rather increase these diameters to reduce the friction in the pipes. High friction will reduce your water flow. Protect your pump by placing a nylon stocking (ladies pantyhose) over the pump suction. This will prevent dirt entering the pump and prolong your pump life. Replace the stocking often.

8) Hide your pump behind something in the pond. Pumps are unsightly and detract from the natural look and feel of a garden pond. Similarly hide the source of your water outlet. Let the water bubble out from beneath a few rocks or pebbles, or use large leaves to conceal the end of the pipe.

9) Choose different sizes of pebbles to line your pond. In nature pebble sizes differ. Three different sizes will suffice. Try and copy nature by putting a few larger rocks here and there. Having a rock protruding out of the water will also provide an ideal landing place for birds. Just don’t over do it. Nature is the best teacher on how to build a pond.

10) Keep your pond healthy by replacing some of the water every week. An excellent idea is to build a bog garden at the pond overflow. When you put fresh water into the pond, the overflow will keep the bog wet. A bog garden is made by digging a hole and lining it with pond liner. Push a few holes in the bottom of the lining with a garden fork. Fill the hole with special bog garden soil.

Now that you have a basic idea on how to build a pond, why don’t you give your garden a face lift?

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