Living in the arid regions of West Texas, water
gardening has become a very enjoyable hobby for our
entire family. We created this page so that we could
share with you what we have learned, as well as, some
of our experiences, (both good and bad), and to give
us an opportunity to learn from you and others such
as yourself. We are not experts on the subject by any
means, just hobbyists with a love for water
gardening. On this site, you will find pictures and
what we hope to be some helpful tips and information.
We encourage you to send us your stories, pictures
and any tips that you feel may be useful to fellow
ponders. We will post them on this site so that
everyone can enjoy and learn from them. It was sites
similar to this one that inspired us to join the
rewarding world of back yard ponding. You will find
some of these sites in our favorite links section.
Below are some pictures of our two ponds, which are
home to numerous comet, koi, shubunkin, crawdads,
tadpoles, snails, water dogs and other critters,
which have mysteriously found their way into our
ponds. This site is currently and will probably
always be under construction, so please come back
~ OUR FIRST POND ~
In the beginning, there was one. Before it was a
pond, it was a flower bed with a round slab of cement
in the center, which supported a small water
fountain. The day we decided to transform it into a
pond, I broke out my trustee busting bar to remove
what I thought was going to be a 4" slab of concrete.
WRONG! Turned out to be a 6' cylinder of solid
reinforced concrete, 30" deep. For the next 6 hours,
Mr. jackhammer and I became very familiar with one
~ WATERFALL ~
Falling water.....hence the name! Not your typical
waterfall, We had no idea what we were going to do
when we started. After piling up a ton of rocks, we
ended up with what you see in the picture above, one
main center stream, with two small streams
on either side.
We started off with a 300 gph pump, plumbed with 3/4"
pvc, which we thought would be sufficient,
again....WRONG! Now we have a 2800 gph pump, with 1
1/4" pvc, which we had to run around the waterfall.
It all worked out in the end, we just built flower
beds around the base of the waterfall to hide the
plumbing....Live and learn.
~ LAVA ROCK FILTER ~
Like alot of people, we thought everyones pond was
suppose to be green....WRONG AGAIN! (Are you
starting to get the idea on this "wrong thing"?)
Then we discovered filtration. We looked at several
options that are available on the market today.
That's when we learned about lava rock filters. We
cannot stress enough, the importance of a good
filtering system. Within a short period of time, our
pond went from pea soup to crystal clear water. You
will find more information and a detailed drawing,
along with instructions on how to build our
bio-filter, on page five.
~ IKE ~
Water clarity...They say a picture is worth a
thousand words. This photograph was taken in the
middle of July, in 32" of water. It just saved us
~ GUARD DOG ~
This is T-Rex, he is the master of his domain.
Neither rain, nor sleet, nor hail can tear him away
from his post. We have several like him, that have
made our backyard their home. However, this one is
actually made of cement, but don't tell the bugs.
~ OUR SECOND POND ~
And then there was two. This is our second pond.
It's 7 ft. by 9 ft. and approximately 950 gallons.
This pond presented problems of its own, in that we
only had a 16 inch slab of concrete on which to build
both the waterfall and the filter. After placing a
rock here and a rock there, everything seemed to fall
into place. Having learned from our first pond, we
built the waterfall around the
filter this time. Definitely the way to go.
~ SMALL WATERFALL ~
Once again we ended up with a main center waterfall
with two side streams. (How about that,after
building only two waterfalls, we have already
developed our own style, or it could be that we have
very limited imaginations. We'll go with the style
Notice the built in planters on either side of the
filter. That was all Jacque's idea, pretty smart gal,
I think I'll keep her.
~ TOPPING IT OFF ~
Evaporation is a major concern, especially if you
have a waterfall. At first you might think that your
liner has a leak. Constantly adding 2" or 3" of
water every few days with the garden hose can be a
pain, plus a danger to your fish because of the
chlorine. You can treat the water you're adding with
common de-chlorinators which is good news for the
fish but bad news for the algae, it loves it. Instant
pea soup!! We have found that the best way around
this is to install an automatic float system.
We started off by using a fluid master commonly found
in toilets. That didn't work very long. It failed in
the middle of the night, releasing hundreds of
gallons of city water into the pond creating the
"Great Fish Massacre of 98". Now we're using a 3/8"
brass float, which is found in large evaporative
coolers. It's dependable and adds such a small amount
of water at a time that the chlorine is quickly
disapated and it won't harm the fish.