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FAQs on Fiberglass and Polyethylene (Pre-formed) Pond Construction

Related Articles: Building Ponds with Fiberglass

Related FAQs: 

 

Fiberglass pond repair  -- 06/07/07 If you resurface a pond with fiberglass is it safe to put fish in it, or will the fiberglass kill the fish thank you Frances <Needs to be cured... but can be done... Not the best material in almost all cases... unless the original construct was/is fiberglass and resin... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm Scroll down to the tray on "Repair". Bob Fenner>

Repairing fiberglass waterfall  - 12/04/06 I am trying to repair a prefab fiberglass waterfall. There are no cracks in it. It has lost its original coloring as it is nearly 6 years old. <Yes...> We have about 7 fish and I don't want to use anything that will harm them. Do you know if regular colored grout can be used? <Do know, and no, cannot be used> Thanks for any info you could send my way. <A repair can be made if the original fiberglass/resin isn't too badly delaminated, and the area behind the break is supported well enough (not too flexible)... with fiberglass cloth (look for in determinate widths), color/ing if you'd like, laminating/hot-coat resin and hardener, oh and a "throw-away" small brush to apply it. The falls must be dry, clean, and I'd roughen up the surface with a low grit sandpaper of sorts... do wear gloves, long-sleeve shirt and avoid the bits of fiberglass removed... let cure... Bob Fenner> <<Bob, as I read this letter, I thought he was simply trying to restore coloration to an aged fiberglass structure, not repair a structural piece. I was going to try my hand at a reply, but you beat me to it *grin* My suggestion was to be to dry the waterfall surface and try a buffing compound such as 3M Imperial Rubbing Compound to bring back the coloration... Oftentimes oxidation of this sort is simply buildup on the surface of the fiberglass and will buff right out.. I can't tell you how many lake-worn boats I've brought back to a showroom shine with some buffing compound and some elbow grease. Hope this helps! -JustinN>> >Yikes... do see this as you state (now)... Will re-respond... My input remains the same excepting the use of the fiberglass cloth, tape... roughen up the surface, re-coat with colored laminating (not casting) resin and moderate/measured amount of MEK hardener. Thank you Justin. BobF< >>No problem, Bob, its what I appreciate most about the community here: the group think concept. Ideas are better thought out when you have more eyes looking at problems, I only ask for the same if I have any such similar incidents *grin*, Subsequently, while on the subject of refinishing a fiberglass structure as such, what is your opinion of one-part epoxy paints, such as those used for jet skis? These were some of the more readily accessible, easy to use, and cheap types of paint I dealt with in my time in the body work industry, and always gave very nice results. Would you feel them to be adequate for such a situation as described above? -JustinN<< <Mmm, likely so... given very thorough prep... Part of the reason I like the "hot coat" surfboard/use resins... they're much more "sticky", forgiving. Cheers, BobF> Cutting fiberglass 8/18/05 Dear Bob <Lisa> I am using a hot tub shell as a pond in my yard.  There will be a waterfall into it.  I want to cut the edge or lip off the existing hot tub.  Can I do this or will it splinter and split? <Can be cut... either layered or sprayed fiberglass and resin... with a small power tool, gloves, respirator/simple particulate mask, long sleeve tee-shirt, long pants... and taking your time... A "jig-saw" with a fine toothed blade, taping over the area, drawing a line on the tape... (to reduce splintering, and small bits flying about)... take your time... not hard to do. Bob Fenner> Waterfall 8/18/05 We have a pretty large koi pond, with a purchased water fall make of fiberglass. we want a larger one and have been thinking of how we could build one about maybe 4 to 5 feet with a couple of drops. we think we can build out of concrete, using chicken wire as a base... <Can, could> i have looked all over the internet for ideas.. i don't know if this will work.. what do you think? tim and Helen Musgrove <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm The articles, FAQs files on waterfalls, fiberglass... Bob Fenner> Can you cut the rim off a pre-formed liner and still be structurally sound? Dear WWM: I am having a pond and waterfall installed professionally. Due to deer, Javalina and gophers, and budget, we went with a hard pre-formed liner as the pool, and a rock waterfall trickling into it with a flexible liner. The Problem is that the pond liner (a MacCourt, Key Largo, 270 gals) is not level. It's at least 4 inches lower now on the rock waterfall side. <Happens... all the time... my reason for liking the use of water levels... rather than transits, other types of gear.> There are flat pink flagstones that provide a smooth standing area on the opposite end. These flagstones overlap the pond liner edge. The pond was level at first, via their engineering equipment, but (I believe) during the installation of the overlapping flagstone and filling, the pond lifted on that end, and bulged inward on two sides. Now that we've got the water in it, it is noticeable. She said she never fills the pond before packing the sides and laying the overlapping stones. <Not necessary... but would save the sort of situation you are in> Now that we've got the flagstone around half of the pond and the other waterfall rocks on the other half, the pond is off about 3-4 inches. Our contractor will make it level. She asked what I thought of simply cutting the flat rim off the pond and trimming the liner to where it becomes level. I am trying to research this idea to see if the pond is no longer structurally sound if we cut the lip off. Can you please advise? They will start work on it again right after Labor Day. And will want to get this completed as soon as possible. Thank you very much, LM Feltner <Can advise... and unfortunately I would not do this. As you speculate, such a modification would very likely seriously compromise the integrity of the basin... I take it this is a composite/fiberglass, resin unit... it may well split if the edge is removed. What are your alternatives? To leave it as is... or to pull it up, out and re-set it (what I would do). Bob Fenner>

Re: Can you cut the rim off a pre-formed liner and still be structurally sound? <Can advise... and unfortunately I would not do this. As you speculate, such a modification would very likely seriously compromise the integrity of the basin... I take it this is a composite/fiberglass, resin unit... it may well split if the edge is removed. What are your alternatives? To leave it as is... or to pull it up, out and re-set it (what I would do). Bob Fenner> Thank you very much for your quick response. I went on line to MacCourt to see what exactly it's made of and couldn't find anything. Key Largo, largest model they make) It's black plastic, but not fiberglass (unless it's a composite mixture.) It's not a stand-alone pond, like they say one can do with fiberglass. I'm wasn't convinced that cutting the edge was the answer, either. <The most likely material of construction here is polyethylene... still not a good idea to remove the rim. Do they list a number (even for sales) that you can call with a query?> The alternative is to dig out from under the high end, take up the flagstones, and lower it to it's proper height. I think pulling it out entirely it would have to be pulled away from the waterfall feature, which has been foamed. BUT, the foam sealant will be tweaked out of position regardless, and she has to fix a leaking area right next to where the waterfall spills into the hard liner, anyway. I truly wish it didn't have to be done, it's a lot of work, but that was our initial stipulation, that the pond be level, we have had an unlevel pond before and it irked us for many years until we moved. <Up to you... the basin itself should be well-settled with either sand or carpet or other material so that it is supported completely> I'm thinking that a shop-vac could be used to pull up the sand that was used to pack around the pond, and it will then settle down to it's original cup. I'm sure she will try to keep from pulling the whole thing out at this stage. But I don't want it warped or bowed in the middle, either. <Good idea... You may find it easiest to remove most all the sand, put down a firm base of a few inches and back fill around all corners AFTER testing (with water or a water level or even a long carpenter's level on a two-by laid across the lip in several areas...) to assure the basin is level all the way around> Thank you again, for your advice. I really like your web page. A wonderful resource. Regards, Linda Feltner <Glad to be of assistance. Bob Fenner>

New Pond Hey crew! <Hey! Gage here this evening.> I just got a pond from my Uncle that is roughly 175 gallons. It is a pre-made plastic frame. Couple questions: Do i need any additional liner? <Nope, the performed plastic pond should be fine by itself.> Am i correct in thinking that in the hole i should fill it with sand to let the pond settle? <It is a good idea, and watch out for any sharp rocks in the hole.> And finally, can you suggest a good filter, because the one i have is really old and filthy? <Old and filthy, that's how I felt on my birthday.  I have not shopped for a pond filter in a while, you have a couple of choices, you can get the kind that has the media/bio balls and all that in a container that drops into the pond, with a pump, and usually fountain making do-wacky (ok ok, its late, it may have another name besides do-wacky).  The type of filtration I prefer would consist of a pump in the pond pumping out to a container (large rubber maid?) filled with media, then returning to the pond.  Check out these links for more info http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/inpdfilters.htm http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/biopdfilters.htm http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pdfiltmedia.htm  > Thanks a ton if you answer any of these. I normally read about my dream fish, the black-tip reef shark, instead of ponds. <Best to read about the black tips and keep a pond IMO.  Heck, move the pond indoors and/or heat it and fill it with cichlids, you would be the coolest person on the block. Best of Luck, Gage> (this will be a freshwater, outdoor pond.) Thanks a ton Ryan  

Re: Aqua-C & Fiberglass Tubs Hey everyone, Our webpage was down just about all of yesterday. Its a long story, but a big screw up between Network Solutions and our service provider led to the problem. Anyone know of a better service server than Valueweb, by chance? <Datapipe.com is great, who we use> I became pretty stressed out when Network Solutions informed me that my domain name had expired and might be available to anyone who wanted it. Everything is back to normal now, however... Steven, go ahead and respond back to this message or you can also try calling me. The # Bob gave you was just a bit off - it is 619-405-4338 (my personal cell phone). The office line is 858-689-1121. All calls will be routed to my cell phone anyway at this time - we just moved into a new warehouse/office and the hard lines are still down. <Thought this number was awry... it's the one from your old Aqua-C biz card.> Bob - you have to come over and see the place! Address is below... <Will do so... as soon as recover from the trip, backlog... Bob F> Jason Kim President AquaC, Inc. 9825 Carroll Center Rd., Ste. 400 San Diego, CA 92126 858-689-1121 phone 858-564-3419 fax www.proteinskimmer.com

Aqua-C & Fiberglass Tubs Aqua-C's webpage is down. Do you have a customer service number for them? I am interested in buying a few of their Remora line skimmers to resell. <Yikes. Will do better, send your note along to Jason Kim re all. 858 405 4338> Also, do you know the names of any manufacturers of those nest-able fiberglass vats? I have seen several a public aquariums. They are big simple tubs that measure around 3' wide x 2' tall x 8' long. I found something similar, but far more complex and I think expensive from Florida Aqua Farms. <In Washington (maybe freight-prohibitive: Columbia... put Fiberglass Aquaculture Tanks in your search engine/s> Thanks, Steven Pro P.S. Glad to have you back. <Thank you my friend. Thank you for all your efforts. Bob Fenner>

pre-formed ponds Hello, my name is Aniko I would like to put a pre-formed pond in my back yard would you please send some information what is the largest size available the hole what we have is least 15'x20' thank you <Hello. I am not familiar with the current makes, models, manufacturers of such size pre-formed ponds, but do know how I would go about conducting a search for what is available. Do contact the swimming pool design, construction firms in your geographic region. If they don't have listings for fiberglass basins, in turn contact the landscape architects in your telephone business directories. Bob Fenner> Hot tub conversion to pond Dear Bob, I'm glad you're a pond aficionado, too! You've helped me in the past with my marine questions, but here's a tricky one.  <Hmm, okay!> We built a new home, and brought our koi with us from the last house. Now with spring in the air, my husband surprised me & brought home a used fiberglass hot tub shell to use for a new pond. It's white inside and octagonal in shape. Seems to be in pretty good condition, and he's patched the jacuzzi ports and is starting to plumb it for the filter. Questions: 1) Can I paint it, and with what? (it's kind of ugly now, stained and patched) <Yes... you can... but you know the waterline and down surface will be covered/colored with algae in a short while no matter what color you choose... the best materials are "epoxy paints" made for pools/spas> 2) Is there anything toxic likely to leach from the shell from previous use? <Not if prepared by acid/bleach washing, perhaps a bit of scrubbing... per the instructions on the "Pond Index" parts on our website: www.WetWebMedia.com> 3) Other concerns? <Hmm, well... filtration... Again, please see the WWM site...> 4) We do have to re-grout the nice tile edging--can I use regular tile grout, and does it have to be sealed? I've considered just laying a plastic liner into it, using the shell as a foundation, too. <Use new grout after cleaning out the old if it's bad... if in/near the new water surface, consider cleaning the tile and grout up and putting a nice smear of white silicone rubber (the 100% type... not the types for windows, tubs with mildewcides in them)... and wiping the excess away with paper towels while it's fresh... very nice looking, long-lasting and easier to keep clean...> I hope you're not too busy to answer this question pretty soon - we're in the middle of the project, and he's gung-ho to get it done. The fish (4 koi, ranging 6-12" and 2 comets, 3-4" ea) are still happy in their vat in the basement, and I know if I rush it we could have a disaster. Thanks in advance! Stephanie Sullivan <Take care not to "rush too much"... and do bring a good deal of the current system water (yes, even though it's not clear, clean perhaps... to the new system (you know the reasons why) and guard against thermal shock... use a heater in the new system to acclimate the livestock to new thermal conditions... over a period of weeks... to months. Bob Fenner>

Re: Hot tub conversion to pond Dear Bob, Thanks for the reply. We scrubbed it today with bleach, and I've located a pool epoxy paint dealer locally. But, I thought about the algae thing, too, and probably won't bother painting. <I wouldn't... unless maybe the bit of area above the water line...> The silicone grout idea sounds great! And yes, I'll move most of the water from the existing vat (the quality is amazingly good, and crystal clear) since I built a pretty decent trickle filter which is doing a great job. In fact, it's the prototype for the permanent one I'll build outside. <Ah, very good... you can see our old company's design for such on the WWM website.> I searched your website pretty thoroughly, but I'll go back and check for more info. I love Wetwebmedia, and visit often--usually for reef info. <Ah, great to read... much, MUCH more to put on it... and will be doing so... with your help. Bob Fenner> Best regards, Stephanie Sullivan

 



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