Sunday, April 5, 2015

Change of plans.

So near the end of Winter I was having a blue day, feeling overwhelmed, thinking about how I may have been building a pond, going on four years, that might never have fish in it, digging, blocks, cement, rebar, pipes, etc...have been a drop in the bucket as far as cost goes, now comes the big money and we just aren't in a situation right now that we can afford everything I need to finish this project.  I knew going into this that it was going to be a long term project and it would be expensive, but I was just feeling like it would be impossible, so I had a little pity party, grieved my loss and decided I needed to snap out of it and go back to my optimistic, anything is possible self and come up with a game plan!  My goal has not been to have a pond, it is to build a pond, I live for building and creating things, I couldn't see sitting around all spring/summer/fall staring at my partially built pond and doing nothing, I want this so bad that I eat, sleep, breathe it, I am beyond obsessed with it, but more than that, I have 5 Koi and a goldfish that live in my garage in a 300 gallon stock tank, they have gotten huge and I am so worried that they won't make it in there until the pond is done.

I built them a S/G filter which has a 2500 GPH external pump pushing water through it to a DIY mini shower filter with lava rock.  I flush the filter once a week.  I also plumbed a hot/cold water faucet right up to the tank from our clothes washer tap, for easy water changes.

So all this got me thinking, I had planned on building a more permanent quarantine pond outdoors sometime in the future, so why not build it now and hopefully get the fish in it before winter.  This will be more affordable since it will be smaller and I already have some of the equipment from my current quarantine tank.  The most difficult part would be convincing Craig, he was so proud of the fact that we got rid of all the dirt from Pond #1 finally, he is not going to be excited about this idea, he is supportive of my obsession, but he in no way shares my passion for this hobby.  So I told him my thoughts and to my surprise he said okay!  I wasted no time staking out the spot for it, it will be where the old dirt pile was.  You can kind of see my red yarn outline.

I drew up some plans and measured and off we went, the start of the dig!

You can see my little bird houses I made from leftover fence boards, I mounted them on the fence posts and we already have a few occupants.  Anyway, we dug all last weekend and Craig even did some digging after work a few times last week, and yesterday we spent our 28th wedding anniversary digging and today I did some digging while Craig made our Easter dinner, even Carina helped me out a bit.  Craig jumped in a few times to help us break up the dirt, it is really dense and heavy and full of rocks, pretty much like the last pond.  

I put some blocks by the dirt pile to keep it from falling back into the hole, this hole is just slightly larger than what the pond will be and it includes the area for the filter pit which will be by the fence.

Craig is pretty bummed about the dirt pile and he doesn't miss a chance to tell me about it, he keeps saying that he can't believe he agreed to this.  I also had some help from Hershey today, he got an Easter treat and kept digging in the hole and burying it all the while Pixie was munching hers down.  These are my grand puppies, Carina's Dogs.


Long overdue post!

I haven't posted in such a long time!  My pond has been progressing slowly, by the end of last summer/fall, I completed 6 courses of block with horizontal and vertical rebar, stubbed in both the bottom drains and all seven TPR's (tangential pond returns) into the filter pit, and got the filter pit walls in place, I still need to fill all the block cells with cement.  I have one more course of block to mortar on the pond, this last course will be a killer because the walls are so high on the filter pit side of the pond and these blocks weigh around 35lbs each and this is my last chance to make sure it is perfectly level.
Here it is near the end of last year.

Here is view into the filter pit.

While I was working on the pond, Craig was sifting the dirt pile left behind from the dig, his mission in life was to get this done by the end of the season, I helped here and there, but this was mostly his project.  

It had taken on a life of its own.

But he kept at it and didn't give up!

Finally, it was all gone!

We poured some cement pads and used all of the rocks Craig sifted out of the dirt pile on the north side of the house where we keep the garbage cans.  It was always a muddy mess over there, it gets no sun so the grass didn't grow well and it never really dried up.  Ignore the tape on the house, had a little incident with the siding and Craig taped that little piece while the silicone was drying after he fixed it.

We used the dirt to level up the yard, we built a little retaining wall around the shed because we added nearly two feet to the yard and we couldn't move the shed easily.

We also had some random flowers pop up where the dirt pile was, I rescued them and they grew like crazy.

So fast forward to this Spring, I made a change in plans, to be continued in my next post.....