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Ornamental ponds and waterfalls are becoming an everyday part of our landscape. Homes, businesses, parks, zoo's, apartment complexes and office buildings - everywhere we look there are people who want to add water to their landscape! And for good reason since few other things are as relaxing as the sound of splashing water. For centuries other parts of the world, such as Europe, have used water as the focal point of their landscaping. This trend is now catching on in the U.S. as well.

Stoney Creek is one of the countries largest suppliers of pond and waterfall products to the landscape contractor/garden center market. We have seen an explosion of interest and demand for pond products over the last few years. Because this industry is young, there is still a lot of confusion and misinformation about the proper way to construct a pond. Your pond is an investment that, if properly done, will provide years of enjoyment.  If improperly done it will provide years of headache! Stoney Creek has been in the fish and pond business for over three decades! Combined, our staff has over 100 years of experience that you are welcome to draw from when designing your "dream pond".  Whether building a new pond of maintaining an existing one, you can rely on us for all your aquatic needs!

POND LOCATION

Your pond should be located in a spot where it can be enjoyed the most. Locating the pond near a window or along side a deck will allow you to enjoy the pond more than if the pond was located out in the middle of the yard.

* Ponds should not be located in the low spots in your yard. These low spots gather rainwater runoff, something you do not want in your pond.

* Most books will tell you ponds need at least four to six hours of sunlight per day for proper plant growth. While aquatic plants (lilies, cattails, etc.) prefer sunlight they will do just fine in shady areas as long as slow release aquatic fertilizer tablets are added a couple of times per year.  Shady ponds tent to have less algae problems.

* Do not build a pond too close to a tree. Building a pond inside a tree's "drip zone" can damage tree roots. Tree roots will not grow through or puncture a pond liner.

* A pond is not complete without landscaping. Locate your pond so there is ample room to landscape around it. It will take some time after your pond is installed for the plants to fill in and complete the setting.

* A waterfall and/or stream should be located at the back of the pond. This will allow you to see the water feature as you approach the pond as well as increase the sound of the splashing water. 


WATERFALLS  

Waterfalls are a beautiful addition to any pond. The sound of splashing water is  amazingly relaxing. Waterfalls add oxygen to the water and provide a large area for beneficial bacteria to grow on.

** Don't over do it! Often people try to create too large a waterfall. If your ground is flat, your waterfall should only be two to three feet tall. If your ground has a natural slope to it, you can build a much larger waterfall and still have it look good.

** Ponds and waterfalls need to be as natural as possible. A six foot high waterfall located in a flat yard will look out of place. Try to blend your pond into the surrounding landscape.

** Don't build your waterfall and/or stream too narrow or straight. Again, make your stream look natural by creating twists and turns and by using different sizes of rocks. Often people stack flat stones on top of each other and in a straight row. This creates a "chimney" look and very seldom looks natural.

** A separate piece of liner is typically used for the waterfall/stream. This liner does not need to be glued to the pond liner as long as the joint overlap is running downhill. Be sure the stream liner is over the pond liner.

** Use expanding foam! Traditionally people use mortar to secure their rocks. Instead, we have found that expanding foam works better and lasts longer.


WATER PUMPS

Few things can be as confusing to a pond builder as choosing a pump. There are many different sizes and styles of pumps. We will try to help you understand the differences between pumps and how to select the best one for you. Many dealers and home improvement stores choose pumps based solely on price. They want to sell you a pump as cheap as possible — the problem is that while "cheap" pumps may work fine to pump out your boat or basement now and then, they will not last when used in a continuous duty operation like water gardening. Always choose a pump that is rated for continuous duty operation. While these pumps may cost a little more to purchase initially, they will last much longer and actually save you money in the long run.

HIGH EFFICIENCY PUMPS VS. LOW EFFICIENCY PUMPS

Stoney Creek sells both high efficiency and low efficiency pumps. Both are rated for continuous duty operation but they are very different from each other. A high efficiency pump uses superior parts and will last longer and use less electric than a low efficiency pump. Let's compare two of our most popular models.

Low efficiency model LG6E pumps 50 GPM @ 5' of head, draws 6 amps and costs $169.00. High efficiency model TH150 pumps 50 GPM @ 5' of head, draws 2.4 amps and costs $249.00. The cost per 24 hours to run the low efficiency pump is $1.49. Cost for high efficiency is .72¢. This is a saving of .77¢ per day and means the high efficiency pump will save $80 in the extra purchase price in just over three months! The high efficiency pump would save over $300 per year in electric and will last much longer than the low efficiency pump. As you can plainly see, high efficiency pumps are easily worth the extra purchase price!

HOW TO CHOOSE THE CORRECT SIZE PUMP

Next to each of our pumps on this web site will be a chart showing how many GPM (gallons per minute) that pump will provide at 5' of head, 10' of head, etc. To understand this you need to remember the water is heavy (8 lbs. / gallon) and the higher a pump has to push the water the less volume it will provide. Important — the feet of head is the distance from the water level in the pond to the top of the waterfall. To create a nice average looking waterfall or stream, it takes 30 GPM for every 1' of width. To determine GPM needed multiply width if ft. x 30.  Example: We are building a waterfall that is 3' wide and 10' high above our pond. Multiply 3' (width) x 30 = 90 GPM @ 10' of head. Now look through our selection of pumps and find one that pumps close to 90 GPM @ 10' of head.

DON'T RESTRICT YOUR PUMP!
Often times pond owners use too small of a hose on their pump. Always use the same size hose, or even one size larger, as the discharge port on the pump. Example: A pump with 1-1/2" discharge would need a 1-1/2" or 2" hose. Following is a guide for maximum water flow per pipe size:
    * 1.5" pipe 60 GPM
    * 2" pipe 90 GPM
    * 3" pipe 225 GPM
Each fitting in your plumbing system creates resistance and can slow your flow. We recommend using our flexible PVC pipe which eliminate most fittings.


The depth of the water where the pump is located does not count towards ft. of head. Ft. of head is the distance the water is lifted above the pond's surface.

 

 

FILTRATION

Ornamental ponds often need supplemental filtration to maintain proper water quality. Filtration involves two parts: the first step is mechanical. This step removes particles from the water like leaves, grass clippings, dead plant foliage, etc. The pond skimmers are by far the best mechanical pond filter we have seen yet. Biological filtration is the second stage and is especially important for ponds with fish. Biological filtration keeps the water healthy and clear. The filter media inside a bio-filter collects beneficial bacteria which cleans the water as it passes through the filter.

Sizing Your Filter

All pond filters are rated for maximum pond size or maximum GPM flow. To properly filter the pond your filter needs to be able to filter half the pond volume per hour. Example: A 1,000 gal. pond would need a 500 gal. per hour filter.)

 

Plants

Aquatic plants are an important part of the filter system. Plants absorb nutrients from the water thereby reducing the nutrient load in the pond which helps your filters. Oxygenating plants are especially beneficial because they not only filter, they also add oxygen to the water.

Location of Filter

We recommend using an external biological filter. This filter can be located directly next to the pond or concealed by plants, rocks or bushes away from the pond. Water is pumped from the pond through piping to the filter and then back to the pond. Our aquafalls filters are ideal since they bury in the ground for easy concealment, require minimal cleaning, and provide an ideal base for your waterfall/stream.

UV Sterilizers

Ultraviolet clarifiers (UVC) are a popular way to control pea soup colored water. Pea soup green water is caused by an excess of free floating algae cells. UVC's destroy all living cells in the water as it passes through the UVC. If you are adding bacteria to your pond, you will want to shut off the UVC before adding the bacteria, then restart after 24 hours.


 

 

POND LINERS

Flexible pond liners are by far the material of choice for the do it yourselfer. Using a flexible liner does not limit you to a specific size and shape as the preformed ponds do. EPDM Pond Liner is the #1 choice for water gardening because it is very flexible, very puncture resistant and is long lasting. For lining large ponds we recommend the polyethylene material because it is light weight, easier to handle and costs less than rubber. Also, polyethylene liners can be made up to 60,000 sq. ft. in one piece!

Measuring For Your Liner:
For a water garden, add the depth twice to both the length and width, then add at least 1' to both numbers for liner overhang. For a large pond, add the depth at the deepest point to the length plus the width. Then add 5' to each figure to allow for burying around the edges.
Example: Pond size 30'W x 50' L x 10' deep
  Width = 30' plus 10' (depth) plus 5' (burying) = 45 '
  Length = 50' plus 10' (depth) plus 5' (burying) = 65'

  • Always try to line your pond with a one-piece liner. There are special tapes available for seaming liners together but do this as a last resort.

  • Choose a Quality Liner! Our EPDM liner has a 20 year warranty. Think about it — trying to save a few dollars on a cheap quality liner may well cost you a lot of time and aggravation in the end. If your liner cracks of punctures easily, you will have to drain the pond, remove all stones and the old liner and start all over. Save yourself the time and money, use quality materials the first time. Our 45 mil rubber liner, when installed with the protective underlayment beneath it, will provide years of enjoyment for you. 

  • We have found that covering the liner in a water garden with natural fieldstone will help protect the liner from sunlight, animals, etc. Ponds also look better with a natural stone bottom and if your water level drops a few inches you won't see a strip of liner exposed around the top of the pond. The stones also provide a large surface area where beneficial bacteria will grow and help clean the pond's water.

We recommend covering the liner in water gardens with 3" - 6" fieldstone then sprinkle 1" stone over the pond to fill in the cracks between the larger stones. Feel free to mix in some larger stones here for a natural looking water garden.

 

"Price is what you pay...value is what you receive in return."

Many companies sell products based solely on price — everyone wants to claim "the lowest price"! What many people fail to consider is the value you receive for your purchase. For example, customer "A" buys a liner for his pond based solely on price. He searches and finds a 50' x 50' liner for $500. Unfortunately, it is made from inferior products and cracks after only four years. Customer "B" researches his purchase and buys a quality liner. He pays $1,125, but his liner has a 20 year warranty. Customer "A" must redo his entire pond while customer "B" enjoys his!

 
 
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Copyright 2006. Stoney Creek Fisheries & Equipment Inc. All rights reserved.

4385 East 110th Street | Grant, MI 49327 | Ph: (800) 448-3873 | Fx: (231) 834-5537