Ponds and Water Gardening forum: best way to dig it?

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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Jan 2, 2014 7:09 PM CST
What can I use to dig a pond if I can't do it by hand? I was thinking of renting something to use. I would like it to be 3 ft deep an about 20 ft long and 12 wide. We have alot of old tree roots (trees are gone now) and the area is kind of rocky so digging by hand is a last resort. any ideas? I was thinking I could make it raised for a foot, and that would make 2 ft my deepest area for digging. I wasn't sure how that would work in the winter though for the fish. I will probably only have goldfish because the pond will not be big enough for koi.
Name: Carolyn Madden
Pennsylvania
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Carolyn22
Jan 3, 2014 5:05 PM CST
Frilly

I would rent a bobcat for the day. It should make short order of the digging. I had a friend bring a small kabota over. The kabota was his 'toy'. I also have a lot of rocks in my soil. I cannot get over how many rocks we have.

How many gallons do you think it will be?

I am a colder zone than you are and I have overwintered both koi and goldies successfully for a number of years. Currently I just have koi, but the concept is the same. You would need to keep a hole in the ice so that a gas exchange is allowed to occur. Otherwise, gases will build up and will eventually kill the fish. You can pick up deicers at your local Tractor Supply or order them through a number of different online sources -

springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jan 3, 2014 9:44 PM CST
I have a de-icer, I had a pond before but it was deepr and in the ground , not raised.
Name: Carolyn Madden
Pennsylvania
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Carolyn22
Jan 4, 2014 9:40 AM CST
You will need the deicer. Probably not a bad idea to keep one in reserve. I had another deicer go on Christmas day and did not have a back up, although I had a second deicer in the pond. Because I had the second deicer in the pond, I really was not terribly worried about it, but it reminded me that I should have that back up.

Rental of a Bobcat for the day shouldn't be terribly expensive and I believe they are rather self explanatory in how to run them.

Do you have an area where you plan on putting your pond?
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jan 4, 2014 1:12 PM CST
nah, nothing planned yet, just know I am doing one. Have to decide how to dig it before deciding where to put it. If I dig it by hand, it goes in an area easier to dig. But the area I would like to have it is not so easy digging.
Name: Carolyn Madden
Pennsylvania
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Carolyn22
Jan 4, 2014 1:49 PM CST
When you do start, it would be great if you could take us through your journey with a thread that includes photos and details.

Keep us posted!
Name: Bonnie Davis
Clermont, Fl. (Zone 9a)
BonnieGardens
Jan 26, 2014 6:43 AM CST
Another option. Hire a backhoe with operator. Much further reach and can get into corners easier. I've seen them do a very large pond is 1/2 a day. At the size you are considering you definitely would be large enough for koi.

Good luck with it and enjoy finished results. I love my little pond and larger one and have koi mostly.

Bonnie

Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
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Oberon46
Jan 26, 2014 7:54 PM CST
Go for at least four feet at the deep end. I wish I could have. I wanted to but underground utilities and a shallow water table prevented it. Bonnie has her little Kubota and has done wonders with it. I would hire someone in a heartbeat. Oh, and if you do remember to leave a ledge around (unless digging in sandy soil) so you can have a ledge for pots of plants, unless you have critters which I guess down there is a problem so straight vertical sides are a must.
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Name: Carolyn Madden
Pennsylvania
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Carolyn22
Jan 27, 2014 6:14 PM CST
I agree with Mary. If you dig at least 4 feet deep, your pond will be less likely to have problems with rapid temperature fluctuations.

Will you be digging this spring?
Name: Mary
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fiwit
Jan 27, 2014 6:32 PM CST
Before you decide on depth, talk to your local code enforcement person (if you're not out in the middle of nowhere). They have limits on depth you can have without privacy fences. Ponds are considered "attractive nuisances" just like swimming pools, and that's the kind of thing you need to know about ahead of time.
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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jan 27, 2014 7:25 PM CST
well I am outside city limits and we will have it chainlinked so I don't think the depth will matter. I don't plan on making it more than 3 ft deep though because it will be easier for me to clean that way. The other thing is, I already have a liner and I have to dig it to be able to use the liner I have. I will not be digging it this spring, probably next fall or maybe over the winter. I don't plan on having koi, I just had goldfish in my last pond and was really pleased with them.
Name: Carolyn Madden
Pennsylvania
Charter ATP Member The WITWIT Badge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Daylilies
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Carolyn22
Jan 28, 2014 7:01 PM CST
In our area, anything bigger than 2 feet and it has to be fenced in - although I do live in the middle of town. There is a lady that a couple of blocks from me though has a that has a pond in her front yard (no fence), that is beautiful.

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