Allotment Articles 2.
Adding A Waterfall
To A Fishpond
The addition of a waterfall to a fish pond can really bring it to life with the sound of moving water. It will also attract birds who will come and bathe in it. If your garden has a natural slope on it the job is made much easier, but in most cases you will have to create a raised area next to your pool in the shape of a rockery. The soil mound can be held in place by a small retaining wall, or else just sloped with rocks placed on it for effect.
The soil to make it can be bought as topsoil or else you may have the soil already from the installation of the pool. A small header pool at the top of the waterfall will reduce the amount of soil needed. However you make the raised area, the soil must be well compacted before the installation of the waterfall. or else as it settles over time, the water fall will move and go out of alignment.
There are basically 3 ways of making a waterfall;
If you decide on concrete and some large natural rocks for effect, don't be tempted to place the rocks, and cement between them as it is almost impossible to get a good seal. Furthermore the rocks themselves may be porous and the result will be constant water loss. Far better to make the waterfall and add the rocks afterwards
Concrete must also be treated to make it waterproof and when it is set it must be treated to neutralize the lime in the cement, or else it may kill the fish in the pond. For a customized waterfall a liner is probably a better bet, but do use a good quality one as it will be exposed to the effects of sunlight much more than a pool would. Better still would be to use the liner double thickness. If rocks are to be placed on it do so very carefully as the weight and roughness of them may puncture the liner. Also make sure that the rocks are not poisonous such as; soft limestone that will dissolve, or green rocks which may have copper in them. Gravel can be placed in the waterfall as well but it must be washed first to wash away any impurities.
Where the drop is formed in the waterfall it is best to place a piece of slate, or wood under the liners edge to give a flat clean drop. This is because if it is not flat and forms a trough it will need much more water falling over it to make a sheet of water and give a good effect. On the actual horizontal run of the waterfall, little shallow pools can be formed which all add to the appearance and also marginal plants can be placed in them.
If you are making a proper stream it wants to be as level as possible except for the drops, because otherwise it will need a very big pump to keep it full of water.
Pre-formed waterfalls are perhaps the simplest and easiest option as they have nice flat lips and troughs already shaped and you just have to line them up and put them on the compacted soil. They used to be made of fiberglass, but as this became more and more expensive the manufacturers switched over to plastic.
A good selection should be available from most aquatic retailers at a reasonable price, although some heavy duty ones cost a lot more.
When siteing the waterfall make sure that the drop is no more than 4-6 inches, or 15 cm as any more will result in the wind blowing the spray and water loss on all but the calmest of days. Also make sure that the water does not run around the lip of the waterfall as this can result in water loss from the pool as well.
If you have a filter on your pool this can be situated at the top of the waterfall so that it feeds the waterfall. This means that you only need one pump to do the two jobs. With a bit of thought, large plants can be used to hide a filter, so that it need not look unsightly. When choosing a pump, don't plump for the cheapest you can find as this invariably leads to disappointment.
Most pumps have model numbers on them which relate to the number of gallons they pump at a 3 foot or 1 meter head and the bigger they are the more expensive they will be, although some retailers will discount them. Be careful when comparing pumps because some are numbered in litres per hour instead of gallons and this makes them look much bigger than they are. A Waterfall needs a bigger pump than a fountain and the higher the waterfall is, the bigger the pump needs to be. Home made waterfalls generally, need a bigger pump than pre-formed ones.
When deciding on a pump measure the height from the water in the pool to the very top of the waterfall and allow 2-300 gallons, or 1300 litres at that height, more if not pre-formed. If you are making a stream effect, then the bigger the better and of course if you are having a fountain as well, you will need an even bigger pump still.
If in doubt when buying a pump always ask advice from your local aquatic retailer and donít think that he is just trying to sell you a bigger pump for the extra money because he has probably got a lot of experience with pumps.