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Helen

sealing an old pond

36 posts in this topic

hello pond gurus :D

never thought I'd be posting in this section of the site.. lol..

ok, so I need some advice :) I have an old retired fountain that is concreted into my front yard. this 'fountain' pond is what started me in the goldfish hobby so many years ago. during my 'ignorant' stage to which I was fortunate enough that nothing died..lol..

the pond is concrete, was running for about 12 years and has been retired for about 10 years now. it has cracks which have made it through to the outside, but I can seal those with some repair cement and that will be fine.

what concerns me is the inside. so, my question is, is there a paint on sealant I can use on the inside of the pond that is safe for goldfish? can anyone direct me to this product by providing links? I really do not want to use a pond liner due to the fact that I have to make a donut and then I don't know if it will leak water between the pond wall and the pond liner (a risk I am not prepared to take).

if there is no goldfish safe sealant, I will not be using this feature again and will most likely have it removed. as it is not a dug out hole, it will basically be concreted over and I will not have any outdoor fish again.

here is what it looks like, currently..

Img_5754_zps13cd85ff.jpg

Img_5755_zps6abfe173.jpg

Img_5752_zpsd7a24d5e.jpg

now, as you can see, there is some sealant in there. our garden keeper (very many years ago) after our fish were given away.. when we came back from Europe, I entertained keeping single tails out there again and asked him if he could seal the walls of the fountain's base. he used something and I was unsure if it was goldfish safe. so, I left it in there for a few weeks, only to find that even with the water running, the sealant began bubbling and lifting. either he filled it whilst the sealant had not dried enough or it might have been the wrong sealant.. this was about 10 years ago :o

I look forward to your replies :D

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Good luck Helen. I really like the fountain and think it would make a very impressive pond. I hope you can repair it. :)

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thanks hun, me too!

I think something like this might suit.. it didn't come up in my initial searches.. it says it's non toxic and can be used in ponds. I have emailed them to see if they have a different colour than black and if they can confirm that it's fish safe :)

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/LIQUID-RUBBER-SEALANT-15-Ltr-Bucket-waterproof-membrane-/181214077729?pt=AU_Building_Materials&hash=item2a31336321

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That's a very nice fountain, Helen. I think someone - I'm thinking of Sharon but maybe because the words Sharon and Pond are so closely related in my mind - who used a swimming pool epoxy to seal a homemade pond.

I hope there is a solution because it would be so beautiful to have fish in there.

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Try bunnings.

Ive seen pond sealer available there.

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That's a very nice fountain, Helen. I think someone - I'm thinking of Sharon but maybe because the words Sharon and Pond are so closely related in my mind - who used a swimming pool epoxy to seal a homemade pond.

I hope there is a solution because it would be so beautiful to have fish in there.

thank you hun, hopefully Sharon will stop by and share her opinions :)

Try bunnings.

Ive seen pond sealer available there.

I looked at bunnings. problem is that the people I asked if the product was fish safe, were unable to clarify. so, the ebay link I posted, they are just 1 suburb away from me, very convenient. I just don't want it in black, I am really hoping they have a nice grey that I can use as well as getting back to me to confirm that it's fish safe :)

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That's a very nice fountain, Helen. I think someone - I'm thinking of Sharon but maybe because the words Sharon and Pond are so closely related in my mind - who used a swimming pool epoxy to seal a homemade pond. I hope there is a solution because it would be so beautiful to have fish in there.

thank you hun, hopefully Sharon will stop by and share her opinions :)

Try bunnings.Ive seen pond sealer available there.

I looked at bunnings. problem is that the people I asked if the product was fish safe, were unable to clarify. so, the ebay link I posted, they are just 1 suburb away from me, very convenient. I just don't want it in black, I am really hoping they have a nice grey that I can use as well as getting back to me to confirm that it's fish safe :)

http://www.bunnings.com.au/waterproofing-crommelins-4l-pondsealer-sandstone_p0960198

Says safe for all aquatic life.

So id say it's fine.

Black , Blue, sandstone, and clear available I think.

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oh my gosh that's beautiful Helen :) You have to find a way to use it for your fish :)

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That's a very nice fountain, Helen. I think someone - I'm thinking of Sharon but maybe because the words Sharon and Pond are so closely related in my mind - who used a swimming pool epoxy to seal a homemade pond. I hope there is a solution because it would be so beautiful to have fish in there.

thank you hun, hopefully Sharon will stop by and share her opinions :)

Try bunnings.Ive seen pond sealer available there.

I looked at bunnings. problem is that the people I asked if the product was fish safe, were unable to clarify. so, the ebay link I posted, they are just 1 suburb away from me, very convenient. I just don't want it in black, I am really hoping they have a nice grey that I can use as well as getting back to me to confirm that it's fish safe :)

http://www.bunnings.com.au/waterproofing-crommelins-4l-pondsealer-sandstone_p0960198

Says safe for all aquatic life.

So id say it's fine.

Black , Blue, sandstone, and clear available I think.

I didn't see that there, this coming weekend, I will go to a larger bunnings.. the inner city stores are quite small. thank you :)

oh my gosh that's beautiful Helen :) You have to find a way to use it for your fish :)

thanks shelly :)

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Wow that is pretty cool. It looks like a suitable product has been found. I would be sure to give it a good cleaning to ensure the product forms a good bond to the fountain. I like how the different tiers of the fountain will produce a bit of a trickle tower effect. Any ideas how many gallons that thing holds? also, it loons like the gray paint is coming of. I would consider giving the inside a good scrubbing with a wire brush to remove as much of it as possible. Other wise it will be flaking off in the fish water. And what are those 2 midgets on top doing?

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Ya know, you could aslo repaint the inside of that a different color. I do believe there is a fish safe paint but I forget what its called. It will probably end up covered in algae anyway though.

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thanks DP :)

yeah, that old sealant, I intend to wirebrush it off, every last speckle :) I tend to wipe the pond walls down every so often and the lighter paint is more for being able to see the fish more. I will create a net like I had when it was up and running so many years ago.

I had a crow come down and steal my favourite fish.. right in front of my eyes! :o then I ran & got a net! lol.

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I am not sure of the gallons, but once I have fixed it, I will measure it up and exclude the centre part to find out how much water it holds.

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Awesome Helen! That is a really fun pond :) Can't wait to hear what Sharon says, but it does seem like you have found an answer :nana

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Ok I don't want to sound negative but I do want to point out that most people who want to see their fish go with a black background, unless you ha e black fish, of course! I don't know how effective wiping down the walls will be. That algae can be very tough. Hair and string algae don't really wipe off. You will have different types of algae to deal with in an outdoor pond than in an indoor tank. Also remember that a good portion of the beneficial bacteria live on the liner in a pond. I'm not sure what you will be doing for filtration but I imagine it will be limited unless you go with an exterior filter. So it will be important to not disturb the surfaces too much, as the biobugs and algae will help filter out ammonia and nitrate etc.

Edited by DieselPlower

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That is a nice fountain, can't wait to see the finished project. :)

Liz Sent from my Motorola RAZR MAXX now Free

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Is the only crack the one around the bottom? If so, it should be simple (not easy) to fix. The first thing you must do is clean (or preferably have a concrete worker clean) the entire inner surface of the fountain with a concrete etching product. This will be a very strong dangerous acid, which is why I recommend hiring it done. Without this cleaning, nothing will stick to the concrete. Then one fills the cracks with a concrete caulk and seals the entire surface with a concrete sealer.

You can find a pond builder who works with concrete ponds who could tell you what products to use to seal the fountain or do it for you. Actually, they are the same products as are used for swimming pools. Some koi people have used swimming pool contractors to build their concrete koi ponds (doing the plumbing themselves, since pool builders know nothing about plumbing a koi pond). Most koi pond builders do only lined ponds, and those who do concrete ponds charge several times as much as a swimming pool contractor.

I would not recommend trying a rubber sealant. I have read multiple reports of people using rubber coatings for their ponds only to have them come off. Some were DIY jobs and some were professionally applied.

It looks like the pump takes the water to the top of the fountain and then it spills to each lower level. You could put a layer of lava rock in each basin to make a trickle filter.

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It looks like the pump takes the water to the top of the fountain and then it spills to each lower level. You could put a layer of lava rock in each basin to make a trickle filter.

This was exactly what I was thinking, too! :D

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It looks like the pump takes the water to the top of the fountain and then it spills to each lower level. You could put a layer of lava rock in each basin to make a trickle filter.

That's what I was thinking

Edited by Gustave

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thank you everyone! for your wonderful comments and suggestions :)

DP, I am not a first time pond owner. this pond was operating successfully for 10 years. :)

Sharon, the pump does take the water to the top & allows it to 'fountain' down.. there is also an attachment that I used to put a large sponge in there so that It would filter out debris in order for it not to be stuck in the piping that brings the water to the top. as the levels of the fountain are concreted together, blockages are avoided at all costs as dismantling would be a nightmare.

that said, even before you mentioned it here, I have been inspired by your work & do intend on planting the middle and bottom tiers and was going to ask what plants I can put in there to make it safe and pretty :)

where it concerns the repair & sealing, I do like the idea of having someone come in and do all the work for me ( :rofl ) who doesn't? LOLOL so I will get some quotes in the coming days. I appreciate that it would take a lot more effort than just sealing it up.. I would prefer the repair last long term and remain safe for my fish. rubber sealant coming off the walls is what kept this feature retired for 10 years.. just to go down that road again after much effort and dollars (that product is NOT cheap) would literally annoy the crap out of me, daily.

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beautiful! I hope you can get it up and running!

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Hi Helen, I love your pond. I can imagine seeing fish in it.

So now, I'm looking forward to seeing your project done with fish.

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Helen your pond can be fixed easily and cheaply by yourself. For that bottom crack, you have to chip off a bigger chunk of concrete around it and plaster it with cement mixed with brickie sand and some Silasec.(there are instructions on the tub). The old paint or any sealant must be removed using an angle grinder with either a stiff rotary brush or circular coarse sand paper or even a grinding disc. You'll also need a mask, safety goggles and cover your hair too, it's a simple but very dusty job.

After that just go to Bunnings and get this permanent waterproofer call Silasec by Bondall (www.bondall.com). It's a 2L tub that cost less than A$30 and it's recommended for fishponds. You can mix it with a color oxide (also available at Bunnings) but I won't bother with the color as once it's in operation, every thing below water with be covered by dark color algae.

This sealer can be painted with a normal stiff paintbrush.The mixing ratio is one part sealer, five part water and seven part GP cement and you need to paint minimum three coats. (that 2L Silasec will cover your job 10x over). I've 2 ponds painted with this sealer. The other sealers are ok but I'm not satisfied with them and they are expensive too.

Roughly what you'll need.

2L Silasec waterproofer (standard size) I think about $28

-Angle grinder with accessories mentioned above.(borrow from friend)

-a bag of GP cement ~$8

-a bag of brickie sand ~$4

-3 inch wide stiff paint brush `$5

- a trowel for plastering up cracked area ~$10

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looks like I am going to have to do it by myself. I walked towards the concreter and renderer today... the noticed me approaching and ran away like frightened little school children :o

why?................................... :rofl

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Hahaha good luck Helen :) I hope you get it working... it will be gorgeous!!

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