Building Moon
Clear Water II

by Kit & Ben Knotts - Click images to enlarge

Moon has been on the drawing board for several years but had to stay there while we dug out the rest of the garden, buried in sand during Hurricanes Francis and Jeanne in 2004. As part of a three pond complex next to Reflection, Stars was finished in 2004 prior to the storms and recovered in 2005. Sun's skeleton was in place before the hurricanes, and dug out and completed in 2005.
Though we wanted Moon ready for the 2006 growing season, its schedule got moved up by HGTV's "Look What I Did" wanting an actual demonstration of our pond building. We were able to show them some digging, setting of concrete sides and a little of creating stone borders. With the space cleared and the hole started, we kept going. For more about how we build our ponds -


 Pond Building With Concrete Paradise Style
HGTV Comes To Paradise
Details of Building Moon

Concrete - $320, Tools - On Hand, Labor - Priceless

Moon is 23' long, average 9' wide, and 24" deep before adding back 6" of sand. There are two deeper holes for Victorias. It took 160 40# bags of Quikcrete at $2 a bag. Digging the hole by hand, moving the Quikcrete by hand, mixing and setting the concrete by hand are labor intensive but worth the final result.

As with other large ponds, we built Moon in sections. "Cold joints", where concrete has dried and more is added, have never been a cause of leaking for us. Side walls were hand-built and the bottom poured in after the sides were completed. Initially sand from the hole was removed to a false dune east of the Pod Pools. Then it was stacked in the completed portions of Moon to be added back over the concrete bottom. 

The sides were colored with cheap spray paint to make the pond look a little more natural initially. No sealer was used. Soon algae will form on the side walls. pH was adjusted once with vinegar and has settled at 7.8, normal for our water. The day after filling, we added Nitella, a rather attractive rooted algae, small fish and ramshorn snails. A few days later we planted a little Victoria. Other plants that will live in the pond aren't ready yet. 


completed April 30,
filled May 1, stocked May 2,

We believe that less is more when it comes to having clear water. There are no filters, skimmers or pumps involved in Moon. A trickle of water from Sun replaces evaporation with a little extra to spill into Stars. The first week measured, the water temperature reached a high of 90° F. How can the water possibly stay clear?

The Nitella, transplanted from other ponds, should be enough all by itself to utilize excess nutrients while the pond balances naturally. The beneficial bacteria that came with the Nitella, along with the fish and snails, will speed the process.

Stars & Clear Water I
About Pond Filters, Skimmers, UV Sterilizers and Pumps

You can watch along with us to see if the water stays clear. We'll post a new picture more or less weekly beginning May 19.


May 19, 2006

May 26, 2006

June 4, 2006

June 21, 2006 

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