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Koi Pond Liners

Calculate Amount of Koi Pond Liner

To calculate the amount of pond liners you need measure the dimensions of your garden pond: its length, width, and maximum depth. You will need to add the depth measurement to the area measurement all around. For example, to line a pond 8 by 6 by 3 feet deep, you will need a pond liner 14 feet (8+3+3) by 12 feet (6+3+3) in size. You then need to add at least another foot to both width and length to allow sufficient overlap at the pond edges. So, in total, you will need a liner measuring 15 by 13 feet.

Installing Your Koi Pond Liners

Leveling the site will create an attractive garden pond and make the whole installation process easier. It will also ensure that once filled, there will not be any unsightly exposed areas of garden pond liner around the perimeter.

  • Knock in leveling pegs 4 to 6 feet apart along the pond outline. Make the first peg level with the intended water level of the finished pond and adjust all pegs accordingly, using a straight-edged piece of wood and a spirit level, adding or removing topsoil until the tops of all the pegs are level.
  • Dig a trench outside the outline, 6 to 8 inches deep and as wide as the edging paving. Lay a pipe across the trench opposite the waterfall end, which is wide enough to carry the pump hose and any electrical cords. Lay the concrete collar in one go, leveling it off as you go, using the leveling pegs as a guide. Allow for the thickness of the paving so that it will sit level with the adjacent ground on top of the concrete. The garden pond liner will eventually run on top of this, sandwiched between the collar and the paving. Allow 48 hours for the collar to set.
  • Place the pond in the hole. Check to see if it is level by using a plank of wood and a spirit level.
  • Mark the ground inside the collar where you intend to make a shelf for marginal plants. Do likewise for midlevel and deep-water areas. Shelves should be at least 12 inches wide and 10 inches deep below the top surface of the collar. Midlevel areas should go down to 15 inches and the deepest areas should be at least 18 to 24 inches deep (the deeper the better). Steep, near-vertical sides will give the garden pond a greater volume, which is desirable. Use the excavated soil to construct the waterfall, compacting every 12 inches to give it a good foundation and forming the stepped cascade out of the compacted soil.
  • Measure the maximum length, width, and depth of the pond to determine the area of the pond liner required. You will also need the same area of protective underlay. Clean any loose soil from the hole, and check for stones and roots. Line the hole with underlay, and spray gently with water to help keep it in place. With the help of someone at each corner, walk the pond liner over the hole. Once it is in place, anchor the liner with stones or bricks placed around the edge. If you do this on a warm, sunny day, the pond liner will be supple and easy to work with.
  • Fill the pond with 6 inches of water. This will start to mold the pond liners into the hole. As the liner starts to find its shape, gather any small creases into larger folds, making the liner as crease-free as possible. Make sure there is sufficient liner for covering the waterfall. Continue to fill the pond to the top. It may be necessary to get into the pond (make sure and take your shoes off so you will not puncture your liner) so that you can work out all the creases effectively. If you are able to fill the pond through a water meter, you will know the exact volume of your pond, which will then tell you what size water pump and water filter will be required.
  • Install the pump and koi pond filter. Place a submersible pump in the end opposite to the waterfall. Run the cable to the nearest power point and the hose around to the back of the waterfall, burying both. The location of the filter will be determined by its type. A pump-fed trickle filter should be placed above the waterfall and concealed in rock work. A pressurized filter can be buried anywhere convenient. A skimmer filter will be adjacent to the pond. Ensure that all power is connected through a ground fault interrupter.
  • Depending on what material you choose for edging, position natural free-form rock or paving around the edge. If paving stones are your choice, place these on a bed of mortar on top of the concrete collar. The liner must come up behind the rock or paving to enable the pond to be filled all the way to the brim. If this is done correctly, you will avoid an unsightly border of liner being visible just above the surface of the water. If you use natural stone around the edge, remember to leave a gap for the electrical cord and hose.

Click Here for the EPDM Pond Liner Sale Page

Types of Liners

There are several options for garden pond lining. Preformed pond liner is an off the shelf, instant pond approach but cannot be used if you are going to have Koi. A Flexible liner is the no-holds barred method for the creative water gardener.

There is a market for both types of garden pond liners but the best one for you will depend on your budget, the ease of installation, and guarantee.

A flexible liner is probably the most cost-effective. If you buy a EPDM Pond liner you have a guarantee for 20 years, but the life expectancy is 75 years. A Flexible Liner will also lets your creative side shine. Will you be able to shape and contour the liner to look you want.

Preformed Ponds are manufactured in two unique designs. The first, being a preformed shell that has a static shape and dimensions. The second, being a preformed folding garden pond liner, which is ideal for shipment and storage.

Once installed both of these ponds look and feel essentially the same. The difference being, folding ponds can be transported in a substantially smaller box, which means pickup is an option, and shipping costs can be lower.

Both ponds are extremely durable and can withstand a temperature range from 0° F to 105° F. They also both feature an innovative design concept which incorporates textured ridges along the walls of the ponds. These ridges provide an area where beneficial bacteria can thrive and form growth colonies. This bacterium is essential for the natural balance of your ponds eco-system, and drastically reduces increased algae growth.

Pre-formed plastic ponds should be available at your local home supply store or garden center. They range in sizes from less than 100 gallons to a few hundred gallons. Look for a container that has some depth to it; some of these small containers are very shallow. If your pond is not at least 3 to 4 feet deep you may have a few problems. First water lilies need some depth to grow properly. Second, if you live in a northern climate, a shallow pond will definitely freeze solid in the winter. Your fish and plants will not appreciate being made into popsicles! If you are going to be keeping Koi a Pre-Formed liner or pond will not work because it is not deep enough. Some of these systems have plastic waterfalls that you can incorporate into your pond. If you do use one of these waterfalls, add rocks so it will look more natural.

Concrete installations usually require a professional installation. Concrete is a medium that tends to crack as the ground freezes and thaws. I do not recommend doing a concrete pond yourself, I have never used concrete to build a pond so if you decide to go this route have it professionally installed. Flexible garden pond liners are ideal for most anyone. They allow for easy and very forgiving installations, which consequently promotes greater creativity. Buy the best that you can afford, as generally, you do get what you pay for, which is why the Koi Pond Guide recommends the EDPM Pond Liner. Your liner should be installed over a protective underlay. Liners are sold either precut or packed off the roll. The liner should last 25 years but if you want it to last longer do not press down hard when installing, in case of sharp objects or protruding stones and do not forget the underlayment.

Rigid Liner

Installing a rigid garden pond liner is relatively straightforward. Leveling the pond can be the greatest challenge. It is wise to level the pond as you fill it with water and backfill it with soil at several intervals.

  • Mark out the perimeter of the pond with a length of rope, using the rigid pond liner as a guide.
  • Dig a hole a little bigger than the shape and depth of the pond. Place a loose covering of moist sand in the hole.
  • Place the pond in the hole. Check to see if it is level by using a plank of wood and a spirit level.
  • Begin filling the pond with a garden hose. As it fills, backfill the hole with soil or sand, checking regularly that the pond is level.
  • Add your chosen pond edging.
  • Start stocking the pond with plants, DO NOT add your fish yet. You have to cycle your Pond to avoid NPS (New Pond Sydrome). Click Here to Read About Pond Stocking.

Decorative Landscaping Stones

Resources: The Water Gardener's Bible by Ben Helm & Kelly Billing

Click Here to Return to Build A Koi Pond | Click Here for Build a Fish Pond Homepage | For the EPDM Pond Liner Repair Kit Click Here | EPDM Pond Liner Sale Page |

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EPDM Pond Liner

  • 45 mil EPDM
  • 20 Year warranty
  • 75 year life expectancy
Weighs approximately 68 pounds.

EPDM (ethylene-propylene rubber) is the best liner marterial your money can buy. It is thicker than most pond liners, at 40 to 60 mils. It is also a more rubbery (as in stretchy) plastic, which adds to its life. It will stretch around a rock or obstacle in the ground instead of tearing.

But there is bad news. As with all things of the highest quality, it is more expensive. You can expect to pay twice as much for an EPDM liner as you would for PVC. The long life of 20-plus years more than makes up for the up-front cost, however; so if you are building a pond that is meant to last, go with EPDM.

EPDM Pond Liners have high expansion and contraction characteristics that enable it to conform to objects below the pond. Should earth movement occur, such as settling, EPDM's high elongation will enable it to stretch.

EPDM pond liners flexibility provides more versatility in the pond design. Unlike preformed liners, it can be easily shaped to fit the unique contours of the pond dimensions, allowing a more unique design.

To order your own EPDM pond liner Click Here, or to view more information and sizes for our Koi Pond Liners.

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