pondless waterfall

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  #1  
Old 01-03-07, 03:51 AM
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pondless waterfall

Fall Guy, your concrete falls sounds interesting. For the stream bed, how thick is the concrete? What do you use for a base? Do you add rebar or fiberglass for reinforcement?
Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 01-04-07, 08:43 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Hi PumpGuy

My streams are constructed of 3/8 rebar criscrossed 10 inches on center then dobies (small 2'' square cement blocks) are used to hold the rebar off the dirt. (If the rebar is not completely covered and it is touching the soil, it will start rusting, and like cancer, will spread in the rebar causing it to swell and hydroliclly, crack the concrete.) Then I pour a 7 sack, 60% pea gravel with stealth fiber mix, over the rebar covering it with 1-1/2 to 2" of concrete for a total thickness of 3-1/2 " average. We recently poured a stream 100 feet long. It is important to note, that you should never pour a steam longer than 25 feet, even with this 3500psi mix. If you have a 40 foot stream, it should be divided into two pieces. If you have enough grade, you can cantilever the first 20 foot section over the second. This way the water is spilling into the second lower one. Where the two join each other, use an industrial epoxy caulking to seal the joint.

If you do not have enough slope or grade, do as we did. Between each 25 foot section of the 100 foot stream we placed a 1/2 inch spacer board that was later removed and the space was filled with industrial flexible epoxy caulking. The same stuff used by engineers filling spaces on concrete bridge overpasses. Just remember PumpGuy, a little ounce of prevention now saves needing a pond cure later. All liners will eventually leak! Don't try to pinch pennies now, only to spend dollars later. Happy koi, peace and joy. FallGuy
 

Last edited by Clayton Douglas; 01-09-07 at 12:11 AM. Reason: spelling and changed the word concrete to rebar
  #3  
Old 01-05-07, 06:55 PM
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My water feature is going to be much smaller. I will probably only have a 10-12ft stream bed with one or two drops. Do you mix your own concrete or have it delivered? How could I mix a small amount of concrete for my project using home center type products? Do you basically make a u-shaped form with the rebar? Do you then add rocks or stones to the stream bed for a natural look? Do you lay the stones loose or mortar them in place? Sorry for all the questions but I'm a waterfall rookie trying to learn.

Thanks for all the info
 
  #4  
Old 01-06-07, 01:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 9
PumpGuy

For that small amount of concrete you can mix it by hand in a wheelbarrow or rent a small portable mixer. Mix two 90# sacks of concrete at a time and add a couple extra shovels of plastic cement to each batch. An extra shovel of pea gravel would be great also. Your concrete will be much stronger with this combination. Most redi-mix concrete companies will sell you a bag of stealth fiber mix. Couple hand fulls in each batch. Use rubber gloves and don't get the stuff in your eyes. It is fiberglass fibers. Mix the concrete a little stiff so you can form it and stack it easier.
Forn the rebar in a U shape and make sure you dig the stream deep enough to compensate for the thickness of the rebar. I cement the rocks along the edge of the stream and around the pond with a special formula I developed 12 years ago. Mix two bags of s-type mortar with one bag of thinset. It will have better holding power and will be three times stronger than regular mortar. Plus it will be totally waterproof. Liner streams and pond look horrible over a period of time because of rock movement, reveiling the liner. Plus walking in the stream bed can compromise the liner.
It is not only dangerous to have loose rocks in the waterfall, pond, and stream, but you are wasting your creative time and energy if the rocks move later. I suppliment smaller loose, river rock around the larger cemented ones and make sand bars at the edges alone with ares of small gravel to simulate a natural stream. This special mortar will also assure that a rock will never come loose, and it is so dense that water will not leach out alkali from the lime. I called the formula Aquamedia Mortar Mix.
Happy koi, peace and joy. FallGuyPro
 
  #5  
Old 01-06-07, 08:03 AM
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Thanks for all the info-much appreciated. Those dobies you mentioned earlier, do they go underneath the rebar to hold it off the dirt? Do you have to seal the concrete in any way after it cures? I found some stuff called supercizer by Fritz Pack, is that the plastic cement you refer to? Thanks
 

Last edited by pumpguy; 01-06-07 at 04:45 PM.
  #6  
Old 01-06-07, 07:31 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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PumpGuy

Very good question. I forgot to tell you one of the most important aspects of concrete construction, the sealer. I found this product over 18 years ago called Thoroseal. There may be other equally as good products out there, however, if you find something that works great, why experiment or change?

(This is not a paid promotion of Thoroseal, I do not sell Thoroseal, nor do I have any investments in this product.) Now listen to me carefully. The manufacturers of Thoroseal recommend that you use it with an admix called Acryl-60. I used to follow their recommendation and mix in into the thoroseal. This is what I discovered about eight years ago.

When you mix in Acryl-60 (at $25-$30 a gal.) it turns the Thoroseal into a consistency of latex paint. It does not soak into the concrete. It only covers the surface, and when it cures, it becomes hard. When you bump it with a rock or drop one on it, it chips, like paint, exposing the concrete underneath.

Please, forgo the Acryl-60, mix the Thoroseal very sloppy so it soaks into the concrete surface. In this consistancy, Thoroseal soaks into the surface up to 1/16th to 1/8 of an inch. Now when it is bumped with a rock you still see the sealer. Go back over the area as you go, applying the second coat at the same time.

If you wait until the first coat cures, the second will not stick. Thoroseal is not only renders the concrete permenately waterproof, it is non toxic to fish.. It locks in the lime or alkali, making repeated acid cleaning and rinsing unnecessary.

Yes, I know what your thinking. How could I possibly know more about a product than the manufacturer? Well they mave not used Thoroseal for over 18 years and had the same opportunity to experiment with its use. I have never had a leak occure in any of my over 1,900 ponds or waterfalls.

Oh, yes. Application... use a roofing brush or household broom to apply. On a hot day, wet down the concrete first, so that the Thotoseal does not dry on contact and can find time to soak into the surface. Also you can make it even sloppier.

Just a note of special of interest: If the Acryl-60 people do not appreciate me sharing this little secrete on the web, they will absolutely hate this proclamation. I discovered what that $25-$30 gal Acryl-60 is! Common white carpenters glue, watered down to the consistency of whole milk. Can you top that? One gallon of carpenters glue at home depot, in the concrete admix department, cost $3 to $4, and when you add water to dillute the thick glue to the consistancy of Acryl-60, you end up with 4 GALLONS!

Now I know what you are thinking PumpGuy, you can make more money selling admix than you can building ponds and waterfalls. Yes the dobies go on the bottom of the rebar! THAT WAS A JOKE, RIGHT?

Google "thoroproducts" and then request a supplier near you... you want the "waterproofing" section and the "foundation sealer"

Best to you my new friend...Happy koi, peace and joy. FallGuyPro
 
  #7  
Old 01-07-07, 08:26 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 9
Forgot about plastic cement question.

I missed the question about plastic cement. You can use regular portland cement, it really dosen't make any difference in the strength of the concrete. I use it to make the concrete more sticky, packable and stackable when applying it to verticle walls. Plus when I have verticle walls, I apply stucco wire to the rebar with rebar tie wire, which holds the concrete in place, otherwise it slides down. I cover all this in great detail with photos and illustrations in my Book. "Professional Waterfall and pond construction
copy and paste link: http://aycu35.webshots.com/image/7874/2003901085812334988_rs.jpg
 
  #8  
Old 01-08-07, 03:50 AM
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The dobie question was because you said they are used to hold the concrete off of the dirt in a previous post-just wanted to clarify.
Thanks
 
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