Addition to the Pond

January 2, 2010

This summer, I constructed an addition to the pond in which to grow water lilies.  With the unusually cool summer, there was scant algae growth on the sides of the pond, so the fish and turtles had little on which to graze.  The turtles satisfied their vegetable cravings by eating my precious water lilies down to the tops of the pots.  I decided to add a pool in which to grow the lilies and, at the same time, increase the filtering capacity of the pond.  The new pool is above ground, takes water from the bottom of the pond and moves water through the lily pool at 450 gallons per hour, a rate that allows the water time to deposit suspended silt into the pool, helping to further clarify the water.  In addition, a filter box was constructed to increase bacterial biological filtration.  Below are the videos I made of the construction of the pool proper, the filter box, and the faux rock wall surface.  For levity, I named the pool, "Frog Estates" and included a concrete sign with frog sculpture.  This pool will be an ideal place for tadpoles to develop and frogs to take up residence.
Lily Pool Construction Part 1


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About Don Perry

Retired Science Teacher MS in Biological Sciences 68 Years Old Married to Marcia 48 years

15 responses to “Addition to the Pond”

  1. Unknown says :

    You have such great talent! We have a pond in our font yard and it is so difficult to maintain sometimes. There is a leak and I don\’t know where it is coming from! Sometimes I want to just rip it down and rebuild improved. You have given me some great inspiration! Your lilly pond looks great. Looking forward to seeing more videos. Maybe you can do one on pond plants when it gets warmer? Kim-

  2. d22saaa says :

    reetings. I follow your site to wish you continued success.

  3. Sharon says :

    I have completely enjoyed your videos. I showed them to my sister who built a pond into her deck. You may have created a Pandora’s box for us. Do you have anything new for this year that you plan on doing? I sure hope so. Your videos are some of the best videos I’ve seen for instruction. Thank You.

  4. gestav lun says :

    Do can you writing the formula ? Please. Thanks

  5. Rick Libert says :

    I am making a fake rock wall. Base is concrete cinder block. I used a mixture of 3 parts sand, 1 part mortar with approximately 1 3/4 parts water (consistency so that a small “blob” would hang on the wall – based on watching your video on youtube. I mixed it by hand with a trowel. My problem is three days later the “rocks” are gritty and I was able to brush a portion of the “rock” completely away (back to the wall) I suspect I could brush the whole thing away. What am I doing wrong? Fortunately, I’m doing this a little at time after work so I’ve only wasted a few hours so far.

    • Don Perry says :

      Forgive the late reply. I haven’t maintained this site since its takeover by WordPress. You mixture is faulty. You do NOT use mortar, but mortar cement. Mortar already contains the sand and when you add 3 more parts sand to it, it will be weak and sandy and fall apart. You also need to use acrylic in the liquid and add fiber to the mix. Mortar is made from Portland cement, hydrated lime and sand. Mortar cement is Portland cement and lime — no sand. You were, in essence, making a mix that was at least 6 parts sand to 1 part cement. Such a mixture would be so weak that it crumbles.

  6. GARY says :


  7. Chris says :

    dperry, thank you for the great videos. You are awesome. I have a small issue please. I need a large fake rock in the back of the house to cover an irrigation pump. I watched your video and took notes. I went to Home Depot and asked for 3 parts styrofoam beads, handful of fiber and 3 to 1 acrylic polymer liquid. They told me that they didn’t sell them there. Where can I get these materials please. Also, can I just use brick mortar or regular cement to cover my box? Will it pretty much work the same only be heavier. Thoughts and suggestions please.

    • Don Perry says :

      When you shop for materials, you look for EPS (expanded polystyrene) or substitute vermiculite or perlite. You look for acrylic polymer liquid or emulsion then dilute it 3 parts water to 1 part acrylic. Go to and click on the link in the header “Faux Rock Sources Doucment”

  8. Rachel Bezile says :

    Don, I love to follow how creative you are. I want to make some faux rocks, but having a hard time finding acrylic latex polamer. I have check my local lowes, home depot, and menards. Most of them don’t seem to know what I am asking for. I did find it online, but can you tell me what it does? Is is a crack preventitive? If you could respond, I would surely appreciate it.

    • Don Perry says :

      Sorry for not replying sooner. Since this site was originally a Microsoft Spaces account and was taken over by WordPress, I haven’t maintained it. Acrylic emulsion added to the water reduces cracking, makes the mixture stickier and more workable, reduces porosity, acts as a bonding agent and curing agent, and increases the strength of the concrete. Check my YouTube channel and click on the link in the header, “Faux Rock Sources Document”.

  9. Cathie Mylius says :

    REALLY great videos!

    • Cathie Mylius says :

      Do you have any trouble with the pond freezing all the way up since you didn’t go below ground level past the freeze line depth?

      • Don Perry says :

        The lily pool is above grade and is drained in the fall for winter. The pond proper is below grade. With the bottom of the pond in the deep end at 48 inches, ground heat helps keep the ice to a minimum. The walls of the pond are insulated, reducing heat loss. The thickest ice on the pond has been about 3 inches.

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