‘Don’t even think of building a pond without going to a class’ | NevadaAppeal.com

‘Don’t even think of building a pond without going to a class’

The recent annual Northern Nevada Pond Club tour of Carson Country home ponds received an “enthusiastic repose,” said Mona Coleman of Carson City. “We sold 150 tickets.”

It was an ideal way to get ideas for building a pond. Owners were happy to share tales of joy and tales of woe in building their fish natatoriums. One thing almost all pond builders agree on is the necessity of attending a pond-building class before embarking.

“Don’t even think of it without going to a class on the subject,” said one pond owner.

The hard-luck story of Cindy and Roger Allen of Carson City is an example of what not to do. They started their pond in the summer of 1995, using a pre-formed mold.

“We had a terrible time trying to get it even,” said Roger.

“Using a pre-formed mold was our first mistake,” he recalls. “The flood of ’97 came along, and all of a sudden our pond was lifted about 2 feet out of the ground by flood-boosted ground level water.”

Next they tried using a large plastic sheet, which can adapt to the shape of the pit and doesn’t have to be absolutely level. The weight of the water forces the rubber to conform, Roger explained. “But you have to work to get the wrinkles out.”

Once the sheet was in place and 4 feet deep, the Allens had to trim the edges of the square sheet and build up a ledge with cinder blocks. They added a water pump above the pond and enclosed it with a neat wood fence.

“But we only got things going right after going to a class offered by Oasis Water Gardens in Reno,” said Roger.

Now, almost 10 years later, the Allen pond is lush and functioning well. It is populated by a frog and 23 fish – including Ol’ Blue, a koi which jumped out of a tub while being transferred to allow for pool cleaning; he suffered a broken back, but lives happily with his 90-degree-angled body.

Cindy said the pool is “a wonderful thing to come out on the patio and relax and watch the waterfall.”

Nevada Appeal staffer Sharon Colley built a small pond. Here’s her report:

“My desire for a ‘water feature’ in our Dayton back yard was not met with enthusiasm by husband, Mark, probably because he knew he’d be the one who would have to push, pull, drag, and whatever else it took to turn my dream into a reality.

“And yet an impromptu trip to a home center turned into a weekend project that we both can now enjoy.

“The 50-gallon pre-formed pool is met by two streamlets that trickle water onto a jumble of river rocks, creating a relaxing and peaceful environment just off the patio. That was all fine and well, but something was missing.

“The project needed some life. Maybe some plants. And fish? Never having had a pond before, and confused with the plethora of products available. I didn’t know quite where to begin.

“So off I went to the Greenhouse Garden Center for a free (and timely) seminar on ponds.”

With the expert guidance of David Ruf, Greenhouse proprietor and gardening expert, she cut through the morass of options and headed home with flora, fauna and newfound confidence.

Pond ownership is not for wimps.

“I practically live outside during the warmer months so this has been a wonderful addition to the ambiance. All for under $300 buck, and a weekend’s worth of labor,” she said. “Now I’m looking around for the next project.”

Mark was unavailable for comment.

Contact Sam Bauman at sbauman@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1236.