Anyone line a pond with polytarp?

johnnymax

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I am planning to frame up a small above ground pond next to our patio.
I am taking down a friend's large deck that went around their 28' dia. above ground swimming pool.
The deck is HUGE! LOTS OF LUMBER!

I am going to make the pond 8' x 6' and 27.5" deep from the 2x6 timbers.
I will line the inside walls with 1/2" foam and the bottom with carpet.

I was going to buy a poly tarp that is black on one side, because pond liners are typically black.

My question is: Can I line it with polytarp?
 
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Ulu

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It rots fast in the sun. If it's protected from sun it will last much longer.
Definitely the ghetto method. I'd get a real pond liner if I wanted to justify all the labor involved.
 

johnnymax

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Back in the 90's I made a small pond and I just used concrete cinder blocks. I lined it with three layers of that cheap thin Polyethylene Plastic Sheeting.
Pond 3.jpg

It worked fine back then. I can do that again, but the common Poly Tarp is also made of Polyethylene Plastic, but it is two layers with fiber mesh reinforcing.
The heavy duty poly tarp has UV protection. I know that you are not supposed to expose the expensive pond liners to direct sun light, because it too will degrade.

I am not going to spend a lot on a heavy pond liner (not going to put that in my budget).
I am getting the wood free, I have the foam and the carpet.
We are moving into a second home this fall and we need to buy furniture and all, so the pond is an extra, (For me, not the wife :)
I will make the pond so the liner is protected from direct sun light to be safe.

I am going to cut notches in the 2x6's, like Lincoln Logs :)
The top will be the only boards screwed down to secure the liner.
The liner will be trimmed once it is assembled.

Pond 2.jpg

Pond 1.jpg

Not sure how long we will be in this house. If I get moved in a few years I will move again.
That is why I am designing it to be disassembled and moved.
If I use an expensive liner it may not be easily reused because I am trimming any excess liner.
If I don't trim it, well then it will look getto ;)
 

johnnymax

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I've seen it done on youtube by some guy who breeds goldfish.
I watched the video. The blue poly tarp sure does look cheap.
If I can't get black, I won't use it.
I would use pond liner if I could find some that is affordable.
Any links?
I am thinking 12' x 10' can work
 

thebiggerthebetter

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What is your goal for the pond?

The cost of liner will be insignificant after all other materials and labor, even with free wood, styrofoam, and carpet padding... I don't see saving $50-$75 on cheap and ill-purposed poly tarp versus EPDM rubber pond liner.

If you won't have fish in there and never step inside, etc. the poly sheeting may work, if UV treated.

EPDM rubber pond liner is the industry standard and warrantied for 20 years, sun or not. Thus, your assumption is incorrect. PVC won't last, true. Reinforced PE liner (not poly tarp but a liner made for ponds) may work too - it is 2x lighter and 2x cheaper and 10x stronger than rubber to punctures. The downs are it is more rigid and IME it doesn't hold water 100%, so not for indoor applications.
 

TechnoBear

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The blue poly tarp is definitely cheap and probably not the best option. I know I have a large blue poly tarp like that lying around, I might have to give it a try with something small like a 2x4 for my convict fry growout.

What is your goal for the pond?

The cost of liner will be insignificant after all other materials and labor, even with free wood, styrofoam, and carpet padding... I don't see saving $50-$75 on cheap and ill-purposed poly tarp versus EPDM rubber pond liner.

If you won't have fish in there and never step inside, etc. the poly sheeting may work, if UV treated.

EPDM rubber pond liner is the industry standard and warrantied for 20 years, sun or not. Thus, your assumption is incorrect. PVC won't last, true. Reinforced PE liner (not poly tarp but a liner made for ponds) may work too - it is 2x lighter and 2x cheaper and 10x stronger than rubber to punctures. The downs are it is more rigid and IME it doesn't hold water 100%, so not for indoor applications.
can't beat that explanation.
 
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adamsfishes

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I've seen pond liners for like a hundred bucks. I can't see doing all that work to build a big pond and not use a proper liner when they're not that expensive.
 

johnnymax

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The pond is for a water feature when I am on the back porch, or when my wife has ladies meetings at the house.
I will have a small pump and a fish that squirts water into the pond. $15 for that whole system. I have it on my Amazon wish list.
The pump will be in the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket (Inside a PVC pipe with holes drilled around the bottom) the bucket will be full of gravel outside the PVC pipe. My cheap bio filter design.
The pond will be populated with a few plants like hornwort, glass shrimp, Japanese trapdoor snails, mosquito fish and feeder goldfish.
Nothing extravagant.
As far as labor, that does not count. I have a great wood shop and love wood working projects.
If it is a labor of love, it is not labor.
My goal is to have the whole pond in for under $50 that will include the pump fish system and the liner.
Did I mention I an Scottish, thus the cheapness...
 
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