1鈥hape the Pond 3鈥eference Line
Select the pond site and Use a chalk line to
design pond on paper. provide reference points
Now it is time for dirt to determine glassing
GARDEN POND excavation. An average height on the rocks.
Step-by-Step Instructions size pond can be dug by Determine the water line
hand, while a large pond by the height of the
will need heavy equip- waterfall and the area
ment. After using heavy equipment, the pond will still need to where the filter will be constructed.
be shaped and contoured with a shovel and rake. Use
4鈥mooth with Sand
excavated dirt to create a raised waterfall area and a berm on
one side of the pond. If fish are to be kept in the pond, allow Contour the raked dirt
a 2' to 3' depth and fairly steep sides to protect them from area with a thin layer of
animals and summer heat. wet sand to make the
transition from dirt to
To assure a uniform water line, mark reference points around
rock. The sand (20 or 30
the perimeter of the pond at the desired water line (note white
mesh) should be as wet as
markers). Locate these points with a surveyor's transit or a
sand along a beach used to
water level. Cut a ledge into the sides of the pond at the water
build sand castles. Use only as much sand as needed to lift
line. Rocks will be placed into the edge of the pond. Plan for
Imagine a pond with a waterfall that creates the
low spots and to smooth the dirt surface.
and install drain pipes, water supply lines, and sumps for
sound of cascading water and is surrounded by
ferns, natural rocks, and your favorite plants. 5鈥repare Surface for Adhesion
Sure a trip to Hawaii would be nice, but you can
2鈥et Waterfall Rocks Wire brush rocks from
create this atmosphere in your own backyard鈥?
waterline down to ensure
After packing and settling
and in whatever space is available.
the adhesion of the
the berm, then soak the
How long does it take to create a garden pond fiberglass to the rock.
loose dirt to compact it for
that can be home for goldfish, decorative koi Glassing over moss, dirt,
a firm support base for
carp, water plants, or simply moving water? or slag will impair
heavy rocks. Use mortar
You can complete a small pond in a weekend adhesion and a waterproof
to bed the main rocks that
and a large pond, like the one shown, in several seal. There is no need to use mortar or cement on the rocks at
form the waterfall. (Note
months. Small or large, either size pond can be the perimeter of the pond.
mortar joints on the larger rocks. Center rock weighs
designed and built by you鈥es, you can do it!
approximately 1500 lb and is partially buried.) After the
mortar sets, brush a coat of resin on the mortar joints.
Mix resin and catalyst on
Sprinkle crushed rock and sand on the wet resin to create the
a clean flat working
appearance of one large rock. (Not shown in photo.)
surface near the area to be
glassed. Stir vigorously,
the fantastic scraping sides of container
plastic place and lifting resin from the
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10鈥xposed Edge Treatment
bottom (use a motion like scrambling eggs). Mix only 1 to 2 fiberglass mat. Provide a coved surface by packing damp
quarts of resin at a time until you become familiar with the sand up to cardboard tube.
Create a uniform rim for
process and the working time (in hot weather, the working edges of the pond that will
14鈥rape Fiberglass Pieces
time is approximately 15 to 20 minutes less). Experiment border lawn, ground
with different catalyst proportions using the basic mixing Saturate fiberglass pieces
cover, gravel, cement, or
information on the resin label as a guideline. with resin at your clean
other materials. Make this
working surface and carry
division by cutting a
7鈥lace Mat Strips immediately to pond edge.
ledge, about 10" to 12"
Cut small strips of (A movable working
wide, at the water line.
fiberglass mat (approxi- surface in center of pond
mately 6" x 8"), saturate is a time-saver.) Pieces
with resin and lay them in larger than 18" square tend to tear when lifted off the working
Lay down a bed of sand
place bridging the rock surface because of the nonwoven nature of the mat. Place
approximately 1/2" thick
onto the dirt and sand saturated mat on dirt/sand base. The ideal team for this less
on ledge of pond and rake
base. Two layers of mat than tidy process of glassing is: one person cutting the
smooth. The top of ledge
are advised in irregular rock-dirt areas. Wet the fiberglass mat required shapes and sizes of mat and mixing resin while the
should be at water level.
on a clean working surface and place pieces tangent to the other lays the mat in place and blends pieces together.
Smooth the sand, make
bridging surfaces. Overlap adjacent pieces 1" to 2". certain the surface is level.
15鈥mooth Surfaces Together
8鈥ork Mat Into Place 12鈥aised Edging Place 2 or 3 wet pieces
side by side (overlap
Use the bristle ends of a Lay a 2" diameter mailing
pieces approximately 2").
brush, poking rather than tube, cut lengthwise and
Next start second row and
brushing to work mat into in sections, to form the
work towards center of
place and blend pieces curve at the edge of the
pond. With a brush (wet
together. A two or three pond. This creates a
with resin), coat top
inch wide brush is good uniform raised edge which
surface of mat thoroughly by saturating it and blending
for small or irregular keeps drain water and
overlapped edges together. Again with a wet brush, work mat
areas. Fiberglass mat is the best form of glass reinforcement debris out of the pond. Larger tubing, mounded sand, or
at overlap areas by brushing back and forth. Fiberglass mat
to use because of its non-directional makeup and its ability to something as simple as a discarded garden hose can also
can be feathered-out to look like one piece rather than like
follow compound curves when saturated with resin. create the edge you need to glass over.
shingles. Continue along sides and down to bottom of pond
9鈥aying Fiberglass Pieces until entire surface is coated. Fiberglass can be walked on as
soon as it cures to the touch.
Lay fiberglass pieces Hold tube sections in
around the perimeter place by driving 3" or 4"
rocks. Lay larger pieces nails through the card-
(up to 18" x 18") toward board tubes into firm
the bottom of the pond. ground. Raise or lower the
Check water line as you tubes on the nails and
proceed around perimeter. level before laying the
Construct edges to keep rainwater from draining into pond.
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16鈥pecial Care Areas 22鈥inal Color Coat
If the soil has eroded away or the fiberglass has curled, you
need to replace the soil and pack sand up to and under the
Areas needing special Thicken final color coat of
cured fiberglass edge. Continue glassing, overlapping onto
attention in and around a resin with TAP Visco-Fill
the clean cured area 2" more.
pond are the low places, or Cab-O-Sil. The
the sump holes which may consistency of this
have pipes or wires going mixture should be creamy
Cherry wood stumps
through the fiberglass, enough to hang on a
provide a decorative edge
ledges for plants, and vertical surface and to fill
and variety to a pond's
depressions for large rocks. Cover all of these areas with a low spots, pin holes, and possible leaks areas. Add color
appearance. Available at
thin layer of damp sand, creating a smooth surface with pigment to this coat. (Reflective ponds need black or near
rock yards or nurseries.
gradual curves. Connect the sides and bottom of the sump black surfaces. Avoid light artificial colors.) TAP Premium
hole in this manner. Put the submersible pump at the lowest Pigment is added to the resin at the ratio of 1 oz per quart. To
point of the pond for easy cleaning and to protect the pump avoid the blotchy look of several different batches of varying
from running dry. shades, it is best to mix one large batch of colored resin and
then add hardener to small quantities of the colored resin just
Mark the water line with a
17鈥lassing Low Spots before applying to the pond. Since this will be the top coat of
string line and cut a ledge
resin, add surface curing agent according to directions.
Sand is packed and 4" to 6" below the water
smoothed. The PVC pipe line. This provides an
23鈥rush On Resin
is cleaned at contact edge where the stumps
points by abrading the After thickened and
appear to be holding back
pipe with rough sandpaper pigmented resin is
the water. Glass the wall
to improve adhesion of brushed on the cured
behind the stumps and glass over the cutout ledge on the side
fiberglass to pipe. Lay fiberglassed surface,
of the pond where the stumps will be placed. Glue stumps in
small pieces of resin-saturated fiberglass around pipe (tangent carefully examine the
place with a resin and a sand slurry mixture. Pour slurry
to one another) and then work them together. To assure surface to look for
(pancake batter consistency) onto fiberglass ledge and set
against leaks, apply a second layer to this area after the first potential leak areas. If an
stumps into this wet mixture. Gently tap stump tops to seat
layer cures. Starting at the lip of the sump hole, use long area is spotted that looks resin-starved or is not reinforced
narrow strips of mat and continue down the side. Overlap 2" enough, cover with a piece of mat, overlap the surface by 2",
After resin/sand mixture cures, use 6" to 8" wide strips of
to 3" on sump bottom. When glassing the bottom, overlap wet-it-out, and blend into the rest of surface. Sand rough
fiberglass mat along the back side of the stumps to tie them
mat onto sides to create two layers at overlap. Continue all areas before patching. A disk grinder is recommended for
and the fiberglass edge of pond together. Later back fill with
the around sump hole. large ponds.
gravel to the stumps. The edge will appear to be stumps only.
18鈥oining Sections 24鈥prinkle Sand
If you take a break from While this final color-coat
Place small decorative
working on the pond and is still wet (within 10-15
stones on the ledge and let
begin working again after minutes of the mix), dull
ground cover grow over
the fiberglass has cured, the surface to make it look
stumps onto ledge.
the edges may need to be more natural by sprinkling
Stumps can also be placed
blended with damp sand. dry washed sand onto the
above the water level.
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Important Topics and Tips Estimate Materials
wet resin surface. Be generous with the sand. After the resin
cures, sweep off excess sand and reuse it in other areas. The 鈥? Since more than one layer of resin will be applied, use a For a rough estimate of materials, figure the square footage of
finished waterproof shell will withstand radical temperature wax-free resin to ensure bonding between layers, such as the flat area to be glassed and add 1/3 more fiberglass mat to
changes and earth movement鈥攗nlike most do-it-yourself TAP Bond coat resin. allow for overlaps and contours. Estimate that one gallon of
concrete ponds. resin will saturate 15-20 square feet of mat.
鈥? To avoid leakage problems, use wide mat overlaps and
work with small batches of resin (1 to 2 qt) at a time. Take
25鈥andscape, Fill, and Enjoy Pond Materials At TAP Plastics:
your time! If the pond leaks, allow the water level to drop
鈥? Polyester Resin
until it stops. Inspect the surface at and above the stabilized
water level for the leak. Lower the water level, or drain the 鈥? Catalyst
pond, and coat the suspect area(s). Since the final pond
鈥? Fiberglass Mat
surface cure coat contains wax, it must be removed if patch
鈥? Surface Curing Agent
or repair is to adhere to the suspect area. Use a grinder or
course sandpaper to remove surface wax, then wipe with 鈥? Visco-Fill or TAP Cab-O-Sil
clean rag and acetone.
鈥? Premium Color Pigment
鈥? TAP Bond Coat Laminating Resin is available in quarts,
鈥? Mixing Buckets and Stir Sticks
gallons, 5 gallon, and drum quantities. Add TAP Surface
鈥? Disposable Brushes and Gloves
Curing Agent, TAP Visco-Fill or Cab-O-Sil, and TAP
Premium Color Pigment to the final coat. 鈥? Acetone or Replacetone (for cleanup)
鈥? Keep dirt and debris out of the pond until it is completed. All the Garden Pond materials mentioned in this article are
Allow the final coat to cure completely for at least 72 hours.
available on this website: fiberglass/index.html.
鈥? Before stocking your pond with fish, follow recommenda-
During this time, inspect the surface while sweeping off
tions for dechlorinating the water and acclimating the fish. Visit or call a TAP Plastics store for more information about
excess sand. It will save you a great deal of time to check for
Consult your local fish merchant. glassing your pond. Store locations are listed on this website:
potential leaks before filling the pond. Patch suspect areas鈥?
鈥? Sunlight and wind will cause water evaporation; add water
you cannot be too careful.
Landscape, fill with water, and admire. See you pond side!
Contact Us By:
(8-6 PST, M-F; 9-5 PST, Sat)
鈥? Fax or Mail:
or, TAP Plastics Inc.
6475 Sierra Lane
Dublin CA 94568
Product Bulletin Garden Pond 07.01
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