DIY Pond Kit
Thank you for your purchase of the Aquascape Pond Kit. We are pleased that you have decided to explore the water gardening lifestyle.
This booklet contains the instructions for all Pond Kit sizes. The Pond Kit system is designed to have a waterfall and pond. Follow the step-by-step instructions in the order they are listed.
Skipping steps or changing the order will create extra work in the long run. We want to make this experience as easy as possible, allowing you to concentrate on the creativity needed to design your pond.
On the next page, you will and QR codes that will provide further inspiration, troubleshooting, and maintenance help.
Access a series of courses designed to help propel you forward as a water feature hobbyist.
For more information about our company or products please visit our website at www.aquascapeinc.com or call (US) 1-866-877-6637 (CAN) 1-866-766-3426.
Find us on:
|1.||(1) Skimmer Lid|
|2.||(1) Signature Series 200 Pond Skimmer|
|3.||(1) Skimmer Weir|
|4.||(1) Skimmer Debris Net|
|5.||(1) 2″ Bulkhead fitting|
|6.||(1) MPT x Barb fitting|
|7.||(1) MPT x Slip PVC fitting|
|8.||(1) SS Hose clamps|
|10.||(1) Skimmer* Face Plate|
|11.||(1) Bio fall Up|
|12.||(1) Media Bag|
|13.||(2) Bio fall Filter Mat|
|14.||(1) BioFall 1000 Filter|
|15.||(1) DIY Waterfall Foam|
|19.||(1) 25′ x 11/2″ Kink free pipe|
|20.||(1) AquaSurge Pump|
WARNING Symbol – Will alert you to the possibility of damage, injury, or death if you do not comply with the warnings that accompany them. The hazard may come from something mechanical or from electrical shock.
TIP Symbol – Helpful information provided by a professional pond installer.
WARNING: Risk of electric shock This Product has not been approved for use in swimming pools or marine areas.
- Have a qualiﬁ ed electrician install a properly grounded receptacle outlet, acceptable for outdoor use when protected from direct sunlight snow, and rain. If possible locate the outlet so that the power cord will reach the outlet without an extension cord.
- Inspect the cord for damage before using it.
- Any wiring of this product should be performed by a qualiﬁ ed electrician to ensure code compliance and user safety.
- To reduce the risk of electrical shock, all wiring and junction connections should be made per local codes. Requirements may vary depending on usage and location.
WARNING: To provide continued protection against the risk of electric shock, connect to properly grounded, ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets only.
- The power cable should be protected at all times to avoid punctures, cuts, bruises, and abrasions.
- Never handle power cords with wet hands.
- If an extension cord is required be sure it is rated for outdoor use.
- Unplug the pump at the receptacle outlet when not in use.
- Do not remove cord and strain relief. Do not connect the conduit to the product.
- Do not use a power cable to lift the AquaSurge pump.
- Before you start digging make sure you contact your local utility locating service to avoid damage to utility lines.
Electrical Speciﬁcations – AquaSurge 2000 Pump
- Input Voltage: 120V AC
- Input frequency: 60 Hz
- 160 Watts
SELECT & MARK OUT YOUR AREA
- When choosing the location for your new pond, we recommend putting it near a deck or patio so you can sit and relax close to your water feature. Also, keep in mind viewpoints from inside the house. Make your pond visible from a kitchen window or patio door, giving you year-round enjoyment.
- We suggest that you use a garden hose to deﬁne the shape of your new pond. The hose is ﬂexible and can be pushed and pulled in various shapes. Step back, evaluate and modify your design until you have something that you really like.
- Pond Kits are available in three sizes (4’x6’, 6’x8’, and 8’x11’). Double-check to make sure the length and width of your layout does not exceed the amount of liner included
with your kit.
- Once you have the pond shaped and deﬁned with the hose, take a can of brightly colored, highly visible spray paint and outline the shape (around the hose) on the grass.
PLACE BIO FALL FILTER AND SKIMMER
- The Bio fall ﬁlter will be used to create your waterfall and should be positioned so it’s facing the main viewing area.
- Make sure it is placed close to the edge of the basin so you can connect the pond liner to the Bio fall ﬁlter.
- In order to maximize circulation, the Bio fall and Skimmer are ideally placed on opposite ends of the pond, directly across from each other. (See Ex. 1)
- To eliminate the need for making a trench for the pipe, lay the kink-free pipe around the perimeter of the pond basin. This should be completed before you begin your excavation so the soil you remove from the pond can cover the kink-free pipe, disguising it from sight. (See Ex. 2)
HOOK UP AND LEVEL THE FALL
- Install the bulkhead ﬁtting in the opening provided in the back of the Bio fall. The rubber gasket should be located on the inside of the Bio fall. Tighten the nut on the outside until the rubber gasket begins to bulge. This should only be approximately one turn past hand-tight. Be careful not to over-tighten the nut, which could possibly crack the bulkhead. Please note that the bulkhead ﬁtting is reverse threaded. Turn the nut counterclockwise to tighten! (See Ex. 3 & 4)
- Now install the barb ﬁtting included with the kit into the bulkhead ﬁtting. A PVC slip ﬁtting has also been included in case you are using ﬂexible PVC pipe. Use some of the silicone, sealant included in your kit, to coat the threads of the ﬁtting, in order to help provide a watertight seal. (See Ex. 4)
- Now it’s time to position the Bio fall in the desired location.
- The Biofall should be set at or slightly below the grade of the yard. Simply remove a section of sod or a few inches of soil in order to create a ﬁrm foundation for the Biofall to sit.
Design tip – Keep the waterfall to the scale of the yard!
The goal should be to create the perception that Mother Nature herself has constructed the waterfall.
Avoid creating a “volcanic look” by trying to raise the Biofall in a ﬂat backyard.
- Be sure to compact the area beneath the MicroFalls® box using a hand tamper or some other heavy ﬂat object that can be pounded onto the soil. This will help prevent any future settling.
- Use a 2’ bubble level in order to make sure your Biofall is properly set into position. Your Biofall should be level from
side-to-side and tilt forward ¼ of a bubble on a 2’ level.
This will make sure the water comes over the front of the Biofall and covers the entire spillway. (See Ex. 5)
- The ﬁlter is now ready for the kink-free pipe and hose clamp to be slipped onto the barb ﬁtting. Have someone hold the Biofall in place in order to prevent it from shifting
out of level. In some instances, the tubing/hose may be tight and difﬁcult to use with hose ﬁtting barbs. If this is the case, we recommend heating the hose with the use of a hairdryer or simply dipping the hose for a few seconds in very hot water. Lubrication can also be used; we recommend silicone grease or vegetable oil. Once installed, the hose clamp can be tightened to secure the pipe on the ﬁtting. (See Ex. 6)
- Double-check to make sure the Biofall is still level after installing the plumbing.
EXCAVATE YOUR POND BASIN
The shape and depth
- Digging can be very labor-intensive, so pace yourself and get some friends and family to help you.
- We suggest excavating the pond no more than 18-24” deep. This depth provides the proper water levels required for aquatic plants and is deep enough to keep ﬁsh alive
- The excavation should be dug with a series of shelves.
The shelves will add stability to the walls of the pond and will also create planting beds for different types of aquatic plants.
STEP 5 CONT…
- The ﬁrst shelf should be about 8-10” deep (See Ex. 7), or the height of a standard shovel blade.
- The second is typically down another 8-10” deeper. In this step start your excavation of the skimmer hole (See Ex. 8).
- The third shelf (if desired) will be excavated down another 6” (See Ex. 9), reaching a ﬁnal excavation of 24”.
- All of the soil removed from the excavation can be spread and compacted around the Biofall, creating a berm. The ﬁlter should be completely surrounded by soil by the end of the project. Be sure to verify that the Biofall remains level throughout the process.
Design spaces for plants
- Design your shelves wider in areas where you wish to place aquatic plants. (See Ex. 10) a water depth up to about 10”, so the top shelf is a perfect location for these plants.
(See Ex. 10)
- Water lilies will vary according to species, but a depth of 12-24” at the crown works best, so the second shelf or bottom of the pond will work great for the lilies.
(See Ex. 10)
- To make planting lilies easier, add a few ‘lily pockets.’
These pockets are simply depressions or bowls cut Into the soil 6-8” deep and 10-16” in diameter. The goal is to create a natural-looking pond, and this is possible only if
plant pots are eliminated or completely hidden. (See Ex. 10)
STEP 5 CONT…
EXCAVATE YOUR POND BASIN CONTINUED
Leveling the edges
- One of the most important parts of the excavation is getting the perimeter of the pond level and setting the level of the water. An excellent tool for this is a 2×4 set across
the pond. Set a 4-foot bubble level on the 2×4 to make sure the perimeter of the pond is level. We recommend using a transit or sight level on larger projects. Check your
progress several times while digging.
- It is typical to set the water level 2- 3” below the main viewing area (patio, deck, etc.). This will bring the water level of the pond up close to the edge of the pond without
going over the sides. (See Ex. 11)
- Roughout an excavated area for the Skimmer. Simply dig a hole 18” wide by 21” long (the outline of the skimmer) and 18” below the desired water level.
- Make sure the excavated area under the Skimmer is compacted and level.
- The skimmer should be excavated down to a depth so that the proposed water level in the pond is approximate ¾” below the top of the opening of the skimmer.
- Re-check all your measurements, including length and width of pond, plant shelf depth, and overall pond depth.
INSTALL UNDERLAYMENT AND LINER
- Remove any sharp objects from the excavated basin that may damage the liner.
- Unfold the underlayment fabric and place it into your excavated pond basin. Starting from the bottom, remove the slack from the underlayment, making sure it conforms to all of the elevations.
- Now place the EPDM ﬁsh-safe liner on top of the underlayment.
- The installation process is the same as the underlayment, starting at the bottom and contouring the liner up and out of the pond basin. (See Ex. 13 on next page)
- Try to get the large folds out, but the main goal is to make sure that it’s lying ﬂat and going into all corners. Don’t try to get it perfect—you will hide the liner with rocks and gravel later.
- Make sure there is enough liner around the edges of the pond basin. This should not be a problem if you measured out the pond and excavated it correctly. Problems can be ﬁxed by readjusting the liner into the excavation or backﬁlling (making the pond basin smaller) in areas where there is not enough liner.
INSTALLING THE SIGNATURE SERIES 200 SKIMMER
- You’ve already roughed out a hole approximately 21”(l) x 18” (w) x 18” (h) deep during the excavation phase. Use a 2’ bubble level in order to make sure your Skimmer is properly set into position. Your Skimmer should be level from side to side and front to back.
- If installing the optional overﬂow you will need to drill a hole using a 3” hole saw in the back of the SS200. The center of the hole should be drilled XX” from the top edge
of the ﬁlter. Install the bulkhead into the hole following the orientation in Ex. 14. A barb ﬁtting or PVC ﬁtting can then be threaded into the bulkhead. Use silicone sealant
or teﬂon thread tape on the threads of the pipe ﬁttngs, in order to help provide a watertight seal. The pipe for the overﬂow can be connected later in the project.
- Make sure the skimmer is set so the desired water level in the pond is approximate ¾” below the top of the skimmer opening. (See Ex. 12 on the previous page)
Attaching the skimmer faceplate
- Position the liner against the Skimmer opening, making sure there is slack below the opening. This will help reduce tension on the faceplate when placing boulders in front
of the unit. Use your ﬁnger or a screwdriver to mark the outer perimeter of the Skimmer opening on the liner. (See Ex. 15)
- Mark a second box 1.5” inside of it. This ensures that you don’t cut too much of the liner, which would result in a possible leak. (See Ex. 16)
- Cut the inner box using a pair of scissors, and insert the skimmer faceplate into the hole. (See Ex. 17)
- Make sure Skimmer the faceplate is in the upright position. The hinge should be at the bottom. (See Ex. 18)
- Temporarily install the faceplate and liner to the skimmer using two screws in the upper corners. Using an awl or nail poke the ﬁrst hole in the liner all the way through to
the inside of the ﬁlter box. Be careful not to damage the threads on the nut inserts when punching the holes with the awl. Remove the awl or nail while holding the faceplate and liner in place and begin threading one of the screws into the ﬁlter. Repeat this process for the other screw. (See Ex. 19)
- Now remove the faceplate from the skimmer, keeping the screws installed through the faceplate and liner. (See Ex. 20
Apply a bead of ﬁsh-safe silicone sealant around the skimmer opening, over the nut inserts.
- Pre-installing the two screws in the earlier steps will make it easy to line up the skimmer faceplate after the silicone is applied and will keep the silicone in as thick of a bead as possible. (See Ex. 21)
- Replace the skimmer faceplate and the two corner screws and then proceed with the bottom two corners. Make sure the holes in the faceplate that the weir ﬂap clicks into are on the bottom. (See Ex. 22)
Power tools are not recommended for installing the screws and may strip the nut inserts
ADD ROCK AND GRAVEL
You can expect to use several tons of stone and gravel for your water feature. Talk to your Aquascape retailer or rock yard for help choosing the quantity and sizes of stone and
gravel. Visit www.aquascapeinc.com for information on calculating the required stone and gravel. Below are some helpful formulas for choosing stone and gravel.
Stone Calculation for the Pond
Length x Width / 65 = Tons of boulders
Gravel Used in the Pond
Pond Gravel = 30% total tons of pond boulders
- Start from the bottom and set the largest character boulders ﬁ rest against the vertical walls, then stack the smaller boulders on top.
- Be careful when placing any large boulders so you don’t damage the liner.
- The opening on the front of the skimmer can be hidden by placing boulders on either side and bridging a stone or piece of driftwood across, creating a cave effect.
Note: Make sure the boulders do not block the water ﬂ ow into the skimmer.
- Cover all remaining ﬂ at surfaces with a couple of inches of decorative gravel. This will help lock the boulders in place, as well as cover the remaining liner, protecting it from ultraviolet rays, and giving bacteria a place to colonize.
WASH ROCKS AND GRAVEL
- Using a garden hose, wash the rock and gravel down in order to remove the dust and dirt. Use the pump provided with the kit attached to a scrap section of kink-free pipe.
The pump can be temporarily be placed at the lowest point of the pond and the dirty water discharged to a drainage area in the yard.
COMPLETE THE SIGNATURE SERIES 200 SKIMMER
- Insert the (optional) Filter Brush Cartridge, and the Debris Net into the Skimmer. See the image below for placement.
STEP 10 CONT…
COMPLETE THE SKIMMER INSTALLATION
- The Skimmer has two holes on either side of the unit for the plumbing to travel to the Biofall. Choose the plumbing hole that is most convenient. The pipe simply passes
through the opening on either side of the Skimmer.
- The pump’s electrical cord can be positioned over the top edge of the skimmer.
- Insert the barbed multi-hose adapter included with the pump onto the end of the pipe and tighten down the hose clamp. Thread the end of the pipe onto the rotational ball ﬁ thing attached to the pump and lower into the Skimmer.
Overﬂ ow Installation (Recommended but Optional)
- Attach and trench a section of kink-free pipe into place (3’ minimum). Create a drainage area at the end of the pipe by excavating a small pit, roughly 16” in diameter and at least 12” deep. Fill the pit with excess gravel. This will allow water in an overﬂ ow situation to ﬂ ow through the pipe and drain away from the pond. (See Ex 22)
- A layer of scrap underlayment fabric, soil, or sod can be added to cover the drainage area.
- Fill up the pond basin with water. The pond should be ﬁ led just below the level of the overﬂ ow in the Skimmer.
Note: We recommend adding Aquascape Pond Detoxiﬁ er to dechlorinate and properly condition water prior to introducing ﬁ sh to your new pond. See your Aquascape dealer for water treatment products.
HOOK UP THE BIOFALLS®
- Prior to installing the waterfall lip, make sure the face of the ﬁ later and liner are clean and free of dust and debris.
- Have someone hold the liner against the Biofall while you line up the waterfall lip over the liner. Make sure there are no wrinkles and the liner comes up above the sides of the Biofall. Be sure that you have a few inches of slackliner along the front base of your Biofall.
This will help reduce tension on the waterfall lip when placing boulders in front of the unit. (See Ex. 23)
- Temporarily install the waterfall lip and liner to the Biofall using the two outermost screws. Using an awl or nail, poke the ﬁ first hole in the liner all the way through to the inside of the Biofall. (See Ex. 24 & 25) Be careful not to damage the threads on the nut inserts when punching the holes with the awl! Remove the awl or nail while holding the waterfall snout and liner in place and begin threading one of the screws into the ﬁ later.
- Repeat this process for the other screw.
STEP 12 CONT…
- Remove the waterfall lip from the Biofall, keeping the screws installed through the waterfall lip and liner.
- Place a thick bead of silicone across the insert nuts on the front of the Biofall (See Ex. 26). Pre-installing the two screws in the earlier steps will make it easy to line up the
waterfall lip after the silicone is applied and will keep the silicone in as thick of a bead as possible.
- Reattach the waterfall lip and liner using the two preinstalled screws. (See Ex. 27)
- Using an awl or nail, poke the remaining holes in the waterfall lip and install the rest of the screws. (See Ex. 28)
• Remove extra liner, using the waterfall lip as a guide. Install the rest of the screws. (See Ex. 29)
Power tools are not recommended for installing the screws and may strip the nut inserts.
INSTALLING THE FILTER PADS AND MEDIA BAG
- Install the two ﬁ later pads into the Biofall.
- Add approximately 10 lbs of lava rock or Aquascape BioBalls™ (not included) into the media net. Set the media bag on top of the ﬁ lter mats.
Biological Media net to hold BioBalls™ or Lava Rock (BioBalls ™ and laverock sold separately) Two standard biological ﬁ later mats Rock trays (not included) can hold rocks, plants, and gravel, helping to naturalize the ﬁ later into the surrounding landscape.
BUILD THE WATERFALL
- Make sure there are at least 2 feet of liner on either side of the MicoFalls®. (See Ex. 30)
- Place two larger boulders on either side of the waterfalls you are creating in order to “frame” the waterfalls. The water will be running between the two larger boulders you’ve set in place. (See Ex. 30)
- You can now begin to stack the rocks between the two larger boulders. These are the rocks that the water will be running over, so take your time and be creative. Start with
the larger rocks on the bottom and work your way up to the smaller ones on top. (See Ex. 31)
- Small stones and gravel can be used to ﬁ ll in the gaps between the larger waterfalls stones.
STEP 13 CONT…
- Use the Pond & Waterfall Foam Sealant to ﬁll in gaps between the stones that water is ﬂowing over. The foam keeps the water ﬂowing over the top of the waterfall stones. Without the Pond & Waterfall Foam Sealant, you will lose waterﬂow. The water will travel and get lost beneath the rocks.
- Let dry for at least one hour before introducing water!
The Biofall is designed with a plastic lip for the water to cascade off. You can use the plastic lip or hide the lip using a piece(s) of thin (no more than 3/4” thick) natural slate. (See Ex.32) This stone can be attached to the Biofall using Aquascape Black Waterfall Foam.
Ex. 32 If using a natural rock for your waterfall lip, make sure that it is fairly thin. (no more than 3/4″)
BRING IN THE TOPSOIL
- Add topsoil to the berm and surrounding area in order to provide a good substrate for future landscape planting.
BUILD THE RETAINING WALL
- Finish off the berm where the Biofall is buried by building a small retaining wall out of boulders. This step may or may not be needed, depending on the size of the berm and the transition into the existing landscape.
PLUGIN AND TWEAK THE WATERFALLS
- As soon as the pond is ﬁ lled and all of the black waterfall foam is dry, you may plug the pump in and test the waterfall.
Any electrical should be plugged into a GFCI rated receptacle.
- You can tweak the waterfall ﬂ ow by placing smaller stones and gravel on the waterfall cascades. This will change the appearance and sound of the water. Have fun playing with the ﬂ ow of water coming over the falls until you achieve the desired effect.
TRIM THE LINER
- With everything running, go around the perimeter of the pond with a pair of scissors and trim off any excess liner, always leaving several inches above the water level as a
precaution. The remaining liner edges can be covered with gravel. sod or mulch.
WARNING Do not trim the liner until the waterfall is running and the pond is ﬁ led to the desired level.
Prematurely trimming the liner may cause leaks!
MULCH AND LANDSCAPE
- The entire area surrounding the basin can now be mulched and any surrounding plants added.
- You’re at the ﬁnal stages of the project! All that is needed now is to clean up the mess you’ve made around the yard.
- No further explanation is needed for this step!
Scan the QR below or visit www.aquascapeinc.com for more information on troubleshooting, maintenance, and complementing products for your new Aquascape Pond.
|Skimmer Replacement Parts|
|1.||99772 Brush Cartridge (optional)|
|2.||99775 Debris Net|
|3.||29103 2″ Bulkhead Fitting|
|4.||29254 Face Plate|
|6.||54001 Brass Screws (13 pk)|
|7.||99925 MPT x Barb fitting|
|8.||29157 MPT x Slip PVC fitting|
|9.||99993 SS Hose Clamps|
|Biotall Replacement Parts|
|1.||99776 Filter Mat (Qty 1)|
|2.||29103 2″ Bulkhead Fitting|
|3.||99791 Filter Lip|
|4.||30078 Brass Screw Set (8 pk)|
|5.||99925 MPT x Barb fitting|
|6.||29157 MPT x Slip PVC fitting|
|7.||99993 SS Hose Clamps|
|AquaSurge 2000 Replacement Parts|
|1.||91063 Intake Screen Kit|
|2.||91065 Discharge Fitting Kit|
|3.||91066 Water Chamber Cover and 0-Ring Kit|
|4.||91068 Pump Handle and Feet Kit|
|5.||91070 Replacement Impeller Kit|
Skimmer Plastic Components Biofalls® 1000 liter Plastic Components
20 Year Guarantee:
45 mil sh safe Pond Liner
Three Year Warranty:
AquaSurge® 2000 waterfall pump
One Year Warranty:
1-1/2” Kink Free hose
Skimmer Debris Net
The parts above are guaranteed for years listed from the date of purchase. Proof of purchase required. Warranty does not cover damage resulting from negligent handling, misuse, or lack of reasonable maintenance or care. Warranty is valid against defects due to material and the company’s workmanship only. The sole obligation shall be to replace the defective unit with a suitable replacement unit. Units should be checked for proper operation prior to returning as defective. Aquascape Inc. or its afﬁliates are not liable for loss or damage of any nature or kind, whether arising out of or from the use of the product, defective or not defective.
CAN 1-866-766-3426 | US 1-866-877-6637
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