questionswhat are some pitfalls when creating a waterfall…

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You need decent lining. You probably also need to plan for some kind of bottom feeder, or else buy a VERY expensive filter (or both). River rock is going to be painful on your wallet too, but it's the best. You can use granite, but watch out for "pavers" from places like Home Depot and Lowe's, which are really just a cement-like molded construction, and will deteriorate quickly in contact with that much water.

Buy a decent pump, too. Where's the water source? Are you in an area of the country where water is plentiful? If not, be prepared for drought years where it just has to stay dry. Plan also for Winter (even if you don't have snow, or frost, you'll still probably want it empty then).

I'm sure there's more, but that's a start.

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When I had my little house out in the country, I bought a pond kit with the intention of hiring someone to install it. It can be DIY if you have some strong friends or relatives who enjoy digging holes and hauling rocks. I didn't know anybody like that. By the time I saved enough to hire a contractor, I knew I was not going to stay there. So I sold the pond kit to someone else. I just love ponds, they are so peaceful.
So plan ahead if it's going to be DIY or contractor. Have extra people or money ready to go when you buy the supplies. There are pond clubs (you can find them online), that may help you with any questions or advice. And good luck!

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Adding to what has already been mentioned, you have to take in consideration what animals this is going to bring around. It sounds like you have a nice size property, and this may not be a concern to you; however, when i had a pond with a small waterfall in my backyard (metro northern california) it was visited every night by the biggest raccoon i have ever seen. They started coming to eat the fish in my pond, but even after all the fish were dead, the raccoon still stuck around..

Also there is the obvious mosquito problem, but that can be combated with mosquito dunks that you place in the pond, and this isn't a huge worry if your pond will have constantly flowing water..

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climate can be huge. @shrdlu mentioned lining first; if you're in a place that actually freezes, that lining has to stand up to that kind of stress. people in the vegas just pour concrete (no lining) and lay rock to cover.

typically, pool companies do the later.

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Beavers. Gotta watch out for beavers.

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Glad someone mentioned concrete. NO concrete. Concrete is bad. A few years from now, when you regret putting in the pong, it'll be a whole lot easier to change your mind if there's no concrete. It's also MUCH more expensive. Decent pumps will come with their own housing, and it'll all just fit into a hole in the ground. When the inevitable problems happen, digging up a pipe with a shovel is oh, so much easier than having to break up concrete (and then repair it).

Still waiting for the OP to reply back with answers, though. Hello, @discountlingeriedeals, are you out there?

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@shrdlu: I am glad you mentioned the bit about “pavers”. I had been watching a few DIY videos, etc. on the waterfalls and ponds and did notice that they were using the river rock and the granite. I have a lot of limestone that I am trying to do something with but saw that it was a soft type rock and would deteriorate quickly as well. As far as the water source, it will be fine where I am at- but that is a valid point. Thank you.

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@faughtey: I didn’t even know there were pond clubs! I will definitely do it myself (I love doing this type of thing) and have the time to do so right now. And thanks for the luck- I am sure I will need it! :)

@thilderbrand20: Well, there is a raccoon that I know gets into my neighbor’s yard every now and again but has never bothered us. I have a 6 foot wood privacy fence around my entire yard but I am sure that would not even get in the way of a hungry raccoon. Do they have “raccoon away?!” haha

@rlapid2112: I live in Florida so although it doesn’t freeze – thank goodness.

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@shrdlu: yes, I am here. I was out in the yard working on things.

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@discountlingeriedeals: You need some cayenne pepper. I buy it in bulk, at Fiesta Foods (57 cents for an envelope with about an ounce). Great for sprinkling on the ground near where pests might invade (next best thing to Racoon-Away[tm]). Glad to hear there's no Winter. It makes this much easier. I still recommend liners over cement. Cinderblock is a good foundation for the hidden bits, too. Unlike its softer cousins, it's danged close to indestructable.

I'm so glad @faughtey pointed out that there were clubs. You'll be able to come up with some good sources for your flora and fauna. Stay away from gravel (I know it's a temptation to save, but those edges are sharp, and destructive).

Pity you're not nearby; I have a ton of river rock you could just HAVE, for free. I dug out a backyard pond, and replaced it with good honest dirt. I live in a desert. Ponds just make NO sense. Besides, I prefer roses.

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@shrdlu: That is awesome advice about the cayenne pepper – would have never guessed. How often do you have to put it down? And yes, I am totally doing the liner and no cement. When using the cinderblock to fill in for the hidden areas, do you think I should put a layer of quickcrete in between it or something to hold them together or do you think the weight would be enough to hold it in place? Looking online I see people are 50/50 on it.

I love roses too – I am actually doing a lot with greenery, trees and flowers as well. I am really trying to make the area lush and peaceful. I am hoping water will add a nice sound and bring a calmness to the area. Figured we should take advantage of all the sun we get in FL and create an outdoor living space to enjoy. We are total tech people and on the computer too much- we need Vitamin D! :)

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@discountlingeriedeals: I just use Cayenne now and then. I doubt I use it more than a couple of times in the season, but my season's a LOT shorter than yours (I have actual Winter). It won't even slow down squirrels. They don't seem to notice it, but the cats do. You don't want it too close to the pond if you have fish. I'm not sure of the effects, but why take the chance?

NO on the Quikrete. The whole point of the things I've suggested is that you can change your mind. Quikrete's the same problem as cement. Cinderblocks are pretty heavy, all my themselves. If they are properly placed, once the water's in, they aren't going to move. Don't forget that water's pretty heavy.

Be sure not to put any deciduous trees too close to the pond. You don't want to fight the leaves in the fall. NO BAMBOO! Bamboo is evil. If you don't have kids, you might try some castor beans. That's just such a nice, showy plant.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castor_oil_plant

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@discountlingeriedeals: Just posted a motion-activated sprinkler. I read about it in the pond club forums, mine's in storage now. This helps keep animals away from your pond. Got one and tested it, and it seemed to work great!
http://deals.woot.com/deals/details/3a528a1c-91a6-48ad-a710-ecd611eabf8a/contech-electronics-scarecrow-motion-activated-sprinkler#0

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@shrdlu: I forgot about the weight of the water.

As far as the trees, I am really going to have to think about placement very carefully. Besides the leaves falling in I need to make sure roots are not going to interfere. When we moved into our house about 3 years back, people had a ton of fichus trees right up against the house. They were taking over – didn’t realize it was so bad until we uprooted them. They were getting so out of control that they were a heartbeat from growing under the house. They were also preventing the oak tree from growing apparently because ever since we took them out, the oak tree has flourished.

I agree- Bamboo is evil… I have seen it in action! I have a 4 year old but I do agree that it is a nice plant.

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@faughtey: Nice! Bye-bye raccoon! Thanks for posting that.

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@discountlingeriedeals: Ficus are EVIL. You must uproot them, and then watch for them to restart from the root. If necessary, get a paintbrush, and paint any new ficus with RoundUp (being careful not to spill it elsewhere).

No Poplars. No Chinese Elm (another tree I loathe). No Liquidambar (sometimes called Sweet Gum or False Maple in some geographic areas). Crabapple's a nice tree (I don't know how well it does in your area, though). So is the Redbud (and that does well almost anywhere south of Canada).

The poisonous qualities of Castor Bean are greatly exaggerated, by the way. I've had friends who ate them as children, and suffered zero ill effects. I think the only plants that live up to their bad reputation are dieffenbachia and Monk's Hood (aka Aconite), and I don't think you can grow the latter in FL.

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"What Are Some Pitfalls When Creating a Waterfall/Pond/River Combination?"
as you're digging the pit, don't fall in.

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@shrdlu: Yes they are! It took us forever to get them all up. We had my brother-in-law help because he knew a bit more about it than we did. We were able to get all the roots up at the base and he cut them "in the right spots" I guess because we haven't had any grow back yet and it has been about a year.

When you mentioned the Crabapple tree, I looked it up because I really didn't know what it looked like. It is beautiful! The funny thing is, I think this is the tree I keep eying in the neighborhood every time I pass by it thinking "I wonder what that tree is." Thanks!

My 4 year old doesn't put things in his mouth (thank goodness even up until this point he never really did) so I might think about the Castor Bean inclusion.

@kamikazeken: some wise information