OK HomeTalkers What Would You Do With this Hole if It Were in Your Yard?

We have this here pond in our yard. Our thought has always been to get in up and running again ... but want reasonable and easy. As it stands I plan to clean it up, repair cracks, possibly parge coat the concrete and paint with a pool grade paint. I would like to figure if there is someway to consider fish, but as I understand it fishies don't like the lime in the concrete. I am open to any and all of your thoughts. thank you. ~jb
ok hometalkers what would you do with this hole if it were in your yard, ponds water features, antique concrete pond with stone ledge and simple overflow
antique concrete pond with stone ledge and simple overflow.
  70 answers
  • Gayle P. Gayle P. on Mar 09, 2013
    Maybe a BIG firepit.!!!

  • Willow Gates Landscaping Willow Gates Landscaping on Mar 09, 2013
    You could always install a rubber liner. It will be tough to conceal, but it would be fish safe. The toughest part is going to get it to adhere to the sides of the pond without overlapping the stone border on top. I have done it, but it's not easy. Using a 4" grinder with a diamond blade to cut a 1/8" groove to tuck the liner into will definitely help. There may also be some kind of roll-on rubber coating that is fish safe, but I'm not aware of it.

  • Well I would either jack hammer it up to make room for your patio or look into relining it with fiberglass which they do with pools. One other option is doing a pebble finish using epoxy. Either of these last two options works fine for fish ponds

  • Jennifer Poillot Jennifer Poillot on Mar 09, 2013
    definately a koi pond!!

  • Gershwin & Gertie Gershwin & Gertie on Mar 09, 2013
    I'll also go with firepit!

  • Kimberly Barney Kimberly Barney on Mar 09, 2013
    Your post does not state where this concrete fixture is (i.e. front or back yard). The decision as to what to do with it would depend on its location. A firepit would look odd in the front yard. A firepit would not be safe if near the house or other structures. Not knowing where the structure is, I would consider making it into a planter but like the idea of a firepit if its in the backyard in a safe distance from structures.

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) on Mar 09, 2013
    looks like an inverted grist mill wheel...maybe you could incorporate into a basin for a fountain with a grist stone at the top....yea...I see it in my head but not sure I am getting the idea across, really need that mind meld thing

  • Angelia Johnson Angelia Johnson on Mar 10, 2013
    We had a big one in our backyard when we moved in. Now it has been filled with dirt and is a wonderful planter! It beats the ugly and the frogs....

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Mar 10, 2013
    I would purchase one of those miniature Japanese maple trees and plant it in the center (digging down further if necessary) and fill the entire space with the proper soil for the tree with the top layer being white sand. Then set a small Japanese lawn ornament under the tree. Very simple and not very expensive. Then lay thick sod up to the rock and out about 2 feet. From that you can start building yourself any type place you want...from zen to party!

  • Tammy Tammy on Mar 10, 2013
    Do you have small children?

  • Choochi Pearson Choochi Pearson on Mar 10, 2013
    How big is it? Maybe you could turn it into a fire pit, or add a grill to it for cooking out doors.

  • Marina Marina on Mar 10, 2013
    BBQ pit or Fire pit!

  • Jacie1948 Jacie1948 on Mar 10, 2013
    fill it with dirt, plant some flowers. Put pots on the concrete area. Oh and paint or stain it.

  • Trent-Tonya Sharp Trent-Tonya Sharp on Mar 10, 2013
    Fire pit for sure.. I wish I had it in my back yard

  • Joanie J Joanie J on Mar 10, 2013
    I would keep it a pond with a very large water feature

  • Melissa Gutilla Melissa Gutilla on Mar 10, 2013
    I agree keep it as a fish pond! You could add a rubber liner to it then you wouldn't have to worry about the cracks in the concrete. Or just make it a fishless pond with different water flowers, lights and a fountain of some sort. We are getting ready to start building our fish pond this spring and I can't wait. I had a pond at our old house and the house we purchased in November doesn't have one - I already miss looking at my fish! lol

  • Paula Eddy Paula Eddy on Mar 10, 2013
    make a koi pond

  • TJ TJ on Mar 10, 2013
    I would say it depends on your weather and how big it is. My neighbor put in a cement pond here in St. Paul, Minnesota but after a few years of our freezing winters it developed big cracks. She attempted repairing it a couple time but then gave up. I think I would use it as a water feature but line it with a heavy duty pond liner.

  • No question--I would construct a water feature or fire pit.

  • SUZANNE SUZANNE on Mar 10, 2013
    Fill it with a perennial that drifts over the sides and is bushy on the top1

  • Vickie G Vickie G on Mar 11, 2013
    I would fill in enough to make the bottom opening square and insert firepit. The upper rim could be made wider for seating.

  • Jena Jena on Mar 11, 2013
    keep it as a pond and add gold fish to it

  • Angelie Fadera Angelie Fadera on Mar 11, 2013
    fire pit/barbeque pit

  • Jane Stanley Jane Stanley on Mar 11, 2013
    It all depends on how much you are willing to spend on this project: 1. To get this in shape for fish you need to use specialized products for ponds that will not leach into the water and kill your fish. Then you will need a submersible pump and filter; but it is better to make a bio-filter which is an additional cost. We use a half whiskey barrel with a section at the bottom void of rock and a screen inbetween each layer of rock decending in size as it reaches the top. We have three holes drilled toward the top to release the filtered water back in. In the summertime I also have water loving plants in the barrel for extra filtraltion. With the water returning into the pond you'll want the filter on the oppisite side as the filter that way you have great circulation. Next you need to buy your goldfish or koi which it is cheaper to buy them from someone who has an established pond. Also you need to buy mothballs to keep the garter snakes from eating you fish. Then there is the cost of your plants and chemicals needed to keep your pond healthy and the algae down. 2. You can use it as a water garden you'll have to ask someone if you'll need to use leachfree products to keep your plants alive. Then you can go with just the submirsible pump and filter setup. You'll need less chemicals to keep your pond looking tip-top and the cost of plants. 3. Fill it in and make a garden I don't know if there is enough room for a fire pit and if you have children stepping down could cause a fall. 4. You could fill it in and make an in ground bar-b-que pit go to youtube for some examples. I hope this helpped you in making your decision good luck and let us know what you decided to do with your project.

  • Floretta Isom Floretta Isom on Mar 11, 2013
    Fill it and see if it holds water before you bother to patch it. If it holds water, I would buy a dozen 'bait' gold fish and see if they make it. If not, consult a professional on how to seal the concrete for fish, it may turn out to be cheaper to just line it. It is in the back yard behind a fence, I hope. Otherwise check with your homeowner's insurance, if it isn't located within a fenced area it will affect your policy.

  • Building Moxie Building Moxie on Mar 11, 2013
    wow I am amazed by the response HomeTalkers thank you ... and generally it seems the responses are fairly evenly split. firepit, fillin and keep a pond. I feel like I do need to add a little more info. This house is not our be all and I am thinking about resale within the next 3 years or so. Whatever we do should be somewhat permanent but I really don't want to go so far as jackhammer it or fill it in. too many other constructive possibilities. Don't need another garden to contend with and I do not need it for patio space (already have some 700sf patio and walks which adjoin it; I still need to redo and may also add to) While I have given thought to a firepit and more specifically about placing a fireplace I already own there... I think that is a decent temporary idea but any more permanent idea I think would require too much modification. I do not want to have to mess with the existing stone edge. ...

  • Hi JB, After you fill the cracks with a sealant, you can use a 2-part epoxy waterproof paint called Pond Armor that will cover over the crack and repair. This will make the concrete water tight and protect the fish from the concrete.

  • Building Moxie Building Moxie on Mar 11, 2013
    that said, I do think the pond is still the front running idea. responding in part to Tom @TRD Designs Ltd. who hit me on the side. The dimensions are I'd say roughly 8' 6' with the cut out in the center at 4x5 or so. deepest point is probably a little over 3.5 feet. the center sits about 10-12 feet from the rear of the house. it is under a large holly tree (which sheds year round) it is visible from the lower yard and from the above said patio. as far as exposure, not much sun ie full shade and it not at risk to high winds.

  • Building Moxie Building Moxie on Mar 11, 2013
    in planning the fish would be a bonus, and I would be completely content with a water garden, but still want to investigate. I understand that in most cases the fishes would still be at risk even with a coating. I had ruled out a liner because I didn't want to mess with the stone cap. I like what Jeremy @Willow Gates Landscaping suggests about notching for the liner (we do that with flashing in building sometimes). I wonder if it would be adhered in any other way? I do also like the idea of a stone pebble coating @SLS Construction Solutions but would need to look closer at that... A coating whatever kinda still seems the best balance between easy/affordable. and as far as what goes into it ... it really doesn't need to be as fancy as say a mill wheel @360 Sod (Donna Dixson) ... @T Johns I'm in MD so freezing is a concern ... I wonder if the pros have thought about how much of a concern even if addressed/prepped.

  • Chris' Water Gardens Chris' Water Gardens on Mar 11, 2013
    Another great idea still in line with water gardens is a small feature rather than a pond. Place Aquablox or an AquaBasin in the bottom and a beautiful water feature of your choice on top, either a fountain or even a Pondless waterfall! With a fountain, it could easily be changed by future owners to adjust the look and feel, without all the maintenance of a pond and fish. A Pondless waterfall is also very low-maintenance with the ability to incorporate the sight and sound of running water, without a pond and fish. Follow this link: http://www.aquascapeinc.com/imagegallery to view some Pondless Waterfalls and learn more about Fountainscapes using AquaBlox. You could even incoporate rainwater harvesting! You can also search for local Certified Aquascape Contractors in your area who can help design your water feature and let you know what you need to make it work!

  • Well JB @Building Moxie I had considered freezing, but if it is kept as a fish pond that means you would probably be using some sort of cover &/or heater during the winter so I don't see that being an issue. Now if you were to drain it, that could cause a few issues as you no longer have all that mass (thermal & otherwise) to keep the freeze thaw cycle at bay. As for most coatings - while anything is possible, I don't see that much if any leaching occurring (especially if installed properly) & I would dare say that most of the lime that will leach out has already happened.

  • TRD Designs Ltd. TRD Designs Ltd. on Mar 11, 2013
    Ok, the additional info is helpful. The fact that it is a circle usually indicates that is was a formal setting. What is the style of the house. Is it possible to add a few pictures showing more of the landscape that this was built in? I am undecided whetther this should be a overflowing urn or something along those lines.

  • Building Moxie Building Moxie on Mar 12, 2013
    Great points @SLS Construction Solutions ... & Tom @TRD Designs Ltd. the style of the home, well it is a mutant. It is a farmhouse in that that was its original use and it stretches. It probably most directly aligns with Carpenter Style but does have many Victorian details. At one point perhaps mid-century, the property was the gem of the neighborhood. While I appreciate the votes for pondless features (and esp. the lack of maintenance associated with them). I gotta admit, I fear that most would get lost in this huge hole and leave me with a good bit of exposed concrete. That and I will say I am loving Lannie @ @Rocky Mountain WaterScape for the rec. Looking into it.

  • Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls on Mar 12, 2013
    #1) break up and remove all concrete. Once removed, you can then decide on installing your new water feature in the exact space or relocating it. I like to design water features as close to the enjoyment area(patio) as possible.

  • Building Moxie Building Moxie on Mar 13, 2013
    thanks Tom @Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls ... this does sit right off the patio. I have questions for you. are you suggesting removing the concrete because it's bad news? also say I remove the concrete, could I in theory just install a new liner (or fiberglas tub) in the vacated hole and still go with a pond? And really for all who have commented:. are there sizing considerations (especially depth on this? This hole (to this newbie) seems a little larger than some of working ponds I've seen. thx in advance.

  • Linda Claxson Linda Claxson on Mar 13, 2013
    Fire pit!

  • Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls on Mar 13, 2013
    If you keep the concrete and fabricate a new water feature revolving around the location space it occupies, you will have to mask or cover it up in some way. The end result may or may not look like something is being covered up. It is like remodeling a room. You could keep all the existing lathe and plaster and go over it with drywall, but it always looks better if you gut everything and start fresh. After removing the concrete, your new water feature or (are you considering a?) pond will not be restricted to the space and location.

  • Building Moxie Building Moxie on Mar 13, 2013
    @Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls yes a pond is still front running. what I am saying.... the location is actually pretty perfect, size is nice too, and what I am reading.... I can pretty make a pond any length any depth ... right there?

  • Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls on Mar 13, 2013
    If you are thinking about installing a pond, would you like to have a balanced ecosystem such as this: http://acornlandscaping.net/ecosystem.html ? You could simply put a landscape fabric over the concrete and a pond liner over the top and fill it with water but it will not look good and you will have water quality problems unless you add filtration. Aquascape offers good quality pond kits that you can install yourself and afterward you will have a balanced ecosystem. We build all our ponds to include a depth of 2 feet so the fish will survive our winters here in Rochester, NY.

  • Cindy Eaves Cindy Eaves on Mar 18, 2013
    Have you considered using rubber membrane instead of repairing the concrete. I have a pond built in clay with rubber membrane.

  • Building Moxie Building Moxie on Mar 19, 2013
    hi @Cindy Eaves in BMore too you know. have considered a membrane. question is how did you attach yours?

  • Building Moxie Building Moxie on Mar 19, 2013
    yes a balanced ecosystem sounds good and I think this a great description in the facebook note you provide @Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls ... the question is - can you point me directly to @Aquascape Inc. 's pond kit and what does it include? thanks Tom.

  • Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls Acorn Ponds & Waterfalls on Mar 23, 2013
    Hey @Building Moxie , click here to learn more about Aquascape Products and there is also a Certified Aquascape Contractor Locater in case you need help Designing, Installing or Maintaining your new Pond: http://www.aquascapeinc.com

  • Christine Ellsworth Christine Ellsworth on Mar 24, 2013
    How about being creative with tile work?( or pebbles?) to enhance the look? However I actually like the old look..... I believe with an abundance of plants, and interesting frog statue and an interesting bench would make a relaxing retreat.

  • Building Moxie Building Moxie on Mar 24, 2013
    I hadn't considered tiling @Christine Ellsworth but is certainly something I could consider. thank you.

  • Deborah M Deborah M on Jun 07, 2014
    I guess it depends where it is in your yard

  • Deborah M Deborah M on Jun 07, 2014
    it kinda looks like a fire pit

  • Faith R Georges Faith R Georges on Jun 08, 2014
    Your want a water feature go for it, just add a pond liner the flexible plastic heavy gauge stuff. you have the deep level all ready add a couple bags of sand to give the liner a soft base to sink into or use old carpet underneath. take the liner up and over the edge and just re- edge with rock. The filter and submersible pump can be at what ever side you want to hide either in a large flower pot or rock base.

    • See 2 previous
    • Jeff C. Keane Jeff C. Keane on May 18, 2015
      Btw, when I say "fountain" all I mean is a recirculating pump that has a pipe going up to the surface, topped by a spray nozzle. A mini-version of the ones you see in/at larger subdivisions in retaining/detention ponds. Be sure you can locate various types of nozzle spray tips to change the look from time to time!!

  • Sandy Sandy on Jun 13, 2014
    I think turning it in to a pond is an excellent idea, I have one and this is my third, I love it. Enjoy!

  • Vicki LB Vicki LB on May 21, 2015
    use a liner

  • Mrs P Mrs P on Jun 27, 2016
    I think it's beautiful, from what I know, you can clean it with bleach just like you would to sanitize a bird bath, you fill with water bleach, scrub them, get rid of bad water, you'll need a small sub pump. Once cleaned really good, has to be completely air dry from bleach, then it's safe for water. I would use a aquarium sealer, by marine to seal up cracks, you can get at local pet stores this is safe for fish and drys clear, it's the sealant in corners of all fish aquariums. I would not use marine paint, I researched people taken dumpsters and metal storage tanks/containers using marine paint to seal, you have to put all sorts of chemicals in it to make it safe for humans never mind fish. Easy way out, rubber liner or pool liner with a design. The top I would either add rocks or redo, maybe a little waterfall going into it. Small pump 30.00 It's beautiful, what ever you do with it, have fun !!!!

  • Kim Weeks Kim Weeks on Sep 14, 2016
    I would like to see a picture of what you ended up doing with this please?

  • Robby Treichel Robby Treichel on Dec 28, 2016
    It depends on where it is in your yard, but I would make a fire pit and outdoor stove. It wouldn't take much to do it and would be way more useful than a pond.

    • Building Moxie Building Moxie on Jan 03, 2017
      Robby I didn't entertain the firepit idea, but in the end just simply restored it as a pond. glad I did. Thanks. ~jb

  • Martha Martha on Dec 30, 2016
    I like the pond-less fountains that are filled with river rock over the pump. They hold water that recirculates (a smaller amount of water than an actual pond). They don't require as much cleaning as a pond and look pretty. You can add flourescent pebbles to the top layer of rocks that will glow at night. These ponds attract butterflies. You do have to prevent mosquito larva, though. Some barley straw pellets should work for that. I have a former fish pond, but the raccoons and blue herons always got my fish.

  • Trevor Mcguinnen Trevor Mcguinnen on Jan 03, 2017
    In regards to fish and concrete. If it is old concrete, the fish don't mind at all.

  • Robby Treichel Robby Treichel on Jan 05, 2017
    Nice. Please post "After" photos here so we can see how it turned out. Thank you!

  • Annie Annie on Jan 08, 2017
    Seal it !

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    • Marilyn Zaruba Marilyn Zaruba on Mar 09, 2017
      This is GREAT stuff. IF you use it in your *pond*, do some research...it is my understanding that the color of the pool is very important depending on the climate where you live. Black in the south could cook the fish. I would love a koi pond just like my friend in Ohio has, but we are too old to start on such a project now.

      If you put fish in it, they will need a place to hide from birds and raccoons and such.

  • Building Moxie Building Moxie on Feb 06, 2017
    Actually used an epoxy based product called Pond Shield.

  • Tiphanie Tiphanie on Mar 09, 2017
    there is a pond liner that u could get Algreen Pond Liner or another brand its easy to install and won't hurt the fish google "pond liner"

  • Danielle Odin Danielle Odin on Mar 09, 2017
    To take care of the raccoons and birds fishing in your pond, just use a metal screen or mesh. The mesh would be better as the bugs would be able to get through thereby giving the fish some live food. Fish like to hide from the hot sun so you could build a shelf like overhang to allow them shade and shelter.

  • Judi Gray Judi Gray on Mar 11, 2017
    The picture of your pond is beautiful. Have you had visitors yet? Our pond experience was terrific. Hard work to clean, but water lilies gave shade for fish and frogs, birds, ducks and Canadian geese thought it was for them even a turtle showed up. It was only 7ft long by 5ft wide. It definately became a "if you build it, they will come" and was a wonderful experience. Enjoy.

  • Tim21328249 Tim21328249 on Mar 11, 2017
    Make a fire pit out of it

  • Kim Evola Kim Evola on Mar 20, 2017
    maybe water plant garden they have some pretty water levels lillies

  • Ella Frierson Bond Ella Frierson Bond on Mar 20, 2017
    I might have missed the measure of the hole, but it does not look large enough for a fish pond, and especially koi pond. They get big. My gold fish pond is 2 feet deep and much wider. I would plant in it and put several pots of plants on rim.

  • I would definitely fill it with flowers but that's because I love flowers. Don't make a firepit unless you would be entertaining a lot. They're awful if you live near one. The amount of smoke is horrendous. Coming in through the windows and ruining fresh washing. Keep your neighbours in mind :p do what your gut tells you, which is fish I'm guessing! I hope you don't have a lot of cats that visit your yard either, my cat used to fish in our neighbours pond. We were really embarrassed but there was nothing we could do to stop him.

  • Irene Irene on Mar 20, 2017
    Considering that you plan on moving in the near future, and you don't really need any more plants or maintenance on a fish pond, as well as the deck not being conveniently placed to make it a fire pit, I would go with planting a tree as someone else suggested. You could plant it in the square hole up to the 1st ledge and then put medium rocks (about 4-6" dia.) around the tree and up to the decorative edge. This will see that your tree gets an ample amount of water to flourish. For me, I could see either a flowering tree, i.e., apple/cherry blossom or a weeping willow. Small investment/maintenance, and a lovely decoration when you sell your home.

  • Grace Grace on Mar 20, 2017
    If I planned on selling the house, I would fill it with dirt, put a large decorative pot in the center...placed on it's side with river rock (or shells, flowers, etc.) spilling out of it. You could put sand, bark or gravel on the dirt before placing the pot. Then I'd add solar lighting and maybe some small statuary. I love a lot of the other ideas, but this one would be safer for a family with small children and leaves the other options open for a buyer to come in and get really creative. This could be done on the cheap...Large muck buckets can be had for around $7 and painted to look like stone, solar lights are $1 or $2 ea. at walmart, and there's plenty of decorative statuary at walmart, kmart, or collections etc for less than $20. Many times you can get bark for free if you contact tree trimmers in your area, and fill dirt from craig's list or from swimming pool builders (inground). For about $50 or less you could have some great eye candy to see from the patio. Hope this helps