Dinosaur Pond

The dinosaur pond was the second constructed at Hardscape Materials. Originally built with a pressurized filter similar to a swimming pool filter and drew water through a bottom drain. With the creation of PondEco in 2000, this pond was upgraded with two Harmony skimmers and two Harmony filters.

During the layout and design of the pond, we eliminated plant shelves in lieu of more deep areas, more water volume, and cooler water temperatures in the heat of summer. We utilized the extra liner in the corners by digging plant pockets on both sides of the waterfall and at the far end around the skimmers. This taught us how difficult it is to maintain plants when they are out of reach in the pond, and the debris that ultimately would need to be removed from the bottom of the pond.

This pond contains an enormous fish load–nearly three times the recommended amount–is in full sun for most of the day, is shallow (20″ deep), and by all accounts, should be a recipe for disaster. But…this pond has never been cleaned! Never had sick fish, hardly any algae, we rarely test the water, never add chemicals except to treat for parasites once or twice a year, and keep a small amount of salt in the water. It may be the perfect pond!

We sprinkle Algae-Off on the stream occasionally, and routinely maintain the skimmers and filters; other than that, this pond maintains itself. This pond’s success helped us develop the five elements of an eco-pond and a construction basic that went against the grain of conventional pond construction (water garden or koi pond). Koi pond builders sometimes struggle to accept this concept works–it is truly a simple, natural-looking, self-maintaining eco-pond.

While harvesting stones, we came upon an area that had many long, skinny stones that resembled bones. We saved the stones for many months and decided to use the rocks to construct a T-Rex skeleton. Can you find it in the pond at Hardscape?