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Central America
Panamá's mild climate and skilled labor
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Building a Concrete Pond - Page 2

by Carla Black, Volcán, Chiriquí, República de Panamá
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Wrapping up day two of coordinated effort.

 
The pond lining is finished with a complete and unified layer of concrete. Final plastering in one day is the most important step in avoiding leaks. The concrete must be a continuous, seamless unit.
     

 Even in good weather, a precaution against rain is a good idea! This photo is on the first morning after finishing the plastering, and you can see the garden hose beginning to fill the new pond.

 
 
It's a swimming pool for a day!
 

 

 The first fill serves two purposes: to help cure the cement slowly to avoid cracks, and to check the water level at the rim. This is a good opportunity to make minor adjustments. We drain the first water after about a week, then fill again and add plants and goldfish.

 
 
The complicated first pond is sealed. The block-work in the foreground is part of the irrigation system for the integrated bog.
 

 

 Detail of the bog. The widely-spaced blocks protect a perforated PVC tube which opens to the pond via one of the seven connectors seen earlier. We keep a cap on the pond end, and dampen the bog as necessary by simply pulling the cap off.

 
 
Wide capstones being placed over the special bog irrigation system. The white tube going down into the pond is part of the siphon for draining the pond. It is actually working in the photo - the pond drains in 45 minutes, with the option of a flexible tube at the tip for a good vacuum-cleaning.
     

 You don't need pretty plants to begin enjoying a pond!

 But the plants sure help.

 
View from the first pond to the second during construction. In the foreground the bog is visible with the wide capstones covering the double row of blocks. 
 

 

The second pond, about a year later. Our view used to be of a barbed wire fence. Now the pond serves as part of the dog control system, and we get to see beyond the back yard! 

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