When the base is in place and the walls build up to a certain level the floor can be shaped or benched. Some people feels that it is not necessary to shape the floor, stating that if the return flows into the pond is angled correctly, waste will be forced towards the bottom drains. It may be true in some cases, but I have yet to see a pond with a level floor that do not have an accumulation of waste matter at one place or the other. The motto should be: “Do it right first time!” Believe me; to change any aspect of a pond’s design after the pond has been stocked is expensive and frustrating. Housing fish in temporarily accommodation while you effect changes, more often than not leads to complications and losses.
The thinking behind benching is to create funnel shaped pockets around the bottom drains that will force fish waste and debris towards the bottom drains, ensuring that it is sucked to the settlement chambers where it will accumulate until flushed away to waste. Remember, the main purpose of a pond should be to manage the water quality to create an environment beneficial to the Koi that you keep. This can be done in various ways, but if it is designed in a way where all debris is forced to, and trapped in one place, cleaning the pond becomes simple and it will leave enough time to enjoy the fish. Enjoying the fish is after all the main reason for keeping them.
The illustration below shows a side view of benching two bottom drains.
The next illustration shows a plan view of the same pond.
The concrete mix for shaping/benching is 3:2:1 as for normal concreting. It should be reasonably dry to allow for shaping. Remember to leave a lip of the bottom drain to protrude. You need this space for the final rendering/plastering.
Last Updated on Sunday, 15 February 2009 21:50