How to make a pond from fibreglass materials
So you want to make your own pond then? well here is a quick guide detailing some of the main points.
Before you start your project it is very important to check what the weather is going to do as it must be dry, wet or damp conditions will inhibit the cure of the resin. To build a fibreglass pond successfully you should first concrete a base and build the walls with blocks or bricks, then render with cement.
- Make sure that all rendered surfaces are clean, dry and free from lumps and bumps.
- Seal the cement. Use a product such as G4. This is a bonding primer for fibreglass it is recommended, but not essential.
- Allow the primer to cure for up to 4 hours, so it is still tacky to touch.
- Apply one layer of 450gm chopped strand mat all over the rendered surface, cut the glass into workable amounts, one to two square meters is sufficient and then wet out with resin, again only mix enough resin which is easy to handle, 4 to 5 kilos at a time is a good workable amount.
- The resin should be mixed with 1-2 % of catalyst depending on the temperature you are working in. A hot sunny day, 1% is fine. Never go below 1% as the resin will not fully cure.
- The procedure is to mix the catalyst thoroughly, paint the rendered concrete one square mt at a time with a roller or a 4 inch brush. Place the mat onto the surface and paint over with resin.
- Let the resin breakdown the glass binder for 30 seconds, and then roll with a paddle roller to disperse all air pockets and flatten the mat to the cement render.
- Apply the second square mt of mat as before overlapping by 2-3 inches and repeat until one layer has been applied across the whole rendered area.
- Let it harden and cure, rub down lightly with sand paper to smooth out any rough areas and clean with acetone to eliminate dust, after doing that you can then apply a second coat of 450 gm mat, starting in a different area so the joints do not overlap at the same place. Again as before wet out the surface first before applying the glass. This is recommended for someone who has not fibre glassed before, If you are competent in fibreglassing then these two layers can be applied in one go, wet on wet, again making sure that the joins do not overlap.
- When both layers are fully cured, (on a hot summer’s day, about 3 hours), again rub the surface down, and eliminate any rough edges.
- If a really smooth surface is required then a surface tissue should be applied with resin but this is optional and purely cosmetic.
- Now apply the sealing topcoat in either green or black (which are the standard colours however you could use any colour you liked) with 2% catalyst addition. Again as before only mix enough for a workable amount say up to 5kgs, the recommended thickness should be 4-6mm or 1 kg per 1.5 sq mt
- It will take up to two weeks for the flow coat to fully cure, even though it is dry to the touch. SO WAIT then fill the pond, and empty with water several times before introducing fish. The reason why you have to wait so long is the Styrene monomer which is present in the resins and top coat. This is toxic to marine life, so wait for the resins to fully cure for this time.
PLEASE NOTE: This advice is given in good faith for guidance only, and is given without guarantee, or warranty, and users should use there own judgement on the suitability of there specific project.