SHOP BY DEPARTMENT
Houzz Logo Print
biradarcm

Hot Bath Tub Water Garden

biradarcm
10 years ago

One of my friend replacing their old hot bathtub/spa tub (6x6ft and 2-3ft deep) and asked me whether I can use it in the Garden. Suddenly a nice water garden or fish pond come to my imagination. I thinking to replace our small water pond with this hot tub. I just wonder any of you recycled hot bathtub (spa tub) for water garden? Any tips and suggestions are most welcome.

regards -Chandra

Comments (30)

  • slowpoke_gardener
    10 years ago

    My uncle has made several small ponds from the plastic pools you can buy at lumber yards and cattle tanks. he make his own sand filters with a large plastic container that he also buries, pumps the water in from the bottom up through the sand and the over flow runs into his pond. He has slope in his lawn so it is easy do so. He uses water plants to shade his ponds to help keep the temp.down. He also has to have it above grade to keep the rain water from running into it. If you want a fountain you will need an extra pump or a different type of filter.

    The fish live the year round in his ponds, the frogs must hibernate. One down side is that the ponds attract snakes, coons and other critters. He lives out in the country, but you may not have that problem.

    You can place banana trees, elephant ears and other tropical looking plants around it and make it look like a jungle pool or spring. The lily pads make a nice place for the birds and frogs.

    If you think UV rays may be a problem you can place flat rocks around the edge of the pond to over-hang and shield the edges. You can also place a commode or stock tank float valve to keep the pool full.

    If you live close to a pool supply store, they should have most of the material you need in stock. I don't have access to anything like that and would have to buy most of it online.

    Larry

  • soonergrandmom
    10 years ago

    Chandra, With a lot of work I think you could make it look pretty, but it might be a danger to your young children.

  • Related Discussions

    Spa/Hot BathTub Water Garden

    Q

    Comments (21)
    Hello I'm new to the site. I have been given a hot tub and i am trying to figure out how to turn it into a fish pond It cracked over winter so I'm just going to seal it.. It works ... So can I use the jets and it has a little built in waterfall ???I know the jets are powerful so I would have to find a way to weaken them.... Any ideas.... I would like to use as much as the original hot tub as possible .
    ...See More

    In ground poured bath tub, need info.

    Q

    Comments (1)
    Drainage is important, and you know that. I would use a water shield as an outer barrier. 2" poly isocyanulate inside that against 4" cinder/concrete block. I used 1/2" radiant tubing inside that and former the inside with mortar. These were mud bath tubs at a spa. 30yrs later they are still going. I am not sure what you would want to use for an internal finish. It would be nice to have a smooth finish. Seems it wouldn't matter in a mud tub, but would in a bathtub. Also, I guess it being outside you will need a cover as well as a cap for the walls.
    ...See More

    clogged bath tub drain

    Q

    Comments (6)
    This reaffirms once again that plumbers chase cars and lick themselves in public. IMO,the guy is liable for ruining your tub. If you want to hear more on that,say so. A self respecting professional would have used a sump pump to remove the mess created in the standing water. It would be realy presumptuous to say I know how to fix it when I havn't seen the place but anyone calling themself a plumber should after examining the home. To answer your question "is there really a "TRAP" that clogs up?????",yes it's common and usually requires only a plunger to clear. If you decide to remove your neighbor's ceiling you might try this first. Ask at the hardware store for a device that is attached to a garden hose and forced as far as possible into clogged pipe where it swells and pressurizes when water is turned on to hose. Remove the plate from end of tub between drain and facuets to expose the pipe for insertion. There is some risk of pressure disjointing a pipe and wetting downstairs ceiling but you were going to replace it anyhow. There is far better odds the pipe will be cleared without incident and you save yourself lots of ceiling repair. Kousea,before you try this,instead of pushing hose blaster into pipe,stuff a wet cloth into it then plunge the drain opening in bottom of tub.
    ...See More

    bath tub shower

    Q

    Comments (1)
    You can install a small plastic or metal shut off valve between the shower nozzle and pipe to stop the water as shown in the link. Should be available at Lowe's, WalMart, etc. The water comes out of the shower head when you don't want it because the diverter valves on the newer spouts are smaller and that impedes water flow more and sends some of it up to the shower head even when it isn't selected. Here is a link that might be useful: Shower head shut off valve
    ...See More
  • biradarcm
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Larry, Thank you very much, those very nice suggestions. I will incorporate some of them. Below is the picture of the free tub from Bill, he is very generous, he is giving it free and also happy to deliver to our home next week as it is not going to fit in my Van. After looking at the tub in his backyard, looks great, seems no water leakage as all connections are intact and good conditions. You ca see some dirt, as kept it upside down to protect it from weather.

    {{gwi:183647}}

    Carol,
    I am bit worried after reading your warning. I need to think better solution. I am going to install some metal garden rails around the tub to keep kids away. When Tanu was little, I used to maintain water level less than a feet. I increased pond depth when she grownup. I still exploring other options to keep kids safer side. We love water garden very much, especially sounds of the flowing waterfalls and fountains, nigh lights, and of course koi and gold fish and water lilies.

    I will keep adding my progress probably after installing irrigation system.

    Thanks -Chandra

  • slowpoke_gardener
    10 years ago

    Chandra, that sure is nice, its too pretty to make a pond out of. My uncle does not have anything that nice, his are all black, but they are mostly covered with plants anyway.

    You may want to look at the lumber yards ( Lowe's, Home Depot, etc) at there railing. I have used it for porch railing. I welded mine together but it is made to be bolted together also. It is inexpensive and looks pretty nice, but the paint on what I bought was a little thin, but I had to repaint it after welding anyway.

    Larry

  • biradarcm
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    I need to close those Jet holes in the hot tub, Please suggested some good material but bit economic. I searched online, many suggested to use PVC cement, Epoxy putty, but they are good for small cracks and holes, but these Jet holes are big and many, need lot of sealant to close them all. Any suggestion would be great help.

    Larry, thanks for the railing suggestions. I am looking for the rails which fit on the 2in thick lumber, as I am planning to keep tub 1ft high and wrap that with 1ft height lumber around, then install 2x6 on the top (as border) and rails will sit on the top of it at the edge.

    Now biggest challenge is to close those jet holes. What is best waterproof materials to closed large holes?

    Regards -Chandra

  • miraje
    10 years ago

    I am not an expert at all on artificial ponds, but could you just line the whole thing with that heavy plastic pond liner (I linked to one below just to illustrate what I have in mind). Then if at some point you spring a leak you either patch the liner where the hole is or replace it rather than trying to figure out which jet hole is leaking.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Pond liner

  • helenh
    10 years ago

    What is wrong with it as a hot tub? Nothing feels better than that warm water in the evening while looking up at the stars and enjoying a beverage.

  • biradarcm
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Miraje, I thought about pond liner but tub color and condition is so good, thought to use as it is by closing all holes. Pond liner for this structure may create lot of folds which may not looks great. If I won't have good success in plugging holes water tight, then pond liner may my next option.

    Helenh, this is old tub I got it free for creating water garden, unfortunately it won't have all those accessories (pumps, heater, etc) to have joy of hot tub in the cool nights. I am creating this one for water garden and water falls and some light shows to enjoy the scene while sitting out side the tub.

    Thanks -Chandra

  • slowpoke_gardener
    10 years ago

    Chandra, I use three types of glue that I like, but there are many. I try to keep PVC cement with clear and purple primer to use on plumbing, I also keep "Through through Roof" that I like very well, and it has more UV protection than the others I keep. I also keep a product called E6000 that I buy at walmart, also a product called Shoe Goo, and some times called shoe goop. I also try to keep gorilla glue. I think all but the Gorilla glue would work.

    If you check the jet fittings there man be a standard threaded or glue plug that may fit in the hole or cap the line from the back side.

    Many people like silicone, which is also good. I some times get a "Zipper" effect with the silicone if the surface is not perfect. The greatest success with any glue is surface prep. There are also resins made just for fiberglass. but I don't keep any of those because I seldom have a need for them. I also keep contact cement and epoxy but seldom use them

    E6000 and Through the Roof are my two standbys, they can fix anything but a broken heart. I even repaired the gas tank on my tiller with E6000. I had to remove silicone the previous owner had tried to repair it with. Of course my repair may not last either.

    Larry

  • mwilk42
    10 years ago

    Chandra- You may need to consider what type of sealant you use if you are going to have fish in there. I don't know much about it but I do know that they recommend not just using any glue for aquarium sealant, they make some sealant that is not toxic to fish, but I imagine it is pricy. You might find an economical product for the bigger vents/jets, and after it dries, you could put a thin coat of the one that won't hurt the fish. Again- I don't know anything about it, but I remember that you can't patch up an aquarium with certain products.
    mo

  • biradarcm
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Larry,

    Most of the jet fittings are slipped with glue and some are threaded but those threaded are so tight. When I tried to unscrew, it cracked at the base. Now I am thinking to saw them at the base and then plug them with PVC cement or Auto body filler. I have decided to use "auto body filler", it cheap then use silicon or any fish friendly clear glue coating inside the jets.

    Mo,
    Yes there will be some fish mainly koi or common gold fish. Ys i read about it, some glue chemicals are fatal to fish and aquatics. A thin coating of non-toxic glue inside sounds good, thanks for the suggestion.

    -Chandra

  • lat0403
    10 years ago

    A few types of Great Stuff expanding foam are fish safe. I used it to create a wall in my saltwater aquarium. And they make one specifically designed for ponds. It's black, so it wouldn't be that noticeable. And then you could seal the outside with whatever you wanted, if you felt like you needed it.

    Leslie

  • biradarcm
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Leslie,
    Is Great Stuff's Expanding Foam is waterproof? Will it enough to water-seal the jet holes? I just wounder it will bear the water pressure of 455 Gallons, that is amount tub can able hold. -Chandra

  • lat0403
    10 years ago

    Yeah, it's fine to use underwater. I let mine cure for 24 hours before putting water on it just to be safe, but the website says you only need to wait 8 hours. I've linked the website for the pond foam below. They refer to it as a waterproof sealant, so it sounds like it's designed for what you're trying to do. Keep in mind that it is foam and will want to float to the top if it can. I would just try to make sure that the foam is going through the inlet holes to the other side of the tub and that way it's anchored to the outside as well.

    Leslie

    Here is a link that might be useful: Great Stuff Pond Foam

  • biradarcm
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Thank you Leslie, I think Great Stuff is the way to go! I will update soon after completion.

    regards -Chandra

  • MiaOKC
    10 years ago

    Chandra, I am late to the party but thought I might add my two cents. I cannot see your photo, but for our outdoor hot tub, the pool company came to winterize it and they brought plugs of many different sizes and plug all the holes. I think we paid $5/plug, and we only needed four or five, so don't know if that works for you, but you may think about that. They have a million sizes to fit any kind of hole. There are some threaded pvc fittings that are used when the pool/hot tub is open, and when you close it down, they unscrew all that and put these plugs in. Kind of looks like rubber bathtub plugs with a screw in the middle with two wings (or maybe it was a wingnut, haven't looked too closely) to twist the screw.

    Also, we had a small pond for years, and I vote against the liner, as it's a pain in the rear when it eventually punctures (as it always does) and by then you have all your rocks, plants, etc, all in place to make it look natural and taking it all apart feels like you are ruining it. We ended up just filling ours in, even though we loved to sit on the patio and have some wine and listen/look at the pond. Actually, we have a waterfall box and pump you could have if you want to work it into your design somehow! We moved it with us because I couldn't bear to throw it out, it was expensive, but we don't have anywhere to put it.

    As for child safety, we don't have kids, but every time the nieces and nephews visited they were TRANSFIXED by the pond. Trying to put hands, feet, sticks, etc, into it - more than one wet shoe and pant leg even with us watching every minute. Our neighbor had a pond and his grandkids fell in, so he got a cover for it, a rigid plastic honeycomb type material cut to fit on top and he lays it over the pond when the kids are over. It's not quite "stand on top of it" strong but it is a good deterrent and if you are already out there, watching the kids whenever they are around the water feature, it would give you time to act.

    We just moved into a house with a pool and I am a nervous wreck about someone/some kid/some animal falling in. We have a baby fence on our list of upgrades.

  • biradarcm
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Mia,

    Thank for your cents, its not late. I will work on it probably this weekend. Need to dig huge pit to sync the tub. Sorry link to above pic might have lost after replacing it with new photo. I have linked hot tub photo below again. This tub has tons of jets varying sizes, I think plugs/caps seems to be an expensive. I am going to use Great Stuff Pond&Rock foam sealant to close jet holes probably smear think coat of silicon over the sanded foam to make it look better.

    Yes, I won't like liner either. I too have similar experience what you noticed. I am replacing that small pond with this hot tub, so no more liner puncture issues.

    I have been browsing accessories for the pond such as pump, waterfall cum filter and pond show lights, etc. I not yet decided what kind of waterfall and pump required. I just ordered first accessory "Remote Controlled Dancing Waters Light & Fountain Show" from amazon, it sounds great. I yet to buy pump and box waterfall, filters, etc.

    Please let me know if you are not going to us your waterfall box and pump. If you won't mind could you please get a picture of waterfall and bump and what is pump capacity? I think you might have paid lot for those, let me know how much you are expecting or any trade offs I can buy for your garden in exchange?

    I am going to install metal rails around the tub-pond to keep kids away. Nice looking baby fence with some creeper growing on them makes great barrier. I think morning glory or cardinal may work for quick establishment! I am getting lot of ideas... excited to set it up as soon as I can.

    By the way, any suggestion for preformed rock water fall?

    here is picture of the hot tub (w 82"x h81"x 38"deep)

    Old pond (first year picture):

    Thanks -Chandra

  • MiaOKC
    10 years ago

    Hi Chandra - I am happy to give you the pump and waterfall equipment that I have for free. Actually, we got the whole thing installed free about 7-8 years ago because a pond company wanted a how-to-install video made, and my brother-in-law knew the videographer who was looking for a backyard to do the install, so there you go - we got a free pond! We have replaced the pump at least twice in that time, it does not last very long, especially with a small pond that occasionally runs dry - the motors tend to burn up. The current pump I have is a pretty inexpensive one I bought off the shelf at Lowes - I stopped ordering the Aquascape pumps after the second one gave out. Not sure of brand or gph on the pump, will have to see if I can find that info. I'll post a photo of how our pond looked in its heyday, and an amazon link to the original type of kit that was used for our build. We have thrown away the liner, replaced the pump, and the brushes rusted away years ago and we didn't replace them - still worked fine and ran clear. What we still have is the waterfall box with bag of lava rocks to filter, the pump box and a replacement pump, the mesh filter for pump box, the foam filters in the waterfall box. You will need to get a new corrugated plastic hose to run between the waterfall box and pump box (this is a cut-to-fit thing so ours is likely too short, and I think I threw it out when we dug up the boxes) and possibly some pvc fittings for your hose - maybe wire the pump for longer cord, depending where you need to place it. Let me know if you are interested! I live and work in NW OKC. We briefly met at last year's Fling, so I don't know if this year's Fling will be too late or if we will both be able to attend.

    We loved our pond while we had it, but with such a tiny area, it was a pain when it got a leak as it emptied every day or twice a day, so we were constantly topping it off. Now that we've moved we have a big swimming pool to take care of so I don't think we will ever re-install the pond components here and I would love for them to go to a good home where they will be used. Pay it forward and good karma!

    Lastly, we used real Oklahoma rocks in our pond so I do not have a rec on faux versions, sorry.

    Here is a link that might be useful: aquascape 4x6 pond kit

  • biradarcm
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Mia,

    Thanks you for the offer. Aquascope pond kit sounds great, I guess it may fit into our tub, and its capacity is approximately ~400gallons. It looks like my water garden is also coming out free! Got good tub free, pump and waterfalls, etc, free, free labor for digging (friends helping), just need to find some plants and fish.

    Your old pond looks great, I love all those nice plants, especially that sliver green bush, what plant is that?

    Monday around noon I am going to Will-rogers airport to pick one of the visitor, please let me know is that time works for you. I can come over to your office or whatever location in NW OKC you suggest to pick up the stuff. Couple of friends are joining this weekend to set up the tub. Yes I remember, but spring fling may be too late, I am so excited to get it done next few days.

    I will bring something for you as friendly token if you won't mind!

    Thanks you -Chandra

  • biradarcm
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    If you are ok with time, please send me your address and phone number to my email

  • MiaOKC
    10 years ago

    I'm emailing you to make arrangements. The silver plant is perennial artemesia "powis castle" I think. It is great to grow up and hide the waterfall box black plastic. Also balanced a large flat rock on top of the waterfall box.

  • biradarcm
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    We put tub is in ground today! Lots and lot of digging to put tub in place. It has now electric and water outlet. Lot of digged out dirt left, I am thinking to mound it up in NE corner where waterfall will sit and then layout rocks around it and plant some creepers back of the mound.

    Could you please suggested best place to buy cheap rocks for ponds around Norman area?

    Thanks -Chandra

  • slowpoke_gardener
    10 years ago

    Chandra, that is very nice. Will you get enough water from your Down Spout to cause a problem? If so you may want to install a bend in it and run it past your pond.

    I know it will be beautiful, I hope you post pictures of it when you are finished.

    Larry

  • biradarcm
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Larry,
    I am thinking to feed the downspout to pond! then an overflow outlet from the pond to garden. I heard rainwater is even much better for pond ecosystem. That downspout cover very little area, i guess about 250 sqft. I am also thinking about third rain barrel behind the pond.

    Any new ideas from the pond folks are most welcome.

    Thanks -Chandra

  • soonergrandmom
    10 years ago

    You might want to channel the water off very soon or a big rain might cause it to float, especially since it has no weight in it.

  • slowpoke_gardener
    10 years ago

    I agree with Carol. If you have the holes plugged now and it is sitting like you want it it would be nice to have water in it to hold it in place. Other wise the run-off might lift it and wash dirt under it causing you to have to lift and resit it into the hole.

    Larry

  • biradarcm
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    The run-of lifting the turf and washing dirt under will be tragedy. As a precautionary measures, I have diverted the drain off the tub and covered tub with plastic tarp. Looks like plugging the jet holes is the first thing to do. -Chandra

  • biradarcm
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    I have finished major part of the project, still need to fix small things like paint work on the wooden boarder, arbor over waterfall, rails, aquatic plants and fish.

    here are some pics;


    Mia, thanks again for the pump and filters, it is working great, lift lot of water. Thank you all for all those tips to make it happen.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Hot Bath Tub Water Garden

  • miraje
    10 years ago

    Wow, that looks amazing, Chandra! Nice work!

  • slowpoke_gardener
    10 years ago

    Chandra, the pool is beautiful and has a very large amount of water flow.

    Larry

Sponsored
Premier Home Services, Inc
Average rating: 5 out of 5 stars19 Reviews
Loudoun County Complete Turn-Key Contracting Solutions