Koi Rescue
Phoenix Arizona

Pouring rest of concrete in my koi & boat area

I should have finished pouring the concrete back when I started, but at the time I was still handling a bunch of fish in and out, so got distracted with setting my hatchery tanks and keeping them running, so I have this patch of dirt and rocks still.

Just before taking this picture, I had poured the triangle are that the white barrel is sitting on.

To the bottom left of this picture is my sledge hammer with a fresh line cut into the concrete there. I screwed up the slopes and the drainage doesn't work very well, the water runs down to that pad and scoots right under the fence into the neighbor's yard. What I am doing is making a trough down the side so when I overflow a tank, dump something etc and end up with a bunch of water flowing across the concrete, the trough will catch it and send it over to my lawn.

First thing is to setup my forms and level out the ground inside. Since I am not putting anything heavy on this pad, I am only making it 2" thick. A contractor told me that 3" thick was good enough for cars, and 2" should be good enough for what I do. I think the real issue is that the ground I have is very old compacted, dry ground and it doesn't rain here much, so the soil doesn't move like it does other places.

Getting ready for the pour, I collect my stack of concrete bags.

I like doing a pour where I will use a maximum of 30 bags. The reason is that it takes about 5 minutes to mix and pour 2 bags of concrete, so by the time I am at bags 29 and 30, the first few bags are starting to cure to the point they are hard to work with. I could do more if I had helpers, but I pretty much do projects on my own, and I am happy with the compromises.

Here is my trusty Harbor Freight concrete mixer. It cost me $99, which is a pretty good deal since it costs $40 to rent a mixer for the day. It doesn't hold much, the most it can mix is 2 of 80 lb bags at one time.

I added a handle to it, sure makes it easier to move around.

Here is the real improvement to these mixers - I added a simple chute. This makes it so I just dump the bags in, mix, then pour right into the middle of where I am working. The chute is permanently attached to the mixer, I have a couple of struts holding it on.

This is the set of tools I use to work concrete.

I love my great danes, but they sure like to destroy everything they can get their paws on. It takes about 2 days for the concrete to cure enough so they can't scratch it up, so this is what I do to keep them away.

Just one more big pad to go, and I setup the dolphin tank to test out the layout.