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  1. #1
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    Constructing my feng shui fish basin & water thingy.

    That's quite a mouthful in the title isn't it..

    OVERVIEW

    On the front wall of my house there's a square patch of dark coloured slate stones, with a square basin under it with the most hideous blue tiles you ever saw in your life; it looks like a square water reservoir as used in Asian toilets. They're also quite worn. The black slab in the middle of the house does not look good. There's goldfish in it, which came with the house. There's a loose plastic pump that pumps water through a dirty plastic box filled with filtering material, blue PVC tubes and a concrete water bird.


    GOALS

    Get rid of the dark black slab in favour of something brighter yet natural and attractive. It will be a frame holding our company sign, illuminated by halogen lights. [ Instead of a company sign, the center frame could hold anything that looks attractive, like some sculpted sandstone relief. ] The fish basin will be kept as it's pretty much Feng Shui 101 to have some water element on your Northern side with clear, flowing water; gold fish or koi carp are the most common inhabitants of such features. A blue-ish element would still be good for the North side, but new and more attractive tiling will be put in place, possibly those smaller blue-green tiles you see a lot as part of what Thais tend to call 'Bali style' for spas and the like.

    There will be somewhat of a mini waterfall of water flowing from under the vertical frame out into the basin, also to get air into the water to keep the fish alive. Possibly those bowling ball shaped rough clay thingies on the corner where water can flow out, though I haven't decided on those.



    BUDGET

    25,000 baht or so, excluding additional fish. Will include a sandstone brick 'frame', tiling, plumbing for the mini waterfall and electricity for the spot lights. Possibly also a filter-material partitition to keep things fresh.

    The white cement water bird will be ritualistically slaughtered.
    Last edited by WhiteLotusLane; 21-06-2007 at 01:31 PM.

  2. #2
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    Brick frame


    Detail, plus cement edges to start rendering


    Rendering



    Rendering complete



    Testing the waters

  3. #3
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    Rock brick masonry for the 'frame'


    Almost done... Just as well, cutting this rock is a dusty affair.

  4. #4
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    Okay.. Now the Missus is getting involved. Time to run for the hills.

    She's got it in her mind that she'd prefer the water to trickle over the rocks instead of fall down off a ledge type outcropping as per (what I understood to be) the original design.

    So we have (1) but she wants (or thought she'd get) (2).



    I mentioned this would likely mean getting a bunch of those rocks out again to create a slope. In any case I told her to go discuss it with the contractor and I'm fine with whatever they decide and looks nice.

    I've gotten fussy with the bathroom with this contractor, so now it's her turn to make their lives miserable.
    Last edited by WhiteLotusLane; 25-06-2007 at 02:11 PM.

  5. #5
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    Oh; I since learned that the number (2) will not be quite as sloped; the intention I guess is to still have it rather verticle, but with the water hitting the rocks just enough to get them dirty.

    Meanwhile, fish are dying like flies; they're in a smaller terracotta bowl now where they either just die or get picked off by cats.

    Edit: Or perhaps the construction workers eat them.. Who knows.
    Last edited by WhiteLotusLane; 25-06-2007 at 05:11 PM.

  6. #6
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    Things have been going a little slower and I found out why: Mr. and Mrs. Rock & Tile were indeed a couple and have had a bit of a falling out that included some good old moderate domestic violence. Apparently especially Mr. Rock & Tile looks the worse for it.

    So that's why we've seen some other people show up, who however aren't as good. Then the Mrs told the contractor: "Ok so they're a little roughed up, but I don't mind how they look, it's not a beauty contest I just want my tiles done properly!"

    Gotta love this country.


  7. #7
    I am in Jail

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    That's a cool reno job! Like it alot.
    How many fish do you have and how big is the tank? Looks like you have enough already as long as it's an odd number and you have one black carp.

  8. #8
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    Ah... there was one black one yes but it was among the casualties. Currently there's 5 goldfish left, down from 9 I think. After everything is finished we'll go find some additional fish.

    I like those Koi carps, but they're probably too big for the size of the basin. The guy at the fish store (Kham Thiang area in Chiang Mai) suggested to bring some pictures so he can make a recommendation.

  9. #9
    Member The_Dude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteLotusLane View Post
    Ah... there was one black one yes but it was among the casualties. Currently there's 5 goldfish left, down from 9 I think. After everything is finished we'll go find some additional fish.

    I like those Koi carps, but they're probably too big for the size of the basin. The guy at the fish store (Kham Thiang area in Chiang Mai) suggested to bring some pictures so he can make a recommendation.
    WLL-
    What is the price per Sq Mtr for this rock material?

  10. #10
    Member jumbo's Avatar
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    Looking good, the sand stone is very attractive in this type of feature. 100% improvement in the tiles also.

  11. #11
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    I love what you have been doing WhiteLotusLane! Personally, I have been thinking about using the same rock face design you are using for an upcoming project.

    Please show some more photos and the end result.

  12. #12
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    I think the lighter-color stones which you've installed have a much more organic look/feel to them. Nice job.

  13. #13
    gos
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    looking forward to seeing completed job the green tiles are an improvment on the blue how you doing on your budjet

  14. #14
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    I'll check on the price per sq meter for the rock. I'm not that hands-on, the designer/contractor basically gave me some samples, drew a mock-up of what she planned to do on paper, I said 'ok' and was quoted a price for the whole thing.

    I just saw them testing the water, it's quite nice already though they need to do some slight adjustments to get the water to flow evenly; as it is a little too much flows to the sides.

    Note that in the left back corner an additional compartment was cemented for filter-material to go in to keep the water clear. (been tiled too at the moment)

    But, the fish are back in! What's left is the lighting, there's two spot lights being put near the top that would illuminate the center frame.

  15. #15
    gos
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    any photos

  16. #16
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    Coming up..



    Tiling is done, fish are testing the waters. Some adjustment of the rocks still has to be done to micro-manage the way the water falls down.

    I shall be out of town for the rest of the week, but upon my return I may actually take some video to further brighten up the collective readership's lives.

    Let me leave you with the 5 'survivors'.


  17. #17
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    Hello WhiteLotus, I was wondering about this. Shouldn't the water spill out away from the decorative wall? Is it okay that the mortar in the wall soak up water and wick water up and down the wall? If the decorative wall is meant to be wet shouldn't there be a waterproof backing before putting up the decorative wall and shouldn't the decorative rock and mortar be sprayed with a non-toxic to fish waterproofing sealant?

    It looks as though the damp mortar will wick water to this part of the house wall. Will that create moisture problems? I'm thinking of mold in the walls. Also water may wick down behind the tile reservoir. If the mortar continues to wick water will it contribute to evaporation to the point that you are filling the resevoir more often then you would like?

    It's a beautiful addition to your home. I look forward to more posts.

  18. #18
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    Good questions. We'll see. That's a lot of soaking that has to happen, because the original black slate is still there, bricks in front of that one, mortar rendered on top of that, and THEN the sandstone rocks..

    There was some confusion on if the water is supposed to spill over the rocks, I thought no, the Mrs. thought yes, and in the end it became yes and I have to say it looks very nice when the water is on. (Also noting then if it were 'no' then the water would hit the surface from a lot higher and make more noise) The main issue now is that water flows too much to the sides, we'll get that sorted. also the back where the water currently leaves a wet spot will get some kind of waterproof paint or material on it. I'll pass on your concerns about sucking water...

    Exciting.
    Last edited by WhiteLotusLane; 03-07-2007 at 01:21 PM.

  19. #19
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    There's been some debate on the best place for the lights.. They're under the top end of the 'frame' now, but probably better if they go on the outside.

    Don't want to advertise the company for free so I photoshopped the frame contents a bit.


  20. #20
    gos
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    Whats happening now WLL any more photos

  21. #21
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    Oh, right. We're done.

    I'll go take some pictures this afternoon. Water flows very well now, the lights were moved and just about the only issue left is that the new immigrant Koi fish don't get along all that well with the aboriginal gold fish. We'll probably evict the gold fish to a separate aquarium and leave the gang of Koi carps to zip around the outside basin.

    It's an amazing difference actually, gold fish are just SO homo compared to Koi carp; gold fish don't really swim but sort of wiggle their plumage about in an effeminate sort of way. Koi carp are way more badass, and they're really fast actually.

    Price: 10 small-ish sized Koi carp go for 500 baht at Kham Thiang market in Chiang Mai. (The large fish shop on the stretch between Tesco and Kham Thiang proper.) They sell really big 'uns as well, those easily cost 700-1000 baht PER FISH. They're nice though, ivory white or really yellow-gold as well as the usual white-orange and white-organge-black.

    Apparently you're supposed to have at least one black (or partially black) fish in there. Oh well.

  22. #22
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    Final pics.. Obviously something has to happen involving some plants/greenery while still retaining a bit of a 'clean' look; don't want to turn it into a jungle / mud pond. The terracotta bowl is also a temporary save-haven for the gold fish to save them from aggressive Koi carp. [ I photoshopped away the company name (black lettering) in the frame but left the word 'Group' to show what it looks like.] Obviously any kind of display / sculpted relief can go in there when if you'd do it not as a company sign but just as a feature. As it is a company sign, the tax bastards will probably want to collect sign-tax on it. Oh well.



    A valve was put in to regulate how much water comes out; just a trickle actually looks and sounds fine; not sure how well you can see that on the picture.

    Last edited by WhiteLotusLane; 27-07-2007 at 10:42 AM.

  23. #23
    gos
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    Looks great WLL I believe you are supposed to have 9 fish including one black one of those oriental beliefs for good luck
    What does your company do

  24. #24
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    I love it! Cannot see the waterfall, but take your word for it.
    Yes, agree with gos. One black fish is apparently needed to suck up any negative energy or bad luck. Not sure about the number, but odd is better than even. Don't know the lucky numbers in Thailand but 4 and 9 are bad in Japan as 4 sounds the same as death (shi) and 9 sounds the same as suffering (ku for kurushii). No 4th floors in Japan.
    Will your fishies stay the same size? Very pretty. Always good luck to have fish.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by gos
    What does your company do
    Breeds Koi as a food dish

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