Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Hi everyone! This is my first post here. I have a very green swimming pool that is roughly 20k gallons kidney shaped and has not been in service for 4 years. There is a good amount of sediment at the bottom that I have been removing by way of pool net over the past few weeks and it appears that I am making progress. I would say that 90% of this is dead or dormant algae, and the water as you would imagine is quite green. There are mosquito fish in there that have been happily living and reproducing for several years (and controlling mosquitoes effectively)

I have convinced the owners of the pool/pond (my parents) that the best thing to do is to create an oasis using natural methods and the like, and they are onboard so long as it doens't cost too much or become too much in the way of maintenance.

Some more relevant info is that we have a very steep slope above the pool as well as some area below the pool, either of which could be used for growbed/sump areas.

My idea at present is to pump the water from the skimmer up to some grow beds on the slope (southern facing) and then cascade this water back down to the pool perhaps through a solar heating panel and/or a uv filter.

Here are some questions for you all...

1. Will I be able to remove the algae without draining the pool? I am dilligently working to remove the scum from the bottom and I believe that I can get most of it, however, I am unable to stop the individual cells from going back into the water through the net, and at some point it will be necessary to kill it (shock with bleach) or UV filter it or something. The plan right now is to get as much out as possible, and then shock everything to kill all the algae while constructing the beds etc. The reasoning is that we cannot afford to crack the pool from groundwater if we empty it, and it is very expensive to refill it if we empty it. What would you do?

2. Does my plan to use the slope make sense? How much media will I need to filter this much water? I am thinking that I can construct some grow beds that are individually plumbed and feed directly back to the pool, or make them go from one to the next all the way down before flowing back. Is one design better than the other? Keep in mind that in the end we plan to have minimal fish for the purpose of controlling bugs and algae (tilapia or cats?), providing some fertilizer for the plants, and maybe some pretty ones for looks/eats. We do want to swim in the pool during the summers.

3. There is an existing sand filter. Is this useful in any way?

Thank you! Any and all comments/ideas will help greatly. I am curious about the UV filters especially at the moment, and any experience anyone has had with this type of thing.

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Hi,  Please check out my thread on this.

We have added 50 catfish, 50 bluegills and have lost only like 8 fish of that since about 8 months.    Next plan is to add swirl filter.


Thanks for the clarification TC  - Jim

TCLynx said:

Actually Jim, I would expect the ammonia to drop as the bio-filter establishes it's self then nitrite will rise then drop as the next stage of bacteria establish and finally nitrates will rise until veggies can start consuming them.

Pond plants will often consume ammonia directly though as can algae and duckweed.

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