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Have a friend looking to convert swimming pool to aquaponics or to a pond.

What a week, I have a friend that is looking to convert his swimming pool to AP.    It is already green with algae and he had this idea.    the low end he was going to make the grow bed, then drain it down to have a large deep end.   Then run the water up from the deep end to flood the gravel. 

 

Hmm the more I think of it I bet he could have floating rafts on the one end which would be MUCH easier than rock, put a net in the center     

 

Questions that come to mine.

 

 

1) There is GOBS of algae, could he not put catfish in and have enough oxygen  to support them?   

 

2) What if we go with a very low low low volume of fish say 100 catfish,    could we do just water swap outs for when the nitrogen builds up?

 

Looking for ideas....    this pool is screened in and seems perfect for growing plants / fish.   Only downside is in winter there is less sun with trees but in summer gets direct sun.

 

I have been to gardenpool.org, but was looking to see other ideas / thoughts.    

 

 


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check out www.urbanfarmguru.com. Just posted a video on the subject. I thing the best solution would be to make a natural swimming pool with fish. You can establish a biofilter with aquatic plants, not unlike aquaponics. Otherwise pool volume may be to excessive for aquaponics. What is the pool volume?

Hi Chi,

Yes I love that link been there several times.    What really hurts is the guy that is wanted to do this does not have access to internet at his home so he has to come over and view the info here.  ( He has poor eyesight as well ).

 

I have attempted to contact the guys at Gardenpool, for insights.   I guess the first step is to get an accurate understanding of what size the pool is, and how much time this guy is willing to invest in this project.

 

My oxygen meter is now ordered, so I can now get accurate understanding of what the condition of the pools is now.

I did some digging....  Found more info here ->

 

http://www.aquaponicshq.com/forums/showthread.php/3887-Using-swimmi...

 

They link to more permaculture method this site has tons more info:

 

http://permaculture.org.au/2009/07/21/convert-your-eco-unfriendly-s...

 

 

 

Here is another conversion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hxw9lesLcAY

 

 

 

 

 

 

If it is a large surface area (the fish tank) you can float rafts on top of the water and grow the plants that way.  No need for pumping water out of the tank...!

Hi Jeff,

I did suggest that idea of rafts at the start of this thread, and it is an idea I will run by my friend.

Yet another idea that hit me is why not have floating wicking containers using soil.

 

 

I am getting more concerned about soilds..    It can be done As I understand it from one method they just let them accumulate on the bottom of the pool, then pull them out and put them into a compost pile.     I my present AP system, solids go up and are caught in the grow beds.     Not sure how my friend will react to the idea of dreging up solids from the bottom of the pool.    It would make a nice bed for the catfish to breed. :-)

 

Another idea that hit me is to make several cages to put different sized fish in to protect the smaller fish.  

 

The tank still will need air, so I am thinking get some azola  ( duck weed going ) and then go over and harvest some for my fish :-)     That is a massive amount of surface area, will also be looking for oxygen generating plants.

 

It has tons of algae now, when my oxygen meter gets here, I will then take a reading.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cages seem to work good. I didn't get a top done yet and noticed 10% jumped out on me. Was going to use a galvanized mesh but afraid they might beat themselves up if they keep trying to jump out. Maybe with a wide board edge as seems they always try to jump by the edge.  You probably will need a huge growing area to keep that large tank filtered. Rule of thumb I believe is equal fish tank ft2  to grow beds or greater.
Ya, I have seen the video by Murray telling how massive a grow bed one needs to filter out a swimming pool.    I guess the thing to do is to swap out the water, and introduce plants into the pool itself to act like a natural pond.

steve said:
The cages seem to work good. I didn't get a top done yet and noticed 10% jumped out on me. Was going to use a galvanized mesh but afraid they might beat themselves up if they keep trying to jump out. Maybe with a wide board edge as seems they always try to jump by the edge.  You probably will need a huge growing area to keep that large tank filtered. Rule of thumb I believe is equal fish tank ft2  to grow beds or greater.

Update,   I have watched the video Urban permaculture, and  I have found that what they did is use vinegar to wash down the inside of the pool before they added water.    It turns out that is exactly what my friend did in his setup.

 

I took over some feeder fish, and they are still living.      Also put in some duck weed.

 

My oxygen meter came in this week, after I do some reading on it, will do a test and some snapshots of the present setup.

 

I am looking for plants that produce oxygen, if you know of some good ones please let me know!

Thanks Chi,   I am wondering how to plant them...   Tie a rock to bottom of plant and toss in?

 

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