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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, but was looking to see other ideas / thoughts.    



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Or you could pour concrete in the pool to make the deep in same as shallow then it would be more manageable as far as grow bed ratio

Looks like a good start Hale!

the first rule of aquaponics -- There are no rules!  Do what works in your system.

Don't pour fresh concrete, it leaches lime and will throw off your pH to the high side for ages... 

Go ahead and add muratic acid to lower the pH, it's the preferred method.  I add about 8 oz daily into a 500 gallon pond due to our water supply's natural 8.2 pH.  Dilute it some before pouring it into your sump. 

Dr. Brooks is working with a swimming pool grow system for the school system here in Arizona; he is on this site if you are interested.

Hi Jim,

Thanks for the encouragement.  

I find with a swimming pool the rules are more pond management than aquaponcis.      Back on the farm where I grew up we had a pond and I remember some of the things we did then to keep it going.    Now, I have 3 aquaponic systems going and it also has taught me a good deal.

Muratic acid has been added with out a problem so that sure works.

I have found one other person who has done this for years, and they reported that the catfish just keep multiplying and coming back in the pool.   

We are open to advice, heavens knows that we have have much to learn.



Good project.   You are indeed correct your pool is more pond like than properties than to be considered as an AP system grow out tank.   I have experience with green water conditions, and building up a spray ring system that drove water sprays into find droplets for gas balancing and nightime aeration improvements.  

Over time the extra benefits of that addition to the fish aquaculture also boosted the green bloom in the ponds.  When we hit the period of highest solar radiation, even the largest suction filters (that were 20 gallon size with fairly fine mesh size) could not keep on a weekly cleaning cycle.  Each system was running a 1 HP pump delivering 200 Liters / minute, for about 10 hours per day. 

Green water and traditional AP dont really mix all that well,  but it does not mean that green water conditions and AP cannot be manage to find a syngergy. 

I am working on a retrofit of AP to traditional earth pond aquaculture project...  So these kinds of challenges are daunting, but not impossible to solve.    Finding a solution that is low cost, energy efficient and meeting the best needs for AP...  it is as much an art as it is a science.  

Much of the work in AP is built on the careful observations and reactions of many connected to the industry, as well as those in the sciences that support this industry.    Time commitment, and their observations are worthy of everyone consideration in this areas.   Segments within AP that represent the best observations and self practices have become schools of thought, with many claiming they build something better or more efficient. 

What is most important is to see that adaptation, when done well,  to what can work best for what we have available is what becomes successful in the long run.   To be good at that means one must do the work and read in detail what has been done for trials, and why, and what the result were, and map what part of that is applicapable to their situations.   It takes careful though to begin to see the puzzle from this prospective.   You friend has a pool and making the most of that is a part of you challenge.


Good luck with your project and keep posting



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