Questions for the pros:
1. I plan on surfacing the pool with a product called Pebble-tech, or Pebble-sheen. It is a pebble and modified plaster, where more stones are exposed than plaster. I want it dark, like black or blue, partly for solar heat, partly to disguise the off color of the water. Any knowledge of pH stability with this stuff, and best color to use?
2. I'm sold on the anti-algae properties of barley straw. It works, apparently, by producing lignen, which in the presence of sunlight produces hydrogen peroxide to battle the algae. Does the presence of lignen and h2o2 also battle the benificials in the media, or is it safe since it is dark?
3. Any suggestion on stocking densities to maximize fish production and still have inviting water? I'm guessing 1 lb. fish per 50 gallons.
4. Any tips for controlling bio-slime on pool surfaces?
5. Conventional natural pools favor marsh plants, of course I want edibles, or perhaps fodder crops for other animals. I would like to go heavy on grow beds, so that the returning water is truly clear and clean. I envision planters snaking through lounging areas with lush grasses, grains etc. Some would have media and permanent plants conducive to pool lounging, like grapes, papaya, passion fruit, citrus, and strawberries. Fodder beds would have no media, just roll out a mat of grass and replant, maybe a jute roll to hold the seeds in place?
I used to scrape slime and barnacles off of yatchs, the arguments were that blue paint was best because of higher copper content,,, but i painted mine black because no one paid me to srub it and I wanted the least slime. Algea grows on dark colors slower and often green algea prefers lighter colors and browner algea prefers dark the bonus is brown is easier to remove. . So go dark
As far as fish I recomend pirahanas,,, just kidding if its warm enough use irredessant cats (shark) or basa they grow super fast eat anything and when I work at the aquarium they never ran into me in murky water because of there huge eyes and good lateral line navagation. unlike the pacu dangerious to swim with because of the size and dense skull tissue, been ramed a few times
Perhaps to an extent the dark color just helps to not see the algae very well too.
If the set up will be in a greenhouse, then the only leaves/debris are going to be from the plants growing in the system and the people who might leave things around. Perhaps an automated pool vac would be the way to deal with debris in the bottom of the pool? Anyone used such a thing with fish in with them? Is there much danger of the fish and Vac not co-habitating nicely?
I want the fish poo to be drawn below rock level like a magnet, not wafting around finding pool surface to cling to.
My pump is at the center bottom of a circular FT. The water enters the tank by gravity in a clockwise direction. This design was deliberate to create a vortex to migrate all debris toward the suction in the middle. My experience is that it works well, in fact, in the past 8 months, I've brushed with a broom only once, and that was at the beginning, I've never cleaned since, so this design is really self cleaning. After reading about your intended AP/swimming pool I have to mention that when I feed the fish they release poo into the water straight away, and this starts circling the tank, at the surface, following the current, but it takes a good 30-50 minutes for it to slowly sink to the level where the pump finally sucks it up. In your case I believe it will float for the same length of time.
Maybe you can design a rectangular pool with suction and inflow at opposing ends, suction preferably ending in a pocket made inaccessible to humans and inflow where you enter for bathing.
Thanks David. I just typed a lengthy reply to you, but somehow I lost it before I posted. Damn. Anyway, are you also building a natural swimming pool? I'd like company on the project. I've only seen pebble-tech used below water line. It is applied like plaster over gunite or shotcrete, and then abraded with a buffing wheel hooked up to weed-whacker, to polish and expose the aggregate. The advantage is that the actual color of the pebbles used determines the finish color, and is much more colorfast than plaster. Paint is probably an excellent option for price and colorfastness, but not nearly so elegant. You're probably right about the bio-slime, but I'm hoping the barley straw will help there too.
Thanks John Jay, sounds like a dark color may be an unexpected boon. I wonder if that is simply because a light surface would reflect more light, thus feeding the algae. Not sure how to take your fish suggestion, though. I think the only flesh-eaters I want in the pool are my kids.