Convert swimming pool to natural pool/pond


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Here's a link to my add-on bog build. Maybe it will help you.
Mine is based on and inspired by addy's extensive bog showcase.
It's surface area is a little over 30% of the pond's surface area. It keeps my overpopulated pond crystal clear. Those fish just keep multiplying!

Thank you very much for the link. The pictures are clear. I finally have some idea now how to build a bog.
 
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Ok .. if the gazebo base is set back thats ok You should have at least 28" from the pool decking to the gazebo base and it looks like another 12" from the pool deck to the water level at the end of the pool . You have alot to work with and for a lot less effort and cost then some , LIKE ME as i had to build up my area 6 feet just to get a foot or drop. You can use that area as one of your walls if it was built securely. If it's not real strong then i would just build the raised bog between the pool and the gazebo base. I' d even add a layer or two of 4X4 above the gazebo for extra height fort filtration and additional height for over flow prevention as well as more of a drop into the pool. Building a wooden box / raised bog is a lot cheaper then it is hauling in boulders and buying rocks. how far back in the gazebo base? 8 feet? the little stream on the left can be easier and cheaper to build then you may think as theres no deep digging involved and your just diverting water where you want it to go mother nature will do the rest. your not holding back any weight of water and the rocks needed to hide the rubber can be thin turned so they look like larger boulders . but were placed by hand with little effort.
The gazebo base is about 10' from the pool deck. I hesitate about building the bog on the gazebo base, as then a too big area, both the pool deck and the gazebo base, would be covered in water/rocks. I would prefer to build the bog on the pool deck right by the pool; do you think it makes sense?
I am looking at the pool and thinking of 4 possible locations for the bog:
pool.jpg

A, the pool deck close to the gazebo base. It would be a C shaped bog. The pool size is about 18x24, so bog should be about 18x8=144. The pool deck has just about that size.
B. there is some space there, but probably would be a secondary bog if A doesn't work well.
C. The shallow end of the pool. Is it possible to build a bog there? Good thing is the bog would be still in the pool but also above the pool. But the bog would sits in water.
D. We actually have an old gazebo (7'x7') in this location, which is about 20' away from the pool. The size is a bit small, and the difficulty is how to move the water from the bog to the pool (across trees and pool deck).

A seems to be the best in my opinion. How do you think? Then the next question is how to build the raised bog, using cinder block or wood or any other option? Cinder block seems easier to me as I am not that handy. If there are detailed instructions on how to build it that would be great.

Please let me know any suggestions. Thank you for your help!
 
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For me and my construction skills for what you have drawn I would go for the A BUT TO BUILD AS YOU HAVE DRAWN IS not easy nor would it be cheap but in the long run it gives you a path behind the bog for kids to run past from one side to the other but does it take away the deep end for diving ?

I would still lean toward building it within the gazebo base cut the center floor out and build a raised bog inside it make the falls come over the edge of the bog :"approximately 30 inches at a minimum " nice height " run across the pool deck and making a nice stream and make a little bridge to span over the stream to the pool where you have another 1 foot water fall Priceless. .

The bog rule of thumb is 30% of the pools surface so around 8 feet by 18 feet If you go to you tube you can watch hundreds of videos on building streams and bogs. there aren't manty specifically on one or the other but they all have to same principles.

Coming from the other gazebo could be interesting but to have the falls looking at you as you sit on the patio is priceless.
20' feet away might seem and look like a lot but when you build a stream in that length it seems short. coming between the trees can definitely make the entire set up look like it is all a natural wonder in your back yard.

I would save the shallow end for lilies `and some other choice plants to grow 3 inches is very shallow for a bog you would need to build it up and i wouldn't want to block the view to the pool particularly with kids.
 
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For me and my construction skills for what you have drawn I would go for the A BUT TO BUILD AS YOU HAVE DRAWN IS not easy nor would it be cheap but in the long run it gives you a path behind the bog for kids to run past from one side to the other but does it take away the deep end for diving ?

I would still lean toward building it within the gazebo base cut he center floor out and build a raised bog inside it make the falls come over the edge of the bog :"approximately 30 inches at a minimum " nice height " run across the pool deck and making a nice stream and make a little bridge to span over the stream to the pool where you have another 1 foot water fall Priceless.
Yes, that's one reason that I would like to keep the gazebo base as my kids love to run from one side to the other :) Plus they do not dive, they just float or swim.

I am here with a partner who is against the conversion. So I am trying very hard to minimize the extra work and modification to the existing landscape. Maybe I can start by building a small bog first and show the benefit (of not adding chemicals to clear up the water yet can still swim), then maybe extra ones could be built later. So any suggestions on how to make the first simple one possible would be greatly appreciated :)
 
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Your easiest to build is B very simple to build anyone with the most basic of construction skills could build it there
 
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Whether you use 6x6 posts and just sit it on the patio not so much as one screw into the deck . with say 4 layers of 6 x 6 in a 8 x 12 box .
Using a good amount of landscape spikes to insure all the layers are locked fully together. sand the top edges so theres no sharp edges. Add non woven fabric across the entire box over the sides across the bottom and up the other side. put in the edpm liner . Secure it with a 2x8 cap place your pvc pipe across the bottom of the bog probably four 2" pipes across the entire bottom and fill 12 to 16 inches with 3/8 pea stone theres a few more steps to it but not many
 
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I would still lean toward building it within the gazebo base cut the center floor out and build a raised bog inside it make the falls come over the edge of the bog :"approximately 30 inches at a minimum " nice height " run across the pool deck and making a nice stream and make a little bridge to span over the stream to the pool where you have another 1 foot water fall Priceless.
The more I think about it, the more I start to agree with you on this. Is it easy to cut open the gazebo base to just have enough room for the bog and leave the rest untouched? Or instead of cutting it, do you think it makes sense to build the bog frame on top of the base? Thank you.
 
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No i love the stairs to each side i'd cut out the floor of the base build the raised bog inside of the sides of the base and maybe one layer higher then the old floor and let the plants grow out onto it and over the sides it really could look amazing . i only charge $5,000 a day . Just kidding. But i would go at least one course higher then the base so you can have a edge to control the direction of flow and you can hide it with rock and have a nice water fall down to the pool deck but there you will need a wide area to capture the splash of the water fall Or design a area that can keep the water in a confined area like pouring into a cup with high sides that has no bottom so the water doesn't travel far when it splashes it hit boulders or the sides like a horse shoe where the water cant splash any where but toward to pool. then create a stream where it too then has a foot drop into the pool . look at you tube videos and see how cool even little streams with no depth can really look natural and amazing . you don't need to have all the pumping action go into the bog you'll still want to feed some to the pool return jets the plumbing is probably your biggest challenge. but you may be able to hide an external pump behind the gazebo base . some pumps are self priming and in that case that's where you'd want to lean.
 
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you don't need to have all the pumping action go into the bog you'll still want to feed some to the pool return jets the plumbing is probably your biggest challenge. but you may be able to hide an external pump behind the gazebo base . some pumps are self priming and in that case that's where you'd want to lean.
I don't quite get the above: why do I need an external pump behind the bog? (as I understand I need one submersive pump in the pool that pumps water to the bog)

Just did some search on cutting open concrete. I don't think I'd be able to do that without making a mess in the backyard. I'd probably go back to building the frame with 6x6 posts. If I do build it on the gazebo base, would there be any issue pumping water into the bog? One more question: why not use pavestones or cider blocks to build the frame? It seems easier than using posts and can be any shape you want.
Actually I had a typo: location D is an old jacuzzi that could be converted to a bog. Seems I don't even need to build the frame if I use D.
 
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I don't quite get the above: why do I need an external pump behind the bog? (as I understand I need one submersive pump in the pool that pumps water to the bog)
No you would not need to have a pump in the pool i'd advise strongly to avoid the pump in a swim pool . but you would need a self priming pump .

And i would strongly advise against cutting open your pool decking as well . You can build a stream right on top of the pool decking . i'll see if i can make a picture with the idea .
 
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yeah and if the jacuzzi has a 2" water netralizer where the water levels even out between the jacuzzi and the pond then you could use that to have water return to the pond and use the jets in the jacuzi to bring water to the jacuzi. you would just need to add extensions on to the jets so you have pipes bring water to the bottom of the bog and maybe one ring along the seat . Then fill it with pea stone UP TO THE NUETRALIZER PIPE YOU WOULD JUST HAVE TO MAKE SURE YOU DON'T PUMP TO MUCH WATER TO THE AREA THAT THE PIPE cant drain out by it's self as it won't have any pressure to help drain it .
 
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No you would not need to have a pump in the pool i'd advise strongly to avoid the pump in a swim pool . but you would need a self priming pump .

And i would strongly advise against cutting open your pool decking as well . You can build a stream right on top of the pool decking . i'll see if i can make a picture with the idea .
Now I am more confused. From all I read, there is a pump that move water from pond to the bog, and most people put the pump in the pond. Do I get it wrong?

I was not talking about the pool decking; I mean I don't want to cut open the gazebo base. I think I understand what you mean by building the bog within the gazebo base and build a stream down to the pool decking then to the pool.
 

addy1

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most people put the pump in the pond
Mine is external. I have no electrical item in the pond. With a swim pool there is a chance someone could get sucked into the pump inlet (very low chance) but also you are having a electrical item running in water that people are in. Pumps now and then do fail and add a electrical shock to the water. I had one do that to me, a small pond, a small pump, never did a submersible again.
 
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An external pump just has a pipe that leads from the pump to the pool where it draws the water to the pump. where your water will be a foot lower then the pump and have about a 10 travel to the pump that is why i said i would get a SELF PRIMING PUMP. most pumps do not self prime they need to have water put in the pump in order for it to even think about working a self priming pump can start with minimal water in the plumbing. But i would think about using the return jets that are built in the pool. This will probably require two pumps
 
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An external pump just has a pipe that leads from the pump to the pool where it draws the water to the pump. where your water will be a foot lower then the pump and have about a 10 travel to the pump that is why i said i would get a SELF PRIMING PUMP. most pumps do not self prime they need to have water put in the pump in order for it to even think about working a self priming pump can start with minimal water in the plumbing. But i would think about using the return jets that are built in the pool. This will probably require two pumps
Thank you for the explanation. If external pump works too then I'll go for it. I agree with addy1 that it has less risk than submersive ones. Any model you would recommend for a 20000 gallon pool?

I would like to ask again do you see any issue if I build the bog on top of the gazebo base? I know it's not ideal, but this seems to be an easy option.

Thank you!
 
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I have been in the trades my entire life I Seriously doubt it would hold the weight water is 8 lbs a gallon and your talking about filling the bog with stone . i'd bet the gazebo is not even close to the load design needed to support such a item as a bog . But you do have many options with that back yard like i said originally i was drulling at all the possibilities. What about up by the fence is there a flat area back there and how far away is it from the pool. You could put the bog up there help hide the fence and have the stream off to the side that i originally drew coming the hill on the left side and down into the pool
 
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I have been in the trades my entire life I Seriously doubt it would hold the weight water is 8 lbs a gallon and your talking about filling the bog with stone . i'd bet the gazebo is not even close to the load design needed to support such a item as a bog . But you do have many options with that back yard like i said originally i was drulling at all the possibilities. What about up by the fence is there a flat area back there and how far away is it from the pool. You could put the bog up there help hide the fence and have the stream off to the side that i originally drew coming the hill on the left side and down into the pool
I never realized about that... so the gazebo base and the pool deck could both have problem support the heavy weight of the bog? I thought they were filled with concrete. Is there anyway to check the load capacity? Otherwise I may have to hire someone to inspect and build the bog frame.
 
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The deck should be fine It looks to have been built well And the expansion joints are nice a wide yet they don't appear to have shifted or cracked and lifted. I have no idea if you gazebo base was filled with concrete but i would seriously doubt that it would be, you don't need concrete to support a gazebo that's built on a slab or pool deck in California. Could the pool deck shift with a large bog on it would doubt it like i said before it looks solid but i am only looking at a picture
 
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i DON'T KNOW WHAT YOUR BUDGET IS OR HOW FAR YOU WANT TO TAKE THIS BBBBBBUUUTTTTTTT..... you have a backyard made for a natural swim pond and bog .........
the old jucuzzi is your bog but i would put a liner in it build up some boulders at the face of the jacuzzi and have the water fall into the pool or make a couple drops into the pool but do not make the falls straight on to each other to the eye have one turned a little left the other to the right . and that magnificent little hill a stream coming down that omg i would love to have that as my canvas to create my next pond..........View attachment 135915 my net pond
I'm glad I'm not the only one who immediately saw a Bog already there.
 
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The quickest, and easiest that I see is to use the existing gazebo to your advantage. You can build on top of it. let the water fall off the pool side of it, into the planted area between the pool deck and gazebo. Allow to flow from there to the pool via a stream, with bridge over it to allow kids to run from one side to the other. There will be some work, and digging involved, but it's unavoidable, and as mentioned before, will have an awesome return on your investment. Once planted, and going, you will have a most beautiful aquascape. Please excuse my
very rough drawing over your drawing. I based upon your drawing, and the photograph.

bog.jpg
 

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