Natural swimming pool/pond? Lazy Pool? Need recommendations. Big post.

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Hi! I've been a fan of natural swimming pools for a few years now, having grown up on a farm and loving swimming in rivers, lakes, streams... you get it.

I bought my first home a few years ago and inherited a 40 year old "pool".


16830904_10210639605013561_7972729947198103289_n.jpg


Meaning, It's 9000gal, 12x24, cinderblock hole in the ground with a sand bottom. One end is 5' deep, the other 3'. I tried to test plumbing but it didn't work- namely, because there was NO skimmer- just this:

17904130_10211134314820997_8983833100635895347_n.jpg


The plumbing was a 2" cast iron pipe about 3" below the ground, presumably making its way back to the sand filter. My supply line was A GARDEN HOSE with a REFRIGERATOR SUPPLY LINE connected to the end. Needless to say, I drained the literal swamp and cut out the very old and faded liner after shocking it daily so I could even see what was in this thing. No bead receiver- they took the bag and brought it up and over the edge, then tacked it down with something akin to carpet strips.

I didn't think it was going to be that much of a disaster when I bought the house, so I've spent many many hours trying to figure out the cheapest way to keep it from being a mosquito pit but still keeping the allure of water.

So! To the questions.

Is there a way to make it a hybrid NSP with only a floating plant island?
If not, how can I make the NSP happen and make external filtration/aquaponics areas?
Can you recommend a plan to convert this from an in-ground above-ground pool to the cleanest manmade pond you've ever seen?

NSP would be ideal, but I don't have the time or funds to change the structure. Also, I need absolutely NO mosquitoes and stench.

I need to purchase something to circulate the water that doesn't require underground plumbing, so I was thinking either an above-ground sand filter/pump combo I drop in the water somehow- perhaps via a waterfall- OR getting some submersible trash pond pumps meant for ponds and sludge (there's a lot of leaves, you see) and strategically positioning them under the waterline on the walls.

Until mosquitoes quit breeding, I'm planning on sanitizing the water using a low chlorine/mineral floating dispensing combo during swimming months- the PoolFrog XL. I've seen it in action and it's a budget item I can handle right now.

I would like to add plants at some point and keep algae down if possible. I don't mind wildlife so long as it's not tearing up my plants or biting me.
A pool that looks like a Japanese water garden? That's what I dream of.

I need recommendations for:
Pump and filtration purchases suitable for pond OR pool ?
Placement ?
Aeration?
Debris removal/skimmer?

What would you do, barring filling it in?

Thank you so, so very much in advance for reading and any advice you have. I've been thinking about this for 3 years now and feel a bit paralyzed.
 
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Also, there won't be fish in this. I work at a pool liner manufacturer, so I already have one awaiting installation.
 

addy1

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What would you do, barring filling it in?
Me make a fish pond, it would be a beautiful one! Make a nice plant bog near it for filtration, pump the water through pea gravel and plants sit back and enjoy the beauty!

Welcome to our forum of pond lovers!
 
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Natural swimming ponds have fish in them in some fashion - either there's a side for swimming and a side for fish divided by a wall but sharing the same water, or you swim with the fish. The reason being you'll have a hard time growing plants in your pond without fish - they all work together to achieve the goal you're looking for. You don't need big fish or even a lot of fish - just enough to keep the nitrogen cycle going.

You know a lot about pools, clearly, and some of that knowledge translates to ponds but not all of it. For example, you can't grow plants in a pond that's being chlorinated - again, add fish and mosquitoes won't be an issue. Also - keep the water moving and you'll cut down on breeding areas.

Either external or internal pump will work, just don't try to use a pool filter. A waterfall is the best way to keep water moving - and it's pretty!
 
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I’m in the middle of a bog filter for a recreational pond I inherited with our house. The water was stagnant full of cat tails and a thick layer of muck on the bottom of this .44 acre pond. With fish and aeration, I managed to get the vegetation and muck issues under control but then came the green water. I’m convinced a bog filter will complete the balance and give me a nice clear pond I can enjoy with my kids.

addy1 and Lisak1 are steering you right. Balance fish and plants and you’ll enjoy your pond for years to come!
 
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The more I read about bog filters the more i wish i had one..............:oops: And for sure, waterfalls are the way to go!!
 
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I Wonder if you could make a stand to stick in the middle of this pool. Maybe 4x4 legs to support a tub filled with gravel to make your “island.” That would be a totally cool project!

Alternately I’ve been toying with the idea of making sealed octagons out of pvc, stacking them onto each other around a tub with a pump attached to the bottom that you could fill with gravel and plants. Would it have enough buoyancy to float the gravel and plants? I’m willing to bet it would. Could even make it out if a kiddie pool. Just let the water flow off the edges. I have a kiddie pool doing nothing right here.

Let me finish this bog first. Then we can see about floating a kiddie pool
Garden.
 
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I Wonder if you could make a stand to stick in the middle of this pool. Maybe 4x4 legs to support a tub filled with gravel to make your “island.” That would be a totally cool project!

Alternately I’ve been toying with the idea of making sealed octagons out of pvc, stacking them onto each other around a tub with a pump attached to the bottom that you could fill with gravel and plants. Would it have enough buoyancy to float the gravel and plants? I’m willing to bet it would. Could even make it out if a kiddie pool. Just let the water flow off the edges. I have a kiddie pool doing nothing right here.

Let me finish this bog first. Then we can see about floating a kiddie pool
Garden.
OOh, I like this idea!
 
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Me make a fish pond, it would be a beautiful one! Make a nice plant bog near it for filtration, pump the water through pea gravel and plants sit back and enjoy the beauty!

Welcome to our forum of pond lovers!
Do you have a bog building post or article you like best? I'd love to read it.
 
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addy1

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I did a lot of net research, then was asked to post a thread on it. Here is the thread

 
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Also, for clearing the water without chlorine and keeping it healthy for fish, I would recommend a UV clarifier with a filter. These work great even if you don’t have fish. I use them in my ponds and a stock tank pool we use.
 

addy1

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Yeah glad to hear! I love my bog set up. Fits my pond temperament, as little as fuss as possible. I can turn it on and basically ignore it all summer. Just need to add water, which is done automactically.
 
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The second photo you have shown is a skimmer. all a skimmer is is a pipe that allows water to come in from the surface of the water pulling FLOATING items into the strainer and or weir. Look up weirs . it is basically like a balancing tube between a pond and a hot tub a holding / balancing tank in that tank you can filter out the leaves etc with a strainer basket in the weir is where you would hook up your external pump at say the bottom like a main drain and the debris gets pulled to the basket around it. the pump then pushes the water up in this instance lets say 2 feet up over the edge of a raised flower garden but this one is lined with rubber and has 2" pvc and nothing but 3/4" to 3/8" stone in it . the water gets pumped to a grill of pipes at the bottom with nothing more then slits cut in the pipe and the stone buries the pipe. place bog plants on the surface and have one area in the from looking at your pool/ where the water will poor out from the raised flower garden (bog) and enjoy theres a little more to it but not much.
 
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