Swimming Pool > Natural Pond questions

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We live in Escondido, Ca, inland & north of San Diego, and are just starting to convert our 15,000gal swimming pool into a natural pond.

I haven't put any liquid chlorine or shock in the pool in over a week, and
there is no detectable chlorine now (using Leslie's kit).

pH = 6.5, total dissolved solids = ~3000ppm
Our tap water is ~500 ppm.

Do I need to drain most of the water to get rid of the TDS before adding plants or fish?
I'm not adding aeration or filtration, but hope the pond will balance naturally....adding
plants first, then the fish.

I'm making a floating island for plants, and a habitat for a red slider turtle.
Also want koi, goldfish, mosquito fish.

Except for some water lilies in pots on the steps into the pond, all plants will
be floating on islands, or naturally e.g. water hyacinths.

Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated.

 
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I’d be cautious about using water that was chlorinated, no clue what all might still be in there. I don’t know enough to be a big help, but I can say I’d use a lot of pond water conditioner, just in case. The others will know more, I’m still a newbie all things considered. I converted my pool into a pond, but on well water, and it hadn’t been treated, and was just growing algae and misquitos for over a year. I will say, red eared sliders will try to nip fins, especially while young and needing the protein, so I wouldn’t add high dollar fish at first till you know how it’ll do with the others. What I saw of others who have turtles, they separated them, so it doesn’t get the fish. Not exactly practical with most basic pools, so wait to add your high dollar fish.
 
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Try a sample of the water with a few snails, small fish tiddlers, in a bucket or tray, see if they survive, thrive...
 
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Definitely drain the water......Forget the mosquito fish, they will nip at the goldfish/koi and multiply like crazy.

You're gonna need to add more than the usual amounts of the dechlorinator just incase of residue...

One fish a week to give the pond a chance to grow algae films to process ammonia. You're gonna need irises or cattails eventually IMO, once the fish multiply.
 
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Thanks for all the good info. We'll take it slow, and make sure plants & fish are safe.
I didn't know the turtle nipped fish fins, or mosquito fish did, too....they're so small.

Hope to save a lot of $$ in chemicals & electricity for the pump.
 
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Over time your pond will accumulate organic matter and atmospheric dust on the bottom and cause you nuisance algae issues unless you provide adequate water circulation and filtration.
A pond this size is not a small undertaking.
Addy has a successful similar size pond and a large bog filtration system that absorbs the nutrients that are released by decaying organic matter.
I suggest reading through her thread and deciding if this is what you really want to do.
https://www.gardenpondforum.com/threads/pond-in-progress-started-4-21-10.4302/

A TDS reading isn't much use for a pond, you need to measure the parameters found in an API test kit plus KH and GH.
https://www.apifishcare.com/product.php?id=670#.WoFg8GYZNhE
https://www.apifishcare.com/product.php?id=587#.WoFhFWYZNYc
 

sissy

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You may want to check your laws.Some states and some counties in California ban certain outdoor fish varieties .
 
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You may want to check your laws.Some states and some counties in California ban certain outdoor fish varieties .
Don't think koi, goldfish, & mosquito fish
are against the law.
Not putting in any parana. :eek:
 

sissy

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Some areas of California ban goldfish and koi because of dumping them.Animal control or your city can tell you more
 
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You'll eventually have algae issues IMO too, make a third of the pond a bog, and you'll never have to suffer green water.
 
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