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 Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond...

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*Riaan*

*Riaan*

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Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond... Empty
PostSubject: Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond...   Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond... Icon_minitimeThu Oct 20, 2011 1:12 pm

...and here I am Smile

Name is Riaan. Howdy!

Anyway, here's my situation. A coupla months ago I moved into a house with a small swimming pool. It used to be quite large, but the previous owner halved it for whatever reason. Here is a pic:

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It averages about 4 feet deep with 5 at the deep end and is about 6m across at the widest point. Haven't taken proper measurements yet to calculate the volume, for now my biggest concern is naturalising it.

The previous owner used Blu52 extensively, and while it seems to be a decent product for keeping a pool, it's turned my pond dream into a bit of a nightmare.

I stopped chlorinating over a month ago and let the water sit. However, algae refuses to grow in that sulfate rubbish. Blu52 contains a lot of copper- and zinc sulphate, and the only stuff having a shot at it are bacteria decomposing the leaves and stuff falling into the pool. There is a nice biofilm on the pool surfaces, but not a trace of green. Also, the decomposition byproducts are leaving an oily film on the water surface. The water is bluish but very very cloudy (more on that later).

I'd like to point out right now that my initial goal is to simply keep some plants at first until it's natural and healthy. Then I'll try some goldfish and then, finances permitting, maybe a proper Koi setup. Goldfish are for now the long term goal though.

The filter system has one of those salt chlorinating gubbins, for which the controller and power supply has long since disappeared. The electrode plates were still good to go however after a bit of a HCl rinse. My idea was to run the pump with a 24v power supply connected to the chlorinator to remove the sulphates. A trial run produced promising results, with the cathode plates developing a nice coppery purple sheen and the anodes accumulating a lot of yellow sulphurous muck, which I simply rinsed off under the tap.

However, I ran it again yesterday and the accumulation was epsilon. The voltage over the plates was good, so I was a bit perplexed. The water was definitely still full of sulphates, attested to by the blue-grey tint to the water and the fact that the trial run was only about an hour.

I then decided to test the pH, and bugger me if it didn't sit at almost 9. I then dumped in about 2L of hcl pool acide, and a wondrous but worrying thing happened. The cloudiness disappeared in front of my eyes to be replaced by clear, blue-green tinted water - a surefire sign of copper sulfate.

It then occurred to me that the high pH was causing the sulphur to ablate into the water, causing the cloudiness, and that the electrolysis wasn't working because the same had happened to the copper and zinc. I couldn't tell if the pool surfaces were covered in it, but it seems likely.

So... My acid dose caused the pH to drop and allowed the sulphates to dissolve again. Does anybody have any suggestions what I should do to get these heavy metals out of the pool water? Should I drop the pH and flush and refill? Or drop ph and electrolyse (lots of power wasted imo). Or raise the pH sky high and try and filter that precipitated rubbish out using a chelator/flocculent? I'm loath to flush those heavy metals down the drain, or to add any more chemicals.

Does anybody have any advice for a first-time pond keeper wannabe?

Thanks!
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Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond... Empty
PostSubject: Re: Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond...   Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond... Icon_minitimeThu Oct 20, 2011 2:47 pm

Hi Rooster, I would not even bother cleaarig the water from the heavy metals and on top of that, pool acid. I is dangerous. I would just empty the whole pool, paint it black to get a natural look and replace with new water.

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*Riaan*

*Riaan*

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PostSubject: Re: Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond...   Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond... Icon_minitimeThu Oct 20, 2011 3:23 pm

To be honest I'm leaning the same way, just dump it down the drain. Sadly I can't even pump it into my garden. It's depressing to know that the corner of my garden is a toxic hazard site!

I'd love to paint the thing (and get a bottom drain cemented in, etc), but the deal with the missus is that it has to be reversible back into a pool againt. So that put the kibosh on that lot Sad

Ek shocktreat liewers die bliksemse ding met 'n trok vol sand in daai geval, maar dit help nie om dit vir vroulief te se nie.
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*Riaan*

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PostSubject: Re: Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond...   Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond... Icon_minitimeThu Oct 20, 2011 3:39 pm

p.s. What would I use to paint it with anyway? I know you get pond paint but how expensive is it and how much of a mission is it? Not keen on scrubbing the pool with acid and whatnot to get paint to stick.

I plan on planting the edges using shelves (i have a whole bunch of precast walling sections stacked my garage that are going to get dragged into the pool for this purpose) so the sides will be hidden and ultimately having a black surface won't be too important to me, hopefully in time a nice nealthy biological layer will hide the white stuff. The muck growing on it now is already making quite a difference. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond...   Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond... Icon_minitimeThu Oct 20, 2011 4:34 pm

There is a trend to paint pools black or charcoal anyway.

If the pool is fibreglass, you use black topcoat. If Marblelite, you can use any of the non toxic acrylic waterproof paints or even Super Lycryl (from ABE) which is non toxic and cheap, and you do not have to worry too much about the water proofing abilities.

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Paul Viljoen
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*Riaan*

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PostSubject: Re: Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond...   Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond... Icon_minitimeThu Oct 20, 2011 5:28 pm

Well, I just got home from work to be greeted by beautiful dark green pea soup. Not sure what to make of this lot Smile

I can still see the bottom, almost, but it's absolutely amazing what the right pH and one day of sunshine can do. pH is sitting at around 7.2 if the test kit is to be believed. I've now anchored a strand of elodea to the pool gobbler pipe, so it gets sunlight tomorrow. If it hangs on, I'll continue with the electrolysis when I vacuum on Sunday (massive amount of kak on the bottom) and take it from there with some sacrificial plants and small water changes when it rains.
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*Riaan*

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PostSubject: Re: Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond...   Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond... Icon_minitimeFri Oct 21, 2011 8:59 am

Ek het besluit om die pH af te druk na so 5 toe om die metale in oplossing in te dwing, die pomp vir 'n uur of so laat sirkuleer, en hom dan heeltemal te flush.

Dit help nie ek kry hom lekker aan die gang met plante en goeters nie net om 'n klomp belly-ups te kry as ek die dag visse insit omdat daar koper is wat nog rondhang nie. Dan moet ek dit in elk geval doen. Sal liewers met geen worries die projek aanpak nie.
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Jaco

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Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond... Empty
PostSubject: Re: Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond...   Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond... Icon_minitimeSat Oct 22, 2011 10:14 am

Admin wrote:
There is a trend to paint pools black or charcoal anyway.

If the pool is fibreglass, you use black topcoat. If Marblelite, you can use any of the non toxic acrylic waterproof paints or even Super Lycryl (from ABE) which is non toxic and cheap, and you do not have to worry too much about the water proofing abilities.

Paul moet dit nie Superlaykold wees van ABE nie?
Ek dink Lycryl is giftig.
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*Riaan*

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PostSubject: Re: Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond...   Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond... Icon_minitimeSat Oct 22, 2011 1:22 pm

Jaco jy's 100% reg, dit moet die laykold wees (het dit in Albie se gat-af-sukkel thread gelees). Maar maak nie saak nie, ek gaan hom nie verf nie.

Elkgeval, ek's aan die gang. Besig om die bakstene om die pond op te lig. Kom baie maklik los, hull is op 'n bou-gravel lagie met net bietjie sement tussen-in gevee. Gebruik sommer a klou-hamer. Sal tjop tjop klaar wees dan kan ek begin landscape en plant.

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Vinnige vragie, sou julle ouens voorstel dat ek die edging brick course inhou? Ek weet dit sal help om kak uit die pond uit te hou, maar dit sal my efforts om die rand natuurlik te hou belemmer. Dankie!
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*Riaan*

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PostSubject: Re: Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond...   Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond... Icon_minitimeMon Oct 24, 2011 10:10 am

Ek het besluit om die edging course in te hou. Die wande van die swembad is gebou uit 'n dubbelle stretcher course bakstene, en die edging course is direk op hulle vasgemessel. Baie stewig ook, en ek is bang as ek hulle kap gaan ek krake veroorsaak. Die edging course sal my ook iets gee om op te loop as ek om die pond moet beweeg vir onderhoud, ens.

Ek het bietjie les opgese met die graslangse concrete edging, hy het 'n gevoude stuk brickforce ingehad. My rug is af!

Ek het ook begin om stadig die water te laat uitloop met 'n paar tuinslange. Kon 'n voet se water uitkry sonder enige moeite of babysitting nie. Die marblelite is ontbloot vir omtrent 10cm... Nie 100 seker of dit genuine marbleite is nie, hy is wit maar baie grof. Geensins 'n kenner nie.

Wat my wel die blou horries gee (letterlik) is die blou kopersulfaat wat uitkristaliseer, mens kan die blou vlekke baie duidelik sien. Ek gaan die hele verdomde ding moet uitskrop met suur! Sal 'n kiekie neem.

Ek dink ek het 'n lekker vet lat vir my gat gepluk! Maar die somer is nog lank! Smile
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Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond... Empty
PostSubject: Re: Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond...   Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond... Icon_minitimeMon Oct 24, 2011 11:07 am

Jaco wrote:
Admin wrote:
There is a trend to paint pools black or charcoal anyway.

If the pool is fibreglass, you use black topcoat. If Marblelite, you can use any of the non toxic acrylic waterproof paints or even Super Lycryl (from ABE) which is non toxic and cheap, and you do not have to worry too much about the water proofing abilities.

Paul moet dit nie Superlaykold wees van ABE nie?
Ek dink Lycryl is giftig.

Hi Jaco, die Super Laykold is die Bitumen verf. Laycryl is meer soos 'n Acrylic verf. Volgens hul website en houer is dit "non-toxic" en ek het dit al baie gebruik sonder probleme. Nie 'n puik waterproofer vir damme nie maar goedkoop. (R 120/5 liter) Waar waterproofing nie uiters belangrik is nie, soos waar ek reeds geseel het met iets anders, gebruik ek dit soms. Sien [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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Paul Viljoen
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*Riaan*

*Riaan*

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Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond... Empty
PostSubject: Re: Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond...   Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond... Icon_minitimeMon Oct 24, 2011 11:46 am

Dit is cheap. Hoeveel coats moet ek gooi en watse prep werk moet ek doen op die lining. Siende dat ek hom in elkgeval moet uitskrop, dink ek dit is 'n goeie idee om dit in any case te doen. Die rede hoekom ek die swembad convert is omdat ek in die eerste plek nie 'n swembad wil he nie. Maar ek wil nie he dit moet afdop en baie werk en moeite belemmer nie.
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*Riaan*

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PostSubject: Re: Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond...   Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond... Icon_minitimeThu Nov 03, 2011 10:52 am

A bit of an update. Digging commenced on Sunday:

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Some more progress was made Yesterday by my 'handlanger' and a mate of his. I've got a lekker size going, but I feel that it's not deep enough yet. They went a bit moggy on the one wall, so it's longer than the other, but I can use that to advantage. What I am pissed about is that they chopped off the electrical cabling!

Anyway, dimensions are (trapezoidal) roughyl, 300/350 x 150/180 x 80(h)

I can build a serious filter here. It just needs more depth.

Opinions?

Here is the current state of the pool:

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The water is down to about 5cm this morning, been drawing it out slowly with a 25w fountain pump day and night, nut the pump is now sucking air. I'll let evaporation and/or kids with buckets do the rest. The walls were covered in a thick bacterial film, which dries tissue paper thin and just peels off the walls all by itself. Here's some perspective on the extent of my copper sulphate problem. :-(

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PostSubject: Re: Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond...   Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond... Icon_minitimeThu Nov 03, 2011 11:12 am

Exciting times, it looks good. Glad you went the gravity fed route. On the long run it is going to save you alot of money.

Hope you will get enough delivery through the skimmer, being fairly high. Worst case scenario, lift your pool/pond walls to the level of the first step (at your skimmer) to enable you to fill to a higher level. 35% is already raised to a high level, and you will have much less dust and leaves in your pond and gain a thousand or two liters.

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PostSubject: Re: Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond...   Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond... Icon_minitimeThu Nov 03, 2011 12:05 pm

There simply wasn't any alternative, Paul. It has to use minimum juice for max efficiency, and grav fed is the only way to make it work with a circulating pump like the PC.

I'm a bit confused by everyone's caution about the drawing of water via the weir, though.

Logic tells me that it doesn't matter where you draw from inside the pond, the pressure you get from gravity is determined by the depth of the highest partition inside the filter, and that the surface area of the drop opening must simply be large enough to not starve the pump.

In other word, if your partioning inside the filter has a drop of 10cm below pond level, then you are going to have 1Ocms worth of water depth for gravity to work on. How it enters the first chamber is irrelevant, whether its from pond bottom or top. You could draw water from a mile below the surface, but ultimately it's the drop between chambers which determines how much gravitic pressure you get to play with.

Does anyone disagree?

That said, I'm mulling it over whether or not to break the weir open in order to make it more efficient when I'm leaf skimming.
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PostSubject: Re: Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond...   Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond... Icon_minitimeThu Nov 03, 2011 1:57 pm

You are going to use a PC18000, and when you swith it on, you will lower the level of your chambers and increase the level of your pond.

When the pump goes off, the level of the chambers will increase and the level of the pond will decrease.

Because if this, you can not fill the pond right up to the top.

If the 110 pipe going through the skimmer is not always totaly submersed, (extend above surface level at the skimmer) I believe that you will loose flow and might end up with a situaion were the PC 18000 pulls the chambers dry?

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PostSubject: Re: Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond...   Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond... Icon_minitimeThu Nov 03, 2011 2:03 pm

The pipe(s) running through the weir will be below water level at all times, so that they can be as unobtrusive as possible.

I'm not planning on keeping koi, so jumping isn't much of a concern (shubunkin don't jump from what I've gleaned). I'd like to keep the water level just below the paving bricks.
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nardus



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PostSubject: Re: Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond...   Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond... Icon_minitimeThu Nov 03, 2011 3:07 pm

Why wont you be keeping Koi?
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*Riaan*

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PostSubject: Re: Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond...   Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond... Icon_minitimeThu Nov 03, 2011 3:51 pm

It's more important for me to have a natural looking pond with plenty of plants and stuff. The love for koi is a bit esoteric for me, I'll be happy with any type of pond critter.

That aside, the amount of leaf litter than ends up in my pool on a daily basis is beyond belief. Keeping it clean was a nightmare, and I can't afford to have the pool pump running 24/7 to run the pool gobbler. Building a setup that is good enough for koi would mean that I can deal with leaves and keep a healthy pond and keep hardy fish AND plants while having clear water. I get to kill a number of birds with one stone by converting it into a pond. But I don't want half measures. It's a lot of work and so it must be as good as it can be within my financial and power budget.
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nardus



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PostSubject: Re: Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond...   Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond... Icon_minitimeThu Nov 10, 2011 9:09 am

Any updates on your pond?

I am sure you will find some kois you like and cant resist but to buy them. Very Happy
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*Riaan*

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PostSubject: Re: Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond...   Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond... Icon_minitimeThu Nov 10, 2011 9:35 am

Filter pit is dug, it just needs a bit of squaring and levelling. I've now got two huge mountains of dirt restricting access to the pit, so that needs removing first before I can start setting out the base and filter walls.

That reminds me, I have materials to order!

Where keeping koi is concerned... I dunno hey. They seem like a lot of hard work and worry, whereas something like goldfish are more hardy. My setup is going to be as good as it can be, though. It will be good enough for koi, so it will be the Shubunkin Hilton! Smile

Plants in the pond are a must, though.
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nardus



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PostSubject: Re: Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond...   Hi everyone! I've decided to convert my pool into a pond... Icon_minitimeThu Nov 10, 2011 10:01 am

I know koi tends to eat some of the plants but it can be done and i have seen it.

On a floating device which protects the plants from the koi.

And i think the local bred SA koi fish is much hardier than the imported ones.
and cheaper.
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