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Thread: Anyone ever turn a swimming pool into a fish pond?

  1. #1
    Senior Member stev32k's Avatar
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    Anyone ever turn a swimming pool into a fish pond?

    Our pool gets almost no use. I've been in about twice in three years my wife has been in maybe four times in three years. My grand kids have been here twice in five years so why am I spending all that time and money on a pool that is never used? my options are to keep doing what I'm doing and help keep chlorox in business, have the pool demo'd and filled in to make a garden spot, just quit doing anything and let it revert to a swamp, or maybe turn it into a fish pond.

    I kind of favor the last option - at least I might enjoy watching the fish. Anyone have any experience in this area?
    20' x 40' IG with vinyl liner volume approx. 35,000 gal.1.5 H.P. main pump, Polaris 280 cleaner W/ 3/4 H.P. booster pump
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  2. #2
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    Re: Anyone ever turn a swimming pool into a fish pond?

    My uncle turned his 15K gallon freeform pool into a fish pond. You've got to protect the main drain and skimmer so that it does not suck up any fish, and any fish babies, if they start mating.
    He used a foam mesh and chicken wire to keep the fish out.
    Since no more chlorine was used, there was always an algae problem, which is only resolved by constant filtration, and making shade over the water. Any of the mesh screening, like tennis fence netting, will help, but it get's expensive....and you've got an even larger pool than he did.

    Another idea is to drop boulders into the deep end over the main drain and along the rest of the bottom of the pool. This will reduce the gallons of water, and create a buffer for the main drain from sucking up the fish.

    Fish ponds are a whole set of different maintenance issues!
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  3. #3
    Senior Member XsAllOverIt's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone ever turn a swimming pool into a fish pond?

    Your pool filter wont do it for a pond so you would have to create a filtration system for a pond somewhere within your plumbing to accomodate a pond. One great filter that I use I built from this site: http://www.skippysstuff.com/biofiltr.htm
    Otherwise, you would be fine, but you're still going to have one HUGE pond and not sure if it will be any less to take care of. I don't do much maintenance per year on mine, but I've got 2 waterfalls and a large stream that acts as further filtration. I personally, would fill in alot of your pool and drop a pond liner in at a reasonable size and buy the right equipment for the pond if you want a pond. I couldn't imagine having a pond in my 18x36 inground. It would be extremely large.
    18 x 36 Inground Gunnite, White Plaster 21K gallon
    18" raised spa, 8' Diameter (620 gallon)
    Triton II Sand filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWG
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  4. #4
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    Re: Anyone ever turn a swimming pool into a fish pond?

    Another great way to block the main drain from sucking anything up that it is not supposed to be might be to use some wire mesh or wire cloth material. SOmething like a 40 x 40 mesh? Can be found here.... http://www.bwire.com/

    I know this stuff might be a little more pricey, but I am also pretty certain that it will be easier to install, and more effective than some type of foam material?

    Just an idea here, but I also agree with Xsalloverit in that ponds should be a lot smaller. The best bet is in fact tot bring in the walls some, fill in some of the depth with a ton of dirt and drop the liner in. Ponds can be a lot to handle, and a lot of times when they are too big, they can be a real hassle.

  5. #5
    Senior Member XsAllOverIt's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone ever turn a swimming pool into a fish pond?

    I can tell you, if you have no desire to have a pool any longer, I would suggest filling it in. Much cheaper and less work than any other alternative. I just can't imagine not enjoying a pool. Now I have an SWG, so there is VERY LITTLE maintenance during the season. I enjoy looking at the pool as well as using it. I hope you find your desired end result. Good Luck.
    18 x 36 Inground Gunnite, White Plaster 21K gallon
    18" raised spa, 8' Diameter (620 gallon)
    Triton II Sand filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWG
    Pentair Pump, Max-E-Therm 400 BTU
    Lamotte ColorQ PRO 7-Plus test kit
    TFT-100 test kit

  6. #6
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    Re: Anyone ever turn a swimming pool into a fish pond?

    Ponds are work. Not so much daily/weekly work as a pool but twice a year it is a CHORE to clean them up.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  7. #7
    Senior Member taekwondodo's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone ever turn a swimming pool into a fish pond?

    There are several people who have done it - if you want more information on it you can check out koiphen.com. The biggest problems are the plumbing/filtration - most pools rely on pressure/suction flow via the pump and 1-1/2 to 2" piping isn't a problem. The better pond systems rely on gravity flow into the filters which requires 4" piping from the bottom drain and skimmers, and a very large "sump" area for the filters (at 3-4' below pool water level). And like someone said, if you thought a pool was a lot of work, wait till you try to maintain a pond...
    ~45Kg Pool with attached Spa, NSP-72 DE, Minmax 400 Heater, Tahoe Blue Pebbletech, Jandy SWG via Aqualink RS-8, The Pool Cleaner (black)
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  8. #8
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    Re: Anyone ever turn a swimming pool into a fish pond?

    The thing about ponds is, you will not have a "natural" pond where there is mud and plants and fish and algae and so on. A natural pond has a very small fish load per volume of water. You will want more fish, so you can see them once in awhile, and more plants, so the pond is pretty. Both fish and plants create a lot of debris, dead plant matter and fish poop. You have to fertilize the plants monthly to keep them blooming robustly. You have to feed the fish to keep them coming to the surface so you can see them. Both accelerate the work you have to do.

    Then, once or twice a year you need to "muck out the pond" which is get to the bottom somehow and remove the accumulated poop and plant debris that are making a sewer on the bottom. In winter the gasses from this debris can accumulate and kill fish and the wastes there can breed nasty bacteria. If you think treating algae in a pool is pricey, just wait until you are treating for parasites or bacterial infections on a per gallon basis. Rock bottom may disguise this trash for a few years but eventually it must be cleaned and it is much worse then with rocks in the way.

    And, goldfish and koi both eat plants or roots. So, if you want flowers you have to protect the plants from the fish. Without the fish you get mosquitoes. With out the plants you can still do the fish, but it just isn't as pretty. You can only see the fish when you are close, nothing to see from the patio or the house if there is not plants.

    Been there, done that, it was fun, beautiful, and a lot of work on occasion.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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