How To Convert Your Pool Into A Swimming Pond
Hi, I’m Chris from Aqua Gardening.
We’re often asked, how do you go about converting a swimming pool into a pond? Well, I’m going to tell you how. When converting your pool to a freshwater pond, you will need to decide if you want to swim in the water yourself. Without the option of swimming, the conversion is simpler and the pool can be converted back later.
If you set the pool up for the enjoyment of swimming for your whole family, there is an extra step to complete and a low power filtration system to add. This is because a swimming pond, with or without fish, needs additional filtration to keep the water clean and safe for humans.
To convert to a pond, there are 3 steps.
The first step is to stop using chemicals and switch off the pump and filter. If you are using chlorine, it will only take a few days until the chlorine has disappeared. If you have a salt pool, you will need to replace the salt water.
The second step is to build platforms for aquatic plants to sit on. Aquatic plants provide shade from the sun and filter the water. You will need to aim for about 25% vegetation coverage. The platforms can be made with besser blocks, floating foam islands or even built with steel benches. Ensure there are some escape points for wildlife such as ropes or logs near the wall.
The third step is to add native fish and aquatic plants, then sit back and relax while the natural process takes place.
Because of the large surface area of the pool, not further aeration is required unless the pool is deeper than a couple metres. It will take a couple summers to fully establish and thrive.
If you are interested in swimming in the pond regularly, you will need to add a pond pump and filtration system to keep the water clear and healthy as there will be less space for pond plants. Submersible pond pumps are very low power and there are models rated for 12 volts so the cable and the pump itself can never harm humans or animals. The filtration may be done with natural rock, or an off the shelf pond filter.
To use natural rock as the filter, one side of the pool is sectioned off using a non-permeable wall such as eco wood or concrete, and 10 to 20 cm sized rocks are filled behind it. The rocks form the filter, and come up to 5 to 10cm below the surface of the pond.
Geofabric is placed over the top of the rocks, followed by river sand, and aquatic plants or reeds planted in the sand. A pond pump draws water from the bottom of the rock filled area using a tube, across to the other side of the pool. The water can be expelled through a rock water feature or waterfall before it arrives back to the water.
A pond filter is an easy path to take. There are a variety of filters which can do all the work for you, even collecting any fallen leaves in a trap. They may be boosted with an air pump in the case of a lot of fish, and are installed outside of the pool to keep the entire pool volume useable.
This way you will enjoy crystal clear water year round for taking a dip or even snorkelling with your pond fish in their natural environment! At Aqua Gardening, we are experts in ponds! Watch on to see more frequently asked questions we receive about ponds, or follow the links below to see how you can get access to our exclusive members only online video training and knowledge database – not offered by anyone else in Australia!
I’m Chris from Aqua Gardening, and thanks for watching.