About 2 years ago I started converting my pool into a natural pool.
This is the experiment thus far:
Originally the thinking was that I would run an aquaponics system around the pool to filter the water and return it to the pool.
I observed some of these aquaponics systems over time and realised that I was not into the idea of aquaponics or putting plants in rocks, I wanted real soil.
About 1.5 years ago, we had a really hot and unbearably dry spring here in Pretoria, South Africa.
I decided that it was time to look to desert permaculture for answers and came across wicking beds.
I built a few wicking beds, learned about the soil food web, and they are doing fantastically ... see pictures.
Now, back to this natural pool.
The pool was originally converted during a water shortage where I realised that chlorinated pool water was an unusable resource and plants would prefer non chlorinated chemical water.
For the first year, after some initial greening due to no more chemicals, plants and fish were added to the pool and it ran beautiful clear water for over a year.
The pool has tilapia, comets and goldfish and some koi. It is a fibreglass pool in a light shade of blue.
I noticed that the temperature in the pool kept rising. It had always been an icy mountain pool.
At first I thought it was the additional energy added by living things, but common sense said it was because moss had started attaching to the sides of the pool, changing the appearance of the water from a light blue to dark green.
This past winter the tilapia started dropping dead. I think it had to do with the variation in temperature change from summer to winter caused by the exposure to sun in summer and no sun (south facing mountain slopes) in winter.
I did not remove the dead fish from the pool because I'm observing the system adapt, and then got some lovely algae blooms in the form of green water in spring, due to excess nutrients.
The rough plan is to have the pool plant-less with some arums and water lilies on the step, to provide shelter for the fish, and so that the creepy (pool vacuum) can run along the bottom to suck up sludge.
The pool pump will circulate through a bog and return water to the pool. The bog will go up in the next month or 2.
Q1: is it possible to convert a pool pump into a sediment trap?
I plan to add a water plant nursery on the side of the pool, with 5 connected smaller ponds that will cycle through from the pool and flow back into it. This should give added aeration and provide niche habitats for additional fish food production (duckweed and daphnia).
I know that this is starting to sound like a deconstructed pond ecosystem, but it partly exists, has sun (which I don't have very much of), and seems like an interesting experiment.
Also cycling the pool water will be a set of wicking beds (probably short lived, fruit producing perennials)
Q2: has anyone tried wicking beds in an aquaponic setup? does it hold value for water clearing?
Excess water overflow will fall into a tilapia dam further down, not yet quite sure at which point to connect this to the system, but was thinking of some kind of self feeding fish system (duckweed) that will occasionally dump into the pond with overflow.
from there on the water system feeds the fruit trees and some edible gardens further down.
I will be posting updates on this system on this thread.
Comments, stories of failed similar systems, suggestions and epiphanies are most welcome.
Try harder, fail better... stay golden.
Eventually everything connects, keep doing the things
Why should I lose weight? They make bigger overalls. And they sure don't make overalls for tiny ads:
The Amazon is a feral forest garden?!?! | Class, Slides & Article