Is it possible to convert a regular pool to a natural swimming pool using just floating planters alone!? I'm thinking half the pool could be floating planters (to filter the water). Would it work? It certainly would require very little money and infrastructure, hence the appeal. Cheers. Thanks for any thoughts and suggestions. Nick.
My guess is that it won't be enough. It will cool the water somewhat and add oxygen, keeping pathogens down. They will eventually die and sink to the bottom where they will up to the phosphorus levels. Phosphorus being the most important factor for algae growth. Helophytes take up to 30% of dissolved phosphorus, they grow in gravel substrate, which adds the benefit of having a large surface for a biofilm to adhere to. Other dense submerged fixed vegetation will take up 40% of dissolved phosphorus.
Do you think of using nets to keep the floaties out of the swimming part of the bassin?
I have read about larch constructions containing gravel and helophytes of a third of the pool, but that is costly.
I am busy building a natural swimming pond with a friend, i looked into the subject but defo not a pond god.
Is the OP thinking floating planters or floating plants?
Floating planters should keep any dead bits from sinking,plus they can contain media for bacteria and redwrigglers to live in,perlite might work.
A ring of floaty stuff, perlite concrete perhaps,with a long,deep,nylon window screen "bag" in the center, weighted down with a gravel /Perlite mix. Plant with cat tails, reeds or willows.
Actually willows sound best, established roots, a steady supply of cuttings,no fruit to deal with, hard to kill.
Floating plants tend to multiply rapidly,sucking up those nutrients,so everyday maintenance(composting) would be a must.
Thanks for your help Hugo and William. To answer your question Hugo, floating planters, not floating plants. I have a bunch of additional questions if you have time?
So it sounds maybe doable then?
What would help my cause that's also super cheap/recyclable/scavenge-able?
Could I use polystyrene boxes? Or would that degrade over time and pollute the water?
I assume perlite floats, hence why I should make my "food filter" from it?
How much food scraps/compost does a 40,000l pool require?
How do I transition from a regular (chlorinated) pool to natural? Do I let it go green for a bit then begin planting etc?
What are some problem signs to watch out for?
Any other tips or suggestions?
In Amsterdam they have these floating isles to clean the water. And i found this video about how to make them on the cheap. No problem with polysterene bits breaking off. Is this video showing? I'm new here. It's on you tube and called How to Build a Floating Plant Island
It's better to start if the water is chlorine free, although i read that studies found some plants don't mind chlorine. But i don't know what plants you can get your hands on. So wait until it starts to get green, if you want to be sure.
I don't know if throwing waste in the water is a good idea. I personally wouldn't start there.
Maybe stop taking all the leaves out that blow in.And to kickstart a mini eco system you can go out to a healthy looking ponds or lakes and add some of the water, it's crawling with microscopic life, you are starting from scratch.
Watch your floating isle plants, if they go yellow maybe add urea that doesn't contain phosphorus.
Are you going to use rainwater for fillup? Airstones?
I can imagine the tiles are gonna get green as well , probably snails are gonna come. But i don't know which ones are "good" snails and which ones to avoid. Maybe William knows.
I am curious to follow your case, because i know clients of mine who want to go your way as well, so keep posting please. It'll be a huge change getting chlorine out of pools.
posted 1 year ago
Thanks Hugo. Interesting find. Nice one thanks. I will start planning and check back in when I got some progress! Thanks again.
posted 5 months ago
I've been working on the idea and made a video about it. I look forward to your thoughts, suggestions and feedback. Thanks
I love everything about it!
The modularity, reversibility,the plans A,B,C and D.
They all are amazing.
I imagine you are going to go with peat moss or coconut coir soil maybe woodchips or sawdust but absorbent and low nutrient no matter what.
So damned cool, stacking, reversible functionality,designed with iteration in mind, again, hell yeah!
Wow wow wow. Thanks William for the compliments. Very encouraging! I love the idea of peat moss or coconut coir but I'm going with rocks because it's TOO buoyant. I probably should have only used 3 milk cartons per crate (lying sideways in the crate). That would have required about 1/3 the weight on top to suitably submerge. I need roughly 30kg/66 pounds per crate to sink it the right amount. So hopefully the structure is up to that!!! I did a test with just 2 zip ties (not 14) on a bottle filled crate with 45kg/100 pounds above and they did not snap or even seemed that stressed. So in theory (I think) i have ample strength....?
Stone seems like it might a pain to move.
Sand will be low nutrient and heavy,heavier still when wet,so less of it overall.
I guess it depends on what you have on hand.
You could pierce one out of every 3 jugs, allowing the to flood.
You could also use jugs full of water for weight, lots easier moving empty jugs and filling them in place than moving a bunch of stone.
Since you will need places to step without compressing your growing medium, prehaps 5 gallon buckets of water, their lids being stepping stones?
Maybe just regular stepping stones will be enough.
About the nutrient levels, if you are collecting rainwater anyway, you might use it to displace the water in the pool, and move that water to the landscape.
Once the water is clear enough, let your floating filters take over.
Of course, they might be able to handle things from the start.
Really, a cool build you got going there, I'm sure you will come up with something elegent for your next step.
Thank you for sharing!
Thanks Pearl and William. I think I may be stuck with rocks as I already moved 2 tonne onto the platform. There are some advantages to this design (very buoyant offset by very heavy), a persons weight barely impacts the structure by comparison. So it feels solid when you get on it. Also by using rocks, the weight to buoyancy ratio won't change much (other than plant matter) and roots can weave there way right into the crates and beyond, hopefully adding structural integrity. Sand unfortunately would fall through, unless I cover the platform in weed mat (or something) but then roots would struggle to work their way through. Sand above the water line would get heavier when it rains and potentially sink the platform beyond the desired amount and (I think) never dry out again. Is that right or have I confused myself?
The disadvantage of my approach is everything you mentioned and I'll add, if it breaks, it could be dangerous and a hell of a job to clean up. In hindsight, i should of explored lighter options but hopefully this will still be ok.
Re nutrients, I do plan on sending rainwater directly into the pool via a nearby roof. We are coming into a very dry summer here so won't expect much anytime soon. So I'll attempt to work with the water I have. Fingers crossed!
Wow! That's a proper job. Good recycling! You got enough plant volume and cleaning capacity, you could keep a hippo in there and still have clear water. I got my own tiny pond as an example. It's about 5000 litres , it got green this summer(fish).Me and my friend we are finishing a natural swimming pond, and he had leftover pouzzolane , i build a little set up to clear the water. 100 liter cement barrel filled with pouzzolane. Had the strong air pump on every day for 15 minutes or so (Butler style), so it pumped water out of the pond into the cement barrel, and made an overflow on the bottom that forces the water through all substrate before it can leave the barrel, back into the pond. and a big air stone that i hung in the pond as well, and it became very clear a month and a half later. 5 Iris roots i added, they grew quite big now. Irisses are helophytes, they live in mud, which is very lacking in oxygen, they have this clever root trick. They push out air into the mud, oxygenating it so good bacteria break down whatever material is there into nutrients that the plant then can take up. Except there is no mud but this porous rock with miles of interior surface for bacteria to cling to , to filter out the algae and so on and make plantfood for the irisses.
You can grow a whole garden there! Check out the urban farming guys on youtube, they will definitely know how to handle such a mega hydroponic system.
I tried to sent photos, but it didn't work, i'll upload them one by one now.