To mark the occasion above is a photograph of the pool with chlorine at zero. To celebrate I threw in a coupe of hand fulls of duck weed.
After a bit of research -- still pending -- I've begun the ecological adventure of turning our dixie cup swimming pool into a "natural swimming pool' --complete with fish.
Can it be done by Mr Everyday amateur ecologist/marine biologist such as I? Is it worth the effort?
Let's see shall we.
The major challenge at the moment is collecting enough aquatic plants to service the pool. They don't come cheap so I'm looking around for the best oxygenators I can find and trying to propagate those.
The plant element has two aspects: the flora itself and the grit it is supposed to grows. The trick is to deny the plant nitrates from its rooting bed so that it seeks its nutrients from the water alone. Where possible, therefore, you don;t grow in zoil or mud but gravel.
Not all aquatics appreciate that regime --so it will be an exercise in experimentation.
In the meantime I am beginning to monitor the sort of currents I can engineer. The trick is to ensure that the water is always drawn over the plant beds so that biology can get to work on any nasties.
The plant beds will at least be at two depths -- shallow for marginal plants and another bed for deep water plants (such as lillies). Betwixt are the floaters.
The line across the pool is a floating board designed to separate the plant zone from the swimming zone. Note that this divides the pool into two halves serving two separate functions.
The water is also circulated by a pump which draws water from the bottom of the pool and cascades it through the air as an oxygenating way of returning it. My hope is that I can run the pump on occasion rather than much of the time.
The pumping regime required is, for the moment, an unknown.
I had experimented with wood floats to separate the two pool zones, but instead purchased some very cheap "swim noodles" to stretch across the diameter of the pool.
Concern about 'lack of nitrates' to fuel plant growth in the pool that must be now after years of chlorination very sterile.. Duckweed isn't very green after 5 days in situ. The irony is that the plants are supposed to function to reduce nitrates.
Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2007