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 Post subject: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: Sep 17th, '12, 00:45 
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I have a friend who has what she refers to as her 'puddle' - a 10,000L pool which lays idle for most of the year. After witnessing the process and sampling the excitement of edible fish rearing in my big concrete tank, she is keen to find out what can be achieved with her own little puddle.
Oh, and of course, she wants to be able to have her usual dip in the puddle on a hot summer's day!
Planning has commenced and ideas will be floated here for comment. Advice and suggestions will be keenly sought.


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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: Sep 17th, '12, 01:32 
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I alway get jealous of people with their own pool! I have wanted to build a natural pool for years. One of my customers is an aquatic engineer, she however is indoctrinated in the church of chlorine. Of course her clients can not risk any chance of any one getting sick from their water. Disneyland is her largest client, and they really can not risk it. However she said that for personal use it might be cool. DandM's pool, though not officially aquaponic, is a terrific setup. IMHO the only way to improve it is to add some grow beds. The area with the pavers just outside the fence looks like a great place for them. The only challange is to remember to stock to grow bed capacity, and it could be real easy to forget that there are actually fish in that massive pool! Given the ammount of filtration that you may want, I might suggest building large growbeds and line with pond liner ala DecalsbyJT. To not have to worry about water levels fluxuating, constant flood might be best. That would also keep the water in contact with the media the longest to help filter the people gunk.

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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: Sep 17th, '12, 09:31 
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Thanks for your valuable input, RonMaggi. It is a shame about your chlorinated customer friend but it is easy enough to understand why Disneyland is very risk averse.
I was also thinking of situating grow beds in that paved area outside the fence that you indicated. If there is enough room I might be able to just use cut down IBCs - perhaps two or three halves - and therefore minimise the work required. I will be constrained by the horrible pool fence no matter what I do (unless I can get rid of it :think: ). If installing IBC grow beds means there is insufficient room for access then I may look at custom building grow beds as DecalsbyJT has done so beautifully, or sourcing narrower beds.
I was also thinking of incorporating a biofilter, perhaps after the grow beds and before the water returns to the puddle. My thinking here is that the growbeds/plants get first go at the ammonia and nutrients held by the solid waste while the biofilter cleans up the balance. I might need to install some sort of prefilter to strain out larger stuff like leaves, feathers, small dogs, etc.
The puddle isn't really massive, Ron, but is effectively equivalent to ten IBCs. I think it is the same size as DandM's pool, whose thread will be a constant source of reference.
I agree that constant flood does seem to be the way to go.

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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: Sep 17th, '12, 09:50 
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Looking forward to it PJ, make sure they jump on and become members at this most wonderful forum :wave1:

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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: Sep 17th, '12, 12:33 
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Having a young child, I would personally keep the fence. I don't know if your friend has small children, but I know that that little nuisance can save lives. Perhaps it could be incorporated into the design and be used for plant supports. Stucco's system also has some beautiful custom growbeds. Again, I look at that pool, and my mind run's crazy!

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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: Sep 17th, '12, 13:31 
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If someone could think of a clever way of doing it I'd split the pool in half and line the fish side with EPDM liner, gives you 5000l on both sides, good thermal stability and the ability to run the pool side as a pool with the current gear ( or drop sizes on equipment to save money).
Your friend will not like it in summer when you get algae bloom or real scruffy looking bioslime walls.

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If she's got a bit of cash, buy one of EB's big FT's stick it in the far end of the pool have it running higher than the level of the pool, you could support it on milk crates.


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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: Sep 17th, '12, 17:41 
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Just have fish that eat away at the bio slime.

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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: Sep 18th, '12, 00:27 
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Charlie wrote:
Looking forward to it PJ, make sure they jump on and become members at this most wonderful forum :wave1:
She is too shy, Charlie, and anyway I am doing the conversion and setup work so it is me that needs to ask the questions and analyse the advice.
Ronmaggi wrote:
Having a young child, I would personally keep the fence. I don't know if your friend has small children, but I know that that little nuisance can save lives. Perhaps it could be incorporated into the design and be used for plant supports.
You are very responsible, Ron. No small kids in this case, just city council by-laws dictating the pool fence requirement.
Sleepe wrote:
If someone could think of a clever way of doing it I'd split the pool in half and line the fish side with EPDM liner, gives you 5000l on both sides, good thermal stability and the ability to run the pool side as a pool with the current gear ( or drop sizes on equipment to save money).
An interesting idea but some people actually like the idea of swimming with the fish, ie overlaying the swimming and fish rearing functions as opposed to partitioning them. I think even with the puddle left in its whole state as we intend we should be able to adequately filter it without the big, expensive to run pool pump/filter currently installed. It could be used for short bursts, as required, perhaps charged with zeolite rather than sand in the manner of DandM's system.
Sleepe wrote:
Your friend will not like it in summer when you get algae bloom or real scruffy looking bioslime walls.
Haha, this is the same friend that happily swims and duck dives in my deep, dark and spooky concrete tank so I reckon no-one should presume to know how she will react when her puddle walls go slimy! :wink:
Besides, Silver Perch (Bidyanus bidyanus) is her fish of choice and from what I understand they don't mind a bit of bioslime either.
Happy to hear your views. :)

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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: Sep 18th, '12, 02:38 
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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: Sep 18th, '12, 04:33 
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On the second link there was a smilie that was drooling. I need that smilie for this thread...

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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: Sep 18th, '12, 09:07 
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As long as she knows what you are getting her into :) The purpose of the zeolites was to remove excess ammonia etc spikes which is why it could not be run full time, I would suggest incorporating UV into the system after the gbs and any extra filtration you put on.
It dosn't have to be full time so run a split back to the FT/pool so it isn't constantly running water through it and it can be taken out and cleaned.


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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: Sep 18th, '12, 19:16 
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I dont know how much room/sunlight there is to the left of the pic, but you could have some grow beds there that overflow into the pool to make a bit of a water feature. If you do find you are having problems with filtration you could even just some media there in the feature to help out. It has been a while since i have read DandM's thread so i cant recall the problems they faced.

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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: Sep 28th, '12, 21:57 
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Ronmaggi wrote:
Having a young child, I would personally keep the fence ... it could be incorporated into the design and be used for plant supports.
As tempting as it is to remove the pool fence, it has been decided to keep it in place and incorporate it into the grow bed structure. Thanks for your idea, Ronmaggi.

rsevs3 wrote:
I don't know how much room/sunlight there is to the left of the pic, but you could have some grow beds there that overflow into the pool to make a bit of a water feature.
There is sufficient sunlight to the left (west) of the pool, rsevs, so we will do as you suggest and put the grow beds there, hard up against the pool fence. Suitable oriented, the grow beds will still allow passage between them and the house. Thanks for your input.

The puddle is finally looking more like a pond than a pool after having its salt/chlorine cycle halted a few weeks ago. The next task is to tackle the removal of the useless pencil pines that flank the north and east walls of the pool area. This will allow space for the installation of 3-4 half barrel size tubs, plumbed in as grow beds for fruit trees.

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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: Sep 28th, '12, 22:58 
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I actually meant to say to the right of the photo! /faceplam

You already have plans for there anyway :D

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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: Oct 24th, '12, 15:44 
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Surprisingly enough, it seems that the council is happy for the pool fence to be removed, subject to a few 'minor' alterations to external doors and windows, and relocation of a gate. The shackles are now off and we can proceed on the assumption that the fence will not be there and so it will not need to be incorporated into the overall AP design. Got to be happy with that! :)

The pool water has been sitting for a couple of months now, been through the stringy algae stage and come back, and is now just evenly light green with masses of mosquito larvae. I tested it this morning and the results are as follows:
pH: 7.6+
Ammonia: 0
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 0

I suppose this is about what you would expect from a fishless body of water.
I thought I might introduce a few big goldfish as my 'canaries in a coal mine' and, assuming they live, to clean up the larval life in the puddle.
While the goldies are hard at work I will start designing the system in detail. At this stage the puddle will be filtered by 6 x half drum (100L) fruit tree GBs, 2 x 350L IBC section GBs and a 200L drum biofilter.

Any thoughts concerning this approach, good bad or indifferent?

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