A swimming pool involves costly construction and an arsenal of chemicals, but only if you go for the chlorinated water type. There are natural swimming pools with fish designs gaining popularity right now, and for all the right reasons. Instead of depending on chemical compounds to keep the water clean, these pools harness the power of nature, and what’s even more interesting, fish become part of the ecosystem and can devour the algae, preventing their growth.
To build a natural swimming pool yourself, you will need some materials, a willingness to work on a project that might consume some time and effort, and a location for its placement. We will delve into the nitty-gritty details immediately so that you can build the swimming pool of your dreams.
10 directives for building a natural swimming pool of your own
Building this type of pool in your backyard or garden shouldn’t be a costly affair. By following the advice displayed below, you will be able to build a beautiful swimming pool with clean water in which fish will thrive. Not to mention, you will have a great time when spending time in the pool. So, here are 10 directives to follow for creating this space on your property without headaches and setbacks.
Avoid complicated designs
Especially since the chances are that this project is the first of its kind for you, here is the starting point: don’t focus on a complicated design. While on paper, many things may sound fantastic, such as cascades, little fountains, and whatnot, you might end up with a project that never seems to end on your hands.
Mind your budget
You must bear in mind what kind of money you have at your disposal for this project. Nothing could be worse, but to have the hole for the swimming pool dug out only to have to wait for materials or workers that you haven’t factored in when calculating the costs.
Opt for a flat-bottomed pool
To reduce costs and ensure that your swimming pool has as simple a design as possible, go for one with a flat bottom. While other swimming pools offer the possibility to use different depths to create areas destined for leisure and swimming, natural designs work better with this type of bottom construction. Not only will the expenses be kept to a minimum, but you will also notice that maintenance is much simpler.
Go for a box-shaped design
Like all pools, a natural design needs a liner. Manufacturers can provide box-shaped liners at competitive costs since they are easy to make. While it’s all about costs, you will also notice other essential advantages. For instance, you will find a place for a box-shaped pool much easier, especially if you don’t have a lot of room in your backyard or garden.
A comfortable depth is 5 feet
The calculations have already been done. A swimming pool is inexpensive when you don’t have to dig too deep and raise high walls. The higher the walls go above the ground, the more reinforcing materials will be needed, which leads to additional costs. A depth of 5 feet is considered comfortable and safe for diving, so that’s the recommendation we have for you.
Be mindful of correct zoning
While you may be used to the idea of a swimming pool being a hole in the ground with reinforced walls, a natural swimming pool differs in the sense that it must have something called zoning. You have the area dedicated to swimming, and you also have another for vegetation and filtration. About half of the surface of your pool should be devoted to the latter.
Since a natural swimming pool doesn’t use chlorine for filtration, it needs something else. The filtration system is made from natural plants and vegetation that substitute chlorine.
Hide the pool fittings
For a seamless design, it would be good to stay away from a complicated system of pipes. The more bends and corners the piping system has, the more chances for them to get damaged. Also, they are unsightly, so hiding them with vegetation or a net is a good idea.
Plan the drainage carefully
The place for your pool should be one that can be naturally drained, but without the risk of turning your entire garden into a swamp. If you have a well or a borehole to direct the drainage from the pool to it, that’s ideal. Even if you use pipes and fittings, make sure to limit the risk of accidents.
Black liner is ideal for your natural swimming pool
Among the choices you will have to make when you build your natural swimming pool is what type of liner to use. Professionals recommend the use of black liner because of its heat-retaining abilities. Since you might want to heat your pool, this simple choice will reduce the costs in the long run.
Make sure you have all the tools and materials needed before starting the work
Proper planning can save you a lot of grief, which is why this advice should never be overlooked regardless of the type of project you’re investing your time in. For a natural swimming pool, you will need materials such as cement, gravel, clay, sand, boards, and fittings. As for tools, you will need a hammer, a saw, a shovel, a pair of pliers, a mixer, plumbing equipment, and a level.
What are the advantages of a natural swimming pool over one with chlorinated water?
Chlorine is used to treat the water in a swimming pool to prevent algae growth. However, it is a chemical that can affect your eyes, hair, and skin. In case you’ve been wondering about the advantages of a natural design over one with chlorinated water, here are a few.
You will enjoy swimming in clean, high-quality water. With no need for chlorine, and using nothing but the natural filtration processes offered by carefully picked vegetation, your pool will be clean and beautiful all the time.
From the beginning, this type of pool will cost less, and its maintenance expenses are also reduced. You only have to be careful about keeping the ecosystem in check. You can have fish, but there are some rules to abide by, as you will see a bit later.
You will be glad to see how adaptable natural pools are. You won’t have to go with a muddy bottom if that’s not something you like. Homeowners can design their natural swimming pools to resemble traditional designs to the later. The filtration system is what makes the most crucial difference, after all.
Your pool is eco-friendly. Besides the fact that you’re not using chemicals to filtrate the water, you are helping the environment by introducing plants and vegetation into the water filtration cycle. No matter which way you look at this type of pool, it is green to the letter.
A natural swimming pool doesn’t require the same time-consuming and expensive maintenance as a traditional pool. You don’t need to invest in chemicals and special pool services, and overall, you will notice that such a pool requires a lot less attention on your part.
In winter, you don’t have to worry about your pool. It will just freeze in the same manner as bodies of water in the wild, and you don’t need to do anything to preserve it in good shape.
How can you have fish in a natural swimming pool?
Since we’re talking about natural swimming pools with fish in them, let’s focus a little on this particular aspect. You can keep a small population of fish in the swimming pool, but be careful to prevent them from going from the main area to the aqua-garden where the natural filtration system is in place. As for what type of fish would work well with this type of design, you should know that goldfish – around 10-12 of them – are a good option.
Koi fish, while they may look beautiful, are quite aggressive, and they can destroy roots and plants. Another thing you should bear in mind is that you shouldn’t feed your fish or very little. They should become a part of the ecosystem you created by eating the newly formed algae. If you’re worried that the fish will die, having nothing to eat, fret not. They will quickly find sources of food, and you will find it relaxing and enjoyable to see them frolicking happily in the water by your side.
Fish will devour all the fuzzy green growing on rocks and walls, so they soon contribute to keeping the pool water clean. If you want to find a fish species that does a great job of cleaning your pool, you should know that blue tilapia is particularly useful.
Also, bear in mind that the fish swimming in the water shouldn’t be a nuisance to the people using the pool. That is why you should only opt for a small population to begin with.