Natural swimming pool

Any thing to do with swimming pools, fish ponds, or other man made structures which hold water (but not wells for drinking water).

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Natural swimming pool

Postby Mitch » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:47 pm

Been checking around about natural swimming pools in Thailand - not much info - Has anyone successfully created one here?
I intend to make an earthbag resort and natural swimming pool in Rayong soon any info to any NSP would be much appreciated
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Re: Natural swimming pool

Postby jazzman » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:08 am

What kind of natural pool do you want to create, as opposed to a normal concrete, glass-fibre, or vinyl pool? Is it going to be with dirt walls/floor? How do you propose to organise the sanitation? Bathing in natural waters such as large rivers, lakes, and the sea, is fairly safe but the water is constantly on the move, and is oxygenated. Extreme care is however required to avoid a 'natural' pool from becoming a stagnant pond.
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Re: Natural swimming pool

Postby Mitch » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:53 am

Thank you Jazman for your reply
The total area is 10m across by 15m long.
I know I need to use 50% of my area for the regeneration zone and I need to dig deep 3-4 meters I will keep the water moving and will have a gravity water feature as a skimmer. Also using fountains at night to cool the water temperature.

Now I an trying to make this as possible on a limited budget. So I am thinking of either using reinforced concrete over the whole organic form with sloping sides laid in one batch.

Or I am thinking of using block work and rebar.

I am looking to finish the topcoat of the swimming area with dyed blue polished concrete.

I understand that there are a lot of issues in this climate but biotop have recently been holding sales seminars in Phuket so it must be possible.

Jazman you are obviously knowledgable in this field what do you think ?
Do you currently have a NSP or do you plan making one?

Look forward to hearing back from you

Regards Steve.
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Re: Natural swimming pool

Postby jazzman » Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:08 am

Well, I'm a pool professional, but to be quite honest I know next to nothing about natural pools. My focus of knowledge is on the construction of in-ground concrete pools, with industry-standard filtration systems and chemical sanitation. A hole 3 - 4 metres deep is extremely deep and will be expensive to excavate. I realise that doing one's bit for the environment is highly laudable, but very often it is not the most economical solution. You may find that a normal pool may fit more aptly into your budgetary requirements. Do ask around near you for some quotes for finished pools (they will differ greatly) , and then compare with your costs of excavation, concrete with waterproofing agent, rebar, etc. remember that the best 'waterproof' concrete also needs some added waterproofing that is usually provided by the tile adhesive, tiles, and grout, or other (more expensive) coverings. If it comes to the crunch, with all the advice here on CTH, you could build your own standard pool and make significant savings.
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Re: Natural swimming pool

Postby Mike Judd » Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:31 am

I would have to agree with Jazzman, build a natural LOOKING pool by all means, with the Pebblegrete finish on sloping sides that look like a beach going into a free form lagoon shape pool. Maybe a few granite boulders or what ever scattered around the edge with tropical plants should finish it off for the look you want. The main thing is water you can swim in that's safe and clean. I think I achieved that look as much as possible with a pool in Sydney 20yrs ago.
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Re: Natural swimming pool

Postby Mike Judd » Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:52 am

If you want to look at what I'am talking about refer to "Everything you need to know for your first swimming pool " page 5 in the swimming pool post. I think it would be more practical, less trouble and cheaper in the long run. Especially as once the pool itself is built, the surrounding areas can be added later as the ideas flow and the money is available.
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Re: Natural swimming pool

Postby schuimpge » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:34 am

Building an NSP will mostly depend on the required Bio Filtration. So what you need to determine first is: how many people swim in there daily/weekly? Then of course, you are also going to keep fish in there? Since Mosquitos would otherwise take over your house. What type of fish? How many? And how will you control that population from not taking over you pool?

I have build a pond of 10x5 meters at work, with only mechanical and bio filtration. Obviously for fish only, but I would have no problem swimming in it if there was less fish, less aggressive ones. Budget build at 80k Thai Baht
Bio filters that are 50% in size of the water surface area, should do more than enough for keeping your water safe and clean for swimming. Keep small groups of colorful fish in there that will eat mosquito eggs.

Dept of the pool is not that important, 1.5m is more than enough. Surface area in your bio-filter is what does the trick.
The bigger the better and bigger means more plants, more flowers so not a difficult choice.
You need minimum 2 drains, bottom and skimmer. Both end up into a settling tank that will keep heavy/large particles from getting into the Bio filter.
From the settling tank, a pump will transfer the water to the bottom of the bio filter from where it goes up trough the stones and roots, then overflows (clear and clean) back into the pool.

Can't be any simpler than that..
Cheers
Luc
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Re: Natural swimming pool

Postby Mitch » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:03 pm

Thanks for all your advice. Under my impression the NSP had to be deep to keep the water cool but Luc said that 1.5 meters was sufficient - So I could have 2 pools one for swimming and one for the plants and fish. The water would be oxygenated and on the move - would like to use a solar pump.
Luc do you have any pics of your pool ?
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Re: Natural swimming pool

Postby schuimpge » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:30 pm

If you check monsterfishkeepers.com..
Search for arapaima pond.
There's a day by day description of the build with all details explained.

Your basic idea should work, but you have to understand the bio-part of it.
The Bog, (the actual filter) is an area filled with stones and plants will grow in there.
There are 2 types of filtration going on in there.
- plant growth. Plants will grow and get there food from the water.
- bacterial breakdown of waste in the water.

Plant growth happens when there's light, photo-synthesis will start this process, building blocks coming out of the (waste) water and the air.
So for this part, solar driven pump would be no problem.

However, there are bacteria that grow in the water on the surface of the stones. These bacteria can't take sunlight, but they are essential in this system. They break down ammonia. There are a couple of steps involved, but the basic thing is that you need them for a good working natural pond.
These bacteria colonies grow with more food and die within hours after the food source is cut off.
So it's essential to keep the pump running 24/7 and keep those bacteria well fed.

If you don't, you get a wave-like pattern of waste levels going up and down which means stress for fish and almost asking for Algae.
So you need to run a pump 24/7.

It is also good to keep your water cooler, as night-time is cool, water circulating and that means a much better cooling down.
My pond is about 130cm at the deepest, average 1 meter I guess. But temperature stays below 30 degrees in the hottest periods of the year.
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Re: Natural swimming pool

Postby schuimpge » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:37 pm

http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/forum ... ild/page45

That's a link to my pond at work.
Low cost, budget build, not a stunning looking pond, but maintenance free except for the absolute crazy growth of plants.
We almost literally cut down all the plants in one bog at a time, within 4-6 weeks its back up to 2 meters again..
We alternate this between the 2 bogs.
Pond is for my lovely monster, Mr.T...he loves it and has gained substantial weight and length in just 1 year in the pond.

We never change water, it's been clear ever since the filters kicked in...
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Re: Natural swimming pool

Postby schuimpge » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:47 pm

http://youtu.be/kQQ2AIMTHbM

This short video shows the bog that was just cut down days before.
Now 6 weeks later, the small row of plants in the front are half a meter high and make a continuous row of leaves and flowers.
I have the same size plants in a stagnant area of water and they are not even 1/3 of the size in the same time.
Fish waste is like steroids, use it to spray your orchids and other plants and you'll be amazed how they start growing and flowering like a maniac.
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Re: Natural swimming pool

Postby Mitch » Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:03 pm

Thanks Luc the water in your pond is chrystal clear
Couple of Q's
I'm gonna shape it like a soup bowl
What do you reckon liner or reinforced concrete ?
I see you have a cage around is that for the birds ?
Could I keep the fish only in the planed area?
Do you have any more details of your pump system?

Thank you

Regards Steve
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Re: Natural swimming pool

Postby schuimpge » Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:57 pm

Mitch wrote:Thanks Luc the water in your pond is chrystal clear
Couple of Q's
I'm gonna shape it like a soup bowl
What do you reckon liner or reinforced concrete ?
I see you have a cage around is that for the birds ?
Could I keep the fish only in the planed area?
Do you have any more details of your pump system?

Thank you

Regards Steve


Mine is basically half a bowl that's a bit stretched...so no problem for a shape like that.
Liner or concrete...I was really on a very tight budget, so liner was the only choice.
But I would go concrete at least for the filter/bog...plants growing, pressure from roots, you want to enjoy without worries. Liner, if laid down properly, will not give much trouble for the swimming pool. You only have to think about the bottomdrain, which needs to be secured/fitted properly. But If its a recreation pool with kids playing around, I would go concrete.

The cage has two functions...
Keeping the fish in. Since arapaima are good jumpers, I did not want to take a chance. Saved my butt at least once. He jumped, fence held up and he rolled back in. (quite the sight, a 150cm long Black and Red fish jumping like that..)
The other function was to keep sun and birds out. Birds might give Mr.T a reason to jump after them...

You could keep fish only in the planted area...sure.
To make sure they stay there, you just have to build kind of a stone dam that lets water through, flow back in the pool and keep the fish in the filter...

My system is very simple..
A bottomdrain from the pond is connected with a 120cm diameter settling tank. The water comes in, spins around and heavy particles will settle at the bottom.
This tank and the pond are like connected vessels. Water level in both is the same.
So I drop a pump in the tank...pump water into the filter and of course the pond will push water into the tank..
The filter back to the pond is just gravity..overflows from the filter to the Koi Pond and back into the main pond.
From there, it goes back into the drain, to the settling tank and the circle is complete..

If the pump stops....all water levels just settle to the same height in every part of the system.
Easy, fool proof, Thai PEA proof..
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Re: Natural swimming pool

Postby schuimpge » Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:01 pm

Not sure where you are located, the pond is in Navanakorn, 1 hour north of Bangkok, feel free to come and have a look anytime?
Just PM me...feeding is a sight to behold..red tail cat and the arapaima both hovering there and being hand fed like babies..big babies at 40 and 150 cm...lol
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Re: Natural swimming pool

Postby Mitch » Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:57 pm

Thanks so much Luc would be great to see your setup and those hungry fish at feeding time - I will be starting the excavation in about 10 weeks the location is Ban Pae Rayong but at the moment I live in Khonkaen. I will be excavating then I will use the earth to make a house for me and small resort (earthbag)
How much was your liner ?
Is it 5 x10 ?
How did you secure your bottom drain?

I am on a tight budget too and wondered if there was like a factory direct place for the liner as thailand produces so much rubber ???

Thanks again you are very helpful and I will definitely arrange to pay you a visit

Regards Steve
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