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by Tracy Hoffman September 05, 2019 3 min read

Have you dreamed of creating a natural, environmentally friendly oasis in your garden. It is easy to turn your unused swimming pool into a stunning natural pond which will encourage birds, frogs, bees and more to visit and make their home in your garden. Add ornamental or even edible fish, water plants and water lilies and you have the perfect place to sit, relax and enjoy your ever changing pond environment. We have many customers who have successfully converted their pools and love the results.

Follow these easy tips for success:

- Turn off your pool equipment and allow the chlorine to evaporate out of your pool system.

- If you have a salt water pool you may need to dilute or change your water - salt does not evaporate it merely concentrates as the water level drops. Have the salt level tested, this is very important as both algae and fish can survive much higher salt levels than water plants and water lilies. A green pool is not an indication that your pond is ready for plants.

- Once the salt level is below 1500 parts per million it is safe to add plants to your pool. 

- The number one most important ingredient for successful conversion of your pool to a pond is plants and very large numbers of them, around 70% coverage is recommended. The aim is to not only create a healthy environment for local wildlife but to also create an attractive environment that you can enjoy, which means clear water. You should be able to see to the bottom of your pond, algae on the sides, bottom and all surfaces of the pond is natural and healthy and should always be there, however, your pond water should be clear.

- We recommend large numbers of water lilies and in particular some of our all year round varieties. If your pond is greater than 1m deep you may need to create shallower areas for successful plant growth. We have many customers who have successfully used large tubs or even old plastic tables to create shallow areas for mass planting.

- Pool stairs are often ideal for marginal water plants such as reeds and rushes, these will create a bit of height and soften the edges of the pond.

- Floating baskets containing plants can also be used to create coverage in deep areas.

- Fish are an important component in any pond system. Large numbers of fish, particularly goldfish, will control string algae. An average sized pool will require a couple of hundred goldfish to achieve control of string algae (don't worry you don't have to buy these all at once, build your numbers over time). Goldfish require minimal care, you can even choose not to feed them as there is always food available in a large pond system. With large numbers of plants, it is possible to have a variety of fish including Australian Natives like Pygmy Perch as well as native wildlife including frogs and tadpoles co-habitating, there is enough room for everyone.

- We recommend decomissioning your costly inefficient pool pump completely and replacing it with a submersible pond pump, often just a large fountain pump will be sufficient. We also have solar pump options available. 

- If you are wishing to turn your pool into a large Koi pond with minimal plants then a filtration system will need to be considered, we recommend visiting us for more in depth advice on how to set up a natural plant filtration system on it's own or in combination with pond filtration equipment.

- Lastly and most importantly, be patient. It will take some time for your pond's eco system to balance, allow 6 months after you have sufficient numbers of plants and fish in your system. The addition of healthy bacteria and zeolite will help speed up this process.