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Swimming Pool or Koi Pool?

Swimming Pool or Koi Pool?

Do you or someone you know have an unused or underutilized backyard swimming pool? If you’re no longer getting the most out of your pool, consider an update! Makeover that neglected pool into something that will add serenity and beauty in your backyard. Converting a swimming pool into a koi pond creates a welcoming addition to any space. And the conversion is much easier than starting a pond from scratch. So ask yourself – swimming pool or koi pool?

Remove the ladders in a pool-to-pond conversion and fill in the screw holes with putty.

Remove the ladders in a pool-to-pond conversion and fill in the screw holes with putty.

 Many koi keepers convert their swimming pools into koi ponds. If you already have a space in the ground dug out, then why not utilize it? Pools can make for an easy transition to pond if all the necessary steps are taken. First, drain out the chlorinated pool water. Once all the water has left the pool, you can remove the ladders, diving board, and any other pool accessories. Remember to patch any holes left from screws with putty.

If your pool is squared off with 90-degree edges, you’ll need to create baffles. These baffles will soften the harsh edges of a square pool and alleviate any pooling water in corners. There are a few different methods for creating baffles in a pond. One option is to lay bricks at a diagonal to edge off the corner. Stack the bricks up to the top of the pool. Another option is to use 1 x 12 boards. Stand it upright, angled in the corner. You may want to waterproof these boards with a layer of cement.

If your pool is square, you’ll have to round out the harsh edges to protect against pooling water.

If your pool is square, you’ll have to round out the harsh edges to protect against pooling water.

You’ll also need a new filtration system for your koi pond. Swimming pools use a high head filtration, which is low volume. These filters take eight hours to get through the whole pool, while koi pond filters can filter the entire pond in two hours. In addition to your new filtration, you’ll also need to install larger 4-inch diameter drainpipes. Add more for boosted filtration. Old pipes can simply be sealed off with cement to avoid the mess of removal.

What about steps? Most pools have steps for easy entrance. When converting to a koi pond, you can have these removed by a pool contractor for a seamless finish. Or, consider disguising steps with pond plants. These can be easily utilized as shelves for placing large potted plants to the edge of your pond.

Rocks and gravel along the edge of a pond can keep out runoff water and add a natural look to a converted swimming pool.

Rocks and gravel along the edge of a pond can keep out runoff water and add a natural look to a converted swimming pool.

Like any koi pond, you’ll need to add a raised edge to the pool to keep out runoff water from the yard. Runoff water can carry fertilizer and other chemicals that will damage the pond water and your koi. A raised edge can be as simple as adding a small strip of gravel and large rocks along the edge of the pool. Not only do these protect the water, but they also add an aesthetic appeal to the pond’s appearance and disguise any traces of the swimming pool of years passed.

Consider the depth of your pool. As most swimming pools are very deep, most koi keepers will not have to worry about it. But if you don’t think your pool will be deep enough for your koi, especially if you live in a hot and sunny climate, you may have to knock out one containing wall of the pool and build an attached deeper addition.

Converting an unused swimming pool into a koi pond is a great way to utilize the space.

Converting an unused swimming pool into a koi pond is a great way to utilize the space.

As a final makeover to the pool, paint it with an epoxy-like pool liner. This will be the biggest transformation from pool to pond. Make sure to purchase a paint that’s made especially for the job. These are hard to find in stores, so look online. Epoxy paint is not only aesthetic, but it also seals out all the pool chemicals from the new pond. It also protects the cement from small cracks that can become big leaks, making your koi pool a safe home for the fish.

 

Have you transformed a swimming pool into a koi pond? Share your experience with other koi connoisseurs via the contact form!

 

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