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Thread: 30,000 gal swimming pool to Koi pond

  1. #1
    Tosai
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    30,000 gal swimming pool to Koi pond

    I have been seriously considering converting our pool into my 'Dream' Koi pond.
    I know there are a lot of things to consider, but right now my husband doesn't swim in it at all. I dive in several times a day as we have 100 degree F for over 30 days. I just watch him spending thousands of $ on chemicals, pump repair, brushing etc. He has to drain it annually as the H2O gets very hard. It was replastered and tiled about 4 yrs. ago. It has a de filter system w/ skimmer & bottom drain as most pools do. 1/3 is shaded all the time, does have tree debris, but so my current ponds. I want to be able to invest in some 'real' Koi and watch them grow to the max with no restrictions within reason of coarse. I understand the filter system has to go and koi ponds need 24/7 pump operations etc. What do you think?

  2. #2
    Sansai jimfish98's Avatar
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    if you are the sole user, go for it. Once the kids are gone, I would love to convert my 20kg to a pond.

  3. #3
    Tategoi bobbysuzanna's Avatar
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    One of the biggest problems with pool conversions is most people don't have enough bottom drains. Usually you need lots of drains to get your pool to turnover 1-2x an hour. Whatever you do get some help from a pond "specialist" to oversee the conversion. You may find the refit to be very expensive if done right. Best wishes, and if you do it take lots of pictures and keep us updated on progress.

  4. #4
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbysuzanna View Post
    One of the biggest problems with pool conversions is most people don't have enough bottom drains. Usually you need lots of drains to get your pool to turnover 1-2x an hour. Whatever you do get some help from a pond "specialist" to oversee the conversion. You may find the refit to be very expensive if done right. Best wishes, and if you do it take lots of pictures and keep us updated on progress.
    I agree, except I think the biggest problem with pool conversions is most people do not want to fully commit to the necessary changes because in the back of their mind, they think some day, somebody will want to convert the converted pool back to a swimming pool. When you start talking about replacing the bottom drains and making some permanent changes to the pool, people do not want to commit.

  5. #5
    Sansai almostgeorgia's Avatar
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    Smile

    Hi Shanon,

    I've seen this 'done' in my area a couple of times. But in both cases the attempts were made at an absolute minimum of cost, and frankly, the results were commensurate with the expenditures. So I guess it depends on what you want your project to look like aesthetically, and how 'healthy' you want the new home for your koi collection to be. But 30K gallons with some prudent stocking rates coupled with good genetics ought to help you grow some real 'big old gals'!

    First, as you pointed out, the filtration system must be completely replaced. And for electricity costs, you'll want to change out from a swimming pool pump or better still, multiple pumps, designed specifically for ponds. This equipment, as you probably already know, is much more efficient and cost effective in the long run. It sounds like you've got some ponding experience already, and with a new pond of this size you have no doubt considered the wisdom of multiple, independent pumps and water flow 'circuits' for skimmers, BDs, etc. One other thing, does your current pool have sufficient TPRs to move the water around? If not, additions would be a consideration in pool/pond retrofit.

    Second, I suspect your pool has steps leading into it. I've been told a good pool contractor can remove those and still leave your new pond fully intact, no leaks, cosmetically 'perfect', etc. You definitely want to consider doing this as you will otherwise be providing nice little graduated platforms for predators of every type and description to enter your pond.

    The pond retrofits I've observed also failed to cover over the swimming pool bottom and sides with a new layer of material, and the light, white swimming pool grew very unsightly with a splotchy layer of algae very quickly. You want the algae, of course, and could do nothing to stop its growth even if you wanted to. But it was an unsightly mess with the light colored surface showing through. You'd probably want to consult some pool experts on this, but I'd strongly suggest a resurfacing with a dark color. As an example, my shotcrete pool was lined with a black Hecht Rubber product. Between the dark colored algae and the black surface, my fish look like they are swimming over black velvet, which shows off the colors of the koi beautifully. Bright overhead lighting at night even heightens the color sensation.

    Last but not least, living in a high heat environment as you do, is your pond DEEP enough? This would add another whole magnitude of costs, but I know swimming pool bottoms can be 'knocked out' and the pool deepened; I'm sure that can get pretty expensive. Here's hoping your present pool is at least 6 feet deep, the minimum I'd consider if I was building a pond from scratch, especially in Texas.

    There are probably many other considerations I've not listed here, but hopefully this short list covers some things for you to 'ponder'.

    Good luck, tell us how it goes if you take on this ambitious project, or better still, share some photos of your progress. I can't think of a better upgrade to an under utilized swimming pool.

  6. #6
    Oyagoi kingkong's Avatar
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    No more swimming pool here. Don't let them scare you, piece of cake. Sure is better than buying acid and chlorine.
    changed color
    left steps
    plenty deep enourgh
    retro main drain
    add new filter
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 30,000 gal swimming pool to Koi pond-pond-ii-005.jpg  
    Last edited by kingkong; 08-07-2011 at 01:58 PM.

  7. #7
    Tosai
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    Ignorant on abbreviation! Tprs you mean the jets? Yes, 4 including the polaris port. Very powerful and fully adjustable. Also has a 3 shower outlets. It is 8 feet to 5 ft to 3 ft, yes there are Heron steps as well, Ouch!
    That bottom drain deal, need more than one? OMG! That is probably the one requirement that sucks the wind right out of my sail! Darn it, back to dreaming again.

  8. #8
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by almostgeorgia View Post

    Last but not least, living in a high heat environment as you do, is your pond DEEP enough? This would add another whole magnitude of costs, but I know swimming pool bottoms can be 'knocked out' and the pool deepened; I'm sure that can get pretty expensive. Here's hoping your present pool is at least 6 feet deep, the minimum I'd consider if I was building a pond from scratch, especially in Texas.
    That was a new one for me. I had only heard of the opposite... swimming pool bottoms being 'knocked out' for bigger drains and the pool made more shallow to about 6 feet deep.

    Note: It is easier to filter a 15,000 - 20,000 Koi pond than a 30,000 gallon pond.

    The last guy I talked to about this had an old concrete swimming pool with 1.5" copper pipe. He just could not accept the fact that were he lives, that now days, a swimming pool DOES NOT add to the value of a house. Just the opposite. He decided that he would rather sit with a swimming pool he never uses and save the pool for the next owner of his house.
    Last edited by ricshaw; 08-07-2011 at 02:23 PM. Reason: Note added

  9. #9
    Sansai almostgeorgia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingkong View Post
    No more swimming pool here. Don't let them scare you, piece of cake. Sure is better than buying acid and chlorine.
    changed color
    left steps
    plenty deep enourgh
    retro main drain
    add new filter
    Beautiful looking pond, KK. I'd still advise at least pricing out 'step removal' by an expert as I believe Shanon indicated her pond was not screened in as yours is, thus racoons, herons, etc., are always a concern.

  10. #10
    Sansai almostgeorgia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanon View Post
    Ignorant on abbreviation! Tprs you mean the jets? Yes, 4 including the polaris port. Very powerful and fully adjustable. Also has a 3 shower outlets. It is 8 feet to 5 ft to 3 ft, yes there are Heron steps as well, Ouch!
    That bottom drain deal, need more than one? OMG! That is probably the one requirement that sucks the wind right out of my sail! Darn it, back to dreaming again.
    Yes, TPRs are 'Tangential Port Returns.' I wouldn't necessarily share the concern about your bottom drain expressed elsewhere here. What is the size on that drain? Can you get enough water through it to turn your pond/swimming pool over in one to one and half hours or so? And how good is it at keeping the bottom of your current swimming pool relatively free of detritus?

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