Carnivorous Pitcher Plant

Carnivorous Pitcher Plant
one of the first plants in our swim pond

Sunday, 21 October 2012

First Swim for the season! At last!

Well at last we have had a few hot days and the pool is warm enough for swimming! I have been anxious to get in there and see if I can spot the cause of the ongoing algae problem.

A few months ago we added 4 large pots with water lillies from another pond
We over filled them, leaving not enough room for the sand layer. We did put sand on but when this algae problem persisted I wondered whether the pots were the problem.

Yesterday when I had my first look underwater - right enough - the tops of the pots looked like pure mud. There was definitely too little sand to seal them. So I spent a happy couple of hours with a bucket of sand and a cup, and mask and snorkel, filling them with sand.

Today I snorkelled again with a siphon hose and removed the algae around the pots and plants. It all looks much neater now.

I have also started my aqua scraping of the underwater landscape. I have finally got my main log to sink. I have it standing upright so from underwater it looks like a tree trunk. I have planted 2 "epiphytes" on it and I'm quite pleased with its potential. From above water the log stands above the surface and I like its look there too.

With my siphon hose I was able to uncover the aquarium plants I put in at the end of last summer. Some have survived, some have thrived, but some are lost.

The submerged plants which thrived are elodea (no surprise there!), lilaeopsis which is covering the surface of two Lilly pots, and moneywort (both submerged and floating). At least I think it is moneywort. You can see a large mass of it with purple flowers floating in the attached photos. (Please let me know if you can confirm its identity.)

Unfortunately the hair grass did not survive even where I planted it in shallow water. I'll probably try that again though.

The valniseria became covered in the hair algae and has survived but not thrived. Maybe now I have uncovered it it will do better.

The big tadpoles have left the pool, now about 8 months from when they started. Our native blue eyes have multiplied and have long fins. They are lovely to see while snorkelling.

Once again the natural pool is providing hours of exercise and interest. Love it!


  1. Can I ask you what plants you have found successful both under the water and on the waters edge. I am in South Brisbane and we are building a swim pond with an attached but separate aquaponic unit.
    Also, did you ever introduce those Red shrimp?

  2. Hi. No we haven't introduced the shrimp - I am afraid that they would prevent me from vacuuming to pool. I would hate to vacuum them all up!
    At the moment we have an algae problem (brought on by I adequately sealing the water Lilly pots) and the pants in the pool are covered. I am hoping to get in there later this week to vacuum up the algae and see what has survived.
    However I know still have Valeria, lilaeopsis, sword plants, lots of water lillies and lotus, reeds, bulrushes, irises, water chestnuts, insect eating plant (I've forgotten it's name), water poppy.
    Good luck with your pool. Let me know how it goes. BTW we have hundreds of Pacific BlueEyes ( small fish). They obviously like the conditions, and hopefully are helping with any mozzies!

  3. Thank you for sharing. I have a few questions:
    1. I have a pool that needs the liner replaced and am curious about turning it into a natural pool instead. Do I need to put in a new liner? Fill in the sides & bottom with cement? Or is there a cheaper option?
    2. What is the estimated cost of conversion?
    Thanks so much.

  4. Thanks for sharing this beautiful information on your blog. I really love to have my own made pond but it seems to be a tough job to maintain it as due to regular problems like dirt and algae. Can you please advice on how should I start and please keep on posting.

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    1. Connie, my experience is that this pool needs LESS maintenance than a standard chlorinated pool. Perhaps it depends what style of pool you want. For instance we are happy with a pool that has lots of insects and plant life. We don't need a pristine bottom on the pool. But the pool is very swimable. And in winter we still have all of the life that revolves around the pool, and the plants to enjoy.

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