Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, April 12, 2021

Having gone through an aquarium-keeping phase, I quickly recognized a familiar principle behind the workings of “natural pools”, the ecologically and aesthetically pleasing alternative to traditional chlorinated backyard swimming holes:

Materials and designs vary — the pools can be lined with rubber or reinforced polyethylene, as in the case of Total Habitat’s, and may look rustic or modern — but all natural pools rely on “regeneration” zones, areas given over to aquatic plants that act as organic cleansers.

The pools have skimmers and pumps that circulate the water through the regeneration zone and draw it across a wall of rocks, loose gravel or tiles, to which friendly bacteria attach, serving as an additional biological filter. Unlike artificial ponds, which tend to be as murky with groundwater runoff and sediment from soil erosion as the natural ponds they’re modeled on, in a natural pool the water is clear enough to see through to the bottom.

This is basically cycling, the method of achieving a self-sustaining fishtank. The way to get a nice-looking aquarium that hosts healthy fish is to help beneficial waste-eating bacteria establish themselves, as part of an overall biochemically-balanced water ecosystem. External filters and natural plants also do their part. In essence, the tank should (mostly) clean itself.

Natural pools depend on the same setup on a larger scale, complete with plants and biofilters. It’s all about keeping the pH balanced, and letting the chemistry work over time to hit the balance, versus dumping chlorine for a quick-fix system shock.

Maybe hyping the fishtank similarities is the way to make it popular. Call it the “Family Aquarium” or something, where you can school with your spouse and children… And peeing in this pool? Go ahead — it’s bioengineered to handle it!

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 04/12/2021 11:28:10 PM
Category: Creative, Science
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