We built the fish-pond essentially to store water for hot days when
we could use it for irrigating our fields as well.
Then we thought….wouldn’t it be wonderful to cool off by splashing
around in a pool which was free of all chemicals and enjoy a swim
with the fish?
A bit of research, useful help from friends/experts and many hours
of sheer labour later, we have a fine bio-pool/fish pond at Satya-jyoti
So what is a bio-pool?...... The idea comes from recreating nature
as it exists, by learning from nature and the balance that nature
seeks. A bio-pool is like a natural pond. It has several depths of
water to move it thermally instead of using a pump. A selection of
special, but usually locally growing, plants is placed strategically to
make use of their cleansing as well as oxygenation properties.
Typha or bulrush or cattail is a favorite choice because of its ability
to establish itself and vetiver is another. Plants with a rhizome (an
underground stem) such as canna are also preferred. The usual
idea is to remove as much of the nitrates and phosphates as
possible. This is done to prevent the excessive growth of algae and
the subsequent eutrophication of the waters. An anoxic zone is
created in certain parts to help fix nitrates and in other parts.
Care has to be taken not to allow the temperature of the water to go
too high. This is done with appropriate shading trees in the right
directions. The usual maintenance measures would include the
removal of leaves using a skimmer and cleaning the pool of organic
material as much as possible. We have created a green garden
mesh canopy on top of the pool to cut off too much sunlight and
keep the leaves out.
The bio pool itself is divided into two parts, one with the planted filter
and stones called the water regeneration part and the other which
is the water part where one swims. The pools are usualy lined at
the bottom to prevent seepage of water with a UV resistant and tear
resistant plastic and then lined with earth. We could not afford this
lining so we used brick and cement instead. One other option
would have been to use Bentonite, a kind of clay which is mined
near Barmer in Rajasthan and has excellent sealing properties.
The water from the pool is allowed to skim off the surface and goes
into the vegetable fields while some of the water from the depth is
recycled through a biological filter and allowed to move through a
series of flow forms which dynamises the water. We made the flow
forms ourselves after getting the mould from David Hogg (Bio-
dynamic association of India) with detailed written instructions from
him about how to make them.
the fish pond