How to Fill Your Organic Pool with Animal Life

Fish and snails help organically balance the ecology of a pool. In addition, fish eat mosquito larvae and snails help keep the pool clean by eating algae and debris. Here are some tips to keep in mind when attracting friendly critters to the waters of your garden.

By Robert Goyette from The Canadian Illustrated Guide to Green Gardening

1. Time it right. Do not introduce any animal life until your pool has settled — six to eight weeks after planting. Your dealer will advise you on the type of fish to use in your pool. As a guide, allow 3.2 square feet (0.3 sq m) of surface to each fish.

2. Bring them in. Fish are usually delivered in oxygenated plastic bags. Submerge the unopened bag in the pool for about 20 minutes so that it reaches pool temperature. Then hold the bag open and let the fish swim out.

3. Food for thought. Artificial feeding is seldom necessary for fish living in an outdoor pool. Overfeeding, in fact, is often a problem. In any case, feeding must be stopped altogether from late fall until early spring because the water is too cold to allow the fish to digest food properly. Feed fish in autumn, before the winter fast, and again in spring.