Saltwater outdoor pool


New member
We just got a free above ground pool thats 17' diameter and 4' tall and would like to turn it into a saltwater tank. right now its just siting in our yard not even filled so we're not positive about this but it sounds like a good challenge and a lot of fun. I guess I'm just looking for anyone who might have experience in doing outdoor tanks and could give me some tips or any pit falls to look out for.
I'd be worried about corrosion or damage to the liner.. it isnt really meant to hold rocks and other sharp objects.
The expense would be through the roof, you couldn't controll, temps, but go for it.LOL It would be cool to have but could you imagine the amount of ro water you would go through with topping off? Or the buckets of salt and the masive water changes just to keep the algae down. WOW I bet you could make a second house payment by taking care of a tank that size.
First challenge, if you fill it up to a depth of 42, buying enough salt for approximately 6000 gallons of water. At even roughly $40 per 160 gallon bucket, assuming you can get a "good buy" if you buy bulk, you'd have to buy around 38 buckets of salt, which would cost $1500 just for salt.

Circulation, that would be fun. While a pool pump can do some, it wouldn't be near enough for a marine tank, even just a fish only tank. And the salt would play havoc on the pump and other metal components of the pool framing. It probably wasn't designed to for saltwater use, so it's will probably corrode pretty quickly. And the pump may even have metal parts exposed (brass, copper, stainless steel, etc.) that could be either toxic or corrode quickly.

And heating it in the winter? Forget it, would cost an arm and a leg to keep an above ground pool warm in the winter. Below ground pools are extremely expensive to heat and they are insulated on the sides by the earth. You'd really need to build a greenhouse over it to help on this one.

What about cooling? Without some shade cover, the water will get really hot out baking in the Oklahoma sun during the summer. Will probably get to hot even in the shade. Likely way too hot for anything to live in it for long.

In the end, I think it's completely impractical to use a pool for a saltwater tank in Oklahoma (and many other places as well). You might be able to get by if you're willing to build a greenhouse over it, but a greenhouse that large will be rather expensive. And you'd have to check to make sure that everything would be saltwater safe, pumps, filters, heater, etc. I'd estimate that unless you have many, many thousands of dollars to spend (and the free pool would be nothing compared to the total cost) you'd be disappointed in anything that you did end up with.

When I was in Hawaii they had some really nice salt water ocean pools, that were concrete and aquascaped that looked great. They had the advantage of pulling in thousands of gallons an hour of natural sea water to manage it, so no heating, cooling, or filtration. And the fish they had to put in it began at about 8", anything smaller and you couldn't see them. It had some of the largest tangs I've ever seen outside the ocean (though it's practically the ocean, just a hundred yards from the beach). Had other fish up to a couple feet long in it as well, but it was a multi-million dollar resort that had the resources of the ocean right there. Of course it was hard to see the fish in some cases as you could only see them from the top, unless they were swimming near the surface on their side.
You might google this but I know there is a pool that uses salt to keep the water clean. Its an above pool also and its pretty big. I am not sure what kinda salt it uses but I know when you get out of it you are pretty salty. My friend had one but cant remember where he got it. Good sounds like fun. At least you wont have to worry about lighting it and you can actually snorkel in your on
Friends of ours have a "saltwater pool" in Dallas, but it's nowhere near as salty as the ocean. Also saltwater pools use regular salt (mostly sodium chloride), not sea salt.

Here's a line from a FAQ on Saltwater pools:

Q: Will the salt hurt my pool equipment?
A: The salinity level is 17 times less than sea water and will not harm your pool equipment. Besides the low salinity, most pool equipment is plastic, including most pumps.

But even if all the equipment could handle the salt content, and nothing corroded or caused problems that way, it's pretty crazy to think your going to have any stability in an open pool in Oklahoma considering our weather. The first nice thunderstorm that dropped a couple inches of water into it would throw the salinity out of whack, and then you'd have to be careful to keep up with evaporation, which would be quite fast in the sun.

While I'm sure it's not impossible to have a swimming pool set up as a saltwater aquarium, it's certainly quite impractical. At best, sell the pool, take the money down to the LFS and buy a nice tank with it. Or sell it and put in a Koi pond, they can be quite fun too.
well thanks for the advice and i guess i just didn't realize how big this thing really is. saltwater would just be totally unstable and not really doable in oklahoma. i guess its just a pool for now. maybe some day we'l turn into some kind of freshwater fish system
Bigger is better?

Bigger is better?

If you really want to dream, mark this on your TIVO or DVR. Check out the TV show entitled "Big Splash" on HGTV.

Featured at the beginning of this program is a home saltwater aquarium that (really) is maintained by donning scuba gear!

It shares a glass wall with the family's swimming pool. You can see the aquarium while swimming in the pool and the pool looks like part of the aquarium.

Does that get your interest up? It shows again on July 23 at 3:00 p.m. CDST on HGTV.,1806,HGTV_3909_43339,00.html

Sorry Nikon,

I am the next in line to win the Power Ball. I'm older than you! :lol:

jk- Next weekend is the pond tour which includes Leigh Ann and Roman's pond. Go visit some ponds and see if that would work for you. I would love one again and will have one after I win the PB!