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How do I keep my duck pond clean? - Page 2

post #11 of 26

By the way, they shredded my pre-filter.

post #12 of 26
I've read the duckponics thread you're talking about, very interesting and informative. It's been over a year ago that I read it; I'll take a look to see if there is new info. I think my gig is I want a "drop it in, plug it in, works without a hitch" solution. And I know there is no possibility of that when dealing with duck soup. Also, my dh isn't opposed to just the drain, rinse, repeat method and so is loathe to spend the money on trial and error. Well, that was fine with the largest kiddie pool a couple times a week but I'm guessing he'll be a little more amenable to finding a better solution to go along with the new 300 gallon stock tank. Right now his biggest concern is the ingress/egress for the pond. Too,winter weather is digging in and I'm going to have to either get the water moving or drop a heater in it at night. I'm always amazed at all that goes into keeping 3 ducks and a goose. Of course, there's the part where I spoil them terribly and also want things to look nice. They'd be happy with a barrel on its side with straw and their kiddie pool!
(Sorry for the long and rambling post with no helpful information whatsoever! !!)
Edited by brandilly - 11/24/15 at 6:13pm
post #13 of 26

@slm518 and @brandilly - the concensus is - I stink at computer drawings.  I'll have to wait until this weekend to snap a few pictures.  I wonder if the prefilter was a small tupperware "box" weighted so it sat on the bottom and filled with scotch pads / pillow fiber, then the ducks couldn't get to it.  It would only need to protect the input side of your pump and of course it would have to be cleaned of the bottom dwelling slime at least weekly.  And as things cool down, that will become more and more painful for us warm blooded types... The drawing I was working on last night did not come out horrible, but its a long ways from finished and I don't have a copy with me right now.  Sooo, I'm in a holding pattern until I can get the camera going and capture what we've got so far.

post #14 of 26

Sorry to burst your bubble and I honestly don't mean to be negative.  Maybe I'm just jaded from my summer of Duckpond hell - but I had a small plastic container with holes too small for duck bills.  I tried various filters like sponges (bad idea) scrubbers (better) pillow stuffing (so/so) and went with strips if carpet padding (best one). 

Tied it all together with the pump in the middle, covered with padding placed inside the container and covered it all with screening which I wired together so it would not fall off.  I placed this .. thing... in the deepest part of the pond and weighed it down with two large rocks.  (At one point I put this pump thing inside a 5 gallon container with a ton of holes inside the pond.  I don't remember why this didn't work, just the bucket with all the holes is now holding my gardening tools.)


Later that day, I noticed the filtering stuff floating around.  The container was on its side and the screen was frayed and in pieces, none of it was anywhere near the pump. Rocks were at the bottom of the pond.  Pump was sucking up muck and not liking it.


The ducks obviously had way too much fun.  This is why I ended up using semi-buried containers outside the pond.  But I wish you all the luck in the world, please send pictures and let us know how it works!

post #15 of 26

Not taken negative.  I understand completely and also think that type of duck is probably another important aspect to this.  We have two geese and six muscovies; which all spend time in the water but not near as much as I expected.  And while the geese try to pry the lid off the 5 gallon bucket - turned DIY filter, the ducks will only go as far as sitting on it or playing with the output hose.  Now, the slimy mess on the inside of the bucket is completely different and if I could find the right mixture between lava rock and filter media then I think most of the battle is won.  Both bird's poop is typically watery and I don't think anything but a large commercial type of filter will get rid of it.  That's why I think the thread on duckpondics is touching on the small particle filtering by using plants / other animals to get rid of it, is what I'm most interested in.  It's early and just enjoying the second cup of coffee (for a day off) and supposed to have gorgeous weather later.  I'll snap a few photos and post back to this thread.  It's funny to see how these types of situations branch out and affect other things - my house water softener is not separate from my outside spigots!!  Shortly after getting all of our fine feathered friends I noticed my water softener was going through salt like crazy!!  So now when I change the water (getting more tiresome each time...) I put my water system in bypass to not run it all through the softener (and yes, I have my water tested every year and there are no high concentrations of bad stuff, or really much bad stuff to begin with).  So anyway, life with ducks is a never ending learning adventure...  More to follow; film at eleven.  :-)

post #16 of 26
Your setup is similar to my setup but I broke my filter into a three stage system. A swirl filter (what you are missing and need) will take the detritus (physical material) out of the water. Then the cleanish water goes into your bacteria filter (lava rock) and finally into your clarification filter and give you "clean" water. It's been about a month so far and I have not had to do a water change. Admittedly the ducks drink and splash about 15% of the water out every few days so there is always fresh water being added. I do need to clean the swirl filter every week or so.
post #17 of 26

Thanks for the feedback.  Can you describe the swirl filter? or roughly how to make? And then also a brief word on how you move water from one filter stage to another.



post #18 of 26
Sure, the swirl filter is essentially a bucket in which you pump water into the bottom of the bucket at an angle. Because the pipe is angled, the water will "swirl" up to the top where a bulkhead fitting will be and flow into your bacteria stage. The poop, being heavier than the water, settles at the bottom and needs to be cleaned out weekly.

Confusing? Hold on here's a picture, it sounds way more complicated than it is.

This is the inside of the bucket. As you can see the water exiting the contraption will have no choice but to swirl. You don't have to have one as elaborate as this, even a pipe with a single 90 or 45 elbow will do.

This is the output of my bacteria filter showing what the bulkhead fittings look like. The swirl has an identical output.

Simple gravity moves the water from one stage to the other. The swirl filters output (on the left) is piped to the bottom of the bacteria filter (on the right)

Some notes:

The swirl filter operates better when the water moves slowly otherwise it won't be as effective. Oversize your bulkhead fittings so you reduce the pressure, but not the flow, in your swirly.

Now that the solid material has been filtered out, your clarification filter should need less service.

Put a drain (using a bulkhead fitting) in your swirly, that way you can drain the detritus and reduce the cleanings required.


Edited by revans2003 - 11/27/15 at 7:52am
post #19 of 26

Very cool and now it all makes sense.  The external plan I had been thinking of combined the swirl stage and the bacteria stage.  I see where keeping those separate is probably a better idea!!  So for the size of the pond you're using, 5 gallon buckets enough?  I see Lowes in my immediate future today I think!!!

Thanks for the great explanation and the photos!!  Fantastic!!

post #20 of 26

Has any one read this? you all have probably seen them all but still really cool pics. 

Edited by Miss Lydia - 11/28/15 at 6:51am
 Western N.C ~ 17 chickens= EE's, Game, variety of bantams,1Light Brahma, 2 Black Australorps . 5 Muscovy ducks, 8 Indian Runners and 2 Buff Orpington Ducks, 1 Embden gander,1 Toulouse goose , 3 mini Dachshunds, 2 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..
 Western N.C ~ 17 chickens= EE's, Game, variety of bantams,1Light Brahma, 2 Black Australorps . 5 Muscovy ducks, 8 Indian Runners and 2 Buff Orpington Ducks, 1 Embden gander,1 Toulouse goose , 3 mini Dachshunds, 2 mixed breed, pond goldfish,  and a wonderful Husband who makes it all possible..
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