First off, without Wifezilla's thread I never would have known I could do this. I learned so much from her posts found here:
My first two tries can be found here (it also has duckling photos): http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=2613307
I've spent the summer thinking about and working on a way to deal with all the waste created in our pond by the ducks. After much trial and error, this is what I ended up with. There are still some things to tweak, but here it is at day one of my third duckponix try:
My three tier filtration system seen as a whole. I need to finish adding the gravel and cleaning up
This is the sludge collector. I basically used the same plan as my original biofilter (you can see pictures of the inside in my first thread), but made a few adjustments: I lifted the swirlers up a few inches, and raised the filtering medium to be closer to the top. By raising the medium up higher, I have more room to collect the sludge. I've also added water hyacinths and water lettuce.
A close up of the bottom of the sludge filter. The foreground piping is where the pump comes into the filter. There's a check valve so that when I turn off the pump, the contents of the sludge filter don't drain into the pond. The piping at the top of the picture is how I drain the filter. I turn off the pump, open the valve, and drain all the icky sludge out the big ole pipe.
Here is the actual biofilter. There's a two inch pipe that comes off the top of the sludge collector, which connects to a two inch T that is open at the top and connects to another two inch pipe that goes all the way to the bottom of the bin. Near the bottom of pipe, hubby drilled a lot of holes so the water could come out hopefully with oxygen... if I did it right. We used a piece of plastic with holes cut in it to hold the filter medium. When I get time I'll do the same with the top of this as I did with the sludge collector... adding water plants.
The top of the T. The hope is that the water will become oxygenated as it splashes against the side and moves down the pipe.
This just shows how we connected the two inch pipe to the trash bin.
Disregard the blue bin on the right, that is a failed sludge filter experiment and currently is being used to support the pipe The water from the biofilter is draining into a gravel "flower bed." As you can see this is a problem area because it's spraying, and we're losing water. Today I will try to fix that. If you look at the left side of the bed, there are holes drilled in the side to let the water flow out. I'm troubled with the water flow as I think it's just flowing across the top and that I'm not getting any real filtration. I'm still thinking on it.
The larger bed flowing into the smaller bed. The smaller bed has the same sort of holes drilled on the side and empty onto the flagstone. I need to do some repositioning of the stone to make the water fall in a pleasing way.
And this is what it looks like from the front. Aesthetically there is still plenty to do. I HATE all the black plastic. I don't think I will be able to really fix that though I can add some more rocks and stone to help some. That's not a leak you see coming over the side in front, that's a favorite rock that the ducks use to preen.
In front of the pond where the wood is, is a 8'x13' vegie garden. My hope is that by spring I will have figured out how irrigate the garden with the sludge and biofilter water without clogging up the piping.
And finally here's a duck picture! Oh.. and geese too Last night we were racing against the light to get this finished and when I filled the beds with the gravel, I forgot to wash the gravel first. So the very first thing that happened when I started everything up is I added clay silt to my pond! I could have kicked myself. It looked like adding cream to water. Oh well, I'll deal with the creamy looking water /sigh
Besides the huge amount of solid waste that the ducks produce, the second problem which was almost as big, was the dirt they brought to the pond with them. Putting the gravel all around the pond is a huge step to keeping it clean. It also solves two other problems I had. The first is that here in the pacific northwest we get a huge amount of rain and my soil is mostly clay... ugh. Secondly, all this was built on a slope and I needed a way to prevent runoff from heading to my pond. Hopefully I've solved all three problems.
Quack addict and animal lover.
Quack addict and animal lover.