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1900 Gallons of ducky bliss

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Tevyes Dad, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. Tevyes Dad

    Tevyes Dad Leader of the Quack Premium Member

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    Today was the first clean. We pumped out the whole thing because:
    1. It is difficult to guide the poop to the pump - mostly you just stir it up.
    2. We tried feeding them peas and half of 4 lbs of peas we fed them over the week were in the bottom of the pool. Apparently it is too deep for them to want to pick the peas off the bottom. No more peas in the pool (can't wait to try goldfish when it is warmer though... In the past the fish didn't have a chance and were gone in an instant... in this pool, I think the ducks may have to work for their food [​IMG])

    If it wasn't for the peas, it could have probably gone a second week. The water was obviously not drinking water (for me anyway) after 5 minutes and didn't get that much worse over the course of the week: by day 3 you couldn't actually see the bottom, but you are looking through 2-1/2 feet of water at a dull brown floor. Coming out of the hose the water looked clear which is much better than I can say for the kiddie pools I pumped. The droppings on the bottom were about a 50% covering at maybe 1/8".

    It took about 3 hours to pump it down to about 200 gallons which is where our current sump pump starts sucking air. This was through a garden hose which worked fine for the large kiddie pools, but we might get a bigger hose later to speed it up. Doesn't really matter. I turned on the pump in the morning and we went out to eat and did a little shopping got back did a couple other chores and it was done. It took about another hour with the shop vac to vacuum out all the peas and most of the poop. There was almost no OTP in the pool other than the junk we threw in. There is another pump at our feed store that will pump down to 3/8" of water and I think that might work better if we follow a strict policy of not throwing non-floating food to the ducks.

    The pool took 4 hours 22 minutes to fill (again with the garden hose) This probably won't change, but knowing the time, we can just set an alarm for say 4 hours and otherwise ignore it. At around 4 hours, the water is touching the bottom of the ramp, so I took the obstacles off the ramp so the ducks could go back in while the last couple hundred gallons were still filling. They had been in kind of a funk all day because now they knew what the big blue thing was and were deprived of it for 8 hours. [​IMG]

    Here is a clip from a few minutes after the ramp was open to the ducks. I apologize in advance for Kaine, he has only one thing on his mind...

    [​IMG]

    So at this point, I would say doing a pool change took about an hour of our time actively and we can probably get that down to 20 minutes if we don't throw peas in the pool. The pool was out of commission about 8 hours and that can probably be reduced to 5-6 hours (pump side will get shorter but fill side won't). This replaces about 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the evening every day that we spend with the kiddie pools so 70 minutes / week. So far it really isn't that much more work total and it is much more fun to watch the duckies when they can dive and go nuts. We will see how it goes when it is warm enough to possible have algae problems.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Mrs.H

    Mrs.H Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Looks like they are loving it!!!
     
  3. Tevyes Dad

    Tevyes Dad Leader of the Quack Premium Member

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    I ran some numbers because I'm kinda geeky that way... [​IMG]

    I have 13 ducks.... for my flock the following is required to keep them in splashing/swimming/cleaning water (I realize that head dunking is all the NEED, but them being spoiled is a foregone conclusion).

    All capacities are calculated at 90% fill since any more is splashed out in the first second.

    3' kiddie pools:
    Stats: 3' x 8" 33 gallons/pool.
    Pools required for everyone to swim: 4
    Cleaning requirement: twice / day
    Weekly water consumption: 33 x 4 x 14 = 1848 gallons
    Notes: Pool is easy to refill, flip it and fill it. Water goes in lawn. Truth be told, pool is completely trashed in 15 minutes. In the summer, we fill them in the morning and again in the afternoon. Have to constantly fight algae.

    6' kiddie pools:
    Stats: 6' x 12" 198 gallons / pool.
    Pools required for everyone to swim: 2
    Cleaning requirement: every day
    Weekly water consumption: 198 x 2 x 7 = 2772 gallons
    Notes: Pool is heavy enough I need to pump it or it will break. Water goes wherever I point the hose. Algae is slower but still a problem.

    100 gallon Stock Tank:
    Stats: 90 gallons / pool.
    Pools required for everyone to swim: 4
    Cleaning requirement: every other day.
    Weekly water consumption 90 x 4 x 3.5 = 1260 gallons.
    Notes: Never actually used these alone - only have one ramp built and would need 4. Just using the stats for info. Usage requirements based on actual usage with 6' kiddie pools and 4' kiddie pools. Less cleaning is required despite the lower capacity vs 6' kiddie pools due to depth which allows poop to sink. Plus ducks can't reach water from the ground or ground from the water so they bring almost no dirt and grass into the pool. Also algae is almost non-existent (just a dusting of brown algae). I also believe this is due to the depth since there is less light exposure and less surface area to heat up . This is the most efficient water usage by far, but is also more work intensive (If I actually staggered them and did 2/day plus cleaned off the ramps it would be more work than the kiddie pools.)

    12' Swimming pool:
    Stats: 12' x 30" 1982 gallons / pool.
    Pools required for everyone to swim: 1
    Cleaning requirement: once per week.
    Weekly water consumption: 1982 x 1 x 1 = 1982 gallons
    Notes: No question, ducks like this best. They can all dive at the same time and have room to swim around. The girls can say no to Kaine and have room to run and not flee the pool. This means Kaine is a little less crazy since it is more work now. He might only get to each duck once/day now.[​IMG] Cleaning could possibly make it to every other week without getting any more trashed than the kiddie pools do in a day, but if we clean it every week and we have a crisis, we can skip that week so we will probably make "the plan" cleaning it every week. Based on the last clean, there was zero dirt and grass in the pool... Just poop and a couple feathers that sank (most of them were skimmed off the top daily). Good for the water, good for our lawn. Additional note, with the kiddie pools, we could be somewhat lax with their drinking water since the pools were changed so often and were quick and easy to get to. If they did run out of drinking water (almost never happened), they could get a quick drink from a kiddie pool. Getting in the swimming pool is work, they have to climb a fairly steep ramp that ascends 4 feet. It is well within their capability, but a duck choking on dry food wouldn't want to climb it to get a sip of water. That means we will need to be more diligent on their drinking water. (Actually they use less of their drinking water now since they ONLY use it while they are eating and spend most of their time drinking from the pool.)

    Conclusion: Swimming pool actually doesn't use that much water compared to kiddie pools. Small deep stock tanks would be much more efficient but as I am set up, they are more work.
     
  4. donkeydew2farms

    donkeydew2farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i have a pool 18 in. by 8 ft. the first time it took two weeks and I had to drain it now one week and I had to drain it I use the hose turn it on and then off I sip[​IMG]

    honed out over night and flushed the rest they had to wait about and hour to use it. it dose not take long for it to get dirty isn't there some kind of pool vacuum that you can get. I have 9 ducks and two geese that don.t seem interested they like the kiddy pool.
     
  5. 18angovem

    18angovem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:When you say cheapy what price do you mean?
     
  6. Tevyes Dad

    Tevyes Dad Leader of the Quack Premium Member

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  7. Tevyes Dad

    Tevyes Dad Leader of the Quack Premium Member

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    Compared to the $600+ stock tank we are waiting on.... pretty cheap.
     
  8. MamaRudey

    MamaRudey Chillin' With My Peeps

    I bought my pool vacuum with my pool but you can buy them separately at Walmart.
     
  9. Tevyes Dad

    Tevyes Dad Leader of the Quack Premium Member

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    Apr 22, 2014
    Montana
    Today was second clean - One full week - that is a little over 3 duck-months for you with flocks other than 13 in size. [​IMG] Water was looking pretty cloudy, but not even as bad as the kiddie pools look normally by end of day. We hooked up the new hose and I put some metal dryer duct tape (not duct tape, the kind you can legally use on ducts [​IMG]) around the bottom of the pump to lower the point where it would suck air. In 49 minutes, all the water was pumped [​IMG]

    Here is what was left [​IMG].

    [​IMG]

    We vacuumed out the pool with the shop vac/pump. Because the other pump did such a good job of pumping water, the shop vac pump's filter clogged up so we had to haul and dump it twice. [​IMG]

    This was the result 51 minutes later.

    [​IMG]

    There will now be approximately 4 hours for the pool to fill. The ramp is blocked and I put in a new dunk and we are going to try some barley straw bundles to see if they help the water quality. The ducks are saving their energy for the pool opening freak out...

    [​IMG]


    Snow picked a slightly different area to lounge, so she is the inset.
     
  10. Tevyes Dad

    Tevyes Dad Leader of the Quack Premium Member

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    Montana
    So a little after 4 hours later, they got their pool back. This was followed by another flurry of duckie craziness. They completely lose their minds as you can note in this picture of Kaine, Greta and Snow...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Silly duckies!
     

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