Completely Self sufficient systems

U_Stormcrow

Free Ranging
Jun 7, 2020
5,097
15,287
606
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
I have a duck pond. Built it myself, measures about 30x30 and more than 4' deep when full. I don't change the water, and it gets pretty low when it doesn't rain for a while. Don't ask how many gallons, I don't change it.

Need to make a working bog filter. I've "set aside" areas to become bog filters - broad shallow areas to filter water thru - but I can't get anything established there to do so, the ducks and the goats keep destroying anything I transplant from the local swamp.
 

saysfaa

Crowing
Jul 1, 2017
1,210
2,718
281
Upper Midwest, USA
My focus is on clearing the trees off the embankment before their roots break through or weaken the clay liner too much. My strategy is to take out all the seedling and saplings every year. Also, prune back (the trees that are small enough) and partially girdle (the trees that are too big) so that the don't get bigger, at least, and hopefully start their roots slowly dying back.

I found a little info on maintaining embankments, all of which said don't let trees grow on them. Some of which explained why. None of which said what to do if you already had many 12" or larger diameter hardwoods growing on it. I think if I clear them all at once, the water might follow the channels of the decaying roots and I'll lose the pond. I'm hoping taking them gradually will allow the soil to settle enough to stay sealed.

Second most important problem is that the overflow tube is nearly completely clogged. And possibly past its expected lifespan anyway.

Many ponds and lakes in the area are being choked by invasive aquatic species. I'm very careful what I bring to the pond and it is downstream of any other body of water so I haven't had that problem so far at least; not like I have with land plants and insects.

Be careful what you plant and what you allow to grow around your pond.
 

Florida Bullfrog

Songster
May 14, 2019
682
1,652
217
North Florida
I have 2 half-acre ponds and have had ponds of various sizes my whole life. I find that invasive plants aren’t always bad. Some of them are amazing at filtering the water and providing good conditions for wildlife. Some of them would also be suitable fodder for livestock. One of my favorite is hydrilla. It cleans the water, gives cover to fish, and is food for both ducks and livestock.

The deeper and larger your pond is, the more likely you can confine invasives to specific zones within the system.

Turtles are the number 1 grazers of aquatic plants in my system and do a good job of keeping them in check, sometimes even destroying colonies of some plants I want to get established.
 

HollowOfWisps

Previously AstroDuck
Aug 28, 2020
1,563
3,278
336
Iowa
The best and most efficient systems come down to maximizing what you take (not wasting) and giving back (not taking for granted) what resources are available to you. I think a lot of systems fail because there are people out there who are in love with the idea of doing something for a cause, see all of the YouTube farmers, want to jump on the green earth bandwagon and only focus on gaining something from their animals and the land essentially living like parasites only ever taking. In reality, a self sufficient and sustaining system is only possible by viewing it as a relationship where you, the land and animals all take and give. For example, I know a couple who started off with almost 50 acres of awesome fertile land and completely depleted it over the years. They took everything from the land, but never gave back. The did not practice rotational grazing of their livestock, they didn't take time to fertilize correctly for their soil type, they didn't even utilize their goats to weed instead they kept the goats in the same 24'x24' pen, they didn't ever plant new grass, they removed trees and always planted their crops in the same fields never rotating them. They went from beautiful green rolling hills of open fields to a muddy, weeded and eroding mess. I also know another couple who had only 10 acres of hard clay soil that for their first couple of years there nothing would grow. They spent their time fertilizing accordingly, weeding, planting local grasses, rotating their garden plots, adding trees near the edges of the gulley and dumped rocks there to help with erosion. Now they have beautiful gardens, thick and lush grass growing everywhere and haven't lost any property to the gulley.
 
Last edited:
Apr 13, 2021
373
702
176
Australia
I wish so much that we had water on this land. A few years ago we'd looked at a place where there was a pond and we had visions of ducks.

We're not into the daily management of duck water via the manual filling/draining of a pool.
Yea I was thinking of getting ducks here but everyone seems to have difficulties with them and chickens together. I could have set it all up I guess never got round to it.
I have a well, but it's the daily labor of managing the pool and the disposal of the dirty water we don't want to deal with.
Yes we have a well here too. The house runs off bore water from the well, The water is clear mountain water were surrounded by mountains that have a lot of rivers.

Best dam here imo.
IMG_20211023_062741_HDR.jpg
 
Last edited:
Apr 13, 2021
373
702
176
Australia
Hey so here is a heap of info I gathered and put together in regards to dams. If anyone is interested.. I'm not an expert on the topic but I'm a great researcher. I'm attaching the PDF, I made this for a mates property when he wanted to know about dams a little while back. 13 pages, of a range of topics.
 

Attachments

  • Dam-Info.pdf
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rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
18,213
36,959
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
I wish so much that we had water on this land. A few years ago we'd looked at a place where there was a pond and we had visions of ducks.
It sounds great until you have it haha. We have a pond of about 1 acre (we get wild ducks and herons) as well as the creek across the back that feeds into it. The pond is quite overgrown but we've had county biologists come out and look at it and they like it, so they said to leave it alone. The creek floods yearly to some degree, though this was the worst:
flooding7.jpg


We had "dams" too thanks to beavers, but we got permission to trap them because obviously anything that restricts water flow here is going to lead to more flooding like that.
 

3KillerBs

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
11,894
31,095
1,116
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
It sounds great until you have it haha. We have a pond of about 1 acre (we get wild ducks and herons) as well as the creek across the back that feeds into it. The pond is quite overgrown but we've had county biologists come out and look at it and they like it, so they said to leave it alone. The creek floods yearly to some degree, though this was the worst:
View attachment 2875227

We had "dams" too thanks to beavers, but we got permission to trap them because obviously anything that restricts water flow here is going to lead to more flooding like that.

Yikes!
 

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