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Duck pond ideas!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by CrazyChookLady5, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. CrazyChookLady5

    CrazyChookLady5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 6, 2013
    Australia, NSW
    hi
    I'm wanting to get ducks, and I need a little help on the pond part of it....
    I want about 5 ducks so I wont need a pond too big, but I don't want one to small either, I don't want to have a filter or pump, so im thinking of having a pipe coming out the side of the pond that I can open and close off to empty the pond, but I don't live on a slope or in hilly place so I'm not sure I can do that. I'm thing of having a plastic or pump-up baby pool, but I like the look of the ponds with tarp/lining in them and with rocks around it...

    if anyone has any ideas, could you please show me thanks!!
     
  2. toowoombapekins

    toowoombapekins Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 26, 2013
    Toowoomba, Australia
    this is the million dollar question when it comes to ducks!
    I'm only a brand newbie when it comes to ducks, but I've been doing a lot of research on filtering very small ponds myself. I have just 2 ducks and want to construct something similar, rather than having to lift up a temporary pond every day to tip the dirty water out. You tend to go through a lot of water, it turns the backyard into mush and I often go away for a week at a time with work, and don't always have someone to change the water, so I really need something that keeps the water reasonably inhabitable until I get back home.

    But the filter part isn't easy. Because the ducks poop so much in the water and bring in so many hard foreign objects (like stones), it's very difficult to find a pump that can handle it. I'm really trying to avoid running power from the house (safety and cost reasons) so was looking at a 12v battery with solar cells to recharge. I was looking at the pumps caravans/mobile homes use for their sewerage system. The pumps have an inbuilt grinder that grinds up any waste before it goes through the pump. So it removes the need for the pump to pull through a filtration system (which most pumps don't like), instead can filter after the pump. Seemed like the ideal solution, until I read they aren't designed to run continuous. So you'd have to cycle them intermittently, which I'm not sure yet if it would be enough to keep the water properly filtered. Also boat bilge pumps are another idea, they can handle a fair bit of gunk, but once again they aren't designed to run continuous and usually are fairly high power consumers, which wouldn't suit my battery/solar setup.

    The there's the filtration system. Lots of good ideas out there. Once of them I liked was to install a couple of tanks filled with various filtration media like gravel, lava rocks, carbon and even biological filters like plants etc. Pump the water into the tanks and then return back to the pond.

    All of these are good in theory, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of success stories. But I'm a gadget man, so I plan on experimenting. I might start with something fairly small scale and see what sort of results I get. At the moment I only have 3 week old ducklings, so I probably need to wait a bit until they get a bit older and start eating coarser food. Their droppings at the moment break down fairly quickly into very small granules (like the food they eat) and sink to the bottom. But I'm assuming they older and bigger they get (along with their change in diet), their dropping will remain more solid and of course larger, which will have a big impact on pump and filtration options..

    So sorry I can't give you any answers, but hope it might give you some ideas. I'll share any ideas that I experiment with and the outcome- good and bad!
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  3. erinszoo

    erinszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2011
    North Central Oklahoma
    We tried the spigot approach and found it didn't work well. The gunk clogged the outlet too fast and unless you have a good hill, the water pressure from the pond isn't enough to force the water out so you still end up scooping or dumping.

    Since it freezes here in winter we don't try to maintain the pond through winter. If they get a really warm day we'll dump and fill it for them to have a play but otherwise we leave it alone and just keep a bucket of water in their pen for them. They've learned to clean themselves with the bucket.

    This spring I'm going to get a deeper pond for them than we currently have and play with filtration methods. I'm thinking if I can somehow net or partition off the bottom of the tank with wire mesh, then the solids will drop to the bottom and the mesh will keep the swimming ducks from stirring up the sediment. Not sure if it will work or not but that's the theory. Then I can use my pond vac to suck all the muck out a few times a year.

    Duck poo remains watery and fine unless they eat rocks or sand a lot. I've never had hard chunks of it except in winter when it freezes to everything. Lol.
     
  4. Harriet&Lucy

    Harriet&Lucy Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 29, 2010
    Puget Sound
    I use kiddie wading pools. It's not attractive, but totally practical. No fuss getting them off the pond. If they're really stubborn, all I have to do is step into the pool, and they suddenly think of pressing business elsewhere.

    Last year I accidentally bought a pool that was too big for me to lift to empty. Not thinking -what can I say? But the ducks loved it. I bailed it a couple of times before I thought to siphon it with a short length of rubber tubing. But, ohmigoodness, what a great thing that is! Now I siphon the small ones too. It's much easier on the pools - especially in the cold, which makes them brittle.

    If a person wanted to, she could landscape a surround for the pools that is attractive and, after siphoning, simply lift the pool out to hose it off. I'm not likely to, but a snazzier sort of person could.
     
  5. CrazyChookLady5

    CrazyChookLady5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 6, 2013
    Australia, NSW
    thanks for your help everyone. at home we have an old troff at home that we use to have herbs in it, but is empty now so I'm thinking of using that because it's on little stilts and you could push it over or have a pipe coming out the side of it, but if I or someone else comes up with a better idea I can do that! :D
     
  6. StruckBy

    StruckBy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2012
    Marcola, OR
    If you've never had ducks before, I can't recommend strongly enough starting out with a kiddie pool (the small size) for a year so you can truly understand the amount of muck that will accumulate in a day before you spend money on something fancy. Almost every fancy design I've seen has been a failure. The closest to success I've seen was a gal I worked with who built a concrete & flat rock pond, VERY steep slope inside, 2" or 3" drain like the blackwater tank for RVs. She still had a nightmare of mud outside it because the amount of water being drained out couldn't evaporate fast enough (and this was in the desert). And it had to be drained all winter because the concrete couldn't handle freezing.

    I am soooo spoiled now...I have a natural pond that is flushed by a stream for my ducks. The serious fixer upper house was worth it for the property!
     
  7. StruckBy

    StruckBy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Marcola, OR

    Don't forget that most domestic ducks aren't very agile at climbing in/out of things and very few will be willing to fly up to water. Even with my big pond I have NEVER had a duck take off from the surface of the water. This depends a bit on the breed(s) you get but even my athletic little Australian spotteds who would fly over the 6' fence to get to the garden wouldn't land/take off from their pool. Ideally, I would keep the step up under @4-6" and the water within 3" of the rim. Unless it's a very very shallow trough, or you build a wide ramp up, this could be tough to get them to use & I've seen more issues from ducks not having sufficient drinking/dabbling water than just about anything else.
     

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