Duck Pond Pump questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by sianara, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. sianara

    sianara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    I've been researching for MONTHS before starting to build my ducks a new pool/pond. I've got 7 full sized gals and really want to do it up right this time around. At first I was thinking I would build it 8' x 4' (18" deep) and would just empty/clean/reill once a week (360 gallons water) but now I'm thinking of maybe building a 7' x 7' (551 gallons water & 73.5 sq ft) instead. This would give each duck about 10.5 sq ft (which is what I've read is the optimum space per duck).

    So, that said I think a pump/filter system would really make more sense for that much water. The problem is I can't find much info on the web about a pump/filter that would hold up over time to 7 full sized ducks. I wouldn't mind having to rinse the filter out every other day or so if necessary. My main concern is to not have to replace that much water every week (we have a well and I just can't do that).

    I'd really appreciate any info anyone could share as to their experiences. Also, if you know of what type (size) pump I should use would be good too.

    Years ago we had an above ground pool and I used to vacuum that sucker all the time... Would using a strong wet dry vac to clean the duck pond/pool in the same manner as I did the people pool work? (probably not, but I'm grasping at straws and very frustrated here [​IMG] )

    Look forward to responses... [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2010
  2. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Oct 2, 2008
    Colorado
    Check the pond thread link in my signature. Loads of info there [​IMG]
     
  3. sianara

    sianara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    Hi wifezilla,

    I have read your thread a few times but came to the conclusion that I didn't really want to get into the plants etc at this time. Basically, what will work best for me I believe is either a pump or possibly a pond vacuum. If I go with the bigger 7' x7' size I "think" I could use the pond vac a few times a week (I'm a little AR about the water being somewhat clean and I can't stand to see algae or bubbles etc. on top of it!) and then I'd only have to occasionally add more water as the water level drops.

    So, at this point I'm looking for feedback as to whatever pump or pond vacuum people that have used them have found to be the best. I am subscribed to your thread and am also waiting to see some feed back from jellybean (see post #199) as to how she likes the pump she's going to buy.

    Have you ever used a pond vacuum?
     
  4. ejctm

    ejctm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2009
    VILLAGE IN THE SHIRES
    Hi Sianara,

    I am in the process of setting up my pond too. I have bought a 6ft x 4ft rigid plastic pond which I am keeping above ground for emptying and cleaning purposes. I intend to build a little deck around it eventually. Anyway, it holds about 750 litres. I have also bought a pump and built my own filter system using the skippy filter as a guide. You can google skippy filter to find it. excellent instructions and the parts are cheap to find. I am hoping that this will mean the water stays clean and I will only have to do partial water changes every few weeks. I have made the filter to be much bigger than the size required for a pond that size, so I am hoping it will cope with the extra ammonia load that the ducks will cause. I have bought the special "friendly bacteria" that will live in the filter system and break down the waste ammonia and nitrites.

    I cannot tell you yet whether it is effective as my duckies are still tiny, but will update you on it over the next few weeks. I must say, I was really convinced by the skippy advice, especially as you must never clean the filter as that would kill the friendly bacteria that colonise it. It took a bit of shopping around to find the parts I needed here in the UK, but managed to improvise where I couldn't get the exact part (rubbermaid tubs for example, you just cannot get them here, so I got a large plastic planter instead). I will try and post some pics later today.

    I found a really cheap pump on tooled-up.com. Not sure if you have a US version of this site. The pump is more powerful than I need for the size of pond, but again, I thought it better to get that to cope with any extra duck sludge. You can work out what size/wattage pump you need by working out the volume of water and the "head height", which is roughly the distance horizontally and vertically that it needs to pump to. In my case not very far as the filter is next to the pond and only just above it.

    My pond will be a permanent feature which should be self-sustaining and clean. I want to limit the amount of cleaning out I have to do. I also read Wifezilla's pond posts and was fascinated by it. It inspired me to try and devise my own set-up.

    Sorry for the long post BTW;)
     
  5. HottentotTeal

    HottentotTeal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2010
    I bought a pump and filter from Home Depot recently, by the name of Total Pond.

    I have only had it running for the daytime since yesterday, so i don't know how well it works.

    I'm a little scared to run it when i am not around, so i don't know how effective it will turn out.

    The pond is 40 or 45 gallons and the Pump is rated for 210 or 500 something. I forget which. The Filter is supposed to support 1200 gallons and has a UV filter.

    We have manually cleaned the pond over the past 2 weeks before we installed the pump/filter and it's really not too bad other than the sand they get in there.

    I will have to see how the pond and filter goes before i could recommend one like mine.
     
  6. sianara

    sianara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    Hi ejctm,

    Great post, thanks for taking the time. Please do post back again after you have used it awhile and let me know how your set up goes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2010
  7. sianara

    sianara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    Hi hottentotteal,
    Thanks also for posting. Please let me know how your set up works out for you. I was also thinking if I do go with a pump/filter system I would get one that is rated for much more than what I will need "just in case"... Better to be over prepared than to come up short.

    I guess my feeling right now (I'm still ambivelent) is I just don't want to deal with all the aspects of a skippy filter. With issues at work and such I feel like my brain is on overload right now. That said, I'm thinking for now anyway some sort of vacuum system might work best for me. But I still really want to hear about all those who have experiences with the skippy filter systems and any other systems. Eventually, I'll sort it out and make a decision [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2010
  8. HottentotTeal

    HottentotTeal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2010
    Yes a vacuum system seems to be required.

    After having mine run for 3 days (not on the whole time), the water is still clear, but for the most part, it's just not going to be able to catch all of the solids (sand and food) that settle in the bottom.

    I posted a pic in my thread where you can see to the bottom after 3 days of being filled back up and the new pump/filter running. The water is fairly clear, but there is a lot of brown at the bottom, which is sand mostly.

    Not a whole lot i can do about that unless i used something like a pool vacuum or something.

    I'll try to post a pic of what my pond water looks like as of this afternoon:

    [​IMG]


    Bare in mind that I only run the pump on the weekends during daylight and about an hour at lunch and then for about 3-4 hours when i get home on weekdays.

    The pump is also not on full blast, because if it was, the hippo spitter would literally be shooting water past and over the edge of the pond (past the food bowl).

    I think i have the pump set at about 1/4 to 1/3 power.
     
  9. jellybean

    jellybean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2009
    Bellevue, ID
    I don't think my pump will be here until next week, but I will update everyone on how it works. I know it's a fairly cheap model, but I don't want to spend $100 on something that might not work. So I'm trying the cheap route first! I've tried everything else. The main problems are the grass, straw, fibers, etc. that either get carried into the pond, or that come out in the poo. They get wound around the magnetic drive piece and eventually stop it. I was cleaning mine (tried two different ones) once a day. Using filters and mesh, etc works for that. But then the filter material gets completely full of sand and harder particles and prevents any water from getting to the pump. I did try a good sized mesh box with lots of filter material around the pump- lasted less than a day before shutting down.

    Setting the pump off the very bottom helps a little, and then I'd drain and clean it a couple times a summer. Feathers during molting are also a problem. I'm really hoping this pump works. My skippy filter works so well, and I rarely have to clean the ponds, when I can keep a pump going! They also won't use it if it gets too dirty. Right now I'm flushing every 3 days or so because it turns very green and slimy. It worries me because if it isn't clean enough my broody girls won't get in, and I don't want the eggs to dry out.
     
  10. jellybean

    jellybean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2009
    Bellevue, ID
    I got the pump several days early!! It's been running all day, I ran it with a hose in the pond to flush both out. The pond was slimy and pretty dirty. There's still straw, sand, etc in the ponds. But it hasn't clogged or slowed down at all. The intake is huge! It's over an inch, it says it will handle 35mm particles. We'll see, but it does come apart to clean as well. The actual intake is about 1 1/2" from the bottom, there's a piece that keeps it up off the very bottom of the pond. The pump itself is much bigger than I thought, maybe 12" tall? So far the floater is working great, not going on and off. We'll see how it does in the long run. For now I'm happy though!
     

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