Duck Pond Set-Up

BackyardBreen

Hatching
Apr 14, 2020
4
8
8
Hey all, I did a search here on BYC and couldn't find specific enough advice, so here goes...

I'm just setting up a duck/chicken run, and I'm starting a pond from scratch. My plan is to use a kiddie pool under sheets of pond liner, above ground, and surrounded by river rock for support and drainage. It will have a downspout leading to it from a rain gutter off the hen house/duck hut. I'm not too worried about actual dirt in the pond, because the run will have Douglas Nuggets at the end where their house is, and river rock and the end with the pond, so I'm hoping that they don't drag things in with them as much, but I am concerned about leaves falling in and the copious level of duck poop.

My issue is that I've never set anything like this up before, and I'm kind of lost as to how to keep it clean in a safe way. I was wondering about those muck pellets they sell for ponds that are supposed to be safe for aquatic animals, but I don't know if I can trust that claim with my ducks' health and well-being. I was also thinking of using a mesh bag of barley straw that I weigh down with rocks to keep it from floating.

My other issue is that I would really love to give my ducks a fountain of some sort, but I want to run it with a solar panel, and I have no idea which solar panel would be best. I also am lost as to which filter and pump system would work for a fountain, or how to even use it.

I'm basically just frustrated because every time I search the topic I get a million opinions involving two million products and everyone is trying to sell me something so I have a hard time trusting what they say.
 

Soos-Quacken

Chirping
Apr 19, 2020
150
146
73
Colorado
To be honest with you, I kept things pretty simple when I set up my pond. I just plonked a stock tank in one end of the coop (on a foundation of paving stones) and rigged up a draining system that empties out into my garden. I don't really know all that much about all those products you mentioned, but I'd just say keep things simple. Just make sure that you can easily clean out the pond once a week or so and you should be fine
 

crsmithwick

Hatching
Jul 13, 2020
2
4
3
Hey all, I did a search here on BYC and couldn't find specific enough advice, so here goes...

I'm just setting up a duck/chicken run, and I'm starting a pond from scratch. My plan is to use a kiddie pool under sheets of pond liner, above ground, and surrounded by river rock for support and drainage. It will have a downspout leading to it from a rain gutter off the hen house/duck hut. I'm not too worried about actual dirt in the pond, because the run will have Douglas Nuggets at the end where their house is, and river rock and the end with the pond, so I'm hoping that they don't drag things in with them as much, but I am concerned about leaves falling in and the copious level of duck poop.

My issue is that I've never set anything like this up before, and I'm kind of lost as to how to keep it clean in a safe way. I was wondering about those muck pellets they sell for ponds that are supposed to be safe for aquatic animals, but I don't know if I can trust that claim with my ducks' health and well-being. I was also thinking of using a mesh bag of barley straw that I weigh down with rocks to keep it from floating.

My other issue is that I would really love to give my ducks a fountain of some sort, but I want to run it with a solar panel, and I have no idea which solar panel would be best. I also am lost as to which filter and pump system would work for a fountain, or how to even use it.

I'm basically just frustrated because every time I search the topic I get a million opinions involving two million products and everyone is trying to sell me something so I have a hard time trusting what they say.
I've had a great deal of luck with my setup. Here's how I did it. I have four adult Blue Swedish ducks. I bought and buried a 150 gal. hard plastic trough/pond thingy (basic oval shape - intended for livestock watering I believe). I installed a 750 gph pond pump at the bottom that pumps the water into the top of a 50 gal drum. Inside the drum I created a swirl filter. The water comes in at the top on one side and there is a central pipe that collects the water and returns it to the pond. Essentially the dissolve muck particulates fall out of solution between the time the water enters the drum and when it finds its way to the central drain pipe. I have a drain pipe at the bottom of the drum to empty it out and a layer of lava rock in the bottom so the muck will collect on top of that and not clog the bottom drain. It takes about 6 months or so for the muck to build up int my drum filter, after which I shut off the supply, drain the water out the bottom of the drum and scoop the muck out from the top to use on the garden or compost pile. A far as the pond itself, there will be a small amount of muck accumulating on the bottom, but if you treat the pond with a bacterial additive for about four weeks (and dose it up every few weeks after that), you will create enough of a bacterial colony to keep the water from smelling, etc. Essentially the same environment as a natural pond with a squishy bottom. All I have to do maintenance-wise is add a little water to the pond as splashing/evaporation depletes it and de-muck my filter barrel every six months or so.
 

Attachments

  • pond1.jpg
    pond1.jpg
    957.6 KB · Views: 15
  • pond2.jpg
    pond2.jpg
    852.1 KB · Views: 15
  • pond3.jpg
    pond3.jpg
    422 KB · Views: 16
  • pond4.jpg
    pond4.jpg
    540.7 KB · Views: 18

CuddleNest

Songster
Jun 20, 2020
119
231
106
Germany
I've had a great deal of luck with my setup. Here's how I did it. I have four adult Blue Swedish ducks. I bought and buried a 150 gal. hard plastic trough/pond thingy (basic oval shape - intended for livestock watering I believe). I installed a 750 gph pond pump at the bottom that pumps the water into the top of a 50 gal drum. Inside the drum I created a swirl filter. The water comes in at the top on one side and there is a central pipe that collects the water and returns it to the pond. Essentially the dissolve muck particulates fall out of solution between the time the water enters the drum and when it finds its way to the central drain pipe. I have a drain pipe at the bottom of the drum to empty it out and a layer of lava rock in the bottom so the muck will collect on top of that and not clog the bottom drain. It takes about 6 months or so for the muck to build up int my drum filter, after which I shut off the supply, drain the water out the bottom of the drum and scoop the muck out from the top to use on the garden or compost pile. A far as the pond itself, there will be a small amount of muck accumulating on the bottom, but if you treat the pond with a bacterial additive for about four weeks (and dose it up every few weeks after that), you will create enough of a bacterial colony to keep the water from smelling, etc. Essentially the same environment as a natural pond with a squishy bottom. All I have to do maintenance-wise is add a little water to the pond as splashing/evaporation depletes it and de-muck my filter barrel every six months or so.
Im setting up a kind of used kidney shaped plastic pond that i intended to have half in the ground and surrounded by planting stones and a paver stone "ramp". I was going to have raised dirt around the exposed part that allowed me to set up the ramp and stones and hide the exposed plastic. The idea is to also limit acess to one spot and have plants in the planter stones that benefit from any splashes, overfilling, etc. Plus, the planter stones are tall and rather duck climbing proof...so far. I initially thought/planned to have a filterless pump that I got from my neighbor that you drop into the pond once in a while and it pumps the water out...either to empty it into a huge tank and/or directly into my garden watering system. Then, I would fill the pond up with well water again. But I was concerned with the gunk buildup and not wanting to scrub it out...or always having to completely empty it. My kiddie pool experience is that I really have to empty and replace the water every week or even every three or 4 days depending on weather and poop.

I love your setup (its also beautiful, by the way) and am curious about this bacteria solution. Perhaps in tandem with my pump, it could be a natural solution. Since I live in Germany, I probably cant get that brand or exact product. Could you please photograph the back of the bottle with the ingredients? I want to see if there is a comparable product here.

In general, I didnt go into this aiming for a pond, but the kiddie pool was/is also "enjoyed" by the dog who sits in it, becoming differing shades of green and taking on a range of odors. The pond might not disway her but it will hopefully be more robust and clean? :confused: Im also a huge fan of simple and as natural as possible. And I only have 2 ducks.........currently:D

Another question...does it ever make sense to have any water plants in the pond directly or do they not survive with the ducks? Would they make the water dirtier faster or help clean it?
 

crsmithwick

Hatching
Jul 13, 2020
2
4
3
Im setting up a kind of used kidney shaped plastic pond that i intended to have half in the ground and surrounded by planting stones and a paver stone "ramp". I was going to have raised dirt around the exposed part that allowed me to set up the ramp and stones and hide the exposed plastic. The idea is to also limit acess to one spot and have plants in the planter stones that benefit from any splashes, overfilling, etc. Plus, the planter stones are tall and rather duck climbing proof...so far. I initially thought/planned to have a filterless pump that I got from my neighbor that you drop into the pond once in a while and it pumps the water out...either to empty it into a huge tank and/or directly into my garden watering system. Then, I would fill the pond up with well water again. But I was concerned with the gunk buildup and not wanting to scrub it out...or always having to completely empty it. My kiddie pool experience is that I really have to empty and replace the water every week or even every three or 4 days depending on weather and poop.

I love your setup (its also beautiful, by the way) and am curious about this bacteria solution. Perhaps in tandem with my pump, it could be a natural solution. Since I live in Germany, I probably cant get that brand or exact product. Could you please photograph the back of the bottle with the ingredients? I want to see if there is a comparable product here.

In general, I didnt go into this aiming for a pond, but the kiddie pool was/is also "enjoyed" by the dog who sits in it, becoming differing shades of green and taking on a range of odors. The pond might not disway her but it will hopefully be more robust and clean? :confused: Im also a huge fan of simple and as natural as possible. And I only have 2 ducks.........currently:D

Another question...does it ever make sense to have any water plants in the pond directly or do they not survive with the ducks? Would they make the water dirtier faster or help clean it?
I looked at the back of my bottle and no ingredients are shown, but I found this stuff on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/API-ACCU-CLEAR-Clarifier-32-Ounce-Bottle/dp/B001D0Y9RG). You should be able to get a similar product at a local pond supply store if you prefer to go brick and mortar instead of shopping the internet. A pet store might even have something similar in their fish section. I wouldn't go with any water plants as the ducks are likely to nibble them to death, and I don't think they would help with keeping the water clean. Good luck with getting your ducks to climb a ramp. I originally had a similar idea with my pond above ground in another location, but my ducks seem to prefer a straight drop/diving in situation!
 

Flockincrazy

Crowing
May 23, 2020
2,373
5,091
356
Elyria, Ohio
my filter and pump just took a crap so im waiting on a new one it comes Friday but I have a flatbox filter and a pump for a 2tier pond I got on Amazon it was $75. for both its the same one I had and it lasted for 10yrs its made by tetra these are my ponds im gonna put in another biger one here soon
 

Attachments

  • 20200713_130657.jpg
    20200713_130657.jpg
    961.8 KB · Views: 11

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom