Ducks, tilapia and stock tanks...

X2Farm

Songster
9 Years
Jul 6, 2010
1,117
4
141
Homer, GA
So, I've an idea. Getting out little farm going, we're interested in raising some fish, tilapia to be exact. I thought we could have a couple 800 gal stock tanks, almost completely in ground, with tilapia in them, and have a bunch of ducks as well. The ducks would provide the necessaries for algae to grow, thus feeding the tilapia, naturally. There would be a aerator/pump to circulate the water as well, and I was thinking of having something like a bilge pump set up, for draining the tank either partly or completely, as needed, for irrigation into the garden, also providing natural fertilizer.

Have any of yall done anything like this with your ducks before? We were thinking of getting Silver Appleyards, Welsh Harlequins, or Indian Runners.

Thoughts?
 

D'Angelo N Va.

Songster
10 Years
Dec 28, 2009
2,551
13
181
The idea sounds Great..and I LOVE talapia...but wouldn't the ducks eat th fish if they were small enough? I am sure you will not start off with large grown fish....but maybe not grown ducks either...I don't know. would be interested to see what others say. I am sure someone has done this before.
 

katharinad

Overrun with chickens
9 Years
Mar 23, 2010
2,585
31
181
Southern Oregon Mountains
My drake gulps mice in one piece. That may be a size indicator. I'm not sure about the talapia cleaning concept. They are used in Vegas for cleaning waste water, but they do produce poo with ammonia just like ducks do. I think they eat other organic matter, and not duck poo. I'm not 100% sure about this, but I think I'm right about this. What I have noticed is that duck poo settles on the bottom and you could get one of those pool cleaner hoses from Walmart that hook up to your garden hose. I personally use large kiddie pools with a ball valve on the side, which I buy in the plumbing department at Home Depot. I empty and rinse every two days and it works well with 9 large ducks and 2 of those pools. I've got the largest pool with the slide from Walmart. They do climb up and do use the slide. The drake likes to sit on top and feel like a king.
 

Wifezilla

Positively Ducky
11 Years
Oct 2, 2008
11,199
156
311
Colorado
You will need plant life in the system or you will just get a nutrient build up. And however big of a pump you think you need, double it!
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For my pond experiment, click on the link in my signature.

This year I grew rosy minnows and duck weed in the pond. Fed the excess to the ducks. Plants grown in the system included basil (2 kinds), hot peppers, cantaloupe, a few carrots, alpine strawberries, ground cherries and beans.
 

katharinad

Overrun with chickens
9 Years
Mar 23, 2010
2,585
31
181
Southern Oregon Mountains
I keep my ducks out of the koi stock pond I have. I do have a good filtration system, but the ducks will dive and eat every plant that they can get. So no stock fish pond for them. They are quit happy with the large kiddie pools.
 

X2Farm

Songster
9 Years
Jul 6, 2010
1,117
4
141
Homer, GA
Wifezilla, I LOVED reading your pond experiment!!! Would a 500gal/hr bilge pump (designed for a boat, actually) work?
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They're only $20 give or take a few $ at Walmart...
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My thoughts, with the build up, that not only would the tilapia eat what they wanted, but, some would get pumped out for the garden as well, so possibly, not too much nasty crud getting built up? The Ducks poo would help build up algae in the tank, and the tilapia would have more then there share of food in there too, as algae is most of thier diet. Thankfully, tilapia are fast growing, and prolific reproducers. So the ducks would kinda be population control, though they shouldn't be able to get all the tilapia before they get fairly grown... And we'd have at least 2 tanks, at each end of our yard, to keep from them getting TOO much activity/build up (hopefully?!) Plus the tanks are deep enough the ducks should be able to go tails up easily
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It might just be something I'm gonna hafta do a try it and see kinda thang
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I've already gotta get a special wildlife license for em
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and we'd planned on selling most of the tilapia at local markets n such (the wildlife license covers that as well) too, aside from gettin our freezer full as well
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Anniemal

Hatching
Mar 14, 2015
1
0
6
X2 farm did your project work out we were thinking of doing something simulAR but worry about the ducks eating the fish
 

duckma

Chirping
Jul 27, 2012
14
9
77
Several years later here, but so curious to hear the outcome of this experiment. I guess plants is the key. Curious how to get plants established, with motor-mouthed, destructo-ducks on the go in the pond. Ratios / ducks to fish, fish to plants / algae, all such a balancing act. Can't wait to try it. Also curious if a sump pump would pump out just the mucky poopy bottom of the pond? (handles muck better than a regular pump, and sits at the bottom, for occasional cleaning). I like the idea of a pool cleaner hose as well, someone mentioned above.
 

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