Filter for duck DYI pond

Guernsy

Songster
Jun 5, 2020
118
215
116
This is like a never-ending story....
Since I live in CA, water is scarce and cleaning and refilling the kiddie pool every other day due to dirty duck water is not really water conscious. Besides it is a lot of work. We do use the dirty water to water our planters, yet it is way more water than I would usually use.
Now that our black runners are outgrown the large metal trough, I thought I would turn it into a little pool, with a ramp and everything. However, I do not want to clean that all the time.
I am pretty much on the course of trying to automate most of the chores (besides cuddling and feeding, lol).
Therefore, I would like to build or come up with a filtration system that people have in their duck ponds. I understand that I might need an extra barrel or container for the filter and a pump, which is totally fine. The trough also has a drain hole for a pipe or hose. Anyway, I am desperate to get this project going. I have looked all over the internet, yet there are only very complicated instructions for very large ponds or instructions on how to get clean water from a creek (don't have one). I also understand that I will need a heavy or double filter, due to ducks, and not building one to keep Koi fish. So any advice on what kind of filter or pump would be great (or links).
Thanks,
Julia
 

Guernsy

Songster
Jun 5, 2020
118
215
116
I know, every filter will have to be cleaned, especially with ducks. However, there was this blog that I read (can't remember what it was called). These people are absolute duck lovers (the duck sleeps with her...wears a diaper). They build a huge pond in their back yard. Dug it out, lined it, decorated it, etc. Was massive work. They engineered some sort of filter and adjusted the matter in it. They still had to clean the filter, however, only about once every two months (and they had a lot of ducks swimming in the pond). However, that kind of filter was massive and for a huge pond. It also did not tell me where to get it and how this could be adjusted if I wanted something smaller.
Any engineers on this forum? It should be possible to route the dirty water through one, or maybe even two filter systems. Maybe a UV filter? I have no clue, but I would like to know, lol.
 

shawluvsbirds

🦆Lord luv a Duck!
Apr 17, 2017
24,513
150,939
1,572
Missouri
I know, every filter will have to be cleaned, especially with ducks. However, there was this blog that I read (can't remember what it was called). These people are absolute duck lovers (the duck sleeps with her...wears a diaper). They build a huge pond in their back yard. Dug it out, lined it, decorated it, etc. Was massive work. They engineered some sort of filter and adjusted the matter in it. They still had to clean the filter, however, only about once every two months (and they had a lot of ducks swimming in the pond). However, that kind of filter was massive and for a huge pond. It also did not tell me where to get it and how this could be adjusted if I wanted something smaller.
Any engineers on this forum? It should be possible to route the dirty water through one, or maybe even two filter systems. Maybe a UV filter? I have no clue, but I would like to know, lol.
I'm sure it can be done..I am just not sure it can be done very easily on a small scale at an affordable price for the majority of us.
 

TomCahalan

Songster
Feb 13, 2020
316
337
118
Ohio
Your ducks produce a certain amount of waste. Your pond itself and/or filter needs to be able to process that amount of waste. Ponds can't process much waste on their own, just a few ducks per acre of water, or something like that. So that means that your filter will be doing more than 99.9% of the work.

What does this mean? It means that you need to size the filter based on how many ducks you have, not how big your pond is. Making the pond bigger or smaller will not measurably affect your filtration needs.

There is a benefit to a bigger pond though, it will act as a buffer. Meaning that if things aren't perfect (and they never are), then the problems will creep up slowly. This means that you can go longer before you need to correct the water (by draining and refilling) or correct the filter (by cleaning it out).

So what you need to do is figure out how many ducks you are going to have and then find people who have a similar number and see what size filter they use. You could also try to compare with koi ponds (since there is more data out there), but you will need to compare based on pounds of food rather than number of animals. Don't worry about pond size. Those complicated filters for big ponds? That is probably what you will need, even (especially!) if your pond is small.
 

BallsEleven

Chirping
Dec 12, 2019
114
175
98
South Louisiana
Like someone else said, the bigger you go the easier it'll be to keep clean and the more stable to water will be.

I know a lot of people make biofilters or bog filters to try and keep duck ponds clean-ish. The bacteria in those filters help break down the ducks' waste and in the case of a bog filter, the plants feed off the nutrients adding another level of filtration.

I don't know how large of a container you are talking about but I have seen some people use one about 8 ft wide and 2-3 ft deep and build their filter out of a 55 gallon drum. The biggest problem I would see with that though is it being above ground so you will have large temp fluctuations which will result in poor water quality.
 

Guernsy

Songster
Jun 5, 2020
118
215
116
Like someone else said, the bigger you go the easier it'll be to keep clean and the more stable to water will be.

I know a lot of people make biofilters or bog filters to try and keep duck ponds clean-ish. The bacteria in those filters help break down the ducks' waste and in the case of a bog filter, the plants feed off the nutrients adding another level of filtration.

I don't know how large of a container you are talking about but I have seen some people use one about 8 ft wide and 2-3 ft deep and build their filter out of a 55 gallon drum. The biggest problem I would see with that though is it being above ground so you will have large temp fluctuations which will result in poor water quality.
I have 4 ducks and I was actually going to start with a 6 or 8 ft by 3 ft metal container.
I would dig it out, however, we have too many tree roots. I ran into that problem when we dug out the kiddie pool. That was just a kiddie pool and turned out into a big job using an axed and a lot of muscle work. Therefore, it will have to be above ground. I agree temperature change will affect water quality, however, it might still be better than changing the water every two days.
 

CrystaBub

Crowing
Mar 17, 2018
1,664
6,093
442
Shenandoah Valley

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