Getting ready to build a duck pond....

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Jayzandra, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. Jayzandra

    Jayzandra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hello everyone, I'm getting ready to build a 400 gallon duck pond. I already bought the liner and pump. I kind of have it all worked out in my head already. The deepest part will be about 18 inches deep with steps along the edge. I would like to be able to have some aquatic plants and maybe a couple gold fish in there if possible. I know the ducks will poo in it but it's going to be in ground, so natural filtration would be awesome! Does anyone have any tips?
     
  2. Jayzandra

    Jayzandra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? [​IMG]
     
  3. LaurelC

    LaurelC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2013
    Bothell, WA
    I have been doing extensive reading, research, and obsessing about this very thing. My understanding is that if you haven't experienced duck ponds before, you cannot imagine the amount of poo and other various detritus that makes it's way into the pond. Here's where my plan sits, however I'm sure with some additional obsessing, I'll probably change my mind again.


    I have a large "hard" plastic pond liner that I'm going to be installing a sink drain in that runs out to 1.5" PVC pipe and a 1.5" ball valve. The pond will be buried into the slight slope in the pen, and I'll surround it with either tumbled concrete pavers and natural stones, or just all natural stones, to cut down on the dirt/gravel/grass/detritus that seems to migrate into ponds (based on my understanding).

    Long term, I'm going to turn it into a smallish aquaponics (duckponix) setup where I'll have a similarly sized pond liner/rubbermaid trough buried in the ground outside the enclosure and connected to the drain system with a T and another ball valve (so the pond and the trough/pump enclosure can be drained separately). The duck pond and the trough will be level with each other, so if we do not have power or I decide to take the pump offline, there will be no problems with overflowing. The trough will have a false bottom a few inches up, to allow for sludge accumulation (I'll probably use the egg-crate stuff they use for fluorescent light grilles), then sit the pump at the end of the trough farthest from the input/connection to the duck pond. The line from the pump will connect to the bottom of one of the large $18 fiberglass planters they sell at costco, which will be in the duck enclosure, but not buried. I'll drill a hole in it towards the top to drain back into the pond.


    The costco planter will have water lettuce or water hyacinth floating in it, and be filled with furnace filter material.

    The trough will probably have a secondary false bottom (towards the top) that I can set basket pots of stuff like pumpkins or something in to take advantage of the rich nutrient content of the water. I may also grow kale or greens for the ducks here?

    The benefit of having the secondary tub is to keep the pump out of the duck pond, which should theoretically help some of the weirder solids like rocks and feathers settle out prior to hitting the pump, hopefully extending it's life. It also gives me the option grow stuff if/when I like without fighting the ducks for it.

    The 2 ball valves (one on either side of the "T") allow me to drain/service/manage the pond/trough independently.

    Here's my sketch of the idea.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    southern AL
    The ducks will eat the plants unless they are protected.
    The fish... I'd have said they will croak, but we bought some feeder fish for our ducks who had no interest in them. They just swam around in the pond with them. Well, DH found one feeder fish a few months ago alive and well. Can't see them as the pond hasn't been cleaned since right before they were added. Our pond is 1000 gallons. Even with a filter, you will not see the fish after the first few days. Though that will depend on the number of ducks using the pond.
    I have 5 and they spend a lot of time in it.
     
  5. Jayzandra

    Jayzandra Chillin' With My Peeps

    I was thinking of using a combination between aquaponics
    http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/guide-to-aquaponics/what-is-aquaponics/
    and a modified version of wetland filtration
    http://www.aquascapeinc.com/retailers/index.php?page=articles&a_id=256

    The pond will only be used by two ducks and two geese and is going to be roughly 10ft x 10ft, 18 inches deep. The bottom will be lined with gravel and the pump will be surrounded by gravel, so as not to get clogged up by muck and sediment. The hose coming from the pump will have a splitter at some point, one will go to the garden, the other will go to the top of a small waterfall, which will turn into a stream that will be roughly 2ft x 10ft, and that will go back into the pond. The stream will be lined with a liner, but not the pond, so plants can grow. The stream part will be covered by a chicken tunnel type structure, so the fowl can graze, but not kill. It will be lined with various sized rocks and have various plants, such as water lettuce. As for plants around and in the pond, I was thinking lotus (lily pad), cattails, sedges, grasses, and rushes.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Stream kinda like this, but edible plants and more of them.
    [​IMG]
    with a tunnel kinda like this over it. (The birds will be on the outside of the tunnel)
    [​IMG]



    So, what do you think? Do you think this will work? I'll try to take pics as I work and start a thread on my progress.
     
  6. LaurelC

    LaurelC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2013
    Bothell, WA
    I am excited to see it! I love reading pond build threads and look forward to reading yours!
     
  7. Jayzandra

    Jayzandra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014
  8. cstronks

    cstronks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 12, 2013
    New Jersey
    I would NOT put fish in this pond. Between the duck waste and the fish waste, live plants will stand no chance at proper filtration at 400 gallons. Those fish will die from high nitrogen levels, that I can guarantee. I would set up the pond as planned (with plants) and then see what it looks like in a few months. If it is clean, then maybe fish will work, but I highly doubt that fish can live in this system. Remember, with aquaponics, it is the fish waste that is used to fertilize the plants and create nitrogen. Adding duck waste on top of fish waste (especially goldfish, very messy), leads me to believe it will not work. My suggestion would be this - if you live in a climate that does get cold and can keep water above 50 degrees, then I would put the tilapia in. Those fish eat anything (including waste, unfortunately), but they keep a system clean. I have a 55 gallon tank with 14 mid-sized tilapia in it. Normally, this would be WAY overstocked, but it stays in great shape with a 25% water change once a week.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Jayzandra

    Jayzandra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Cstronks, thanks for the info! I will definitely look into the tilapia. Hahaha, we used to have a few Pacu, and they also eat everything, including their own poop. [​IMG]

    Any way, I just wanted to give a quick update... I work full time as well, so it's slow going, but everything is dug out, which was fun since the ground is clay. [​IMG]We lined the waterfall and stream with liner an river rocks. We lined a smaller hole in the bottom of the pond with pea gravel, put the pump in there and covered it with pea gravel.We filled her up and let her run for a while. Once the water settled it was clear and everything was running smoothly. But the next morning the water was gone. [​IMG]We had sprung a leak at the top of the waterfall so we had to take the whole thing down and find it. We redid the waterfall and I bought another liner for the pond. We changed our minds about the pump, also. We're going to put it inside a bucket and make a skimmer.

    Well, I have to go run some errands, but pics are coming soon!
     
  10. Jayzandra

    Jayzandra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Okay, so here are some progress pics...

    The initial outline.
    [​IMG]
    Digging while simultaneously building up the ground for the stream.
    [​IMG]
    The flock was snapping up any worms they could find. It was a feast! Haha.
    Lining the stream...
    [​IMG]
    Rocks added....
    [​IMG]

    At this point we tested it and found it to be leaking. So we had to take the waterfall apart and redo it. We also decided we should probably line the pond too and add the rocks and dirt on top of it. (for the pants to grow in).
    [​IMG]

    We used some silicone (the kind used to make fish aquariums) to seal any seems in the liner and fill the holes in the waterfall.
    [​IMG]

    We're going to fill it up the rest of the way tomorrow, once the silicone sets and let it cycle a few days. I'm started the seeds inside, but they haven't sprouted yet.
    I gotta tell ya, this is some back breaking work! [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.

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