Help with biofilter/aquaponic duck pond

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Skirvo, Aug 18, 2017.

  1. Skirvo

    Skirvo Hatching

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    Aug 18, 2017
    Alright so Ive been doing tons of research and just can't seem to find answers to some fairly specific questions I have. I'll try and provide as many details as I can. I'd also like to add that I'm trying to do this for as close to free as I can, and I live in a residential area so I don't have a lot of space.

    So I have 8 khaki camble/runner ducks that use a kiddie pool to swim and drink from. I use a little fish tank air pump to oxygenate the water and prevent anaerobic bacteria and just keep it moving.

    At first I was scooping the water out with a 5 gallon bucket and watering my garden with it every few days, but now I have nothing to water so I'm trying to create a very lame biofilter pond until the day I can afford some pumps and filters. Just outside the fence of the birds half of the backyard I set up one of my small greenhouses and found another kiddie pool for free on Craigslist that just barely squeezed into the greenhouse. I set up a small t5 light on a timer, added a seedling heat mat under the pond and a fan. I dug up a local reed like pant, bought an aquatic plant from a nursery and planted a few tomatoes and peppers just to try it and get as many roots eating poop as I can. Everything is planted in fabric pots with coconut coir as their medium. I also moved the air pump over to keep the water oxygenated. For now I'll most likely just dump the somewhat cleaner water from the plant pond in my backyard and then refil it with the duck pond water. Once my plants have developed some roots I would like to use a third pool as a transfer pool and maybe a cheap little water pump and just switch the water from duck pond to plant pond until I can get it all flowing with pumps and filters.

    So now my question is: what else can I do to be cleaning the water that's in my plant pond? Is there a fish that would survive the conditions? And would the fish actually be doing anything or would I just be replacing my duck poop problem with a fish poop problem? I've read about snails but read that they can really take over and eat your plants. Maybe tad polls? Or frogs? Anything besides chemicals? I would appreciate the help, it's my very first post!

    Thanks, Skirvo
     
    DKFarms likes this.
  2. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller

    First of all whats your climate like.... Second of all Welcome to BYC... My background is about 50 years worth of Aquarium hobby... worked in a tropical fish store for about four years when aquariums were evolving from Tar based seals and glass frames.
    We used Gravel systems for general filtering all aquariums.

    One of your main difficulties is the quantity of duck poo you are trying to "filter out"... Think about how much food they eat.... how many pounds... then you know how many pounds of fecal matter they are producing. Per week. and Yes I have done some thinking on this whole idea myself.

    How many gallons of water do you estimate are in the system? I suspect a kiddy pool may not be large enough for eight ducks for this process.

    I was doing my estimates using 250 gallon totes with Tilapia running the water through the Aquaponics system then on to a Pond with Hyacinth and reeds... Hyacinth has fantastic filtration capabilities.... Multiplies like crazy so one or two plants are good enough to start with.

    The filtration system I was developing used a 55 gallon drum with varying density gravel water drawn down through either water pump or air pump the top would be where the duck pond water would enter there would be a fiber prefilter to catch the large solid particles. That would get cleaned peroidically.... and thrown in the compost pile.

    But the actual waste management is occuring in the gravel. Aerobic bacteria fill in between the stones and digest the organic material. The water then would go through the hydropoics system then out to the Pond with the hyacinth...

    The tilapia water would be used to top off the duck water.... The cleaner you can keep the
    Tilapia the better they will taste....

    I havent done this system yet... I hope others will chime in.

    deb
     
    cheezenkwackers likes this.
  3. itsasmallfarm

    itsasmallfarm Songster

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    Always wanted to do that but where i live sask canada tilapia are illegal to raise so i have to stick with an aquaponic trout system but would love to have a pond that filters the water through the fish into the duck pond then through filters to the plants then to the fish again. Again not sure of the duck pond part.
     
  4. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller

    One of the draw backs for Tilapia is they need at least 75 degrees to live but around 80 85 for reproduction. Here in the desert I still will have to heat the water for about three months of the year.

    I envy your ability to raise cold water fish.... Trout are one of my favorites. Again I would think the best bet would be to use the water from the fish as a top off point... only introducing fresh water to the fish. Then from then its game on.

    One of the things that I found with raising fish is the larger the volume of water the easier it is to maintain your aquarium... and even though its a Tank and the fish are intended for the table... its still an aquarium. If a fish were to die you have more time to get it out of the system before decay pollutes the water.... Same goes with too much fish food. Tilapia are pretty much vegetarians so left over Spinach or Zucchini are excellent additional food sources.

    I know trout are different.... diet and temperature wise but those same principals apply larger volume easier maintenence. Colder water keeps the oxygen locked in better. Warm water You should have a bubbler...

    Back to Ducks and duck water.... We wont really know till we give it a good try ... Right?

    deb
     
    itsasmallfarm likes this.
  5. itsasmallfarm

    itsasmallfarm Songster

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    I am so tempted to start this project next spring when i have all my water fowl as the winters here are super cold i have to lock my birds in all winter. For a good 4 months maybe 5 some years. But yup i love me some trout and i really wanted to do aquaponics just had not enough time however this may be perfect for my birds (there pets) while i get a food source.
     

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