How do I keep my duck pond clean?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by garrettm101, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. garrettm101

    garrettm101 New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Jul 29, 2015
    I've had my 4 ducks for about a month now and their pond gets really smelly and brown. I recently created a drain system so I can just drain the water and fill it back up when it gets nasty but I don't want to have to be filling up the pond all the time so how do I keep it clean?
     
  2. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,482
    386
    186
    Aug 7, 2015
    Peyton, CO
    I think your only other option would be a continuous pump with filtration system. There are a lot of different options and ways of doing it. If you do a search there are numerous past threads that would give you some good ideas. If you do decide to put in a filtration system, just remember that sump pumps and sewage pumps are not designed to be used continuously so go with a good pond pump instead.
     
  3. slm518

    slm518 Just Hatched

    7
    4
    11
    Aug 13, 2015
    I'm still new at this, I got my ducks in the spring. But as far as I can tell, you can't keep it clean without frequently changing the water. Well, let me rephrase that. You can't keep it clean. I would love to hear from anyone who's been successful.

    My pond is about six feet by ten feet and my entire summer was spent trying to keep their water clean.

    Here's what I've tried:
    1. Plants. Ducks loved them and ate them.

    2. Small filtered pump. Duck "residue" clogged it.

    3. Large filtered pump. Clogged.

    4. Large filtered pump with a protective screen to pre-filter the residue. They shredded the protective screen and somehow dislodged the pump and the filtering material. They had a blast.

    5. Homemade filtration systems using two five-gallon water bottles, one filtering big stuff, the other small stuff and housing the pump:
    Number One - One with pea gravel and one plastic scrubby things topped off with filtering material. Clogged.
    Number Two - Pea gravel and sponges. Sponges disintegrated.
    Number Two - Pea gravel and carpet padding. Almost worked for a day. Clogged
    Number Three - Pea gravel and pillow stuffing. Clogged.
    Number Four - Removed half of the pea gravel and just had the pump in the second bottle. Yes, I was losing it by now.

    End result of my homemade filtration system: Massive failure. Ducks pushed rocks into the pond and put a hole in the pond liner.

    6. Drained the pond (which they loved because it was, of course, disgusting water mixing with dirt to create the most sublime goo) and put two wading pools in it. There's was a hole in one of the wading pools so it didn't hold water. They stand in it and quack at me.

    7. Repaired the pond so it kind of holds water. I use it to fertilize my greenhouse, garden, lawn, down the hill and anywhere else that I can think of. I take about half out and refill it with fresh water a couple of times a week. I also have the two wading pools with clean-ish water that I dump down the hill (I should plant something there) and refill. They also have a heated water dish that they can't fit in.

    I've timed them. It takes them 10 minutes to muck up a wading pool. Pigs have nothing on ducks.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
    3 people like this.
  4. tmorgan46

    tmorgan46 Chillin' With My Peeps

    349
    72
    106
    Sep 22, 2015
    Stafford, VA
    @slm518 I am truly laughing out loud and not at you but with you. I know exactly where you are!!!
    So here's the next logical step in my never ending desire to have a pool / duck pond that doesn't go through water like meal worms through a duck. I started with a homemade 5 gallon Lowes bucket filtration system. Because the lid stays on, the ducks can't dismantle, but it's not very effective. It lengthened the time between water changes to a couple of weeks rather than a couple of days. My pond pump is still working and I clean the intake filter weekly. So now I'm thinking larger and external because the submerged filter took up almost half of the deep part of the small pond we have. So the filter will be the same premise, lava rock on the bottom and a layer of filter pad on top and then I'll add some plants to help clear it up, the intake will be in the bottom of the filter and the output will come from near the top and flow back into the duck pond. Sounds good in theory, I'll keep anyone interested in my progress. I have one other project to finish this weekend, then I'll be able to devote my time to the pond. I'm also hoping that moving water won't freeze as bad as still water, that remains to be seen / tested as well.

    Troy & Tina
     
  5. garrettm101

    garrettm101 New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Jul 29, 2015
    I would definitely like to keep up with your progress on the filter! i have tried using two 5 gallon buckets one with sand and the other with gravel. That didn't work too well because there was not enough water flow coming out and the buckets just overflowed
     
  6. tmorgan46

    tmorgan46 Chillin' With My Peeps

    349
    72
    106
    Sep 22, 2015
    Stafford, VA
    Hi @garrettm101 , I'll be sure to keep you appraised of my progress. For now, I'm only trying to keep a small pre-molded garden pond clean. I followed directions I found on you tube when looking for a DIY pond filter. You and I are probably using very similar plans and having similar results. The next step is to use a much larger container which I think will really help with the fine sediment that most all filters have a hard time getting rid of. I hope to begin building it next week or the week after.

    Troy & Tina
     
  7. brandilly

    brandilly Out Of The Brooder

    57
    3
    38
    Aug 3, 2013
    Kelso, Washington
    Following along, too! Here's my question; when you go from internal to external, WHAT/HOW do you get the water from the pond to the filter? I know this should be obvious but it escapes me and unless I'm mentally blocking it out of what I'm reading, everyone focuses on the filter and return but no specs on getting it TO.
     
  8. slm518

    slm518 Just Hatched

    7
    4
    11
    Aug 13, 2015
    In my case, they kept clogging the pump that was supposed to send the water "to" the filter.

    So I dug a hole next to the pond and put the containers below the water level and just ran a hose from the pond (they have little plastic hose fixtures you can add to the liner that won't leak) to the bottom of the first container. Then a hose from the top of the first container to the bottom of the second (with the pump). I attached the last piece of hose to the pump and put the other end at the edge of the pond, so it keeps pumping water back in. Ducks like to play in it.
     
  9. tmorgan46

    tmorgan46 Chillin' With My Peeps

    349
    72
    106
    Sep 22, 2015
    Stafford, VA
    That really is the challenge and here's my thoughts on how to reduce the likelyhood / impact of the fine sediment at the bottom of the pond - elevate the pump slightly off of the bottom or make sure there is some type of "pre-filter" in place that you would then have to clean frequently. Right now I have a homemade submerged filter and pump combo discussed on another thread which sends the output to the secondary filter which is nothing more than a tub with barely straw in it. For the external filter, not much will change with the exception of the 5 gallon DIY filter goes is transitioned from inside the pond to the external tank.
    I'm losing myself in this explanation and wish there was an easier way. I think tonight I'm going to test my visio skills and see if maybe I can draw a diagram of what's involved. There's another thread I sifted through today called "duckopondics" or something along those lines and there's 30 pages of almost exactly this discussion. Well worth a deeper read if there were only more hours in the day!!!
    More to follow

    Troy
     
  10. slm518

    slm518 Just Hatched

    7
    4
    11
    Aug 13, 2015
    Please do, I want pictures!

    I've tried so many methods that it makes me dizzy. I get half-done and realize, oh yeah, I've done this before and it didn't work.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by