How Often Do You Change Swimming H2O?

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
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I was thinking of 2 50 gallon stock tanks for spring, summer, and early fall for 8 ducks and 4 geese. I'm worried about the cleaning time; water will go to the garden. Do you do one mixing tub per bird? I'm wondering about ice.
:welcome one nice thing about the mixing tubs for winter is they can be dumped by days end so no ice to build up.
 

shawluvsbirds

🦆Lord luv a Duck!
Apr 17, 2017
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I only do that in warmer weather. I refresh with cold clean water. Not all of their waterers, just one or 2. I feel like bacteria could build up in the hotter weather. But, maybe I'm just being too cautious.
Yeah when it's really hot I do refresh Waters more often.
And I try to keep everything in the shade as much as possible.
 

raingarden

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Apr 12, 2021
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It's going to be REALLY difficult to filter duck water. The filter surface area will have to be huge and filter maintenance will require much more time and hard work than replacing water. The pumping electricity to run a mat filter will cost more than the water. A swirl separator is going to have a hard time removing the fine silt particles. A Kaldnes filter may be the most efficient and compact.

Have you ever seen a clean, well-kept duck pen? I haven't. Ducks are just slobs especially when living on bare ground. They will get a mouth full of dirt, run over to rinse it out in the pool, and repeat. Then, there's the poop, spilled feed, dirty feet and algae growth.

To keep the water looking clean you need much more space and volume with enough depth to get some sedimentation. It's the dilution solution. We're talking about more than a thousand gallons per bird.
 
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Aunt Angus

Crossing the Road
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I have 2 ducks who swim almost constantly (Runner and Saxony) and one who spends maybe an hour swimming daily (Swedish). The other 2 (Welsh Harlequin and Pekin) don't swim much at all, preferring to do the head dunk. 2000-3000 gallons are doable, if that will keep the little darlings happy and healthy. We'll see...

I *will* figure out a setup that I can live with. And my next pond will also function well enough that I'll be able to sleep at night.

Thanks for all of your input. It's very helpful, and I appreciate it. I may experiment and document it, ala elementary school science projects. That could be fun...
 
Nov 30, 2021
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I change one of my pools everyday and the other every other day. And yes it is a lot of water. I tried to conserve water in the beginning, but with the number of ducks I have they really need the cleaner water. I have seen feather quality drop before because they didn't wash as much. So I started to change it more often. My ducks make a beeline for the clean pool. I can't really say if three days is too long, but it feels long.

Since you have just five, you could try using a concrete mixing tub for the winter and not necessarily give it to them everyday. That would cut down the amount of water. They certainly don't need a bath every single day, but they certainly do love it.
We have 8 ducks. I made a pond for them really simply, its about 3ft x 6ft and only about 1ft deep. I built it over a couple of soak away boxes a d put a plug in the bottom so emptying it just means pulling the plug, and I have 2 big water butts that collect rain water from the house to fill it. Takes about 130gallons. I also got a pump and filter kit, pontec 10000. Works really well, water only stays really clear for a couple of days but it's not bad, and certainly doesn't smell even with 8 of them in there all day and night. There is very little left in the bottom when I do empty it. I empty it once a week and have to clean the filter housing out, but doesn't take very long, to empty the pond, refill it and clean the filter. Ducks all in good health. 1 thing I have not tried yet is just cleaning the filter out and topping up the water, the ducks probably kick 1/4 of the water out in a week between drinking and messing about, and seeing what happens. May try that and post results. It may be that I could get away with emptying it once every 2 or 3 weeks, but as its winter here and the water buts are filling in a week its not really an issue.
 

Aunt Angus

Crossing the Road
Jul 16, 2018
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We have 8 ducks. I made a pond for them really simply, its about 3ft x 6ft and only about 1ft deep. I built it over a couple of soak away boxes a d put a plug in the bottom so emptying it just means pulling the plug, and I have 2 big water butts that collect rain water from the house to fill it. Takes about 130gallons. I also got a pump and filter kit, pontec 10000. Works really well, water only stays really clear for a couple of days but it's not bad, and certainly doesn't smell even with 8 of them in there all day and night. There is very little left in the bottom when I do empty it. I empty it once a week and have to clean the filter housing out, but doesn't take very long, to empty the pond, refill it and clean the filter. Ducks all in good health. 1 thing I have not tried yet is just cleaning the filter out and topping up the water, the ducks probably kick 1/4 of the water out in a week between drinking and messing about, and seeing what happens. May try that and post results. It may be that I could get away with emptying it once every 2 or 3 weeks, but as its winter here and the water buts are filling in a week its not really an issue.
This is fantastic! I will look into doing this. I just need a few days more to save water. Thank you for sharing!
 

igorsMistress

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We’re also in a drought and I’m in the same boat. I’m using a smaller kiddie pool to lessen the amount of water I’m using in it and change it daily. The water goes to shrubs so it’s not wasted. I used a larger one and changed it less often but it was stinky when I dumped it and that was a problem. It also seemed like my plants struggled with the strength of the tea so to speak. It was the only solution I could think of until I can get their big pool set up in a shady spot, I’m growing shade and setting up the space for them in the meantime.
 
Nov 30, 2021
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This is fantastic! I will look into doing this. I just need a few days more to save water. Thank you for sharing!
Pleasure. I forgot to say the pump and filter kit I got also has a UV light so kills alot of the bacteria as it goes which also help longevity of the water. I am also trying to work with a company to develop a system specifically designed for duck ponds. Will post on here if I have any success
 

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