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My Homemade Automatic duck waterer / duck pond

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Jacob Duckman, Nov 6, 2016.

  1. Jacob Duckman

    Jacob Duckman Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 4, 2016
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    I have been trying to figure out a way to automatically water my ducks inside their run for the past few months. I live in the North so any system that uses connected tap water would eventually freeze and fail as they are located some 50 feet away. Also ducks benefit from immersing their bills in water. My ultimate goal was to put something together that would only require once monthly attention. "set it and forget it"

    I dug up and installed a pre-formed 35 gallon pond in my duck run and it has been a real struggle keeping it clean. After having experimented with a wide range of pond filter types, from small to large.

    To my surprise and disappointment, none of the filters I tried would keep up with the Ducks bringing in dirt, and a ton of nitrogen into the water every day. All the filters eventually either clogged and failed within a few days or did not do a good enough job to even keep up with odor. My 20 years of experience keeping fish and turtles made me realize that to make this filtering work i would need a SIGNIFICANTLY larger biological filter..

    In a desperate attempt to save myself from daily water changes, I decided to go a little Overkill and build a homemade 20 gallon filter. I started with a simple plastic container bin. The bottom layer is porous cement debris which was topped with a poly mesh, 5gal of coarse sand, and foam pad at the top for mechanical filtration. The prefilter UV pump sends the water to 10 nossles at the top of the container and trickles through the top layer back into the pond. the bottom layer of aerated water and cement chunks add surface area. I inoculate the filter with beneficial bacteria and hay, and so far it has remained relatively clean and odor free. . The only maintenance I do is once a month when I change the foam pad and do a water change. For the past few months the pond has been clean enough for the Ducks to drink and swimming and there is no detectable smell. I also have a bird bath heater that's on a thermostat to go on below 35 degrees to keep the filter running down to -15 F.

    The next step for me is to build a simple fail-proof duck feeder. I'm thinking about using simple 2 inch PVC shoot into a larger PVC container? I'd love to hear some ideas.[IMG ALT="I dug up and installed a pre-formed 35 gallon pond in my duck run and it has been a real struggle keeping it clean. After having experimented with a wide range of pond filter types, I realized none of them would be able to keep up with ducks. The water was never sufficiently cleaned, and a bad odor remained. Also the amount of buildup on the intake would eventually clog it and force me to manually clean it weekly. The only long-term solution was to significantly increase the area of biological filtration to keep up with the enormous amount of nitrogen organic material, and bacteria that Ducks introduce.

    In a rather desperate attempt to save myself from daily water changes, I decided to build a homemade 20 gallon filter for a 35 gallon duck pond. The bottom layer is porous cement debris which was topped with a polly mesh, 5gal of coarse sand, and foam pad at the top for mechanical filtration. I inocculate the filter with beneficial bacteria and hay, and so far it has remained relatively clean and odor free. . The only maintenance I do is replacing the foam pad and do a water change once a month."]https://www.backyardchickens.com/content/type/61/id/7625390/width/350/height/700[/IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016
  2. MinnesotaNice

    MinnesotaNice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 20, 2015
    Minnesota
    WOW in regards to your filter system. My ducks would be jealous.

    In regards to a duck feeder, it really depends how many you have. I have 15 and use a galvanized feeder. I do, however, have a PVC pipe feeder system set up in my chicken coop. That would also work great for ducks. A lady I know who has close to 100 ducks, uses a garbage can with holes in the side for the ducks to stick their head into. It allows her to use a large amount of feed.

    Here's a picture of the hanging feeder I use. It holds 30 lbs:

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. nobueno

    nobueno Just Hatched

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    Oct 30, 2016
    Could you post a few more pictures showing the whole system? Where is the pump? Where is the water being pumped in and out? Can you send a link for filters you're using? Sounds awesome. Is it still working and were you able to keep it running?
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017

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