The Duck-ponics Experiment - Raising minnows

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Wifezilla, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. itsasmallfarm

    itsasmallfarm Crowing

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    okay i know this is an old thread, but instead of making a new thread for really the same idea i thought i would just bring this one back up.

    what type of pump do you use? a simple aquaponic pump? or is there a special pump that you need? next has any one tried adding fish to this mix? like edible fish like trout to there small pond/tank or is this a big no?

    this is my idea i would love to try.

    am getting ducks for eggs this year and next year i plan on giving them a pond. (am getting them in the fall so no water this year as it gets cold fast here) but next spring i want to give them a pond/tank to swim in, am thinking about 310 gallons or more (am getting six birds 3 ducks 3 geese) but with that size i don't want to dump the water out every day (and i leave in the summer so some times no one will check on them for about 2-3 days at rare times) but now here is the question is it easier to make an above ground pond with pond liner or should i go for a big stock tank, next how big for these amount of birds? and lastly i would love to raise some trout in there (if i can) so is that a good idea?

    next are the plants safe to eat with duck poop? or is it too dirty for human consumption?

    thanks its a small farm out.
     
  2. smithmal

    smithmal In the Brooder

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    itsasmallfarm,

    All very good questions.

    Preform vs. Liner
    The benefit to a liner is that you can dig and design your pond as you see fit and it can be any size that you want. However, you run the risk of leveling issues and may develop a tear in the pond liner. Also, ponds that use liners may be difficult to clean.

    A preformed pond liner is easier to deal with though you have to spend time digging and leveling it correctly. You can get them super cheap on craigslist however, I don't know if you can purchase a 300+ gallon preform.

    Personally, I'm going to go the preform route and put mine above ground. I'm going to create a large floorless box, place the preform in and then add sand.

    In terms of what size the pond should be, that's a great question that I've never seen the answer to. I wonder if ducks can get territorial if a pond is too small...

    Pond pump
    In terms of a pond pump, I have read that it is better to have an external pump than an submersible pump. Due to the amount of waste that a duck pond accumulates in a very short period of time, submersible pumps tend to crap out pretty quickly. I've read that your pump should be sized so that approximately half of its volume can be pumped out per hour. An external pump should have some serious filters in place between the pond and the pump to increase its longevity. There are lots of different ways of putting in a filter upstream of the pump (swirl filter, biofilter, plant filter, etc). Personally I'm going to use a five filter system: between the pond and the pump::

    1. Skippy Filter
    2. Stone biofilter
    3. 3x 5 gallon plant filters

    Fish
    You can put in fish, but they should be a large breed if you don't want your ducks/geese to eat them. Adding fish can also increase the amount of waste in the pond and may necessitate you needing to have better control over pH and oxygen content of your pond to keep them alive.

    If you want to raise trout for eating, and use it in your system (like the duckoponics system does) there is the possibility of food poisoning. I have no idea how one would go about testing their fish to ensure they are safe to eat. Most individuals raise their fish in an external pool to the duck pond and have the pond water recirculate through the fish pond.

    Also, fish are very susceptible to temperature changes, so if you live in an area that has a decent temperature range, your going to need to shut down your fish nursery and start it back up again each year.

    Also, best bang for the buck if you're raising fish to eat is talapia.

    Plant consumption using Pond water
    I would advise not eating edible plants that have been exposed to the pond water unless that water is aged. Too much risk in my opinion. I raise my ducks in a duck yard filled with sand. Every 2 - 4 weeks, I need to clean the sand to remove the waste. I have come up with a sand cleaning process that works pretty well (eight rinses + disinfection). The great thing about cleaning waste off of sand is if you collect the rinse, you have nutrient rich waste water to amend your garden soil with. I do put this rinse in my veggie garden, but b/c I am concerned about pathogen contamination, I wait to add plants at least 1.5 months after adding the rinse. This is not a concern with my fruit trees since the rinse goes straight down to their root system. Obviously there's no issue with exposing a flower bed to pond water.


    Hope this helps,

    smithmal
     
  3. itsasmallfarm

    itsasmallfarm Crowing

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    thank you, okay so here is my updated idea, (with the help of your input :) )

    i could go with two systems (or well tanks) one for fish and the other for the ducks, both feeding there own grow beds, (one for human consumption and the other for the ducks/geese to eat) :)

    but ya the weather is very extreme where i live (sask) it can be either 30 C in the summer and -40C in the winter) :)
     
  4. Duckworth

    Duckworth Songster

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    I'm with greyhorsewoman on the duckweed. I put a little bit in our large aquarium a few years ago. It quickly covered the water's surface, blocked all the light to other aquatic vegetation and clogged the filter. The fish really struggled and we had a hard time feeding them. I removed most of it and it grew back in only a few days. I subsequently had to remove every single little tiny plant in order to regain a normal aquarium system. I won't ever voluntarily introduce duckweed again to any body of water.
     

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