Using Mussels to filter duck pond

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by CraigT, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. CraigT

    CraigT Out Of The Brooder

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    I have been looking into using natural filtration for my duck pond ( outside of cutting expenses I like the idea of fewer mechanical parts). The most attractive concept I have come across so far is the Mussel. Turns out they can filter through a very large amount of water per day and feed off the detritus etc and polish up the water quite nicely from what I understand. Has anyone used this method and maybe combined with bacteria treatment ? How complicated is it and how well did it work. Currently working on a 6x4x2 pond for 5 ducks. Of course any other ideas or concepts are welcome. I was thinking of adapting a river tank manifold with 2 maxi jet 900 ( 1000gph on circulation mode) to keep water flowing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
  2. subhanalah

    subhanalah Overrun With Chickens

    Before you could add mussels you would have to have pristine water quality. They are very sensitive to ammonia and other wastes in water from decaying matter. You would likely need a filter for biological filtration (Nitrifying bacteria) to make this work.

    Duckweed, water lettuce and other aquatic plants (that are high nitrogen consumptive) is the way I would go. But your ducks may eat all of it before it has a chance to do anything!
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I like the way you think. I wish I had a good, detailed affirmative response. But I do recall Wifezilla working on a duckponics experiment. Perhaps you can look that up in the archive...
     
  4. jenniemig

    jenniemig Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd like to hear what your results are. I am putting in a small pond but there will be no electricity to run a pump or filter. A few weeks ago I was at someone's house who had a small duck pond with 2 ducks. They had no filter or aerator, just water lettuce and lillies the water was clear.
     
  5. maxdecphoenix

    maxdecphoenix Out Of The Brooder

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    how big is the pond? doh! nevermind, skimmed over the 2 feet deep comment. Might want to look into 'Common Reeds' http://tcpermaculture.com/site/2013/05/29/permaculture-plants-common-reed/


    Permaculture designers are known to plant them at the 'last catch' before water leaves their property for a number of reasons, 2 of which are:
    • Nutrient Sink – Reed Beds can accumulate a lot of nutrients (see information above) which can be transferred to other locations.
    • Bioremediation/Phytoremediation Plant – Reed Beds can be used as part of a biological filtration system to clean and purify contaminated water, often as part of a constructed wetland. This can be part of a home gray water system as well.


    The idea is after it's established, to just go in once or twice a year and slash the reeds, then chip/shred/bury/throw them on the compost/mulch the separated stalks.

    edit #3. good thing about it is you can probably find a 'donor' plant just about anywhere there is water. It's not native to the states, but the link indicates it is present in 49 out of 50.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014
  6. CraigT

    CraigT Out Of The Brooder

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    All good ideas, was not aware of how sensitive mussels were to natural water environment outside of the metals etc in tapwater. How about this for an idea..I guess its' kinda along the lines of a skippy filter but I can get a 35-40 gallon tub ( premold) for about 30 bucks.. What if I have water pumping out one side of the aquarium to the seperate tub which can hold the reeds/ duckweed or whatever and also the mussels, it passes through the secondary tub hitting the plant and mussel " Filter" and then pumps back out and around to the pond.. actually a pretty simple concept and for all I know it may be common.. I am new to this so this is all just off the top of my head kinda stuff. Clear water is nice but I am more looking to keep the duck waste under control .. I have researched and as far as I can see mussels and good bacteria are the way to go.

    To tack onto this comment I would also ask how many times the volume of the pond should my pumps gph be.. I currently have 2 Mareinland Maxi- Jet 900 which on circulation pump mode pull 1000 gph apiece.. they are leftovers from a river tank project which failed to take off lol
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014
  7. subhanalah

    subhanalah Overrun With Chickens

    My favorite pond/aquarium board is down because the owner (my friend) passed away over the summer.

    Maybe you can ask over at www.monsterfishkeepers.com they keep mega big mega pooping fish in big ponds. I think they may be able to help but I can't be certain. I've never had a pond myself (a girl can dream) so I don't know the specific gph's Requirements for a pond. For aquariums with tropical fish, 3-5 times the aquarium capacity and for messy fish like gold fish, Oscars or other predatory fish it's 10-15 times. So if you had a 100 gallon tank, that would be 1000gph. But being a bigger body of water and an undetermined amount of bioload, I really can't even give an educated guess.
     
  8. jenniemig

    jenniemig Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is surprising to me that mussels are that sensitive to their environment. I'm no marine biologist but the mussels here in the St. Johns river thrive in the nasty looking water. You'd think if the contaminates in the river didn't kill them a little duck poo would be OK[​IMG] I would grab some and give them a try, but it's brackish water and I'm sure fresh would kill them.
     
  9. subhanalah

    subhanalah Overrun With Chickens

    You'd be surprised at how clean the water is as far as waste levels. The invertebrates are an early warning system that something in the ecosystem is very off. First the invertebrates, then smaller fish on up the chain. It may LOOK gross but on a chemical level, its "clean". (Ammonia nitrite and nitrate)
     
  10. jenniemig

    jenniemig Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nah, it's nasty and polluted. We're always getting warnings about swimming in the area. There are so many people soaking their lawns with chemicals that the run-off is causing severe algae blooms. There are times of the year that we have massive fish kills from the blooms, and it's only getting worse. Then you have all of the boaters that think it is OK to dump Dawn in their bilge and pump the oil and fuel overboard. Our marina is one of the few that closely monitors boaters for things like this. Finally, don't get me started on the companies that are dumping what the EPA considers safe amounts of waste. [​IMG]
     

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