I have just created a couple of brief Youtube videos to illustrate how I have created a recirculating water duck pond. In these two videos I show how I have approached the problem of cleaning up the water, grow a biomass that expands quickly (water hyacinth) and can be used as source of fodder or fertilizer. I have plans to extend this.
Neat idea, Cash. I've always been interested in aquaponics but gave up on the idea as it's way too energy intensive to keep a system with fish going through my winter. Do you think ducks would work with a more standard flood and drain or raft aquaponics bed...or is it a completely different 'kettle of fish'?
I have only 3 ducks and they eat everything I've tried to plant near the pond. This past summer they even pulled tomato plants that overhung the short garden fence and ate them. I didn't get egg production until I cut them back so I think it stopped them from laying. I started with the preformed garden pond but later sunk it and built it bigger with a nice beach area. I made shelves behind the pond to plant in and 2 stream areas for water filtering plants but they can jump up there and ate everything I try to start there. I have a Laguana skimmer and I have to clean the pads weekly, mostly from the feathers clogging it. I have a dirty water pump that I pump the bottom out 3 or 4 time spring to fall. Winter is when I have to keep a close eye on it so the pump doesn't burn out if the filters clog or water level drops. I'll be watching this thread for suggestions too. I'd like to rig up a aquaponics system using my dirty pond water.
Could we have an update? Did the system keep working for you? What were it's pros and cons?
I could see using the concept with a "flood and drain" quackerponics system by using storage tanks with float valves to keep the pond at more or less the same level, while holding, then flooding grow beds. I suspect that just like with fish, you'd need an awful lot of growing surface and plants to keep up with messy ducks. Looking at my ducks, there will be much more solid waste - dirt, sand, bits of grass - in duck water than fish water. That's where Cash's simple system that grows biomass which can at least be useful as mulch seems to make sense as a "living filter" which could be used at the start of the cycle with the pre-cleaned water then going through the food beds. I suspect there would still be dissolved nutrients for a useful number of edible plants.
Julie Bernhardt wrote: This past summer they even pulled tomato plants that overhung the short garden fence and ate them. I didn't get egg production until I cut them back so I think it stopped them from laying.
Do you (or anyone else) know if the tomatoes were keeping the ducks from laying? Our ducks are 9 and 12 weeks old, and they devour the tomatoes that come free from our local co-op grocery. Should we stop giving them tomatoes?
I am also interested to see how the Duckponics system worked out, too!