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Making and filtering pond for 8 ducks

 
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Kate Bee wrote:
Has anyone tried a pond of this size with a liner or tub and then used a hand pump to suck up the poop and muck from the bottom? I imagine it wouldn't get the pond 100% clean but maybe it would extend the longevity of the water if done regularly? A deepish pond might work better so that there is space for the sediment to settle.


There are systems that do similar with fish tanks. Get a syphon going and "vacuum" gunk off the surface. However there it's mostly poop or fish food debris. In a duck tub it will include a lot of mud.
The ducks would have to be excluded from the pond long enough for most of the suspended muck to settle to the bottom - that might require you have two sets of infrastructure minimum to rotate the ducks through.
Then you'd need to suck it up gently enough that you wouldn't stir it up too much.
I wonder that you wouldn't be better to do like wine and dregs - suck the good water off the top into holding containers, then dump and rinse the muck that's left behind?

Personally, if you're not prepared to use a lot of water, I wouldn't get ducks! Our time is worth something too. In the summer, I use a Dog X pen sets to make a large run that is moveable. I dump the water on the grass to fertilize it. If you did so in an orchard, you could fairly easily dump a bunch of the water directly near trees, or make some swales to dump it into.  The trick is to keep the birds moving every day to 3 so their poop is distributed. But that is also a lot of work.
 
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Kate Bee wrote:I don't have an answer, but do have an idea/question.

Has anyone tried a pond of this size with a liner or tub and then used a hand pump to suck up the poop and muck from the bottom? I imagine it wouldn't get the pond 100% clean but maybe it would extend the longevity of the water if done regularly? A deepish pond might work better so that there is space for the sediment to settle.
I don't have ducks yet but was considering this. Then, I'd take the muck I pump out and use it on fruit trees.
Thoughts? I'd love to hear criticism or ideas before I try this.




Welcome to Permies, Kate. You do not mention the size of the pond yo are thinking of...
I had 15 Pekin ducks [raised for meat, so prolific poopers]. Because they were quite young when they requested to dip in water, I didn't want to make the pond too deep. I would now because I had to change the water every third day and didn't have a transfer pump to use that rich water on my apple trees.
I used a very simple square enclosure made of (4-) 10'X 10'  two by fours, approximately. Then I placed a big blue tarp to effectively cover the pond and filled it up with water. The sheer weight of the water kept it in position. On the outside, I added here and there some 1'X1'X2"cement tiles. There was a deeper area near the South side because of a natural depression in the ground. [Maybe another 4", that's all].
The ducks were overjoyed. The "cleanup" was relatively simple as well: I would lift the low South side side and the tarp would fall through to the ground and all the water was immediately released in a few seconds. big gush of water!. I would then follow through with  a more thorough cleanup with my garden hose, lift the tarp over the 2"X4" and fill with clean water. After a while, I allowed the rain catchment barrel to be diverted automatically to their pond so that if the rain barrel overflowed, my ducks would get all the clean rainwater anyway. I provided them with a couple of cement tiles on the inside and the outside at the North entrance, to they could come in and out safely.
Keep their grit out of the pond, just in case you have to step in for the cleanup!
It worked until the ducks had to go to freezer camp: In zone 4 Wisconsin, a shallow pond like this would eventually freeze. That's why I chose meat ducks to start with.
It turns out my hubby is not all that fond of ducks, [pity!]. So I will have to wait until the freezer is empty of ducks again to start a new flock.
This time, I want to do things right and use telephone poles to make sure they have more than the minimum to swim. They would have about 10"deep to play in. The water might also last longer, so, that's the plan, anyway. I was studying how to lift these heavy logs and arrange them in a log cabin pattern with my chain saw, but with square notches, it is easier. The first problem is to lift them over the bottom poles, then notch them with my chain saw so they interlock..
 
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Ducks are quite messy, I put paver blocks down under and around kiddie pools, I have two set ups one for my old pair of ducks and one for three other ducks. You can use a bucket or a flat shovel to scoop water out, If its too heavy for you, but I just dump mine, the patio blocks keep them from picking up so much mud and poop into the water., In the summer I use the ponds in the winter heated water buckets. I change them daily and keep a brush handy to keep the yuck that sticks to the sides clean. I have to keep my birds confined so they have a big cage with a roof, I have a brook on my property but cant allow them to go to it or I wouldn't have any ducks do to predators. They dont have to dive deep to enjoy themselves the view of them bathing and splashing and having fun is worth the effort, sure on some days I have to refill the ponds, they splash it all out. But I have a water line to each animals coop in the summer, so its not hard to do. Hope this helps, Ducks rock love to watch them, One of mine is 14 years old already, might be her last summer coming. But she still enjoys life. So far so good. I also have a floor squeegie to push all the mud and poop that they do get on the pavers into a pile to pick up and put in compost.
 
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Ben Zumeta wrote:I’d use your duck pond water on the garden, which will filter out the nutrients (ie muck). In a similar situation I changed their water every day or two, and had a sump pump to run it to woodchip covered hugel beds. If nothing needed water, to the woodchip pile or compost. Overflow ran off into woodchip and woody debris filled swales and trenches in between hugel beds. We are in the last part of California with abundant good water, so this may not work everywhere, but that garden grew very well. For more pictures, video,  and info, check out my post on hugel-chinampas with duckoponic swales.



Wow we are absolutely going to start doing this with our pond! We are located in western Washington where we have abundant water, I can see doing this in the fall to fertilize/water our orchard and garden and then letting the fall/winter rains replenish the pond. Just free fertilizer and a good way to refresh the pond!
 
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World Domination Gardening 3-DVD set. Gardening with an excavator.
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