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What to do: 20 ducks on the property and a quarter acre pond  RSS feed

 
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Permit me to go out on a reed so to speak....

We also have 20 ducks on the property and a quarter acre pond. You can figure where I find them every morning. Naturally the pond sports a thick algae mat in the summer. I use that as biomass and fertilizer though there are other things I would prefer to be doing. So.... would this be possible?

* Use ducks preference for reed habitat to fertilize reed bed more and pond less. (I presume I can persuade the ducks to partake of the reeds first before they could access the pond.)
* Encourage water flow using slow air lift, pond to reed bed.
* Particulate trap after reed bed.
* outflow to water loving crops like celery or water cress.
* Balance of flow back to pond.

Off the wall and I appreciate the insights offered.
 
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Posts: 235
Location: Ireland
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bee fish forest garden homeschooling trees
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Hi John, interesting query. In principle everything you've outlined looks as if it should stack up ok.

Some questions and comments:
Do the ducks have a preference for the reeds, or will they continue to simply enjoy the open water of the pond?
For your particulate trap - would coarse sand, quarry grit, or partially composted woodchips all do a similar job here? You may need to scrape off a surface scum here to keep the trap clear.
Another particulate trap may be to have a separate area of the reed bed that is fenced off to prevent access by the ducks; which may need less ongoing maintenance.
The water will not be microbially clean, given the duck droppings, so be sure to cook the crops rather than eat them raw; or to be sure to pick from above the soil line or water line.

I look forward to seeing the first photos.

:-)
 
john mcginnis
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Feidhlim Harty wrote:Hi John, interesting query. In principle everything you've outlined looks as if it should stack up ok.

Some questions and comments:
Do the ducks have a preference for the reeds, or will they continue to simply enjoy the open water of the pond?
For your particulate trap - would coarse sand, quarry grit, or partially composted woodchips all do a similar job here? You may need to scrape off a surface scum here to keep the trap clear.
Another particulate trap may be to have a separate area of the reed bed that is fenced off to prevent access by the ducks; which may need less ongoing maintenance.
The water will not be microbially clean, given the duck droppings, so be sure to cook the crops rather than eat them raw; or to be sure to pick from above the soil line or water line.

I look forward to seeing the first photos.

:-)



In the wet season the ducks are in the cattails eating the alage and bugs. Rest of the time in the pond proper. As to particulate trap, top layer 2 deep of koi pond filter mat then lava rock underneath. Would permit me to remove and flush the mats then return. Had not considered woodchips which will be something that I will look into. And yes I would have a excluder of some sort over the trap to prevent duck access.

The three plantings I would consider in the dry zone would be water cress, celery, kang kong. All prefer wet conditions. Cress ---> duck and rabbit feed.

Be glad to share photos once underway. Enjoyed the conversation and thanks for the tips.
 
Feidhlim Harty
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Location: Ireland
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The pond filter mat may be a better option because it's possible to pull it out and hose it down to clean it, whereas the options I've outlined would probably provide better filtration, but wouldn't be as easily cleaned.

Enjoy the task ahead. :-)
 
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