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Discussion Starter #1
We just dug a 2ft. wide, 10 feet long and 3 feet deep duck pond. We had been using kiddie pools for our 2 girls.
I was curious what kind of pump would I need to keep the water clean?
I ask the question in the Poultry forum and they thought it might be better here. We have access to a cheap above ground pool pump and wonder if this would help?
 

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Big Bird
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The swimming pool pump will probably clog up much too quickly. Ducks have an odd habit of sitting in a pond and "dibbling" in the resulting mud around the edges. What have you lined the pond with? If it were concreted with a wide lip around the edges, the dirt dumped into the pond would be greatly reduced. How about a very wide gravel edge.

Get a big pump designed for a goldfish pond. Make sure it has a trash guard to keep leaves out of the impeller. Pump the water up into the top of a 55 gallon drum filled with gravel. Lava rocks would probably be the best. If you could filter it through some form of foam that could be rinsed or replaced all the better. Drill a large hole on the bottom and drain teh water back into the pond.
 

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Yes you need some type of filter. Above post is a good idea - a home-made "slow-rate sand" (or gravel) filter - good. You could try gravel and sand in layers. And, its a good idea to rig up a "back-wash" method, where you reverse the flow for a while, and dump the "backwash" to drain or other use.

Sounds good, give it a try.

Alex
 

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Discussion Starter #4
DayBird said:
The swimming pool pump will probably clog up much too quickly. Ducks have an odd habit of sitting in a pond and "dibbling" in the resulting mud around the edges. What have you lined the pond with? If it were concreted with a wide lip around the edges, the dirt dumped into the pond would be greatly reduced. How about a very wide gravel edge.
We have it lined with the pond liner material, I dont know the name off hand. We have enough to make a wide lip around the pool. Would this help?

Get a big pump designed for a goldfish pond. Make sure it has a trash guard to keep leaves out of the impeller. Pump the water up into the top of a 55 gallon drum filled with gravel. Lava rocks would probably be the best. If you could filter it through some form of foam that could be rinsed or replaced all the better. Drill a large hole on the bottom and drain teh water back into the pond.
DH says this is a great idea, thanks!
 

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Big Bird
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MicheleMomof3 said:
We have it lined with the pond liner material, I dont know the name off hand. We have enough to make a wide lip around the pool. Would this help?

Put that down and cover it with stones and gravel, the wider the better for helping to keep the pond clean. A sand filter would probably clog up too quickly. I'd use gravel, lava rocks if you can find them, with the biggest no bigger than a ping pong ball. A layer of sand at the bottom of the drum would help to "polish" the water. The larger sized gravel would trap larger particles of trash while the sand would trap smaller particles. If you just used sand or sand in a layer at the top, it would clog up in a matter of days. You have to remember that a filter doesn't remove trash, dirt or other pollutants from the water. It just provides a place for decomposition to occur. The only way to remove this from the water is to physically remove it. Think of an aquarium, you do have to change out that filter pad.

10 X 2 X 3 = 60 cubic feet of water.
60 cubic feet of water X 7.5 gallons of water per cubic foot = 450 gallons of water. Give or take some depending on how high you actually have the water level.

What you're doing is making one enormous pot for "brewing" manure tea. Look outside the box. Don't think of it as the ducks making the water dirty. Think of it as the ducks making an excellent, organic fertilizer for you. Use a filter. There's no way to help keep it clean without one, but do drain off at least 50 gallons of that water each week to use in the garden, more in the summer. Make sure to use mosquito dunks to keep them away.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you!
This has been such a learning experience! We are doing as you suggested. DH is going to build a gravel type filering system. I think he is still going to use the pool pump just cause it will pump the water just fine and is much cheaper. He said he can rig it to the gravel "filter" easily.
Now here is a question you may not be able to answer. If we do as follows and also take off the 50 gallons each week (which was the PERFECT idea I think!). How often do you think we would have to drain it completely and refill it? I said a month and DH says we can go longer. Anyone want to settle a bet for us? :haha:
 

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Big Bird
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I'd say take 100 gallons out each week without draining it completely. You then may not have to ever drain it completely. That would be a real pain and potentially costly.

How about using some other drums to harvest rainwater off of your roof. Use this water to refill the pond. You "could" get a 12 volt pump and wire it to a solar panel and battery. You'd then have an off the grid organic fertilizer factory.

Or, if you have an area where overflow could run off (which you probably would need anyhow), you could just drain your gutters directly into the pond. The water would then be partially changed everytime it rains.
 

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I'd say take 100 gallons out each week without draining it completely. You then may not have to ever drain it completely. That would be a real pain and potentially costly.

How about using some other drums to harvest rainwater off of your roof. Use this water to refill the pond. You "could" get a 12 volt pump and wire it to a solar panel and battery. You'd then have an off the grid organic fertilizer factory.

Or, if you have an area where overflow could run off (which you probably would need anyhow), you could just drain your gutters directly into the pond. The water would then be partially changed everytime it rains.
 

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I have been using rain barrels for years and really works. In addition, I use a 55 gallon food used barrel for the pond filter. The hose enters the top of the barrel, connects to PVC pipe down to bottom of the barrel. At the bottom, smaller PVC is drilled into small drain holes. All connected, the water is forced to blow out the small PVC in the same direction. This forces the dirty water to to spin. The water raises in the barrel through sponges (cheap kitchen sponges), through large pond filters cut to fit. Water drains from 2/3 top of barrel to pond. All that works.

The problem is, the pump. The pump is a large submerged pond pump. Works wonderful, used it for goldfish for years. Got the six ducks, now the pump plugs with duck poop. Increased its ability to work for about 3 to 4 weeks using pond filters around the pump itself. Still plugs up and takes about half an hour of cleaning the filters. So the question is...pump? And how to set it up to slow down the plug of poop Thank you.
 

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I'm sorry but I don't see any kind of pump keeping the water clean. A submersible trash pump will handle the solids. About the most I would expect would be to remove the solids from the bottom daily. It should make good addition to a compost pile.

No matter what you do short of replacing the water daily will prevent the water from turning pea soup green. The ducks don't seem to mind if it's green.

If your garden is nearby you could just pump the water to the plants and replace it with fresh water daily. If the bottom of the pond was higher than your garden you could use a siphon and save having to buy a pump and use electricity to pump the water.
 

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The actual pump won't "clean" the water. What clean my water is; pump transfers water from the pond to a 55 gallon tub. The water goes into the tub via PVC pipe from the top of the tub to the bottom. At the bottom of the PVC there are smaller PVC pipes that force the water to spin around the tub. From the bottom of the tub the water spins around and raises to the top. The area bottom to top are sponges, different shapes and sizes. On the top of the sponges is coarse aquarium foam filter, cut to cover the sponges. About 6 inches from the top of the tub is a drilled hole with a 4 inch diameter PVC to let the water drain back to the pond. Worked perfect with fish. Everything works fine except for the pump. Clogs like crazy. Now I made a filter for before the poop gets to the pump and only needs cleaned 3 to 4 weeks. If I could find a way to pump the poop to the tub...I think I'd only need to empty the tub 2 or 4 times a year. So, anyone have a idea how to pump the poop via the pond water to the tub?
 

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Since this thread is from 2004 I am sure the OP has either solved the problem or got rid of the ducks. I wonder how it worked out.

Back when I had ducks I used a kiddie pool, emptied and refilled daily. Ducks are messy critters.
 

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Build a waterfall filter.

Pump everything to the top of terraces filled with sand and gravel that will catch the solids and allow the water to filter through.

Make them like stair steps and put in some plants to soak up the nutrients.
 

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Thank you, all, for your response. Unfortunately, or not, I live in Columbus Ohio area. The City Health Department does not permit emptying the pool and duck poop into the yard. You can collect the water and poop and put them into a garden.

The pond I built is 11 ft long, 5 ft wide, 2 ft deep. I just need a way to pump/suck/draw from the pond to a 55 gallon tub. If anyone has an idea...thank you.
 

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I just need a way to pump/suck/draw from the pond to a 55 gallon tub.
You just need a "trash pump" to do that.

Pump it into a barrel lined with netting or fabric that can catch the solids then route it to your existing filter to return to the pond.
 
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I think you will find that the "solids" aren't really that solid. I would treat them like a liquid and pump them into your garden. If necessary you could perforate a length of polypipe and lay it on the ground in the garden and cover it with 6" of straw to contain the odor.

A normal trash pump should pump the solids just fine. They are built to pump a certain amount of solids.
 
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