Help! My duck pond stinks!greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
HELP HELP HELP HELP! I dug a pond for my ducklings and now that theyíre about 5 weeks old, much larger, pooping uncontrollably and Iím on my 2nd expansion of the pond, the sewer stench is really bothering me. I want to share the backyard with my duck babies, not be run out of it by them. How can I build a pond in the earth that will not stink? I lined the bottom of the pond with thick plastic sheeting and a hole to keep it needing/recycling fresh water. The pond sits next to a large fir tree and lives in its roots. Are there plants I could put in it to reduce the smell? Can I filter it/pump it, so as to reduce the stench and also remove their poop? What kind of pump/filter wonít get ruined from this? Is there a disinfectant I can use that will not hurt them? The tree branches do not allow to dig deep enough to create a pond for fish. I pulled the plastic out in order to make the pond larger, expecting the sludge to sink into the earth, but itís taking forever, and the smell doesnít look like itís going to go away. I donít know what to do. HELP! Thanks, Kristina
-- Kristina Jordan (email@example.com), July 21, 2001
"Stench' is both conditioned and subjective. Animals and poop are like babies and poop, can't have one without the other. How about duck diapers?
-- paul (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 21, 2001.
How big is the pond and how many ducks do you have in it? If your pond is not deep enough to put in fish, then your problem is that you DO have a sewer going there! There is not enough circulation of the water so you have no oxygen going in there. You do need plants (they put oxygen back into the water)and a few fish to eat the algea, waste, etc. A pond has a very tricky ecosystem! It is an amazing thing! Stop by the library and check a book on building ponds. Best of luck!
-- Karen (email@example.com), July 21, 2001.
could drain the pond and refill it, that will help for the short term. Long term,, build a bigger pond,, have fewer ducks,, and get some type or carp in the pond, catfish koi, suckers , ect. The more diverse the pond, the better it will maintain the sewage
-- Stan (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 21, 2001.
Keep the ducks out of the pond - most of the time. If they're Indian Runner or Khaki Campbell ducks they don't actually need a pond, although they'll be happier with it. Others, or in any case, let them in the pond as a treat for say an hour or half-an-hour a day - duck poop on land is bad enough, but it can dry out. A full days worth every day in your pond is too much.
-- Don Armstrong (email@example.com), July 21, 2001.
Kristina, post this question on the Poultry Connection. Many experienced people there who have many different set ups that can help you.. I can tell you that when we made our pond we dug in an intake pipe that let water run in it all the time and an outflow pipe that takes out the excess. That way it is always clean. If you are thinking of something smaller than a large pond I think you might want to consider one of the sizes of wading pools that will sit above ground and that you can empty(either by bailing out the water or siphoning)and keep clean that way. If you use a real big wading pool there are little submersible pumps available that make it easy to empty and keep clean. You will never keep a small, below-ground pool clean with ducks. Hope this helps. :-)
-- Little Quacker (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 21, 2001.
Interesting you should ask; I just happened to have the current issue of Atlantic Magazine lying open at the head of the stairs, in preparation to taking it to my next door neighbor who is dealing with almost four acres of ponds, and who is constanly battling with this type of thing, only his problem is caused by too many fish and not enough water plants, he thinks.
There is an article in this issue of atlantic (July/August 2001) which is as good as I have ever seen in print. It expains the pond processes which are at work in your pond in very straight forward, easily understood language. I tried to copy and paste it from their on line edition, but they don't' have all the articles on line, and this was one of them which is not on line. You can probably read/copy it at the library. If all else fails, e me and I'll scan the article; however, a lot of folks tell me that they can't get my scans to open up, for some reason.
In a nutshell, it appears you're getting too much nitrogen, especially ammonia, and phosphatein the pond, from the duck shit. This needs to be dealt with, preferably by plants and bacterial. I won't try to rewrite the whole aticle, here, though.
Also coincidental is I'm dealing with the same thing, in a "hole in the ground", which I eventually want to make into a pond. It's filled with giant frogs, and every imaginable kind of water insect. It's getting very stagnant., but doesn't smell. Yet.
I'm just in the process of making some filters to put into a siphon. I'll siphon the 'frog water" from the pond onto my veggie garden, which is downhill from the pond. The phosphates and ammonia are both good fertilizer (sort of like manure tea, I'm thinking), and will help the "good" plants grow, while discouraging the "bad" plants (algae). I'll keep the pond topped off with well water. The well water is fifty two degrees, which is good for the pond, and the pond is warm, which is also good for the veggies, I assume.
Teh article says that the typical pond which is having trouble like yours has too great a density of fish in it. I suspect that you have too high a density of ducks. If it smells septic, I suspect that all the algae and stuff has already used up so much oxygen that the pond has gone anaerobic.
Drop me a line, if you want ot find out how my "patented" system works out! (just change eco to echo in my email address)
Good luck, let us know how things work out.
-- jumpoff joe (email@example.com), July 22, 2001.
I have 12 Pekin ducks. I use kids wading pools, have 3 during summer. I have a small sump pump that I change the water daily. Run the hose out to water trees raised beds in garden, or whatever needs it, don't waste it. I put about 2 tablepoons of Clorox in each pool when I change the water, that way I don't have to scrub out the pools. Also use several Cosco dishwasher buckets around to drink from, and the girls use there for grooming themselves, also. I put about 3 drops of Clorox in these, too, and it sure saves scrubbing buckets out. The water doesn't smell, and it's just good fertilizer.
-- Duffy (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 24, 2001.
I went on line to find out if anyone had built a duck pond. I have one but want to convert my swimming pool to a pond. No answers here but I can contribute (to my amazment) regarding ducks and poop. I have pond about 5 X 7 and 18 inches deep. I put sand in the bottom and then a thick plastic. I bought a pump which pumps 300 gallons but my pond only holds about 100 to 150 gallons. I bought a filter from one of the catalogs. It is round and has a screw lid. Comes with a few rocks and some foam rubber. It didn't work to good at keeping the pond clean so altered it. The filter is about 16 in. deep. I filled it with rocks starting with pea gravel and worked up to rocks about 3 inches. (flat rock) This is suppose to be a natural way of fitering. Bacteria is suppose to take care of it. I then put the pads over the rock and screw the lid on. I put the filter where I can easily reach the easy screw lid. Made a waterfall with tubing which is connected to the pump. Easy project. I rinse out the foam every morning. The water is crystal clear and there is no debrie at the bottom except for a little near the filter. I take a fish net and scoop it out every few days. I have 2 Peking ducks and 6 turtles and 8 toads. Also have 12 fish. Some are Koi. So fun and all get along great. If you have any questions, feel free to mail them to me. Jo
-- Jo Schwan (email@example.com), August 20, 2001.
For what it's worth; my siphon system has helped a lot. My pond didn't stink, but it was getting pretty yucky; the water is gradually getting more and more clear.
After draining about 200 gallons from the pond through the siphon, I refill the pond back through the same pipe. This backflushes the filters. I have had no problem with the algae plugging up the filters, except minimally, and the backflushing so far has cleaned them out very satisfactorily.
Incidentally, the vegetable garden is thriving on this "frogwater"!
-- jumpoff joe (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 20, 2001.
I posted a message a few days ago but left something out. Regarding the filter modification; the filter comes with on hole at the bottom on the side. I used p v c pipe and filled the bottom with it in shape of a fork. Drilled holes smaller than smallest rock. This allows for good draw of water. Good luck and any questions, please mail me. Jo
-- Jo Schwan (email@example.com), August 22, 2001.