Asked on Apr 19, 2014

Does this pond need cleaned before the ducks arrive?

Sarah Dennis
by Sarah Dennis
We recently moved into a small holding that has sat vacant for over a year. The duck pond is rather green and has grass growing in it. The woman who showed us around commented 'a couple ducks in and that'll clean up nicely'. I'm not sure if this was a flippant comment or if the ducks really will clean it up on their own.
My question is: do we need to dredge/weed/treat it prior to purchasing our ducks or are they capable of adapting it to their needs?
Other details:
- I don't yet know which breed we will get, but definitely nothing delicate.
- From what we can see the pond is concrete lined.
- The water is about a foot deep. It may or may not contain fish as we spotted a heron in it last month.
- This will not be/does not have to be the ducks only source of water.
  14 answers
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Apr 20, 2014
    The shallower/smaller ponds are the more intervention they require to remain healthy. Is there any pump to circulate the water? If I were in you position I would have a local pond expert come out to make an assessment and recommendations.
  • Gerie Elliott Gerie Elliott on Apr 20, 2014
    I totally agree with having a pump. I have UV light with my pump, provide shade and water lilies to fight algae. Fish will eat some algae, but don't over do with the fish and get feeder fish ( goldfish from bait store) to start. If you buy expensive fish and they are eaten you will be unhappy. I never add chemicals. My husband thinks algae is fine. He likes natural look. I hate the algae, but it is part of having a pond. I provide shade with an umbrella. I really like that you have a good fence. Ponds can be dangerous.
  • Miriam Illions Miriam Illions on Apr 20, 2014
    Tagging a few of the pond experts: @The Pond Digger @Ponds Inc. of Illinois, Jason Lenox @Rocky Mountain WaterScape
  • I have raised Muscovy ducks which I found kept the bug population down and my animals rarely had ticks or fleas. Plus many people eat them because the meat is more like white meat and it is tender (I never ate one because mine were "tame" as you can get a feathered friend). Ducks do not have a preference for what the water looks like as long as it is water because ducks will get the water dirty so to speak because they will do their business in it. If you try to use a pond pump for ducks then you will have a lot of time spent keeping the filters and the pump clean. The ducks will take care of the mosquitoes too. I have to tell you that the ducks will eat the fish too-if it fits in their beak and they can swallow it, it will be dinner. I would recommend getting ducklings and keeping them under a light and in a pen or large box )(until they get feathers) and trying to talk to them and handle them a bit-not a lot for feathered friends are not like furry friends where they want cuddled. The purpose is to have the ducks know you and stay at your place. May sound silly but if you get older ducks sometimes they will fly away or leave. always have fresh water for them and gradually add a dish or pan that is large enough for them to get in and 'bathe'. Good luck and ducks can be very funny creatures to watch!
  • From what I see, there is no aeration or filtering system on the pond, perhaps I am wrong. I would think by cleaning it, adding filtration (a pump and biofalls), and some rocks on the bottom where beneficial bacteria can colonize, the homeowner would be off to a good start. If the water is not moving mosquitos will become a problem, maybe the ducks will help, but the pond does not look like a healthy water feature and I believe some intervention is needed to become healthy. I see they are in the UK, there are some great pond builders there, including Mark MJ Wilson, owner of Any Pond Northants, who is in Daventry, Northamptonshire. If he is close, he would be the first that I would call for an onsite consultation.
  • Kendra Loftus Kendra Loftus on Apr 21, 2014
    I would have to agree with Rocky Mountain waterscape. The pond at this point (at least from what I see in the picture) just looks like a hole in the ground with dirty water. It needs a pump and some good cleaning to prevent the mosquitos among other things from taking over
  • Sarah Dennis Sarah Dennis on Apr 22, 2014
    Thank you all for the advice! Much appreciated.
  • Hi Sarah Dennis! I'm sorry I have taken so long to get back to you on your pond. I think the best course of action is to contact your local CAC or Certified Aquascape Contractor to come out and offer some advise and direction for your pond. Here's the link to have a few contact you: If you are looking to DIY your pond, then you can start with the following: Get a pair of wader pants and pump down the pond and remove all of the water, plants and debris from the pond. Completely power wash the pond to remove all the build up. The next best thing is to add some potted aquatic plants to help reduce algae growth. The cheapest and best alternative to a complete overhaul as Rocky Mountain WaterScape suggested, is to purchase Aquascape's UltraKlean 3500 Pressure Filter Kit which can greatly enhance your ponds water quality and maintenance and it's under $500.00 with tax!. Please feel free to contact us for more information anytime! Enjoy your pond!
  • The kit with the pump is slightly more than $500.00 but the filter itself is less than. It also has a built in UV light which will help for your concrete pond. Good luck!
  • Rose Fisher Rose Fisher on Apr 27, 2014
    I agree the pump would be very helpful but you will also find that ducks really like to muck about in dirty water. I have seen them make an effort to overturn a source of water so they could make muddy holes in the yard, they love that, so having room for them to do that is important as well.
  • White Oak Studio Designs White Oak Studio Designs on Apr 29, 2014
    Just don't use chemicals please! Animals ( and babies) have a much more difficult time processing chemicals.
  • Wolfe Art Wolfe Art on Jun 12, 2014
    My thinking on this is not to do a thing to it. In the wild, ducks and other wildlife don't have humans cleaning up their habitat for them. It may look like it's unfit for you, but nature created it and wildlife will thrive in it the way it is. Ducks diet includes plants and string algae. Planktonic algae is the first link in most food chains that occur in your pond. They can clean the worst kind of algae from a pond. And ducks also love to eat slugs, bugs and even pull weeds. This pond may have everything they need including all the natural little green plants, algae and critters to feast upon.
  • Deb K Deb K on Jan 03, 2023

    Hi Sarah, I agree that you should get a pump to provide aeration, the ducks (no matter what kind) will eat the algae and other organisms that are living in the pond. I would not add any chemicals just an aeration pump, maybe with a fountain head on it to attract waterfowl. Hope this helps you out😀

  • Mogie Mogie on Jan 03, 2023 sells solar pumps. I ordered two and one is so powerful I had to find a larger container to put it in. It actually shot water up into the air almost 3 feet. Best part is that is was under $25.