Permaculture Biofilter Duck Pond (Update) One Year Later

Biofilter Duck Pond (Update) One Year Later - The Urban Ecolife

This is one post I am so excited to share with you! If you remember, last year I had the privilege of helping one of my dear friends and her husband build a Biofilter Duck Pond. You can read more about those adventures in building the Biofilter Duck Pond in this blog post. It was a big learning experience for all of us and one I was thrilled to be part of. I recently had the pleasure of visiting them a whole year later and gees, was I in for a surprise! 


When I left last year, we hadn’t yet planted anything but we were able to test the filter and it worked a charm. One year later, my friends have an abundance of plants thriving and the system is filtering clear water back into the pond. The whole ecosystem is in glorious form. I am so in LOVE with what they’ve done I couldn’t NOT share this success story of the first of its kind that I’ve ever seen.


Biofilter Duck Pond (Update) - One Year Later

This first picture is looking into the duck pen with the entrance door in the middle. They incorporated outdoor and indoor gardens as part of the set up, being conscious of plant selection based on the amount of sunlight they get during the day.


Biofilter Duck Pond

From inside, the water is clear and you can see to the bottom (when the ducks aren’t splashing about!). On the far right, you can see the first separate biofilter garden which they’ve kept fenced off from the animals so they don’t mess with the system and to keep the gravel bed in place. The water feeds through the first rock wall, passing through it’s first round of biofiltration, before being gravity fed through a pipe to the three external biofilter gardens.


Biofilter Duck Pond (Update) - One Year Later

The right garden in this photo are the three outdoor biofilter gardens separated into three large tubs. If you recall from the ‘before’ photos at the start, this is where we dug the tubs into the ground which are now filled with rocks and papyrus. These are being used (very successfully) as the filtration plants.


Biofilter Duck Pond (Update) - One Year Later

A close up of the three biofilter tubs and plants doing their thing. The large rocks keep the ducks and geese out and create atheistic appeal.


Biofilter Duck Pond (Update) - One Year Later

In the above picture, you’ll see the final bucket that contains the pump and on the right, inside the pen, it feeds back into the duck pond. The eventual dream is to have a pretty little waterfall/rock feature here the water returns to the pond…. but the pretty things can wait.


Biofilter Duck Pond (Update) - One Year Later

One of the geese enjoying the clean water and the little makeshift waterfall. It sounds beautiful siting outside listening to the running water so no complaints here.


Biofilter Duck Pond (Update) - One Year Later

So there you have it! Doesn’t it just look marvelous?! The whole set up is certainly not a budget operation but for the animal enthusiast who wants to incorporate more holistic thinking into their designs, it fulfills many purposes (exceeding my expectations!). This is the first time I’ve seen a Biofilter Duck Pond in action to this scale. It was awesome being able to contribute to the project and return a ear later to see the operation fully functioning. I hope this has helped provide you with some inspiration and motivation for your own DIY projects. The beautiful thing about a biofilter set up, is that it can be scaled up or down. The Koi Fish Pond being the most common variation.


So what do you think?! Have you undertaken anything similar at home?


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Posted on by Emily Uebergang Posted in EcoLiving, Home & Garden

About Emily Uebergang

Urban hippie by day, wandering gypsy by night. Emily is all about sustainable living and writes like she's out to try and save the world or something. Follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google+

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  • sara

    I am very interested in the filter they constructed for this pond and how many ducks they have. I would also like to know what state this house is in because it looks like this has been set up to run year round. I live in Colorado and it would not be possible to run this in the winter as the plants would not survive. Did they us any filter medium under the plants?

  • / EmilyU

    When the pond was first built it housed 5 ducks and 2 geese. It’s now just 4 ducks & 2 geese. It’s a constructed wetland biofilter that uses mostly rushes and papyrus (the plants go dormant in winter). They use lava rock to house the plants in the filter. The previous post I wrote about it (a year ago) that I link to shows some pictures of the construction of the biofilters. There’s 4 gravity-fed “ponds” in total that do all the filtering.

    Also, they use a laguna pump (an Italian brand and i’ve been told it’s lasted them 3 years, is easy to clean and going strong) that pumps the filtered water back into the pond.

    Hope that helps! :)