I have a pond in my garden with several fish, and I also have a barn with a group of ducks that I release in the garden during the day. As soon as I open the door for the ducks in the morning, they go straight to swimming in the pond.
They spend the whole day walking around and swimming in the water. I started to notice that the water in the pond became cloudy, and I also found some dead fish! So could this be because of the ducks?
Ducks cause damage to the ecosystem of the pond and lead to the creation of unbalanced and unhealthy living conditions, which leads to stress and mortality for fish. Let us explain more about the extent of the impact of ducks on ponds and how these problems can be reduced.
Are Ducks Bad For A Pond?
Yes, ducks are bad for ponds because they are a major danger to fish species like koi and goldfish. Ducks excrete more often than we expect, so as long as ducks are in the water, their poop does not stop releasing excrement loaded with a high percentage of ammonia!
Can Ducks Contaminate Water?
Although duck droppings are a great fertilizer for terrestrial plants, they are toxic to fish in ponds. As it increases waste, pond sludge, and pH levels. Which, in turn, is not fatal to the fish in the pond.
Pond water pollution is caused by the regular visits of large numbers of ducks and not by a single visit by a single duck or a pair of ducks. Which is not something to worry about if you have a large pond.
Will Ducks Eat The Pond Fish?
Ducks can only eat very small fish that fit the size of their mouth. Thus, there is no great danger to small and medium fish, and certainly to large ones, but it eats fish eggs, which leads to a decrease in its production.
Although ducks may not eat the fish in the pond, they attract predators to the pond, which may in turn eat the fish!
Problems Resulting From The Presence Of Ducks In The Pond
Here is why we think duck represents a huge issue for your pond:
Increase In Waste/Sludge
Ducks lead to reduced water quality due to increased waste, high ammonia, and increased algal blooms due to excess nutrients. which leads to sludge in pond water, which leads to stress, injury, and eventually killing of fish.
Parasites, Diseases, And Bacteria
The presence of ducks in the pond results in a lot of pollution and waste as a result of feathers falling from the ducks, in addition to the bacteria and parasites that the ducks carry to the pond, which can be fatal to the fish.
Erosion Of Pond Banks
Excess numbers of ducks accelerate the erosion of the banks as a result of their continuous digging in the soft areas around the pond in search of food.
Ducks trample plants growing along the banks of the pond. Ducks also feed on aquatic plants, so the damage caused to plants as a result of ducks scratching them causes the leaves to fall and damage the plants.
Ducks love water so much and may feel so comfortable in a pond that pairs of ducks mate in the pond and lay eggs and own their ducklings in the pond! Where the duck may lay its eggs in any corner of the pond. Although this may sound cute, pond ducklings have high requirements.
The mother duck will start to meet their requirements and increase the food he provides to them, which increases the waste in the pond as well as the waste already present due to their droppings, as many small defecation machines in one place, which completely disrupts the pond ecosystem.
So be careful if you suspect you have a pair of ducks in the breeding or that have already started laying eggs.
You may not be able to remove them yourself. It is best to contact your local wildlife rescue and advisory center, as some duck species are protected in some states and some countries.
How Can Ducks Be Kept Out Of The Pond?
You can keep ducks out of your pond with ease using the pond net. Pond netting will ensure that no ducks or geese enter your pond. Pond netting has a wide range of other benefits as it helps keep the water clean and reduces sludge.
It prevents debris and waste from entering the pond. It also has another key important benefit which is deterring predators, such as herons that devour fish.
In addition, pond net allows most of the sunlight to reach and penetrate the pond. You can use both backed nets and drift nets to deter ducks as they will work well.
Backed net will be more effective as it ensures that the ducks are completely blocked so that the ducks cannot even set foot in the water.
It’s okay for ducks to land in your yard as this will be much less of a problem than ducks in your pond and can be beneficial.
Duck feces are good fertilizers for terrestrial plants. In any case, they will not stay long, as they cannot feel comfortable and have fun if the ducks do not find water to swim, eat, and clean.
Are Ducks A Problem In The Pond If There Are No Fish In The Pond?
Ducks are not a big problem if there are no fish in the pond. A pond without fish is less sensitive to spikes in ammonia and waste. The pond is prepared for wildlife and can balance itself around the ducks as long as there is an appropriate amount of biofiltration in the pond represented by aquatic plants.
As pond plants will help reduce water waste by removing excess nutrients, such as nitrates and phosphates. This leads to the non-accumulation of waste, thus preserving the aesthetics of the pool and removing unpleasant odors.
It also works to reduce algae growth by gobbling up nutrients. So you can keep them in your pond without worry.
You can also keep some ducks in your pond even if there are fish, but they must be a limited number and appropriate to the size of the pond so that they do not harm them.
How Many Ducks Per Acre Pond?
You can keep 8 to 15 ducks per acre (0.5 hectares) of water. It is not recommended to increase the number of ducks more than this to maintain a balanced and healthy pond ecosystem. This number of ducks will work well with fish and aquatic plants and protect banks from erosion.