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Duckponics, also known as “Aquaponics with Ducks” or “Duck-Aquaponics,” is a system that combines aquaponics and duck farming. It’s a sustainable and efficient way to grow both fish and plants while utilizing the natural behaviors of ducks. Let’s explore how duckponics works:

Photo by Žaneta Mišutová: https://www.pexels.com/photo/ducks-swimming-in-a-lake-17303527/

1. Aquaponics System:

  • The foundation of duckponics is an aquaponics system. In aquaponics, fish and plants are grown together in a symbiotic relationship.
  • The fish live in a tank where they produce waste in the form of ammonia-rich water.

2. Duck Pond:

  • In a duckponics setup, ducks have access to a pond or pool situated adjacent to the fish tank.
  • Ducks love spending time in the water, and they naturally produce droppings (manure) in the pond.

3. Nutrient Recycling:

  • The fish waste (ammonia) from the fish tank is pumped into the grow bed or hydroponic bed where the plants grow.
  • Beneficial bacteria in the grow bed convert the ammonia into nitrates, which serve as nutrients for the plants.

4. Duck Manure as Fertilizer:

  • The nutrient-rich duck manure in the pond is also a valuable source of fertilizer for the plants in the aquaponics system.
  • When ducks swim in the pond, they naturally fertilize the water with their droppings, providing additional nutrients to the plants.

5. Plant Growth:

  • As the plants absorb the nutrients from the water, they purify it, making it safe for the fish.
  • The cleaned water is then recirculated back into the fish tank, completing the cycle.

Benefits of Duckponics:

  • Efficient Use of Resources: Duckponics maximizes resource use by integrating the natural behaviors of ducks and the nutrient requirements of plants and fish.
  • Reduced Waste: The system recycles and reuses water and nutrients, minimizing waste and promoting sustainability.
  • Multiple Outputs: Duckponics provides fish, plant produce, and duck eggs as valuable outputs, making it a multi-functional system.
  • Natural Pest Control: Ducks can help control pests like insects and snails, benefiting both the fish and plants.

Considerations for Duckponics:

  • Proper Management: Careful management of water quality, fish health, and plant growth is essential for a successful duckponics system.
  • Duck Welfare: Ensure that ducks have access to clean water, proper shelter, and a suitable environment for their well-being.

Duckponics is an innovative and environmentally-friendly way to create a harmonious and productive ecosystem, showcasing the interconnectedness of plants, fish, and ducks. By harnessing the natural behaviors of ducks and combining them with aquaponics principles, this system demonstrates how sustainable farming practices can thrive and provide multiple benefits.

Read this article on duckponics by Permaculturenews.org

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