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Go From Green to Clean in No Time Flat
Keeping a duck pool or pond without a pump is sure to bring frustration. If you have tried to keep one without a "Jenny Box," again you know the frustration. I am going to show you how to make a duck swimming pool with a pump, in only a few hours. Solar powered pumps are an economical solution. I will also show you how to assemble and clean your pump.
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Items You Will Need
For the Jenny Box:
- An over-sized plastic shoe box and lid
- 1 washable air conditioner filter
- 4 long zip ties
- Drill with small to medium sized drill bit. (The size does not have to be exact, but smaller than your fingers.)
- Sharp knife or X-Acto knife for cutting round holes. You can use a jigsaw if you prefer.
Type of pool:
This does not have to be exact either but we used a large child's swimming pool made of hard plastic. It is thick enough to sit on the edge if you are not extremely heavy. This is good for you when you clean it, and for the ducks because the ducks can use the sides to climb and flutter out of the pool. You do not want to use a soft sided pool as the ducks have sharp claws on their toes, and they may push down while climbing in or out. They could even peck at the sides every day and over time cause a hole.
If you do not like scrubbing the pool, you may want to go with a smaller child's pool and change it more often. Some of these are easy enough to flip over and hose out. The pool in the pictures housed two full sized ducks, and would need scrubbing every three days to stay crystal clean. Even then it would not be perfect. I used the water to feed my garden plants, and changed it weekly or earlier depending on how fast I used up the water. I would daily add more clean water to the pool to account for evaporation and my use of the water.
Type of Pump:
Purchase a pump that suits your likes and needs. If you choose a solar pump, just know that they do not run 24/7 and the pool will get dirty faster. Ducks use the bathroom wherever they are and this is good for feeding the garden plants but not pretty to look at. So, it all depends on what you want the pool for. If you must have crystal clear water, you should get a pump that runs on electricity and is continuous.
The pump needs to be the proper size. You do not want to buy a fountain pump for your pond. The reason is because they are not made to filter much water. You need big enough to handle the volume of water in your pool. Measure your pool in both directions or across if it is a circle. Then measure how deep you wish to keep it. Multiply these numbers together and find your volume. Look at the specks on your pump to see if it can handle the volume of water that will be in your pool. It would be better to have a pump slightly larger than too small.
If you are buying a solar pump, be sure it comes with long enough wire or cables to accommodate your space. You want to allow enough length to reach the solar panels and control box. Some pre-measuring before you go shopping can make the job much easier.
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The Jenny Box and Pump
A Jenny Box is designed to act as a type of filter. Every reasonably clean pond or pool needs one. It also provides some protection for your pump against large debris.
I am going to show you how to clean and reassemble a solar pump and Jenny Box. I will explain how this Jenny Box was constructed at the same time.
Step 1: To clean, take the Jenny Box out of the dirty pool.
Step 2: Take everything out of the box. All that should be left is the the over-sized plastic shoe box you started with and the attached filter.
Step 3: Be sure to clean the dirt out of the holes you drilled on one side. You can do this effectively with a hose. (These are small holes drilled all over one side at random.)
Step 4: While the box is out of the water, examine the zip ties you used to attach a piece of filter material over the holes in the side.
Step 5: Once you have washed the filter out with a hose, place it back inside of the Jenny Box.
Step 6: Take a hose to the pump (the pump should be turned off), and clean the pump.
Step 7: Replace the filter material to completely cover the solar pump, leaving the extension piece sticking out.
Step 8: Be sure to keep track of the cord. It should be coming out of the edge of the filter that is wrapped around the pump.
Step 9: Replace the aluminum screening material you place over the entire box. This material hoses off nicely and comes reasonably clean.
Step 10: Be sure to push the extension piece and cord through the holes on the screening. (In the future it will already be there; no need to remove completely to clean.)
Step 11: Replace the outside piece of filter material which also leaves a hole for the cord, and the extension piece.
Step 12: Replace the lid in which you have cut out six--two inch circles. (Be sure to feed the cord and the extension piece through this lid also.)
Step 13: Replace any fountain head that came with your pump.
Step 14: Make adjustments to the fountain head to achieve the flow you desire.
Step 15: Place the Jenny Box back into the pool.
Step 16: Place a rock or two on top, being careful not to cover too many holes in the top. This weight helps to keep the Jenny Box submerged.
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Solar Panels Save Costs
Now that you have your pump all set up in the pool, you now need to set up your solar panels. Most solar pumps come in a kit that included the pump, fountain heads, wires, solar panels and a control box.
You will want to place your solar panels in a very sunny spot that receives the most amount of sun possible. You may also need to change the position with the changing seasons.
I placed my solar panels on the roof of my duck house so that the ducks would not peck at them and ruin them. This also seemed to be the best location because it is up above other tall plants in the garden that shade the ground below.
The control box for this pump is set to run on a timer. I can set it either to run constantly until all the reserved power is used up, or I can set it to run one to four hours apart. It has a designated amount of time it runs say every four hours. This is convenient if you live where there are many mosquitoes. Even though the ducks eat the larvae out of your pool, if they are resting or eating, then you can still become overrun by them.
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I hope you enjoy your new pool. Now all you need to do is add some ducks!
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Source: Instructions, ideas and recommendations by Atlanta Page
Pictures: © 2011, Atlanta Page