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Ensuring Sufficient Pond Aeration – Pond & Lake Q & A


Picture of a Pond with an Airmax Aeration System.

Pond & Lake Q & A

Q: How do I ensure my lake or pond gets sufficient aeration? – Jack of Maine

A: Take a deep breath. Living things, whether they’re above water or below, require oxygen to thrive. If your pond or lake houses fish, then the aquatic environment needs to be rich with oxygen, and the best way to do that is by aerating the water. Pond aeration is simply diffusing life-giving oxygen into water evenly throughout the water column using surface aerators or bottom-mounted diffusers.

To determine whether your pond or lake requires aeration, take your pond’s temperature. Measure the temperature of the water 1 foot below the pond’s surface, and do the same at the bottom of the pond. If the results differ more than 3 degrees Fahrenheit, then your pond is not sufficiently aerated and it may need a little help. For a simpler test, JUMP IN! If you’re warm above the waste and freezing at your toes, it’s a good sign your pond is not being circulated or aerated enough. Here are the most common ways to churn up the water:

Bottom Bubblers: Bottom-mounted air diffusers, like the Airmax® Aeration System, are ideal for ponds and lakes deeper than 6 feet. They aerate ponds from bottom up, pushing air into the water via air stones or diffusers. These systems generally feature a shore-side cabinet that houses an air compressor, which is connected to diffusers at the bottom of the pond. The air is forced through the diffusers, which create medium-size bubbles that expand as they surface, releasing oxygen into the water and circulating the water column. These bottom bubblers are by far the most efficient at circulation and aeration.

Surface Aerators: Surface aerators, like fountains, provide pond aeration from the surface down. They agitate the surface of the pond, pulling water up from below and releasing into the air, where the droplets explode into a decorative spray pattern. The surface area on each droplet of water is saturated with oxygen, which it delivers back into the pond. Fountains pull water from about 6 feet down. For ponds and lakes 6 feet deep or less, a fountain can act as both a pond aerator and a decorative feature. Depending on your pond’s size, you may need more than one fountain to properly aerate. When ponds are deeper than 6 feet, fountains become more for decoration and you need to think about a bottom bubbler.

Alternative Aeration – Wind Power: If power isn’t available near your lake or pond, you can go with a wind aeration system to keep the air flowing. Windmills are primarily designed for decoration and they  come with one air stones to aerate up to 1 acre. You’ll need constant  wind blowing at least 3 to 5 miles per hour for continuous aeration, but they are a great backup system to an electric air compressor or in a remote location. Windmills are available in 12-foot, 16-foot and 20-foot towers. Remember: Windmills do not provide continuous aeration and should not be used as a direct substitute for electrical powered continuous aeration systems.

Alternative Aeration – Solar Power: Solar powered aeration systems are another great alternative to aerating your pond without having to pay for electricity. Solar aeration systems are great for both remote
installation and environmental conscience applications. They are for aquatic environments ranging in size from small decorative water gardens up to ponds or lake up to 5 acres. These fully automatic systems are designed to run up to 20 hours per day under standard operating conditions. The battery backup system allows them to run like normal under less than optimal conditions. One of the biggest downfalls of solar powered aeration systems are their high price tag.

POND TALK: What do you do to aerate your pond?

6 Responses

  1. My pond is 4 to 5 acres. Deepest area 7 to 8 ft, bulk of pond is 4 to 5 ft. What size aerator should I consider. Pond is spring fed, but do get weed build up that I have treated chemically periodically. Would like to consider natural aeration to control rather than chemical. Thanks

    • Hi Max,

      You would need at least an AM100 system or because the pond is shallow multiple AM20 systems. Please contact us at 866-766-3435 or pondhelp@thepondguy.com and we may be able to view the pond via sattelite and quote the best system for your needs.

  2. My pond is 3/4 to 1 acre and goes from 1′ to about 25′. what size aeriator do i need?

    • Hi Chris,

      For the size of your pond given you would benefit from the AM30 system however the shape of your pond also plays a large role in the success of aeration. If your pond is long and narrow or has coves you would benefit much more from a system that has multiple plates. There are typical pond layouts listed with each system that you could use to identify a pond similar to yours or you could call us at 866-766-3710 and we could look up your pond on google to make some further recommendations.

  3. My pond is only approximately 2000 gallons.
    5′ deep
    16′ long
    4′ across
    What aeration system should I get?

    • Harvey,

      The KoiAir 2 would be a great idea for aeration of your pond; it will do great all summer and winter long as well. The only issue is that it can not go any deeper than 4 feet, so you may need to raise the plate up a little before operating it.

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