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How do I know if I have proper aeration? – Pond & Lake Q & A


Don’t Under Aerate
How do I know if I have proper aeration? Felipe – Moscow, ID

The bigger the better when it comes to aeration.

When purchasing your aeration system you were told it will promote a clean, healthy pond with less algae and clear water. With more and more customers installing aeration systems in their ponds now may be a good time to discuss some of the assumptions and mistakes made when choosing an aeration system.

An aeration system can make the difference when it comes to your pond’s health, so selecting the right system can be very important.  In the long-run there is no free lunch.  If you try to “Make Do” with a smaller aeration system than what is recommend, it may come back to haunt you.  When an aeration system is sized correctly it will eliminate any thermoclines (thermoclines are a separation of water based on temperature). Have you ever swam in your pond and felt very cold water at your feet? Most pond owners believe this is a spring, when in reality, it’s caused by a thermocline. Proper aeration improves water quality, breaks down organic debris (muck) and improves the overall ecosystem in your pond.  Aeration works by circulating the entire pond’s water column from top to bottom.  The tiny bubbles created by the diffuser forces cool oxygen deprived water from the bottom depths all the way to the pond’s surface. This circulation drives oxygen to the bottom of the pond allowing “good” bacteria to digest muck, reducing nutrients and increase the overall dissolved oxygen in the pond.  If the system is undersized it will not create uniform circulation and simply pump small amounts of the cool nutrient-rich water from the bottom of your pond to the top.  This is the equivalent of adding fertilizer to your pond.  This can result in additional algae growth, odors and even fish kills.  This can all be especially true during the warmer months of the year.

If you currently have an aeration system running and you are not sure if it is sized correctly, there is an easy way to tell with a thermometer and long string.  You will use the string to extend the reach of the thermometer taking temperature readings every 24 inches, letting the thermometer rest long enough to get the true temperature reading at your desired depth.  Take readings every 24 inches until you reach the bottom of your pond. If there is more then a few degrees difference in any of your temperature readings you are more then likely under aerating your pond.

If you haven’t purchased an aeration system yet take advantage of The Pond Guys and Gals, we offer free aeration mapping and technical support.

Don’t Under Aerate

4 Responses

  1. We are presently aerating a 9 acre pond, with approximate average depth of 8-10 feet, with a windmill and 2 defusers. Is this enough? Any suggestions.
    Thanks.

    • Ruth,

      A 9 acre pond will need much more aeration than a single windmill with 2 diffusers. At that shallow of a depth, you would need at least 3 of our AM80 aeration systems with 4 diffuser plates each for proper aeration. When working with larger areas many times customers will focus on a smaller section that is used more often. If you would like some assistance in picking out the right program for you please feel free to contact us.

  2. How to know if feeding pond fish enough. I keep reading that one should only feed what fish will eat in 5 min. My koi and gold fish won’t even look at the food in 5 min,sometimes it’s as long as a half an hour, Eventuly the food I’ve given them will get eaten in a half a day or so.Usualy feed about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of pellets to 3-4 yr Koi and Goldfish. thanks

    • David,

      If that is the case, then there may be enough nutrients in the pond already, and the fish are simply not hungry. The less you feed your fish the better, as there will be less waste in the pond, making it much cleaner for you that way.

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