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What benefits are there for aeration during the winter? – Ponds & Lakes Q & A


What benefits are there for aeration during the winter?

What benefits are there for aerating during the winter?
Drew – Galata, MT

One of the best features of an aeration system is its ability to perform all season long. Your aeration system will play a major role in breaking down the leaves and debris that made its way into the pond during the fall which will promote a healthier pond throughout the winter and easier maintenance come spring. You’ve seen the benefits of aeration all summer long but what does your aeration system have to offer in the winter?

Even in cooler temperatures an aeration system will continue to circulate the contents of your pond and infuse oxygen into the water column. The cooler water will be able to hold more oxygen which is great for the overall health of the pond and its inhabitants. As the surface water cools in the pond it will start to sink towards the ponds bottom. This shift in water can potentially break the thermocline in your pond and force harmful water from the bottom of the pond to mix into the water column trapping your fish. This is referred to as a turnover and they can happen both in warm and cold temperatures in ponds that are not being aerated. You’ve also learned from our previous blogs that running your aeration system in the winter will keep holes open in the ice that allow an escape for toxic gasses and a hole for fresh air to enter the pond. You can also move your plates closer to the shoreline of your pond to keep water open and available for wildlife to drink and birds to swim. Encouraging wildlife to visit your yard is always nice in a season where your yard can sometimes seem bland and uneventful.

Although aeration is a simple and effective way to maintain your pond throughout the winter there are a couple scenarios that warrant a winter break. If you use your pond to skate or ice fish you will not want to run your aeration system as the constant friction not only opens holes in the ice above the plates but will also thin the ice in other areas.

If you do not yet have an aeration system installed in your pond, but would like to install one before the winter, it is best to have your aerator introduced before the ice begins to form. If your pond is not already aerated it is important that you run the system in short increments at first to prevent your own man-made turnover. Start by running it for about 30 minutes the day you install it and double the run time each day after. If you follow this method you should be running your aerator 1 hour the 2nd day, 2 hours the next, 4 hours on the 4th day and should be running the aeration system continuously by the end of the week. Browse over to our Airmax Aeration page for help selecting an aeration system that fits your pond. If you need additional help or have questions you can also feel free to contact one of our Pond Guys or Gals or post a comment on our blog page.

Pond Talk: Do you notice a healthier pond in the spring as a result of running your aeration system in the winter?

Keep your pond healthy all winter long!

3 Responses

  1. A great blog, you’ve really tackled the issue at hand well, cleanly and concisely. Water treatment is something that cannot be neglected at any point of the year, and for ponds and pools alike, this is a highly important factor.

    Great post

  2. My pond is fed by 7 springs and, at its overflow, creates a stream that flows through the ravine to who knows where. With this constant flow of water, would aeration be necessary?

    • The springs add a consistent volume of water to your pond, which causes water movement at the surface in regards to overflow. However, it does not mean that the water has a good concentration of oxygen. The upper level of the water with the added movement will absorb more oxygen, but only at or near the surface. Using a bottom bubbler aeration system, that sits on the bottom of the pond, moves water from the bottom to the top. The water throughout the pond then will have an increased oxygen concentration. This increased oxygen concentration will help to keep nutrients to a minimum. Keeping the nutrients in your pond to a minimum, will help to decrease the build up of muck in your pond. It will also be a better habitat for any fish that are in the pond.

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