Posted on May 3, 2014 by thepondguy
Q: What kind of aeration maintenance should I be doing this season?
Bill- Cannon Falls, MN
A: With spring in full bloom, now is the time to tune up your aeration system. It doesn’t matter if you’re turning it back on after the long winter or if it has been running since last year – your aeration system is a very important in keeping your pond healthy, so keep it humming.
Spring Start Up
If you’re turning your aeration system back on in the spring, the airlines traveling from the air compressor to the diffuser plates may contain ice. Those frozen blockages will prevent oxygen from flowing into your pond. To break up the ice, follow these three steps:
- Measure 1 cup of isopropyl alcohol for each airline that runs out a plate.
- Turn on your compressor to push the alcohol through line and free any ice blockages.
- Follow initial startup procedure to avoid “shocking” in the pond.
Every week throughout the pond season, check the side cabinet’s air filter for debris, particularly if you live in a dry, dusty environment. Clean your air filter as needed because when it becomes clogged, your compressor and pump are forced to work harder – which means more wear and tear on those moving parts. When you clean the filter, make sure it’s completely dry before placing it back inside the cabinet.
Every 3 to 6 Months
Several times a year, block out some weekend time to perform these maintenance tasks:
- Replace the air filter. Although you’ve been cleaning your air filter regularly, you will need to replace it every three to six months. We recommend Airmax® SilentAir™ RP Series Compressor Air Filter for Pond and Lake Series Systems. While you’re in the cabinet, make sure the aeration unit’s cooling fan is operating properly.
- Check your pressure gauge. For Pond and Lake Series Aeration Systems, mark pressure gauge upon initial start up and check it every few months. Normal operation will range between 5 to 10 psi.
Every 12 to 24 Months
In addition to cleaning your aerator’s membrane sticks, you should also plan to do the following tasks depending on what aeration system you have installed in your lake or pond:
Your aeration system requires regular maintenance to keep it performing at its best. Doing so will extend the lifespan of the unit and ensure your system is running as efficiently as possible.
Pond Talk: What else do you do to make sure your aeration system is working well when you start it back up in the spring?
Filed under: Aeration, Pond & Lake | Tagged: Aeration, aeration maintenance, air filters, compressor, diaphragm | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 3, 2014 by thepondguy
Q: Why does my water garden turn green and can I prevent it?
Laurie- Bardstown, KY
A: Green water in fish ponds and water features are a common conundrum faced by hobbyists. What causes it, and how can it be fixed?
Green water is the result of an imbalance in your pond’s ecosystem. When too many nutrients – also known as decomposing plant material, fish waste and other debris – build up in your water garden, algae flourish because the nutrients act like fertilizer to those tiny plants. That thriving planktonic algae is what causes your water to resemble pea soup.
To achieve balance in your pond, you need to evaluate and correct the underlying problems that are causing your green water. Here’s a guide that can help you identify the problem and work toward a solution:
- Problem: Too many fish.
Solution: If your water garden is brimming with fish, it may be time to relocate some of them. Overcrowding is a common source for green water because your filtration system may not be large enough to handle the amount of waste being produced. A simple rule of thumb to ensure room for your fish is one fish (5 inches long) for every 10 square feet of surface area.
- Problem: debris buildup.
Solution: After a long winter, waste and debris may have built up in your pond. A good spring cleanout will remove those excess nutrients that are feeding the algae. Here’s an easy step-by-step spring cleaning guide to follow that will help you through the process.
- Problem: Inadequate mechanical filtration.
Solution: Mechanical filtration helps to remove the excess nutrients from the water column. As the water passes through the filtration system, debris is removed and collected in the filter box or skimmer. Check to be sure your filtration system is adequate for your pond’s size and fish population. If it’s not, consider giving it a boost.
- Problem: Lack of beneficial bacteria.
Solution: Beneficial bacteria, like those found in DefensePAC®, are microorganisms that eat through detritus and other algae-feeding nutrients. With little or no nutrients to feed the algae, the green stuff will eventually die off. Learn more about DefensePAC’s components and how to use them here.
- Problem: Inadequate aeration.
Solution: Those beneficial bacteria – as well as your pond’s fish – need life-giving oxygen to thrive, and that’s where aeration comes into play. Air being pumped into the water via a diffuser or air stone will circulate the water column and infuse the water with oxygen. Learn more about the importance of aeration here.
- Problem: Too much sunlight and not enough plants.
Solution: Because algae are plants, sunlight is essential for growth. You can block that sunlight by covering your water’s surface with floating plants. We recommend shading 40 to 60 percent of your pond with water lilies or other floating plants.
Once you’ve cleaned out your pond, checked your filtration and aeration systems, added some beneficial bacteria, adjusted your fish load and added some plants, you should be well on your way to clearing up that pesky algae. A final remedy to try is an ultraviolet clarifier, like The Pond Guy’s® PowerUV™ Clarifier. It’s designed to clear water. As a result, the tiny particles of debris clump together and are removed by your mechanical filtration system.
Good luck keeping that green water at bay!
Pond Talk: What do you do to clear up algae in your koi pond or water garden?
Filed under: Algae Control, Pea-Green Algae, Season-Long Control, UV Filter, Water Gardens & Features, Water Quality Issues | Tagged: algae, green water, pea soup, power uv, too many fish, uv, uv light filtration | 2 Comments »