Q: When I start my aeration system up do I need to turn it on for only a few hours a day like when it was installed?
Chris – Alpena, MI
A: Yes, gradually starting up your system for the season will avoid any quick turnover in your pond. Ideally, your aeration system should run all year long. By running it all year long, this will prevent possible winter fish kills. But if you shut your aeration system down in the winter for recreational purposes, you will want to start it back up when the ice starts melting off your pond. In addition to gradual start-up follow the steps below to prepare your system.
- Re-level Your Cabinet: Take your cabinet and system back outside and get it on level ground again.
- Change Your Air Filter: Your air filter, which prevents debris from entering your air compressor, can be cleaned periodically to remove light debris – but it should be replaced every three to six months for maximum system performance and longevity.
- Check and Clean Side Intake Air Filters: Take a look at your side intake air filters on your cabinet, and make sure they’re clean and unobstructed.
- Ensure Cabinet Fan Works: To make sure fresh air will tunnel evenly through your cabinet, flip on your fan and verify that it’s working properly.
- Purge Membrane Diffuser Sticks: Though they’re virtually maintenance-free, these diffuser sticks, which deliver the air bubbles to the water, should be purged and inspected before they are turned on for the season. More information on this process can be found in your Owner’s Manual.
- Airlines Cleared: The water may still be icy in your pond, so check your airlines for ice buildup. To clear them, pour 1 cup of isopropyl alcohol through the airline running out to each plate, turn on the compressor and push through the line to free any tiny icebergs.
- Start Your Compressor – Gradually: To prevent shocking your pond, follow your aeration system’s initial seven-day startup procedure. On Day 1, run the system for 30 minutes and then turn it off for the rest of the day. On each day following, double the time: Day 2, run for one hour; Day 3, run for two hours; Day 4, run for four hours; and so on. On Day 7, begin running it for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Pressure Check: Once your system is up and running, make sure that its pressure gauge stays within the normal range of 5 to 10 psi. An easy way to do this to mark the gauge upon initial start up and check it regularly to verify pressure has not significantly risen above or dropped below your initial reading. Please note, this does not apply to Shallow Water Series™ Aeration Systems. It is also recommended to install a maintenance kit every 6-12 months, so if you find that your compressor is not producing as much airflow as it has in the past it may be time to perform some additional maintenance.
Following these simple steps will guarantee a smooth start to aerating your pond this spring. If you’re ever in doubt, check out your owner’s manual or contact us at 866-766-3435.
Pond Talk: Do you have a regular maintenance routine you follow for your aeration system?