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What Do I Do With My Bubbler Aeration System During the Winter? – Pond & Lake Q & A

Picture of Winter Aeration in a Pond.

Q: I have a bubbler aeration system in my pond. What do I do with it in the Winter? Do I take it out? – Jack of Maine

A: I recommend leaving the bubbler aeration system running throughout the entire Winter. Running the aeration system during the Winter is as important as running the system during the hot Summer months.

Preventing Winter Fish Kills with Aeration: The problem with not running your system during the Winter is the increased probability of have a Winter fish kill come Spring. A Winter fish kill is when toxic gases from dying or rotting vegetation accumulate underneath the ice. With no hole in the ice to allow for these gases to escape, the fish can suffocate.

The Proper Time to Remove the Bubbler Aeration System: If you plan to ice skate on the pond or if you have quite a bit of snowmobile traffic on the pond, then I would strongly recommend not running the bubbler aeration system at all during the Winter.

Removing the aeration system is simple. Disconnect the airline(s) attached  to the cabinet and compessor. Cap the airline(s) or use duct tape to ensure no dirt or water can get into them. Store the cabinet and compressor in a cool, dry place. The diffuser at the bottom of the pond is fine to leave in there throughout the Winter. There is no need to remove it.

8 Responses

  1. I have one of those Laguna Mini-Aeration Kits and it’s outside in a container to keep dust away from it. I use it in my 100 gallon pond. Are these type of aerators rated to be used during winter outside? I live in Oklahoma.

    • BJ,

      Yes, all of our mini-aeration kits are rated for the winter. We highly suggest using a Faux Rock Cover to help protect it from the harsh weather. It sounds like you have some type of covering. As long as it can protect it from moisture or harsh weather, you will be good.

  2. Samuel,

    How big is your pond? What is the length, width and depth? I can further help size you an aeration system once I have that information.


  3. I have a small fishing pond and I raise large mouth Bass , and I need to keep my aeration running all year.
    We try to have a fishing Derby once a year for about 40 to 60 kids , we give them a fishing pole, Cerificate ,Trophys ,Fishing tackle boxes .I have two air compressers for a aeration sys,and i need to update my pond with a new aeration sys.Take care Sam

  4. Richard Hooley,

    Most aeration systems are designed with continuous-duty compressors which are made to run 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. So it will not hurt the pump as much as you would think to run it all the time. Also, a lot of systems out there have a cabinet built around the compressor to protect it from any moisture or harsh weather.

    I’m very glad to hear that you haven’t had to deal with a fish kill. Its not fun. One thing I would like you to be aware of though, is that your pond is still relatively young. As time continues to progress, more and more bottom organic sediment will build up. These organics will decay throughout the winter and create toxic gases which will be trapped underneath the ice. When there is little organics, it will only cause small amounts of toxic gases. As these organics increase, so do these gases and they will eventually lead to toxic levels. When no hole is present for those gases to escape, it can lead to a fish kill.

    Here is a great post that talks a little bit about not having aeration.


  5. Linda Baker,

    If you have a pump with a water spout, spitter or fountain attachment, it would probably be a good idea to remove it and store it for the winter. The flow is usually not great enough to prevent ice from accumulating around it and causing some major issues as the winter progresses.

  6. wont that be hard on the bubbler to leave it in all winter and wear out quicker I have never had fish kill and we have had the pond for 9 years and this is the first year we have had a bubbler seems like it will last longer to take it out

  7. I have a pump with water spout in a small water garden. SHould I remove this for the winter?

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