Pond and Lake Aeration Explained

Maintaining a healthy pond or lake can be a complicated endeavor. You have Ph levels and water hardness that introduce countless variables to your body of water’s health, along with seasonal changes in direct sunlight that affect your water’s chemistry. Add to that the need to keep fish and aquatic plants healthy and you have an almost constant struggle with your water’s quality.

One crucial but often overlooked way to maintain a healthy pond or lake is to provide proper aeration. Simply put, this is the process by which you keep the oxygen levels in your water at a sustainable level, either through bottom-up aeration (e.g. a bubbler placed at the lowest point) or through surface aeration (e.g. a fountain).

The method you use will depend on the body of water you’re working with, but the simple act of maintaining a healthy oxygen level in your water goes a long way toward fixing other problems.

What Is The Main Purpose Of Aeration?

Healthy oxygen levels in your water have multiple benefits. In terms of water quality, oxygenated water is more resistant to algae growth, reducing offensive odors around the pond as well as clouds, sediment and muck. In terms of fish health, higher oxygen levels give your fish better resistance to bacteria as well as reducing the total amount of bacteria in the water.

The constant circulation of the water that accompanies aeration also prevents stratification.

Stratification? What’s That?

You might think the various depths of your water have fairly uniform water chemistry, but there are very important changes that can happen to water the deeper you go, particularly in larger ponds. In still water particularly, oxygen levels can drop off rapidly at depth, with the deepest parts of the pond less able to sustain life and more prone to algae blooms and sediment. At its most extreme, this stratification can lead to a fish kill if a sudden storm circulates deoxygenated water from the depths of the pond to the surface where all the fish swim.

Circulation, say through a fountain or through a circulation waterfall, keeps this bottom layer of water from stagnating, drawing it constantly to the surface to receive oxygen.

What Factors Should I Consider When Deciding On Aeration?

As mentioned earlier, there are two main methods for aerating a pond or lake – bottom up and surface aeration. One large factor in determining the best method of aeration is the overall depth of your pond.

For most smaller bodies of water, depths won’t reach much more than 8 feet. If your water feature is shallow enough, surface aeration will be sufficient to keep water circulated and healthy. This can be something as elaborate as a waterfall or as showy as a fountain, so long as the pump is designed to handle a pond your size. To determine this, check the Gallons Per Minute of your pump. Generally speaking, you want to turn over the overall volume of your pond every hour.

This will not only add visual appeal to your pond, it will help control algae and weed growth at the water’s surface.

For deeper ponds or lakes, bottom-up aeration will prove a much more efficient way of maintaining oxygen levels. As much as 10 times more effective than surface aeration, bottom up aeration works by sending compressed air to the deepest part of the floor, infusing the water with small bubbles of oxygen and creating a continuous flow of water between the different strata of the pond.

What Are The Other Benefits Of Aeration?

Beyond simply keeping your water cleaner and your fish and aquatic plants healthier, proper aeration can be better for your bottom line. By keeping all of your water’s x factors in check – pH, alkalinity, phosphates, ammonia, etc. – proper aeration means less regular maintenance as well as a lower chance of fish kills and algae blooms that would require intervention.

It’s also an environmentally friendly way to maintain a pond or lake, reducing the need for chemical treatments that could potentially harm the surrounding ecosystem.

Of course, an aeration system will still require its own maintenance, but the benefits will still vastly outweigh the costs.

Why Consider Estate Management Services?

Each of our staff members receive extensive training in maintaining water quality in a way that respects and protects the environment. Our goal is to create the safest habitat for wildlife both aquatic and terrestrial, using every tool available before resorting to chemical herbicides, algaecides or pesticides.

Doing so not only creates a healthier ecosystem for your pond, it gives you ease of mind. Please schedule a free, no obligation inspection by filling out the form below or by calling 1-866-812-6588.

We look forward to serving you.

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