WHY AERATION IS NEEDED
Aeration Fights Stratification (Layering) of Ponds
Aeration is needed for fish health. If fish don’t get enough oxygen, they will die. But even if you don’t have fish, without aeration, ponds create stratified layers, and the bottom layer is depleted of oxygen. Also, the pond surface can become quite stagnant.
Fish Kill image above and stagnation image below provided by Kasco
In addition, ponds can become shallower over time from a buildup of muck caused by a lack of oxygen. Plant materials need oxygen to steadily decompose and if new plant life grows at a rate faster than old plants decompose (due to a lack of oxygen), muck accumulates at the bottom of the pond. In addition, this muck sends up gas bubbles which can create a very foul smell like rotten eggs.
WAYS TO AERATE
The most common type of aeration is surface aeration. Surface aeration is also the pretty kind, that is, the use of fountains. Typically a propeller is found underneath the fountain and this prop agitates the water, decreasing stratification. In addition, water is forced into the air so that the pond’s water is always being recirculated.
For very deep ponds (over 8’), bottom aeration is recommended. Typically an air compressor is located at the shore and a hose carries the air to a diffuser unit at the bottom of the pond. It is very similar to the air bubbles rising from the bottom of an aquarium. Currently, there are many fairly quiet air compressors available for sale. They need to be housed to protect from the elements, thus quieting them more.
Combining the Two Kinds of Aeration
If you have a deep pond but still want to see a fountain, you can combine the two types of aerators. The fountain would not need to aerate as much and could focus on beauty. This focus allows for a greater range of price as well as dramatic viewpoint.
About Solar Aeration
We get many calls about solar aeration. The goal is to eliminate the necessity of cords going to an electrical junction. While we are entirely sympathetic, these units are typically quite expensive, require a battery bank, and rely on steady sun. Without battery banks, these units don’t even work at night, exactly the time when aeration is most important.
Wind units are pretty to look at, but installation time is lengthy and you need to find the best point to install right off the bat. Moving windmills takes too much time. In addition, these do not turn when there is no wind, and when there is no wind rippling across the pond surface aeration is necessary, especially during the summer.