Like it or not, maintaining a healthy pond or lake takes at least some degree of effort. But that effort certainly pays off in the end! Most pond and lake owners have a very specific vision of what they want, be it a clear, cool swimming hole, a wild and woodsy nature attractor, or something in between. One of the key elements is Pond Aeration. Some ponds are already naturally aerated, but others may need a little help.
What is Pond Aeration and What are the Benefits?
Pond Aeration, simply put, is a method of mixing air (oxygen) into your water. Why is this important? All organisms need oxygen to survive… including fish! Oxygen in still water gets used up, and without aeration that supply is not replenished, causing your fish to go belly up! Pond Aeration keeps oxygen levels steady, and helps to keep aquatic life happy.
Controls Weeds and Pests
Aeration gets your water moving, making it more difficult for some aquatic pests to get a foothold. This includes certain types of algae and insects like mosquitos that need stagnant water to lay their eggs. Folks who have issues with foul smelling water may find that the root of the problem is decaying algae or other plant matter. Aeration is one way to help solve this issue.
Prevents Fish Kill
Aeration circulates the water in your pond or lake, oxygenating the water at all depths and keeping the temperature similar throughout the entire water column. Ponds that are not properly aerated may be prone to an inversion. An inversion is a sudden mixing of water from different depths. The top layer of a pond tends to be warm and well oxygenated, whereas the water closer to the bottom of your pond is much cooler and has low oxygen content. When the layers suddenly invert (usually due to wind or storms), your fish will undergo extreme stress and may not be able to get adequate oxygen, which ends in a fish kill.
Pond Aeration is also important in the winter. It can keep a portion of your pond from freezing over, increasing the chance of survival for your fish. During the winter, gasses that are naturally released by decaying plant matter can become trapped in the water by ice. These gasses are toxic to your fish. This also reduces the amount of oxygen in the water that is available to the fish. By simply keeping a portion of the water’s surface open, you allow the gasses to escape and for more oxygen to enter the water.
Pond Aeration can also help to reduce “muck,” the thick sludge that settles at the bottom of your pond composed of nutrients and decaying matter that settles to the bottom of your pond over time. Aeration increases the amount of dissolved oxygen in your pond, allowing beneficial aerobic bacteria to thrive and consume those nutrients, reducing the accumulation of muck. It also agitates the water, combating further buildup, and helps to keep the water clear.
What Options are Available for Aeration?
The four main types of Aeration are Windmill, Solar, Electric Powered Diffuser, and Surface Aeration. There are benefits to each type, so check out our posts discussing aeration here, or contact us for more information and help deciding which one is right for you!