You may be wondering why you need to add a small pond aerator to your pond. After all, shouldn’t mother nature be able to adequately take care of the plants and aquatic creatures that call it home?
It probably comes as no surprise that both the plants and animals in your pond need oxygen to live. But, you may not realize that there are also two natural factors that decrease a pond’s delicate oxygen level. In fact, without a small pond aerator, carbon in both gas and solid form can quickly turn a beautiful thriving pond into a sludge-filled wasteland.
First on the list is soil erosion. Soil erosion happens naturally through rainfall runoff, Earth’s natural settling and shifting, and movement of wildlife across the pond’s shoreline. All of these result in the dumping of organic matter into ponds. (Not to mention the build of organic matter originating from organisms in the pond itself.) This organic matter is made up of carbon and nutrients.
Second is the bacteria that hang out on the bottom of the pond which eat the organic matter and produce even more carbon-based gases when they breathe and emit waste.
Seasonal temperature inversion is the natural process that sinks heavy oxygen-rich top-layer water down towards the bottom. Unfortunately, a twice per year seasonal inversion isn’t enough to properly aerate a small pond.
The pond’s algae – which uses carbon dioxide for photosynthesis – grows quickly and with little water/air circulation, will form a dense layer that blocks the flow of oxygenated water by the time the next cool weather rolls around. Vegetation like cattails and other pond weeds can have an unwanted impact, and nobody wants a pond with leeches!
If fishing, swimming, or simply appreciating the scenery matter to you, then you probably want more than an algae incubation factory for your small pond!
An aerator for ponds helps keep water moving so that the toxic gases otherwise collecting at the bottom can be released, the oxygenated water from the surface layer helps feed the wildlife at each layer of the pond. Oxygen also helps the aerobic bacteria at the bottom of the pond, and are much more effective than the anaerobic bacteria at breaking down organic matter.
When it comes to small pond aerators, there are a few different options that all help keep oxygen levels in the healthy – not slimy – zone.
One of these options is a pond aerator by windmill. Windmill aeration can be another economical option because the blades are propelled naturally by wind power which in turn pump air through a diffuser located at the bottom of the pond. Aerator windmills are easy to install and offer a quaint, old fashioned charm to your view.
Another option, using a similar process, is a garden pond aerator, which instead of being powered by windmill, is powered by a small pump. The pump powered pond aeration system is also easy to install and often an economical choice.
Another effective small pond aerator for water less than six feet deep is a fountain. There are many fountains to choose from – ranging from majestic to modest – and something to match just about any budget. A word of caution though. If your pond is deeper than six feet, the fountain (while being interesting to look at) can’t move the water adequately to oxygenate the lowest layer of the pond. For more, read our tips on how to calculate the size and volume of your pond.
Harrietta Hills has a number of small pond aerators, along with a knowledgeable and friendly staff to help you decide what’s best for you, your pond, and all the wildlife that depends on it. We specialize in pond and water management, so in addition to small pond aerators, we also know about all aspects from when and how to stock and feed fish to getting rid of muck, cattails, and leeches, to controlling surrounding pests like muskrats and mosquitoes.
No matter the size of your pond, or whether it’s at a critical, rehabilitated or maintenance stage, we’re happy to offer recommendations and phone or pondside consultations. Need some help managing your pond, but don’t know where to start? Give us a call at (877) 389-2514. Our dedicated team is ready to serve you, and we know you’ll love the results!