Types of Pond Aerators
Pond aerators are essential for circulating pond water and managing water quality. There are several different styles of pond aerator that can be used to oxygenate water for a healthier pond ecosystem.
Bottom pond aeration systems use compressed air to circulate pond water from the bottom to the top. As the water moves to the surface it exposed to oxygen-rich air and oxygen dissolves in the water while carbon dioxide, methane, and other gasses are released to the atmosphere. Bottom pond aerators are the most energy efficient aeration systems.
Surface aerators also oxygenate pond water and, in many styles, provide a decorative fountain spray. This, coupled, with the sound of falling water from the pond fountain, makes the surface aerator a popular choice. The surface pond aeration systems can have significant operating costs.
How do Aeration Systems Raise Oxygen Levels?
In the case of bottom aeration systems, rising bubbles draw water from the bottom of the pond to the surface. Once at the surface, the water exchanges carbon dioxide and other gases for oxygen resulting in more dissolved oxygen for fish and other aquatic organisms.
Surface aerators improve pond circulation and also create oxygen-rich water by spraying the water through the air and also creating a mixing zone of atmospheric air and water when the water crashes to the pond surface. With this type of aeration system, you can actually see the process as an oxygenated white foam forms at the surface.
Is it Possible to Aerate a Pond Without a Power Source?
Yes. Solar pond aerators and windmill aerators both improve oxygen levels in remote bodies of water. For both solar aerators and wind aeration systems the amount of oxygen added to the pond will be less than a regularly powered system. However, some aeration (and circulation) is better than none and will improve water conditions!
There are 2 types of solar pond aeration systems. A solar aeration system with storage includes battery packs that operate the aeration pump at night and on cloudy days. A direct solar aerator only operates the aeration pump when the sun is shining on the solar panels. Of the 2, the best solar aeration system is the storage system since oxygen levels in a pond or lake are lowest during darkness.
Windmill aerators force compressed air to aeration diffusers under the water creating pond circulation and, in turn, improving oxygen levels. Unfortunately, windmill pond aeration systems only add oxygen to the pond when the wind is blowing hard enough to turn the windmill and operate the attached air pump.
What are the Benefits of Lake and Pond Aeration?
There are many benefits of pond and lake aeration.
First, the fish in the pond benefit from high oxygen levels because they draw water through their gills to breathe. High dissolved oxygen levels reduce fish stress and allow them to breathe easily. Some species of fish, such as trout, require high oxygen levels to survive. Improving aeration increases the number of species that can live in a fish pond.
Second, aerobic bacteria that digest nutrients and other pond waste thrive in high-oxygen water. Improving pond aeration and circulation allows these microscopic organisms to work efficiently to keep pond water clean.
Third, circulation benefits a pond or lake ecosystem. Moving pond water reduces stagnation and prevents floating leaves and other waste that contribute to pond muck from accumulating. Keeping pond water moving also limits pests such as mosquito larvae and small weeds like duckweed and watermeal.