Bottom aeration is the most efficient way to aerate a pond or lake. Now nothing against a pond fountain, they do have their benefits as well. What’s the big difference? Let’s see how these units operate and their benefits.
Bottom aeration is the most efficient due to the operation a direct effect it has to the pond water. Here’s what happens with bottom aeration. Let’s start with the compressor unit that can be located on the edge of the pond or next to a building. Then from either location tubing is laid underground to protect from lawn mowers or freezing at the water’s edge the tubing continues down to the bottom and middle of the pond ending at the diffuser. Ok back to the compressor, air is pushed in volume not pressure thru the tubing to the bottom diffuser. The diffusers job is just that diffuse the incoming air from the single tubing into thousands of tiny little air bubbles exiting the diffuser. Once the air bubbles leave the diffuser they rapidly raise to the surface of the pond pulling the bottom water up to release the toxic gasses and absorb oxygen.
Remember that point and now why are we pumping air into the water? How does it work?
At the bottom of the pond is the coldest darkest and least amount of oxygenated water. Down here is where the entire fish poop, leaves and anything that falls into dies and begins the decaying process. Ever smelled rotten eggs from your pond? Yep that’s where it is coming from. If left alone this turns into muck, sometimes black nasty smelly stuff and over time is what fills in a pond. Have you heard folks say “when it was dug it was 10’ deep but now it’s only about 6 or 7’ feet deep”?
Bottom diffused aeration takes this bad smelly water at the bottom of the pond and lifts it to the surface where the smelly gasses are released to the atmosphere so oxygen can be absorbed back into those water molecules then travel to the ponds shores and the sink to the bottom of the pond. Once at the bottom of the pond the water is pushed back up again making a complete cycle or circulation. The continued movement of water and the added oxygen help to break down and release the nutrients that constantly accumulate in the water and the bottom of the pond where the muck is building up.
Bottom aeration not only breaks down nutrients, muck and prevents algae but also gives the pond owner and fish a chance to use the entire depths of the pond. Because the pond is completely and properly aerated more fish can live and thrive in the pond. Bottom aeration can be a year round benefit. Moving the diffuser to half of the depth of the pond in winter will keep a hole in the ice allowing toxic gasses to escape all winter long. This hole in the ice will allow sunlight to enter the water and keep your favorite plants alive or place it under the deck, dock or pier to keep the ice from lifting the poles out of the water.
There are two type of air compressors, one is a diaphragm the other a piston type. Here’s the difference. A diaphragm compressor will pump large a volume of air to the diffuser but the diaphragm is only capable of pushing air to 6’depth of water. While the piston type may build a little more pressure it is still pushing a large amount of air, but with the pressure the air can be pushed to deeper depths of the pond water. .
What’s the difference? Thru scientific research, studies and development a standards has been made where a one horse pond fountain can aerate a 1 acre pond (surface aeration). On the other hand a bottom diffuser compressor uses only 1/3 HP or less for an acre pond from top to bottom of the pond Don’t forget there are two types of compressors, one for shallow ponds and the other for deeper waters. Aeration is a must have if you own a pond the choice is yours whether a pond fountain or bottom diffuser.