Aeration systems come in different shapes, sizes, types and forms from a small 1000 gallon pond to 6 acres and larger lakes. In this case cheaper isn’t always better. Fact is you can hurt your pond even more by under sizing the aeration system.

Before you buy the aeration system for your pond make sure you know what you’re getting into…

Yes there are plenty of units out there that give you a description like “for up to one acre pond” true it maybe sized for an acre pond but there are more details that come into play. The most important is the depth of the pond, then the overall size and shape of the pond and what type of water comes into the pond from the watershed. Is the watershed coming from farm land, wooded area, road ways, and streams? All of these are a source of nutrients coming into the pond from fertilizer, pet waste, grazing animals, water fowl and birds all have an input to the watershed that reaches our pond.

Aeration mistakes happen when we are not sure what size or type we really need in the pond. Under sizing the aerator can actually help grow algae and weeds. Algae only needs 2 mg per liter of dissolved oxygen to grow, fish need double that and even at 4 mg per liter the fish are stressed worrying about breathing when they should be eating. They can survive but keeps them from growing bigger. The goal is at least 5 mg per liter of dissolved oxygen in the water from top to bottom of the pond. Getting Oxygen to the bottom of the pond will help clean up the bottom muck. For additional muck reduction, add beneficial bacteria to control odors, murky water and excess nutrients.

There are two types of compressor’s for aeration, there’s the diaphragm and the piston type, both oil less so no oily bottom-aerationfilm contaminates the water. The diaphragm air pump is for shallow ponds and depending on the model good for up to 6’- 8’ feet deep.

The second type of compressor is a piston type to create more pressure in order to reach depths up to 30’. Remember swimming to the bottom of a swimming pool or pond? The pressure on your ears is the reason more pressure is required to push air down to the diffuser at deeper depths. Along with the air pressure of the piston compressor is an ample volume of air flowing to the diffuser. At 24’-30’ of depth the Airmax diffuser circulates 4,357 gallons per minute.

The bad part of under sizing the aeration system is down the road a little you’ll see the algae, duck weed coming back, and in time back to the same situation and reason you bought the aerator. The aerator maybe doing its job but is undersized, either for the size and volume of the pond or the wrong compressor for the depth of pond.  Even the wrong diffusers or mismatched components could leave areas with lack of oxygen. Not being able to provide enough oxygen and enough water movement to do the job right, the nutrients will overtake the aeration system. Phosphates and Nitrates are not bound by the oxygen and become a food source for the algae and weeds once again. When you are ready to add aeration to your pond or lake please click the Contact button on the top of the site and we will calculate an aeration system that fits and is properly sized for your pond. The deeper the water the more water is affected and moved by the air bubbles. In the video below you’ll see the piston type turn on and the water movement. Check out the video below and stop by the Pond Aeration product page for more info and the different systems.

About the author: Darrell Rhoades is the founder of and has great expertise in building ponds. It all started when he built his own pond for the family. He writes about pond management and sell pond management products at