Proper Sized Pond Aeration Guide

We’ve heard it all before, “you need aeration in your pond” but the confusing part is how much or how big should it be?

Let’s take a quick look at what all these commotions about aeration is. This is a process where the water is lifted from the bottom of the pond. Water at the bottom of the pond is most likely full of hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide and ammonia. Not much lives down there except for anaerobic bacteria that can’t keep up with all the decaying debris. (This is why our ponds get shallower over the years)

With a small air compressor on shore and tubing running down to the diffuser on the floor of the pond the air bubbles racing to the surface lift, push, pull and entrain water as they rise. Once they reach the surface, these bad gasses are expelled and replaced with oxygen. As this cycle continues, we now have oxygen rich water to the depth of the pond.

Guess what happens now? We just created an environment where aerobic bacteria can live, they eat up the muck and decaying debris much faster than the bad bacteria and can actually reverse the aging and filling-in process of the pond. The other huge bonus is that the fish now have more room to live in the pond using the entire depth. Plus, when the pond turns over there is much less of a chance for a fish kill.

There are even more benefits to properly sized aeration systems. With the oxygen rich environment, nutrients are diffuser in pondlock to the bottom of the pond and cannot be used by algae and weeds, suspended nutrients are removed keeping the pond clean and clear which actually changes the pond from a negative state to a positive state holding these nutrients to the floor of the pond.

Improperly sized aeration systems, bubbler’s even the wrong pump can have a bad effect on the pond. If the pond doesn’t receive the proper amount of oxygen and water movement, the toxic gasses and nutrients are simply just pushed into the water column and not out of the water column. This is why you would see things like duckweed on a pond with free powered aeration systems. Having the perfect pond now doesn’t mean it will stay perfect in the years to come. When that time occurs it will be even more expensive to correct.

Another huge mistake when installing an aeration system is turning it on full time. There is a process of start up to follow or you could kill your fish.

WP air systemDoing web searches you’ll see all these places showing the different systems and what size pond they can aerate and all these websites offering cheap or inexpensive systems. Some good, some bad. Why take a chance in harming the pond further or increasing the chance of a fish kill? Just be sure you are receiving the calculation report and design when shopping around. Some are out to make sales; some are out to help pond owners. We have a lot more details in our book Pond Aeration 101, register your copy or buy it on Kindle before you purchase any type of system.

Please ask us to help with your aeration system design, its free. Simply click the contact button and fill in the blanks. We need to know where the pond is located, the depth and where the nearest power source is. The above image is a typical design where we layout the entire system plus the calculation report as well.

Improve water clarity and reduce muck in just 90 days!

The Proof is in the Science An independent study with Airmax Aeration

The Pond: A 1/4 acre, kidney-shaped, 10+ year old pond located in the state of North Carolina. The pond had nearly 12” of muck buildup and required monthly chemical treatments to reduce algae blooms.

The Plan: Before the Airmax Aeration System was introduced; water samples were taken for phosphorus, nitrogen, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), dissolved oxygen and water clarity. Phosphorus and nitrogen are contributors to algae growth while dissolved oxygen and BOD help determine the potential for muck and nutrient reducing aerobic bacteria. A PS20 Airmax Aeration System was installed and water samples were taken every 30 days. The results speak for themselves.

The Results in 90 Days: Nitrogen & Phosphorus plummeted 90%. Oxygen became saturated throughout the pond and the water clarity dramatically improved. There was also a major reduction in the amount of algae that needed to be treated. The BOD also decreased substantially while the aerobic bacterial activity increased which was responsible for almost 1/4” of muck reduction in only 90 days.

aeration study

There are plenty of aeration systems out on the market today and even more coming up all the time with cheaper components and ways to cut cost. What we have seen so far in our testing and using the different systems is the Airmax brand does stand out as the best system on the market, easy to assemble, nice looking cabinet and diffusers are state-of-the art.

We also represent another manufacturer, EasyPro, who has been in business for 40 years and knows how it is done with affordable pricing a well. Nice looking systems and lockable cabinets. As well as special designed systems we are working on for shallow ponds with our own diffuser setups.

All in all the best way to be sure you are getting what your pond needs is to contact us with the link above and give us as many details about your pond so we can work out the correct sized system and not be left something that just makes bubble in the water.

See our line up of aeration systems from the major suppliers in our Pond Aeration section

Download our E Book to discover the various aeration systems and pond management tips by way of email. Pond Aeration 101

About the author: Darrell Rhoades is the founder of A one man business, works full time in tool & die. It all started when he built his own pond for the family. Ran into pond issues and started the research with pond suppliers and conferences for pond management. He writes about pond building and pond management and sells pond management supplies, aeration & fountains and Practical hands on experiences at . No physical store, but has items in stock.

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