Water aeration is often required in water bodies that suffer from anoxic conditions, usually caused by adjacent human activities such as sewage discharges, agricultural run-off, or over-baiting a fishing lake. Aeration can be achieved through the infusion of air into the bottom of the lake, lagoon or pond. Adding lake aeration pond fountains surface aerators is a Great Start!
Dissolved oxygen (DO) is a major contributor to water quality. Not only do fish and other aquatic animals need it, but oxygen breathing aerobic bacteria decompose organic matter. When oxygen concentrations become low, anoxic conditions may develop which can decrease the ability of the water body to support life.
Bubbling fountains and diffused air systems are commonly used to increase the natural
levels of oxygen and help to create a stable and productive ecosystem. Fountains typically float on the surface and spray
water up into the air. As the water droplets fall back to the surface they pick up oxygen. Fountains also create surface ripples and
circulation which helps keep the surface clean. Diffused air systems utilize a shore-mounted air compressor that pumps oxygen
through a hose to a diffuser lying on the pond bottom. Since the bottom of the pond is where the most oxygen is consumed, oxygen
is delivered to where it's needed the most. As the bubbles rise out of the diffusers they create a “lifting” or boiling action which
creates considerable circulation throughout the pond. This circulation helps to prevent water stratification (see drawing below).
Subsurface aeration seeks to release bubbles at the bottom of the water body and allow them to rise by the force of gravity. Diffused aeration systems utilize bubbles to aerate as well as mix the water. Water displacement from the expulsion of bubbles can cause a mixing action to occur, and the contact between the water and the bubble will result in an oxygen transfer
Fine bubble aeration
Fine bubble aeration is an efficient technique of aeration in terms of oxygen transfer due to the large collective surface area of its bubbles.
Fine bubble aeration is an efficient way to transfer oxygen to a water body. A compressor on shore pumps air through a hose, which is connected to an underwater aeration unit. Attached to the unit are a number of diffusers. These diffusers come in the shape of discs, plates, tubes or hoses constructed from glass-bonded silica, porous ceramic plastic, PVC or perforated membranes made from EPDM (ethylene propylene diene Monomer) rubber. Air pumped through the diffuser membranes is released into the water. These bubbles are known as fine bubbles. The EPA defines a fine bubble as anything smaller than 2mm in diameter. This type of aeration has a very high oxygen transfer efficiency (OTE), sometimes as high as 15 pounds of oxygen / (horsepower * hour) (9.1 kilograms of oxygen / (kilowatt * hour)). On average, diffused air aeration diffuses approximately 2–4 cfm (cubic feet of air per minute) (56.6-113.3 liters of air per minute), but some operate at levels as low as 1 cfm (28.3 L/min) or as high as 10 cfm (283 L/min).
Fine bubble diffused aeration is able to maximize the surface area of the bubbles and thus transfer more oxygen to the water per bubble. Additionally, smaller bubbles take more time to reach the surface so not only is the surface area maximized but so are the number of seconds each bubble spends in the water, allowing it more time to transfer oxygen to the water. As a general rule, smaller bubbles and a deeper release point will generate a greater oxygen transfer rate.
However, almost all of the oxygen dissolved into the water from an air bubble occurs when the bubble is being formed. Only a negligible amount occurs during the bubbles transit to the surface of the water. This is why an aeration process that makes many small bubbles is better than one that makes fewer larger ones. The breaking up of larger bubbles into smaller ones also repeats this formation and transfer process.
Winter Aeration: Keep aeration in place throughout the winter months. Bottom diffused aeration helps to keep the water circulating, eliminating fall turnover and fish kills. It can also help to prevent fish from dying under the ice if you live in areas where you have a complete freeze over.
Aeration will give you a head start on algae control next spring by circulating oxygen rich water throughout the entire pond which will increase the amount of beneficial aerobic bacteria present.
If you don’t already have aeration in place, now would be a great time to install it, before the ground freezes up.
Year round Aeration is always recommended to keep the life of your pond healthy.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What’s the best type of pond air compressor for pond and lake aeration?
There are several types of air compressors (air blowers, linear, diaphragm, rotary vane, piston and rotary screw) known by various names (aerator pump, pond bubbler, pond aeration pump, diffuser pump, water aerator, septic aerator, ) that are commonly used as pond aerators and lake aerators. Of these types, piston air compressors are the best all around choice for ponds and smaller lakes.
Piston air compressors are highly durable, very reliable and extremely cost-effective when it comes to producing high airflow volumes under pressure. Conversely, linear, diaphragm and rotary vane compressors should only be used in shallower ponds and lakes (generally less than 10 feet in depth) because they are not capable of producing high air pressures and may eventually burn-up the motor.
When should a pond water fountain be used as a pond aerator or lake aerator?
Overall, water fountains (also known as pond water fountains, pond fountains, floating fountains, pond aerators, lake water fountains, and lake fountains) are primarily installed as water features to enhance the appearance of ponds and lakes. Water fountains may increase water circulation in smaller, shallower ponds. Under such conditions, water fountains may increase dissolved oxygen concentrations and possibly decrease the amount of phytoplankton (free-floating microscopic aquatic plants or algae). Water transparency (clarity) may even improve if phytoplankton levels drop significantly. However, if water quality improvements are the primary objective, a sub surface diffused-air aeration system is recommended and a water fountain may be installed as a water feature.
Will pond aeration improve my water quality?
Yes. The overall extent of improvement will largely depend upon how eutrophic your pond or lake originally was prior to aeration. Aeration is used to artificially circulate ponds and lakes in order to increase dissolved oxygen concentrations in deeper waters. Ponds and lakes that thermally stratify during the summer will completely mix when aerated. This will result in nearly uniform water temperatures from the surface to the bottom of the pond or lake.
One potential benefit of aeration is the reduction of iron and manganese problems for drinking water supplies. Iron and manganese can be released from lake sediments under anoxic conditions in stratified ponds and lakes and artificial circulation via aeration can reduce this phenomenon. Another potential benefit of aeration is to improve water<>transparency by reducing the amount of phytoplankton. Lastly, aeration may even reduce the amount of accumulated muck in ponds and lakes. This may occur by oxygenating deeper waters near the sediments. Under such conditions, bacteria organic matter much more quickly.
Phytoplankton reductions resulting from aeration are based upon a series of complex physical, chemical and biological reactions. Some of the current theories are as follows:
Increased dissolved oxygen concentrations in deeper pond and lake waters will decrease the release of phosphorus (and metals) from sediments. Lower phosphorus concentrations provide less food for algae growth.
When the water column is mixed, phytoplankton are pushed into the deeper water. This may result in lower growth and reproduction rates for the phytoplankton due to lower rates of photosynthesis in darker waters.
Zooplankton (barely visible to the naked eye, tiny aquatic animals that feed upon algae or phytoplankton) are pushed into deeper waters due to pond and lake mixing. In darker waters, they are less vulnerable to sight feeding fish such as, juvenile bass, bluegill and crappie. Under such conditions, zooplankton survival rates are expected to increase, which in turn translates into higher predation rates on phytoplankton (algae).
Rapid circulation of carbon dioxide-enriched bottom waters with surface waters and contact with the atmosphere may increase the carbon dioxide content and lower the pH of the surface waters. This encourages the growth of less noxious green algae as opposed to blue-green algae.
How much will a fountain or aerator cost to operate?
A: Use the following formula to figure cost:
AMPS x VOLTS = X
Divide X by 1000
Multiply this number by KWH (cost per KWH on your electric bill)
This is the cost to operate for one hour.
Is there an advantage to 230 or 115 volts?
A: The main advantage to 230 volts is that it allows you to use longer power cord lengths with smaller gauge wire. In the case of our Vortex 1/2HP Aerator (available in both 115v and 230v) performance and cost to operate are exactly the same for 230v and 115v (AMP x VOLTS= Watts).
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