When should you use Submerged Aeration?
Aeration is one of the best tools available to help keep your pond healthy. Ponds and Lakes large and small, require oxygen to keep aquatic plants, fish, and other aquatic life alive. Submerged Aeration systems ensure that no matter what weeds are growing, plants are decaying or other life you put in your pond, (or what ends up in your lake when you’re not looking), there will be enough oxygen to keep it healthy and odor-free.
Pond Water Oxygenation
Dissolved oxygen is the amount of oxygen available to plants, fish, and other living organisms in your pond and lake water. Typical Agricultural Ponds, Commercial Ponds, and Community Lakes need a minimum oxygen level of 5 parts per million. Oxygen levels that are lower can kill fish, and cause nasty odors that develop as organic wastes break down. The lower oxygen levels make the aerobic process difficult to complete, leading to the production of hydrogen sulfide. In deep ponds, a lack of oxygen also leads to stratification, which is when an extremely oxygen-depleted layer forms at the bottom of the pond. Without the necessary oxygen in this layer fish and plants don’t have the necessary levels of oxygen needed for life.
Use Submerged Aeration to help add Oxygen to help keep your Pond clean and healthy.
Ponds that aren’t aerated properly will be low in dissolved oxygen. The most common cause of low oxygen levels is too many aquatic plants, particularly algae. Aquatic plants are good for your pond because they release oxygen during the day. Algae can also be beneficial because they are the basic ingredient in the pond’s food chain. Many aquatic plants release oxygen during the day, but they consume oxygen at night. Too much vegetation can lead to plants that consume more oxygen than they contribute to the pond or lake during the day.
Organic waste from decaying vegetation, natural fertilizer runoff, fish food, and fish or other animal wastes also use oxygen to decompose. Bottom diffused aerators are necessary to ensure there is enough oxygen in your pond or lake to break these materials down and provide nutrients for the aquatic life living in the pond.
Mother Nature usually supplies sufficient amounts of aeration and dissolved oxygen with the wind, rain, and as water splashes in from an incoming stream, and through photosynthesis of aquatic vegetation within the pond. As nutrients are added to the Lake or Pond from runoff, materials from construction sites, grass clippings, and leaves from nearby trees, the need for oxygen increases. When you consider warm water holds less dissolved oxygen, and the demand for oxygen increases when water is warmer, this can lead to fish kills, algae blooms, foul odors, and increased stagnant vegetation.
By adding a bottom diffused Aerator can help naturally occurring aeration keep up with the demand for dissolved oxygen and keep your pond healthier longer. Aeration helps to move water in low circulation areas throughout the entire pond and helps mix water throughout the pond.
If you are in Central North Carolina, Pond Lake Management can help!
Determining the correct submerged aeration system and layout has a lot to do with surface area, depth, and the shape of the pond. Bottom placed Aerators are not as effective in shallow ponds because there is less distance for the air to rise to the surface and diffuse oxygen. Shallower ponds and, lakes with odd shapes, bottlenecks, and narrow canals will typically require several aerators to circulate enough water in each of the areas of the pond.
Do I have to run the Submerged Aeration all the time?
Yes, you should run your system all day and night, if you want to achieve maximum circulation and prevent stratification in your Pond or Lake. Only operating your aerators sporadically may allow the temporary stratification. The longer the pond remains stratified, the bigger the risk of a water turnover that will create a fish kill when the aeration system is turned back on.
Are there any other benefits to having a circulation system?
Yes. Oxygenating the sediments and organic matter that collect on the pond bottom helps reduce the production of Hydrogen Sulfide, the gas that makes the rotten egg odor that most folks associate with stagnant swamps and sewers. This gas is produced by anaerobic bacteria that thrive in sediments with little oxygen. Also, oxygenating organic sediments helps accelerate the microbial breakdown of the “muck” that collects in ponds as leaves and debris decompose. Last, oxygenating bottom sediments helps slow the release of nutrients from organic sediments that contribute to algae blooms.
Nine actions to take to prevent low oxygen levels in your Pond or Lake.
- Avoid fertilizing near the banks of your pond. Also do not fertilize near drains or other waterways that feed into ponds and lakes.
- If you must apply fertilizer to lawns near a pond, limit the amount you use and be sure to sweep or blow excess fertilizer from sidewalks, driveways to prevent the fertilizer from entering rain wash off.
- Do not dump yard waste, compost, tree limbs, and other organic material into your pond.
- Do not feed fish, this just leads to more organic material adding to the sediment on the bottom of your pond.
- Always use phosphate-free soaps when washing vehicles and other outdoor items.
- Use sediment wash-off barriers on construction projects near lakes and ponds.
- Never dump soaps, and other harmful liquids in storm drains that dump into lakes and ponds.
- It is advisable to plant vegetation appropriate around lakes and ponds to help absorb nutrients. Consult with your local municipality to be aware of local laws and regulations. We recommend working with a pond maintenance professional to help you choose the correct vegetation. For example, you do not want to plant trees that will drop a lot of leaves in your pond, this just adds to your sediment and decomposition issues.
- Work with a Lake Management or Pond Maintenance professional to conduct an audit to determine the actions you need to take to keep your waterway clean and healthy.
Aquatic Vegetation Identification