The Power Of Pond Aeration Against Algae

There are days I can probably sound like a broken record. If you’ve watched any of our videos or read through my articles here, you’ll no doubt remember that I have often said that pond aeration can help with algae problems. In fact, aeration is the first place we often look when we’re trying to improve a pond’s condition.

The other main point I often make is that chemicals, and particularly algaecides should be reserved as a last resort sort of thing. They are often not needed or required to turn a pond around and end an algae bloom.

And the story I’m about to share is a good case in point.

One of our customers, Rod Abbott, lives in Kansas. He ordered an aerator for his pond after watching algae finally cover the surface from end to end. Rod had never treated the pond with any kind of chemical and so there was a hope that by adding aeration, some naturally occurring bacteria might be stimulated and start to lower nutrients that are feeding this algae bloom.

As I’ve noted before, one of the problems with using a copper based algaecide in a pond is that copper not only kills algae, but it also destroys a lot of good bacteria in the process too. These little microbes can be the key to keeping a pond in great shape, and they need to be abundant and healthy. Since they’re mostly aerobic, they need good dissolved oxygen levels to function well.

And sometimes, when oxygen levels rise, these tiny little things can do some miraculous work.

Rod was kind enough to keep track of his pond’s progress and below you’ll see how bad the pond was to begin with. It’s covered with some pretty dense and heavy filamentous algae. Keep scrolling down the page and you’ll see what happened within 10 days of adding the aerator.

Before The Aerator Installation

0 days

Day #1 With The Aerator In Operation

1 day

10 Days After Adding The Aerator

10 days

Nice huh? But this shouldn’t come has a huge surprise. Of course this may not happen in every pond right away, but biologically it makes sense. Give the microbes what they need and if they are present in enough volume, they can begin working to clean up a pond almost immediately.

This is why we always start with pond aeration. If it’s present already, that’s great. But if it’s not, it’s usually one of the main tools that will help turn a pond around. It will help with water quality and pond health, as well as fish health and vitality. And there are few things that can do so much for a pond so quickly!

Thank you Rod for sending along the pictures and sharing your experience! Keep up the great work!

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6 Responses to The Power Of Pond Aeration Against Algae

  1. Roger September 19, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

    It is amazing what you can do without chemicals (especially algaecides). There are
    many other types of pond aeration beyond diffused aeration kits. Do you always
    recommend an aerator over a waterfall or fountain?

  2. Mabel September 19, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    WOW!!! This is amazing Mark! I’d like to know how large his pond is and which
    aeration system he used? I’ve installed one (with 2 extra outlets added to it) but
    still have a bit of weeds that insist on growing! Thanks! Mabel

  3. Mark September 19, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

    Hi Mabel. The pond is a little less than an acre in size. Not too small, but not too large either. He’s using a 1/4 HP with a single diffuser but he has a fair amount of depth so that helps. Lot’s of depth provides better coverage with each diffuser. Keep in mind that this is algae. Many weeds would be different in that they might be rooted in the bottom. So they get nutrients from the muck, not the water itself. Over time as the pond cleans up and muck reduces the weeds will have a harder time, but not right off the bat. Grass carp are a good tool for helping with many weeds. Not all, but a lot of them can be reduced greatly with them.

  4. Mark September 19, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

    Hi Roger. Usually diffused bottom aeration is best for helping the pond overall. Fountains can help too but normally more in shallow ponds than deeper ones. Water falls too will be helpful but may only improve the area they drop into and again it may not help much if the pond is pretty deep. Ideally you want to increase oxygen all over the place, from top to bottom, with the bottom being the hardest to affect, so the bottom based aeration will help with that more than any other type.

  5. Rich April 26, 2017 at 3:54 pm #

    I have a question, I have an aeration system and I was thinking of trying to conserve on my electrical bill. Does it make sense to only have the aeration on during the daylight time and turn off at night?
    thank you

  6. Mark April 30, 2017 at 12:51 pm #

    Hi Rich,
    Personally I don’t think so. I mean you could…and if you did decide to reduce the running time, I would go no less than 12 hours a day. If you have fish, I would limit this even more…and as the weather warms up, oxygen retention in the pond will go down. Most fish kills happen in the early morning hours before dawn, at least in ponds with some kind of growth be it algae or weeds. These plants give off oxygen during daylight but they pull it from the water at night…so that’s when low oxygen levels can occur.

    The other thing the aerator pumps…at least with some of them, is that it can be harder on them going from a cold start…as the run, they warm up an actually get hot…and I think they loosen up a bit in that way. I don’t mind turning them off in the fall and restarting in the spring, but the daily on and off, in some cases has worn them down more quickly. Seals needed to be replaced more often, and I think that routine was harder on them. They really are designed to run continuously.

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