IonGen Pond Ionizer – What Does It Do?

IonGen G2

There was a time when about the only way you were going to stop algae from taking over a pond is to add more of the plants that you actually liked in order to try to choke the unwanted stuff out.  This isn’t such a bad way to go of course, after all it’s worked ever since people started to try and manage a pond.

As the years passed, as often happens with an adventurous and industrious group of deep thinkers, someone tossed some barley in a pond and that helped some too.  Maybe mix in a bit of lavender and you’ve got yourself some algae control.

Ah, the good old days.

Today however, technology will have a part to play, not only in our lives (think iPad) but also in our ponds.  And one of the newer pond algae control devices is called the IonGen.  In this article I’ll attempt to explain what it does, how it works, and why it’s useful in a battle against algae.  Oh, and I’ll through in a few tips on how to use it safely too.

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Why We Changed Our Small Pond Aeration Kits

If you’ve visited our website recently you may have noticed a change in our small pond aerators.  With this in mind I Aquascape pa2wanted to bring you up to speed on this and why we made the changes.

The fact is we are always on the lookout for better performing products and processes and with regards to the Airmax Pond Air 2 and Pond Air 4, they have been admirable and solid performers for us for a handful of  years.  Some of you reading this may have one running in your pond right now and if so, I suspect you’ve been fairly happy with it.  We have been as well.

But we did run into issues with some customers who found that the Airmax units had some depth limitations.  In other words they really weren’t designed to go much beyond 3 or 4 feet in depth.  This will be just fine for many ponds but not for everyone we serve, and so when we came across several units that could work down to 8 to 8 feet, we just had to check them out.

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How To Choose The Right Pond Air Pump

Small Pond Aerator

Not every pond will need aeration, or adding air and circulation to the water, but every pond will benefit from it.  There’s no question about that.

If you look around online, or even at some local pet or hardware stores you’ll find a ton of different aerators for small ponds or water gardens.  There are so many that it can get really hard to choose which one to buy that will find your pond and needs just right.

In this post I want to share with you what I think are the things you should look for and consider when buying an air pump and system for your pond.

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Do I Have To Use Beneficial Bacteria In The Winter?

Sometimes in talking to a pond owner who’s kept their water feature open all winter, it comes as a surprise to them that algae can grow, even in the coldest conditions.

As I always do, if they ask how it should be treated, I suggest using a good quality pond bacteria, and one that is specifically designed for cold water, and see if that helps the cause of cleansing.  Sometimes it does, but you can be sure that any warm water bacteria will not.

The normal tools, like your biofilter will simply not be operating normally in cold weather so other than perhaps filtering physical debris, it’s not going to do much for the water quality as it would in the warmer months.  Many people may simply decide to bypass the filter or shut the flow of water down altogether, and that’s fine.

Keep in mind, it’s not that the cold weather kills off these good microbes, it’s just that they go dormant.

So the question comes up, “do I really need to add any bacteria over the winter?”

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Winter Pond Aeration – Is Ice In Your Airline?

Aerating your pond in the winter time is useful at keeping ice from forming at the surface.  It’s crucial that fish get adequate oxygen from the atmosphere, even in colder weather, so keeping a spot of ice open is very useful.

You can use a pond heater of course, but many people also like, and might even prefer a small pond aerator to do the job.  Some advantages are they can use the device year round, and they usually cost less to operate than a heater.

But there are potential challenges with them.

First, just like an electric heater, if your power goes out, you may find that your pond can freeze over pretty quickly.  You can often get around this with a small generator.

The other issue we see from time to time is that ice can form in the airline and block airflow to the pond.  This happens because condensation forms in the airline, and once it’s cold enough it will freeze.  Initially, the problem is that you’re not getting any air or agitation into the pond, but if this goes on long enough, damage could occur in the pump itself.  Usually the diaphragm will be damaged and would need to be replaced.

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How To Use Your Small Pond Aerator In Winter

We’ve been getting a good stream of questions asking for advice in how to use an aerator in a small pond or water garden during the winter months.

Oxygen is useful in any pond at any time of course, but for winter use, the real goal of having an aerator running is to help to keep a spot of water open and free of ice build up. You can use a pond deicer for this work, but aerators can be really useful in moderately cold temps and as some people have noted they can cost a lot less to operate when compared to the higher wattage deicers.

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