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 … Read more

Pond Aeration Using Solar Power


Can I use solar power to run my pond aerator?

It’s a question that’s coming up more and more often.  And I have to admit that I’d be asking the same question myself if I were in your shoes.  Solar just makes a lot of sense when it comes to running something like pond aeration, at least on paper.

There are small pond fountains, in particular, that are running off solar, but what we’re talking about here is the concept of powering a large pond aeration system.

I’m not intimately familiar with all things solar and I wouldn’t consider myself and expert on the technology at all but I do have a few tips to share with you on the subject here.

I’m very pro-solar and admire the people who end up powering part or all of their home appliances with help from the sun.  It’s a grand, eco-friendly idea and I hope that legislators and the powers that be will make this way of producing energy more affordable and accessible for everyone.

In terms of running a pond aerator with solar power, it’s certainly possible to do it.  But there are some challenges to it and I wanted to address those below.

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The First Call Of The Season

dead fish

It always comes, and I hate it.  It’s that first call of the season each spring or summer when the temps start to rise.  It usually goes something like this.  “Hi, I need some help here, my fish are coming to the surface of the water and appear to be gasping at the air.  Some are dying and I need to try to save the other one’s.  What can I do?”

My first response is usually with a simple question.  “Do you have aeration in the pond?”  And usually the answer is…no.

In fact I can’t think of an instance, although that’s not to say it couldn’t happen, but I can’t remember anyone ever following that question with a “yes”.  

And therein lies the problem.

Without a pond aerator in place before the problem starts, you’re going to end up in crisis mode, trying to respond like a M.A.S.H. unit in a war zone.

To start with, I’ll cover what you might try to help curb the losses in the short term.  And then I’ll tell you how to end this tragic problem for good.

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Pond Air Pumps – How Different Designs Work Best

I guess to most people, the act of pumping air into a pond doesn’t sound all that complicated.  And in truth it’s not really, but there are a few basics that are good to know if you’re trying to get the best aeration system set up in your pond.

I don’t usually get too hung up on some of the components.  On the airline I do suggest going with self-weighted tubing when dropping the line into the pond simply because it’s easier to manage, sinks on it’s own, and it’s quite durable.  In other words, the benefits outweigh the costs.

Diffusers come in a several kinds of shapes and sizes.  Small ponds use air stones in most cases and these usually work pretty well.  Large pond aeration systems use some kind of rubber membrane to diffuse the air.  It might be in the shape of a tube, or a plate, but for the most part the air output and diffusion is good with either type.

The compressor or pump however is another matter.  This really is the backbone of any good aerator system and it just makes sense to get a really dependable performer to fulfill this important role.

In this article I want to talk about the most common types of pond pumps, how their designed, and where each type is best suited for use.  Certainly each one will work best in a particular setting so I’ll outline those differences in more detail.

Along with that, there’s an “in action” graphic (compliments of Gast Mfg.) to show how easy of these designs works internally.

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Another Option For Large Pond Aeration Layouts

In the last week or so I’ve been going over some optional ways in which an aeration system can be installed in a large pond.

By now you probably know of all the benefits of having an aerator in your pond.  The devices do so much for a pond it’s almost unthinkable not to have one running most or all of the time.  Dissolved oxygen is critical to the health of fish and certain species like trout or catfish seem to be more vulnerable when things drop on the oxygen meter.  If last year was any lesson for most of us, it’s that you can’t be too careful when things get hot and stagnant.  And you can lose a lot of big fish when things go wrong.

Along with this, a stagnant pond seems to have a lot more chronic problems with algae and just overall decay.  They can get stinky and messy and just be an eyesore after awhile.  A pond aerator may not ward all of the aging off that happens to a pond but it sure can slow things down a lot.  If good aerobic bacteria is stimulated enough, it can truly keep a pond cleaner, and that’s a good thing were algae reduction is concerned.

One of the real challenges with a large pond aerator though is in terms of it’s cost.  It’s just not easy to cover a big piece of water adequately.  Fortunately though, we are always looking for ways to make this effort more affordable and one way to do that is to look for alternatives when it comes to layouts and airline options.

Let me explain this in more detail and I think you’ll see why this optional layout might be a good idea for some large pond owners.

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Pond Aeration For Long And Narrow Ponds

Every once in awhile I’ll get a pond owner who asks about aerating an oddly shaped pond.  Most commonly, what this PA10DiffuserUnderwater2 1means is the pond may be quite a bit longer than it is wide.  The shape really isn’t uniform but more oblong or extended.  The pond might be a 1/4 acre to an acre in size and this presents a bit of a challenge for fitting a typical aerator kit.

Most of these systems are, at least initially, laid out with a uniform pond in mind.  It might be round, square, or a something close to that, and if that’s the case it’s no big deal.  Just fit the suggested unit to the surface area and the depth that you’re working with.

You might recall that depth is a critical factor here because the deeper you can get a diffuser the more surface area it will positively affect.

But on ponds that either have a really oblong shape, or those that are very shallow, there’s a better way to cover them, and that’s with an additional diffuser, rather than just using a single one.

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