Stagnant water in ponds is unpleasant to look at and produces a terrible odor. It can also be extremely dangerous. Water that is stagnant is not only an unsuitable environment for producing healthy fish, but also provides an excellent breeding ground for mosquitoes if fish are not present. Accomplish proper aeration by installing an aerator.
There are two types of aerators to choose from: fountain type (or water fountains) and diffused aeration systems.
If you're looking for a decorative display, a fountain aerator is the logical choice. Fountains splash the surface of the pond and help control surface algae, but they do not aerate to the bottom of deep ponds. In addition, excessive algae can cause aerators to plug.
For deep ponds, diffused aeration is the best solution because the air diffuser lies near the bottom. Thus, total pond aeration is achieved from the bottom to the top. Oxygen then scatters throughout the pond. Diffused aerators can also be used for shallow ponds. Because it takes less energy to push air in a diffused aeration system than it does to push water through a fountain system, a diffused system is much more economical to operate.
"For fisheries reasons, I would recommend diffuser aeration systems only for ponds that are shallow, have or receive high nutrient inputs, or have experienced fish kills as a result of low dissolved oxygen concentrations," says Martin Konrad, Iowa Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Bureau.
Below are examples of some aerator systems that are available.
Air-O-Lator's Aquarian residential floating aerators, available with 1/2- to 1-hp. motors, are designed to establish continuous pond turnover, introduce oxygen to the water in the proper quantity, and eliminate or prevent algae growth in ponds. The Aquarian uses a computer-designed injection-molded diffuser. The diffuser breaks up the water column in an omni-directional pattern so as much oxygen is obtained as possible in as short amount of time as possible. For pricing information locate a dealer in your area by contacting Air-O-Lator at 800/821-3177.
The Torrent aerator by Aqua Control creates a high-volume white boil of highly aerated water. It is created using a display aerator pump that has a head protector instead of a nozzle. This allows it to achieve the maximum possible flow rate for each horsepower. The large bottom-to-top circulation and the high-oxygen transfer rates make this the ideal choice if pond health is the primary consideration and no display pattern is desired. To locate a dealer in your area, call Aqua Control at 800/377-0019.
As part of AquaMaster's new Master Series of fountains, the Crown & Geyser fountain aerator gives a beautiful pattern and still achieves aeration results. The nozzle combines the Standard High Volume Flow with the vertical Geyser column of water through its center. Shown is the 3.5-hp. model. Fountains are available in 26 spray patterns, giving the acreage owner the ability to create dazzling waterscapes. All equipment is UL listed. Prices start at $1,295. For more information, call AquaMaster at 800/693-3144.
Whether you're working on a small or large pond, Beckett has the pump and filter that will meet your needs. Pumps and filters are critical to a pond's health. Beckett pumps are not oil-filled and are designed for years of continuous use in fresh water. The pumps are powered by either direct drive or wet rotor/wet bearing technology, which makes them environmentally safe and energy efficient. Beckett pond filters contain bioelements that promote beneficial bacteria. For pricing information locate a dealer in your area by calling Beckett at 888/232-5388.
OASE's StrataFlo floating aerators rejuvenate oxygen-starved ponds. The StrataFlo's high-flow, propeller-driven output saturates the water with oxygen by supplying over 2 pounds of oxygen per horsepower (1-hp. model). This significantly reduces algae, unpleasant odors, sludge, weeds, and stratification while improving water clarity. The StrataFlo is available in 1/2-, 1-, 2-, 3-, and 5-hp. oil-free models. Other features include easily interchangeable nozzle patterns and an optional three-light illumination kit. To locate a dealer in your area for pricing, call OASE at 800/365-3880.
The Constellation aerator by Otterbine is designed to minimize clogging and hold its pattern in windy conditions. It is available in 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-hp. models. Increasing horsepower is recommended when placing this unit in water environments that have excessive aquatic weed and algae. Otterbine aerators are backed by a five-year, all-inclusive warranty, are electrically tested, are listed as an entire package, and offer interchangeable patterns with little effort. Prices start at $3,800. For more information, call Otterbine at 800/237-8837.
Superior Windmill, Inc., aeration systems are powered by a natural source Ð the wind. Therefore, the cost of operating and maintaining this windmill aeration system is very low. This bottom aeration system uses air diffusers that provide aeration from the bottom to the top of the pond. Assembly of the unit generally takes from four to six hours, and customers follow a step-by-step installation process, which is included with each windmill. To locate a dealer in your area, call Superior Windmill at 888/821-5533.
The Vertex bottom aeration systems include a small, shore-mounted air compressor (housed in a weatherproof cabinet) feeding an AirStation of self-cleaning, flexible membrane diffusers. Each AirStation is positioned on the bottom of the pond and produces millions of micron-size bubbles. As the bubbles rise, they entrain up to 4,000 gallons per minute of water, mixing it throughout the water column to ensure complete pond circulation. AirStations are self-cleaning, require little maintenance, and are covered by a five-year warranty. For pricing information, call Vertex Water Features at 800/432-4302.
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