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Pond Aeration: Aerator Types and Options

Proper aeration is needed for all types of water. No matter what type of pond or lake you have at your home, it will be necessary to provide air and oxygen to it. Fountain aerators, diffused aerators, and surface aerators are your options, but how do you know which one to choose? It is important to understand how each type works.

Diffused Aerators

These are actually simple devices, and are also known simply as air bubblers. These are made up of an air pump, tubing, and an air stone which is connected at the end of the tube. The air pump forces air through the line and into the water. Once the air hits the stone, or diffuser, bubbles form and make their way throughout the water. Smaller bubbles are better, as they allow the water to more easily absorb the air molecules that are being produced.

All living creatures need air. Therefore, these creatures will be dependent on the air you provide for their survival. In order to keep the water from becoming stagnant, air will need to be provided to all areas, and should be generated from the bottom of the pond, all the way to the top.

Surface Aerators

This version is capable of aerator a larger amount of water, and is completely different from diffused aerators. The air is generated from a water pump that stays at the top of the water. Since it stays at the top, this option is not viable for deeper bodies of water. For shallow ponds, this option will work fine. When the water pump is centered in the body of water, it will help push debris and weeds out to the banks where they can be easily collected and disposed of.

Fountain Aerator

These models are similar to any other fountain. A water pump sucks water up, and then disperses it through a nozzle. When the water lands on the surface, air molecules attach to the drops and form air. This type does require the use of an electrical cord, which should be inspected regularly to ensure there is no shock risk.

Fountain aerators can be purchased with light assemblies that make them not only practical, but beautiful. This can take a plain pond that is barely noticeable at night, and transform it into something special. There are also different nozzles available, which will add to the overall effect.

Pros and Cons of Each Aerator Type

Diffused Aerator

Diffused aerators work well within ponds and lakes, so long as the right size is purchased, and the unit is properly placed. These can also be cheaper to operate than the other choices, as the power it takes to push air is less than the power it takes to pump water. Since the air compressor will be located outside, it will be exposed to the elements. This means that it will need to be cleaned from time to time. Covering the unit will help make it last longer, and make the need to clean less frequent.

Another benefit is that no special electrical outlets are needed. Basic outlets that are located nearby will get the job done. This type of unit should be left on at all times. During the winter months, the water circulation will help keep the body of water from freezing over. This is important, as there will need to be some opening for fish and other wildlife.

Fountain Aerator

These are a tad less practical than other models. They cost more to operate, and if lighting is used, the electricity cost will be even higher. They may also need to be removed from the water during the winter months, as it will not work well in freezing temperatures.

Fountain aerators should not be used in deeper water, as oxygen will not make it all the way to the bottom. This could cause deeper sections to become stagnant. For shallow ponds, this option will work. For all others, consider another option.

Surface Aerators

The benefit to this type is that it has the power to churn quite a lot of water. However, like fountain aerators, it is not good for deeper water unless multiple units are used. Ideally, surface aerators should only be used in water that is less than six feet deep.

Which Aerator Should I Choose?

It is important to note that no two ponds are the same. When shopping for aerators, consider the size of the body of water, as well as the depth. Most aerator kits come with all of the information you need to determine which size you need. When shopping online, feel free to email customer service if you have any questions.

If appearance is important, choose a fountain aerator. Just be sure that the pond depth does not exceed the space that this unit can cover. Stagnant water is not healthy, and will produce a nasty smell. Fish will become sick and die if they are forced to live in stagnant water.

Helpful Aerator Tips

Opt for kits instead of single pieces. These aerator kits eliminate guesswork, and help prevent mistakes. Kits often are cheaper than single pieces, so if budget is a concern, aerator kits are the way to go. Another tip is to be sure to install the unit correctly. This will ensure that it functions properly, and does the job you need it to do.

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