Although there is no "silver bullet" for pond management, bottom-based aeration is the most effective tool, according to TheLakeExperts.com. More acute maintenance methods such as herbicides, flocculents and bacteria can still be supplemented, however. As a long-term solution that prevents fish kills, increases dissolved oxygen, improves fisheries and reduces algae blooms, aeration is a no-brainer for most pond owners. However, if you haven't installed a system, you may need some guidance.
Things You'll Need
- Power source
- Air compressor
- All-weather cabinet w/ventilation
- Weighted air tubing
- Air diffuser manifold
- Stainless steel clamps
- Nylon rope
- 2" float
- Tubing cutters
- Nut driver
Summer Pond Aeration
Locate the deepest portions of your pond by doing some basic depth analysis. If you do not have a depth sounder or fish finder, simply tailor a rope and notch varying depths depending on your pond's bathymetry. Attach a weight to the end and note the deepest areas. Your air diffuser will be located in the deepest portion of the pond.
Make power available at either 115 or 230 volts to plug in your air compressor. If power is not available close to the shoreline or if it is cost-prohibitive to bring power to the pond, consider running a longer length of air tubing.
Dig a trench to bury your air line from the compressor to the shoreline. If you're in an area that freezes, make certain your trench is deeper than the frost line. Connect the air line to the outlet on the compressor.
Connect the free end of your air line to the end of your diffuser. Use a clamp and nut driver to secure the connection. Rig the rope through any holes on the diffuser manifold so you can lower it down to the bottom of the pond. Attach your float to the free end of the rope. Maneuver your boat to the deepest area in the pond and slowly lower the diffuser, keeping it level and making sure it remains right side up.
Ramp up the aeration system, allowing it to run no more than 15 minutes on the first day, 30 minutes on the second day, doubling the run-time every day thereafter until you reach 24 hours per day; this will take about a week. Henceforth, the system should run continuously.
Tips & Warnings
- It is critical that the diffuser rest right side up on the bottom of the pond. If it is upside down it will not only be far less efficient in aerating your pond, but will also stir up mud and muck from the bottom, making your pond appear murky.
- The float on the diffuser will allow you to easily locate it in the pond for future maintenance.
- The danger in not burying the tubing below the frost line lies in condensation entering the line and freezing, leading to a rupture in the tubing and a loss of pressure in the system.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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