Benefits of Pond Aeration
What does a Pond Aerator do, or why do you need one?
A pond that is not properly maintained in most cases has poor quality water. When you see filthy, dirty, or have a smelly water, there is a problem! The problem is low oxygen levels and too much bacteria in the water caused by water runoff and ground water which has potential minerals in it. These multiply with the help from sunlight, and causes plant growth in the water.
In the winter, these plants die off and sink to the bottom to be decomposed. To decompose something, oxygen is required and the water is robbed from whatever it may have in it. Oxygen in the water does not go down much further than 3 feet from the surface…that is why some ponds have sludge on the bottom. The plants sink to the bottom are partially decomposed and then lays there creating an anaerobic (a non – oxygen using) bacteria to further decompose the plant matter. By letting this happen, it releases hydrogen sulfide gas and contaminates the water which is called “anoxic condition” or black smelly water. According to the Dept of Natural Resources, aerating your pond is the best treatment as it takes minimal resources and no harsh or expensive chemicals…some of which will only cause/activate other problems….LET’S GO NATURAL !!
What is winterkill?
Once an icy mantle covers a body of water, surface replenishment of oxygen from air stops. It must rely on rooted aquatic plants for the oxygen reserve. These plants need sunlight to produce oxygen by way of photosynthesis. If too much snow and ice blocks out the sunlight, then the plants stop producing oxygen. Consequently, this creates even more oxygen consumption due to the decomposition. Once there is a build up of harmful gas like carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and methane, with no way to escape, you end up with a precarious situation for fish or otherwise. Ponds that are susceptible to winterkill are shallow, fertile ponds with a lot of organic matter. Add to that a heavy snow cover for extended periods of time, and you have a recipe for a winterkill of fish. Biologists say 3” (7.5 cm) of ice covered with 5” (12.5 cm) of snow will keep out 99% of available light.
Oxygen Devoid Layer?
In fertile ponds, an oxygen devoid bottom layer can develop in late summer which not only reduces the area in which fish can inhabit, but cause a fall fish kill when the water cools and the oxygen devoid layer mixes with the rest of the pond. The thorough mixing of the water also aids in the breakdown of nutrients from the feeding of the fish and it keeps the water crystal clear without excessive amounts of floating algae mats.
It is a small price to pay for a healthy and good quality, clear water pond with faster growing fish. To prevent the severity of winterkill and die off on small ponds, use a MacKenzie Aerator Windmill to get oxygen into the bottom of your pond.