How to Choose a Pond Aerator

Choose a Pond Aerator Feature Image

Ponds and lakes are their healthiest when they have enough oxygen. The main goal of aeration is the oxygenation of your water. Dissolved oxygen that is produced by a pond aeration system does a lot of things for a healthy pond ecosystem. This article will help you to understand why aerating is important, what types of aeration systems you have to choose from, and how to properly choose the right system for your pond.

Why Aerate Your Pond?

Healthy pond water absorbs enough oxygen to combat muck build-up and algae blooms. It also releases gases that poorly circulated water will trap, these gases like carbon dioxide are what muck and algae feed on. Aeration adds essential levels of oxygen into your pond or lake. Signs of an insufficiently aerated pond include muck build-up, algae blooms, fish kills, and cloudy pond water. You might also notice your fish coming to the pond surface often if they aren’t getting enough oxygen. One of the best ways to combat this oxygen problem is by adding an aeration system to your pond!

Pond Aerator System Options

There are three great aeration system types that can help to add oxygen to your pond: a decorative fountain aerator, a surface pond aerator, and a sub-surface aerator.

Decorative Fountain Aerators

The first option you have when looking for a pond aerator, is a decorative fountain aerator. These units spray water in a V-shaped pattern and look like a pond fountain, but have much better aeration capabilities compared to a pond fountain. The reason they are better at aerating is because they use a propeller to circulate water instead of a pump, similar to how a boat motor works. With these systems you get great aeration, but can’t change the water spray patterns like you can on a pond fountain.

Surface Aerators

Surface aeration systems like Scott Aerator’s Boilermaker add a great level of oxygen to your pond, but don’t have the big attention grabbing V-shaped spray patterns like a fountain aerator. Filters come standard or as an add-on option depending on the manufacturer. A filter ensures the motor doesn’t become clogged by sticks or algae.

Sub-Surface Aeration Systems

A sub-surface system allows you to keep the natural look of your pond, while adding oxygen to the entire body of water. These systems sit on the pond floor and release air bubbles that circulate from the bottom to the surface. You can take advantage of amazing aeration, circulate water from the bottom of your pond, all while maintaining its natural aesthetic.

How to Choose Pond Aerator Size

Now that you’re familiar with the options in aerators, there are two metrics that are important when choosing the right size pond aerator for your situation, gallons per hour (GPH) and horsepower (HP). The higher an aerator’s horsepower — typically the sizes range from 1/3 HP to 5 HP — the higher its gallons per hour flow rate is likely to be. Since oxygenation is your primary goal when looking into aerators, we recommend verifying that a pond aerator’s horsepower and gallons per hour is high enough for your pond. We’ve made it really easy to pair an aeration system by horsepower to your pond based on horsepower size and pond surface acre size.

Pond Aerator Sizing Chart

Pond & Lake Considerations

Unusually shaped ponds, ponds with islands or coves are more likely to have spots that can trap water and foster algae growth. If your pond has unusual characteristics it might be necessary to get multiple systems and place them strategically throughout your pond. This would ensure the circulation of water throughout the entire pond.

Often times homeowners will dig ponds in their backyard to increase property value and attract different types of wildlife. Fish, especially koi fish, are a very popular addition to natural and manmade ponds. If you’re choosing to build a pond, be sure to check out blogs that provide useful information like this Perfect Koi Pond Building Guide. Aeration, fish count, water health, and many other factors should be weighed before adding fish to a pond!

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