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#255696 - 04/21/11 10:11 PM Bob Lusk's Aeration Presentation
git1fiddle Offline
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I think Bill C promised to share some of Bob's comments from the PB Conference on aerating per our previous postings on 24/7 aeration. Did Bill or anyone else get a chance to attend Bob's workshop and, if so, could you hit the high points on a post here? My original question was can you get the same positive effects of aeration by using a 12 on/12 off rotation rather than 24/7.
Thanks

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#255702 - 04/21/11 10:22 PM Re: Bob Lusk's Aeration Presentation [Re: git1fiddle]
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Hey great question and i will be paying attention to this..
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#255708 - 04/21/11 10:42 PM Re: Bob Lusk's Aeration Presentation [Re: git1fiddle]
Bill Cody Offline
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I will need help with this. Others that were there please add comments. I can't remember the main details of Bob's talk. I forgot to take notes. Dah! I am going to email Bob to see if he will send me a copy of his talk.
On this same on/off aeration topic, Dr Amanda Quillen (Vertex) also presented "What Happens With On-Off Bottom Aeration. She had more scientific details on the topic. She basically tested the chemical changes that occur in the deep water when the aerator is shut off. As I recall she found in her specific study pond in FL that the DO dropped to low levels (2-4ppm) and anoxic chemicals increased after about 3-5 days with no aeration depending on conditions. I don't remember how deep her study pond was but I think it was 20+ft. Anyone remember the specific depth?


Edited by Bill Cody (04/21/11 10:43 PM)
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#255729 - 04/22/11 03:42 AM Re: Bob Lusk's Aeration Presentation [Re: Bill Cody]
esshup Offline
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Bill, I believe the pond went down to 30'. At her first visit her test lead cable wasn't long enough.....


Edited by esshup (04/22/11 11:18 AM)
Edit Reason: grammar
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#255755 - 04/22/11 09:20 AM Re: Bob Lusk's Aeration Presentation [Re: esshup]
git1fiddle Offline
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Sounds like a 12 hour on/off cycle would be enough to maintain decent DO levels in deeper water if anoxic chemicals and low DO levels don't start showing up for 3 - 5 days.
I am experimenting with 4 hour cycles with a timer as follows: on 4 a.m. - 8 a.m.....off 8 a.m. - 12 noon...on 12 noon - 4 p.m...off 4 p.m. - 12 Midnight...then repeat. This gives me 12 hours of aeration broken up into 4 hour blocks over a 24 hour period. If I can find a temp probe I will be measuring water temps per Bill C's recommendation to see what variance I get at 22' (depth of difussers) vs. surface. I understand that's not as accurate as a DO reading, but it should give me some indication of aerobic activity at difusser depth.

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#255760 - 04/22/11 09:49 AM Re: Bob Lusk's Aeration Presentation [Re: git1fiddle]
Sue Cruz Offline
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Hi git1fiddle ~
Part time aeration should be fine as long as the water volume is turned over enough in that time period. I think you would be better off running the system for 12 straight hours at night and letting the sunlight increase dissolved oxygen durring the day through photosynthesis. I don't think you'll get very good results running it in short stints through out the day like you are planning. If you feel like experimenting, I would be interested in the results, but I think you will just be releasing nutrients into the water column and feeding your algae with out ensuring enough DO to bind those nutrients to the bottom sediments.
Amanda's test sight was very deep ~ I think close to 30'. She went to the site with Scotty Tucker yesterday and did and did an oxygen profile on the Winston Park Lake. The aeration system has been turned off and the lake was stratified at 9' with the majority of the water column anoxic. Our next test on this lake will be to size it for 1/2 a turn over per day or one turn over every other day and see how that affects the water quality. The industry standard is to circulate the volume once per day, but there is a company now recomending 1/2 that, so lets see if it works...
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#255771 - 04/22/11 10:31 AM Re: Bob Lusk's Aeration Presentation [Re: esshup]
Amanda Quillen Offline


Registered: 04/22/11
Posts: 9
Loc: FL, USA
Quote:
Bill, I believe the pond went down to 30'. At first her test lead wasn't long enough.....


Hi there, esshup! My lake is a little over 30'. My original rope for the water sampler was only about 20', but my meter does have a 30' cable, so I got my oxygen and temperature readings fine, just no nutrients.

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#255775 - 04/22/11 10:44 AM Re: Bob Lusk's Aeration Presentation [Re: Amanda Quillen]
Amanda Quillen Offline


Registered: 04/22/11
Posts: 9
Loc: FL, USA
I agree with Sue that if you are going to try aerating half the day, aerating at night makes the most sense. Have the aerators go off an hour or so after the sun comes up maybe? This is just my initial idea though. I also want to see what happens with aerating only during the day because that might work better for lakes that have algae problems. I can think of long-winded arguments to support both ideas, and I can see git1fiddle's idea working too. An important think to note when your lake depths get above 12' or so is that you can destratify temperature without destratifying oxygen if there is a lot of 'breathing' sediment down there. If temp isn't destratifying though, you can be sure that oxygen isn't either, so tracking temp is the number 1 place to start.

We can't be sure without testing, but I suspect we will find a part-time aeration solution that works. In my study I showed that you need to have that aeration running everyday, since things go south pretty quickly in these deep lakes, but part-time everyday is probably ok.

Ok, that's enough for now. My first forum post and I'm already long-winded. You should see my emails!

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#255777 - 04/22/11 10:47 AM Re: Bob Lusk's Aeration Presentation [Re: Amanda Quillen]
ewest Offline
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Welcome Amanda. Good to meet you at PB IV.

For those not there Amanda gave a presentation on water quality and aeration. Very neat presentation. See this for example.

http://www.aquaticsystems.com/resources/case-studies/winston-park-aeration-efficiency
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#255797 - 04/22/11 11:33 AM Re: Bob Lusk's Aeration Presentation [Re: ewest]
git1fiddle Offline
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Loc: Missouri
This is a helpful discussion and I will look forward to hearing the results from Sue and Amanda's test lake. I will be especially interested in your challenge of the industry standard of 1 lake volume turnover per day vs 1/2 turn vs every other day, etc. to maintain appropriate DO levels. Also appreciated the distinction between destratification and DO levels at depths below 12'. Bill C alluded to that distinction in an earlier post when he suggested that maintaining a 2 - 3 degree variance (or closer) between bottom and top temperatures would be moving in the right direction in establishing good DO levels at depth...but not a replacement for actual DO readings.

My diffuser (a single cluster of four 9" diffusers) sits at 22', almost in the center of my generally rectangular lake which is just shy of 1 acre. The system's capacity is 7800 gpm, so if I'm figuring right, if I average a 12 foot depth (max depth 24'), the system should turn the lake over approximately every 8 hours. In theory, I should be turning the lake over 1 1/2 times in a twelve hour period, spread out over three 4 hour aeration periods, coinciding with the hottest part of the day (12 p.m. - 4 p.m.) and two night time segments (8 p.m. - midnight...4 a.m. - 8 a.m.) which includes that period a few hours before and after sunrise where I understand DO levels tend to be lowest.

One caveat for me is that this is a new lake, built in September 2010, so I do not have the sediment buildup of older lakes that would probably require more aeration. I understand from discussions on this board that as the lake ages, aeration demands will increase to keep up with fish and plant sediment, so my results might not apply to many situations.

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#255800 - 04/22/11 11:38 AM Re: Bob Lusk's Aeration Presentation [Re: git1fiddle]
Amanda Quillen Offline


Registered: 04/22/11
Posts: 9
Loc: FL, USA
Ah, a new lake! Your experiments won't put the fish in danger at least. Older lakes have more sediment buildup. Aeration is the fountain of youth. It will slow the rate of organic sedimentation.

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#255809 - 04/22/11 12:11 PM Re: Bob Lusk's Aeration Presentation [Re: Amanda Quillen]
Bill Cody Offline
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My memory is getting refreshed. I agree with Sue and Amanda that the partial aeration run time per day will be most beneficial if the run time is in one block instead of on-off cycles - preferrably at late day, night or toward early morning. I prefer to start mixing later in the day after the daylight (sun) has had time to stimulate photosynthesis which results in high DO in the upper water (euphotic zone). Then mix this high DO water to deep areas of the pond.

This is my rationale for mixing time: When the aerator starts, it progressively begins to circulate the water starting from the diffuser as an upward boil, then at the surface it spreads outward toward the edges. This denser water then at the edges, moves downward following the contour of the bottom toward the diffusers where it again flows upward. As this occurs and the longer the aerator runs, more and more of the 'middle zone water' gets incorporated into the circulation until the whole pond is 'mixing'. If the aerator only runs a short time (less than or just one complete circulation) very little 'middle water' gets involved or mixed. The longer the aerator runs the more the middle water is mixed. Remember - all this becomes more important the older and more eutrophic a water body becomes. Wind action will also affect the overall mixing. Not a lot of studies have been conducted on this entire topic which is what makes Amanda's work so interesting and informative. Good job Vertex! G1Fiddle - Since your pond is fairly new feel, free to experiment and learn from those tests. Keep us informed about your tests!


Edited by Bill Cody (04/22/11 12:17 PM)
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#255811 - 04/22/11 12:22 PM Re: Bob Lusk's Aeration Presentation [Re: Bill Cody]
RC51 Offline
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So what your saying Bill is if your pond like mine is 65 years old and has been unmanaged for several years and has a lot of muck in it I should be running my air as long as I can 12 hours a day at least or 24/7?
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#255827 - 04/22/11 02:22 PM Re: Bob Lusk's Aeration Presentation [Re: RC51]
Bing Offline
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I am going to guess at the answer the experts will give you, RC51 but I bet it goes like this: "Aireate for as long as you can afford, with 24/7 being the best". "The older the pond is and if you are interested in removing the most muck it needs to be 24/7 if you are interested in the best results".


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#255830 - 04/22/11 02:47 PM Re: Bob Lusk's Aeration Presentation [Re: Bing]
Bill Cody Offline
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Bing provides a good answer especially if the pond has large muck deposits, good blooms of algae, turbid water, lots of underwater plants and or you don't have an oxygen meter or a way to test DO.
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#255838 - 04/22/11 03:07 PM Re: Bob Lusk's Aeration Presentation [Re: Bill Cody]
Ted Lea FOREVERGREEN Offline
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Registered: 01/08/04
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Bing hits the nail on the head !! This can be the difficult part of DIY systems without the proper diffuser specs.If you just making bubbles are you lifting .25 with large membranes or .5 or the extreme of perhaps 4 times per 24 hr day. If the math shows a full lift per 24 hr day and it takes 2 air stations to accomplish that and they are not positioned correctly you may "average" one lift per day but actually may have 2-3 lifts in some areas and .25 in another. Or a single large central airstation can give the same results. The downside to lifting too little can be making unwanted nutrients available for plant or algae growth..My experiece is that a lift of only .5 per day seldom meets anyones goals.Be aware of lifting rates that are expressed * per 48 hours.If you only want to run 12 hours per day consider a system that will lift twice whats "needed" per 24 hr day.

Cody says - Ted good answer. It is better to over-aerate than under-aerate. Error on the side of more aeration than less aeration. I think this is also what Bob summarized in his discussion of aeration at the PB IV Conference.


Edited by Bill Cody (04/22/11 03:26 PM)

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#255845 - 04/22/11 03:52 PM Re: Bob Lusk's Aeration Presentation [Re: Ted Lea FOREVERGREEN]
Ted Lea FOREVERGREEN Offline
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Bill the only time I see over aeration (overcirculation) a problem is if over heating the water can cause a problem for cool and cold water types Also turns over once per day can be a problem in establishing a bloom when fertilizing for such.This is when the ability to slow down and speed up a system is a great option..

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#255855 - 04/22/11 05:10 PM Re: Bob Lusk's Aeration Presentation [Re: Ted Lea FOREVERGREEN]
git1fiddle Offline
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Registered: 05/10/10
Posts: 47
Loc: Missouri
Ted, would you elaborate on aeration and algae blooms. From what I understand of blooms from these forums, they are the algae that turn my water a nice green/brown color, and provide food for everything south of the predator fish...in my pond that would be everything but the bass. Let's assume no fertilizer...I thought aeration would provide additional oxygen to facilitate these blooms. Are you saying too much aeration can have an adverse effect on blooms, or are you talking specifically in the presence of fertilizer.

Also the comment of slowing down or speeding up a system. I infer from this that watching the performance of the algae bloom throughout the year will dictate, to some extent, what should be happening with aeration...i.e more or less. Can you talk a bit about that. Thanks

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#255860 - 04/22/11 05:46 PM Re: Bob Lusk's Aeration Presentation [Re: git1fiddle]
Ted Lea FOREVERGREEN Offline
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The adverse effect would be turbulance or the disruption of the establishment fertilized or not. Not too much air(ation) but perhaps too much circulation.Lets say you have a 4 head diffuser in 20 ft of water with 1 cfm to each of the four discs.The tested lifting rate states 10,000 GPM or 14.4 million per 24 hr day. It can be difficult to establish a bloom in that much circulation if that station was not sized correctly to that specific body of water with the establishment of a bloom in mind..1/2 per day turns is enough to aid in establishing a bloom if aeration is going to be used.Regulating the speed of the system is more water temperature related. The catch 22 being the more you circulate the warmer the water the less the DO holding ability.Under aerating or circulating can help aid a bloom in a nutrient rich mature pond by hanging nutrients in the water column and making them available for planktonic algae or can go right to FA also. This is also the reason to be careful when underaerating if nutrient reduction is the goal.Your comment about the corelation between circulation and the performance of the bloom would make for a good study.There are so many uncontroled variables that this would be difficult,but still interesting.If a system has the ability to turn at least once per day (which is the minimum I size for) then I suggest slowing it down if bloom establishment is a problem.This method seems to work.

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#256212 - 04/25/11 10:18 AM Re: Bob Lusk's Aeration Presentation [Re: Ted Lea FOREVERGREEN]
Amanda Quillen Offline


Registered: 04/22/11
Posts: 9
Loc: FL, USA
To expand a little on this bloom discussion: If the goal is to grow fish through fertilization, it is still important that you get the right TYPE of algae in the pond. I think Ted might be right about overcirculation, which may encourage heterotrophic bacteria over algae, and these bacteria don't enter the fish food chain. Once established, these bacteria will consume any fertilizer. Water treatment plants, for example, are aerated to the max since the goal is nutrient reduction. I suspect that if you underaerate, the extra nutrients may encourage cyanobacteria over more tasty algae like diatoms and green algae. The moral of the story is that aeration sizing matters! One has to consider the age of the lake during sizing, and occasionally we have to go in and add more diffusers if we get it wrong. Usually this occurs when we don't have all of the information (max depth, average depth, age, etc.).

I'm thinking of tracking algae species composition and pigment for my upcoming aeration turnover experiment. Hopefully Bill Cody can help me out with that smile

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#256222 - 04/25/11 11:04 AM Re: Bob Lusk's Aeration Presentation [Re: Amanda Quillen]
Bill Cody Offline
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Good discussion. I have a couple comments about comments above.
1. Apr 22 2:52 - Ted says- "Bill the only time I see over aeration (overcirculation) a problem is if over heating the water can cause a problem for cool and cold water types Also turns over once per day can be a problem in establishing a bloom when fertilizing for such." I assume Ted means cool-cold water types of fish. But there are usually a lot of other organisms that thrive in the cool-cold water conditions. As the pond warms or cools the composition of the community changes especially the smaller species such as bacteria, algae and invertebrates. Changes happen by species increasing and decreasing based on ambient conditions. When conditions become severe or extreme even largest species (fish) are lost (fish kills). One negative impact that aeration has on blooms is it moves surface algae deep into the water column where sunlight is low or dark. No light no photosynthesis. Another negative is water movement. Many bloom forming species like still or calm water. Moving water tends to slow their reproductive rate which can be good or bad or neutral - depending. Some plankonic species are 'okay' with moving water. However most prefer somewhat calmer conditions. Blooms can definately occur in aerated ponds. The amount or strength of aeration (turns/day) can be important.


2. Apr 22 4:10, g1fiddle says "Let's assume no fertilizer...I thought aeration would provide additional oxygen to facilitate these blooms." For clarification: Oxygen is not really used by plants for photosynthesis. For photosynthesis, plants use carbon dioxide, some nutrients and water in the presence of sunlight to make food, i.e. grow, reproduce, storage. Small amounts of oxygen are used by plants (blooms) continuously for respiration ("breathing") and metabolic activity. During normal conditions plants produce a lot more oxygen than they use. The oxygen primarily benefits all those consumers of oxygen mostly animals/bacteria; the heterotrophs (heterotrophic) as Amanda mentioned.

3. Amanda says Apr 25 - 9:18 -" Water treatment plants, for example, are aerated to the max since the goal is nutrient reduction. I suspect that if you underaerate, the extra nutrients may encourage cyanobacteria over more tasty algae like diatoms and green algae." Good observation. Current research says, it is the ratio or proportion of nutrients in the water column that determines or favors certain species of algae. Thousands of types/species of algae are present, many have 'favorite' nutrient conditions or a special balance where they thrive. As the nutrient balance changes so change the algae. If seeded into the system, certain species will bloom when the nutrient balance and other conditions (temp, day length, etc.) favor their growth.

As Ted indicates above, all this bloom-aeration stuff is a complex interaction of many variables.


Edited by Bill Cody (04/25/11 11:14 AM)
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#256327 - 04/25/11 10:35 PM Re: Bob Lusk's Aeration Presentation [Re: Bill Cody]
git1fiddle Offline
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Registered: 05/10/10
Posts: 47
Loc: Missouri
This discussion begs a number of questions for me, a total novice, especially as it relates to previous posting I have read about the importance of aeration. On the surface (pardon the pun) aeration sounds like a no brainer...size the system correctly, which I understand to mean the ability of the system to turn the water volume of the pond over once in a 24 hour period (or slightly oversize the system to allow for some variance) and run it 24/7.

But this discussion, specifically as it relates to photosynthesis of blooms of various algae (which I understand from these forums is an all-important part of the food chain), indicates that aeration may actually interupt the development of blooms. Bill states: "Some plankonic species are 'okay' with moving water. However most prefer somewhat calmer conditions." And Amanda says, "Water treatment plants, for example, are aerated to the max since the goal is nutrient reduction."

My take away from this discussion is that I REALLY NEED TO PAY ATTENTION to the effects of aeration on my little body of water. My original goal was 1. to protect my fish from low DO and 2. To minimize the buildup of muck from leaf and fish waste.

But from this discussion, I am beginning to see that single-mindedly pursuing those objectives through 24/7 aeration might inadvertently cause problems in other areas.
Sounds like more of a balancing act than I first thought. So, if I've learned something it goes like this:

1. Check water clarity...if it's more than 18 - 20 inches I may not have enough algae. Might indicate I need to slow down on aeration schedule

2. Measure water temps at bottom and top...if within 3 - 4 degrees (or better) then aeration is preventing stratification and is an indication of decent DO levels (though not to be confused with the accuracy of an actual DO meter)

3. May be better to aerate at night into morning sunrise if on a 12 on / 12 off schedule, allowing sunshine to spur bloom during daylight hours.

4. A body of water is a living, breathing, creature full of living, breathing creatures. Get to know it like a friend, build a relationship, know when it's happy and when it's sad, then jump on the forum and find out what to do about it.

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#256337 - 04/25/11 11:01 PM Re: Bob Lusk's Aeration Presentation [Re: git1fiddle]
Bill Cody Offline
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Maybe the above discussion has put too much emphasis on the ability of aeration and mixing of the water to slow down or suppress a bloom. Many phytoplanktonic species are able to tolerate strong aeration conditions similar to the turbulent mixing that occurs in large windswept lakes. I would consider 3-4-5 turnovers a day to be strong mixing. Often during what appears as active aeration the majority of the water column is still moving very slowly compared to stream currrents - conditions where planktonic algae typically does not 'do well' compared tro lake or pond conditions. Thus the planktonic algae can adequately thrive in well aerated ponds. In my experience rarely does active aeration suppress or stifle development of a bloom if chemical conditions are 'right' (proper nutrient balance) for producing a bloom.

If the nutrient balance is not 'right', slowing the mixing rate IMO will not likely increase the blooom.
G1fiddle states "1. Check water clarity...if it's more than 18 - 20 inches I may not have enough algae. Might indicate I need to slow down on aeration schedule."" In this case if water is too clear and one wants a better or 'good' bloom, I think the best first step would be to add a little more fertilizer.




Edited by Bill Cody (04/26/11 09:20 AM)
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#257168 - 05/02/11 11:45 AM Re: Bob Lusk's Aeration Presentation [Re: git1fiddle]
Amanda Quillen Offline


Registered: 04/22/11
Posts: 9
Loc: FL, USA
Originally Posted By: git1fiddle
A body of water is a living, breathing, creature full of living, breathing creatures. Get to know it like a friend, build a relationship, know when it's happy and when it's sad, then jump on the forum and find out what to do about it.


I've been trying to tell people this for years wink

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#260093 - 05/25/11 10:45 PM Re: Bob Lusk's Aeration Presentation [Re: Amanda Quillen]
timberframe Offline


Registered: 10/11/10
Posts: 49
Loc: blanchard Mi.
We have a one acre newer pond (3 Years old) that we have been trying to raise rainbow trout in. The bottom is 12 foot deep throughout the entire bottom. The first year we put 200 rainbows in the pond. We installed a decent size aerator with 2 diffusers and ran it 24/7. All the fish died in early June.
Last year, we planted trout again. The only differnce was that we only ran the aerator about 6 times a day for only 15-30 minutes each time. Even though the summer was hotter than the year before, and the fact that we lost 2 feet of depth to evaporation, the trout flourished all year just fine. It seems that with trout rearing, if you overaerate, it heats the water to much.

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