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#30732 - 05/19/05 06:41 PM Aerate correctly?
Muddy Fork Offline
Member

Registered: 07/09/04
Posts: 107
Loc: Southern Indiana
I'm installing a 1/4 HP 1.5 CFM rocking piston compressor with a single membrane diffuser pond aerator with a one day two settings timer in a one acre bowl shaped pond that's with a long 3' shelf. I believe this pond should be very easy to aerate because of it shape. My questions are how long and when should I run the aerator? I've seen posts that say all night, two times a day for 5hr, and 24/7, also how do I know if I'm doing it correctly? Is there an oxygen or temperature test to go by?

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#30733 - 05/21/05 08:26 AM Re: Aerate correctly?
Tuzz Offline
Lunker

Registered: 08/17/03
Posts: 234
Loc: Greenfield Park, NY
I would run it 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Aeration is the number 1 best thing you can do for your pond. If the pond is older you will need to gradually work up to 24 X 7 or you could cause a fish kill. Don't be scared when you first have a really bad smell coming up from the bottom. It will go away once the aeration has a chance to take effect.

We stop aeration in November and start again in April. Could super cool the water up here if we leave it on all winter.

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#30734 - 05/21/05 07:37 PM Re: Aerate correctly?
Ted Lea FOREVERGREEN Offline
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Registered: 01/08/04
Posts: 969
Loc: NW Ohio (Waynesfield)
Muddy Fork, Calculate your total gallons in your pond,(approx 325,000 per acre ft) and find out what your turnover is on your aeration system for the depth you are going to set the diffuser. Example > some diffusers test out at 4100 gallon per minute at 8 ft with 1 CFM etc.Then decide how often you want to turn your water over and see if your system needs to run 24/7 (or longer) if undersized.Your aeration equipment supplier should have all the independent testing of their diffusers to answer these questions. Good Luck Ted
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#30735 - 05/21/05 08:52 PM Re: Aerate correctly?
Muddy Fork Offline
Member

Registered: 07/09/04
Posts: 107
Loc: Southern Indiana
Won't there be way too many variables in any one pond to another that would make ‘independent testing of their diffusers’ irrelevant? I was thinking more of a measurable test for my pond not some manufacturer's everything falls under chart. Wouldn't temperatures at different depths or a dissolved oxygen test be best? I know seasons, rain, wind, temp, sunlight, &…. effect true aeration needs? I just want to now if I can aerate to my real needs only, because I don’t want to run my compressor anymore then I have to because of noise and fact of wasting electricity.

I’m really looking for more of a test I can do to my pond to calibrate my needs not some manufactures sales 'gimmick' chart.

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#30736 - 05/22/05 07:50 AM Re: Aerate correctly?
Ted Lea FOREVERGREEN Offline
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Registered: 01/08/04
Posts: 969
Loc: NW Ohio (Waynesfield)
Not sure about the sales gimmicks you mention.Would it stand to reason that you would want the most turnover with your 1.5 cfm pump out of a diffuser. If one diffuser turns X and another one XX and another one yet turns XXX at the same CFM wouldnt turnover rates which effect what % satuation of DO (aeration) and temperture you will be able to keep your water at be of value.Or spend the $$ on the DO and temp monitoring equipment and you will know when to run and when not to.Are you looking to keep a very high % saturation of DO to maximize on aerobic bacteria throughout the entire pond or enough aeration to keep fish alive. The term "aeration" is very broad term, This is why sizing a system entails the ponds history,water source fish type fish population,nutrient load, fishing and or recreational,current goals etc. Often the biggest variable from pond to pond is the ability of the aeration system to provide the correct turnover times throughout the entire body of water. Good Luck
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#30737 - 05/22/05 12:20 PM Re: Aerate correctly?
Muddy Fork Offline
Member

Registered: 07/09/04
Posts: 107
Loc: Southern Indiana
 Quote:
Originally posted by Ted Lea FOREVERGREEN:
Or spend the $$ on the DO and temp monitoring equipment and you will know when to run and when not to.
This is what I'm asking.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Ted Lea FOREVERGREEN:
Are you looking to keep a very high % saturation of DO to maximize on aerobic bacteria throughout the entire pond.
This is what I want without the extra noise of running the compressor or wasting electricity if I can keep from it.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Ted Lea FOREVERGREEN:
This is why sizing a system entails the ponds history,water source fish type fish population,nutrient load, fishing and or recreational,current goals etc. Often the biggest variable from pond to pond is the ability of the aeration system to provide the correct turnover times throughout the entire body of water. Good Luck
It's a 1.5 year old pond that is spring feed with very little organic material. It has bg, re, ccat, fat head, and bass coming next month. I am feeding and we do swim in it on occasionally. I'm looking for a testing procedure that I can do for this pond throughout the season.

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#30738 - 05/22/05 01:26 PM Re: Aerate correctly?
Muddy Fork Offline
Member

Registered: 07/09/04
Posts: 107
Loc: Southern Indiana
I did some more searching and found the University of Florida Web Site that says:

"Many recreational pond owners purchase aerators and place them on electric timers. Proper use of the timer should have the aerator turn on during the late evening (10 p.m. to midnight) and turn off after daylight (7-8 a.m.). Using an aerator is not a complete substitute for monitoring DO concentrations and an oxygen depletion event resulting in a fish kill may still occur. However, use of an aerator is recommended and will prevent many problems."
This will be my minimum run time.

“Chemical test kits are also available. These are more troublesome to run, but are accurate and do not require as great an investment by pond owners.”
This is what I buy.

"A concentration of 5 mg/L DO is recommended for optimum fish health."
This is what I test for.

Dissolved oxygen (DO) is oxygen gas (O2) that is dissolved in water. Most DO in ponds is produced during photosynthesis by aquatic plants and algae. For this reason DO increases during daylight hours, declines during the night, and is lowest just before daybreak. Dissolved oxygen concentrations below 5 mg/L may be harmful to fish.”
At dawn is when I’ll take my random test readings.

“There has been an extended period of hot cloudy weather.
There is a heavy summer wind and a rainstorm”
These weather conditions I’ll test also.

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#30739 - 05/22/05 09:53 PM Re: Aerate correctly?
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 8419
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Muddy fork - Ted has given you the correct theory for determinig the amount of aeration necessary to maintain adequate DO on the pond bottom that involves frequency of pond water turnover.

You(MF) are correct in saying "there are a lot of variables and what works in one pond may not be adequate for another pond"; a very IMPORTANT guideline to always keep in mind.

Aeration should be operated to maintain DO levels of 5ppm on the bottom as UofF recommends. Pond turnover rate is primarily affected by volume & depth of pond, aerator efficiency and aerator run time. How often the pond needs to be turned over or renewed is determined by EACH pond's oxygen demand (primarily in water above the sediment layer).

The only sure way to know "how long and when should I run the aerator?" is to measure or monitor the oxygen levels near the bottom of the pond. Bottom oxygen concentrations may have to and probably should be measured in several places in larger bodies of water to get accurate information about completeness of the pond turnover.

As you are discovering electronic meters that measure oxygen are costly. Chemical tests are lower cost but pretty time consuming and for chemical tests, the water has to be collected with minimal exposure to atmospheric air which can bias the test toward higher oxygen concentrations. This has been discussed in other topics on this forum.

I am not sure that it is practical and cost effective for you to measure oxygen levels with an electronic DO meter just occassionally in the bottom water. This could be an expensive project if you have to purchase a quality DO meter. Cost of doing this DO testing electronically will probably outway any electrical savings you get from running the air compressor less time.

Here are some informative discussions from several topics on this forum about measuring dissolved osygen:

If you are going to order first look at www.aquaticeco.com . They advertise in Pond Boss mag. They have chem test kits mfg by LaMotte & will be better than you would get at a pet shop. They are pretty accurate, inexpensive and will be your best choice if ordering. Reagents are replaceable. Individual test kits are available for pH, alkalinity & hardness; plus kits for broad spectrum testing.

Chemical test kits are the cheapest way to test for DO, however they are time consuming. DO meters are the fastest most expensive and usu a high maintenence item. YSI brand meters seem to be the most dependable.

B.Lusk says - Inside the magazine are several advertisers who sell all kinds of water testing equipment. In order to collect a sample from bottom water, you will need a special device lowered with a cord. Or, you can buy a meter which measures temperature and/or oxygen, and the cable can be lowered into the lake to different depths.

D. Willis says - Hach Chemical makes a multitude of water quality meters, and they also have simple test kits where you use chemicals, count drops, and watch for a color change. They actually are quite reliable tests. For example, I looked up their dissolved oxygen test kits, and you can do 100 tests from a $48 test kit. I tried to paste the web address for that test kit, but the string was lines and lines long. Perhaps go to their web site, address below, and search for "Dissolved Oxygen, Model OX-2P, 100 tests, Drop Count."

http://www.hach.com/

Cody has seen used YSI DO meters reasonably priced on ebay. Buyer beware of repairs and replacement parts. Electronic DO meters are sensitive high maintenence items.

Noblemidwest’s question -We are looking into purchasing a disolved oxygen meter and have acquired a catalogue which has many different types and prices. Would anyone have a suggestion as to the type/brand which my fit the needs of a 2 acre pond for not alot of $$? The price range in the catalog seems to be from $250 to thousands.

Fishman says -- As far as brands go, you can't do any better than YSI. I would recommend a YSI 55 as a good general purpose meter that is durable. That's what most professionals use, myself included, and they work well. You don't want to let the probe dry out, though, and the membrane will need replaced occasionally.

You might check out this website here and see what Randy Rushin can get you a new meter for. You might mention that you got his name off of Pondboss. I've been trying to get him to sponsor the site for some time.

Alternatively, I (Fishman) have an extra YSI 55 with a 12' cord that I no longer need. I would be willing to part with it for $225 shipped. You can check the price of a new one as well as its features here at one of this site's sponsors.

Cody's Comments. As a reward your reading this post this far, I (Cody) went back through some of my DO records from varous water bodies (including my thesis lakes in Canada and local ponds) and have come up with a fairly simple method for you to determine how long to run your aerator. The "when" to run it is ONLY a debatable issue if you can do a pond turnover in less than 12-18 hours.

NOTE THIS METHOD IS GOOD AND APPLICABLE ONLY FOR PONDS NORTH OF THE OHIO RIVER. IT HAS NOT BEEN PROVEN YET WITH EXTENSIVE TESTING. NO TESTS WERE MADE IN SOUTHERN PONDS. NO TESTS WERE MADE IN AERATED PONDS DEEPER THAN 19 FT. Also, I am not responsible for any fish kills from using this unproven method. For ponds in other areas of the country this may be a worthless method until it is verified by MORE testing. Here are the generalities and or details.

Get yourself a thermometer (preferable electronic) that can measure the temp within one foot of the bottom. In a typical stratified pond and normal water clarity of 18" to 4ft, you want the temperature at the bottom to be as close as possible to that at 1-3 ft deep. Near surface temp and near bottom temp should not be greater than a difference of 4F maybe 5F degrees. The closer the bottom temp is to the surface temp the higher your DO level will be at the bottom. Ideally you want your bottom temp to be within 2F to 3F of the surface temp. Temp differences greater than 3F between top and bottom run higher risks of low DO in aerated ponds.

I do not guarantee that your DO will be 5 ppm (mg/L) or above 5 ppm, at the bottom, if the bottom temp is equal to or less than 5 degrees of the surface temp, but DO "should" be more than 4ppm or 5ppm on the bottom with only a 5 F temp difference between top and bottom. Your pond and "Mother Nature" will not be aware of these instructions, so exceptions will occur. AS I said earlier, the only way to know accurately is to measure the DO in the bottom water and not just rely on temp.

I would like anyone with a DO meter to take some approriate DO -temp tests during thermal stratification periods and help verify "Codys DO-Temp Theory" for aerated ponds. Thanks in advance. If you are taking some DO temp measurements be sure to take them in the vacinity of the aerator. The pond water column at long distances away from the aerator may not be getting mixed adequately in your situation. It all depends. There are lots of variables with this "aeration thing".

Some of the above numbers were adjusted toward conservative side on May 23, 05.
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#30740 - 05/23/05 09:32 AM Re: Aerate correctly?
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 8419
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
I appreciate all and any thoughts on my post above dated May 22,05. For Ric S. below, this idea/concept was generated from numerous temperature and DO tests that I have made over the years. It seems to work in most all ponds in my area and hopefully it will work in many other areas of the country.
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#30741 - 05/23/05 03:44 PM Re: Aerate correctly?
Ric Swaim Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/24/03
Posts: 1902
Loc: Surry Co NC
Bill,
Even with my limited pond management knowledge, which by the way has been greatly inhanced by yours & others sharing, your temp. dif. or lack thereof method of acheiving proper DO makes sense. It appears to be a very logical aproach and alternative for those of us not wanting to invest in an expensive DO meter.
Thanks for another very usefull idea!
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#30742 - 05/23/05 04:26 PM Re: Aerate correctly?
Muddy Fork Offline
Member

Registered: 07/09/04
Posts: 107
Loc: Southern Indiana
Great post Bill.
Thanks!

I'll start by saying I take full responsibility for what I do to my pond.
OK I run my aerator for some many hours through the night. When I stop aerating the water temperature from 1-3’ deep is no more then 5F degrees difference then at my diffuser which is at the deepest part of my pond. I should be aerating enough to fit my needs, which is to run my aerator no more then I have to too save electricity and cut run time/noise of compressor.

?????

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#30743 - 05/23/05 07:12 PM Re: Aerate correctly?
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 8419
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
MF - The only problem that I see with this method/concept in your situation is that your compressor is by my standards slightly undersized for the size of pond (1 acre) that you have. I typically like to see more cfm (3.5-4.5) delivered to the diffuser/s in a pond that is sized similar to yours. More air in cfm produces more bubbles from the diffuser thus you will usually get more water moved or distributed at the surface due to more bubbles ascending and displacing water. Movement of water at the surface compared to at the origin of the diffuser is due to the expanding or widening of the bubble plume as it rises to the surface.

In lower cfm aerator units (1.0-2.0cfm) such as yours, it is very important to choose a proven, very efficient membrane diffuser such as Vertex's fine bubble model. Greater effeciency at the diffuser is important here because it results in more water movement/flow at the surface per unit of air which in turn results in more rapid water column turnover. The lower the cfms the more important it becomes to have an energy efficient diffuser because you do not have a lot of surplus air to be "wasted".

Bottom line is that with your lower cfm compresor (1.5cfm) you will have to run your unit longer (probably at least 2X) to get the equivalent amount of water turnover compared to if you were applying twice as much air with the same horsepower to the same diffuser or larger diffuser. In theory the run time may be actually be more than 2X because with more cfm applied to the diffuser, you could be operating a larger sized (diameter) diffuser or multiple diffusers which would initiate a bigger beginning area of bubble pattern which would then be compounded as it asended and expanded toward the surface. A stronger more forceful boil at the surface will have more momentum/energy as it spreads the upwelling water outward. Thus the resultant mixing will be more complete compared to that of one with weaker forces from a smaller boil.

Initially, I think you need to operate your aerator maybe 24/7 for a week to "completely?" destratify your pond, measure bottom temps and then in June or July start cutting back on run times and monitor the resultant bottom water temps. Always keep in mind that you will likely obtain cooler bottom water temps the farther you test away from the differer plume. Keep good notes!. Experimentation with temperature testing will verify if this applies to your situation.

I and others would be very interested in any data or results that you collect from this project. Thanks. BC
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#30744 - 05/23/05 08:13 PM Re: Aerate correctly?
Muddy Fork Offline
Member

Registered: 07/09/04
Posts: 107
Loc: Southern Indiana
It might be closer to 3/4 of an acre, but how about a thermometer like this one click here

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#30745 - 05/23/05 09:15 PM Re: Aerate correctly?
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 8419
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
It looks okay. I prefer the simpler and cheaper Airguide or Minn Kota model for $20 with a 20ft-23ft probe wire. If yours with more complexity goes bad you're out $60. I can buy 3 units for $60 and each unit will probably outlast the fancy model.
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#30746 - 05/23/05 09:25 PM Re: Aerate correctly?
PaPond Offline
Member

Registered: 08/29/04
Posts: 148
Loc: Northern Wayne County, Pennsyl...
Bill Cody
The Hach test kit you refer to only has a range of 0 to 2.4 ppm and is used primarily to test boiler water where low DO is good. Drop count titrations can be very accurate but kits in the range a pond tester might need should range from 0 to 15 parts.
This past winter I tested bottom water using a Van Duren sampling bottle to acquire bottom water, it is tricky to say the least and obtaining a sample from the sample bottle without unintentional aeration of the sample can be difficult. It took me over a dozen tests until I had the technique where I could draw 3 consecutive samples from the bottle without increasing the DO levels. It is easy to screw up and get erroneously high numbers.
I love my new YSI and I'll report to you in the fall a seasons data from my aerated pond.
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#30747 - 05/27/05 09:52 AM Re: Aerate correctly?
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 8419
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
PaPond - It is good to have your chemical expertise present and advising us on this forum.
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