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#429047 - 11/12/15 02:47 PM aeration in winter
jeff donohue Offline


Registered: 03/13/13
Posts: 7
Loc: wisconsin
i have a 1/4 acre lined pond in wisconsin. pond is obong, ranging in depth from 3ft on one end to 12ft at the other. pond is 4yrs old, and is stocked with yellow perch, hybrid gills, black crappie, and last spring largemouth.up until last winter i turned my aerators of in mid nov with no problems. last winter i had one aerator running at the shallow end, about five ft from shore. in spring i had about 8 dead largemouth. wondering if i a better off with the aerator on or off for the winter.

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#429162 - 11/13/15 12:05 PM Re: aeration in winter [Re: jeff donohue]
esshup Offline
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Typically you want about 10% or slightly less of the total surface area in open water in 1/4 the total pond depth for the winter. How much of an area did you have with the aerator that was running?

1/4 acre is roughly 10,000 sq. ft, so you should have around 500-1,000 sq. ft. of open water. That's a circle 26' to 40' across of open water......
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#429192 - 11/13/15 02:49 PM Re: aeration in winter [Re: jeff donohue]
Bill Cody Offline
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Largemouth do not tolerate super chilled water below 39F as well as some of the other fish you have in your pond. LMB are prolific and the pond can tolerate some loss of a few LMB compared to a heavy winter fish kill without winter aeration.


Edited by Bill Cody (11/13/15 02:50 PM)
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#429418 - 11/16/15 11:10 AM Re: aeration in winter [Re: esshup]
jeff donohue Offline


Registered: 03/13/13
Posts: 7
Loc: wisconsin
esshup, i probably had a larger area open than 26/40 inches. should i keep the aerator that close to shore, and close the air valve to obtain the 26/40 inch opening?

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#429422 - 11/16/15 11:29 AM Re: aeration in winter [Re: jeff donohue]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5588
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Jeff,

I think Esshup means 26 to 40 feet.
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#429439 - 11/16/15 04:00 PM Re: aeration in winter [Re: Bill D.]
jeff donohue Offline


Registered: 03/13/13
Posts: 7
Loc: wisconsin
DA!! SILLY ME.

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#432950 - 12/29/15 08:47 AM Re: aeration in winter [Re: jeff donohue]
Golfnut Offline


Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 17
Loc: Central Nebraska
I'd like more information on this as well. My pond is about 3/4 acre with two 10 foot deep pools. Like the OP I have bluegill and bass in my pond. This is the first winter I've not ran my aerator this winter at the suggestion of NEDOC and for the past 2 weeks its been frozen over. It makes me very nervous! NEDOC suggest that running the aerator when it is cold outside will chill the water too much and be hard on the fish. His logic makes perfect sense.....but I'm still nervous!

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#432952 - 12/29/15 09:02 AM Re: aeration in winter [Re: jeff donohue]
RC51 Offline
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Guys will tell you out here that iced over ponds are not the real problem it's snow covered ponds that are! As long as the sun can hit your pond it will produce some Oxygen in it. That's when this becomes a real problem. Lots a guys I know in the north make sure they keep part of their pond cleaned off the best they can from snow for this reason.

RC

P.S. My Grand Father had a pond in Rudolf Wis. As a kid I always remember him running a surface air station in winter. Not sure but maybe a surface air setup would not effect the water as much as far as super cooling it? Plus it kept a 15 to 20 foot surface area cleaned off pretty well.
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#432953 - 12/29/15 09:02 AM Re: aeration in winter [Re: jeff donohue]
sprkplug Offline
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It's usually recommended to aerate shallow during the cold months, to avoid the supercooling effect. What you are shooting for during winter aeration, is to clear an area of snow/ice, NOT turn over the entire water column. If you have clear ice with no snow cover, you may be fine without aeration. I won't chance it, and will crank up the diffusers whenever I get extended intervals of snow cover.

Haven't needed to do that thus far this winter....
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#432955 - 12/29/15 09:17 AM Re: aeration in winter [Re: jeff donohue]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5588
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Ma Nature threw me a curve and I haven't decided how to proceed yet. In the fall, my pond was around 10 feet deep and I set me winter diffuser in 3 feet of water, about 30% of pond depth. Good to go, right? Along comes the curve ball in the form of heavy fall rain and the pond coming up 4 to 5 feet. My winter diffuser is now in 7 to 8 feet of water in a 14 to 15 deep pond, 50%+. I can't move it so I think I will limit aeration by running the diffuser only long enough to blow a nice hole when snow covered (I can turn the compressor on and off from the house).


Edited by Bill D. (12/29/15 09:21 AM)
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#432956 - 12/29/15 09:34 AM Re: aeration in winter [Re: jeff donohue]
Lovnlivin Offline


Registered: 05/18/12
Posts: 1502
Loc: Eagle, NE
I do the same thing, running two aerators (of 4) to open up the water, to clear off the snow, then shut them down again.

I did this before they called for 6-10" of snow yesterday, we ended up getting 1". I shut them down this morning and have 2 nice 50'+ areas now opened up to freeze without snow cover.

I don't ice fish or ice skate the pond so I don't have the concerns of thin ice.
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#432958 - 12/29/15 09:38 AM Re: aeration in winter [Re: jeff donohue]
Bill Cody Offline
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Ice is rarely the problem. The problem is snow on top of ice for longer than 4-6 weeks. It takes several weeks of snow cover for the DO to begin a decline toward a concentration that will stress fish. The clarity of water at freeze up also plays a big part on how long DO will last in dark conditions. Remember as the water first freezes in winter, the DO top to bottom is always at maximum concentrations (12-14ppm) with full saturation at 100%.

In relatively clear water and most everything in a dormant phase at freeze up, it usually takes several weeks (cloudy water) to a couple months (clear water) of compete darkness before the water near the bottom to loose its DO to where fish are forced into shallower water where DO is higher and above 1-2ppm. The deeper the pond the longer the DO will remain high enough in the upper layer for fish survival. DO is lost from the bottom upward. Fish in winter in water 39F are able to survive in a lot lower DO compared to low DO in summer temperatures when the fish's metabolism is higher and requiring significantly more DO for respiration.


Edited by Bill Cody (12/29/15 02:52 PM)
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#432981 - 12/29/15 01:05 PM Re: aeration in winter [Re: jeff donohue]
RC51 Offline
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Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 4237
Loc: Arkansas
That's exactly what I was trying to say!! smile Nice Bill C. as usual nice!!

RC
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#432998 - 12/29/15 05:28 PM Re: aeration in winter [Re: jeff donohue]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 834
Loc: in the mountains
I thought the hole open in the ice was also important for the gases to vent? Is that not a significant factor?
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#433027 - 12/29/15 10:07 PM Re: aeration in winter [Re: jeff donohue]
Bill Cody Offline
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Generally there are few if any gasses (toxic) that need to be vented until significant amounts of anoxic conditions develop to produce the gasses. Anoxic often is at a minimum until the extended snow covered ice develops. It is my understanding that the primary "gasses" that need to be vented are methane and hydrogen sulfide, both not produced until anoxic conditions (anaerobic) develop and after the DO is exhausted.


Edited by Bill Cody (12/29/15 10:10 PM)
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#434599 - 01/16/16 11:32 AM Re: aeration in winter [Re: jeff donohue]
10x Offline


Registered: 10/21/14
Posts: 49
Loc: Finger Lakes of NY
So, not to beat a dead horse but are you guys saying you wouldn't run aeration (in shallow / 10% of the pond) ALL of the time but simply turn it on when the pond has had snow on it for a week or two blocking sunlight? And even then, only run it until it pops a hole through and then shut it down until it happens again?

I normally run 3 diffusers in the summer and running one now but I had too much pressure from running just a single diffuser so I stuck a hose into the edge and let it bleed off the pressure (stuck it under a pile of pallets to keep it there). That "bubbler" alone opens 10-15 feet diameter and I don't think it "circulates" near the water that the diffuser does - maybe just run that open line without the diffuser?

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#434601 - 01/16/16 12:14 PM Re: aeration in winter [Re: jeff donohue]
Bill Cody Offline
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Northern ponds especially those that have 3"+ snow cover should be aerated in winter. Need for aeration increases after complete snow cover has laid on the ice for 2-3+ weeks. The deeper the northern pond the less need for winter aeration. Deep water results in high volumes of water with lots of DO at ice formation. The more the percentage of the pond with deep water 15ft+ the less the need for aeration in winter.

Another factor is how much snow is removed by wind to create clear or snow free ice. Snow free areas of 20%+ results in less need to aerate. Sunlight that penetrates ice cover causes phytoplankton in the water column to produce DO 2 times deeper than the light penetrates into the water. Example: if water is clear (vis 5ft) and no snow is on the clear ice phytoplankton will produce dissolved oxygen in water up to 10-12ft deep.

In some northern ponds (7-12ft) with less snow or shorter periods (2-3wks) of snow cover, aeration is not usually necessary unless the pond contains lots of dead organic matter, thick mucky bottom sediments and/or old growth submerged vegetation which all consume significant amounts of DO during the winter ice cover period. Winter aeration becomes an important factor for fish survival in these ponds.

All the above factors determine how much aeration is needed and how often and how long one needs to operate winter aeration. My pond at 14 ft deep currently has 2" of ice with 1" of snow. I have not turned on winter aeration as of Jan 16. I will start aeration when 3"-4" of snow has accumulated for 2 weeks. I will aerate until I produce a large ice free area 20ft-50ft dia; then shut it down. Open water allow lots of sunlight to create DO in areas surrounding the open water. Then aerate each day until I recreate an ice free area 40-50ft dia. Cold winter water circulates very easily so any DO in the ice free area gets widely distributed to far areas of the pond. To date I have not been able to measure how far the aeration currents spread the cold water & DO beyond 150ft.


Edited by Bill Cody (01/16/16 12:28 PM)
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#434605 - 01/16/16 12:40 PM Re: aeration in winter [Re: Bill Cody]
10x Offline


Registered: 10/21/14
Posts: 49
Loc: Finger Lakes of NY
Thank you Bill - I will go turn mine off then. I started it once the ice was on. We have maybe two inches of ice and less than an inch of snow on it. The weather has been unseasonably warm lately. The water depth is 14 ft in the deepest.

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#434616 - 01/16/16 04:56 PM Re: aeration in winter [Re: 10x]
esshup Offline
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Also, the thicker the ice and the more opaque it is, the less sunlight will penetrate the ice. In other words, if there's 12"-18" of ice that is very milky in color, I would err on the side of caution and fire up the compressor and open up the pond. I'd actually probably fire it up sooner than that, but just using that as an example. A couple dollars of electricity vs. the dollar amount of fish in the pond is a cheap insurance policy in my mind.
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#434621 - 01/16/16 06:42 PM Re: aeration in winter [Re: esshup]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5588
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: esshup
Also, the thicker the ice and the more opaque it is, the less sunlight will penetrate the ice. In other words, if there's 12"-18" of ice that is very milky in color, I would err on the side of caution and fire up the compressor and open up the pond. I'd actually probably fire it up sooner than that, but just using that as an example. A couple dollars of electricity vs. the dollar amount of fish in the pond is a cheap insurance policy in my mind.


I pretty much do it the way Esshup describes. The only thing I will add is I try to blow the hole on a "warmer" day if possible. My thinking is when temps are really cold, that snow/ice cover is acting as insulation and keeping the water a little warmer maybe. If there is going to be a warm up in the next few days, I wait till then to blow the hole. Also, the air you are pumping into the pond is warmer on a warmer day so not chilling the water as much as pumping super cold air.

Just my 2 cents


Edited by Bill D. (01/16/16 06:52 PM)
Edit Reason: Clarification
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#434668 - 01/17/16 12:08 PM Re: aeration in winter [Re: Bill D.]
esshup Offline
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Bill D., take a thermometer and check the water temp. A few years ago I thought that air going into the pond would change the temp. Like aerating at night only when the night time temps were below 70 to help keep trout alive.

On the contrary, I found that the water actually warmed up faster because of the upper and lower water temps mixing and the trout croaked faster than if I were not to aerate at all.

I even purchased a special thermostat that would turn on the aerator when temp fell below 70, and turn it off when temps climbed above 70.

Air being injected into the pond via an aeration system, by itself, does not change the water temp enough that you can measure it. It will change the water temp by making more of the water volume contact the ambient air, but in the winter, warmer water sinks. So if you have the diffuser placed in shallow water like is recommended, you will not disturb the deeper, warmer water.
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#434697 - 01/17/16 06:02 PM Re: aeration in winter [Re: esshup]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5588
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: esshup
Bill D., take a thermometer and check the water temp. A few years ago I thought that air going into the pond would change the temp. Like aerating at night only when the night time temps were below 70 to help keep trout alive.

On the contrary, I found that the water actually warmed up faster because of the upper and lower water temps mixing and the trout croaked faster than if I were not to aerate at all.

I even purchased a special thermostat that would turn on the aerator when temp fell below 70, and turn it off when temps climbed above 70.

Air being injected into the pond via an aeration system, by itself, does not change the water temp enough that you can measure it. It will change the water temp by making more of the water volume contact the ambient air, but in the winter, warmer water sinks. So if you have the diffuser placed in shallow water like is recommended, you will not disturb the deeper, warmer water.


Interesting discussion. Right or wrong, here's my thoughts...I agree the pond definitely warms faster when aerated during the summer. I do still think, that if you have to aerate in the summer, the pond will warm less aerating in the cool of night than aerating in the middle of the day. Simple heat transfer principal. Heat moves from hot to cold. The rate the heat transfers is proportional to the difference in the temperature between the two points.

Same with aerating in the winter. I think you are better off aerating on a warmer day. Although the water may not move from the deep part of the pond, the heat will transfer to the adjacent water if the temperature in the adjacent water drops. The more the temp drops in the adjacent water, the more heat that will be transferred from the deep water. I also believe the deep water temp will slowly recover as it pulls heat from the pond bottom. With all that said, I doubt the temp differences are huge but I figure every little bit helps!

I think heat transfer is continuously occurring in a pond whether it be from the pond bottom up during winter or from the surface down during summer.
Transfer will always be occurring as long as a temperature differential exists to drive it.
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#434699 - 01/17/16 06:17 PM Re: aeration in winter [Re: Bill D.]
esshup Offline
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That is true. Will the difference in temperature be enough offset the gains/losses in the different O2 levels?

Lets take summer aeration.

A pond owner is wanting to keep trout alive for a longer length of time into the summer months, so they want to keep the water temp below 70 degrees, to help keep the DO high enough to keep the trout alive. Will aerating at night when ambient temps are below 70 be enough of a difference between aerating during the day when ambient temps are 80 to keep trout alive longer, or will not aerating at all work better, i.e. allow the trout to live longer?

In the winter, if a pond is aerated on a 10F day vs. a 25F day, for the same amount of time, what will the temp difference of the water be?
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#434703 - 01/17/16 06:41 PM Re: aeration in winter [Re: jeff donohue]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5588
Loc: Boone County Illinois
I agree. That's why I prefaced my statement with "if you have to aerate in the summer" then do it at night. For your trout scenario then I would not aerate at all. You are warming the cool bottom water by mixing it with the 80 degree surface water. The cooling by aerating at night would not be enough to compensate for that. Let's ask the question another way, do you think a pond aerated in the middle of hot days will rise in temperature faster over time than one aerated during cool nights or no difference or hot day aeration will result in cooler water?

For winter I was thinking more a 0 degree day with howling winds vs a nice sunny 35 degree day but even in your scenario I would think there will have to be a difference, the greater the temperature difference between the water and the air (wind is also a factor), the more heat that will be lost. Is there a huge benefit, I doubt it but as stated above, I figure every little bit helps.


Edited by Bill D. (01/17/16 06:42 PM)
Edit Reason: Typo
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#434704 - 01/17/16 07:00 PM Re: aeration in winter [Re: esshup]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5098
Loc: SE Kansas
This is just a thought and may be wrong. But I was thinking that at times of the year some fish hug the thermocline level.

Could it be that by not disturbing the thermocline, keeping the lower water cooler for the trout, they could hug the thermocline and dip in and out of the cooler but low DO water and into the warmer but higher DO water? Don't know, just asking. The thermocline is generally a vary narrow band where the change takes place. Maybe they would hang out in the transition area.
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