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#430506 - 12/01/15 02:36 PM Winter aeration?
Urban Pond Guy Offline


Registered: 09/23/14
Posts: 21
Loc: Athens GA, USA
I've read the stories about super-chilled air and fish kills, and am wondering what to do here in Athens GA. (Avg Jan high 54, lo 33)

Don't really expect much freezing. A couple years ago the pond froze over for a week straight. That's about the worst of it.

So, do I shorten my compressor run time, which, actually, I have already done? Do I alter the run time to a different daypart? (currently running midnight-6 AM)

It's a half-acre pond, 4' average depth, 7' at its deepest.

Thanks for the insight.

Mark

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#430507 - 12/01/15 02:47 PM Re: Winter aeration? [Re: Urban Pond Guy]
sprkplug Offline
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Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6945
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
A lot of us in the northern states will move our diffusers to shallow water for the cold water period. That greatly reduces the chance of incorporating the warmer water found in the deeper parts of the pond into the colder, shallower water. What we're striving for during cold water aeration is to simply to open a hole, not so much mix the entire water column.
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

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#430510 - 12/01/15 03:19 PM Re: Winter aeration? [Re: Urban Pond Guy]
Bill Cody Online   content
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If I lived in or south of Kentucky. I would not aerate my pond in winter (late Nov to March). Winter aeration to minimize fish kill is primarily for northern ponds that have extended ice and deep snow cover (5"-12"+) that exists longer than one month sometimes as long as 3-4 months!

Normal ponds (7'-16'deep) will naturally mix usually top to bottom in fall when water temperatures drop to below 50F due to night cooling, denser surface waters and fall wind action. Fall turnover also occurs in most deep lakes (20'-60'+). Very few lakes do not completely mix (turnover) once or twice a year. Thus in the case of open water ponds they are 'turning over' (surface to deep water mixing) often, every few days if not daily. During winter cold fronts and windy periods on relatively shallow open water, the mixing often extends to deep water (18ft+). Nature is circulating the pond naturally during winter open water conditions (water temps >50F).

During winter when water temperatures in open water range from 39 to 50F a majority of the decomposing oxygen consuming bacteria are 'working' very slow, thus DO consumption is greatly reduced compared to those of the spring, summer, fall water temperatures. In winter for the DO that is present, it lasts a lot longer compared to DO in deep water during 70F+ temps. For this reason, I don't think winter aeration is necessary in most sport fish ponds where the ice/snow cover lasts 1-3 weeks. Generally it is not the ice cover that is a problem in winter for DO loss, it is the snow cover blocking the light from getting through the ice and into the water where microscopic plants need sunlight to produce DO.


Edited by Bill Cody (12/01/15 09:01 PM)
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#430512 - 12/01/15 03:50 PM Re: Winter aeration? [Re: Bill Cody]
Urban Pond Guy Offline


Registered: 09/23/14
Posts: 21
Loc: Athens GA, USA
All right then. I'll shut her down, clean up and store for the winter.

Thank you!!

Mark

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#430515 - 12/01/15 04:47 PM Re: Winter aeration? [Re: Bill Cody]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 834
Loc: in the mountains
Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
If I lived in or south of Kentucky. I would not aerate my pond in winter (late Nov to March). Winter aeration to minimize fish kill is primarily for northern ponds that have extended ice and deep snow cover (5"-12"+) that exists longer than one month sometimes as long as 3-4 months!

Normal ponds (7'-16'deep) will naturally mix usually top to bottom in fall when water temperatures drop to below 50F due to night cooling, denser surface waters and fall wind action. Fall turnover also occurs in most deep lakes (20'-60'+). Very few lakes do not completely mix (turnover) once or twice a year. Thus in the case of open water ponds they are 'turning over' (surface to deep water mixing) often, every few days if not daily. During winter cold fronts and windy periods on relatively shallow open water, the mixing often extends to deep water (18ft+). Nature is circulating the pond naturally during winter open water conditions (water temps >50F).

During winter when water temperatures in open water range from 39 to 50F a majority of the decomposing oxygen consuming bacteria are 'working' very slow, thus DO consumption is greatly reduced compared to those of the spring, summer, fall water temperatures. In winter for the DO that is present, it lasts a lot longer compared to DO in deep water during 70F+ temps. For this reason, I don't think winter aeration is necessary in most sport fish ponds where the ice/snow cover lasts 1-3 weeks. Generally it is not the ice cover that is a problem in winter for DO loss, it is the snow cover blocking the light from getting through the ice and into the water where microscopic plants produce DO.


I am like a sponge around here! Thanks!
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#430569 - 12/02/15 10:09 AM Re: Winter aeration? [Re: Urban Pond Guy]
Bill Cody Online   content
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After a 'winter season' in GA you can restart the aerator anytime when the surface water temps are relatively stable around 50F-54F and expecting a full Spring season of continually warming temps toward 60's-70's. What are your current average surface water temps in GA?


Edited by Bill Cody (12/02/15 10:11 AM)
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#431933 - 12/17/15 01:48 PM Re: Winter aeration? [Re: Urban Pond Guy]
BWHolmgren Offline


Registered: 11/03/13
Posts: 32
Loc: Warrensburg, MO
Will short periods of frozen surface, say 1-2 weeks at a stretch, hurt floating docks? Would it be a good idea to leave one diffuser running under the dock? I live in West-Central MO, and we get a frozen surface from time to time, but normal no long snow accumulation on the ice. Thanks!

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#431936 - 12/17/15 05:53 PM Re: Winter aeration? [Re: Urban Pond Guy]
sprkplug Offline
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Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6945
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
My floating dock stays in year round. I've seen it frozen into six inches of ice for a couple weeks, no problem.
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

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#431940 - 12/17/15 07:12 PM Re: Winter aeration? [Re: BWHolmgren]
Bocomo Offline


Registered: 05/06/12
Posts: 1148
Loc: Boone County, MO (pond)
Originally Posted By: BWHolmgren
Will short periods of frozen surface, say 1-2 weeks at a stretch, hurt floating docks? Would it be a good idea to leave one diffuser running under the dock? I live in West-Central MO, and we get a frozen surface from time to time, but normal no long snow accumulation on the ice. Thanks!


We've never had a problem with ours, not even in the bad winters. We're not far from you.


Edited by Bocomo (12/17/15 07:13 PM)
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#431956 - 12/18/15 08:07 AM Re: Winter aeration? [Re: BWHolmgren]
DonoBBD Offline


Registered: 06/13/12
Posts: 1938
Loc: Ontario, Canada, Eh.
Originally Posted By: BWHolmgren
Will short periods of frozen surface, say 1-2 weeks at a stretch, hurt floating docks? Would it be a good idea to leave one diffuser running under the dock? I live in West-Central MO, and we get a frozen surface from time to time, but normal no long snow accumulation on the ice. Thanks!


We have had 30"s of solid frozen ice and 3 feet of snow on our pond dock with out any problems. We leave her in year round in Canada eh.

Only docks that get removed are ones that spring ice flows will wipe them out. Our camp is on a lake that is 54 miles long and we are protected in a cove and the rare prolonged west wind so our lake dock stays in year round too. The camps straight east of us get the north flow of ice and they all have to take all their docks out or the ice will for them.

Cheers Don.


Edited by DonoBBD (12/18/15 08:08 AM)
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#431959 - 12/18/15 08:19 AM Re: Winter aeration? [Re: BWHolmgren]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5098
Loc: SE Kansas
Originally Posted By: BWHolmgren
Will short periods of frozen surface, say 1-2 weeks at a stretch, hurt floating docks? Would it be a good idea to leave one diffuser running under the dock? I live in West-Central MO, and we get a frozen surface from time to time, but normal no long snow accumulation on the ice. Thanks!


I'm not that far from you and leave a 12x16 floating portion of our dock in. Has been through two winters and I can not see where it has been hurt.

I also thought about leaving a diffuser running under the dock but never did it. I figured if I did that, would also need to keep a diffuser also going near the bank somewhere (my floating dock is 80' out in the water attached to a fixed dock) or my dock would become home to all sorts of water foul and animals to get a drink.

Gave up on the idea mostly because there would be no one home in the winter that would take enough interest to make sure the system keeps going. People are around, just no one interested in fish. So my fish and dock just have to fend for themselves during winter months.
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#431995 - 12/18/15 06:58 PM Re: Winter aeration? [Re: Urban Pond Guy]
BWHolmgren Offline


Registered: 11/03/13
Posts: 32
Loc: Warrensburg, MO
Thanks for all the inputs. It looks like I'll be shutting my aerators down for the winter when I reinstall them and the dock. We just had our pond red in August and the new dock and aeration system won't go in until spring.

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#431996 - 12/18/15 07:09 PM Re: Winter aeration? [Re: snrub]
FishinRod Offline
Lunker

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 113
Loc: Central Kansas
Don,

I may have done some dock repairs this summer up in your neck of the woods - Hay Lake just outside of the eastern border of Algonquin Park. (My kids loved it up there!)

My uncle's docks are built like brick houses to survive the tough ice conditions. Unfortunately, there were heavy winds this spring right when the ice started to break up and it tore up one of the docks pretty badly.

Ice dynamics are pretty interesting. My uncle told me a story from one brutal winter in the 60's when he went up to work on the cabin and hunt. (He may have been a little younger and a little "less wise" at that point.) He went out on the ice with his chainsaw to get down to freshwater since they were going to be there a full week. He had cut down a hole so deep that only his hat was poking out while he was working. Some guys then zipped by on snowmobiles and apparently never saw him.

One of the old-timers went to check on my uncle to see what he was up to. At that point he was at least 5 1/2' down and was still in solid ice - even though he was almost to the bottom of the lake. The old-timer stroked his beard and told him the problem was he was in the "narrows". It was a narrow section of lake that connected two deeper lakes and was only 6' deep max, even though it was 400' wide.

The old timer said that the good ice fishing spots in the narrows froze solid by the end of winter. He suggested going over to the deep water on the other side of the point. My uncle did that and said he reached water under about 24" of ice (to his recollection).

Obviously, temperature matters on ice formation. However, there are many other factors that can influence ice formation.

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#433705 - 01/05/16 02:21 PM Re: Winter aeration? [Re: Urban Pond Guy]
bassmaster61 Offline


Registered: 06/18/15
Posts: 138
Loc: St. Louis, MO/West Central Ill...
Question for Bill Cody please related to comments above about turning on the aerator after winter is over in GA. We here in the Saint Louis, MO area only rarely see ponds ice over for longer than a week or two but it can happen. If my aerator was off during the winter due to no ice-over, when I turn it back on in the spring (water temps consistently 50-54 or better)would I need to ease into it...in other words, should I let it run for an hour a day for a week or so and then slowly bring it up to running 24/7 over a period of several weeks?

I am trying to get a handle on the concept of aeration and don't want to act based on my guesswork and end up with a fish kill. Thanks.
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#433712 - 01/05/16 03:46 PM Re: Winter aeration? [Re: Urban Pond Guy]
Bill Cody Online   content
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Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Answer - It depends. I depends mostly on pond temperature. Ponds in winter where water temperatures have dropped to 39F-42F will normally and naturally thermally destratisfy (mix top to bottom) which means that they are frequently, naturally circulating especially on windy days and cooler nights. Sometimes complete mixing daily. This is normally called spring turnover and it can last for weeks or a couple of months as long as the water is 39F to 50F. This natural destratification puts 100% oxygen saturated cold water on the bottom whenever destratificaion occurs. Then,, the high DO cold water usually lasts for weeks due to cold temps and low DO consumption by all almost dormant organisms in the pond. Dormant = very slow metabolism. The main exception will be is when the water is turbid and the pond is full of dead organics. Turbidity limits sunlight penetration and deep water photosynthesis (oxygenation) and the bacteria on the organics consume a lot of oxygen but not nearly as much when water is 39F-42F compared to when water is above 60F and approaching 80F+ when DO loss due to bacterial decomposition is highest and fastest.

In spring aeration start up, the more you allow the water temps to increase to above 50-55F the more likely you will have a larger amount of low DO develop on/above the pond bottom (deep above bottom water). But at 50-55F the pond is still occasionally top to bottom mixing (windy days). DO might start to be low right at the mud water interface after several warm days, surface temps near 70F and turbid water. But at 50-55F the low DO water will not be enough volume right above the bottom sediment that it cannot be blended with the high volume of good water on top and not cause any fish stress problems. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S poison gas) forms only after DO is lost / absent. Also when water is 50F-55F on top it has a real high amount or large volume of water that is saturated with DO. This high volume (depth) of high DO water has a very large buffering capacity to a low or small volume of low DO water. Plus respiration of all things in the pond (bacteria - fish) is still pretty slow in the 50-55F cool water. Cool water holds much more DO at 55F than water at 80F+. Water holds more DO and DO lasts longer at temps of 50-55F and lower than at 80F+.

Fish stress problems at aeration start up are due to a large volume of water above the bottom that has lost DO and as a result, as time passes is accumulating large amounts of hydrogen sulfide (H2S -fish poison). Moving all this high volume in a thick layer (2-6ft thick) of bad no DO water with H2S dissolved gas to the surface to significantly dilute the surface layer is where start up aeration becomes a problem. This feature primarily begins to happen once the surface water reaches 60-70F+. The rule is: the warmer the surface water and the longer it has been warm the more likely DO will be low in high volume on the bottom.

Was this too confusing and involved to understand for the lay person?


Edited by Bill Cody (01/05/16 09:14 PM)
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#433762 - 01/06/16 10:19 AM Re: Winter aeration? [Re: Urban Pond Guy]
bassmaster61 Offline


Registered: 06/18/15
Posts: 138
Loc: St. Louis, MO/West Central Ill...
When it comes to chemistry/biology I am definitely a lay person. Our ponds will certainly be in the 39F-42F temp range in late Jan thru late Feb....we always have a winter period here in the St. Louis area where outdoor temps spend weeks in the 5F-20F range. And the ponds will certainly be exposed to a lot of surface wind over the rest of this winter and thru March.
If I am reading your answer above correctly, and if what I outlined above is the case, then there should be plenty of DO in the water column as this cold water will have churned/mixed quite a bit through late winter into mid-March.
And taking it further, then a slow start up of an aerator where it runs for an hour per day for a week or so (with surface water temps consistently in the 50F-55F range)and then slowly moving it to 24/7 over the course of say 2 additional weeks sounds like it should work well....once again if I am reading your answer correctly???
I am finding the aeration question to be more tricky than I anticipated. I initially found the concept pretty much of a no-brainer...i.e., add oxygen, help with algae control, knock down nitrogen and phosphate levels, etc. but now I am not so sure to be honest. And the article in the November/December issue of PB leaves a lot of questions unanswered in my opinion.
I appreciate your answer Bill and will strive to understand the "science" behind aeration better before spending thousands of dollars on a system.
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#433764 - 01/06/16 10:43 AM Re: Winter aeration? [Re: Urban Pond Guy]
RC51 Offline
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Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 4237
Loc: Arkansas
Most guys will tell you if your water temps are 50 to 55 your D.O. is still mixed quite well and they would just turn on there air and let it go. There are 2 fears here more then any.

1. You don't want to super cool your pond, which your not going to do at water temps of 50 to 55.

2. You don't want to turn your pond over with your air on if the bottom half of your pond has no D.O. in it.... Which (should not) be the case either at water temps of 50 to 55.

The go easy into it start up procedures are from what I understand for old ponds that have never seen air before and for ponds with water temps in the questionable range for total D.O. mixture. (IE 65 to 70 + water temps.)

As Bill would tell you warm water holds near half as much D.O. as cold water so turning your air on and leaving it on in colder water 50 to 55 (should not) not have near the same ill effect as if you did it at say 70 to 80 water temps. Notice his first 2 words. (It Depends) smile You just never know what may or might happen....

Basically the higher your water temps the more careful you need to be when kicking your air back on.

I am no expert by any means this is just how I understand it. If your just not really sure going slow for a couple weeks with your air isn't going to harm anything just to be on the safe side.


Edited by RC51 (01/06/16 10:46 AM)
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#433793 - 01/06/16 04:14 PM Re: Winter aeration? [Re: Urban Pond Guy]
Bill Cody Online   content
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Registered: 04/18/02
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Running the bottom aerator just one to a few hours per day and then normal run time hours per day when water gets to 65F at Spring start up will not hurt anything and it will save a little electricity. Other than that, a slow start up in early Spring is rarely beneficial when surface water temps are less than 56F.

It has never been proven to me that aeration will "knock down nitrogen & phosphate (N&P) concentrations. Aeration to reduce algae is rarely a significant reduction in the long term. Existing algae may decrease with start up aeration, but other algae species will eventually colonize or "like it" in the new water conditions. A lot of algae does not "like" moving water, but there are algae that grow in trout streams (moving water). Although the other algae may not be as abundant. Abundance is dependent on nutrient (N&P) concentrations.
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