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#486128 - 02/14/18 01:41 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1860
Loc: West Michigan
Ok so how did alcohol backtrack into the pump, or was that a different pump that got alcohol backtracking?

Do you know how condensation gets in the lines or what the solution is? Is the windmill line somehow more prone to condensation build up due to lower PSI than the ones that are run by the bigger solar powered pumps? It seems you could keep moving condensation through the lines with the PSI (40) that you are pushing through those lines compared to most aeration systems that are say 10 or less psi.

And if condensation happens and you freeze up does that happen only in the section where the air line is under dirt on the way to the water, or does that happen in the area where it is on the bottom of the pond/lake? I would think the warm water on the bottom of the pond would keep things from freezing up there.

I'm showing my ignorance here but probably others will face condensation at some point and this is a good time to understand how it happens, why it happens, and how to fix it.

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#486130 - 02/14/18 02:05 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: canyoncreek]
Bocomo Offline


Registered: 05/06/12
Posts: 1151
Loc: Boone County, MO (pond)
Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
Do you know how condensation gets in the lines or what the solution is?


Increasing pressure raises the dew point temperature inside the system above the ambient value. If the temperature inside the system is below the new dew point, condensation will form.
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#486142 - 02/14/18 03:48 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: canyoncreek]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 846
Loc: in the mountains
Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
Ok so how did alcohol backtrack into the pump, or was that a different pump that got alcohol backtracking?

Do you know how condensation gets in the lines or what the solution is? Is the windmill line somehow more prone to condensation build up due to lower PSI than the ones that are run by the bigger solar powered pumps? It seems you could keep moving condensation through the lines with the PSI (40) that you are pushing through those lines compared to most aeration systems that are say 10 or less psi.

And if condensation happens and you freeze up does that happen only in the section where the air line is under dirt on the way to the water, or does that happen in the area where it is on the bottom of the pond/lake? I would think the warm water on the bottom of the pond would keep things from freezing up there.

I'm showing my ignorance here but probably others will face condensation at some point and this is a good time to understand how it happens, why it happens, and how to fix it.


Canyon - Different pump that had the alcohol back up. I have a check valve on the airline. First, he poured the alcohol in without closing the valve to the pump so some ran backwards into the pump. Then with the line frozen up, the pump couldn't open the check valve to get the alcohol past it.

The big solar pumps made a ton more condensation than the windmill. From what I now know, if you compress air you WILL make condensation. As the volume air you compress increases, the volume of condensation produced will also increase. The regular movement of the air will not push the condensation out of the dip. The condensation will accumulate there and basically reduce the size of your airline.

The frost line normally does not go very deep on the mountain because we usually get so much snow so fast early in Winter. This year the snow came later up there than anyone has ever seen. That allowed the frost to go much deeper than normal. I have no idea how deep. I also do not know where my line froze up.
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#486143 - 02/14/18 04:22 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
Bill Cody Offline
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Your news was disappointing. Initially the system was running well. Make sure you verify that it is condensation freeze up that is plugging the airline compared to a leaky check valve on a diffuser. When pump stops and the check valve fails to close tightly, water leaks and fills the airline until everything under water has water in it. At the waterline a plug will freeze.
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#486144 - 02/14/18 04:28 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 846
Loc: in the mountains
Bill I have a couple unused valves in the valve box we were using to "blow out" the condensation once we figured out what was going on. Let them build up pressure, open the up quickly and blow out some water, close and repeat. Last time he went up there, with the pump running, no air would come out of the unused valves. Plus, it had shut down every single diffuser. It has to be frozen up somewhere before the box.
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#489221 - 04/27/18 02:24 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 846
Loc: in the mountains
Well Mother Nature was not through having her way with me this year. I told her to Bring it on for Winter 2017 and she sure did that....

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#489223 - 04/27/18 02:27 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
Matzilla Offline


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 338
Loc: Iowa
frown son on of a....

That's some terrible luck
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#489224 - 04/27/18 02:31 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
Bocomo Offline


Registered: 05/06/12
Posts: 1151
Loc: Boone County, MO (pond)
Oh man. That hurts.
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#489234 - 04/27/18 05:44 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
Rainman Offline
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OUCH!!!
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#489235 - 04/27/18 06:05 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
highflyer Offline


Registered: 07/09/11
Posts: 1863
Loc: East Texas
Its but a flesh wound. You'll bounce back!

Glad to see the power is back on and air is moving.
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#489242 - 04/27/18 09:32 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 846
Loc: in the mountains
My buddy was able to get things mostly put back together today. Two of the solar strings are fine and one is down so we will be running at 66% production capacity till I get back up there. I talked to the manufacturer of the mount and they will sell me the individual parts I need to replace the bent pieces.

Good news is he hooked a Thomas 2660 pump up to the main air line, turned it on and air came out of an open valve down at the valve box so the line is no longer frozen up. Tomorrow morning at 6am we will begin pumping the quad diffuser 8 hours per day. I am assuming all the fish are dead and we should find out for sure here in the next 4 weeks or so.


I can't complain too much. I've dodged a ton of tree bullets up there over the years. Can't expect to win them all.

Here is where I got lucky last year! Tree is MUCH bigger than it looks in the pic.
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#489356 - 04/30/18 04:42 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 846
Loc: in the mountains
After 3 days of the Eagle reconnected and the Thomas pump running 8 hours per day. Quad diffuser hole open and getting bigger everyday. Snow coming off fast.

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#489357 - 04/30/18 04:59 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1860
Loc: West Michigan
Thanks for the progress reports. So was there always one hole open even a tiny one in the last couple months or at times was it frozen over solid? I know you struggled with the solar and frozen lines but did the one windmill keep a hole open?

You mentioned frozen lines from condensation or some issue with backflow of alcohol going the wrong way. What is the plan to remedy that so either you don't freeze up lines from condensation or you don't backflow by mistake?

Isn't there an auto-anti-freeze alcohol system that I read about once?

With 2 solar panels running was one pump motor running still on solar or did they all go down at some point?

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#489362 - 04/30/18 05:47 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: canyoncreek]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 846
Loc: in the mountains
Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
Thanks for the progress reports. So was there always one hole open even a tiny one in the last couple months or at times was it frozen over solid? I know you struggled with the solar and frozen lines but did the one windmill keep a hole open?

You mentioned frozen lines from condensation or some issue with backflow of alcohol going the wrong way. What is the plan to remedy that so either you don't freeze up lines from condensation or you don't backflow by mistake?

Isn't there an auto-anti-freeze alcohol system that I read about once?

With 2 solar panels running was one pump motor running still on solar or did they all go down at some point?


The Koenders windmill air line goes straight down into the water and down all the way to the diffuser in ~8-10' of water. It kept a hole open basically all Winter. There were a few days here or there where it snowed over, but it was open for the vast majority. It is producing the hole in the center of the pic.

The airline for the American Eagle windmill was not on grade, formed condensation and froze up. We just got the Eagle back up and running three days ago and that is the smallest, closest hole open in the pic.

The main airline from the solar driven compressor is not on grade either, formed condensation and froze up in Mid January. The hole closed up relatively quickly. It is now back open and is the farthest hole you can see in the pic. At the time the tree took out the panels I had no pumps running at all. We had shut them down since the airlines were frozen up. Luckily, I was able to blow up 2 or 3 pumps during that whole "condensation sucks $#&*" learning process.

This Summer I am going to relocate my valve box to higher ground that will allow all airlines to fall at a steep constant grade all the way down into deeper water. IMO, this is a proven permanent solution to the condensation issue with no "moving parts". I know one person on the mountain who used one of the alcohol dispensers on his windmill. He eventually threw the thing in the trash. After seeing what was happening to me last Fall, he routed his windmill line straight down into the water and his windmill kept a hole open all Winter as well.

I have nine 345 watt solar panels total. They are ran in 3 "strings" of 3 panels. Each string is ran in series. Luckily the tree only took out one string. It only damaged 2 of the panels, but I need a complete string for it to work voltage-wise with the other strings. So I am currently down one string. I have 2 strings (a total of 6 panels) up and running. Since the Thomas 2660 is only a 1/2hp pump, drawing ~500 watts, the 6 panels are easily running that and keeping the batteries fully charged.

Thanks for the interest Canyon!


Edited by wbuffetjr (04/30/18 05:47 PM)
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#489372 - 04/30/18 10:09 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1860
Loc: West Michigan
Thanks for the clear reply! I thought you had said that one windmill was working and a hole was open most of the winter. How do you assume all the fish are dead if you maintained a hole all winter, all be it a small one?

I guess we find out in a few weeks.

I'd love to see more pictures of your salamanders, leeches, crayfish and other critters and hope you find them to have survived somehow.

Otherwise, next year for sure!

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#489374 - 05/01/18 06:18 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 846
Loc: in the mountains
I am just assuming when the DO went to 3.0ppm in mid Feburary if the trout didn't die then they did shortly after. I don't think the small windmill had enough "horsepower" to over come the BOD that is draining the DO. If some fish lived it will be fantastic. I have been getting my hopes up and then crushed for 4-5 years in a row now, not gonna do it again this Spring.

I will get some good pics of all that stuff this year for sure.

It sure does seem like Winter 2018 will be ours!


Edited by wbuffetjr (05/01/18 06:19 AM)
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#489594 - 05/06/18 06:22 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 846
Loc: in the mountains
Had 3" or 4" of snow fall on the 3rd, but it is already gone. The quad hole just keeps getting bigger. Some really warm days coming up so I am hoping for open water very soon. I have a $100 bet with a buddy riding on if the fish lived or not.



Edited by wbuffetjr (05/06/18 06:23 AM)
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#489807 - 05/09/18 05:28 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 846
Loc: in the mountains
I THINK we had much thicker ice this year (it was 2'thick). Unfortunately this is the first year we have even gotten any Winter DO and ice thickness data. I am sure one factor lead to thicker ice and I think a second may have contributed as well.

One - snow coming on so late and less snow than normal surely made ice thicker.

Two - I wonder if us lowering the overall water temp with so much aeration added ice thickness?

Two pics for comparison. Both taken on May 8th. In the future camera will remain in the same spot for better overall view and consistent perspective.

In the 2018 pic we are just now getting a little open water along the edge. This is after extremely warm temps up there. Today is supposed to break the record high. This is also with the solar driven pump running. I am also assuming the solar aeration is helping warm the water much faster in this 2018 pic. The "quad hole" has already gotten huge compared to windmills.




In 2017 pic you can see there is still a lot of snow left on East side of pond, but the ice is further along. This was with windmill aeration only. No solar at that time.


Edited by wbuffetjr (05/09/18 05:32 AM)
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#490068 - 05/14/18 05:50 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 846
Loc: in the mountains
Coming along slowly. Ice definitely melting slower than last year.

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#490072 - 05/14/18 09:33 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1860
Loc: West Michigan
are the aerators running in these pictures? I don't see any bubbles or plumes. I would think running in warmest time of day would help warm/thaw the pond faster. If someone was there now they should be able to see in the shallows enough to see if there is life, no?

When do you hope to be there?

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#490108 - 05/15/18 01:07 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: canyoncreek]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 846
Loc: in the mountains
Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
are the aerators running in these pictures? I don't see any bubbles or plumes. I would think running in warmest time of day would help warm/thaw the pond faster. If someone was there now they should be able to see in the shallows enough to see if there is life, no?

When do you hope to be there?


The quad is running in this pic and you can just barely make out the plume. The solar pump currently runs from 6:00am until 2:00pm Mountain time. Unfortunately the camera saves a high res image but only transmits a low res copy of the same image. I doubt the windmills were pumping during this pic. I am hoping one of my buddies will ride up in the next several days to do some looking around. I have a $100 bet with one of them whether the fish lived or not so I know he wants to get up there and see what he can find.

I will get there somewhere around the 1st of July.
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#490315 - 05/19/18 08:51 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 846
Loc: in the mountains
Ice is off! Got this cool pic from the other remote cam (Covert) yesterday morning. The Covert only triggers and transmits an image off of movement so it sits dormant most of the Winter. I am assuming the sunrise glinting off the windmill must have triggered it.

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#490316 - 05/19/18 09:10 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
DrLuke Offline


Registered: 06/04/15
Posts: 344
Loc: Grinnell, IA
Here's hoping for some fish that survived! *fingers crossed*
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#490628 - 05/24/18 10:58 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 846
Loc: in the mountains
Thanks Dr Luke!

I do not have a definitive answer on fish survival yet.

My buddy and his wife went up. She said she smelled dead fish but he said he did not. He took a cheap old junker floating cast out fish finder and said it showed several schools of fish here and there. Sizes of the schools ranged from 2 or 3 to the biggest was 6. He cast every fly and lure he had all over where his thing said fish and never got a single bite. He also never saw a single fish hit the water or jump. MAYBE water temp is still too cold or they're all dead. I don't know.

Overall it is encouraging, but still no positive ID yet. They are going up again for the holiday weekend and he will be at our place a good bit so hopefully he can turn up a fish.
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#490643 - 05/24/18 01:09 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1860
Loc: West Michigan
live bait should work. If he can find some live crayfish he can use those, or you have some great salamanders, one of those suspended under a bobber should temp the hungry fish in there.

Keep us posted!

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