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#515395 - 01/02/20 01:01 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 1108
Loc: in the mountains
Thanks for the info Bill! "Unfortunately, I didn't see this before I left and was pretty darn scared to get too close to the holes. We spent a week up there for Christmas.

I have to say this was an EXTREMELY informative trip. I actually made a shocking discovery.

For about 10 days or two weeks leading up to the trip the holes in the ice appeared to be frozen up. When we got there, there was a small hole open in the deep water above the quad diffuser. Snow that night covered it up and that hole was never to be seen again. The pump was running as normal, PSI gauge looked good and I was confused. Where was all the air going? My brother in law and I got out on the ice to measure the DO and we were at 1.5 PPM and temp was 33.6 F. Very disappointing, but I was assuming it would be bad with the lack of open water. While we were on the ice we started thinking we were seeing a "hump" in the ice. We debated back and forth for most of the day whether it was a hump or shadows playing tricks on us. The next day I got a rifle out and took a shot at it and IT "BLEW UP"!! I use "blew up" because I can't think of a better way to describe it. It did not make a sound or literally explode, but it WAS dramatic. After it happened, there were chunks of ice several feet away from the hole. There was still no open water, but all of the snow/ice was laying in the hole like broken glass and there was and obvious depression in the shape of a circle where the dome had been. Unfortunately, no video of the shot because I really didn't think anything was going to happen. Here is a pic right after the shot.



So what was the shocking discovery.....???

I learned that for the last two years I have been chasing the wrong problem. I thought I was fighting frozen airlines due to condensation when in actuality the ice doming up was the real problem. Year one, the airline did freeze, but years two and three appear to have been doming. I cannot say how many hours of mental energy were wasted trying to devise a solution for the frozen airlines. Talk about frustrating. At the same time that I am frustrated, there is a certain amount of relief now knowing exactly what I need to solve. I was on the road for almost 40 hours to get back to Atlanta and spent a considerable amount of time talking to MNFish (who I wish would spend more time on Pond Boss!!!). He made a couple statements that stuck with me (I hate to use quotations because it may not be an exact quote, but close enough).

"Finding solutions is easy. Finding the correct problem is the difficult part".

This statement really struck me for us Northen guys.

"If you use intermittent aeration YOU WILL HAVE DOMING". Wow - if only I had heard that two years ago!!

At least now I know the correct problem I am trying to solve!!!

Couple pics from the trip because everyone loves pics....

The machine we took up. A 1984 Tucker 1544. Borrowed from a buddy.


Halfway there


Made it to the cabin


Amazing sunrises!


The kid ice fishing at a buddy's cabin






Edited by wbuffetjr (01/02/20 01:16 PM)
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#515398 - 01/02/20 02:14 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
esshup Offline
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Funny you should mention doming. I don't clear my phone text messages as often as I should, just the conversations that get into the 1,000+ mark. I looked at what we discussed over 2 years ago and I said that I thought doming was going to be your biggest problem; suggesting placing diffusers so you'd open up holes 40'-50' in diameter in early winter so they couldn't dome over with snow. (I was actually looking for the Sainfoin conversation because I couldn't remember it's name nor species)

Once ice/snow gets on a pond I recommend running the diffusers 24/7 because of that.

I believe it was Blair in Canada that had a video of his pond doming over and what happened when he either shot it or threw a rock on the dome. It was more explosive than yours!!!
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#515400 - 01/02/20 02:51 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 1108
Loc: in the mountains
I may have misunderstood what you meant at that time, but I've got it now for sure. I had thought we were talking about the snow bridging across the holes. Like maybe two foot of snow on the ice and maybe there was a hole open in the ice, but it couldn't melt through that much snow. I had no clue the air would actually LIFT the ice off of the water. That is just crazy to me, but it is happening.

I literally watched one frozen over hole start to dome up. I watched the hole and studied carefully as the compressor kicked on. For about five minutes I could see the water hitting the ice. It looked like an ink blob moving around under the ice. After about the five minute mark I could only see the water intermittently touching the ice. Then after about ten minutes I never saw the water touch the ice again. I got busy that day and don't know exactly how long it took the diffuser to open the hole, but I know it did finally open at one point. Interestingly, a big crack formed in the ice first and then the hole opened afterwards.

We left the cabin on Sunday and all of the camera pics have showed no holes open since we left. Assuming the holes had already re-domed over. Then this picture came in today which I find VERY interesting. Notice the wet spot is not the traditional circle in the middle of the aeration ring. Instead it is a wet circle on the OUTSIDE of the aeration ring. The ice must be domed over in the middle and the plume is trying to melt the outside of the ring, where the ice is still touching, first!!

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#515422 - 01/03/20 12:40 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
esshup Offline
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Doming or bridging to me is the same thing. No atmospheric air is getting to the pond surface in either scenario; only air that is getting there is what goes thru the compressor. The snow bridge could ice over on the bottom side like the inside of an igloo does and there is your ice dome.

I still believe getting diffusers to work in an area large enough to prevent snow from bridging will help a lot. Even if not running them at night causes the pond to ice over and snow to fall on top of the ice, once that ice melts in a large enough area the snow should then fall into the open water, opening up that area to the atmosphere and to the sun.

Sun getting to the water in the winter helps create O2 also by getting sunlight to phytoplankton and any plants that might be alive.
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#515433 - 01/03/20 11:49 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 1108
Loc: in the mountains
Scott,

I would have to agree AND slightly disagree. I do think snow bridging and doming might have the same effects on DO BUT I think they are different problems to solve, especially at our place.

I think if it was snow bridging across the holes then a giant hole would probably solve the problem. It would be too big for the snow to "span" the hole, therefore the snow would collapse and the hole would be open. Also, if snow doming was the problem, once a hole opened it would take a new snow storm to close the hole.

I had a quad diffuser and a dual diffuser ~30-50' away from each other. When the hole was open, it was very large, but it failed to stay open.

To me, ice doming seems much more difficult to solve. Ice doming appears to be able to span a very large hole. Ice doming also seems to be able to happen any time the hole freezes closed overnight and then air turns back on the next morning. I had holes open Sunday afternoon and when the air turned back on Monday morning it immediately domed up and has stayed that way. I did turn off the air to the quad diffuser while I was there. That should substantially increase the CFM to the remaining discs.

I also learned there are as many types of snow as there are types of mud. The type of snow we get the most of at our cabin is snow with the consistency of sugar. It does not pack down at all. You cannot make a snow ball out of it, at all, period. When the wind blows it blows the snow around like dust. 24 hours after we drove the snowcat on it, it would get hard and you could pack it, make snowballs, whatever. I say all that to say this. We had 4 foot of snow on the driveway, but only about 4 inches of snow on the lake thanks to consistent wind. Again, you could kick the snow around like sugar. That kind of snow isn't bridging across anything I don't think.

Last few years I thought maybe there was too much snow on the lake for the windmill to chew through. Like I said, only 4 inches of snow cover on the lake while we were there, but no windmill hole the entire time even though it consistently spun everyday. Now I am 99.9% certain the windmill hole domes up for long stretches as well.

Working on a solution. MNFish is going to do some testing of a prototype in MN.


Edited by wbuffetjr (01/03/20 11:52 AM)
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#515442 - 01/03/20 02:41 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
esshup Offline
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I'd like to see how coarser bubbles would affect the size of the holes (coarser bubbles = bigger waves fro the bubbles hitting the surface). Also, in your pond, I would make sure the diffusers for the winter are set no deeper than 1/4 the total pond depth. Two reasons:
1) Leave a warmer water refuge for the fish (39F-40F)
2) That *should* possibly translate to warmer water being brought up to the surface than what you are seeing now, and that warmer water will melt ice faster, even 1F warmer than what you are seeing now.

I'll take a picture of what my single diffuser "plume" looks like in the winter - it's at 3' below the surface in 10' of water right now. After doing a test with the Vertex diffuser disk, I swapped it out for a what I believe is a matala disk that I only run in the winter because it has a much coarser looking bubble plume. I've had this disk for quite a few years and don't remember who the mfg. is, all I know is that the winter diffuser is NOT from Vertex. I do have some diffuser disks here from MNFish, if the pond isn't frozen over I may get time to swap it out and get a picture.

Unfortunately there isn't any ice on the pond now, or if there is, it's only a skim coating - there wasn't any ice on it yesterday, don't know about today.

Are you running the Vertex disks, if not, which ones, and how many CFM are you running through each disk now?
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#515445 - 01/03/20 03:41 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 1108
Loc: in the mountains
Scott,

I am currently running 5 Vertex discs. I estimate I am putting about 1.7 CFM out per disc. Probably not a perfect distribution of CFM per disc due to valving.

I am going to move the diffusers shallower next winter. At 5 PSI, even with the de-rate for 10,000', my pump will make almost 10 CFM. Only downside to that is when the run off comes, the diffusers will be sitting in shallower water instead of fully mixing the pond and flushing nutrients.

Here is the pic from today. The hole that is open is a dual vertex. It is the shallowest diffuser and the most aggressive plume. We definitely made progress each day over the last two days. Now the question is will it just dome right back over quickly??



Edited by wbuffetjr (01/03/20 03:42 PM)
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#515452 - 01/03/20 09:50 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
MNFISH2 Offline


Registered: 06/06/16
Posts: 104
Loc: MINNESOTA
It looks like Jr has been very busy with his elevation pond aeration project. And by the way, WOW is that pond/land setting spectacular!

Its been awhile since my last post and after talking to Jr, maybe I can add some anecdotal experiences with thick ice intermittent winter aeration.

Full disclosure, this season, after 19 years of running wind and solar aeration, I finally gave into running grid power. Intermittent winter aeration... happy to see it go. It can be a tough SOB whistle

Secondly... Scott I remember telling you when I retired, I would love to come and work for you a couple weeks in the summer(free of charge of course) on pond management stuff. Well it happened. My wife and I, now empty nesters, are running a free range pig, fish, and wildlife farm. No more businesses, no more ties. PM me if you want to take me up on the offer. It would be my pleasure to go to Indiana Pond Camp.

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#515454 - 01/03/20 10:17 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: esshup]
MNFISH2 Offline


Registered: 06/06/16
Posts: 104
Loc: MINNESOTA
Originally Posted By: esshup
I'd like to see how coarser bubbles would affect the size of the holes (coarser bubbles = bigger waves fro the bubbles hitting the surface). Also, in your pond, I would make sure the diffusers for the winter are set no deeper than 1/4 the total pond depth. Two reasons:
1) Leave a warmer water refuge for the fish (39F-40F)
2) That *should* possibly translate to warmer water being brought up to the surface than what you are seeing now, and that warmer water will melt ice faster, even 1F warmer than what you are seeing now.

I'll take a picture of what my single diffuser "plume" looks like in the winter - it's at 3' below the surface in 10' of water right now. After doing a test with the Vertex diffuser disk, I swapped it out for a what I believe is a matala disk that I only run in the winter because it has a much coarser looking bubble plume. I've had this disk for quite a few years and don't remember who the mfg. is, all I know is that the winter diffuser is NOT from Vertex. I do have some diffuser disks here from MNFish, if the pond isn't frozen over I may get time to swap it out and get a picture.

Unfortunately there isn't any ice on the pond now, or if there is, it's only a skim coating - there wasn't any ice on it yesterday, don't know about today.

Are you running the Vertex disks, if not, which ones, and how many CFM are you running through each disk now?


As usual Scott, spot on as I experienced. For me, I have tried to maximizing water movement (maintaining open water to atmosphere) while using the least amount of Watts to do it. After trying to commercialize my solar aerator design, I learned in the cold regions of central MN, keeping open water was very difficult. With the energy and cost constraints, I could not prevent ice doming from happening. In fact, ice doming happened on every one of the 8 test units installed.

I shut down the development, other than my ponds, because of lack of market interest. But before I shut it down, I did do some development on simple concepts that would prevent the ice from pushing up. I hope to build and test one of those concepts for Jr this winter. Not sure how to post pics here any more but Chad maybe you could post the sketch I sent you so everybody can see it. Any and all ideas/comments/questions would be welcome. I have some testing on a similar concept from last winter. The results looked promising but again didn't go very far with it.

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#515474 - 01/04/20 01:10 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: MNFISH2]
esshup Offline
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Just like before, to post pics you have to find an on-line hosting site. Imgur is being used by a bunch now, but in their terms of service they say that it shouldn't be used for that and if it is they have the right to yank any and all pictures.
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#515475 - 01/04/20 01:34 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: MNFISH2]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 1108
Loc: in the mountains
Originally Posted By: MNFISH2

I hope to build and test one of those concepts for Jr this winter. Not sure how to post pics here any more but Chad maybe you could post the sketch I sent you so everybody can see it. Any and all ideas/comments/questions would be welcome. I have some testing on a similar concept from last winter. The results looked promising but again didn't go very far with it.


I hope you do get to test this baby out this year!!! I am excited about it!

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#515478 - 01/04/20 02:49 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
MNFISH2 Offline


Registered: 06/06/16
Posts: 104
Loc: MINNESOTA
Thanks Jr. Its not shown in the sketch but the pipe will be driven into the bottom until it reaches solid footing. My ponds the depth was anywhere from 12" to 24"

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#515501 - 01/06/20 01:19 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: MNFISH2]
esshup Offline
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Maybe a silly question, but do you have to replace the pipe every year? Maybe not in a wind protected small pond but if the ice gets to moving during spring thaw with the wind won't it snap/bend it over?
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#515516 - 01/06/20 11:11 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 1108
Loc: in the mountains
Ice moving around has not been a problem so far for me and we get a lot of wind. If It was, I would imagine you could just get a heavier duty pipe or sink it further, etc.

Basic idea is the pipe allows a way for the air to vent from beneath the ice so the ice never lifts off the water very much if at all. This should keep the plume in contact with the ice and melt a hole. If it works it'll be a home run for me. A simple solution with no moving parts or unneeded complexity (both are killers on the mountain).
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#515517 - 01/06/20 11:51 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
Acoursey Offline


Registered: 10/26/17
Posts: 80
Loc: West Lafayette, IN
Maybe install an air lift with the vent out of the ice?

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#515536 - 01/07/20 07:24 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
gehajake Offline


Registered: 12/31/18
Posts: 165
Loc: Central MO
Curious, what will keep the water inside the pipe from freezing up as solid as the water outside of it, and when, if it does, the lift of the bubble could potentially lift the pipe out of the ground at the base, could a floating version of this scenario be made to work? not nit picking just being curious.
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#515539 - 01/07/20 09:08 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 1108
Loc: in the mountains
Jake,

MNFish is an engineer and has run a bunch of calculations on the clamping force, pulling force, etc of the ice and doesn't think it is an issue. Plus he has installed pipes in his ponds that get 3' of ice and none of them have blown over or pulled up.

Here is how I imagine it (I am no engineer). There will be a frozen circle of ice inside the pipe. If it is connected to the ice outside of the pipe it can only be connected by the small amount of ice that forms through the drilled holes. I think as soon as the sun, especially at my elevation, gets on the pipe and heats it up a gap is going to form between the ice and the pipe, inside and outside of the pipe. That will be all we need for air to escape between the ice and pipe and/or allow the sheet of ice to rise up the pipe without pulling the pipe up and vent air through the pipe.
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#515541 - 01/07/20 09:35 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
gehajake Offline


Registered: 12/31/18
Posts: 165
Loc: Central MO
That theory makes sense, thanks, my reason for asking was we have a lot of problems here in our area, which probably doesnt reach those temps, of the frozen ground heaving and in the case, such as an outside frost-proof hydrant, or even conduit coming up thru the ground, being pulled loose or breaking from the buried part.
I can definitely see the sun thawing it out quicker then the surrounding area.
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#515546 - 01/07/20 05:09 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 2167
Loc: West Michigan
I learned somewhere else on this forum that if the pipes are steel their darker color will attract a few degrees of solar warmup and perhaps some transmission of ground heat through the conductive metal will keep the ice from forming around them. Someone showed pictures of it (maybe it was MNFISH)

If they are PVC then it might be helpful to wrap them with black or dark tape (or find a really good plastic primer and paint designed to adhere to plastic/pvc) to help warm them up with the available solar energy.

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#515552 - 01/07/20 11:46 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: esshup]
MNFISH2 Offline


Registered: 06/06/16
Posts: 104
Loc: MINNESOTA
Good question about ice movement on a larger pond. Not sure what the answer is, as I have never tested this pipe idea on an 8 acre pond in Colorado.

My belief is...if the ice shifts, its likely to rotate the pipe and push it under the ice. Hopefully with the pipe still stuck in the bottom of the pond. Only one way to test this hypothesis. smile


Edited by MNFISH2 (01/08/20 12:00 AM)

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#515553 - 01/07/20 11:59 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: canyoncreek]
MNFISH2 Offline


Registered: 06/06/16
Posts: 104
Loc: MINNESOTA
Solid observation on the heat transfer thur metal! It wasn't me that posted it or in my old age I don't remember posting it smile

Highflyer suggested a continues slot instead of the holes. IMHO- a much more elegant design than drilled holes.


Keep'em coming fella's and thank you!

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#515559 - 01/08/20 08:05 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 2167
Loc: West Michigan
We could ask Dwight how the ice treated his PVC pipe? did it push it over or draw it up out of the ground? His pond gets bitter cold, wind and lots of ice.

See this thread with pictures:

Dwight's pond pipe

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#515571 - 01/08/20 03:45 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 1108
Loc: in the mountains
Honestly, just due to my remote location a lack of anyone being there to fix problems I will definitely go with steel pipe and I will just drive it a little deeper into the mud. Problems solved!
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#515802 - 01/17/20 10:37 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 1108
Loc: in the mountains
Constantly learning from my mistakes. Hopefully this helps someone else down the road. Some decent snow came in and shut down power for 3 days or so. The 1 HP pump has ran for two days now pumping some serious air through a reduced number of diffusers and we have basically zero signs of a hole opening up. I am kind of shocked that the ice could dome enough to contain this much air. I mean doming enough to contain multiple days running 2 or 3 CFM is one thing. Doming enough to contain multiple days running 8 CFM or so seems like quite another thing. I will be happy to HOPEFULLY finally solve this.

pic from yesterday
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#515827 - 01/17/20 09:37 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 13138
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Why is doming considered a problem? Reference the post date in this thread for me for the answer.


Edited by Bill Cody (01/17/20 09:39 PM)
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