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#494996 - 08/18/18 12:05 PM Before & After Aeration Start-Up Observations-LONG
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1415
Loc: West Central Missouri
I thought I would post my experience with starting up my aeration system this summer so that others would have something to compare their start-up to.

A little background, My pond is 1/4 acre, 10 foot at the deepest, with an average depth of about 6 to 7 foot (very steep sides). I use a Gast 0523 and 3 vertex diffusers. The deepest diffuser is out towards the middle, but only set at the 7 foot depth while the other two are much closer to the bank set in the 4 to 5 foot depths. The deepest diffuser receives most of the air flow while the others are dialed down to about 1/4 of the flow. I feed this April's 2 to 6 inch stockers daily about 1/2 pound in the evening and aerate from 9pm to 9am.

Time for the data. Temp records before, during and after aeration start-up...

Started taking temp readings (Degress F) on 5/2/18 (without aetartion)...

5/2 - 18" down from surface = 75, 7 foot down = 50, secchi = 24",Outside Hi/Lo=87/65.

A steady rise in temps and a quick increase in visibility brought me to 6/4/18 (still no aeration)...

6/4 - 18"down=80, 7'down=68, secchi=36",Outside Hi/Lo=93/75.

Aeration began on 6/24/18 and I had started taking an additional temp at the top 4 inches near the surface. I did the prescribed start-up of 15 minutes first day, doubled for the second day and so on, EXCEPT I moved a diffuser deeper (from 5 to the final 7 foot depth) and stepped back from 6 hours run-time to 2 hours and started the doubling process again to avoid any heavy turbidity change...

Temps before aeration start-up (all temps taken around 5:30pm)...

6/14 - Surf=90, 18"down=86, 7'down=70, secchi=31", Hi/Lo=94/68.
6/17 - Surf=94, 18"down=88, 7'down=72, secchi=24", Hi/Lo=95/75.

Days Following start-up...

6/24 - Surf=82, 18"down=80, 7'down=72, secchi=24", Hi/Lo=89/68.
6/25 - Surf=82, 18"down=79, 7'down=72, secchi=20", Hi/Lo=91/62.
6/26 - Surf=76, 18"down=76, 7'down=72, secchi=22", Hi/Lo=79/66. NOTE: 2-3/4" Rain before readings.
6/28 - Surf=94, 18"down=84, 7'down=72, secchi=24", Hi/Lo=85/66.
6/29 - Surf=94, 18"down=84, 7'down=72, secchi=20", Hi/Lo=78/66.
7/1 - Surf=88, 18"down=86, 7'down=76, secchi=18", Hi/Lo=87/72.
7/2 - Surf=90, 18"down=86, 7'down=78, secchi=22", Hi/Lo=88/69.
7/3 - Surf=92, 18"down=86, 7'down=80, secchi=24", Hi/Lo=94/73.
7/5 - Surf=92, 18"down=86, 7'down=80, secchi=24", Hi/Lo=95/74.
7/7 - Surf=89, 18"down=86, 7'down=82, secchi=18", Hi/Lo=90/65.

Running aeration about 12 hours a night (9pm to 9am) at this point. and I missed a week due to work. I also started taking a temp reading at the very bottom ( about 10 foot deep)...

7/17-Surf=86,18"down=86,7'down=84,10'down=82,secchi=16", Hi/Lo=95/75.
7/19-Surf=82,18"down=82,7'down=80,10'down=80,secchi=16", Hi/Lo=80/73.
7/21-Surf=86,18"down=84,7'down=78,10'down=78,secchi=20", Hi/Lo=88/68.
7/25-Surf=86,18"down=82,7'down=78,10'down=78,secchi=20", Hi/Lo=91/62.
7/27-Surf=84,18"down=80,7'down=76,10'down=76,secchi=20", Hi/Lo=84/62.
7/29-Surf=78,18"down=76,7'down=76,10'down=76,secchi=18", Hi/Lo=78/66.

My take-aways...

Looking at the days before aeration started (6/14 and 17) the pond had a 20 to 22 degree difference between the top surface and the 7' temp and a secchi clarity of 24" plus. This 20 degree temp difference and clarity drops to 10 degrees and under 24 inches immediately. Too fast in my opinion, but that's what the data tells me. My calculations suggest that the three diffusers, at 12 hours a day, should turn my pond over 4 times per day. This reduces to a 0.08 turnover in only 15 minutes (that's about 1/10th of a turnover the very first night). Maybe this little bit of a turnover is enough to make a big difference at the surface. Comments?

Now that the system has run for an extended period of time, the temp difference between the bottom and the surf tend to be 10 degrees rather than the original 20.

SideNote: If you look at the surface temps, they dance up and down pretty radically where as the 18" down temps and below tend to change less abruptly. Using surface temps to evaluate the pond could be risky. I suggest looking at temps at the 18" below surface for any important evaluations.

Even though the summer has gotten hotter, the surface temps are staying down below 90 and the 18' down and 7' down numbers remain consistent and in a decent range. Even though the temps are higher than I would like, I think the pond is in much better condition with the aeration and at less risk of a fish kill.

The clarity got worse after the diffusers were activated, or maybe better if you look at it right. Just before adding air, I had a small FA outbreak. Shortly after adding air, the FA disappeared (I raked alot of it out). Maybe the reduction in clarity due to sediments being added up into the water column also reduced the production of FA. Sounds like natural dye to me, what do you think?

The morning clarity is obviously less than that of the evening. You can see "dirty" water veins of the morning and a protein film with bubbles that must be caused by the aerators. Then in the evenings, these veins are gone and the surface is typically very reflective and clean looking.

One thing that would have really added to this post would be DO2 readings, but I do not have an O2 monitor.

I'm going to stop here, my mindis going numb. I will try to chart some of these temps another day and see if there are any trends to speak about.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#495015 - 08/18/18 09:57 PM Re: Before & After Aeration Start-Up Observations-LONG [Re: Quarter Acre]
Mike Whatley Offline


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 1209
Loc: Louisiana
I'm not usually one for long data rich reads, but dang QA!!!

Thats some good stuff right there!!! Hits very close to home, being that my aeration system is less than a week old. Wish now I had the tools to take those kinds of readings. I haven't seen much change in surface temps yet, but your data indicates that I may never see it change until the weather cools. That probably wont be for another month or so, and we seldom ever see nights in the 70's here during the summer. Lucky if it gets down to 80!!

Everything else you've posted about your pond's condition fits my pond's to a tee, but then they are very similar, except I'm only running one diffuser set at 8 feet almost dead center.
_________________________
.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!

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#495018 - 08/18/18 10:51 PM Re: Before & After Aeration Start-Up Observations-LONG [Re: Quarter Acre]
Mike Whatley Offline


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 1209
Loc: Louisiana
I'm not usually one for long data rich reads, but dang QA!!!

Thats some good stuff right there!!! Hits very close to home, being that my aeration system is less than a week old. Wish now I had the tools to take those kinds of readings. I haven't seen much change in surface temps yet, but your data indicates that I may never see it change until the weather cools. That probably wont be for another month or so, and we seldom ever see nights in the 70's here during the summer. Lucky if it gets down to 80!!

Everything else you've posted about your pond's condition fits my pond's to a tee, but then they are very similar, except I'm only running one diffuser set at 8 feet almost dead center.
_________________________
.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!

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#495019 - 08/18/18 11:08 PM Re: Before & After Aeration Start-Up Observations-LONG [Re: Quarter Acre]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5465
Loc: SE Kansas
Very good information QA. Thanks for taking the time to do it and report it for the rest of us.

I am struggling right now on how much and when to run my pump now that I have a large enough air pump that I do not need 24-7.
_________________________
John

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#495074 - 08/20/18 10:57 AM Re: Before & After Aeration Start-Up Observations-LONG [Re: Mike Whatley]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1415
Loc: West Central Missouri
Originally Posted By: Mike Whatley
Wish now I had the tools to take those kinds of readings.


I made my secchi disk from the lid(or bottom) of a white five gallon bucket, I get my high and low temps from the internet, and I bought a 3$ pool thermometer from walmart that I tied a long piece of nylon cord to along with a big hex nut for weight. The dock is what makes the readings easy, but one could get the temps with a longer cord and a float of some sort if a dock was not available. Not sure about the secchi reading without a dock or boat - that could get tricky.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#495075 - 08/20/18 11:26 AM Re: Before & After Aeration Start-Up Observations-LONG [Re: snrub]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1415
Loc: West Central Missouri
Originally Posted By: snrub
I am struggling right now on how much and when to run my pump now that I have a large enough air pump that I do not need 24-7.


I generalized the temps of the evening hours and estimated that around 9pm that the air temps would be consistently approaching the water temps at 18" down and certainly below the surface temps. Therefore, that seemed like a good place to start the air. I did the same for shutting it off. Mid morning temps seem to average the mid 80s or there-abouts, so anything hotter would not need to be mixed into the pond.

As the summer fades, I will pay attention to the "18" down" and outside air temps and move the start time earlier in the evening and move the shut-off time later in the morning to maximize the system's effects. e.g. Once I see the water temps dropping and staying down due to cooler weather - I will increase the time that the pump runs. This may help heat the pond a bit, extending better pond atmosphere and improve D02.

Eventually, as fall moves in, I will likely end up running just during the day...I have not figured out how that transition is going to work just yet. My timer can do multiple run periods in a day, so maybe I will start cutting the night hours out while extending the mornings into the afternoon and so on.

Then, as winter comes, two of the diffusers will be phased out and the remaining shallow diffuser will only be used during periods of ice threats.

This is all just noel-noodle theory and may not really make much of a noticeable difference, but "it's my party"!
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#495076 - 08/20/18 11:36 AM Re: Before & After Aeration Start-Up Observations-LONG [Re: Quarter Acre]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 992
Loc: in the mountains
Good stuff, QA!
_________________________
Keep This Forum Viable, Read Pond Boss Magazine -
America's Journal of Pond Management

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#495205 - 08/23/18 08:10 AM Re: Before & After Aeration Start-Up Observations-LONG [Re: Quarter Acre]
Mike Whatley Offline


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 1209
Loc: Louisiana
Hey QA... what kind of thermometer are you using to measure temps at depth? I have a floater for surface temps but was thinking about getting a sinker, preferably digital, to check subsurface temps.

I did a water quality test yesterday, gathering water in a test tube from arm length, and there was a very noticeably change in temp at that depth, but I have no idea how much.

The test was very favorable, with no adverse levels of Nitrites, nitrates, iron or copper and Alk/PH were good. Hardness still sucks tho.


Edited by Mike Whatley (08/23/18 08:16 AM)
_________________________
.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!

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#495207 - 08/23/18 08:20 AM Re: Before & After Aeration Start-Up Observations-LONG [Re: Mike Whatley]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1415
Loc: West Central Missouri
Originally Posted By: Mike Whatley
Hey QA... what kind of thermometer are you using to measure temps at depth? I have a floater for surface temps but was thinking about getting a sinker, preferably digital, to check subsurface temps.


A walmart cheapy from the pool section (3-4$). Then, I tied a big hex nut to it to make it sink and have a long piece of cord that I can fasten to the dock post. This allows me to check temps at whatever depth I want. I just plop the thermo in and wedge the cord in a gap in the dock post to secure it. I tied a knot in the cord to dictate the 18" depth. Oh, I also tied an empty water bottle to the free end of the cord so when I drop it in the pond, I can retrieve it without swimming to the bottom.



Attachments
Walmart Thermo.jpg (303 downloads)

_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#495212 - 08/23/18 09:09 AM Re: Before & After Aeration Start-Up Observations-LONG [Re: Mike Whatley]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1415
Loc: West Central Missouri
Originally Posted By: Mike Whatley
I did a water quality test yesterday, gathering water in a test tube from arm length, and there was a very noticeably change in temp at that depth, but I have no idea how much.

The test was very favorable, with no adverse levels of Nitrites, nitrates, iron or copper and Alk/PH were good. Hardness still sucks tho.


Good to hear your water is checking out good. I have not elevated to that level of pondmeistering...yet.

I can tell you the average difference in temps I have seen over the summer months between different level of my water column...

May, DeltaT (Outside HI - Surf) = NO SURF TEMPS TAKEN IN MAY,
June, DeltaT (Outside HI - Surf) = 1.5 Degrees,
Aug, DeltaT (Outside HI - Surf) = 3.7 Degrees.

May, DeltaT (Outside HI - 18"DOWN) = 5.8 Degrees F,
June, DeltaT (Outside HI - 18"DOWN) = 4.4 Degrees,
Aug, DeltaT (Outside HI - 18"DOWN) = 7.2 Degrees.

May, DeltaT (Surface - 18"DOWN) = NO SURF TEMPS TAKEN IN MAY,
June, DeltaT (Surface - 18"DOWN) = 3.3 Degrees,
Aug, DeltaT (Surface - 18"DOWN) = 3.5 Degrees.

May, DeltaT (18"DOWN - 7'DOWN) = 12.2 Degrees,
June, DeltaT (18"DOWN - 7'DOWN) = 5.9 Degrees,
Aug, DeltaT (18"DOWN - 7'DOWN) = 3.3 Degrees.

May, DeltaT (Surface - 7'DOWN) = NO SURF TEMPS TAKEN IN MAY,
June, DeltaT (Surface - 7'DOWN) = 9.2 Degrees,
Aug, DeltaT (Surface - 7'DOWN) = 6.8 Degrees.

For the last several days it has been unseasonably cool with outside highs in the low 80's and high 70's. This has left the pond with temps in the upper 70's from top to bottom.

Mike, Keep an eye on your 18" down temps and the bottom. Once your system as settled in, these numbers should be fairly close like 10 degrees or below. This should apply for the hot months and if you are NOT trying to establish a thermocline near the bottom. IF you are not around 10 and bellow, you may not be turning the pond over OR you have a thermocline which could be a good thing. Even though my lowest diffuser is 3 feet from the bottom, I do not have a thermocline. Maybe my diffuser fell over or the updraft that it creates is enough to pull the bottom waters up. I'll check the diffuser the next time the boat goes in for fall cleaning.



_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#495243 - 08/23/18 04:06 PM Re: Before & After Aeration Start-Up Observations-LONG [Re: Quarter Acre]
Mike Whatley Offline


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 1209
Loc: Louisiana
I'm in the process of weighting my floating thermometer so I can monitor those temps at different intervals like QA's been doing.

My diffuser is 22" off the bottom, but I don't have a plate between the diffuser and the milk crates that support it. I'm thinking I'm most likely pulling up everything from the bottom and there won't be any stratification. I'll know for sure, maybe this evening. Reason I think that is I see a lot more catfish bubbles coming up where they're rummaging around the bottom more.

Overall visibility hasn't decreased any more, still hovering between 24-30", but the color is more turbid green now. Fish have definitely taken to the changes as feeding has been very energetic, even after this last little front that passed thru.
_________________________
.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!

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#495257 - 08/23/18 07:02 PM Re: Before & After Aeration Start-Up Observations-LONG [Re: Quarter Acre]
Mike Whatley Offline


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 1209
Loc: Louisiana
Well I just got the shock of my young pond life. Put together a cord to drop my thermometer to different depths and went out to the middle of the pond, just beside my diffuser. Bottom (10.5') measured 88 degrees. Came up 2 feet (8.5) measured 90 degrees. Came up to 2 feet from surface and measured 91 degrees. Not only am I over circulating, I'm about to cook my dang fish!! Cutting back on aeration to 6 hours.

Strangely enough tho, the sunfish seem to be doing well, feeding good and no signs of stress. I'm still seeing my bass occasionally busting heads in the shallows as well.
_________________________
.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!

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#495259 - 08/23/18 07:48 PM Re: Before & After Aeration Start-Up Observations-LONG [Re: Quarter Acre]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1415
Loc: West Central Missouri
At least you know what your fish can stand temperature-wish. It may be time to let the cooling effect of the earth (the dirt beneath the pond water) work on cooling the pond down. Have you thought about backing the aeration of an hour at a time OR moving the diffuser into shallower water?

I really can't say what's the right way to go here, but moving the diffuser to 4 or 5 foot of water would still circulate the upper half and keep the D02 up, but let the bottom waters alone. Just a thought with no experience to back it up.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#495264 - 08/23/18 11:13 PM Re: Before & After Aeration Start-Up Observations-LONG [Re: Quarter Acre]
Mike Whatley Offline


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 1209
Loc: Louisiana
I've reset the timer to come on a couple hours later and shut off earlier for a total of 6 hours. Gonna give that a few days and see what happens. I still have a few more crates I can use to raise the diffuser as much as another 66" if need be. If the shorter run doesn't help, I'll have to pull it up and add some more height. Dont really have any shallow water that would allow a good set with such steep sides. As long as the check valve does it's job, should be ok.
_________________________
.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!

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