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#498794 - 11/17/18 08:40 AM changing my aeration set up
Funky Offline


Registered: 11/07/15
Posts: 74
Loc: Midland, Michigan
Have a question for all you "old timers" about setting up my aeration for next spring. I have closed down the deep end of the pond for winter and have it running in the shallows (2').
What I was thinking is to place my aeration on a float, set at about 8-10 feet deep and anchor it in place as not to move around, the water in that area is about 15 feet, this would allow for part of the pond to not be mixed when we have really hot weather. Plus the pond is 100% clay and this may help it to clear a bit. Can I get some thoughts and comments on this idea, thanks!
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#498815 - 11/17/18 03:50 PM Re: changing my aeration set up [Re: Funky]
Bill Cody Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12796
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
My experience is depending on age, clarity, and nutrient condition(how eutrophic) of the pond, the water below the diffuser will develop anoxic conditions (no DO) starting from the pond sediment toward the bottom of the diffuser. Top water will not normally mix below the diffuser and DO in the water below the diffuser, will after aerator starts, will gradually be consumed. The rate that this happens will basically depend on the eutrophic condition of the pond. Eutrophic condition can be estimated by testing or measuring the BOD (biological oxygen demand). There is also COD (chemical oxygen demand) that plays a role in evaluating the eutrophic nature of water bodies.

When all the water below the diffuser has DO at or below 2ppm basically no fish will actively live there unless the water clarity (secchi disk reading) is 6ft or greater.

Instead of installing your diffuser under a float why not mount in on a PVC frame or similar stand that sits 1-3ft above the bottom? But remember the 'summer' water mixing / circulation does not normally extend below the bottom of the diffuser head. Thus if you are trying to not agitate as much sediment these diffuser placements will do that. However the amount or extent of bottom sediment agitation is really unknown. If the pond is a fairly new pond and is somewhat turbid it can take a few years for a biological "skin" to develop on the entire bottom which helps a lot to clear the overall pond water (improve clarity). The biological skin can take the form of plant life - vegetation or attached algae (aka periphyton or epipelic algae).

Since you are in MI and in a cooler climate with a pond that has turbidity issues try running the aerator fewer hours per day. I would need more details about your aerator system and pond conditions to make a good estimate for daily aerator run time to improve water clarity.


Edited by Bill Cody (11/17/18 03:54 PM)
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#498826 - 11/18/18 08:00 AM Re: changing my aeration set up [Re: Funky]
Funky Offline


Registered: 11/07/15
Posts: 74
Loc: Midland, Michigan
Bill, my pond is a half acre, built in two different diggings ( we wanted bigger) first dig sort of like a pipe with a small but deep bowl (28') that slowly goes up to a level of about 6', the second dig is a mostly square of about 95' x 95' with a 5-6' deep ledge around it that is 10' out from shore then the center is 15'. I have a 1/4 hp pump with two sets of diffusers. I normally run it 24/7, and the pond is going into its 5th year. I have BG, LMB and CC, the CC's are doing very well, even though I did not plan of them spawning, they have and I have at least 3 classes. This past summer the grandkids caught a couple of 28", 9+ pounders. We have never had water clearer than 6-8 inches. And we seem to have a good bloom through the summer,sometime too good. My water comings mostly from run-off from woodlands that were farmland 70 years ago, about 20-25 acres drain through us.
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#498836 - 11/18/18 04:21 PM Re: changing my aeration set up [Re: Funky]
Bill Cody Offline
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Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12796
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
The pond age, in your overall situation / location, should be relatively clear with clarity of 3 - 5 ft. I highly suspect the reproducing catfish are causing most of the turbidity. If CC are causing most of the turbidity. If you turn your aerator off now in November and leave it off until early January the water should be noticeably clearer by late Dec. If you can keep some of the snow removed from the ice this winter you should not have to run your aerator. My rule for ponds in snowy conditions is not let a blanket of snow cover the entire pond for more than 4-5 weeks before you remove about 10-20% of the snow. Just shovel or snow blow 3-4 ft wide, north to south strips across the entire pond. Make the strips about 10-15ft apart.

If you can not run your aerator all winter the water should be quite clear with 4ft to 6ft or more of clarity when the ice 'goes out'. If this is the case then the CC are causing the turbidity. When the water warms up to 55-60F and CC become active turbidity would return and give you your cause of pond turbidity. You can opt to run your aerator this winter. It you chose to run it you should not have to run it more than 4-5hrs per day and just long enough to open a ice hole 10-15+ft in diameter. I went to graduate school at CMU so I know what winter's are like in Mid MI.

Since your pond is 0.5 ac with two dual diffusers and for your location and fish community with your turbidity problem /cause, next summer I would try running your aerator just 1-2 hrs per day to see if the water clarity improves compared to this last summer. It would have helped evaluate the benefit of shorter aeration times if you had secchi disk readings from this last summer.

If you have a dock and can get a secchi disk reading now,,,, that is better than nothing for comparison. Simplest water clarity reading can be just a white coffee cup attached to a cord. Knot the cord every 6". Measure the depth where the cup disappears from view. In your northern location, water conditions, pond size and depth, with a relatively new pond you will not have a fish kill running the aerator for just 1-2 hrs per day for a summer test period.


Edited by Bill Cody (11/19/18 08:52 PM)
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#498843 - 11/19/18 07:50 AM Re: changing my aeration set up [Re: Funky]
Funky Offline


Registered: 11/07/15
Posts: 74
Loc: Midland, Michigan
Thanks Bill, a lot of good info to think about!
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half-acre pond, LMB, HBG, and CC ....goal is to
have fun fishing. And I subscribe!

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