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#511016 - 09/01/19 10:04 AM aeration- help with dissolving thick muck build-up
neopond Offline

Registered: 08/11/19
Posts: 6
Loc: ohio, usa
I'm a new member and amazed at the amount of information on this board. Fantastic!! I put an introduction message into the new members thread. I've started up an aeration system on my pond (albeit not the best way...too fast) and my neighbor is now asking me questions that I don't feel comfortable answering due to my inexperience. I've suggested that she consider joining this great resource, but she's older and not easily convinced. Anyway, there are three small ponds in the neighborhood about 1/4 acre each. Her pond is about 35 years old, with significant surface water runoff to maintain pond level. The other primary feature of the pond is that it's heavily populated with water lilies growing out into 6'+ water depths. A couple years ago I waded into her pond to remove over 1000 pounds of the plants that a friend wished to transplant to his pond. While in the pond I noted that there was easily 6" of muck- probably more- on the pond bottom. I believe the muck is primarily material from decaying water lilies, deciduous tree leaves, and of course some material from the BG and LMB. She is aware of the muck issues and is asking if aeration is the best way to deal with the muck, or if excavation of the material may be necessary. To help with geography and weather-- we live in NE Ohio in the snowbelt. As a result we sometimes have the ponds iced over from December till late March or April. And frequently the ponds are ice-covered plus snow-covered. All three ponds had massive winter kills during the two polar vortex winters of 2014 and 2015. If aeration is recommended, could it take two, three or even more years to dissolve most of the muck build-up??? Thanks in advance for suggestions/advice. It seems that we may want to start making phone calls and inquiries in our area for some pond services/specialists that might be a good resource for answers too?? Thanks for all input in advance.

#511085 - 09/03/19 11:11 AM Re: aeration- help with dissolving thick muck build-up [Re: neopond]
Quarter Acre Online   content

Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1637
Loc: West Central Missouri
I can't help much with how quickly aeration will remove the muck, but I can say that 6" of muck and a 35 year old pond is not much buildup giving the age of the pond and I wouldn't worry about it. Aeration should help minimize the existing muck and reduce future accumulations. It will also benefit the rest of the ecosystem and could be used to help keep a hole in the ice in the winter.

I added aeration to my pond to help keep muck build up to a minimum (among other benefits) because, prior to renovation, the originally 10 foot deep pond was about 50 years old and had silted in to being only 2 foot deep (8 foot of muck). It has too much watershed and plenty of trees dropping leaves in.

If the owner or HOA has the time, money, and dedication...adding an aeration system is a good thing for the ponds, but without the total investment, I'd say the pond is doing fine. A little muck in the bottom is not a big concern.
Fish on!,

#511512 - 09/12/19 09:32 PM Re: aeration- help with dissolving thick muck build-up [Re: Quarter Acre]
neopond Offline

Registered: 08/11/19
Posts: 6
Loc: ohio, usa
QA- thanks for the advice. I think the muck may be more like a foot deep, but from your comments it would seem manageable. Unfortunately my neighbor had health issues recently, so we haven't talked since the original inquiries she made. I will try to reassure her that even if there is a foot of muck depth, aeration would be worth pursuing versus digging out the pond bottom.

On a side note I wanted to share that after operating two aeration diffusers in my pond for about six weeks, that the water clarity is much improved-- easily 24"-- and the algae is on the decline. I continue to rake out FA that I can reach from the bank, but overall the cooler nights and reduced sunlight are shutting down the FA already. What a difference the aeration has made so far. And the fish are noticeably more active around the pond.

From what I've witnessed with aeration in my pond, it would also seem to reduce the quantity of water lilies-- at least within 10 to 12' of the diffuser bubbling. This has been one of my neighbor's concerns too-- the water lilies are covering at least 70% of the pond surface making observation of the fish difficult. I also suspect that reducing the muck via aeration would slow the spread of the water lilies since the muck seems to encourage lily spread and growth.

Thoughts on water lily propagation when aeration reduces muck and the aeration also sets up water currents that pull on the lily stems and leaves??


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