Pond Boss
Hello everyone! Great forum here!

I have looked thru about 30 pages in this aeration section, read until I am cross eyed and cannot find any specific examples that fit my situation so I am starting a new post.

We have a 6 acre lake in the mountains. Like I said it sits right at 10,000 feet. The previous owner used to stock it yearly and the winter kill was just an accepted part of life. I am not ok with that. The lake is amazing and has a ton of "feed" in it. It has what appear to be freshwater shrimp, water dogs, leeches, giant crayfish, fat head minnows and I don't know what else. When trout WERE stocked in the lake each year, they out grew the trout stocked down in neighboring lakes 2 to 1 by the end of the summers every year. Their meat turned pink twice as fast and they just seemed to THRIVE. Until winter and then every bear on the mountain was there eating the carcasses every spring.

To make a long story short, we rebuilt the entire dam this summer due to a breach in the old "dam". There are numerous water sources coming into the lake. One big seep puts out a significant amount of water in one corner, one spring flows in on one long side (same side as the seep) and other spring flows in on one end and the spillway is on the other end. Amount of water flow has never been measured and I can't even guess. The average depth of the lake before the rebuild was an estimated 4-5' and it was basically shaped like a rectangle. The deepest spot was in the corner of the seep and was 17' deep. The rest of the lake had a TON of 6"-12" area. There was a ton of weeds growing in the shallows - not sure what species. With the repaired damn, we restored the lost water level 4.5'. Now I am expecting an average depth of 8-9' and the deepest area 22-23'. I also added a second deep hole at the other corner of the lake. Should be approximately 16-17' deep once full. The max water level will not be reached until the spring runoff in 2015.
I am headed back out there for archery Elk season in September and hope to install an aerator while I am there. I REALLY like the American Eagle units even though reviews are hard to find due to their stance on being rated. Whatever. They look to be the heaviest duty ones out there and that's what I need. This lake is inaccessible, except by snow machine, for about 6-7 months per year. Electricity is about 20 miles away. In the winter all the snow drifts towards the damn. Pretty sure wind will not be a problem during the winter. During the summer there is ample wind, I believe, as well. There always seems to be ripples on the lake. I know one windmill is probably not enough to properly aerate the entire lake, but at this point one or two open spots in the ice should make a huge difference in fish survival right?

I plan on establishing Brook Trout. Then build some spawning boxes that the trout will spawn in. I do not want to have to stock it every year.

I hope I have provided enough info and haven't bored anyone to death. Here's my main questions:

1)Anyone have any reviews on the American Eagle windmills?
2)How many diffusers should I run and how deep should I place them?
3)What type of diffusers would be best for this application?
4) Any other input cause I am a total noob!
I would look into solar aeration vs. the windmills. A client that has windmill aeration in one of his ponds vs. electric aeration (granted it is on the grid) has experienced winterkill in the windmill aerated pond vs. no winterkill in the electrically aerated ponds. (there are 4 ponds on the property)

Is there access for a semi-truck/trailer to get to the property? That big of a body of water will need considerable self-sink tubing, and that will come in a roll that weighs 250 pounds, larger than what's shippable via UPS or FedEx.

Since season starts the 31st, I'm assuming you will be there earlier than that to do some scouting and you want it there ASAP. Even ordering it now, it'll be a tight schedule. I'll send you a Priveate Message (PM) with more details.
The American eagle will not do deep, but for your application that is fine. From my research when I was thinking about buying one, they put out lots of air at shallow depths but output falls off rapidly with depth. To keep open water you do not need the diffuser deep, so it should be fine.

I liked the build of the American Eagle best, but because they use an air bag for a pump the dead air space in the compression area limits maximum pressure build, which limits effective depth.

I ended up going electric.
Just to add more info than was sent in the PM.

Winter diffusers should be set 1/4 to 1/3 total pond depth and in areas where anything that goes swimming can get back out of the water without having to climb up on the ice. I almost lost my 2 dogs that way a number of years ago because of having it too far out from shore.

Coarser bubbles are better for winter aeration, finer bubbles are better for summer aeration. It's the water surface movement that keeps the pond open in the winter, and larger bubbles make more ripples/waves than small bubbles.

In the one pond that I have observed winterkill in that had an aeration system running, fish aren't smart enough to seek out areas of higher dissolved oxygen. So, in marginal ponds, I'd suggest more diffusers rather than less, especially in ponds that get a thick layer of snow which prevents sunlight from making it's way into the water thru the ice/snow layer.
To add to what esshup said, on a windmill system the air volume varies with wind speed. So try to put multiple diffusers at the same depth. Otherwise most of the air will go all to the shallowest diffuser in low wind conditions.

A regulating manifold will not be as effective at dividing air fow like it can in a constant air flow situation like with an electric system.
Thanks so much for the replies!

I was there for a month this summer getting a ton of work done so I can't be back early for scouting, plus I know the place like the back of my hand! smile I have friends down in town where I can have shipments dropped off and then I load it onto a trailer and haul it up the mountain so that's no problem.

How would I handle the different diffusers for summer and winter? I'd like to run the fine ones for the summer to enter winter with as much DO as possible but then sounds like I definitely need the coarse ones for winter. I think we probably get up to 4-5'+ of snow on the lake for quite some time (on a bad year of course)! Would it be a big job to switch out diffusers in say September each year? The AE windmill says it can run 1 Diffuser @ 16 or Less, 2 Diffusers @ 8 or 4 Diffusers @ 4. Should I be thinking 4 or 2?
One thing you could do is put in both shallow and deep diffusers each on their own hose, then use a simple selector valve or manifold at the air source. Then it is a simple matter of selecting which to use. Diffusers are not terribly expensive but the sinking hose to get to them can add up quickly.
Have you thought about developing one of the springs and having a pipe flow water into the pond? Maybe there isn't enough water, but it would be a permanent fix that doesnt require wind sun or electricity. But it would not give as much are as a windmill either. how much ice does it get? that much snow should keep the ice to a minimum.
Snrub- got it thanks!

Fishm - I have thought a lot about developing the springs. Planning on working on this exact issue this summer.

Not sure about how much ice the lake gets. I've been going here for ten years but never gone up during the dead of winter. Some friends have over the years and they show me the pics. One year I am going to make it up there myself.

Again, should I be thinking two diffusers at 8 feet or 4 diffusers at 4 feet?
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
...Getting this lake all squared away was a dream of my father in laws and mine for ten years, but we always put it off. He built the place twenty years ago. Unfortunately he passed away this past fall. Not putting it off anymore.

Good for you. What you do now will be enjoyed by future generations.
I think you should be atleast considering both the 4 and 8 ft options..
Posted By: Zep Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 08/17/14 03:36 PM
Are you in SW Colorado?
No, in Montana
Originally Posted By: Bluegillerkiller
I think you should be atleast considering both the 4 and 8 ft options..


So what 8' in the summer and 4' in the winter? Sorry, like I said I am a noob at all this and need all the details I can get!
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
The average depth of the lake before the rebuild was an estimated 4-5' and it was basically shaped like a rectangle drawn by a three year old. The deepest spot was in the corner of the seep and was 17' deep. The rest of the lake had a TON of 6"-12" area. There was a ton of weeds growing in the shallows - not sure what species. With the new damn, we raised the water level 4.5'. Now I am expecting an average depth of 8-9' and the deepest area 22-23'. I also added a second deep hole at the other corner of the lake. Should be approximately 16-17' deep once full. The new max water level probably will not be reached until the spring runoff in 2015 and the new surface area should be 8-10 acres.


If the new depths will be 22'-23' max then I'd put the winter diffusers in 5'-6' of water (or where the water will be that deep when the pond is full providing you have a couple of feet of water over the diffusers when they are installed in a few weeks). Make sure that whatever might go swimming in the middle of the winter will be able to get to shore to walk out, and not have to climb up on the ice to get out of the pond. Even if it takes 2 diffusers to do that set in line, one in 5'-6' of water and another in 3' of water to make an oblong hole in the ice, safety is important.

For the summer diffusers, you'll need more than just one or 3 in the pond due to it's estimated size. For summer use, they will be distributed between the deepest depths to mid depth, depending on the pond bottom contour. For open water aeration, it's all about gpm of lift from the diffusers and "turning" the pond water volume over a few times per day. (that's providing the water temps stay below 70F for trout to survive during the summer) If water temps will get above that during the summer, then a different approach will be needed for the warmest part of the summer to keep the trout alive.

There's calculations that can be done to determine the numbers of diffusers needed (and the CFM and PSI needed) to properly aerate the pond when ice is off of the pond.
Posted By: Zep Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 08/17/14 06:12 PM
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Yes SW Colorado

I've spent a lot of time in Lake City, Colorado.

In fact I am selling a log cabin there right now.

Beautiful area.
Yeah Lake City is awesome! I have hunted not far from there a lot. I love that area.

Here's a pic of the lake. This is when it was 6 acres. Expecting a 20-30% increase in surface area. A lot of the trees on one side of the lake have been cleared. Otherwise, the new water level would be into the trees in this pic.

Do you have any flowing creeks nearby on the land that you can harness some energy from? i.e. a turbine?

Otherwise solar may not suit if there is nobody there to get snow off of the panels. A combo of solar and wind may suit.

The greater depth may go a long ways to stop winter kill based on the larger capacity of O2 in the pond. Aeration will of course help even more. Note the springs wont add much to the O2, if not take away unless you splash them over some rocks to oxygenate the water a bit.
Aren't solar panels mounted on an angle to prevent snow build up? or do/can they heat up? I lived in Colorado and they get a LOT of sunshine, I believe over 300 days/year.
the only flowing water is the springs that feed the pond and there is probably a couple hundred feet of fall but I don't think there's enough volume for a turbine. That's something I need to check next summer though.

Other than the huge up front expense solar would probably be great. I have read that sloar panel specs are rated at certain elevation and that over 5-6,000 feet you can actually start to produce over 100% of what they say because of the intensity of the sun. I will say at the cabin, it can be 70 degrees outside but you could fry an egg on the hood of the car because of the sun. In the summer you get sun burnt faster than at the beach. Solar just still scares me with the winters up there.
Ok, I am back to working on this project. I ended up waiting to install an aerator until this coming summer. "Unfortunately I am now as confused as ever! I have read a few posts implying that inadequate aeration is no better than no aeration..... I know that one windmill is going to be inadequate aeration but electric is not an option and solar is not in the budget. Would my pond not be better off with SOME aeration to at a minimum keep a hole open in the ice for winter?? Here's a rough sketch of the lake. Starting to think maybe a different windmill than the american eagle.


What's the price differential on solar vs. windmill? The good windmills are in the $1.5k-$2k range, aren't they?

EDIT: looks like solar is 10x as much. o_O They do have battery back-up though, looks like for days.
Originally Posted By: Bocomo
What's the price differential on solar vs. windmill? The good windmills are in the $1.5k-$2k range, aren't they?

EDIT: looks like solar is 10x as much. o_O They do have battery back-up though, looks like for days.


Yeah man the solar setups I have seen are STEEP!!!

I should add that over hunting season I did extensively look at gathering the water in the streams and bringing it into the lake in a pipe. Was thinking about maybe letting the pipe end a couple feet above the waters surface so the incoming water would "waterfall" in.
WB,

In your current situation I would set myself up for winter air. Take a deep breath man!! Air and how to use it on your pond can drive you crazy!! smile I know trust me! If it were me for now even if you wait till this summer I would set my windmill up at its highest point and put 3 or 4 fusers out there in 4 to 5 feet of water. You said yourself you have more winter kills than anything so setup for that for now. You are limited as to what you can do so I would do that first. Then see how it your winter goes? See how your fish kills go? Heck maybe that's all you will need to do for a while!! The other positive to that would be you would not need as much weighted tubing right away either! You could probably get by with 200 to 250 feet if your only put fusers at 4 foot or so. Just my 2 cents. Like you said you are limited right now. And it sounds to me your first priority is keeping some holes in that water to prevent fish kills in the winter so there you go!

To be honest with you for you to setup air for that whole pond the way you are sitting now with limited resources would be waaaaaaaaaay costly!!! Just saying.

RC
Thanks for the input RC!!
So is there a good chance that one windmill with 4 diffusers would prevent a winter kill? or no way to know without trying it?

Also, if that is the best solution, then the American Eagle windmill might be the best unit for that??

I wouldn't mind buying more weighted hose for seperate "summer diffusers" in the deep water if that would be better for the lake.
Hey WB, I don't know anything about Windmills for air. Thats Mr. Cody's area. I can tell you this. If that WM keeps 4 fusers going and actually keeps the water open I think you would have a much better chance of no winter kill then not having anything at all of course! Some open water would at least let that pond breath! And allow some D.O. to get into it! Can't tell ya for sure though.... Maybe you still have some fish die but not as many??? Sure fusers in deeper water running in the summer time would be great if you got the money / ability to get them in there!! Not sure how many you would need though for that size body of water? There is a big difference between aerating your entire pond and just keeping a couple of nice size holes open for winter!

RC
Gotcha! Thanks again RC! Here is a pic of the lake from last summer. Water was the lowest I had ever seen it due to the dam failure. Built the new peninsula as well. Considering putting the WM out on the end of the peninsula. Very short jump from there to the deep water or anywhere in the shallows. WM will also be right in line with the prevailing winds in that area. Definitely not lacking in wind there.



You said you get lots of wind year round. If that is the case, the lake might stay pretty well mixed in the summer via natural forces.

Are you where you can monitor temperatures at different depths this summer? The reason is that if you can determine you have a thermocline at a certain depth where the water temperature rapidly drops, then maybe aeration might do you some good. But if the wind is mixing the water pretty well, then summer aeration might be of more limited value.

Making the lake bigger and deeper might also help with the winter kill situation.

You could focus on getting the air for winter needs first to keep some open water. Fix the fish kill problem first. Then advance to deeper water diffusers if you still think you need it later.
I am curious about the aquatic vegetation present and how the prolonged snow and ice cover might figure into the winter kill equation. Can you get a picture of the vegetation for identification?
Originally Posted By: snrub
You said you get lots of wind year round. If that is the case, the lake might stay pretty well mixed in the summer via natural forces.

Are you where you can monitor temperatures at different depths this summer? The reason is that if you can determine you have a thermocline at a certain depth where the water temperature rapidly drops, then maybe aeration might do you some good. But if the wind is mixing the water pretty well, then summer aeration might be of more limited value.

Making the lake bigger and deeper might also help with the winter kill situation.

You could focus on getting the air for winter needs first to keep some open water. Fix the fish kill problem first. Then advance to deeper water diffusers if you still think you need it later.


Thanks Snrub! I could definitely take temp measurements this summer if I had the right meter. Is there a decent unit that won't break the bank that y'all recommend? Maybe one that does temp and DO? I'd have to guess that would get expensive BUT maybe it is necessary to monitor the health of the lake??? Would that be nice or a necessity?

Keeping holes in the ice seems like what I need to setup for first and foremost. If that is the case, then maybe I stick with the American Eagle unit since it produces the most CFM but can't go deep?? I have yearly budget to spend on the place and I could get a second WM to do deep water in 2016 if needed.

Sound like a solid plan?
Originally Posted By: Shorty
I am curious about the aquatic vegetation present and how the prolonged snow and ice cover might figure into the winter kill equation. Can you get a picture of the vegetation for identification?


Shorty I can definitely get a pic this summer. I had a biologist tell me what comprised the majority of our weeds but I didn't write the dang name of it down. He did say that the stuff could not grow in deeper water and us deepening the lake should eliminate a bunch of it. It was worse in 2014 than I have ever seen and I am assuming it was because of the low water levels and more shallow areas than normal.
Man that is one good looking pond!! That's something you see right out of those Alaska Discovery Channels. Sweet looking WB!!

RC
Originally Posted By: RC51
Man that is one good looking pond!! That's something you see right out of those Alaska Discovery Channels. Sweet looking WB!!

RC


Thanks RC! If I can get it right and keep some fish alive, it has grown some MONSTER trout in the past!!
Here are some fish a friend caught a year after we did not have a big kill. These fish survived two winters at most and I think really only one. There is so much feed in the lake the fish grow extremely fast! You can look anywhere in the lake and see scuds every where and for the last 3-4 years fat head minnows too. I can't wait to get some air to the lake and see what we can produce!

I didn't see where anyone mentioned it, but if you have plenty of wind, why not opt for a small-ish wind turbine to generate electrical power? Then you could use better quality air compressors? If you are getting wind/wave action, keeping one spot open may be all you need for degassing the lake during winter ice over. keeping some strips snow free by either plowing or flooding to melt snow may be good also.
Originally Posted By: Rainman
I didn't see where anyone mentioned it, but if you have plenty of wind, why not opt for a small-ish wind turbine to generate electrical power? Then you could use better quality air compressors? If you are getting wind/wave action, keeping one spot open may be all you need for degassing the lake during winter ice over. keeping some strips snow free by either plowing or flooding to melt snow may be good also.


One day I hope to have solar panels and a wind turbine up there for the cabin. Then running real air compressors would be no problem. ?Unfortunately the budget isn't there for all that this year. Only way to plow it would be with a snow cat. If only I could win the lottery!!!
An ice auger and 2" trash pump will melt a LOT of snow cover to allow light penetration and oxygen production
Crazy idea, but doesn't Colorado get like 300+ days of sun and even more intense in the mountain? If someone could come up with a nontoxic but long lasting black dye could you keep the water just above the freezing mark so that even a smaller solar system could keep up? Or maybe you could target a region of the shallows where you could put black tarps or something on the bottom? I wonder how much heat that sun could produce even in the winter at that altitude?
Originally Posted By: Rainman
An ice auger and 2" trash pump will melt a LOT of snow cover to allow light penetration and oxygen production


ahhh ok got it!
Repost so I am not hijacking anymore!!


Ok So I got to talk to Esshup. He suggested three 9" Vertex diffusers. He said each one requires .5 cfm minimum to open but 1 cfm would be better. Then after derating for the altitude I'm looking for 4 CFM. The deepest water at my place is 21-22' so PSI after cushion and derating 15 PSI should cover it. Sooo, Three diffusers and a 4 CFM 15 PSI compressor. Sound good to you guys?

As far as compressors, do I just look thru all the GAST models and find one with those stats? Does it matter what design? Definitely looking for durability. If the compressor fails up there, it could be months before anyone knows and a trip up there to check on it would only happen in the snowcat!! (not saying that wouldn't be fun)

Maybe one of these guys?? Both look like they're available in BLDC
http://www.gastmfg.com/support_documents/RTD312rE.pdf
http://www.gastmfg.com/support_documents/RTD348rC.pdf

Thanks guys!
The RTD Models are European set up for 50 cycles of A/C electricity. The USA uses 60 cycles. Using the 50 cycle unit will work, and you will actually get a few more RPS/Output, but the lifespan will be much shorter and make sure it is in a fireproof enclosure because it'll get damned hot!

Some of the best Gast Units are the 71R, 72R, and 75R twin cylinder models, in ascending CFM maximum order. The 75R models are awesome!
Originally Posted By: Rainman
The RTD Models are European set up for 50 cycles of A/C electricity. The USA uses 60 cycles. Using the 50 cycle unit will work, and you will actually get a few more RPS/Output, but the lifespan will be much shorter and make sure it is in a fireproof enclosure because it'll get damned hot!

Some of the best Gast Units are the 71R, 72R, and 75R twin cylinder models, in ascending CFM maximum order. The 75R models are awesome!


Ok, got it. So that's the difference between the 50 and 60 hertz. From reading on here I have also learned that 24v volt will be more efficient. I'm that uneducated. No joke.

Sooo, this one seem more what I need (seems like it can do either 50 or 60 hertz)?
http://www.gastmfg.com/support_documents/RTD809.pdf

In the details it says these can be ordered in 24 volt and brushless DC. Do you just call Gast and they make one up for you like that?

As far as the heat..... that leads to more questions. Will both the 50 & 60 hertz units get that hot? What kind of enclosure does one house these things in? Maybe that much heat could be an advantage in the winter up there when it is -20?? If I ever add batteries to this setup, it seems like having the batteries in the same enclosure would be an advantage in the winter and a big no no in the summer??

Assuming that pump would fit my application, the real fun begins. What would I need to run it?
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 04/10/15 11:20 PM
I looked at this earlier today (on the other thread) and those particular motors appear to be a 50Hz design. If they are available in BLDC, that would be great.

I was looking at the 75R earlier to give a bit of cushion for your application. They say they are available in BLDC, but don't give any specs. I wonder if it's a custom compressor then?

They do make these for a lot of other companies around the world, and mention that if you see something in their standard lineup, but need a different configuration or motor, they just may be making it for someone else.

You really do want to stick with DC. It's quite straight forward, and would be best in an un-managed remote site like you have.

AC will be much more complicated and more expensive for a remote rig like this.

Got a bit further today on the grid tie micro inverters running them off grid. I better understand the problems now, but don't think they are that much of an issue.

I suppose the next step for me is to do the cartoons and get some parts on order and give it a whirl.
Does anybody know if Gast makes a linear piston compressor? I have never used one but just looking at the mechanics how a linear piston pump works, they should be very reliable.
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 04/11/15 12:10 AM
I think they have a few.

Depends on the design, but a lot of linear's are just choke coils that oscillate at line frequency. Nice thing is you can adjust the voltage with a dimmer switch. Still gonna beat at 60Hz, but the intensity will vary with voltage.
Originally Posted By: JKB
I think they have a few.


JKB are those the ones they have listed as "pistons". Right under rocking pistons on their site? If so, in the desciption they do say

"Gast Piston air compressors and vacuum pumps are built to withstand the most rugged operating conditions with corrosion-resistant materials used for critical internal parts. Ring design provides consistent flows throughout the service life of the unit"

From a couple quick searches, the Piston Model 4L seem to cost about the same as the comparable rocking piston models 75R, they are available in 24V BUT they do not say available in BLDC. IS the BLDC option a big enough factor to stick with the 75R?

Edit:
Attached link just for reference
http://www.gastmfg.com/product_overview_compressors_pumps.aspx
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 04/11/15 11:38 AM
The linears are further down. They don't have the PSI you need.

At your elevation, I would stick with the BLDC motor, whichever one is the most suitable for your requirements. The 75R would work if they really offer it in BLDC for a single purchase.

If anyone is interested, there is a new 230Vac 75R on ebay for $280.00 or best offer. http://www.ebay.com/itm/GAST-75R645-P101...P-/291408932091

I was going to have a friend of mine buy it for me, but really don't need one at the moment.

EDIT: I've been looking all morning, and am not coming up with an off the shelf solution in BLDC for your application. Not even in multiple smaller pumps.

I'm also finding that your ambient air temperature in the winter may be too cold for these to operate without a heat source.
Originally Posted By: JKB
The linears are further down. They don't have the PSI you need.

At your elevation, I would stick with the BLDC motor, whichever one is the most suitable for your requirements. The 75R would work if they really offer it in BLDC for a single purchase.

If anyone is interested, there is a new 230Vac 75R on ebay for $280.00 or best offer. http://www.ebay.com/itm/GAST-75R645-P101...P-/291408932091

I was going to have a friend of mine buy it for me, but really don't need one at the moment.

EDIT: I've been looking all morning, and am not coming up with an off the shelf solution in BLDC for your application. Not even in multiple smaller pumps.

I'm also finding that your ambient air temperature in the winter may be too cold for these to operate without a heat source.


I filled out Gast's custom pump questionaire asking about the BLDC 75r. Hopefully I will hear back from them soon. I will probably be too impatient and call them Monday.


Heat source..... I guess this couldn't be solved by enclosure could it? I could build some sort of "dog house", one for summer and one for winter. Put the winter one on when I leave in late September. I know that wouldn't help it at startup in the dead of winter and maybe that's when it would need the most help. I'm sure you've got an idea!! Thanks for spending so much tme on this!! If you ever make it out to CO, you're invited up to go fishing!!
From Gast

"Sorry for the confusion here but the web information is incorrect for these units are not offered in DC voltage at all. The web designer did a copy and paste when they should not have.
The only DC voltage units we offer are in either the DOA, ROA, MOA & the piston units 2HAH, 3HBB.

With the DOA, MOA have to be above 40F or the diaphragm will get to stiff for starting.

The ROA, 1H, 2H, 3H, series the bearing grease is what will be the issue here and theses unit are rated for 32F anything colder I would recommend that a light be kept on when the units are off to keep the heat up as close to the 32F

Lead time depending on the unit 10 to 25day."
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 04/13/15 10:31 PM
Well, that kinda changes the game plan here as far as DC. Bummer! I wonder how long they have known that their web site was in error?

Going AC will add more complexity and cost, but kinda figured that's where this would eventually end up. Being at 10,000' poses some challenges, and Mother Nature "owns" that place, so you have to work within her rules to achieve the desired outcome. Not impossible being remote and without personal visits to check things out on a regular basis, but also not easy on the wallet.

We got the GO on the project in Pueblo last week, but by the time that's installed and I have to enable this to run, could be next January.

BTW, that Gast 75R I posted a link to in a post above, I know who bought that. Should be here in about a week or so. Just want to play with it a bit.
Originally Posted By: JKB
Well, that kinda changes the game plan here as far as DC. Bummer! I wonder how long they have known that their web site was in error?

Going AC will add more complexity and cost, but kinda figured that's where this would eventually end up. Being at 10,000' poses some challenges, and Mother Nature "owns" that place, so you have to work within her rules to achieve the desired outcome. Not impossible being remote and without personal visits to check things out on a regular basis, but also not easy on the wallet.

We got the GO on the project in Pueblo last week, but by the time that's installed and I have to enable this to run, could be next January.

BTW, that Gast 75R I posted a link to in a post above, I know who bought that. Should be here in about a week or so. Just want to play with it a bit.




Should have known it wouldn't be that easy. I really like the idea of having some solar winter aeration for protection. If it's cloudy, hopefully I'd have the wind and if it's clear I'd have the sun and a hole would stay open regardless. I don't like the idea of leaving the lake solely in the hands of a windmill. In the back of my mind I was already considering worst case I just set up an on demand solar unit like MnFish's unit to double up. With this news from GAST that seems impossible. feel like I just got punched in the gut.

I'm envious of you guys that have your lakes in your yards. Trust me it sucks to have your lake 1,800 miles away, day dream about it all year and then have such a small window to get all your dreams for the place accomplished.

JKB is the job in Pueblo a Lake project??
I'm definitely eager to hear about your time with the 75r.
I have been following this thread out of curiosity. If I have it right, to summarize, the lake has experienced winter kill in the past. You increased the depth by 4 to 5 feet by fixing the dam last summer. You now have 22 ft water in some areas. You said you were going to stock native Brook Trout last Septemeber. Did you and did they survive this past winter now that you have deeper water?
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
I have been following this thread out of curiosity. If I have it right, to summarize, the lake has experienced winter kill in the past. You increased the depth by 4 to 5 feet by fixing the dam last summer. You now have 22 ft water in some areas. You said you were going to stock native Brook Trout last Septemeber. Did you and did they survive this past winter now that you have deeper water?


Bill,

The lake will not officially be full until this spring/summer 2015 after snow melts. Since the water was still going to be so low this past September when I was back out there I decided not to risk killing all those Brookies and wait till the summer to put any fish in and install aeration. When I was out there last (September 24th) the water had come up about 6-8". Haven't seen it since then.
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 04/14/15 12:58 AM
Project in Pueblo is a steel factory that produces drill pipe for Oil Rigs. It was a fair chunk of change to compensate for the altitude, and you are 2x as far up.
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
I have been following this thread out of curiosity. If I have it right, to summarize, the lake has experienced winter kill in the past. You increased the depth by 4 to 5 feet by fixing the dam last summer. You now have 22 ft water in some areas. You said you were going to stock native Brook Trout last Septemeber. Did you and did they survive this past winter now that you have deeper water?


Bill,

I rebuilt the damn last summer (July 25th) but will not officially be full until this spring/summer after snow melts. Since the water was still going to be so low this past September when I was back out there I decided not to risk killing all those Brookies and wait till the summer to put any fish in and install aeration. When I was out there last (September 24th) the water had come up about 6-8". Haven't seen it since then.


FWIW IMHO you made a big change in water depth and area by fixing the dam. Unless you are in a big hurry, I would stock some trout when the lake is full and run thru a winter test to see how they do now, but I am definitely not a pond pro. I am just an old engineer that has learned it is often good to see the results of one major change before making another one. In my business, we call making a lot of big changes to fix a problem a "shotgun" approach. If the problem is solved, you live forever with the cost of all the changes, not the 1 or maybe 2 that actually got er dun! FWIW

I definitely hear ya Bill! I wouldn't say I am in a hurry BUT with such a small amount of time each year to enjoy the lake I would like to have it squared away sooner rather than later. So I guess u could say I am in a hurry to eliminate any possibility of a winter kill. If that's possible.
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 04/14/15 02:23 PM
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
I'm definitely eager to hear about your time with the 75r.


I got it more out of curiosity than necessity. The pumping characteristics fall in the range of what would work in your situation.

I just want to do some testing with it. There are some low cost controls available for this type of motor and also have a DC to AC power inverter available to try. I'll let you know how things go.
Originally Posted By: JKB
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
I'm definitely eager to hear about your time with the 75r.


I got it more out of curiosity than necessity. The pumping characteristics fall in the range of what would work in your situation.

I just want to do some testing with it. There are some low cost controls available for this type of motor and also have a DC to AC power inverter available to try. I'll let you know how things go.


Sounds great! Thanks again!
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 04/14/15 11:22 PM
A company in Indiana that's been in the motor control biz, like forever, is sending me an evaluation rig to try out for 90 days. If it works to my expectation, they would like to be compensated for it, or else just send it back. Can't beat that!

A pretty innovative company in Texas has a really sweet little rig out. I can also get one for evaluation, but need to wait till this compressor comes in to determine if it's a fully featured PSC (Permanent Split Capacitor) motor or not. Hopefully it is, and if so, this little gizmo is going to rock!

See how it goes.
Sounds cool JKB! Can't wait to hear what you think!
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 04/16/15 12:31 PM
Rather than wait, I sent an email to Gast Tech yesterday morning with a few questions. Got a pretty quick reply back on one question. I replied and asked about the other questions. Waited all day and at the end of the day gave them a call. Had a really nice chat but said they are not familiar with any of this other stuff, so he sent it off to engineering to look into. He said he'll let me know what they say. He was really interested in the gizmo from Texas tho. If the motor is compatible with this control, it will shave quite a few watts off and the motor will run cooler. Just have to wait.
Sounds cool! Hopefully you will get your hands on it soon.

I keep thinking about this. For my application and the temps involved, there is no way around a heat source and that means batteries, correct?
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 04/17/15 12:25 AM
You will need some batteries, but you can look into convection solar for heat. Batteries will be used for other things, but possibly for spot heat.

I think you should consider building a small, but well insulated building. Maybe like an 8' x 12'. Not big at all, but insulate it really well. No concrete tho unless it's an anchor below ground. Insulate the floor, side walls and the roof.

I have a small shed out by my garden. It's insulated pretty well. Cool in the summer and retains heat well in the winter. If I need a place to stay, I could move into that.

This project has gone outer limits you guys!!! We have been trying to come up with a way to heat our pumps to save on diaphragm life during the winter months. For remote locations as well. -20F makes for brutal conditions for any rubber, especially with high cycle rates.

FWIW -We never tested this last winter but we did prototype one. Simply used a pilot light burner like on any water heater. Put the flame inside of a 3" stack. Ran the stack through the compressor box, out the top. Wrapped the stack with 1/4" woven wire and rocks against the stack. Small intake hole to the outside for make up air. No flame in the compressor box as moisture would be a real problem. Indirect heating of the air. Never did the calculation but I would bet a 20lb LP tank would have lasted the winter.
Originally Posted By: JKB

I think you should consider building a small, but well insulated building. Maybe like an 8' x 12'. Not big at all, but insulate it really well. No concrete tho unless it's an anchor below ground. Insulate the floor, side walls and the roof.


I will get this done this summer. Thanks for all the time you have put into this!!!
Originally Posted By: mnfish
This project has gone outer limits you guys!!! We have been trying to come up with a way to heat our pumps to save on diaphragm life during the winter months. For remote locations as well. -20F makes for brutal conditions for any rubber, especially with high cycle rates.

FWIW -We never tested this last winter but we did prototype one. Simply used a pilot light burner like on any water heater. Put the flame inside of a 3" stack. Ran the stack through the compressor box, out the top. Wrapped the stack with 1/4" woven wire and rocks against the stack. Small intake hole to the outside for make up air. No flame in the compressor box as moisture would be a real problem. Indirect heating of the air. Never did the calculation but I would bet a 20lb LP tank would have lasted the winter.


mnfish! I was hoping you would come back! smile

This project has definitely turned into a lot more than I expected. Unfortunately, I have a dream for the place and I can't stop until it's done.

So you are using those pumps in temps far below the rated temps right? They never fail on you during the winters? What is the deal, you just end up rebuilding them more often!
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 04/18/15 01:32 AM
Compressor came in today. Kinda cute.

Looking it over I noticed a nameplate rating from Gast, which was 2.4 amps at 230Vac. Looked on the other side with the sticker from the company in China who actually made the motor and provided wiring diagrams, 3.0 amps at 230Vac.

0.6 amps at 230Vac is an added kick on a small solar rig.

Insulation class is "B", which would be normal for a standard motor like this. Automatic thermal overload protection is a plus.
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 04/18/15 02:30 PM
Originally Posted By: mnfish
This project has gone outer limits you guys!!! We have been trying to come up with a way to heat our pumps to save on diaphragm life during the winter months. For remote locations as well. -20F makes for brutal conditions for any rubber, especially with high cycle rates.

FWIW -We never tested this last winter but we did prototype one. Simply used a pilot light burner like on any water heater. Put the flame inside of a 3" stack. Ran the stack through the compressor box, out the top. Wrapped the stack with 1/4" woven wire and rocks against the stack. Small intake hole to the outside for make up air. No flame in the compressor box as moisture would be a real problem. Indirect heating of the air. Never did the calculation but I would bet a 20lb LP tank would have lasted the winter.


PTC Heater (PTC Resistor)



Engineered for use in control enclosures to provide heat and reduce/eliminate condensation.

12Vdc models available - Inrush current is high, but trims back after it starts. Eats about 10 watts and kicks out about 185F convection style - Made in Germany - Pretty Cool! - Inexpensive!

We do a lot of outdoor control systems for various concerns, but we usually use the expensive Hoffman stuff. I like this stuff from Germany.

Silly me blush
Been worrying about derating all the electronics for the altitude. In order to follow NEC (National Electric Code), this compressor needs to be mounted in a NEMA rated enclosure (not something you quickly whip out in your garage, or practice welding on) It needs to bear the certifications for a legal installation, and they are getting tough on solar as well)

Anyway, design pressure for this rig is 15 PSI and we have a compressor that needs to be mounted in a enclosure. 14.7 PSI puts this at sea level with no derate on the electronics, only the compressor intake for the elevation needs to be derated due to the thin air. Kinda see where I am going with this?
Originally Posted By: JKB


PTC Heater (PTC Resistor)



Engineered for use in control enclosures to provide heat and reduce/eliminate condensation.

12Vdc models available - Inrush current is high, but trims back after it starts. Eats about 10 watts and kicks out about 185F convection style - Made in Germany - Pretty Cool! - Inexpensive!

We do a lot of outdoor control systems for various concerns, but we usually use the expensive Hoffman stuff. I like this stuff from Germany.


Now that is cool!! I was all worried about a heat source and you had this up your sleeve! Steeeeep learning curve for me around here.

Originally Posted By: JKB

Silly me blush
Been worrying about derating all the electronics for the altitude. In order to follow NEC (National Electric Code), this compressor needs to be mounted in a NEMA rated enclosure (not something you quickly whip out in your garage, or practice welding on) It needs to bear the certifications for a legal installation, and they are getting tough on solar as well)

Anyway, design pressure for this rig is 15 PSI and we have a compressor that needs to be mounted in a enclosure. 14.7 PSI puts this at sea level with no derate on the electronics, only the compressor intake for the elevation needs to be derated due to the thin air. Kinda see where I am going with this?


I'm gonna take a stab at it and probably sound stupid.... You thinking pressurize the enclosure it is all mounted in?? (I'm deleting this if it is way wrong!! haha)
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 04/18/15 05:02 PM
Bingo!!!
JKB check this out and tell me what you think. I have sent them an email but have not heard back yet.

http://scirustechnologies.com/about_us_1.html
jr- I sure wish I could add more value here but you guys are wayyyyy outside of my knowledge/experience. Very cool stuff!
Mnfish no worries!! Imagine how I feel in this whole equation!! I'm the idiot for sure!!
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 04/20/15 09:49 PM
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
JKB check this out and tell me what you think. I have sent them an email but have not heard back yet.

http://scirustechnologies.com/about_us_1.html


That is pretty interesting. I was wondering if someone had a product out there, but never looked. I was thinking of rotating the panels to dump the snow off. Still thinking of rotating the panels to position them better for the seasons.

I ordered a PTC Heater today. Had to get a bunch of stuff for a coaster project and one of our suppliers stock them. See how it works.

Had to order a capacitor for the compressor. Not supplied with the compressor. Gast said you have to order these separately. That was 42 bucks! About a week out. Not even going to ask them about their rubber isolation mounts, I'll get them from one of our other suppliers.

One of the deals with starting this compressor cold, is it may not start. The motor has very low starting torque and it may not be able to overcome the drag of the cold bearing grease and piston cup friction. I'll toss it in the freezer overnight and see what happens.
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 04/22/15 10:01 PM
I set the rig outside all day, just because it was cold, windy, and had snow flurries, and the freezer is at the other shop. At the end of the day, the drag was noticeable rotating it with your finger from the difference of being in +70F temps. Not sure what the temp was, but probably below what is in the manual. When the cap. comes in, I'll pop it in the freezer. I can't believe the motor would be a huge weak link here for starting, but it could be if it's too cold.

Gast said these will not start under pressure, which we won't be (going thru an expansion chamber first), but if the starting torque is only 40%, that's not much. A 1 pound gerbil on a 10" diameter wheel could pull more than that off.

It's a very simple design, which is nice, and also think it lends itself to be fit with a much better/higher efficient motor, but that's cartoon and machine shop time.
Yeah that's crazy. I am surprised that Gast does not produce a motor that can handle colder temps.
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 04/22/15 10:27 PM
It's just the starting torque which is limited. Run has yet to be seen.

If conditions were in the design operating range, would be OK. Unfortunately, not much to choose from.
Ordered a 20' Koenders double diaphragm windmill yesterday. Gonna take some DO & Temp readings first thing when I get out there this summer and then throw up the mill. I know it won't get me to where I need to be but it's a start. It will be interesting to take some readings at the end of the month before we leave and see if there has been any improvement. Also gonna get the water tested and see what's up.

It will have the anti freeze control on it. Has anyone ever modified one of those things to hold more alcohol for extended times between maintenance?? Could I rig up a 5 gallon bucket to work for that? I could possibly get the alcohol topped off in December, but that would most likely be it until mid May.
Koenders:

If the airline has a slope to the pond, I doubt that if you will run thru the whole tank of alcohol in a winter. When you get the unit, make a note of what bearing size is needed for the windmill shaft. They make 2 sizes, and if it goes bad (which it will) you won't be happy if you have to climb up there just to figure out what size to order. You might want to order a diaphragm repair kit in a year or 2 - 3-4 years is about the life of them.

Alcohol - get a 5 gallon can from an auto body paint supplier - buying it in pint to quart containers from the pharmacy is nuts. Running a larger airline than what comes with the unit is a wise idea. The ones that I've seen all come with 3/8" airline. Just do some DIY and upsize the fittings. The anti-freeze unit doesn't kick in until it senses a blockage in the airline, so a larger ID line will have less chances of getting blocked, which will reduce the amount of alcohol comsumption (of the windmill wink grin )
Originally Posted By: esshup
Koenders:

If the airline has a slope to the pond, I doubt that if you will run thru the whole tank of alcohol in a winter. When you get the unit, make a note of what bearing size is needed for the windmill shaft. They make 2 sizes, and if it goes bad (which it will) you won't be happy if you have to climb up there just to figure out what size to order. You might want to order a diaphragm repair kit in a year or 2 - 3-4 years is about the life of them.

Alcohol - get a 5 gallon can from an auto body paint supplier - buying it in pint to quart containers from the pharmacy is nuts. Running a larger airline than what comes with the unit is a wise idea. The ones that I've seen all come with 3/8" airline. Just do some DIY and upsize the fittings. The anti-freeze unit doesn't kick in until it senses a blockage in the airline, so a larger ID line will have less chances of getting blocked, which will reduce the amount of alcohol comsumption (of the windmill wink grin )


Ahhh got it. Great advice! Thanks!! I did get the optional "tippable mounts" for the base so I can just tip it down to work on it. We have tons of visitors come thru so muscle to help is no prob. I am planning on getting the airline from you so don't let me forget to go bigger! smile. I also have a friend that owns an auto body place so I will get with him! I hope we got even more wind there than I think we do!
Thanks again for all the help!
Anytime.

Just talked to one of the ME's at Vertex today regarding their solar system. They had done some testing in the field in cold climate. Here's what he said:

Operating Temp

a. We have ran the compressor at 0* F for an extended period of time in a freezer down here and havent had any issues.

b. The Compressor that is in Ohio got to temperatures as low as -29 (F) middle of night not running, and coldest max temp of 1 (F) during the day. (Chardon, Ohio)

c. The Electrical components are Industrial Grade (-40 to 212 F
)

I've run a Thomas diaphragm compressor (albet a "grid" system that ran 24/7) that was in a very open enclosure. No way would the temp in the enclosure rise even a degree due to compressor temp, but since the compressor never shut off it isn't an "apples to apples" comparison. But, the compressor has seen temps in the low teens (below zero) and it lasted 10 years before needing to be rebuilt.
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 04/24/15 10:03 PM
Originally Posted By: esshup
Anytime.

Just talked to one of the ME's at Vertex today regarding their solar system. They had done some testing in the field in cold climate. Here's what he said:

Operating Temp

a. We have ran the compressor at 0* F for an extended period of time in a freezer down here and havent had any issues.

b. The Compressor that is in Ohio got to temperatures as low as -29 (F) middle of night not running, and coldest max temp of 1 (F) during the day. (Chardon, Ohio)

c. The Electrical components are Industrial Grade (-40 to 212 F
)

I've run a Thomas diaphragm compressor (albet a "grid" system that ran 24/7) that was in a very open enclosure. No way would the temp in the enclosure rise even a degree due to compressor temp, but since the compressor never shut off it isn't an "apples to apples" comparison. But, the compressor has seen temps in the low teens (below zero) and it lasted 10 years before needing to be rebuilt.



What did they say about altitude?

In Pueblo, the pipe mill specified everything to -40F "OPERATING TEMPERATURE", not storage temp. Buzzing up another 5000', well wink

I deal with temp ratings all the time. I don't think you understand what you outlined in Blue. It's like electrical.
Originally Posted By: JKB


What did they say about altitude?

In Pueblo, the pipe mill specified everything to -40F "OPERATING TEMPERATURE", not storage temp. Buzzing up another 5000', well wink

I deal with temp ratings all the time. I don't think you understand what you outlined in Blue. It's like electrical.


JKB, just passing on what I was told. I agree, electrical component temperature parameters won't dictate how the compressor side of the system will work, and one day that cold does not show how well a system will handle a 30 day stretch of sub zero temps. But, data is data and I figure a bit more information is better than none.

I've run a Thomas for around 10 years in an unheated enclosure that was only protected from rain - no thermal insulation at all. Granted, it is a grid system, and yes, it ran 24/7 during the winter, not starting and stopping. And, yes, a Thomas isn't an apples to apples comparison.

As for the how well it will perform at 10,000' elevation, that question was asked and it hasn't been answered yet. wink
I would forego the alcohol and run RV antifreeze instead.
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 04/25/15 12:26 AM
Originally Posted By: esshup
Originally Posted By: JKB


What did they say about altitude?

In Pueblo, the pipe mill specified everything to -40F "OPERATING TEMPERATURE", not storage temp. Buzzing up another 5000', well wink

I deal with temp ratings all the time. I don't think you understand what you outlined in Blue. It's like electrical.


JKB, just passing on what I was told. I agree, electrical component temperature parameters won't dictate how the compressor side of the system will work, and one day that cold does not show how well a system will handle a 30 day stretch of sub zero temps. But, data is data and I figure a bit more information is better than none.

I've run a Thomas for around 10 years in an unheated enclosure that was only protected from rain - no thermal insulation at all. Granted, it is a grid system, and yes, it ran 24/7 during the winter, not starting and stopping. And, yes, a Thomas isn't an apples to apples comparison.

As for the how well it will perform at 10,000' elevation, that question was asked and it hasn't been answered yet. wink



It has been asked and it's a derate of about 24% on the compressor side of things due to the thin air, no matter which compressor. Think of the Mopar Mile High Nationals. Those huffers don't huff as well as they do at Pomona.

The electrical may only be 20%, but needs to be verified.

At that elevation, if your terminating uninsulated wires, the minimum spacing is 9.1mm, otherwise you could get arcs jumping from one to the next. You need to lay this out quite carefully to avoid potential issues.
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 04/25/15 11:15 AM
I got a little PTC heater the other day. Got a 120V model.

I wired it up and plugged it into the outlet strip in my office. I waited for about half an hour and it barely got warm.

Hmmmmm..., so I called them up. Hey, this thing ain't working. Guy asks what the ambient temp is. About 70F. He said it's self regulating and won't kick out at that temp.

So, the next morning when the building was pretty cold I plugged it in. Low and behold, it was kicking out some heat. As the building warmed up it regulated itself down to about nothing. I'll try it in the freezer and see how it works.
Hahaha!! You gonna do heater vs Freezer and see which one wins?? That seems like exactly what the heater will be facing up there! Did the capacitor come yet?
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 04/25/15 12:10 PM
Only going to use the heaters for spot heat to warm up the compressor heads, and not heat up the entire enclosure. That would take some juice.

Didn't stop by the main shop yesterday to see if the cap came in. I'll swing by later today and see.

Ohhh Boy, got a PO for a control package on a new rig at a fiberglass factory. I dread going in there and try get out as quick as possible, but am doomed to a solid week of nasty itching in August. Told my coworker he is doomed as well, and he just said, You Suck!

This place is really hot, even in the winter, so have to cool the controls. Can't use fan's with filters because of the fiberglass dust floating around. That would plug the filters up pretty quick, so have to use cold air guns.

One area I am looking into to try compensate for the thin air on the mountain is an air amplification rig. Not quite the same as a cold air gun, but would use compressed air from the compressor to increase the CFM while maintaining required PSI. I do have a couple of different gizmos from Vaccon to try. If I get 1 or 2 extra CFM, it may be a benefit.
That sounds rough! Hopefully you can send the co worker in on the front lines! We are so far out of my league on this tech stuff it's not even funny!
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 04/25/15 03:33 PM
It's gonna really suck!

Co-worker only hooks up wires and verifies the connections, then he's gone. I doubt I could pawn my part off on another guy at work. The existing mechanics make for a fairly complicated program, and no one here is in tune with the hardware and software required, so I'm kinda stuck.

Nice thing is, I may get out of Purgatory a week earlier laugh
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 04/25/15 11:51 PM
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Did the capacitor come yet?


I didn't see anything in receiving or my in box. I should have checked my office, but doubt anyone would have put it up there. In the last 19 months, I've probably only spent about 10-15 hours in that office. I only go in there to get something I need. My other office is in the middle of a 40,000 sq ft building, and I'm usually the only one there. Kinda weird, but hey, I get the same parking spot every day laugh
Originally Posted By: JKB

In the last 19 months, I've probably only spent about 10-15 hours in that office. I only go in there to get something I need. My other office is in the middle of a 40,000 sq ft building, and I'm usually the only one there. Kinda weird, but hey, I get the same parking spot every day laugh


Sounds like a mad scientist kinda office!
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 04/28/15 12:25 AM
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Originally Posted By: JKB

In the last 19 months, I've probably only spent about 10-15 hours in that office. I only go in there to get something I need. My other office is in the middle of a 40,000 sq ft building, and I'm usually the only one there. Kinda weird, but hey, I get the same parking spot every day laugh


Sounds like a mad scientist kinda office!


Let's just keep it at mad and drop the rest. wink

My most favorite T-Shirt had a saying on it. "Of all the things I've ever lost, I miss my mind the most". laugh

Hahaha! Ok!

All I am gonna say is if you come out and shoot an Elk one day, we need to have you in your Panama Jack outfit for the photos!!!!
Just talked to one of my friends out there that has a place lower on the mountain. They took their CJ 5 up yesterday. Got to their place ok and made it to about 400' below our place. They said the snow was still 3' deep there and they couldn't go any further. The road up there does through some pretty thick timber. I would like to think there is some open water by now since the sun can get to the lake but maybe not.
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 05/03/15 05:11 PM
If the sun get's to it, there maybe a chance the snow has melted back quite a bit. It don't take long here if the sun get's to it.

I've been out to my place well after the snow has melted wearing a t-shirt on a nice day buzzing around on the tractor, and there is still stuff frozen in the ground out in the woods.
Well, it has been snowing at the cabin for the last two days!! I was hoping for some pics of the lake full this coming weekend but that's probably not gonna happen now. This is TORTURE! lol
Pic of the snow taken two weeks ago when my friend tried to make it up to the cabin. This is about 400' lower in elevation than our place. Hoping he can make it up there in the next week or so and get some pics of the lake. Funny thing is he said in 20 years of going up there, this is the farthest he had ever made it so early.

Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 05/17/15 06:53 PM
Is that a pond in the background on the right? Kinda difficult to tell on this screen.

I get a similar type of melt where around certain trees or groups of trees the snow melts first, and the open areas where the ground froze really well, melts last. When you get into the really thick stuff, the ground can stay frozen for a while longer.

Don't seem too bad up there tho.
Yes that is a little 1/3 acre pond you can see in the pic. More to the right and just out of the pic is another 3 - 1/2 acre pond. Their are tons of holes with water in them all over up there.

The snow comes off really fast once the sun gets to it. The road is the problem. It goes through a lot of dark timber and takes forever to clear.
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 05/17/15 10:54 PM
How much is property going for up there?
I shot ya a PM with some thoughts
Well my very good friend out there, that saves my butt all the time, went to the cabin yesterday. Or I should say he tried lol..... He was going to "make sure" he could make it up so he hauled his tracked Rhino up there. Nope, still couldn't make it. I'm dying here waiting for pics! Here's a pic of where he said it starts getting bad. He walked up a ways from here and said it gets real nasty quick AND he said the mountain got MORE snow last night!

Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 05/25/15 03:28 PM
What's your annual snowfall total up there? Our last frost date is a month from now.
I think town (5,500 ft) is a little over 30". No idea what it is for the mountain.
Think a long track snowmobile would make it?
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 05/25/15 04:47 PM
I would think snowmobile as well, but it looks a bit wet in the pic.
He has a snowmobile but I have no idea. He did say it was very wet. The problem is the fish truck wants to come next week. He is getting a bunch of trout lower down and I am getting a little bit. Just so the kids at least have something to catch this summer. He said if the snow isn't gone by next weekend we are going to plan b. Still hasn't responded to WTH is plan b?? Lol
Plan B = Helicopter?
Originally Posted By: esshup
Plan B = Helicopter?


Haha! Still haven't gotten an answer out of him! I don't think he knows what plan B is either!!
You can always try this.


Now that is awesome!!

Once I win the lottery, I will live out there and just plow the road with my snowcat. No problem! lol
So that's how those fish got into my pond! grin Very cool video.
FIRST PICS ARE IN!!!!

The lake is full!! Gotta get that brush pile cleaned up this summer and also clearing a few acres of trees in the left of the pic. 3 1/2 weeks till I get out there!


Beautiful, wbj...
Beautiful place!!!
Thanks fellas!
Hard to get a prettier setting than that! The waiting to get out there must be a real bugger. I know it would be for me
Thanks Mn! Waiting definitely sucks! Hopefully we will be moving out that way relatively soon (5 years or so)
One more.
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 06/06/15 12:33 PM
That's really cool!
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 06/09/15 10:33 PM
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Did the capacitor come yet?


I'm glad of the Gast mis-order flub.

I ordered the capacitor, bracket and rubber isolation mounts from McMaster-Carr in Chicago and saved $68.10. Gast wanted $29.97 MORE just for the capacitor alone.

Should ship tomorrow.
MORE than McMaster? Whoa!!!!

I ordered from McMaster at 2:30 p.m. yesterday and the package showed up here at 9am today. Regular shipping........
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 06/10/15 02:51 AM
Big time MORE! Cap at Gast is $37.82, same cap at McMaster is $7.85.

I ordered after shipping hours so they said it ships in the morning.
That's too bad things have gone down hill at Gast. Seems like a lot of people here use their pumps.
Got about 175 9-12" rainbows dropped in the lake today! My buddy said there didn't appear to be any casualties so that's great. They also swear they saw a couple 6-8" fish when they pulled up there before they ever dropped in a fish. He wouldn't bet any money that it wasn't a couple big salamanders (we got huge ones in there) but he said it really really looked like a fish. Pretty interesting but no way to know now I guess. We fished for hours and hours last year and never got a single bite. Never once saw a fish jump. I don't see how it could have been fish.....

Hit the ground there in 18 days!!!
That is exciting!!!! Although, when you get there you will most likely be bored. No projects to work on. The ones that have been on your mind now for months (huge sarcasm meant here!)
hahaha you know it!!
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 06/11/15 05:39 PM
Originally Posted By: esshup
MORE than McMaster? Whoa!!!!

I ordered from McMaster at 2:30 p.m. yesterday and the package showed up here at 9am today. Regular shipping........


Cap came in. Went to the main shop to go over a program with the boss.

He said your stuff from McMaster came in. I went on to tell him about the cap and what Gast wanted for it. He asked what I paid for it? Said $7.82. He looked it up at one of our vendors and said I got screwed! Retail price for this capacitor is $3.87, our price is $2.71. Sheesh!!!
Heading West in the morning fellas! Might be out of touch for a while but hope to soon post some cool pics and some data too.

Thanks for all the help and information, especially MnFish, JKB and Esshup!
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 06/25/15 11:10 PM
Have a safe trip and post back when you can.

One of our vendors brought in the ABB guy's for a dog n pony show this morning. They brought in a bunch of neat stuff for circuitry this time. We talked a bit about solar as well. Some pretty interesting stuff.

I'll start building that control box soon.

Stay safe!!!
Originally Posted By: JKB
Have a safe trip and post back when you can.

One of our vendors brought in the ABB guy's for a dog n pony show this morning. They brought in a bunch of neat stuff for circuitry this time. We talked a bit about solar as well. Some pretty interesting stuff.

I'll start building that control box soon.

Stay safe!!!


Sounds cool JKB! Can't wait to hear what you find once you tear into it.

Will do and thanks again!
MDonalds has free WiFi.

Run to town once in a while!! wink
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 06/26/15 05:55 PM
Originally Posted By: esshup
MDonalds has free WiFi.

Run to town once in a while!! wink


Crooks know that McDonalds has free WiFi wink

Get a secure hotspot router if you're going on open public WiFi.
I've been gone awhile and I'm sure your loving the life at 10,000'. Can't wait to read the report.

The help is most welcome and you better have taken lots of pics.
Just got back home yesterday. Got a lot done. Didn't quite get everything done I wanted to, but did get one monster project done that wasn't on the list.

As far as the lake stuff goes, got the windmill up and running two vertex diffusers, got some brook trout in there and got some temp and DQ data recorded. Here is a pic of what we are looking like now.

Data Collected


Depth(Feet)-- Temp (F) -- DO(%)
1 ------------- 61.6 ------------ 61.5
2 ------------ 61.4 ------------ 60.7
3 ------------ 61.4 ------------ 59.5
4 ------------ 61.4 ------------ 58.3
5 ------------ 60.7 ------------ 59.9
6 ------------ 60.2 ------------ 57.3
7 ------------ 58.4 ------------ 28.3
8 ------------ 56.5 ------------ 3.2
9 ------------ 53.8 ------------- 0
10 ------------ 51.1 ------------ 0
11 ------------ 48.3 ------------ 0

All data was collected at 7am. Readings were taken approxinmately 50-75' away from a diffuser and over the deepest water in the lake. On the opposite end of the lake from where the bulk of the water enters the lake. The diffusers had been in the water for two weeks. I quit taking temp readings because the wind started making it hard to keep the canoe in one spot and wasn't sure if more temp data was relevant since there was zero oxygen at that point anyway.

Edit:Sorry for the table. Didn't turn out like I thought it would
So, Do the experts think my one windmill can make any noticeable improvement in this at all?
I'm no expert but it should help, the differece in the DO readings at 6ft and 8ft look odd.
That is kind of what I thought. The DO just fell off a cliff. I was sitting over aprrox 20' deep water. Don't think I could have screwed it up but who knows.
I think with the deep water and air station your getting another current mixing. A natural current and your air station current.

When it rains lightly you can see where the currents meet and run into each other.

Cheers Don.
Originally Posted By: DonoBBD
I think with the deep water and air station your getting another current mixing. A natural current and your air station current.

When it rains lightly you can see where the currents meet and run into each other.

Cheers Don.


Don,

I definitely saw what you mention in bold. If I am correst, you could see it with some wind on the water too. Two big circles above the diffusers with a different "water pattern" than all the surrounding water.

Sorry, but what does that do or indicate?
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
That is kind of what I thought. The DO just fell off a cliff. I was sitting over aprrox 20' deep water. Don't think I could have screwed it up but who knows.


I'm like the blind leading the blind, but that looks like a thermocline with accompanying drop in DO to me. I'm guessing you're getting incomplete mixing and thus still have stratification. Whether or not that's good or bad I really don't know.
Well, 3 weeks until I head back out to the cabin to elk hunt. While I am there, I will take some more DO readings (this time in PPM). This will be after approx 2 months of the windmill aeration. I hope there is some improvement in the DO levels.

Best case scenario is I get a solar rig up there next summer. Run it all summer and into the winter as long as I can. I know I can get someone up there a couple times a month at least until Decemberish to check on it, knock any snow/ice off, etc. Then go into winter with as high of DO as possible and hope the windmill keeps a hole open.

I sure hope the DO levels look better when I get there next month.
Maybe the last visit in the early winter you tip the solar panel more vertical so it's facing the sun at a better angle for the winter? That would help the snow slide off easier too. In the Spring, flatten it out as the sun rises in the sky.
Without the air running, you might have had the DO levels drop at a more shallow depth. For example at 5' instead of at 7'.

So even though you are not getting good levels all the way to the bottom, you likely are getting many more gallons of water oxygenated for the fish to live in.

The diffusers are moving x gallons of water from the lower regions to the surface to reach oxygen. It might take multiples of x to enrich the water all the way to the bottom.
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Originally Posted By: DonoBBD
I think with the deep water and air station your getting another current mixing. A natural current and your air station current.

When it rains lightly you can see where the currents meet and run into each other.

Cheers Don.


Don,

I definitely saw what you mention in bold. If I am correst, you could see it with some wind on the water too. Two big circles above the diffusers with a different "water pattern" than all the surrounding water.

Sorry, but what does that do or indicate?



Yes it shows where the water currents are meeting or changing directions. I have seen it with a light breezes too. I use these to arrange my diffusers to best suit the bottom of the pond and my pressure to each different diffuser so to maximize my water current action.

Cheers Don.
Originally Posted By: snrub
Without the air running, you might have had the DO levels drop at a more shallow depth. For example at 5' instead of at 7'.

So even though you are not getting good levels all the way to the bottom, you likely are getting many more gallons of water oxygenated for the fish to live in.

The diffusers are moving x gallons of water from the lower regions to the surface to reach oxygen. It might take multiples of x to enrich the water all the way to the bottom.


Thanks for the insight Snrub! As far as multiples of X, that's at the top of the list for next summer. I just hopethe fish survive this winter.

I guess the bad part about a windmill is that without TRUE wind speed data, taken right there at the mill, one will never truly know what kind of oxygen one is producing. Now I have to buy a wind speed meter hahaha
Originally Posted By: DonoBBD

Yes it shows where the water currents are meeting or changing directions. I have seen it with a light breezes too. I use these to arrange my diffusers to best suit the bottom of the pond and my pressure to each different diffuser so to maximize my water current action.

Cheers Don.


Gotcha! Thanks Don!
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Originally Posted By: snrub
Without the air running, you might have had the DO levels drop at a more shallow depth. For example at 5' instead of at 7'.

So even though you are not getting good levels all the way to the bottom, you likely are getting many more gallons of water oxygenated for the fish to live in.

The diffusers are moving x gallons of water from the lower regions to the surface to reach oxygen. It might take multiples of x to enrich the water all the way to the bottom.


Thanks for the insight Snrub! As far as multiples of X, that's at the top of the list for next summer. I just hopethe fish survive this winter.

I guess the bad part about a windmill is that without TRUE wind speed data, taken right there at the mill, one will never truly know what kind of oxygen one is producing. Now I have to buy a wind speed meter hahaha


Just keep in mind the bubbles add only minimal O2 to the water. The bubbles pump lower water to the surface where the air/water interface adds the O2. The bubbles are really just a low energy water pump. It is the movement of lower water to the surface that is the key, not the bubbles themselves.
Originally Posted By: snrub

Just keep in mind the bubbles add only minimal O2 to the water. The bubbles pump lower water to the surface where the air/water interface adds the O2. The bubbles are really just a low energy water pump. It is the movement of lower water to the surface that is the key, not the bubbles themselves.


Yes Sir I understand that. Thanks so much for the input. I am trying to soak up as much knowledge as I can between trips out there! haha

Anyone have any opinion about my water temps? How is 61 degrees for trout? I am not sure what temps are at 12pm, guess I should measure that, but 61 degrees was recorded at the end of July. Should be as hot as it will ever get up there.
Those temps are fine. When you are 70F and above is when you have to start worrying.
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 08/28/15 08:46 PM
Originally Posted By: esshup
Maybe the last visit in the early winter you tip the solar panel more vertical so it's facing the sun at a better angle for the winter? That would help the snow slide off easier too. In the Spring, flatten it out as the sun rises in the sky.


That's about the nail right there.
ok, back from the hunt and trying to catch up. Here are the new DO reading in PPM. I took the readings at the same time as before, about 30 minutes after sun up.

Depth(ft)_______DO(PPM)_____Temp(F)
1________________6.28_______55.6
2________________6.19_______55.5
3________________6.13_______55.5
4________________6.07_______55.5
5________________5.57_______55.4
6________________4.68_______55.3
7________________3.52_______55.0
8________________2.71_______54.9
9________________2.21_______54.8
10_______________1.33_______54.6
11_______________.55________54.4
12________________0_________54.0


I have water samples in to a lab and should have results in about two weeks. Sure hope these damn fish make it thru the winter. I caught a HUGE 19" rainbow while I was there! Had to be pushing 2lbs. Huge swimming football! No telling how big they could be next year!
For a non-aerated pond in your location the DO and temps appear fairly normal for late summer. When the fall turnover occurs the pond should be reoxygenated top to bottom and DO should be 9-10ppm around time ice formation. From your DO profile can I assume that your water clarity was around 3ft?
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 09/29/15 12:32 AM
Bill, do you have data on ponds around a 10,000 ft elevation? I have been trying to find something, but no luck.
Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
For a non-aerated pond in your location the DO and temps appear fairly normal for late summer. When the fall turnover occurs the pond should be reoxygenated top to bottom and DO should be 9-10ppm around time ice formation. From your DO profile can I assume that your water clarity was around 3ft?


That sounds like a very good thing for me? I would say 3' at the most. Maybe 2-3'. The water is a "tea" color. Thanks Bill!
Originally Posted By: JKB
Bill, do you have data on ponds around a 10,000 ft elevation? I have been trying to find something, but no luck.


I have searched and searched for that as well but haven't had any luck.
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 09/30/15 12:38 AM
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Originally Posted By: JKB
Bill, do you have data on ponds around a 10,000 ft elevation? I have been trying to find something, but no luck.


I have searched and searched for that as well but haven't had any luck.


I know we have to derate the electrical for cooling and compressor output due to thin air, but was curious to see if there were any recommendations on diffuser placement in that specific atmosphere? That's why I asked the question to Bill, just wondering if there was some good info.
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Here are the new DO reading in PPM. I took the readings at the same time as before, about 30 minutes after sun up.

Depth(ft)_______DO(PPM)_____Temp(F)
1________________6.28_______55.6
2________________6.19_______55.5
3________________6.13_______55.5
4________________6.07_______55.5
5________________5.57_______55.4
6________________4.68_______55.3
7________________3.52_______55.0
8________________2.71_______54.9
9________________2.21_______54.8
10_______________1.33_______54.6
11_______________.55________54.4
12________________0_________54.0


Anyone else have any input on these DO levels? To me, it is kind of depressing to have a 20+' deep lake with what appears to be zero O2 after 11'. For a lake with such low O2, it sure seems to be super healthy and grows hogs, what kind of a change would I see with adequate aeration?
With those readings, I doubt you will find any trout deeper than 5'. With proper aeration you will see O2 levels close to the same from top to bottom. BUT, if the water temp exceeds 70F, then the trout will have a hard time surviving.
Originally Posted By: esshup
With those readings, I doubt you will find any trout deeper than 5'. With proper aeration you will see O2 levels close to the same from top to bottom. BUT, if the water temp exceeds 70F, then the trout will have a hard time surviving.


Gotcha, thanks Esshup. I looked back at the readings I took this summer and my surface temp was 61 degrees. I would assume and hope that with proper aeration it wouldn't go over 61 degrees. I guess I should have asked what kind of improvemets in the lake would I see once it was fully aerated? Would that eliminate any chance of a winterkill? Would it improve fish growth? Any ideas on other things it would improve?

Thanks!
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 10/05/15 11:04 PM
Any of this DO measured near your windmill aerator?
No. Probably 100 yards away. Only got two diffusers so I didn't want to measure water around them.
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 10/06/15 12:09 AM
I would have done that just to get some data. It would be one more thing to work with.
Yeah I didn't think of it. Will get it for sure next time. Should be getting water sample data back this week I think.
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 10/06/15 12:30 AM
When are you going up next?
That's the awful part...... next July


By then hopefully we can have a solar rig figured out I can take up there. If not, I am probably gonna put up a 2nd windmill.
Well got the Koenders back up and running again. Apparently that had a bad batch of them and have had several with the exact same problem. My buddy said the wind was cranking while he was up there and it was making a ton of air so all is good. Got it done just in time as a big storm came in and dumped 10" of snow down lower on the mountain. If there is 10" down there then there is probably 20" at our place.
Here is a pic taken yesterday of my buddy's pond down the mountain from me. He had to chain up to get to this point. Looks like his windmill is working so far. Said he was gonna try to get his snow machine up to our place next week and get me some pics!

Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 12/09/15 10:30 PM
Hopefully all is going well at your place.

How big is your buddies pond?
it is about 3 acres
And we're supposed to be in the low 60's this weekend......

I see that Koenders now has windmill compressors that furnish 4.5 cfm. Do you know if you have the old or new ones? Old ones are 1.5 cfm. I don't know when the new ones came out. Just saw them the other day while looking for repair parts.
Seeing as a month ago they just shipped me a new one to replace the defective one and it was a double diaphragm, it better be the 4.5'er!! I will email my contact there and see.


EDIT: Where did you see 4.5 CFM? I'm not seeing it?

EDIT EDIT: Just got word back from Koenders and they said only their electric units will produce that much CFM.
Picture was taken yesterday. They made it up on snow machines. Big storm in there all week. Dropped 8" of snow at 6,500' so no telling how much at 10k'. Honestly, I am a little discouraged that there isn't a hole open in the ice. Pretty sure I can see a thin spot, but I sure would like to see 2 holes open! For perspective, the floor of the deck in the far left of the pic is about 4'.




Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Seeing as a month ago they just shipped me a new one to replace the defective one and it was a double diaphragm, it better be the 4.5'er!! I will email my contact there and see.


EDIT: Where did you see 4.5 CFM? I'm not seeing it?

EDIT EDIT: Just got word back from Koenders and they said only their electric units will produce that much CFM.


I thought I saw it on their parts website, and I thought it applied to the windmill aerators. Oops....................
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Picture was taken yesterday. They made it up on snow machines. Big storm in there all week. Dropped 8" of snow at 6,500' so no telling how much at 10k'. Honestly, I am a little discouraged that there isn't a hole open in the ice. Pretty sure I can see a thin spot, but I sure would like to see 2 holes open! For perspective, the floor of the deck in the far left of the pic is about 4'.



How deep does the snow accumulate up there? If yer talking several feet, does the windmill get less effective as the snow buildup brings the vanes closer to the "ground?"
Originally Posted By: Bill D.

How deep does the snow accumulate up there? If yer talking several feet, does the windmill get less effective as the snow buildup brings the vanes closer to the "ground?"


I really don't know at this point. Up by the cabin in the pic the snow looks to be 4'+, but down by the windmill it only looks about 18" or so. I am assuming that is because of how the wind rips across that lake. Sooo, I hope it doesn't get to the point of the blades only being a few feet from the ground.
If it was calm during the snow, there could have been enough ice form over the diffuser area to allow the snow to accumulate.

Once the wind starts blowing the diffuser should poke a hole through everything. (I would think)
We will see. My remote camera, that is aimed at the lake, has quit working until it gets a firmware update. Got everything out there to get it updated once they take the sleds back up to the cabin. Once that is done, I will get daily pics of the lake and we will see what's up.
THAT will be nice!!

Now I can see the lens getting packed with snow and you will have to install a remote robot to clean the lens when required. laugh
I suspect JKB can come up with a solar powered lens defroster if you just ask. He loves those kind of challenges! smile
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
I suspect JKB can come up with a solar powered lens defroster if you just ask. He loves those kind of challenges! smile


Haha! I have no doubt he could figure it out and get it done!
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 01/08/16 01:05 AM
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
I suspect JKB can come up with a solar powered lens defroster if you just ask. He loves those kind of challenges! smile


Haha! I have no doubt he could figure it out and get it done!


Oh, NO!, you mount the camera in a box someplace with adequate protection from the elements.

I've read the ABB Solar Drive manual quite carefully today, and basically, it's configuration (set parameters) and forget. It can manage a remote solar rig by itself. All needed are solar panels, wire and hardware to hook things up and good to go.

However, a determination needs to be made if running with the sun will be good enough. Meaning, sun influence runs compressor, no sun, compressor is taking a break.

I sent an email to this company for more info on their rigs. http://www.solarmotorsystems.com/
Originally Posted By: JKB
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
I suspect JKB can come up with a solar powered lens defroster if you just ask. He loves those kind of challenges! smile


Haha! I have no doubt he could figure it out and get it done!


Oh, NO!, you mount the camera in a box someplace with adequate protection from the elements.

I've read the ABB Solar Drive manual quite carefully today, and basically, it's configuration (set parameters) and forget. It can manage a remote solar rig by itself. All needed are solar panels, wire and hardware to hook things up and good to go.

However, a determination needs to be made if running with the sun will be good enough. Meaning, sun influence runs compressor, no sun, compressor is taking a break.

I sent an email to this company for more info on their rigs. http://www.solarmotorsystems.com/


Haha the camera is in a bear box 8' up in a tree. If the snow covers it then...... damnnnn!

That is all great news JKB!

Surely for what I am trying to do up there running only with the sun would be enough. Maybe Esshup came chime in on this one?
I don't know if only the sun would be enough. i.e. enough run time to keep it open enough. I guess that would all depend on the CFM at the diffuser and how many diffusers there were.
Well I am thinking at that point I would have the solar rig AND the windmill. On cloudy days when the solar production is poor the wind should be better and surely there would be some windy nights as well.

Let's just assume we are talking about solar tho? How hard would it be to add batteries to this system JKB? Is that just a cost factor? Could I just start with a couple batteries and then add more battery capacity as funds allowed?
jr- I think we should talk. I will be switching over to a 220V system this year. I might know where you can get a solar system for cheap! wink. Also selling two windmills at discounted prices. I will be posting the entire BOM this winter for the solar design I have been running.

Windmill with this setup would almost certainly keep water open all winter long at my place here in central MN. We don't have the snow you do but we probably have comparable cold temps.
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 01/09/16 01:24 AM
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Well I am thinking at that point I would have the solar rig AND the windmill. On cloudy days when the solar production is poor the wind should be better and surely there would be some windy nights as well.

Let's just assume we are talking about solar tho? How hard would it be to add batteries to this system JKB? Is that just a cost factor? Could I just start with a couple batteries and then add more battery capacity as funds allowed?


DC voltage will be rather high, which would require a lot of batteries to spin the motor.

In this scenario you are taking a VFD that typically runs from AC power, which internally converts it to DC to kinda chop it up and reorganize it to spit it back out as AC to the motor.

Like on the ABB Solar Drive, and many other VFD's like my Allen Bradley PowerFlex drives, you can directly apply DC Voltage to the DC Bus to run the motor and skip the AC altogether. ABB Solar Drive has all solar stuff in the run Macro like MPPT and a bunch of other stuff, so it would be an easier choice.

However, DC voltages required are about 35%-40% higher than the name plate rating of the AC motor. An ABB engineer told me that with a 230VAC 3 phase motor, optimum solar design voltage should be no less than 312VDC, but not more than 400VDC. Somewhere in between that would be good. With (4) 96VDC, 300 watt panels, you should be easily able to run a 1hp 3 phase motor, which could get you into a decent rotary vane compressor.

I know this has to be quite confusing, and it is. Definitely not plug and play.

I'll probably get one to mess with tho. Little solar rig I want to put out back would just be to run a small irrigation pump for the garden and such.
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 01/09/16 01:45 AM
Originally Posted By: mnfish
jr- I think we should talk. I will be switching over to a 220V system this year. I might know where you can get a solar system for cheap! wink. Also selling two windmills at discounted prices. I will be posting the entire BOM this winter for the solar design I have been running.

Windmill with this setup would almost certainly keep water open all winter long at my place here in central MN. We don't have the snow you do but we probably have comparable cold temps.


Problem is, your DC rig will smoke in short order at these elevations.
Originally Posted By: mnfish
jr- I think we should talk. I will be switching over to a 220V system this year. I might know where you can get a solar system for cheap! wink. Also selling two windmills at discounted prices. I will be posting the entire BOM this winter for the solar design I have been running.

Windmill with this setup would almost certainly keep water open all winter long at my place here in central MN. We don't have the snow you do but we probably have comparable cold temps.


MnFish! Man it's good to hear from you again!

I am all ears on those windmills man! I was already thinking about maybe a second one for backup (my brand new one already had a failure and had to be repaired) AND I have been working on nailing down the 40 acres that joins ours. Has another 3 acre pond on it that will need a windmill! smile
Originally Posted By: JKB
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Well I am thinking at that point I would have the solar rig AND the windmill. On cloudy days when the solar production is poor the wind should be better and surely there would be some windy nights as well.

Let's just assume we are talking about solar tho? How hard would it be to add batteries to this system JKB? Is that just a cost factor? Could I just start with a couple batteries and then add more battery capacity as funds allowed?


DC voltage will be rather high, which would require a lot of batteries to spin the motor.

In this scenario you are taking a VFD that typically runs from AC power, which internally converts it to DC to kinda chop it up and reorganize it to spit it back out as AC to the motor.

Like on the ABB Solar Drive, and many other VFD's like my Allen Bradley PowerFlex drives, you can directly apply DC Voltage to the DC Bus to run the motor and skip the AC altogether. ABB Solar Drive has all solar stuff in the run Macro like MPPT and a bunch of other stuff, so it would be an easier choice.

However, DC voltages required are about 35%-40% higher than the name plate rating of the AC motor. An ABB engineer told me that with a 230VAC 3 phase motor, optimum solar design voltage should be no less than 312VDC, but not more than 400VDC. Somewhere in between that would be good. With (4) 96VDC, 300 watt panels, you should be easily able to run a 1hp 3 phase motor, which could get you into a decent rotary vane compressor.

I know this has to be quite confusing, and it is. Definitely not plug and play.

I'll probably get one to mess with tho. Little solar rig I want to put out back would just be to run a small irrigation pump for the garden and such.


Well, assuming I am reading this right, then that is our answer right there. We go with the "run when there's sun" version and that's it. If running half the day all summer and as much of the winter as we can can't keep fish alive up there then I'll just grow the biggest crayfish anyone has ever seen lol.
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 01/09/16 02:38 AM
The answer is what would be required, which needs some work.

Just an AC option that we could probably put the screws to with decent bubbles to open an area during activation when solar is available.

You have to remember that this all has to operate and survive at your elevation. Not an easy task!!!
Originally Posted By: JKB
The answer is what would be required, which needs some work.

Just an AC option that we could probably put the screws to with decent bubbles to open an area during activation when solar is available.

You have to remember that this all has to operate and survive at your elevation. Not an easy task!!!


10-4

Being at that altitude is great 95% of the time, but it definitely has it's draw backs.
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 01/09/16 07:50 PM
I don't think altitude will kill us that bad. Derating isn't that much for cooling and the electronics (insulation) are good to 3000 meters without issue.

Like I mentioned before, you may need to pressurize some of this stuff.
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 01/14/16 10:58 PM
ABB Solar Drive (ACS355 Machinery Drive with the MPPT Solar Algorithm), for a 1HP drive is $342.30. It will work at 10,000 ft without a huge derate. When you get that high, the limitation is the dielectric insulation properties of the thin air on the I/O board, but I rarely use them, and would not in this app.

The PF525 drives I have will go to 20,000 ft.

I'm going to order the 1HP ABB drive because I need another one, and this will also run from 240VAC single phase.

Still searching for decent panels.
Will the PF525 do everything the other one does? Is that what we will be using?
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 01/15/16 06:38 PM
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Will the PF525 do everything the other one does? Is that what we will be using?


The PF525 does not have the solar macro like the ABB, but will run from a DC solar source, and you can tweak it to almost everything except for the MPPT. But, MPPT panels on the cell level would eliminate that requirement.

I was reading on a solar install for a gub agency in NY where the guy set it up strictly DC and they used the PF753's on that.

You do know, that if this ever happens, I'm gonna have to go to Colorado.
Originally Posted By: JKB
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Will the PF525 do everything the other one does? Is that what we will be using?


The PF525 does not have the solar macro like the ABB, but will run from a DC solar source, and you can tweak it to almost everything except for the MPPT. But, MPPT panels on the cell level would eliminate that requirement.

I was reading on a solar install for a gub agency in NY where the guy set it up strictly DC and they used the PF753's on that.

You do know, that if this ever happens, I'm gonna have to go to Colorado.


Gotcha

Well, hell yeah man I would hope you would come out!! Maybe Esshup would come too! Let's do it next September!
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 01/15/16 08:03 PM
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Originally Posted By: JKB
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Will the PF525 do everything the other one does? Is that what we will be using?


The PF525 does not have the solar macro like the ABB, but will run from a DC solar source, and you can tweak it to almost everything except for the MPPT. But, MPPT panels on the cell level would eliminate that requirement.

I was reading on a solar install for a gub agency in NY where the guy set it up strictly DC and they used the PF753's on that.

You do know, that if this ever happens, I'm gonna have to go to Colorado.


Gotcha

Well, hell yeah man I would hope you would come out!! Maybe Esshup would come too! Let's do it next September!


Yeah, you guy's go hunting/fishing/exploring, having fun, while I sit at my little plastic table with a dozen or so manuals open on my laptop to tweak parameters in.
Originally Posted By: JKB
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Originally Posted By: JKB
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Will the PF525 do everything the other one does? Is that what we will be using?


The PF525 does not have the solar macro like the ABB, but will run from a DC solar source, and you can tweak it to almost everything except for the MPPT. But, MPPT panels on the cell level would eliminate that requirement.

I was reading on a solar install for a gub agency in NY where the guy set it up strictly DC and they used the PF753's on that.

You do know, that if this ever happens, I'm gonna have to go.


Gotcha

Well, hell yeah man I would hope you would come out!! Maybe Esshup would come too! Let's do it next September!


Yeah, you guy's go hunting/fishing/exploring, having fun, while I sit at my little plastic table with a dozen or so manuals open on my laptop to tweak parameters in.


Screw that! I'll be right there with you trying to learn as much as I can! We will have an added bonus out there now..... My life long friend and hunting partner is moving there. He has lived in SE Iowa for the last 10 years. He is selling 800 acres in Iowa and rolling it into a big place in Town. He just landed at the airport today so he could walk a few ranches he has been looking at. One is 1,000 acres with world class mule deer hunting on it!! Gonna be crazy!

You help me get this solar rig up and running out there and I promise you some fun!! That is if you will finally take a vacation! haha
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 01/16/16 11:01 AM
Sounds like fun!

I'll chat with the local Allen Bradley drive guy next week and get his take on running a PF525 on solar.

I saw a video where a guy setup a low cost AC Tech drive on solar. No MPPT on that drive and was running a 2HP motor from 10 panels which he said were just cheap Chinese panels.
Well..... Got some pics from yesterday. Not very encouraging. I am starting to think I won't have any trout left this spring. Judging by the snow at the base of the windmill, it looks like approx 20" of snow down there which is kind of confusing. There must be a good bit of wind blowing that snow off because there is clearly over 4' of snow right up the hill all around the cabin, but I guess it is not enough wind to keep holes open in the ice.




This pic gives some perspective of snow depth in a traditionally less windy area 200 yards from the pond.
Just a thought....What pressure can your compressor generate? Is it possible you have built up a "high" pressure bubble under the thick ice and snow blanket? Maybe now the compressor is just blowing off thru the relief valve?
It will pump 28 psi
I guess there is also the scenario that there are just not long enough periods of sustained wind to keep up with rate of ice formation?
Is it possible pond water has backed up the airline when your compressor was not running, and frozen into an ice plug, preventing the passage of air when the wind returns to spin the mill?
I've experienced a similar block when power went off to my pump at near zero temps. I can shovel snow from around the airhose to let the sun warm the line, returning the aerator to operation. Not so easy for you!
Roger
All I can say is I don't know. I suspect that it is like Bill D said, not enough sustained winds to keep it open. It is hard to quantify tho. When we are there in the summer, the windmill would spin everyday. How long does it need to spin to open a hole right now, I have no idea. The last time they went up was Christmas eve. There were thin spots in the ice but no holes.

I thought the pressure in the airline would keep water from backing up the line?

Thay are going up again next weekend. We will see if anything changes.
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
.....I thought the pressure in the airline would keep water from backing up the line?

Thay are going up again next weekend. We will see if anything changes.


FWIW My diffuser stations have check valves. Unless the valves fail, it's not possible for water to go back up the line. If you remember what diffuser brand you have, should be easy to verify if they have a check valve.
They are vertex. I was pretty sure they had check valves.
Well my buddy is in the process of trying to make it up to my cabin to check on the place, snap some pics and do a firmware update on my remote camera. They have been getting pounded with snow. This pic is at the main gate (that thing sticking up in the snow) at approx 8,000' elevation. That gate is about 5' or 5.5' tall. Still got to go up another 2,000' in elevation to get to our place. Not sure if they are going to make it or not.



Wow that is insane! Just don't know how you deal with that on a pond with air without being there to keep up with it... That's some snow dude!!

RC
Just curious....How the heck do you open the gate??! grin
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 02/03/16 11:16 PM
What you need is a monster snow blower on that snow cat when you get it!

Nice clear skies tho. Should make some power.
I gotta ask. How long is the track and how big are the paddles? Are the skis wider too? I see they are making 174" long tracks now.....
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 02/03/16 11:37 PM
Me thinks my old Yamaha GP433 snowmobile would be stuck there till spring! eek
Well he made it up to his cabin and could go no further! Said 60" of fresh snow at his place! He guessed even more at ours. He said in his younger days he would have tried to push it, but not anymore. Gonna try again next weekend after it has hopefully settled some.

Interestingly, he said his wind meter registered up to 40 mph winds since he had been there two weeks ago! I KNOW we are getting some of that! Bet it still doesn't have a hole open tho. We will see....
Originally Posted By: RC51
Wow that is insane! Just don't know how you deal with that on a pond with air without being there to keep up with it... That's some snow dude!!

RC

RC - It is definitely proving to be a challenging environment to say the least.

Originally Posted By: Bill D.
Just curious....How the heck do you open the gate??! grin

Bill D - get on the backside of the gate and shovel away enough snow to open it!

Originally Posted By: JKB
What you need is a monster snow blower on that snow cat when you get it!

Nice clear skies tho. Should make some power.

JKB - The Cat will have a blade on it. Maybe someone will be brave enough to drive it around on the lake and blade off strips of snow! smile
Tons of sun that's for sure! All these pics are definitely educational. Down by the lake must be getting a ton of wind. In the last pics there wasn't near the snow down by the windmill that there was up by the cabin. I am very interested to see if that is still true after all the new snow. If so, I wouldn't be near as worried about snow staying on the panels. Last pics showed south faces of stuff snow free!
Originally Posted By: esshup
I gotta ask. How long is the track and how big are the paddles? Are the skis wider too? I see they are making 174" long tracks now.....


I know his machine is fairly new and has 160 horse power. Not sure about the track length and all that, but I will ask him.
Well, my buddy was able to make it up today.

Good news..... carport hasn't collapsed yet.

Bad news..... still no holes in the ice.




Great pictures
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 02/14/16 12:20 PM
That is a lot of snow!!!

Solar panels will have to go up in the air quite a bit.
Originally Posted By: JKB
That is a lot of snow!!!

Solar panels will have to go up in the air quite a bit.


It still isn't as deep down by the lake thanks to all the wind. Also, definitely noticing everything with a South facing slope is shedding/melting all snow. I think we will be home free as far as keeping the panels open.
Just got back from a trip to the cabin. Flew out and rode up on snow machines. It has been extremely warm up there and a good bit of snow is gone/settled. Still no dang hole open in the ice. Had enough wind up there to blow over some trees roots and all. I know those could be one time big gusts, but overall we have a lot of wind up there. I am pretty disappointed the windmill hasn't been able to keep a hole open. At this point, I have no way to know or test if this unit has failed again or not. I will be installing an American Eagle this summer for some redundancy. Will also be a nice test to see how the American Eagle unit performs since it doesn't seem like you can find anyone that runs one.
If you have a pressure gauge on the windmill, that will tell you whether it is operating when the blades are spinning or not.
A pressure gauge should be installed on every windmill aerator to determine how well it is producing air and if the air is reaching the diffuser under the ice. Higher pressure than 1/2 the depth indicates the airline is likely plugged which can commonly occur during ice conditions. There should be a freeze control or air pressure tank between the windmill and the water. This tank collects water condensate and provides a place to put the air gauge and an adjustable pressure relief valve to protect the air production mechanics during airline blockages.
Well unfortunately I do not have a pressure gauge or air pressure tank on it, but it does have a pressure relief vavle. Would condensation would be as much of a concern out there with the humidity being basically zero? The windmill lower down the mountain has no air tank or freeze control and has never frozen a line up. It had a hole open on this trip! It is 15 years old, doesn't get near the wind mine gets and isn't supposed to be anywhere near as good as my new Koenders double diaphragm! Go figure.

I will install an air pressure gauge on both units this summer when I am out there.
There must be a reason why I live in Florida. When it dips down to the 30's at night I think I'm freezing. But I'm happy to watch you work azz off to save your fish!! Dan
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 04/10/16 08:44 PM
I've been to Florida... No thanks!!!
Haha Thanks Dan
Posted By: JKB Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 04/24/16 08:39 PM
WBJ - Let's look into the hydroelectric potential you have.

If you have flowing water year round, that could be much more reliable than solar, and water can still flow under ice and snow.
Just saw your last post JKB, sorry about that.

I will try to figure out this year exactly what we have there for water.

In the meantime, looking at this tank for an air pressure tank on the windmill. I think it is a little big, but I couldn't find anything that was a better design. Thoughts?

http://freedomdieselperformance.com/train-horns/5-gallon-black-8-port-air-tank.html
It is official! 33' double bellow American Eagle wind mill en route to Colorado right today! Gonna get some air in that lake one way or another! It may end up looking like a California wind farm before I am done!
I don't know if an air tank is required, nor if it will do any good. Since you are working with an open system, I just don't know. The "compressor" would have to be pumping more air than the diffuser needed.
I was thinking of the air tank as a better way to deal with condensation??? I don't think it's going to be possible to keep one of those alcohol rigs going all winter up there.

I actually don't even know how much condensation will form up there with such low humidity?

I am just trying to full proof the system this summer. No holes open this winter so trying to improve.
Did you have the alcohol rig going this winter? Do you think a line froze, causing the no open ice this past winter?
Turning the tank on its side and having the inlet and outlet come out the top would be one way to help goof proof the system, but I'm not 100% sure it's needed. But, all I can say is try it, it sure can't hurt anything!!
I did not have the alcohol thing going this winter. Didn't have a guaranteed way to keep it full.

I also did not realize that on a windless day, without an inline pressure gauge, I would have zero information to determine if the system was even working or not. So, when I went to look at it this winter all I know is there was no hole open and no indication there had been a hole open.

Long story short, I don't know if there was a plugged line, some other malfunction or just too much snow/ice. I won't even know if the thing is working properly now or not until hopefully this Friday if my buddy can get in.

I am quickly learning that up there I need to eliminate every possible variable I can.

Sooo, I ordered a 5 gallon air tank made for train horns. It has 7 threaded fittings on it. Will work perfectly for an inline "condensation" tank. I can put an air in, pressure gauge, condensation drain on bottom, two lines out for summer diffusers and two lines for winter diffusers. No pvc manifold required!
Perfect!

FYI, a client has had a problem with his 3/8" ID airline freezing up. Using one of those tanks, it used less than a quart of alcohol to keep the line thawed. One fill-up was good for 3 years and it probably could have gone through a 4th. I don't know how much was lost each summer.
The tank is definitely overkill since you are only going to be dealing with less than 10 psi. The good thing is about it though is it already has multiple ports. From that aspect you could put one outlet with a shutoff valve to a deep diffuser for summer and another outlet for a shallow winter diffuser (doing away with the need to build a manifold).

The whole idea would be to keep the air in the tank as long as possible so the condensation ends up in the tank rather than in the outgoing line. So the bigger the tank is the better. Enter the air from the top and make sure there is a bottom drain (for water removal after the season).

You could use a traditional air water separator like used in shop air lines that would work much better but of course you A. are not there to dump it when it gets full and B. most are glass and would freeze up and bust. I don't know if what you need is made commercially.

If a person understood how commercial air moisture separators are made, a person might be able to have one welded up by a welder or modify a tank like shown to make it more effective. Most welders will not touch welding on an air tank, but where it is only exposed to less than 10 psi there would never be a problem with an explosion for even the worst of welders. Somehow the air needs to meander inside the tank via baffles so the air had time to drop the condensation.

We use drop tubes in our shop at the bottom of each air outlet. We have 1" steel pipe plumbed around the shop with drops for each air outlet. Then there is about 18" of additional pipe that drops down below each outlet that can fill up to 18" deep of water before any condensate would go out the air line as water. A shutoff valve on the bottom of each drop then lets us about once a month blow the water out the bottom. Not very much water comes out, but a little.

A person could make a radiator affair out of black pipe with appropriate drains. When you compress air it heats. It is the cooling of the air where the moisture precipitates out. That is the purpose of your air tank. Give the air time in the tank to cool down to ambient temperature to precipitate the water. The longer you can keep the air in the tank (by causing to flow around baffles or tubes), the better the water will come out of the air. My water trap drops closest to the compressor always collect the most water. That is where the air cools the most.

Those are just some rambling thoughts. Nothing very specific to help you, but maybe some ideas.
Snrub I definitely appreciate the input and ideas!
Did you get the stainless steel air tank? I use a 3 gallon version for my auto leveling system I installed on my truck. Stand the tank on it's end, and use the 3 outlets on one end, plus the drain fitting for four outlets. The center threaded fitting on the opposite end can be your drain port. On it's end, it could let nearly 5 gallons of water freeze before it fills and fails.
This is the one I got. It does have one more port on the very end so it should work perfectly. I am going to check into having some sort of baffles put in if possible. I also wanted to add a high quality bypass valve. The bypass valve that came with the windmill seems like a piece of junk. Any ideas on what bypass valve would work?

My buddy had to walk about a mile to get in to the cabin yesterday. Snow is still up to his waist in places on the road that get little sun. So far, it looks like a huge success! Only saw one dead trout! He was not able to put eyes on any living trout. Not sure how many more died, but in years past with big fish kills it was like a slaughter house up there when the ice came off. There are no animals tracks around the lake or any other evidence that a bunch of dead fish have been eaten.

The windmill is definitely still working. Towards the far side of the lake in one of the pics you can see a hole in the ice with a duck decoy in the middle. I am just going to try something different with the diffusers this year plus try the pipe trick to see if I can't keep a hole open in the ice. Combined with clearing more trees (to add even more wind) and the addition of a second windmill I think things can only improve from here.

Last year on June 10th we stocked 175 12" rainbows. I will probably only stock 100 this year. (I don't even really want the rainbows, but I do need to be SURE I have survival). To me, this seems like a very small number of fish. I am just concerned about the carrying capacity of the lake thru the winter and I am trying not to push it. Does that seem like pushing it to anyone? While it is a positive to have soooo much forage in the lake, I think all that forage also brings a lot of BOD to the table in the winter.

Thoughts?

P.S. This is the best I have ever seen or heard of this lake doing coming off a winter and I owe a TON of that to PB! This forum and the members of it (and one former member) have been a tremendous asset in working thru all of this!

Here is some of the walk up!










If you zoom in close you can see a bunch of white foamy looking bubbles in this pic. What is that from?

Well I am back from the wilderness. Ended up having a complete winter kill on the trout and I could not even find any crayfish left. Got the second windmill put up. What an adventure. Got a long reach coming up for three days next week to do some digging and increase our average depth! Going into this winter determined not to have another winter kill.

Here is a pic of what happens when you forget to take the bungie cord off of the blades before you stand it up (you send your brother in law up)! That is a 30' ladder extended all the way out.

Sorry to read of your winterkill. Down here at 6500 elevation, we lost all of our trout, too, last winter. That's with the aerator running and a good hole open in the ice. It seems the rest of the fish survived-LMB, YP, BG, GSF, GC. Although, come to think of it, I haven't caught a single SMB this summer. We had few smallies however.
I guess you are coming back to Colorado for elk?
Roger
Originally Posted By: 4CornersPuddle
Sorry to read of your winterkill. Down here at 6500 elevation, we lost all of our trout, too, last winter. That's with the aerator running and a good hole open in the ice. It seems the rest of the fish survived-LMB, YP, BG, GSF, GC. Although, come to think of it, I haven't caught a single SMB this summer. We had few smallies however.
I guess you are coming back to Colorado for elk?
Roger


Why do you think the Trout died? If that is happening to you at 6,500', it makes me question my chances of success at 10,000.

Yes sir, I will be back for Archery season! Haven't missed an archery season in 12 years now! I don't think I could make it through the rest of the year if I did!
Just a thought...39 degree water sinks to the bottom of the pond. I'm wondering if the aeration is bringing that warm water up and super chilling the pond at those altitudes. Is temperature stratification your friend, not foe, and aeration is doing more harm than good? How cold can trout take? Just how cold does it get up there?

Ok so now I will go crazy and ask, ever thought about using your windmills to power surface melt type devices instead of aerators to just melt the snow and get sunlight to the pond without disturbing the "warm" water?
Bill I am pretty sure my problem is DO. The lake winter killed almost every single year before I put up the first windmill. Also, DO measurements from last September came in really low. Pretty sure that is what I am battling. I still have a huge fathead population, but like I said even the crayfish seem to have winter killed. Not sure how bad things have to get for that to happen.I would also think that one windmill with two diffusers would have a hard time super chilling a lake the size of mine.

I am not sure how cold it gets up there, but I am going to find out for sure. I put up a Davis weather station this summer to get some wind and temp data. It will record all winter and I will retrieve the data next year.
Deeper water here we come! The area covered in grass used to be 2" - 6" deep. Now it is 14' deep. Once we raise the water level it'll be 16' deep. Doing this for ~30%+ of the shoreline. Bring it on winter!

Getting all that vegetation out of there will help with your oxygen issues.
I hope so! This is the most expensive weed eater I have ever used! smile
Well back from hunting and collected some data while I was there. I would like to hear what the experts have to say about this. It seems like a huge improvement to me. I don't like to see lower DO numbers in the first few feet but seems much more important to have "livable" DO over twice as deep this year. A few changes that could have led to the "improved" numbers.

First, summer 2015 I did not have the diffusers running in the deepest water all summer. The deepest diffuser was in ~12' and this year I put all the air to one diffuser at 19' all summer. There was a terrible smell coming from it. Just moved it to 7' on 9/26.

Second, summer 2015 was our first year with the repaired water level 4.5' deeper. There was still quite a bit of vegetation growing in areas that I thought would be too deep for it to live with the new, deeper water. Still had a good bit of water crest. Not nearly as much vegetation as summer 2014 though. Summer 2016 there was considerably less vegetation than 2015.

Third, not sure why but this summer I am assuming we had a heck of a plankton bloom. The water was greener than I have EVER seen it. It is usually Tea colored, but this summer it was very very green. This September every morning shortly after sun up there would be bubbles and a "film" on top of the water. Plankton die off? Whatever it is I am assuming it is oxygen related and not good.

Fourth, we did another round of tree clearing this summer.There were several days the windmills seemed to spin all day. Of course here and there they seemed to sit still for a day. I think they will spin even more in the winter than in the summer. I installed a Davis weather station with wind meter and a data logger so that I can see for sure when I get back there summer 2017.

Anyway, the fish seem as healthy as ever. They chase the fat heads all the way into the very shallow water and thrash around like sharks. Every morning drinking coffee you can watch fish jumping here and there. Still a billion scuds in there and the fish are plump. Caught the first Brookie ever from the lake and he looked like he was doing very very well! I have a remote camera pointed at the lake to see if we can keep a hole open through the winter.

Now hopefully they make it through the winter. Time will tell.....



It matters when you took the O2 readings (time of day). First light will be lower than late afternoon. Bloom probably is from nutrients brought up from the lowest anoxic water getting to sunlight and O2. More plankton/plants means more of an O2 swing night to day.

Vegetation will grow a few feet past where you can see a secchi disk. If the tops of the vegetation can get sunlight, it will grow even if the bottom of the plants don't see sunlight. They might not grow there next year, depending on the water clarity.

Every little bit that you are doing will help long term. I'd like to see the O2 levels in the 9-10 range, but you will get there.
Originally Posted By: esshup
It matters when you took the O2 readings (time of day). First light will be lower than late afternoon. Bloom probably is from nutrients brought up from the lowest anoxic water getting to sunlight and O2. More plankton/plants means more of an O2 swing night to day.

Vegetation will grow a few feet past where you can see a secchi disk. If the tops of the vegetation can get sunlight, it will grow even if the bottom of the plants don't see sunlight. They might not grow there next year, depending on the water clarity.

Every little bit that you are doing will help long term. I'd like to see the O2 levels in the 9-10 range, but you will get there.


Thanks Esshup. I always take the DO readings first thing in the morning so that I will be looking at worst case.

I am putting in a solar rig next year come hell or high water.
Next year, take the reading at the usual time, then take another reading in the same place an hour or two before sunset to see what the difference is. You might be surprised!
Bill Cody what do you think of those DO levels?
The pond was not thermally stratified in 2015 nor 2016 when the measurements were collected. The planktonic algae bloom in 2016 is consuming lots of DO during the night(algae respiration) so when the DO was measured early morning it is quite low which no doubt stresses the trout. They are barely surviving at 4ppm. Trout are stressed at DO below 5. The cooler temps in the 40's help reduce the DO stress to the trout. Several cloudy no wind days will result in low daylight DO production. If you have a trout kill this fall-winter it will be due to the 2016 plankton bloom if it persists.
Thanks Bill!
Another note: natural trout waters (lakes/ponds) stay clear and rarely have algae blooms that reduce the transparency. Algae blooms generally cause significant DO sags that eventually end up killing trout.
I am assuming that after I have been aerating the lake for some time EVENTUALLY the blooms will slow down??
What I do know about blooms is they are unpredictable and undependable. I think some of the stimulation for your bloom has to do with the shoreline cleanout and sediment resuspension. Sediments have a lot of nutrients in them.
Bill this bloom happened over a month before the shoreline clean out. I am almost positive it was from moving the diffusers into the deepest water in the last week of June. Never had them there before and never had a bloom like this before. The diffusers have been back in shallow water now for almost 3 weeks for winter. Hopefully the bloom is over for now.

EDIT: Thinking about this a little more. After the shoreline cleanout on August 10-14th, the whole lake looked like chocolate milk. Everyone was surprised that one, we didn't kill all the trout and two, how fast it cleared up. Maybe the milky water has something to do with the lower than 2015 DO as well?
Well, it has begun! Last year the lake was frozen over by November 5. I hope an extra two weeks of open water helps make life a little easier on the fish this winter. Maybe a slight increase in their chances of survival??

Not a definitive test, BUT the black arrow is the "hole" from my Koenders windmill and the yellow arrow is the hole from my American Eagle windmill. Will be interesting to see how the holes fare as winter progresses. Weather station nearby said -4 degrees there this morning.


What is the water depth at the diffusers?
7'-8' deep for both
That camera is too cool! Can you make it pan and zoom remotely? What's the power source? Solar?

It will be interesting to see if the holes are visible once some snow gets built up on the ice around them.
Unfortunately it cannot pan or zoom. It is just a cellular trail camera. I have two of them up there. One is made by Covert and one by Reconyx. The Reconyx camera takes one picture per day whether there is any movement or not. It is perfect to watch the progress of the lake through the winter. They are both powered by AA batteries. I use lithiums and they will run for months.
That's pretty cool. -4??? Dang, I am not looking forward to that weather at all.....

Good to see the holes, I hope they stay open!
Interesting developments. Have had a good bit of snow up there. Not exactly sure how much, but will know soon. The weather station nearby has recorded a low -8.5 degrees so far. Both windmill holes disappeared for one week. However, the American Eagle windmill not only opened its hole back up, but has had it open in every pic I have gotten since. Meanwhile, the Koenders doesn't seem to have actually been able to even make open water. You can see what looks like a wet spot just left of center in the pic. Definitely starting to see a trend.

Both windmills are running two vertex diffusers. I am having doubts as to how much the one little hole open can really help my lake.
Only -8.5F? We has -16.2F Monday morning right before sunup.

What are the specs on both windmills in regards to CFM?
Originally Posted By: esshup
Only -8.5F? We has -16.2F Monday morning right before sunup.

What are the specs on both windmills in regards to CFM?


Esshup,

WOW! That is COLD!!!

We just came back from a week up there for Christmas. Took a snowcat to get up there. The coldest temps we saw while we were there was 0. We had ~4 - 5' of snow on the driveway but only ~18" on the lake due to wind it seems. I had pictures of holes from both windmills open in the lake before we got there, but all holes were frozen over by the time we arrived and on through until we left. Before we left, I closed one of the valves for the Koenders to force all the air to one diffuser. I figured one stronger diffuser might stand a better chance opening a hole than two diluted diffusers (The Koenders could not keep a hole open last year with two diffusers. This year I moved them close together thinking they might help each other, but it did not seem to be working). The day we got home I got a picture showing the American Eagle hole open again, but nothing for the Koenders.

SPECS

From Koenders rep
"The compressor is capable of pumping 28 lbs pressure, but will only pump the amount necessary to push air into whatever depth water you have...for example 10 ft of water depth will require about 4 lbs. (aprx .4 lbs per ft of depth) And it will only require about a 9 mph wind to do it! The volume again varies with water depth. At 1 ft of depth you will get 3 cfm...at 10' about 2.5 etc."

From American Eagle website
The American Eagle website claims 3 CFM in 3-5 MPH winds and 6CFM in 15-28 MPH winds.

From personal observation in the summer and fall, I can see that the American Eagle unit puts out way more air than the Koenders. The plume from the diffuser seems twice as big.
Well here is an update. Have had a couple good storms come through and one of them alone dropped over a foot of snow in town. I don't know how much at the cabin, but it could easily be twice as much. Had three or four days in a row with little to no wind and no holes open and then this today. The American Eagle poked another hole through again. With all the air going to one diffuser the Koenders has had a hole open more now than it did previously, but it still doesn't seem to be able to keep up with the American Eagle unit. I have to say I am impressed.

Koenders was the 1st common unit on the aeration market. Others jumped on the windmill aeration bandwagon. Newer units saw ways to improve on the original. This could explain the better performance in winter for you in Colorado. I realize you do not have access to electricity at your location. From what I can tell in the picture an electrical unit would provide a larger open area. Hopefully what you currently have will help reduce the winterkill. Update us in spring about your results this winter.
Thanks Bill. I agree 100% and will do. I am working on a solar setup for up there but as you can imagine it is not cheap so it may have to progress in stages.

I do think both windmills have their place. The American Eagle does not produce the pressure that the koenders will. In the summer, I have the koenders diffuser in 22'-23' of water. The Eagle can only go down to 16'. This is what was making me ask questions about diffuser area of influence. The Eagle makes a TON more air though. You can clearly see a difference in the size of the plumes when they are both sitting at the same depth.

Plus, the Eagle truly is built like a tank in comparison.
13 days since I have seen open water. Had a couple storms come thru and put down some snow, but nothing too crazy. Unfortunately the storms didn't bring any wind with them. Hope this isn't the end of the open hole until Spring.

In my recent phone conversation with Koenders, they said their current electric system furnishes 2.2 cfm air, their older systems furnished 1.1 cfm air. Older systems, either electric or windmill supplied the same volume of air. Newer electric systems have a different diaphragm so they are the ones furnishing 2.2 cfm. Windmills still are at 1.1 cfm.
How about this pic for the cover of an issue of PB Magazine??? Actually caught the windmill spinning like crazy.

Over a month with no hole now. Had a 2 or 3 day period with some real good winds last week. The snow over the diffusers turned noticeably grey and it looked like the windmills were going to poke a hole through, but they never made it. Got a little bit of snow since then.


After 43 days I finally have a hole open!!!! It is small, but I will take it. Surprisingly, it is from the Koenders! Huge winds today and tomorrow so maybe the Eagle will open a hole up also! I wonder how much this hole helps??? Going to be very interesting to see if we still have fish this Spring!

Congrats on the opening in your ice. We're getting high winds here in Dolores area too.
Here's I thought I had for you a couple of days ago. I don't have any knowledge or experience with this concept, but perhaps it could help you out.
On your pond you have thick ice covered with heavy snow. Your ice could be a few feet thick; your snow is certainly several feet deep. In addition to windmill generated aeration lifting warmer water from the pond depths working on the ice, is there some way to harness solar energy to assist the ice melting? PV generated electricity could energize a grid or other device at the surface, melting the snow that accumulates above the heater. A closed loop of non freezing liquid could circulate, transferring solar panel heat to coils on the pond surface.
This ice melting device would be stationed, of course, right above your aerators. As you certainly understand, this additional heat energy could be just enough to help the aerator stream blow open a hole.
Some of us have helped our aerators get started at time by cutting even a small hole in the ice above the aerator with seemingly miraculous results.
I'm guessing you weren't able to install a darkly colored pole or pipe last summer to try to speed up ice melting?
Hope a little of this can help.
BTW, ice on our pond, which in past years has gotten as thick as 17" and persisted for 4 months, did not form until into January this year and was gone two weeks later, never to return!
4corners I think you are definitely right, there is some way to assist the diffusers. Unfortunately, when I am up there I am on a short time line and end up running around like a mad man trying to knock out a huge list. Last summer I was planning on putting in a pipe and a black floating PVC apparatus to try to help, but I just didn't get to it. I half way felt ok about not getting to it because I figured the 2nd windmill would do the trick. This Summer I am putting in a solar system to run the cabin and especially the aeration while we are gone to hopefully kill this problem once and for all.

I also noticed slightly less ice up there. Of course I cannot be there to measure thickness, but from the remote camera pics I saw that the ice up there formed a little over two weeks later this year. At this point up there I will take any little advantage I can get.


Now THAT is a welcome sight!!
Crazy year! I could possibly have some ice off over a month early! Koenders has had a big hole open for a few days now and the American Eagle looks like it punched thru today. Big storm up there tonight though with up to 16" of snow possible. Hopefully the holes survive!

Looks good. IME all that dark gray area is where the aeration is bubbling water out of the holes and running it under the snow making it more translucent. That lets more light into the pond in that entire area.
Gotcha Bill!

We got a little set back up there, but the holes did survive. More snow in the forecast over the next few days, but I think we about got this winter behind us up there. Hopefully......

Got a buddy going up soon in his snowcat to plow the road for me. In 20 years there has never been a vehicle to the cabin before June 1st. Huge snow drifts and lots of North facing just doesn't allow it. If he plows the road, all that changes. I could possibly know if fish survived by mid to late April!

Well..... Back to where I was almost a month ago, LOL. Actually a little ahead. Starting to see some grass through the snow this go around. So close to open water I can almost taste it.....

My buddy is supposed to go up in his Snow Cat this weekend. If we had some open water he could check for some signs of life!!

Looking good. Is that windmill almost in the water?
Originally Posted By: esshup
Looking good. Is that windmill almost in the water?


It was not last year, but when it fills up to the new water line (up 2.5') this Spring, that windmill will be 30' out in the water. It kind of looks like the water is creeping up on it now.
So close to having some real open water


and then...... more snow.... with even more on the way! Lol
I am assuming I am the last guy on PB with a frozen pond! Got somewhere between 1' and 2' of snow over the weekend. HOPEFULLY this was the last snow for this year....

What a difference a week of Colorado sun can make! Now to try to get someone up there so see if the fish are alive!
Not to rain (snow) on your parade, but we can see freshies above 9000' on the San Juans today. Hope your 8 acres keep on thawing.

The week of sunny weather you mentioned finally turned on the turkey gobbling around here. Hens finally appear to be nesting; gobblers find themselves alone sometime in the morning and are way vocal.

These Merriams turkeys travel way up high into the spruce fir forests in summer. Have you seen any up at your place?

When lakes in the high country are only ice free for 3 or 4 months of the year, it makes a guy wonder how any fish can prosper in them!
Originally Posted By: 4CornersPuddle
Not to rain (snow) on your parade, but we can see freshies above 9000' on the San Juans today. Hope your 8 acres keep on thawing.

The week of sunny weather you mentioned finally turned on the turkey gobbling around here. Hens finally appear to be nesting; gobblers find themselves alone sometime in the morning and are way vocal.

These Merriams turkeys travel way up high into the spruce fir forests in summer. Have you seen any up at your place?

When lakes in the high country are only ice free for 3 or 4 months of the year, it makes a guy wonder how any fish can prosper in them!


4 Corners, luckily in the pic from today it doesn't look like our place got any more snow. Even if we did, at this point I am happy as long as the lake doesn't freeze back over which I highly doubt will happen. Now I just have to get someone back up there to verify if the fish lived or not. Hopefully this weekend.

I should preface this next paragraph by saying we are only 3 or 4 years into a recovery from what everyone I know on the mountain considered a serious lion problem. Everyone was seeing them and hunters were having run ins. I had 3 close encounters personally. Our deer numbers were horrendous and small game was non existent.

So, I have never seen a Turkey at our place. I have recently started seeing them a little lower though. For the last two Summers we have had a resident flock or two that seems to hang around 8,500-9,000'. They seem to be doing well and multiplying. I hadn't seen a Grouse at our place in over a decade until last Summer. Saw a momma with a string of babies so they are finally back as well. I also saw more deer last Summer than I have seen in a LONG LONG time. Now, if only it could be a decade until I saw another lion I would be very very happy!

EDIT:
I know what you mean about the mountain lakes! It is tough conditions for sure!
And just like that, there is water!
Well, got some great news!! Buddy went up (even with hail coming down) to investigate the situation. He found zero dead fish and zero dead fish smell!!!!! Now, I know that does not mean we didn't have some or even all the fish die. However, last year there were a few visible dead fish and there were tracks where coons or something had been eating the easy pickings and there was a noticeable smell of dead fish. I am trying to hold off on claiming victory until we actually see some live fish BUT.... VICTORY!!!! Lol

I am fairly certain our average depth is over 10' which is what I was shooting for.

I can't wait to get some DO readings.

I think once we get the solar system installed up there this Summer it will be the nail in the coffin for our Winter kill issues!

Congrats!! My sheriff buddy there said they got 6" of snow recently.......
This thread is so much fun to follow. Thank you for keeping us updated.
Scott,
Six inches of snow will not have the thermal mass to refreeze the pond surface. Any partial covering will melt very quickly. Also, I think another diffuser has been turned on, so there is another potential hole source as well if it does. I think they are out of the ice woods for now.

It may still snow again, but the inertia is going the right way. Extra water, extra O2, and reduced harmful gasses is all good.
Thanks Fellas!

Scott, the day they went up and that night we got what looked like 5-6" at the cabin as well, but it was gone in 2 days. The pond iced over a little as well but only lasted one day. As of now it is all back to 100% open water and snow only up in the timber. Hoping someone goes up with a pole soon!
looks like the pond has been a journey of learning for you, so I hope you find some surviving fish swimming around soon.
Originally Posted By: TGW1
looks like the pond has been a journey of learning for you, so I hope you find some surviving fish swimming around soon.


Thank you Tracy and yes it has been! Actually, I find I am always getting schooled by that place. Wondering if that will ever stop??
Leaving Saturday morning headed for the cabin for a few weeks. Planning on gathering as much data as possible while there. Should be interesting to compare to last years numbers.

After some pretty serious investigation it appears all the Trout died. Starting from scratch again.

We will be installing solar aeration this Summer. Hopefully that is the game changer.
Man that sucks!! Good Luck WB, I just wonder how well batteries will hold up in that extreme cold... and how do you keep the snow off the solar panels so they can charge the batteries...Take pics of what you do for sure I would love to see it!

RC
Posted By: Zep Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s - 06/23/17 04:28 PM
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Wondering if that will ever stop??


Nope
All trout were dead.

Stocked 300 10-12" Brook Trout.

Installed the solar system and real aeration finally.

I hesitate to say it, but......

BRING IT ON WINTER!!!!
Vertex Quad Diffuser Station doing work!

We had some pretty nasty algae forming on the lake after I started up the aeration. It looked so bad I called Esshup asking if I should keep running or not. He told me to aerate as much as possible and we would eventually push through. It made it hard to look at the lake everyday. Difficult to watch it go from beautiful to pretty much disgusting looking. The stuff never covered the entire surface of the lake. The wind would mostly keep it blown to one end.

In the 10 days before I left we had gotten 4.5" of rain and I have been told that it has done at least the same up there over the last two weeks. I got my buddy to increase the duration on the timer one hour so we are now aerating for 7 hours per day. Hope this stuff is cleared up by the time I get back up there in September.





It's the nutrients from the anoxic water that you are bringing up is what's causing it.
Originally Posted By: esshup
It's the nutrients from the anoxic water that you are bringing up is what's causing it.


I hope all this rain helps get rid of it!
Yeah that little bit of green stuff I had also when I first started my air on my pond. It will come and go for a while... A good rain might knock it back down, but thats just part of it... ON the other hand your air is looking good and will sure help you out in the long run!!

RC
Thanks RC! How long did it take yours to clear up?
I had stuff like that on and off for a couple of years... I know that's not what your want to hear, I used some c-flo beneficial bacteria to help aid in the killing off of the bad bacteria in my pond as well it's all about getting rid of that initial nasty muck layer. Like Esshup said you got a lot of excess nutrients. Course I only had to buy enough for one acre. What you could do though is buy 1 acre worth and put them all around your air station area in a 100 foot radius... It might help calm that particular area down. It's still took mine a while though. Remember your messing with stuff that hasn't been messed with in a LONG, LONG time...lol so it's gonna get pissed off at you.. lol.

Here is what I get for my pond. Not saying it's the best or there is nothing else out there that works better but I know this works. My water looks much better, my fish look a whole lot healthier and I am losing about 2 to 3 inches of muck a year where I treat it. I think this product works well as long as you have air running in your pond to help it activate and do it's thing! Also keep in mind I only treated twice a year It says you can treat up to 4 times a year. These disc's are not small they are about the size of a small Hockey Puck so don't be deceived by the picture. I like to randomly chunk them out around the air and shore line closest to the cabin and dock. Keep in mind 1 acre which I am sure you know this is a bout 208x208 feet. When your putting them in the pond I would also wear some kind of glove while chunking them.

https://www.clean-flo.com/shop/biological-control-products/cflo-plus-disks/

Thanks RC! I will definitely take some of that out with me and give it a shot!

I sure hope this stuff doesn't hang around for a couple years! I am hoping I can flush a bunch of bad water with the snow melt runoff next spring.
Here is some current data from this Summer and Fall. Looks to me like the aeration is doing it's thing! I installed two more air stations on 9/25/17. 1HP compressor (1,050 watts) is still running for now until sometime in November when we will switch over to 1/3HP (380 watts) compressor for Winter. I'd love to hear some thoughts!



When did your nasty algae go away? what made it go away? You happy with water quality now? I can't help much with all the scientific data but i imagine you aren't far away from seeing your first thin layer of ice?
I am not sure when or why it went away. I left August 1st and when I got back in September the water looked perfect! I am extremely happy with the water quality now. It went from looking like pea soup to a beautiful emerald green.

The weather up there is totally unpredictable. Last year the lake iced completely over on November 21st. That was almost two weeks later than the year before.
I thought this was a cool picture that somewhat illustrates the "area of influence" the diffusers can have. This was before I got the additional stations installed.



This picture shows every diffuser station in action. 7 stations with 12 discs in total. One is back by the damn in shallower water so it doesn't make as big of a plume. Two of the stations are run by the windmills. The biggest plume is from the quad diffuser and will be shut down for the Winter. I will add one last single disc station next Summer. I just ran out of time to get it in this trip.

SO it is solar power 5 of the stations and windmill power for 2, then in winter, only 2 windmills or can solar help in winter on a limited basis?
I expect the solar to produce pretty much all winter. It is a pretty substantial system. Only time I expect it to be shut down is after a big snow storm until the snow melts off the panels. Shouldn't take too long. BUT who knows, it always seems to be a big experiment up there.

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=477726#Post477726
Many thanks for reposting your solar build link. I must have been out of town and totally missed that link back in August! Awesome project!
No problem and thank you! If I don't consistently keep holes open this year then I guess it is time to admit defeat....
Don't admit defeat for your goal of keeping trout alive all winter until you run the quad diffuser in deeper water all winter. This may be a key part of winter aeration for your high elevation situation of a large pond with trout and heavy snow cover. The rule book for winter aeration has not been completely written and a lot still needs to be learned about pond/lake aeration. Your efforts for aerating a pond with trout and extended deep snow cover is providing very good baseline information.
Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
Don't admit defeat for your goal of keeping trout alive all winter until you run the quad diffuser in deeper water all winter. This may be a key part of winter aeration for your high elevation situation of a large pond with trout and heavy snow cover. The rule book for winter aeration has not been completely written and a lot still needs to be learned about pond/lake aeration. Your efforts for aerating a pond with trout and extended deep snow cover is providing very good baseline information.


As usual thanks for your input, Bill.

Your post leads me to yet another question. The small pump does not make quite enough Pressure to pump into the deepest part of the lake where the quad diffuser is. It also doesn't make enough CFM to be able to run more than 5-6 vertex discs. However, rough math says I can run it for 3x longer than the big pump. In my scenario, which pump would you run this winter? The bigger pump with 2x volume of air for 3-4 hours per day or the smaller pump with 1/2 the air for 8-10 hours per day?
What is the deepest the smaller pump can operate diffusers for 8-10hrs per day?
Bill, the way I have it set up currently is one dual station and one single in approximately 16' of water. These two stations are on either side of the deeper area that the quad station resides in. At 16' the small pump should make 4.5CFM.
Then I have two more singles in much shallower water. One single in 6-8' and the other single in 10-12'. I feel fairly confident the small pump can run these four stations/five discs for 8-10 hours per day. That would put me at .9 CFM per disc.

Just to reiterate, none of that accounts for the Koenders windmill running a single diffuser in ~8' and the American Eagle running a dual diffuser in ~8'.
From my winter aeration testing so far, I think the dual and single stations in 16ft of water should be able to mix the 39F water down to the deepest 21ft depths. Cold winter water mixes much more easily compare to warmer water. A little daily mixing goes a long distance in winter water of 33F-39F. The additional single diffusers should be able to help further circulate and spread the water to surrounding areas. My opinion is if the solar performs correctly, the trout will be able to survive during this coming winter's ice cap.
Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
From my winter aeration testing so far, I think the dual and single stations in 16ft of water should be able to mix the 39F water down to the deepest 21ft depths. Cold winter water mixes much more easily compare to warmer water. A little daily mixing goes a long distance in winter water of 33F-39F. The additional single diffusers should be able to help further circulate and spread the water to surrounding areas. My opinion is if the solar performs correctly, the trout will be able to survive during this coming winter's ice cap.


Sounds great! Thanks Bill! I will keep you updated as things progress. Going to try to get one last DO reading in November to see where we are at.
Very interesting read

DO by Oregan State
One more....

Another article made it sound like while my DO saturation numbers will be lower than DO saturation at sea level because of the elevation, that problem declines the deeper in the lake you measure. Does that sound true? Would increasing water pressure also increase my DO saturation number?

Interesting chart


Found it here
Trout and Salmon DO info
I think so because it wouldn't turn to gas and bubble off with the higher pressures in the deeper water. That's my SWAG anyway! LOL

Oh, you CAN get over 15.0 mg/l in water if you are running pure O2 and a micropore diffuser in a tank.........
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
One more....

Another article made it sound like while my DO saturation numbers will be lower than DO saturation at sea level because of the elevation, that problem declines the deeper in the lake you measure. Does that sound true? Would increasing water pressure also increase my DO saturation number?



Keep in mind only a very small portion of the DO comes from the surface area of the bubble interacting with the water. Most of the DO benefit from bottom diffuser aeration comes from moving lower water to the surface where the surface to air interface provides the vast majority of the infusion of DO.
Once again, can't say thank you enough to Pond Boss!

Highflyer rode out to my place to do some tweaks on the solar system and take some measurements. We now have remote access to the solar system and can see exactly how it is producing!!

He also got out on the lake and got some DO measurements. We have never had data from this late in the year! You ready for this???

We had 8.7 PPM of DO at the surface and 8.3 PPM at 20' deep! Water temp was 37.9F from top to bottom!!

Pretty sure we FINALLY knocked it out of the park!

Thanks again, Brian! I def owe you!
That's great!

...and Kudos to Brian for dropping down to 10,000 to help you out! grin
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
That's great!

...and Kudos to Brian for dropping down to 10,000 to help you out! grin


Thanks Bill D! I agree, Kudos and BEER to Brian!!

Bill Cody - I am interested to hear what you think about these numbers.
Pic of the cabin on 11.8.17
Lake frozen over two weeks earlier than last year. Buddy told me the diffusers are keeping a lot of water open.

Numbers look good to me and this year's aeration modification & setup I think will perform well. Time will tell the rest of the story. Nice cabin that could serve as a great house for many.
Thanks Bill!

Now, how about THAT for a hole in the ice!



Edit: The large hole is made from three diffuser stations. A single on the right side of the hole, a dual on the left and the quad in the middle. I am assuming the quad station still running is what is keeping the holes connected and so large. The quad is only still running because my small pump died and we are still currently running the big pump. A replacement small pump is enroute and will hopefully be swapped in before there is too much snow to access the place in a vehicle. Once the switch is made the quad will be shut down.
When the lake froze over 2 weeks earlier this year I thought we might be in for a rough Winter. In hindsight, I am thinking maybe the lake froze earlier because the aeration led to lower water temps earlier than previous years?? At this point we are wayyyy behind on snow up there. The snow in 2016 showed up later than the snow in 2015. Here are some pics to compare snow levels in 2016 versus 2017.

11.23.16


11.30.2016 - notice the boats and peninsula are now buried. Probably 2' of snow on the ground. Windmills already unable to keep holes open in the ice.


12.1.2017 - Pic from yesterday! Clearly looking like easier conditions than last year. I'm sure mother nature will punish me for calling her out.
Lookin' good!






/clayton
Usually I only get one "status pic" from the Reconyx everyday at 12:00. Something tripped the motion this morning and I got this cool sunrise pic. The aeration kicks on at 8:00am so in this pic diffusers had not run since yesterday at 2:00pm. 15 hours with no aeration and still have open water in 11 degree weather. Interesting.

The lack of snow this year is blowing my mind.

Almost two weeks since last pic. We have had some very cold temps up there. Saw one day with 2 degrees. Ignore the temp in the pic. The camera is in a bear box and always gives really high temp readings when the sun has been shining on it. Two of the frozen over holes are from windmills and have not reopened for a while now. Pretty disappointed in the windmills. If they can't keep a hole open in these MUCH easier than average conditions what does that say about their success in a normal Winter. This year with the new camera angle and only ice on the pond it clearly illustrates how bad they struggled last year and how/why I failed.

Not to rehash too much but currently I have a 1HP pump running 6 hours per day. From these newer pics it looks like even the bigger pump is struggling to keep the holes open above the shallower diffusers. In the pic, the only holes open are from the quad and dual diffusers in ~20' and 16' of water. Granted, the aeration has only been running for 4 hours in this pic and will keep running for two more hours after this pic so maybe the holes open up more after the remaining run time. I could also possibly have a couple airlines freezing up some. I did not bury them super deep as I was assuming 3-4' of snow on top of them to help insulate by this point. Clearly we know what happens when we assume! My buddy put his boat upside down on top of the valve box to add a little more insulation but the wind already blew the boat off into the lake (if you look close you can see it in the pic lol).


Due to the unbelievable lack of snow, I have the chance to get the smaller 1/3HP pump swapped in for its' bigger 1HP brother. The smaller pump draws ~1/3 the power so could easily be run for longer than I am running the big pump. Smaller pump would also be easier on my batteries. Smaller pump COULD NOT run the quad diffuser.

Here are my primary questions at this point.
What will yield better results for Winter aeration for trout? Bigger pump moving much more water (especially the deeper water) for 6 hours or smaller pump running for longer duration, say 10 hours? Do I risk using the small pump and it having a problem breaking thru the ice/snow if we have a big storm drop 3 or 4 foot of snow and the snow try to bridge over the smaller holes? I think the snow would have a really hard time "overwhelming" the two BIG holes in this pic from the bigger pump & deeper water.

I'd love to hear some input.

I love reading your thread! I wish I had something useful to chime in with, but one of the forum limnologists are likely to have some useful knowledge. Water does so many interesting things as it goes through temperature changes. The key factor seems to be the density as modulated by temperature changes. What would push that dense 39 water from the bottom best. Seems muscle would count more than stamina (big pump/more water vs small pump over longer time). Very curious to hear what the water wizards have to say....
Thanks Dr. Luke! Just an interesting side note. I don't think we even have any 39 degree water left. On 11.05.17 the water temp was already down to 37.9 top to bottom! I would guess it's even colder now. I would love to get some current DO data! I have been looking at a DO logger than I can drop in the lake that will record the DO data a couple times per day all Winter. Would be very cool, but they aren't cheap!
So are you saying that the supercooling phenomenon that we worried about is already happening? Is there a temp target at which for sure fish can't make it? I assume the water cannot hit 32 top to bottom due to the laws of physics?
Someone who knows about trout might jump in, but I think trout are his only fish of interest and they have good cold tolerance.

As I recall from the early part of thks thread, snow covered ice annually caused DO crash that have killed all his attemps at maintaing fish over winter. So I think the main emphasis on the aeration is keeping a hole open throuh the ice. Without the hole, the fish are gonners anyway.

That is what I remember of the early part of this thread. Maybe wbj will clairify.
Very interesting project. Unique aeration strategy in a unique environment. I think it would be an awesome PBM article with great pics and great info.
Canyon - In some of Bill Cody's responses he talked about streams that get cold enough to form anchor ice and still have trout in them. IIRC, the anchor ice forms at slightly below 32 degrees but the water doesn't totally freeze because it is moving. Initially I was actually semi concerned that I might freeze the whole dang pond solid, but a couple people have assured me that cannot happen. I THINK our current theory is if the trout can survive streams that form anchor ice, they will survive my pond that will not get THAT cold. Therefore circulating the water and keeping holes open to off gas trumps the super chilling threat.

I think that is also basically what Snrub is saying.

Bill D - Thank you! Highflyer is gonna help me make that happen.

EDIT: I'll just add this. At this point I think the question is how much mixing do we want? I also have concerns about the smaller pump being able to keep as much open water as the big pump is currently doing. It has become a balance of not killing the fish and also not killing my battery bank! Haha
Wbuffet,

Amazing you have so little snow! We had a headline here in SW MI that our local ski resorts on the west side of the state have 40-48" of base snow, more than the typical CO resorts (Vail etc) this time of year. Strange!
Yeah you are not kidding!! We went up last year for a week at Christmas. We got there on December 20th and there was probably 3-4' on the ground. I have heard the Water Resources Depts around there are starting to freak out. It makes for an easier year for the fish to survive but not an accurate representation of what I would be facing in an average year.
This is definitely a learning curve project. You will not find a lot of experienced experts for your specific project. My opinion is for your size of 'pond' it is better to use the larger compressor to circulate more water for a shorter period each day. The diffusers in the deepest water will move more water volume per diffuser due to height of the rising water column compared to a similar sized diffuser in shallower water.

It does not surprise me that the windmills are struggling to maintain open water which helps a lot to explain why your trout have been dying each winter.
Got it. Thanks, Bill!
So here is what has been going on for the last couple weeks. I am attaching one pic of current conditions and an older pic for a reference of where all diffusers are placed.

For some reason now it seems like the single and dual diffusers are struggling to cut through the ice (except, inexplicably, the one single open in the pic).
-The quad has a great hole open every day (~20' deep).
-The dual diffuser hole, left of the quad hole, now seems to only make it to the slush stage every day. It has not made it to open water since 12/21. (~16' deep)
-The single diffuser that has the open hole in the pic was barely able to open a small hole earlier this month and now it has opened up considerably. Maybe coincidence but it seemed like this single diffuser starting making a better hole AFTER some more snow accumulated on top of the ice. (~8-10' deep)
-There are still two other single diffusers running that aren't even making the snow gray anymore. (One in back left of pic 6-8' deep and one in middle right of pic next to the quad ~16' deep)

Another confusing development. In the foreground of the pic, there is an area of graying snow that seems to possibly indicate some of that air is affecting the ice far from the diffusers. Same thing is going on even more so in the far back left of the pic.

We have had several VERY windy days up there. A few of them were consecutive. 30-40mph winds and the windmill diffusers aren't showing any evidence of progress of being able to open a hole. In the same windy scenarios last year at a MINIMUM some gray snow would start to show up and that was when we had a ton more snow.

I am assuming the colder water temps is making it harder for the diffusers to cut through the ice??? I am assuming the lack of snow on top of the ice this year is adding to the colder water temps? Can't explain why the one single diffuser is working so well and the dual, in deeper water, can't clear the slush and the other singles are showing no effect in the snow.

Current pic


Diffuser placement. Two closest diffusers are windmills.
Very interesting progress. One of a couple things may be happening to allow the single diffuser to produce an open hole each day. 1. This diffuser may be receiving more air than other diffusers and more air means more bubbles, more bubbles means more water movement. 2. The air line to other diffusers has air blockage thus more air is forced to operating diffusers. If the check valve on the diffuser is leaking water will drain into the airline and when the airline is full of water an ice plug will freeze at the water line. If airline is not below ground freeze depth condensation could collect in a valley of the airline and freeze a plug. No snow early in the winter means deep frost in the ground.

If the quad diffuser operates all winter and trout survive, IMO minimally, you need only to operate it and another diffuser all winter. Low amounts of air to other diffusers may indicate they do not have enough water movement to keep open water. It also possible the other diffusers are not operating???

Do you regularly clean the windmill diffusers each fall?. If check valve on the diffuser leaks ice plugs freeze in the airline. Do you have freeze controls with alcohol on your windmills?. Do you have pressure relief valves on the windmills?
I was wondering also if he needed so many fusers running? The main goal here is to keep a 20 plus or so foot open area correct? He really doesn't need 6 of them. A good backup to the main quad though like Bill said would be a good idea for sure. In your situation you got to have a backup!! So glad it's working for you that pond and land is SOOO cool if you can get fish to survive the winter it's all cake from there!! smile Great Job WB



RC
IIRC you reported water temp not long ago. Do you know what the water temp profile looks like now?

Just curious...Do you know if there is permafrost in the area? If yes, how deep does the active layer (the soil that thaws in the summer) go?
Bill Cody-Thanks for the input!

RC - I used to think the main goal was to keep a hole open, but the number I have heard a few times is 10% of the lakes surface needs to be open water! Not sure if that is accurate or not. At this point, I am not sure if just keeping a hole open will get the fish through the Winter or not.

Bill D - glad you asked!!! I actually do have a little info on the water profile now!!!

My buddy actually went up to the cabin today. Due to the lack of snow, he was able to drive his Polaris Ranger all the way to the lake!

May have figured out part of the problem. We had a lot of built up condensation in the lines. He blew all of the condensation he could get to come out of one of the unused valves. Maybe that gets us through another 6 weeks or so and he can get up there to do it again. He did say the plume from the quad looked like it had improved after he drained the line. Maybe the pics over the next couple days will show some holes reopening. I had thought most of the condensation would push on through to the lake. I guess I have a bigger dip in the line than I realized. Next Summer I will have to re dig the last part of that line and put it on grade all the way into the lake. That should permanently solve the condensation issue.

He did not have any tools up there to pull lines off the valves to see if any were frozen up. He will be headed back up in a week or so though.

On a positive note, he grabbed the DO meter and got some data!! He chainsawed two holes in the ice to measure. One hole right off the peninsula which is fairly close to the diffusers. A second hole on the far end of the lake closest to the cabin which is as far away from a diffuser as you can get. Both holes produced almost exactly the same numbers!

Peninsula - 6.63 PPM and 34.7 degrees @ 4' deep
Far end of lake - 6.65 PPM and 34.9 degrees @ 6' deep

I don't like the fact that we have dropped from 8.7 in early November to 6.6 in late December, but maybe that is to be expected.
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
.....

Just curious...Do you know if there is permafrost in the area? If yes, how deep does the active layer (the soil that thaws in the summer) go?


I added this question above as an after thought so you might have missed it.
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
.....

Just curious...Do you know if there is permafrost in the area? If yes, how deep does the active layer (the soil that thaws in the summer) go?


I added this question above as an after thought so you might have missed it.



Sorry Bill, I didn't see that. There is no permafrost up there that I know of.
Originally Posted By: Bill Cody

Do you regularly clean the windmill diffusers each fall?. If check valve on the diffuser leaks ice plugs freeze in the airline. Do you have freeze controls with alcohol on your windmills?. Do you have pressure relief valves on the windmills?


Bill, sorry I forgot to answer this part. I clean the diffusers when I get there in July and clean them again in September just for good measure. I do not have freeze controls on the windmills. So far it has never been an issue up there for my windmills or the other windmills on the mountain. Maybe this year is just different because of the lack of snow. Both windmills do have pressure relief valves.

Here is an interesting pic from yesterday. My buddy said that around the peninsula, near the aeration, the ice was only 4-5" thick. The ice on the far side of the lake was much thicker. Here is the piece they cut out.

For the quad diffuser or any diffuser to keep open water with that much ice thickness is testimony for how well aeration helps during ice cover. The diffuser at 20 ft deep not only adds some DO to the pond and spreads it long distances, it provides some open water. Open water results in clear ice when the diffuser is not operating. Open water and clear ice allows microscopic algae (phytoplankton) to photosynthesize and make DO. That amount of DO can equal or exceed the DO produced by the bubbling of the diffuser. If the winter aeration can maintain at lease 4ppm DO in all the pond the trout will survive well.

Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Bill Cody-Thanks for the input!

Peninsula - 6.63 PPM and 34.7 degrees @ 4' deep
Far end of lake - 6.65 PPM and 34.9 degrees @ 6' deep

I don't like the fact that we have dropped from 8.7 in early November to 6.6 in late December, but maybe that is to be expected.


Bill - What do you think about these numbers? The ~2.0PPM drop in DO is bothering me. Do you think it is acceptable/expected?
Literature indicates that 4ppm DO is stressful for trout. However when the water is below 40F trout respiration decreases and IMO they can/will survive well in water at 4ppm and sometimes less due to the lower cold temperatures. Spring thaw will tell the rest of the story.

I think the trout from ice cover to late December will move throughout the pond and "recognize" the DO is slightly higher near the diffuser and open water. This should provide a DO refuge that is recognizable by the trout. I suspect when DO in the remote areas of the pond becomes stressing, the trout will collect or gather around the influence of the quad diffuser.
Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
...... Open water and clear ice allows microscopic algae (phytoplankton) to photosynthesize and make DO. .....



Bill,

Is this process affected as water temperature drops and approaches 32?
I have some results from my buddy draining the condensation from the line. When he got there yesterday the PSI guage on the pump was reading over 20 PSI! He didn't think to check the PSI guage after he was done draining the line, but he will be back up there again in a few days. We do have some results though. So far, the pump is using 25% less power today than it was yesterday. Was averaging ~1,500 watts before and is at ~1,100 watts today! The remote cam pic is in as well and shows some big improvements in the diffusers that were struggling! Built up condensation had to be the problem.

As a temporary solution to get me through this Winter I am going to get him up there once every 30 days to drain the line again. I am hoping getting the pump back up to normal operation will raise our DO back up or at least stop the decline.

I can't get Imgur to upload todays pic. I will post an updated pic when available.
On each trip when the lines are drained, have him take along 3-4 bottles rubbing alcohol (91% Walmart). Iced lines can be cleared of ice by pouring about 1/2 to a cup of alcohol into the line and allowing it to soak for several minutes. That small amount of alcohol will not hurt the pond ecology. Rubbing alcohol is what is used in the windmill freeze control tanks. The mechanism on the tank releases a little bit of alcohol into the airline when an ice plug forms.

Lot of species, especially those in the groups Chrysophyta (golden browns) and Bacillarophyta (diatoms), grow well in cold water. I've seen a bloom of Chrysococcus occur in 34F-36F water when the aerator was operating keeping water open.
Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
...
Lot of species, especially those in the groups Chrysophyta (golden browns) and Bacillarophyta (diatoms), grow well in cold water. I've seen a bloom of Chrysococcus occur in 34F-36F water when the aerator was operating keeping water open.


Thanks Bill!

I was wondering whether the drop in DO could be partially attributed to reduced phytoplankton activity with the water temp now down to 34+ F. Sounds like that is not the case.

Absolutely awesome thread! I am always looking forward to updates. WbuffetJr IMHO you have to do a PBM article! smile

Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
On each trip when the lines are drained, have him take along 3-4 bottles rubbing alcohol (91% Walmart). Iced lines can be cleared of ice by pouring about 1/2 to a cup of alcohol into the line and allowing it to soak for several minutes. That small amount of alcohol will not hurt the pond ecology. Rubbing alcohol is what is used in the windmill freeze control tanks. The mechanism on the tank releases a little bit of alcohol into the airline when an ice plug forms.
I will definitely get him to do that! Thanks for the all the info!

Originally Posted By: Bill D.

Thanks Bill!
Absolutely awesome thread! I am always looking forward to updates. WbuffetJr IMHO you have to do a PBM article! smile
Thank you for following, Bill. Brian and I are going to put something together for sure!

Here is yesterdays pic. Already a lot of improvement in this pic.
After looking real close it looks like the quad hole got a little bigger as well. Todays pic will hopefully show more improvement.
Increased air volume and more bubbling action definitely make a difference which is why I suspected the other diffusers were getting reduced air flow. I am very interested to see how low the water temperature gets this winter in the well aerated pond. The data will provide lots of good baseline information.
Sorry, I am trying not to post too much, just excited! We are destroying some ice! Ton of progress in only two days after draining the line! Even the windmills seem to be kicking in. I will have updated DO and Temp data next week.

Post away. The forum has been half dead lately with posts in the right "recent posts" column staying there sometimes a day.

Yours is an interesting project because it is so different challenges than most of us face. Because we do not often reply does not automatically mean we are not following along.
wb jr - It is very educational that you are providing good documentation for your solar aeration project in harsh winter conditions.
Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
wb jr - It is very educational that you are providing good documentation for your solar aeration project in harsh winter conditions.

Originally Posted By: snrub
Post away. The forum has been half dead lately with posts in the right "recent posts" column staying there sometimes a day.

Yours is an interesting project because it is so different challenges than most of us face. Because we do not often reply does not automatically mean we are not following along.


10-4. Thanks fellas. Just don't want to be a "Recent Posts" hog.

Pic from today. After a few more really windy days in a row the big windmill is finally kicking in (the big wet spot in the foreground of the pic). Thinking maybe a lack of aeration in that spot let the ice get really thick. Maybe close to as thick as the chunk they cut out. Must've just taken a certain amount of sustained wind to finally cut through the ice. Either way, hopefully it stays for a while. Seeing more progress in the solar diffusers as well. The plume from the quad is actually visible in the pic. Still expecting the area around the quad to break open more. There is a dual diffuser to the left of the quad hole and a single to the right.

My buddy went up to the lake again this morning. Drained the line and said almost no condensation came out. That's great BUT it has only been one week week. Good thing is the pump is still drawing ~25% less power than before he drained so everything is working better. He got this pic around 9am so diffusers had only been running for one hour and hadn't cut through the ice yet.



This is the remote cam pic at 12:09pm and it appears the quad is through the ice, but hard to tell for sure. Notice the complete lack of snow!! Supposedly have some snow on the way. We will see if it amounts to anything.



I did have a total of 9 Vertex discs running. I had him shut off one of the single discs so that the other discs would receive more air. I think the quad will absorb most of the extra air and I am fine with that. He took DO readings from two spots again. This time he walked 10 yards out off the far shore and drilled a hole. He said the ice there was ~18-19" thick. Ice by the peninsula was still only 4-5" thick. With him reducing the aeration run time by one hour last trip, I felt better about having each diffuser getting more air now to hopefully chew through the ice easier. He is planning to go back up around February 10th to drain the condensation from the line again. If we need to we can close off another single diffuser at that time. Will definitely be increasing aeration run time by at least one hour for a total of 6 hours at that time as well due to more available sunshine/energy for the solar.

On to the data. After one week with the pump producing correctly again we had a slight decrease in water temp and a very small increase in DO. Will be interesting to see DO numbers from February with a full 4-5 weeks of unimpeded aeration.


For some reason pictures on your last 2 posts are missing. Actually checking other posts and the photobucket fix seems to not be bringing photos in anymore... Others have this?
I see them.
Ok good. I was gonna say, I haven't done anything different when posting them.
It is good to see an improvement in all parts of the aeration at 10,000ft. Keep up the good work.
pictures are showing up at work but not at home. I have same browser and same plugins. I'll have to trouble shoot that some more.

Your pictures are awesome and the lack of snow indeed is eerie...

I was thinking about what you have succeeded in doing and it really is something that should be researched. Think about it, every year for a few thousand years if that lake was there, it froze over in the winter so that the majority of typical pond critters died. Then in 2018, for the first time there is a pond life cycle that extends through the winter.

Think of all the species from microscopic food chains to the tiny invertebrates, algae and on up from there that for the first time will have a life cycle that continues around the calendar! What will this do to the rest of the pond environment? What other plants might grow that couldn't grow before as they were waiting for an ingredient or a biological partner that helped them coexist but without which they could not exist? How do the organisms that survive or thrive change other plants/bugs/animals/fish in the local area around the pond? How does that change affect insects? How far does the effect travel beyond your pond? Think about it, the one pond in the whole area, at that altitude or similar altitudes, that has life year around!

It kind of blows your mind to think about it. It is kind of like dumping off a complex ecosystem (like a pond) on Mars, figuring out a way to keep it going in that environment (even via artificial means) and then seeing if the natural environment around it change/adapts.
Originally Posted By: canyoncreek

I was thinking about what you have succeeded in doing and it really is something that should be researched. Think about it, every year for a few thousand years if that lake was there, it froze over in the winter that the majority of typical pond critters died. Then in 2018, for the first time there is a pond life cycle that extends through the winter.

Think of all the species from microscopic food chains to the tiny invertebrates, algae and on up that for the first time will have a life cycle that continues around the calendar! What will this do to the rest of the pond environment? What other plants might grow that couldn't grow before as they were waiting for an ingredient or a biological partner that helped them coexist but without which they could not exist? How do the organisms that survive or thrive change other plants/bugs/animals/fish in the local area around the pond? How does that change affect insects? How far does the effect travel beyond your pond? Think about it, the one pond in the whole area, at that altitude or similar altitudes, that has life year around!

It kind of blows your mind to think about it. It is kind of like dumping off a complex ecosystem (like a pond) on Mars, figuring out a way to keep it going in that environment (even via artificial means) and then seeing if the natural environment around it changes/adapts.


Interesting points! Maybe Bill Cody could weigh in on the short and long term consequences of year-round oxygen on the micro- and macro-organismal levels over time.
Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
pictures are showing up at work but not at home. I have same browser and same plugins. I'll have to trouble shoot that some more.

Your pictures are awesome and the lack of snow indeed is eerie...

I was thinking about what you have succeeded in doing and it really is something that should be researched. Think about it, every year for a few thousand years if that lake was there, it froze over in the winter so that the majority of typical pond critters died. Then in 2018, for the first time there is a pond life cycle that extends through the winter.

Think of all the species from microscopic food chains to the tiny invertebrates, algae and on up from there that for the first time will have a life cycle that continues around the calendar! What will this do to the rest of the pond environment? What other plants might grow that couldn't grow before as they were waiting for an ingredient or a biological partner that helped them coexist but without which they could not exist? How do the organisms that survive or thrive change other plants/bugs/animals/fish in the local area around the pond? How does that change affect insects? How far does the effect travel beyond your pond? Think about it, the one pond in the whole area, at that altitude or similar altitudes, that has life year around!

It kind of blows your mind to think about it. It is kind of like dumping off a complex ecosystem (like a pond) on Mars, figuring out a way to keep it going in that environment (even via artificial means) and then seeing if the natural environment around it change/adapts.


Thanks Canyon!

I had never really thought about it like that. I guess most of the time I have just been so focused on getting the fish to live, the solar system, etc. I hadn't ever really considered some of the other more intricate results. I think about the lake and what is going on up there every single day and every day I think how interesting it is. You just added even more to ponder.

Only thing I would add is that not all the pond critters died every year. It SEEMS to be only the trout. The fatheads, leeches, scuds, etc are always there every year. Up to this point it has basically been like an extremely well established giant forage pond.

I just wish I already lived there so I could really dig into it like it deserves.
Can you expand on the list of critters that can winter over in those conditions? I think I saw a picture in an old post of dead crayfish? So fathead minnows can survive, any other type of baitfish? Snails? You say scuds? How about water insects like water boatmen or similar swimming bugs? I'd be curious to see if any panfish or yellow perch could survive now that you can hopefully keep the lake from freezing over.
Canyon - There is a lot that survives. Leeches, Scuds, Tiger Salamanders, Fatheads, water boatman and LOTS of other "bugs" that I cannot identify. I will start taking pics of them.

When I say leeches, I mean lots of them. It grosses some folks out. Hoping the fish handle the leech problem. This is what the shoreline looks like if you walk around at night with a flashlight.


I caught some sort of aquatic frog up there under a piece of plywood by the cabin, but have never actually seen one in the lake.

I haven't seen any snails, but not saying they aren't there.

There are no other minnows besides fatheads.

The tiger salamanders really interest me. There are lots of them and they do not ever seem to leave the water. In the past years you could see them coming up to the waters surface and gulping air. Didn't really see them doing that this past Summer. We have caught them in the pond and their gills are gone. At that point I thought they left the water. I have posted this pic before but here it is for reference.


My goal for the lake is to grow trophy Brook Trout so I don't want to stock any fish that would compete with them. Brookies do have a tendency to overpopulate and to help me with harvest I do plan on stocking a few tiger trout (sterile hybrid) later on.
Talk about a journey that never ends...... After this last post I did a substantial amount of reading on Tiger Salamanders. Several sources indicated that the salamanders almost never reproduce in ponds that contain fish. It will be interesting to see if the salamanders eventually move on once the fish consistently survive through Winter. If so, that would be just one of the "ripples" this project creates and that ripple would in turn create others. Pretty neat.

Here is the pic from today. Draining the line and closing off one of the singles is having the desired effect!

Wow, you need to create a resale market for those leeches. Those are prime specimens and look very hardy!!

I've tried to find a way to either keep them in captivity to reproduce or to find a local swamp, marsh, lake, stream that would have them where I could trap them. Striking out on all counts. It must be that only certain places have them and they don't breed well in captivity?

or, in the same vein as your tiger salamander research, maybe ALL places would have them providing you had zero fish! Yours look particularly healthy and happy. I wonder how the big bait wholesalers (say in Wisconsin where a big outfit feeds most of the midwest singlehandedly) keeps enough leeches in stock..
wbuffetjr, my observations while fishing many high country lakes in Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming is that if large leeches are abundant, and if tiger salamanders are common in a lake, the fishing will be no good whatsoever.

The only exception that I can recall is a shallow, mid-elevation lake near Daniel, Wyoming in the Wind River range that has lots of those larval tiger salamanders called "water dogs" and a thriving population of arctic grayling. I've float tubed the lake, fly rodding for grayling and dip netting water dogs. Fun!

We have the terrestrial form, the black and yellow guys, of the tiger salamanders living on our property, but have never seen a single larval form in our pond. I don't expect they'd survive for long with all the hungry mouths in our BOW.

And, BTW, have you entertained adding grayling to your future brook trout lake? What a wonderful combination those two salmonids would be!
Canyon - I have the lower end of my spillway lined with really big boulders. Several pools form here and there. ALL of the pools are usually filled with so many leeches they look like bowls of black spaghetti. Maybe I can fund my retirement by selling leeches! Lol Once my fish wipe out all my leeches there are plenty of other surrounding water holes with no fish and leeches to spare.

4Corners - Your experience with those high country lakes mirrors what I read and I guess makes sense if you think about it. I haven't considered grayling, but I had considered Artic Char. The Char concern me though since it seems possible they could reproduce in the lake.
Wb.jr, why is char reproduction an issue? You now (with the possibility of no winter kill) can have your pick of predators that you could stock that would eat the Char fry and young ones could you not? Say a few NP, pickerel, musky, or even walleye?
[Canyon - I have the lower end of my spillway lined with really big boulders. Several pools form here and there. ALL of the pools are usually filled with so many leeches they look like bowls of black spaghetti. Maybe I can fund my retirement by selling leeches! Lol Once my fish wipe out all my leeches there are plenty of other surrounding water holes with no fish and leeches to spare. ]

Wow, you are sitting on a gold mine! Just would have to connect with someone who has the bait routes and the shipping and retail part figured out. Can't imagine having that much bait at your fingertips smile smile
Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
Wb.jr, why is char reproduction an issue? You now (with the possibility of no winter kill) can have your pick of predators that you could stock that would eat the Char fry and young ones could you not? Say a few NP, pickerel, musky, or even walleye?


Recent article in the PB magazine got me thinking about setting measurable goals.

I could be wrong, but here is my line of thinking. Trophy Brookies is my goal. Char would be cool and nice to have the variety as far as eating them goes, but I don't really care about them. I LOVE brook trout and an 8-10lb'er is my ultimate goal. Secondary goal is lots of fresh fish to feed the family. 3rd-ary goal would be large/trophy tiger trout or splake.

IMHO, it seems the most sure fire way to grow trophy brookies is to have 100% control over any brook trout predators, hence the sterile tiger trout or splake. Tiger Musky is another possible option and also sterile, but I think they get so big they could eventually eat bigger brookies than what I would want removed. I don't want to have a guessing game going on with any other possible predators that could be reproducing especially if they don't taste good smile. Reproducing predators just seems like a big possible complication and not worth the risk.

If I am going to have to stay on top of harvesting and want to be eating fish, I only want to be harvesting the brookies. To me there is no better tasting fish!


Now I know TRUE trophy fishing might mean reduced catch rates and I am fine with that. We have plenty of other fishing options out there where the kids can catch all the fish they can handle.
Sounds like another important factor for your future predators besides reproduction is to think about predator gape size to protect your brook trout goals. Consider HSB as an apex predator where you control numbers by stocking or catching them and they would control fish only up to a certain size (baitfish size).
Do you anticipate having a reproducing population of brook trout in there?
Originally Posted By: Bocomo
Do you anticipate having a reproducing population of brook trout in there?


Yes I do. If they do not find suitable habitat in the pond then I plan on building spawning boxes for them (also a PB magazine article!).
Well here comes a pretty sad update.

No hole open since Jan 10th. Started to worry there was a problem. Buddy went up Jan 28th and condensation in the main 1" air line is frozen up and the line is plugged. Compressor has been blowing off the pressure relief valve for who knows how long. He tried pouring some alcohol down the line and accidentally filled up the compressor with alcohol and left it like that. When the system came on the next day it either tripped the breaker, blew up or burned down. Maybe some combination of the three. No visibility to the solar system now so just best guesses.

Here's the real bad news. While he was there he got another DO reading. We were at 3.5 PPM and the water temp was 33.5 degrees. He measured in ~4' of water. He said he dropped the probe until it hit the bottom and then pulled it up 6" or so. All I can hope is that he produced an extremely low reading by dropping the probe into the sediment. Maybe he still had the end of the probe in the sediment or by dropping it he stirred up some sediment which led to the low numbers.

Good news is I have a plan for a temporary fix! We will see if I can get it executed from 1,700 miles away.

Best of luck with your temporary fix. Sorry I don't have any advice, but sure have enjoyed following this project and trust you'll find a solution to bring things back.
Well, I am admitting defeat for this Winter. We have been scrambling around like crazy trying to patch in a fix with no luck. Buddy has been up three more times now. Had to call in favors to get him multiple rides up there. Blew up another Gast pump on the frozen line even after alcohol which was another fiasco. Swapped in a Thomas 2660 that I had and spliced it into the airline for the American Eagle windmill only to find that line was plugged with frozen condensation as well. A quart of alcohol only helped for a few days and then it started freezing up again. Been running the Thomas 15 hours per day for a week, blowing off a lot of wasted air while the alcohol worked through the frozen line. Like I said now the line is freezing back up and there have been zero signs of a hole opening in the ice. Another buddy is going up to his cabin this week and I am going to have him unplug the Thomas pump. No sense in putting the wear and tear on the batteries and/or blowing up that pump as well.

This Winter has been a huge learning experience. Discovered I have unknowingly been battling condensation with the big windmill which has been killing aeration output from that unit. Live and Learn. Should be an easy fix this Summer to redo the airlines and dump all condensation out into the lake in deep water.

Buddy measured DO the last two times he was up. In one week it dropped from 3.3 PPM to 3.0 PPM. I am usually a very optimistic guy, but I am counting the fish as dead at this point. Probably 6 more weeks until ice even begins to open up, possibly longer. IMO, their only chance for survival is the Koenders windmill. It has consistently had a hole open. Maybe some fish can find it and hang out there till April.

current pic


cool pic while my buddy was up there. Probably had another one foot or more of new snow since this pic.
Sorry to hear about your struggles. Hang in there pard.
Can you give us a little more info on the procedures used when alcohol didn't work? I'm not sure how alcohol didn't work or how you had so much moisture that it continued to plug the lines?
Dr. Luke - Thank you!

Canyon - I can do a relatively accurate job of monitoring the line pressure by watching the AMPs drawn by the pump. That information is reported by the remote monitoring system for the solar. When we first started the Thomas 2660 the pump was drawing 12.6 amps and pushing 40 PSI. We installed a valve in the line and manually adjusted the pressure down to 20 PSI by opening the valve and bleeding off the air. (I figured that would keep us safe if the line froze up again). Then he poured a quart of alcohol down the line. Over the next couple days the AMPs got down to the low 9s and even high 8s. I was very encouraged. Unfortunately, the AMPs only stayed at that level for a couple days. Then they started creeping back up. Today they are back to the low 12s. The only conclusion I can draw is the line cleared or partially cleared but is filling back up again.

Like I said above, zero indication of any aeration in the snow cover on the lake. The ice was 2' thick the last time he augured a hole to measure DO. No idea how long it would take aeration to eat through 2' of ice and at this point it really doesn't matter. At 12+ AMPs I think we might ruin the Thomas pump pretty quick.

This would have been a VERY easy problem to avoid/fix at any point this Summer if I had only known we would be battling condensation like this.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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....

frown son on of a....

That's some terrible luck
Oh man. That hurts.
OUCH!!!
Its but a flesh wound. You'll bounce back!

Glad to see the power is back on and air is moving.
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.
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.

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?
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!
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!
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!
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.

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.
Coming along slowly. Ice definitely melting slower than last year.

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?
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.
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.

Here's hoping for some fish that survived! *fingers crossed*
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.
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!
About 95% sure all the fish are dead. Headed out there 6/23. Will make some improvements to the current set up, gather a ton of data, put some more fish in and get ready to give this coming Winter another shot. Will post pics and data when I get back.

If you count the Winters I have been working on this, so far it is: Winter - 4
me - 0
Dang it! I was wishing and hoping a few got through.
I'm not discounting the disappointment and expense of your trials and tribulations for the past 4 seasons. But there have been some pretty amazing success stories that actually were preceded but a ton of failures....er....experience, before getting on track. I'm thinking about a guy named Edison, or a guy named Jordan.

Hang tough pard. I have no doubt you'll get there.
It may be 4-0, but you have opposable thumbs and a secret weapon!

This year is your year, and I am not convinced they are all morts. I want proof!
Thanks Fellas!
I just found out there are FISH ALIVE!!!

SO its winter 3, JR 1.
Woo Hoo!!!!
Thanks for posting up Brian, that is good to hear. You, young man have done a good neighborly thing! So, any more to add, like what type and any idea on any numbers of survivors?
I have not heard about any numbers, but I was told that the fish "turned on" a few days ago. I hear that at times, several have hit the surface at the same time. And the fish that have been caught/seen are very healthy. All in all, there are smiles up in the mountains!
Just got an update.

The crawdads also made it through the winter. It looks like this is the first year for that as well.

There is a lot of excitement up in the mountains these days.
Can't wait to hear more about what worked this year given all the apparent set backs.

I wonder if this unusual year with very little snow also helped keep sunlight hitting the plants through the ice and keeping some oxygen production going.

If next year it is back to heavy ice and thick snow then everything will be riding on the solar powered aerators again.

Can't wait to see pictures and hear more!
Canyon,

The ice was very thick this year. There was a fair amount of snow on the ice for the winter months. Having the solar powered aeration got things through the toughest times. The second windmill seemed to add just enough air after the solar powered system iced up to carry the day until ice off. At least that is my guess so far. I'll be heading up next weekend to help with a few upgrades and I should have more data after that.

All in all, what a ride!
Well, back from the mountains.

The trout did indeed survive and seem to be thriving. No idea of numbers of trout that survived. They are extremely well fed and HARD to catch! We produced one single fish after about 12 hours of fishing. This fish was stocked late July 2017 as a 10-12" Brook Trout. It endured some pretty bad water quality Summer 2017 and a pretty rough Winter of 2017 and still turned into this. Of course, we had no scale and no tape measure at the point we finally caught one. Will be better prepared next time. I have to ASS-UME the ROW of this fish was pretty good!




Overall, the lake is doing much better than I have ever seen it. There are even MORE scuds than I have ever seen. They are absolutely EVERYWHERE! You can lift one clump of grass or turn over one rock and there is a pile of scuds. The situation seems the same with the fatheads - more than I ever remember seeing. We also have a lot of crayfish - VERY large crayfish. Still leeches everywhere but hopefully the trout start to knock them back some. Unfortunately, I doubt that leeches taste as good as shrimp or fish and I am assuming the leeches will be around for a while!

I am still experimenting with the aeration. We are currently running the small Thomas 2660 1/2 HP pump only. It is pushing one quad and two dual vertex diffusers. The pump runs from 12:00am until 8:00am everyday. It was hotter up there than I have ever seen it and it is showing in the water temps. Our water level is now down almost 18" instead of the normal 2" or 3". I am trying to walk the line between adequate aeration and keeping water temps as low as possible. Brook Trout prefer the coldest water of all trout and I feel like we are pushing the high end of their range. Good news is we are heading into the Fall with higher than ever DO numbers.

Here is a DO comparison. For some reason I did not get Summer 2016 DO data. I did not have the DO meter for Summer 2015. Not a totally accurate comparison, but it's the best I have.



Big thanks to Highflyer and his wife. They came up for a couple days and helped me correct our problem that crippled us last Winter with the airline/valve box. The length of airline was reduced by ~50% and put on grade all the way down to the valve box. The weighted airline then leaves the valve box buried on grade all the way down into 4' or 5' of water. The valve box is also about 2' deeper than before. All this lead to a ~2PSI reduction in system pressure by eliminating the built up condensation in the line.
Sounds great. Trout growth seems to be exceptional, maybe doubling in size in one year. looks like you have a down hill road from here. I know you said you are not sure of how many trout are there but with the fantastic trout growth and all the food you tell of and with only one caught after 12 hrs of fishing, I would think low numbers of trout due to personal experience my first year of raising lmb. Having low numbers gave some exceptional growth to the bass. So, did you see anything (like surface feeding or such) that might lead you to believe there are decent numbers of trout in the pond? I also know high forage rates will slow down catch rates, so how are you feeling about trout numbers?
I only stocked 300 Brook Trout from a hatchery in Summer 2017. When they were active this Summer there would be fish hitting all around the lake. My buddy threw out one of those fish finders you pull around with a fishing pole and saw groups of up to 6 "fish" (if that is actually what it was seeing). I really don't know where to begin as far as a guess on numbers. I do know 300 fish in 7 acres is not many to start with.
Cool! Got any idea when they might pull off a spawn? Water temps and time of year up there in those mts?
Originally Posted By: TGW1
Cool! Got any idea when they might pull off a spawn? Water temps and time of year up there in those mts?


Tracy - They should start spawn in October and eggs normally hatch in January or sometime after depending on water temps. Lower water temps lead to later egg hatching. With us seeing water temps down in the 32 degree range last Winter I am assuming any hatch would happen pretty late.

Now, whether or not they can find a naturally occurring spot to lay the eggs that will allow the eggs to hatch is the big question. They require water "upwelling" through gravel for their eggs to hatch. I am hoping that somewhere in the 7 acres they can find a spot that will work. It should be very apparent if they do spawn. I should not currently have a single Brook Trout under 10" in the lake.

While we have a relatively small population of fish and such a rich forage base I have been trying to get out ahead with adding habitat - habitat that won't decompose. I am hoping to add enough habitat early enough I can keep the forage base from getting decimated. We added many MANY tons of rip rap to our peninsula this Summer. We also went around and gathered up about 12 big boulders, 5' or so diamaters, and pushed them off the side of the peninsula. Most of the boulders rolled off into deeper water. Some sit a foot or two below the surface. A couple of them we placed so they would stick out of the water. Unfortunately, the pics don't do ANY justice to the size of the boulders you can see. The good thing is we don't have a shortage of rocks or boulders......

*side note - If anyone notices in the pics, we did have some Eurasian Milfoil try to move in. Treated it with Aquathol. Definitely not letting that take hold.

One side of peninsula


Other side of peninsula. When water comes back up to full pool all the small rip rap will be underwater or right at the surface.


The boy playing in the mud on "his rock". I was hoping to have this boulder stick out of the water a couple inches to be able to stand on it and fish. Unfortunately, it sunk a little further than planned and now will be a few inches under water.
Big congratulations for finally achieving fish survival during extreme winter conditions. Things now will hopefully keep improving!
This has been an awesome thread. Thanks for taking the time to update it.
...the troubling sentence in your last post was the fact that Eurasian milfoil was found in your lake!

How in the world does an invasive weed find its way to a secluded lake at high altitude and in a harsh environment? Could it have come with water that contained the fish that you stocked?

Or do birds visit your lake and have remains or seeds in their excrement?

we are all sunk if your lake has the same milfoil problems with all it has going for it to prevent invasive species!
Great news of the fish over wintering. Great thread.
Thanks guys. I appreciate all the advice, guidance, interest and support over the years. Couldn't have done any of it without this forum! Very exciting times for us for sure.

As far as the Eurasian Milfoil.... We do get quite a few ducks in the Summers. I am assuming they bring all kinds of stuff in with them. I could be wrong, but I assume that if I stay on it early and knock it out before it gets crazy it shouldn't be that bad to deal with??
My buddy went up and caught another fish! After 1.5 hours of fishing, he got one bite and landed it. They are definitely growing!!!
Just got back from the cabin and have some data to share. When I first collected the DO readings I was a little disappointed. They seemed awfully low for what I was expecting. When I put them into the spreadsheet and compared to 2017 they don't seem as far off as I thought.
Keep in mind, in 2017 I was running a 1HP pump the produces much higher CFM. All I have been running in 2018 is a 1/2HP Thomas 2660. I have been running the 1/2HP for longer duration than I was running the 1HP.

I am wondering if anyone can tell me why my surface DO goes so low in September both years? In 2017 it seemed to climb back up as we got later in September and the water temps dropped. I understand DO will rise as water temps fall, but shouldn't my surface DO have been rising from July/August since my water temps are down 20 degrees? In July and August 2018 my surface DO was at 8 & 9 PPM. In July and August 2017 surface DO was at 9 and 10 PPM before I started running aeration.

I am confused.

My WAG is vegetation die-off. I hope an expert will weigh in on this one.
First thing that jumped out at me was higher water temps= lower DO. I understood you to say your DO was higher in July and Aug but did not say what the water temps were then. Is it possible that your water temps were lower in July due to ice melt off? Another thing is back when I ran my diffusers 24/7 and my water temps were in the mid 80's top to bottom and my DO ran around 5.1ppm and your DO is lower even with much cooler water than mine. Maybe because there is less oxygen at higher altitudes? Anyway, best of luck this coming winter. Sorry I am not much help with your place.
Thanks guys!

Tracy - I should have included some of the Summer data to compare. Here is a couple readings from the Summer. Surface water temps were the highest I've personally ever seen up there. Including recent data as well for easier comparison.



Big difference in DO now verses then. Any chance the meter was not calibrated at the time of the higher DO readings or maybe it needs to be cleaned to get the most recent readings? It may not be comparing apples to apples when looking at my E Texas pond but the only experience I have with DO reading are my personal surveys. I know when my water temps are high the DO is lower than when my water temps are cooler. My winter and early spring readings will show DO in the 9+ range during the winter when water temps are say 55 to 65. Any way it might be the DO meter? Does not make much since to me, that the higher DO was in higher water temps.
Tracy
I don't know. It is a YSI optical DO meter. I haven't ever calibrated it or anything. Looking at the pattern from last year to this year makes me think it's something with the water. The surface DO was higher last Summer than it was last Sept and then it does the same again this year. IMO, that doesn't strike me as calibration.

When I took the last readings the water is still a really emerald green color. It doesn't appear to have cleared up at all. I would estimate the visibility to be the same as it was this Summer so it doesn't seem like plankton die off either.
Well, I set here this morning pretty much stumped. This may sound stupid but the only thing I can come up with is the days are longer in July and August which would produce more sunlight for a longer period of time and I would think that might produce more oxygen producing algae. Sounds pretty stupid, when thinking the longer days would produce more heat-hotter water-less O2. And that shows up when comparing afternoon sample verses morning sample. You are just going to have to find someone smarter than me, and that should not be hard to do smile Let us know what you come up with. Most likely something simple lol
That's what I think is called Aukums Razor (spelling) in which the simplest answer is usually the right one. (Saw that on big bang theory!!)
Tracy - I hear you and feel pretty much the same.

I am assuming the simplest answer is it is from some kind of vegetative die off. I would just like to know WHAT exactly is dying off. I do not have much shoreline vegetation at all. The stuff I do have does not appear to be dying at all. Visibility seems the same as Summer so it doesn't seem like plankton is dying.
YSI optical DO meters are supposed to be very accurate, thus the meter is likely okay. If you have the meter measure the surface oxygen in another local water body that is 'normal' and high near 8-10ppm. Or - if meter is at the cabin then when you return check DO in another very clear pond/lake to verify meter is reading a high DO.

Heavy cloud cover and storms on the previous day of the DO check probably reflects low DO production from the previous cloudy day and night.

Emerald green water with a dense algae amount in the pond could be having an influence on the DO due to more or lots of respiration and less photosynthesis. Next time there, check the surface DO at mid afternoon on a sunny day and the test it in the early morning just after sunrise when DO should be low compared to mid day; compare the two readings. This should give a rough estimate of the DO increase due to photosynthesis. Aerators appear to be mixing well the water column top to bottom. Aerators could be mixing low DO deep water throughout the pond during the day keeping DO at all depths lower. Amount of DO production due to photosynthesis will depend on the algae density (numbers per ml). Light penetration will not be very deep in emerald green water causing more respiration deep compared to DO production in the surface shallow layer from photosynthesis. Do you have a homemade secchi disk to get a clarity measurement? Secchi disk can be a rough estimate of algae density for comparison purposes.
Bill,

As always thank you for the insight. Unfortunately, the meter is at the cabin so I will have to check it out next Summer.

Highflyer came up this Summer with his Secci disk and we got some readings. I had to ask him because I didn't remember for sure. Our deepest reading was ~32" and the average was a little less than that.
With a secchi disk reading of 32" in emerald green water expect natural DO production to 5' to 6' deep. This means lots of DO consuming respiration is going on at night and during cloudy days which is why your DO reading were relatively low of 3.5 to 4.6ppm.
Thanks again Bill!

I didn't take a Secchi reading in September but clarity seems the same as it was in July. What would cause my DO numbers to change so much from July to September each year?

In other news....

"Winter is coming!"
With light penetration of 32" and a pretty dense phytoplankton community (bloom) I think noticeable DO fluctuation would occur depending on amount of sunlight the surface receives. Remember the water column circulation you have will move the surface DO production due to phytoplankton photosynthesis throughout the water column. This will keep the surface DO lower compared to non-aerated pond. At least this is my explanation. Also in July the water was warmer at 65-70F compared to Sept of 49-54F and maybe the phytoplankton produced more oxygen in warmer water? Temperature and lack of sunlight may have acted together? Only a guess.
Got it, thanks Bill!

Do you think my phytoplankton will die off at some point when water temp falls to a certain level or will it take the pond icing over enough to block sunlight?

Hoping to get my buddy up there in a week or two to get another DO reading.
Phytoplankton growth depends a lot of the nutrient load and continual fluctuation of those nutrients that 'feed' the community. The two main growth nutrients are nitrogen and phosphorus, but don't forget about the other required macro and micro nutrients. The species composition of phytoplankton changes weekly if not daily due to various influences on the community. There are species that are adapted to thrive in all water temperatures. Nutrient loads and specific nutrient requirements of the species determine the density of algae. Don't expect a die off as water temperatures decrease unless the nutrients significantly decrease or the species encounter a limiting factor. When one most abundant specie dies out due to a limiting factor another specie with slightly different requirements is usually waiting to take its place. Again, total density is usually determined by nutrient availability.
Buddy went up to our place on Friday to check on things. He was able to grab a quick DO reading while he was there. He didn't take the boat out so couldn't get data from very deep. We were at 6.5ppm at 1' and 4.5ppm at 5'. Unfortunately, he did not pay attention to water temp. 1/2HP Thomas 2660 running for 9.5 hours. 5:30am to 3:00pm.

At this point I have to think my DO numbers are down from last year due to the fact I am running a 1/2HP pump instead of the 1 HP pump. We have had some cloudy/rainy/snowy weather here recently so possible all the cloudy days reduced DO as well. It just seems DO was down all year.

Have already had first ice on the water and snow of the season up there. Much earlier than last year. The ice had already melted off the water by later that afternoon.



Below, Hole open from windmill

I would LOVE to get a DO reading, but can't get anyone up there. No idea how thick the ice is. Don't really know anything other than what can be gathered from the pic. Smaller pump running and smaller hole open than last year. No signs yet of any condensation build up showing in the AMPs drawn so that's a very good thing!

Running a quad and dual vertex in ~20' of water off a 1/2HP Thomas 2660. 9.5 hours per day run time.

"Winter is coming!"
The open water in the background of this picture, is that from the windmill? What type of diffuser setup does the windmill run? It probably produces bubbles all the time since you probably have wind all the time?

The quad and the dual they are in 2 separate locations but both driven by the electric pump with solar power driving them on a timer. Do they produce 2 separate holes in the ice and where are those holes in the picture above?
Canyon the big hole in the background is from the two solar driven diffusers. We put the quad and the dual in the deepest water just far enough apart that they could still keep one giant hole open.

Both of my windmills have vertex diffusers. The koenders has a single vertex because it will only make 2 CFM in max wind and I think it's average is much less than that. The frozen over circle this side of the big hole is from the Koenders. The Koenders kept a VERY small hole open for most of the Winter last year.
The American Eagle windmill has a dual vertex on it, but it has already frozen closed. Hopefully it reopens soon. I put the Eagle in a spot I THOUGHT would be better, but it hasn't turned out that way and moving it is a big job. If I didn't have the solar aeration, moving the Eagle would be at the top of the list.
Buddy went up and got some DO data for me. Unfortunately he didn't get down very deep. Only got to 8', but I am super grateful for the data. I think we are doing pretty good so far. In my mind the big test is making it through January with no malfunctions in the system. That is when we failed last year.

I found it very interesting that we are already at 6" of ice and water temps are 37 degrees. Crust of snow on the ice.

Highflyer and I have been kicking around some ideas for next year on when to run the 1HP pump and when to switch to the 1/2HP pump. For example, run the 1HP pump Spring and Fall. Run the 1/2HP Summer and Winter. Keep gathering data and tweak accordingly.

I'd like to get some thoughts on how you guys think we look.

Water appears to be is great shape so far.
Thanks Bill! I've got my fingers crossed!
It's starting to look a lot like Christmas!

It is interesting that the windmills do not have any open water holes above the diffusers in this early winter period. Open water is from the solar aeration system.
Bill,

We have had some really good snow recently. If I had to guess the windmills just got over run with all the new snow. I looked back at some older pics from Winter 2015/16 and 2016/17. Both of those Winters the windmills really struggled to keep visible holes open for large parts of December, January and February. I think maybe part of the reason the Koenders did well last year was because of the lack of snow. We had basically zero snow until mid January. Maybe the Koenders hole is just bridged over by snow??

Now that we are having a more normal Winter the solar is somewhat struggling to keep up. We have had lots and lots of clouds and several times the remote monitoring program for the solar has indicated the panels were covered in snow. When the sun came out it took a little time to melt the snow off the panels and start charging. Not too worried about it currently as it should refill quickly once we have a good sunny day. Looking like a good day for sun for the next two days.
Well, some slightly bad news. I am convinced we are once again battling condensation issues! Yes, it sucks. I thought we had it solved, but it is starting to look like it is not completely solved. I think it is substantially improved over last year, but not completely solved. The hole over the solar aeration appears to be closing up on me. Got a buddy going up hopefully soon to see about blowing out some condensation, running some alcohol through and collecting some data. If the hole improves after this we know we are battling condensation. As far as data, I would obviously like to get some DO numbers. We are also gonna get him to take a laser thermometer up and measure the ground temps in the valve box and the ground temps in the crawl space of the solar shed just so we start to get an idea of what we are up against.

Side note: the windmill hole has improved.


Possible solutions:
1) Check where weighted lines enter the water and make sure we do not have any "P Traps" there in shallow water that are collecting water and freezing.
2) Condensation trap in the crawl space of the solar shed. Highflyer and I talked about building an ~10" aluminum tube with baffles that could collect condensate and send it to a low point. Make a pin hole in the low point that would constantly bleed air and condensate as well. If we find the crawl space is no where near freezing this type of setup should have no problems.
3) Second condensate trap just before the valves in the valve box. Would have to be a smaller version, but it would have a pin hole as well that would constantly bleed out the condensate.
4) Timer controlled power wire ran from solar shed to the valve box and put some heat wire around the valves and out going weighted lines.

I've been following this for quite a while, as I have a similar problem on a much smaller scale. Great post and info.

How about a timer based alcohol "injection" pump? Or maybe a condensate trap with a vertical riser (flat black aluminum would be best) that would extend above ground, drop temperature of compressed air and freeze out water, then heat up when the sun hits it and melt the ice back out. It would have to be somewhat large to catch enough water without plugging, and the base would need to be below the frost line to let the water out after it thaws. But it might drop the temp enough to keep the water from freezing out farther down the line.

Maybe one of the air compressor type condensate drains with a built in timer would work with less air loss / plugging potential.

Best of luck - we're still not frozen here yet, but we lost all of our fish in one pond last year. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Thanks for the ideas Hobby!

Highflyer and I have actually talked about an alcohol injection system. First, I think this Winter is going to show us how bad off we are or are not. One big lesson I have learned up there is the less moving parts the better. If we could solve our problem with a condensation trap or two and not have to add more "complexity" I would be thrilled. Heck at this point I am actually hoping I still have a small P trap in the weighted lines where they hit the water that can be straightened out. If so, that could possibly solve everything.

The Thomas 2660 I run during the Winter will not restart pumping under pressure - I'm only running ~12 PSI. To enable the pump to restart I have a small valve cracked open as small as possible to bleed off the pressure after shutdown. I would be very happy to lose that air blowing out condensation instead.

Last Winter the total lack of snow did not give us an accurate sample of what the solar system would be dealing with on a normal year. (It also sent the frost line MUCH deeper than normal.) This year the much needed snow has made for some tough stretches for solar and we are in one right now. The system hit the low voltage disconnect yesterday and will not turn back on until the sun comes back out and recharges the batteries to a predetermined higher voltage. While it sucks to see the hole close up this setup protects the batteries from being drawn down too far and reducing lifespan. It will be interesting to see what happens when the power turns back on over the next couple days.

With the American Eagle crapping out once again and the solar struggling in a more normal Winter we are discussing taking the Eagle compressor off the tower and replacing it with a 1KW wind turbine to generate more power. We already have basically all of the "infrastructure" in place so it will tie right in to the existing system and battery bank. That should be a very fun project.

Pic from yesterday
All makes sense. I'm hoping to get enough solar to keep ahead of the low voltage cut-out - we'll see. The additonal power from a wind set-up might be the ticket for your set-up.
My buddy is going up to check on my place and help me out today. Planning on running some alcohol through the airlines, adding water to solar batteries and collecting DO data.

I should say he is TRYING to go up today. It's tough going....

Now that is a good buddy! We could all use friends like this guy smile
^^^^^EXACTLY!!!
Looks like he got the snowmobile stuck. Oh Crap!
He IS a VERY good friend! They eventually made it up. Unfortunately he did not bring back good news.

The hole from the aeration has been struggling badly for about a month. The hole consistently shrank. It went from one large hole to two separate holes, to two small holes, to one small hole, to gone. The one single hole would reappear and then disappear one or two days to the next. We have lots of speculation to why the hole would disappear and reappear, but no solid answer. I figured the DO was going to take a big hit.

He said the lake has a thick layer of slushy snow on top. After he cleared away the slush he drilled a hole to measure DO. He said the ice was from his elbow to the very tip of his finger. Estimating 18"-20" thick. He measured in 7' of water and got 1ppm down to .8ppm. The spot he measured was no where near a diffuser. Neither him nor I wanted him getting anywhere near any possible thin ice.

While he was up he put 6 pints of alcohol through the airlines 1/2 a pint or 1 pint at a time. He let some of the doses soak in for up to 20-30 minutes before blowing air through and adding more alcohol. We have already seen an improvement in the aeration holes. All we can hope is there is enough snow on the ground now that it is insulating the airlines and they were starting to thaw on their own and/or they will not refreeze after this round of alcohol. Traditionally February and March are our snowiest months.

I am assuming a lot of fish are dead. We are back to the drawing board again for solutions to the condensation issue.

Pic from 01-24-20109 - day before he went up. Koenders still keeping a small hole open.


Pic from 01-27-2019 - two days after he went up.


Measuring DO.


Snow not giving up easy this year.
In Canada where we went fishing and in winters when they had as much snow or more than what you are showing the camp owner said the ground did not freeze the shallow underground water pipes when snow cover arrived before really cold temps. If you can get the airline open and with your current snow cover it is likely the airline will not refreeze. Hopefully.
Big snow came in last night. More on the way over the next few days. We are getting our butts kicked as far as keeping a hole open goes. Time for version 16.1.7ab plan F

Buddy with a cabin close by swung by our place while he was on the mountain. My other buddy that helps me up there rode up with him. Much easier and more relaxing ride in the snowcat!! Still some work though. Even the snowcat was having a little trouble in some of the really deep and steep! Couple videos just for some perspective of what we are fighting up there. In the end, they made it up and ran some more alcohol through the line. We had a hole open today. More snow coming though so no idea how long the hole will last.




my browser at home says video unavailable. Tried putting the link in the browser directly and says unavailable. Maybe you can post the direct links?
Try these


Snowcat video 1

Snowcat video 2
I think you have to make the videos public?
agree, the links didn't work either, it brought me to youtube but then said the page wasn't available. I suspect at the time of upload it was set to 'private viewing' or something like that
They were private. I thought that just meant people couldn't see them without the link. I have changed them to public.
WBjr,
Any updates for us? Any new pictures? What is the weather supposed to bring?
Canyon - I am getting my butt kicked buddy. Hard to say for sure, but I would guess 2'to 3' of new snow in the last week or so. A small hole opened back up again from the previous snow, but this new round of snow buried it pretty good. More snow coming tonight, tomorrow, Thursday and Friday. So far we are 120% of normal snow pack so a great year for snow. Unfortunately the 1/2HP pump just doesn't have the muscle to break through. I need more intensity in my plume. Definitely going to be running the 1HP pump next year. My buddy is going to go up again in a couple weeks once we know lines will for sure not refreeze and we are going to go ahead and switch over to the 1HP pump. Hopefully it's not too late.

Highflyer, MNFish and I have been brainstorming quite a bit on the plan for next Winter.
Here's an update for y'all. We are at 141% of normal for snow right now. I upped my game this Summer and unfortunately Mother Nature upped hers as well.I would estimated the peak of that roof is ~15-16' off the ground. That is no small structure. There's an F150 and a 70HP Kubota under there with room for two more vehicles. You can see the truck if you look. Needless to say...... no hole open.

Always a pleasure reading your updates in the mountains. Somehow, it makes our Wisconsin winters just a little easier.
WOW!! Does that mean that the deer, elk, cougar, bobcats will have a much higher mortality rate this year? How in the world can they move around to find food in all that snow?
Joey - I am happy to help!! Lol

Canyon - As soon as the snow really starts flying basically all the wildlife migrates down the mountain to lower elevations. Some things stay up there all year. Bears are in their dens hibernating and snowshoe hares stay up there. Down in the valley there is not very much snow on the ground. I don't think my buddy has even had much more than 1' on the ground at one time this year if that.
Looks like we are getting close to punching a hole through the snow/ice. There is a large area of gray snow above the solar diffusers and a small one above the Koenders diffuser. Open water can't come soon enough!

Will you be able to get DO readings once the diffusers punch through again?
Got more snow today so a little set back. My buddy is headed up tomorrow. Going to swap in the 1HP pump and let it rip. I m expecting open water very soon after. He is also going to get DO data while he is up there.
Buddy went up a couple weeks ago to hook up the big compressor. He got it all hooked up and then it blew up. So reconnected the smaller pump. We finally had a hole start to form and it has finally gotten a little size to it. I am hoping the holes and the compressor running ~9 hours per day are making a significant impact in DO. Not sure if any fish are alive, but if they are hopefully the situation improves quickly. A guy in Michigan shipped me a new 1550 and we hope to get it up there and installed asap. No DO data collected as all the time was eaten up with pump swaps. Lots of rain in the forecast. Temps have been pretty warm up there so not sure if it will come down as rain or snow.

Buddy got back up there last Wednesday and hooked up the big pump!! We had ~18" of new snow since he went up last!! Unbelievable amount of snow this year. Had more snow yesterday and more snow and/or rain in the forecast.

As soon as the big pump was connected we immediately started having large gains in the size of the hole daily. Sadly there was no DO data recorded. He said the conditions were really tough and he didn't feel like trying to get down there and dig through the snow to get down to ice and all that. I don't blame him.

Lots of lessons learned this year. Unfortunately those lessons cost money. I keep telling Highflyer I DON'T WANT TO GET ANY SMARTER!!!!

Crossing my fingers at least some fish were able to find a refuge and survive. In addition to windmills, there was the Thomas 2660 running all Winter just no holes open for a long stretch and low DO early on.


Here is the hole on 05.08.2019. One week of running the 1HP compressor 7.5 hours per day. The very small lone hole is from the Koenders windmill.


Here is a pic to illustrate snow depth on 05.01.2019.


Here you can see the results of the small pump in the snow on the lake. Clearly the small compressor just doesn't produce a plume with enough intensity to cut through that much ice and snow. The big pump immediately got to work.
Starting to get some light at the end of the tunnel!! I would LOVE to have some DO data!

It just wouldn't feel right up there if Mother Nature didn't give me one more kick to the teeth. Special weather statement called for up to 24" of snow at our elevation..... in mid-late May..... Got to love it. Might be mid June before a vehicle can even get to our cabin!

At least it looks like your aerator is keeping the holes open. Remember...
You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between
Joey
The positive is we needed the snow. Last year was the worst drought on record where we are. This years snow should go along way towards bringing us back.

This graph shows this year compared to average/normal. Staggering amount of snow this year. Almost 2,000% more snow on the ground today as there was on the same day last year.

Probably snowing up there right now, too. We went to bed last night, and awoke to snow this morning way down here at 6500 feet. Now it's just raining bison and elk. That means snow at your pond.

We're expecting a full McPhee reservoir, and a decent boating season on the Dolores river downstream.
4Corners

You were right. We have definitely gotten even more now! This will be the first year I have had the 1HP pump up and aerating when the run off happens. Especially with the amount of run off we are going to get. I am hoping this big of a flush substantially improves the water quality up there and makes it easier to over Winter the fish for 2019/2020.
I have really enjoyed following along on your journey at 10K feet. I hope Bob L. picks up on it and has you do an article for PBM.
Thanks Bill D! I truly appreciate the interest. Things will get a little more interesting this Summer. I am replacing the American Eagle windmill compressor with an actual wind turbine capable of making ~2,500 watts. This should give me quite a bit more power with the winds we have up there especially in Winter. One of the really cool functions this allows me to do is divert power. Here is the plan: Once the turbine is installed, whenever the batteries are fully charged and the wind is still blowing the wind turbine charge controller will activate a relay that will turn on a second air pump. This second pump will be on a second timer set to only run outside the hours of the first pump. SO, if the 2nd pump timer is on (outside of solar hours) AND the relay is on (batteries fully charged) we will be getting additional aeration any time the wind is blowing instead of wasting that power. This should give me a staggering increase in aeration run time. I think this will be a game changer for keeping a hole open through Winter. It should help with the major issues I have faced. Hard for the hole to freeze closed with aeration running, hard for big snows to bridge over the hole with aeration running and hard for condensation to freeze up with aeration running. It also allows me to run the 1HP pump all Winter without having to be concerned about lack of power during the big snow storms.
Getting close to open water I THINK. My guess is 3-5 days and we see some clearly open water. Neighbor went to his place this past weekend. He's 500-600' lower in elevation than us and he still had 4' of snow at his cabin. He thinks one to two weeks before he can drive his pickup to his place and even longer for us. Hopefully my other buddy is going to snow shoe in sometime this week to check on the spillway, gather some DO data, etc.

Finally getting some open water!!

Very awesome! Please give us that important update on oxygen readings and any signs of life in the shallows next time someone travels up there. Looks like you can go by vehicle and foot now?
Wbuffetjr, I really enjoy your photos. Looks like it won't be long and you'll have green grass and running water.
Thanks guys!

Got someone going up on Thursday to gather some data and a few other things. I am very excited to see the DO and temp readings. I will post the results. Unfortunately, it will most likely be a walk in trip. Our driveway is long, steep and on the North face of a ridge so it is usually some of the last snow to melt. If there is ANY snow around the cabin then there is a lot of snow still on the driveway.

Highflyer and I are thinking this will by far be our best year for water quality progress. We turned on the big pump 2.5 months sooner than it has ever been turned on and we did that on a year that the pond is going to receive a staggering amount of run off. The water should be fully mixed and we will really flush the pond out. Hoping that makes a significant and lasting improvement that makes this coming Winter somewhat easier to deal with.

I am HOPING for some fish survival, but over the years of failure I have become cynical about that. We will see. It would be really nice to have some holdovers.
Ok, so this winter was ranking worse than last winter or any prior winter due to heavy snow fall. But did the air lines ice up as much or more than other years? Would you say your amount of open water was similar to last year or much less?

What is the plan to prevent condensation in lines this coming winter? Or do you plan to just use a system with stronger power to keep blowing the condensation out of the lines?

The run off, how does it flush your pond? Does it have a outflow or does it just expand its overall area and then go back down to original size?

Please post pictures this week, can't wait to see if you have salamanders, crayfish, scuds etc...
Canyon - at the bottom I attached a graph that shows this year to the last couple years plus "normal" and average. This year CRUSHED 2017 and 2017 was a big year. We have a large spillway and normally spill a lot of water in the Spring and for a big chunk of the Summer. (We have NEVER spilled water with the water fully mixed though and we think this will make a substantial change!!!) Last year, worst drought on record, was the first year I have ever seen the water level drop. We have estimated that on a normal year I have enough run off from snow to completely fill the pond 2-3 times over. This year is ~1.5 times or more normal.

We are still not 100% sure if the lines froze up this year or not. We know for sure the 1/2HP pump does not make the "plume intensity" needed to get through thick ice and massive snow. This year we plan on building a Winter only diffuser set up that is (rough draft) 4 Vertex heads and 2 heads that make larger bubbles for 6 total heads. We are going to feed that with a 1" airline that is direct connected to the main 1" airline. This will prevent any turns, restrictions, etc that gives the condensation any place at all to collect. We are also going to place this setup in shallower water than before. Not sure how shallow yet. Our base goal is to keep a hole open PERIOD. We think this new design (thanks in big part to MNFISH) is our best shot. If it fails again, I will be building a small dock and putting the compressor right out on top of the water with airlines going literally straight down to deeper water. I think that is bulletproof answer and has been proven by MNFISH to work, but I am trying to make that last resort.

I am also installing an axial flux wind turbine to the system this Summer. I will be removing the American Eagle windmill compressor, throwing it in the lake for fish structure and using it's tower for the new turbine. In addition to substantial extra power the wind turbine gives me an excellent opportunity to "divert" excess power to some chosen load. The load I am going to use is a second air pump. This second air pump is only going to run out side of the solar hours when there is excess power from the turbine and the solar pump is not running. This could possibly double my aeration run time especially in the Winter. That would keep DO up, make it harder for the hole in the ice to close up/get snowed over AND allow less time for any condensation in the line to freeze up.

We will see how it goes.


This may be a silly idea butt...

If you really want to keep the hole open in winter, what about a solar powered fish feeder but broadcast sodium chloride? I have seen feeders that hold 400lbs, or you could just add a hopper to increase capacity on a smaller one. You would only have to broadcast for 10 seconds, once a day, probably first thing in the morning.

Maybe?
Joey - Interesting idea and first time it has been mentioned. As of now I have a plan A and a Plan B. If those fail I will be open to try ANYTHING! As a general rule up there - I try to solve problems with the least amounts of moving parts as possible. It seems all Mother Nature needs is the slightest opening and she slips in and whips my butt.

On a side note: I am VERY interested in hearing about your Brookies! I think you and I may be the only guys on PB managing them! You should make a post with some pics!!
Pic from today. This pretty much sums up how this year has been so far... more snow..... in mid June...

Still waiting for my buddy to get up there. I will be up there myself at the end of this month. Hoping we won't have any trouble getting in. The last 1/2 or 3/4 mile or so to the cabin is all North facing thick timber. Supposedly still 4' of snow on that stretch.

Well, yesterday I got the best news I have gotten in a while! Buddy were to the cabin to get some data and make a couple adjustments for me and said there were trout busting everywhere!! I can't believe it! That is two years in a row of over Wintering for me. For those of you that weren't bored enough to read this thread from the beginning (I don't blame you), this place went 20 years with Winter kills every year! If that doesn't prove the power of Pond Boss and aeration I don't know what does!

DO at surface was 8.6 PPM. DO at 12' was 7.7 PPM. Water was 50 F top to bottom. We have NEVER started the year with those kinds of numbers! He said there are millions of scuds swarming the shoreline everywhere and tons of fat heads as well. No real way to verify what percentage of fish survived, but judging from the activity he saw I am assuming a good bit. Interesting side note: Summer 2018 everyone thought all the fish had died. Hours were spent fishing and just watching the lake for signs of activity. It wasn't until mid July that we saw the first fish hit the surface and realized they had lived. Looking back I THINK lower DO had possibly kept their activity suppressed. This year they are apparently going gangbusters.

He said water was murkier than he has ever seen it which is not at all what we were expecting. I am assuming that is because we have had a huge snow-melt runoff this year. We THOUGHT that would make the lake clearer than ever. Still have a fairly substantial amount of runoff to go. He thinks there is at least 2' or more of snow still in the timber above the lake.

While he was up there a storm blew through and hailed on him. He and his truck had to dive for cover!


Cool pic of the lake after the storm


Thank God the solar panels held up. I am impressed.
Wow, this whole story is impressive, seems like a lot of work to maintain your fishing hole, this being past the longest day of the year, the days are already getting shorter, how soon will it freeze over again on average, how long will you get to fish and enjoy it before winter? it is a beautiful pond tho in a beautiful setting. You have a tranquil postcard setting there! Enjoy!
Thank you! It has definitely been a labor of love AND a learning process. One of the most complicating factors up there is the variability of the conditions. It is hard to predict what is going to happen weather-wise year to year. For example, the lake was frozen over for almost a month longer than normal this year. On "average" it will freeze over sometime in late November or early December. I have not ice fished it yet, but I hear ice fishing is loads of fun so Winter doesn't necessarily end the enjoyment.

Another complication is the lack of people operating in conditions like we are. I have only really talked to one person, MNFish, that deals with conditions similar to ours.
Whoa! Our temp here was 31 degrees this am. I'm wondering if the shoreline of your pond saw some skim ice.
All western streams and lakes get some degree of murkiness in spring. Some look like chocolate milk, some like coffee with cream; many only are very slightly discolored. I suppose most of the color is from erosionary forces and a smaller amount of discoloring is from biological responses to nutrient additions.
That's such incredibly wonderful news that fish have survived. So many of us have followed your journey, fascinated by your every post and pic. We just KNEW that you were on the road to success, and seeing your determination, we knew you'd get it figured out.
Congratulations!!!
Thank you for the kind words 4Corners! I am still on Cloud 9 and might be for the rest of the year!

Highflyer and I have been excited about this run off for the chance to flush a bunch of nutrients out of the lake. (First time ever having the lake fully mixed when the runoff came). I had not considered how much erosion might come with this big of a run off. I am curious to see what the net effect to water quality and clarity is going to be. We were hoping flushing a bunch of nutrients would make Winter 2019/2020 some amount easier to deal with.
I am back from the mountains. Highflyer came out again and we got a bunch done.

DO levels were better than ever! We were at 9.0-9.5 PPM at the surface and 6.5-8.0 PPM at the bottom! I have never had readings like that at this time of the year. Leaves me excited to see what we can head into Winter with.

I did not have the "Green Slime" out break this year like in years past so that was a positive. The water was turning extremely green when I was leaving. Almost starting to look pea soup green in some areas. It has done that before, but I wasn't expecting it this year. Highflyer thinks the massive runoff this year helped with visibility. We are agreeing to disagree on that one. I do not think it helped and was disappointed in clarity. Secci disk read 30" when we tested it on ~8/22 but I think that number had decreased quite a bit before I left at the end of the month. I really thought the big runoff/flush would get rid of a lot of nutrients.

Once again made some major improvements that should help make this Winter a little easier to deal with. I redesigned the the valve system in the power shed and the valve system in the valve box. We are now on Version 4.1b- LOL. This new design dropped the PSI reading on the 1HP pump 3-4 PSI. This reduced the power draw from the pump almost 200 watts. That will help substantially over Winter.

Also added the Axial Flux wind turbine seen in the video below. Standing this baby up was NOT fun, although I think next time will be easier. This turbine ties into the existing power system (it's power will help charge the same batteries the solar panels charge). Hopefully this turbine will produce it's best power on days the solar panels struggle (when big storms are coming in/out). Unfortunately the turbine still needs a ton of work. Tail has to be redesigned and so does the hail shield. Also have to custom program the power curve in the charge controller that manages it. Anyway, on to the stuff pond guys care about. The charge controller for the wind turbine has a bunch of auxiliary functions. One of them is called Float High. This basically says IF: the batteries are in "float" (100% charged) and there is extra power coming in THEN: turn on this relay. I installed a second timer, separate from the 1HP pump, that controls a secondary pump. The second timer's hours are set opposite of the first timer. Basically if Timer 1 is on then Timer 2 is off. So if Timer 2 is on AND there is extra power coming from the turbine, that would otherwise be wasted, the relay turns on and activates the second pump for extra aeration run time that is totally automated and supplemental. This second pump's extra run time alone could provide a massive amount more aeration than we have ever had before especially over the Winter. This extra aeration should do a few things:

1) should not allow holes to close up as fast. When big storms blow in with a bunch of snow the holes seem to bridge over over night and take longer to open. This extra aeration should reduce that some amount.

2) the more we are running air through the airlines the less time any airline has to freeze up. With the 1HP pump running we measured the new metal valve system in the valve box and it was 10 degrees over ambient. Side note: We think this additional heat will help with lines freezing up this Winter.

3) IF the 1HP pump happened to go down this Winter we will already have a back up pump in place that will be providing some aeration. Totally automated and requires no one to make an emergency trip up the mountain.

As you can see I think we are more than prepared for this coming Winter. HOWEVER, every time I feel supremely prepared Mother Nature has a habit of slapping me around like a little baby so I am expecting more of the same.

Big thanks to Brian for all the help and talking about this project.

Sounds like you have created an Alpine Lake paradise for brookies, wbuffetjr! It won't be long and you'll have every bear in the county expecting a fish dinner. Any grizzlies in the area?

Just curious, how many watts is the wind turbine?

Don't be shy about posting photos, I am sure there are others like me who really envy the solitude and scenery of your property.
Joey - thank you!

Thankfully no Grizzlies around us. In past years when we had fish kills every year we have every bear in the county at our pond at ice out.

The turbine should be capable of producing 2,000 watts. Right now it is a big learning experience with tuning this power curve. Much more complicated than I expected. I have the curve/turbine toned down substantially during this learning phase and it shouldn't be able to produce max power. I will be back out there at the end of September and plan to experiment more and leave it less restricted for the Winter.

Last Fall I stocked 300 Brookies and 100 Splake (Brook Trout x Lake Trout). We only caught three fish this Summer. The last fish got killed so we didn't fish it anymore after that. All three fish that were caught were Splake. I know three fish isn't a large sample size, but I thought it was interesting no one caught any Brookies. I am wondering if all the Brookies I stocked died and the Splake survived due to hybrid vigor?? Highflyer went out with his super fancy fish finder and didn't count many fish at all. ~30 fish IIRC. Those will be my guinea pigs for this coming Winter.

I am waiting to stock more Brookies until 2020. A local hatchery is going to hatch a batch of Temiscamie Brook Trout and I want to start off with those genetics. Waiting another full year to stock sucks!!

Forgot to mention we also put 40 tons of rip rap on the dam this trip. I expected 40 tons to go a lot farther than it did....


I will post more pics for sure. Here's one of the Splake we caught. This was the smallest one. Didn't have phone with us for the other ones.



My son caught the biggest Rainbow in a neighbor's lake I have ever personally seen caught.

2,000 Watts? Coupled with your solar panels, sounds like you have enough power to spend most of the year there. If the winters weren't so tough at 10k, that would make a great retirement property. I bet the night sky is amazing and watching a meteor shower must be a sight to behold.

I have never seen a rainbow that big, personally. I know they catch them that size in Lake Michigan but I am a fly fisher and don't venture out into open waters much. Did you eat the splake and or the rainbow? What color was the flesh? Nothing tastes better than wood grilled trout, except maybe smoked trout.
I am truly blessed to be there. At night it looks like the Milky Way is laying right on top of you. First time I was ever up there I immediately saw why they call it the Milky Way. Being from Atlanta I had NEVER seen anything like it. This Summer up there I saw a meteor go across the sky that was like the size of a pencil eraser. It was like I could see the fire around the edges of it. Truly astonishing.

Yes 2,000 watts around 25mph SHOULD be it's peak. I expect it to spend a lot more time in the 500-1,000 watt range. Most of our really big wind is in the Winter though so it should be a perfect combo.

We did eat the Splake and it was good, but not as good as the Brook Trout from last year. More like the Lake Trout I have eaten. The Splake's meat was pinkish, but the Brookies meat was more than Pink. It looked and tasted more like Salmon. That's one of the reasons I am determined to grow big Brookies.

Here's another cool pic from this Summer. I got one similar to this a couple years ago, but didn't catch the rainbow quite in time. This year I caught it when it was right in the lake!!

That is Fantastic! I saw a rainbow once on my old place that terminated in the lower pasture, but getting a photo of a double in the lake is just awesome! I would have been temped to get in the water just to see if anything magical happened and I'm not superstitious at all.
Thanks QA! After seeing this a second time I was thinking we may need to rent some scuba gear!!

Did you see my post about DO levels and the turbine? I think you will like it!
What a beautiful place!
It makes you want to sing a John Denver song, sitting around a campfire while everybody is...
That's it me a toto our packing up tonight..... Headed for the mountains
Chad you have a ton going on...I hope we can chat soon and can learn more about your project and results. You've worked damned hard to get this figured out.

How did you polymer treatment go?
Haha thanks Fellas! I'm definitely lucky to get to spend time there. Only wish I got more of it.

Tj - thanks again! Polymer went well! Still have about half of it left to put out. Was going to do that in Sept. It definitely slowed the seep behind the damn. Hoping the second app finishes it off.
Well, more learning going on. Which is a good thing. I LOVE TO LEARN!! It is so much better than things just going smoothly! I mean who likes smooth?? Why would you want things to just work? Constant issues and getting smarter is so much fun!!

Looks like we have a pretty serious "grass blade bloom" going on. Not sure exactly why this happened this year. Never seen anything like it before. Clearly we are rocking the boat and Mother Nature is reacting.

Leaving in 3 days and heading West for elk season. Looking forward to getting up there and figuring out what the heck is going on...... and getting SMARTER! YAY!





Those could be flakes of the bluegreen algae Aphanizomenon. When it is blooming well it can appear as grass clippings.
How can you tell bill if that is what it is? Is there a test?
I am almost certain that is what it is. My pics look identical to Googled images of Aphanizomenon.

Bill - Any idea what change in conditions would cause this to start happening? Also, any idea of what water temp might cause it to start to decline?
Aphanizomenon has several different species and each tends to have its own favorite water conditions to form blooms. As a group it can thrive in low nitrogen conditions. Amount of phosphorus tends to be the main stimulus when blooms form. It has been reported in low and high nutrient water. I think you should see significant reduction in density when water drops around or below 60F. Again, somewhat species specific regarding preferred temperature.

About the only way to determine the specie is look at it at high magnification and know what you are doing to recognize the specific characteristics to identify the species.
The "grass blade bloom" continued on into the end of September. By the time we were leaving the bloom was finally starting to fade out, but it was still there. At one time there was quite a bit of the "grass blades" in the water and I think it was making my DO sag significantly overnight. Could have also been the bloom combined with whatever die off is going on whenever my water temps hit the mid 50s.
For the first time ever my water is VERY VERY clear. At times I could see 6 to 8 feet deep. That has NEVER happened before. Interestingly, reading up on those grass blade blooms says they are associated with very clear water.

Caught some big Splake (Lake Trout x Brook Trout) while we were there. Biggest one was probably 16-18". They were stocked this time last year at 6-8". I think they would be bigger if they had not had to endure such a harsh Winter that killed most of the fish. Interesting side note: I stocked 400 Brook Trout and 100 Splake. The only fish caught in our lake this year were Splake and they seem to be the only fish that over Wintered in our lake. I think only a fraction of the 100 survived. Perhaps it has something to do with hybrid vigor? Here's one of the big Splake


The Brook Trout are so colorful this time of the year they look fake! This fish is a perfect example of why I am trying so hard to over Winter and grow trophy Brookies. Imagine this guy at 3 LBS!!


Not great fish pics because I was trying to be as gentle as possible with them and they were determined not to cooperate!

Pulled up some underwater vegetation when I pulled the boat anchor up. I assumed most of this stuff would have died off when we raised the water level so much, but it is still there, growing much deeper than I would have thought possible. I am sure this is a big part of my over Winter problems. Cool side note: Check out all the snails and scuds that came out of this one small bunch of plants. I never knew there were snails much less that many snails in the lake.

Very nice beautiful fish - glad to see your diligent efforts are paying nice dividends. Your aeration methods have evidently been enough to keep your trout alive during those harsh, extreme winters. Hopefully those brookies will live long enough to make it to 3 pounds for you! Your submerged vegetation is very likely Chara but it could be Nitella depending on your water chemistry. Most of the snails are rams-horn snail, probably the common Helisoma anceps with the occasional pond snail called Physella (Physa). The Chara is allowing the scuds to thrive.
Beautiful fish! When I see all those snails it makes me wonder if pumpkinseed sunfish would survive in your pond. They would love to chow down on those guys.
Thanks Bill and Bill!!

I am hoping the Brook Trout will eat those snails as well. I really don't want to introduce any other predators except for maybe some trout that won't reproduce like Rainbows or other hybrids. I considered Walleye, but again I am too nervous they would reproduce.
Beautiful fish. Congrats on the over winter success.
Originally Posted By: snrub
Beautiful fish. Congrats on the over winter success.


Thanks Snrub! At this point I would call it partial Winter Success. We still had a significant, and probably majority, die off. Hoping to improve on that this Winter.
"Winter is coming"

Well here we go again! Wish me luck!

Give us a run down on the set up again this year?
You have only one windmill?
I thought you were putting a generator turbine on top of the windmill, is that present in the picture above?

What is the strategy?
Canyon - I posted some long updates on the page before this one. I even posted a video of the new turbine. It's pretty cool.

I now have one aeration windmill that pumps air. I replaced my second air pumper with an actual turbine to generate electricity. Struggling with that process still and to date we have made 95 watts! LOL

If I had to name the strategy this Winter it would be "Operation Hulk Smash"! We are running the big 1HP pump as much as we can as long as we can! We are currently still running for ~9 hours per day right now. Going to dial it back to 4.5 hours here soon though. It is pushing 9 vertex discs. 6 of those discs are in ~18' of water. The other 3 are in ~12' of water. I redesigned the valve box and things are much better. Pressures are lower. Compressor temps are 50 degrees lower!!! Hoping all this leads to less condensation produced.

I redid the valve box with metal pipe, valves and fittings. At the very end of the line, the lowest spot, I drilled a tiny hole in the metal plug. The smallest drill bit I had. I put that plug in before I left. The idea is it will blow out/drip/pee condensation all day and drain the line when the compressor turns off. IF the little hole freezes up, it will hopefully thaw the next day after some amount of run time and the whole process will repeat. That's the plan anyway. I also insulated the lid to the valve box so now it is 4" of spray foam. Inside the box should stay warmer by some amount this Winter.

Hoping to get some DO data in the next week or two. Just waiting on my buddy to make it up there.
First issue of the year...

We had a breaker mysteriously trip on the charge controller. This took down the incoming power from solar. The pump continued to run and drained the batteries down to the level where the system cuts off to protect the batteries. It took a week for my buddy to get up there and diagnose and correct the problem. The power came back online and the system rebooted. The pump started running again and air flowing. While the pump was down we got ~20" of snow and some low temps around 0. Temps returned to somewhat normal and most of the snow that is exposed to the sun has melted off. Today is the 4th day the pump has been back up and running. The diffusers have chewed through the ice and the holes are getting a little bigger each day. Currently the 1HP pump is only running 4.5 hours per day. We are going to bump that up to 5.5 or 6 hours.

Had to look back on this thread to see run times and results in the past. It has been very handy to have this thread as a data log.

While my buddy was up he got some DO data. We were at 36 degree water temps and 8.6 PPM of DO!! This was after aeration had been shut down and the lake fully frozen over with snow cover for one week. We are very excited and encouraged about those numbers.Gonna be an interesting Winter!

Growing a sport fishery at 10,000 ft is definitely a challenge.
Following along again this year. Hope we both make it through. Last year we did OK with two solar aerators going - both broke down at some point but not at the same point....

I'm not into just burning fuel for no reason, but maybe a small auto-start backup generator would be appropriate given the potential loss you're dealing with each winter? Propane fired? Large propane tank might be tricky but it could be the ultimate belt and suspenders approach.
Hobbyman I'm wishing you the best this winter!! I am curious what issues you had with your pumps?? Was it condensation related? Do you think you can prevent the same issues this year? If you made a post about this I missed it.

Believe it or not I had a 5,500 watt propane generator, that I never hooked up, out at the cabin just for that purpose. I already have a 1,000 gallon propane tank buried. In the end I decided the generator wasn't worth the cost. I actually just sold the generator about two days ago. The number of times we are shutdown due to power out is very very slim. It is the condensation that kills me. The past two years being able to run the pump wasn't the issue. The issue was getting the air from the pump to the water.

Plus this wind turbine is supposed to be my belt and suspenders if we can ever get the dang thing to work right. That is whole other painful story lol....
One of the failures was a pump. It's a small direct drive solar pump, 24v thomas rocking piston pump, purchased used and was running flawlessly for at least 3 years, so can't blame it really. The other was a timer / control issue on a larger solar / battery pump. No issues with lines freezing / condensate last year, thankfully. I redid the battery system this year so it has about 3' of line from the pump to the water, and i'm going to replace the small direct drive pump and it's tubing before we freeze up (we have a few weeks left).

Best of luck to you as well!
Great to hear your complications were fairly straight forward fixes! Post some pics over the winter! Us ice folk have to stick together!! Lol
I'll get some pics along the way - hopefully of some holes in the ice!
Here's the current situation.

The small hole closest to the peninsula is from the Koenders windmill. All other holes are from solar. 1HP pump currently running 4.5 hours per day. If we can just maintain this through the next two months I think we are home free. No idea what to expect this year as far as snow.

Beautiful picture! What was the breaker tripping event due to?

Funny thing is we have more snow on the ground in MI than you do in CO, hopefully it melts soon, not ready for snow before Thanksgiving!
Thanks Canyon. Not 100% sure what tripped the breaker. I think it could be turbine related so we shut down the turbine for winter. Swapping in a new breaker just to be sure.

We have had ~20" fall so far. I am kind of surprised ours already melted. Maybe you guys will have an epic snow year! I will cross my fingers for you! LOL
?? I thought the turbine running was the key to keeping enough battery power for your big pump to keep running all winter? But now it won't run all winter?

If you turn off the turbine for winter then you rely on the windmill to run one bubbler directly, and just plain solar to recharge your batteries to run all the others?

So you are thinking that if the condensation issues are solved then the 'old' design system should be able to keep up all winter?

You got good size openings in the ice now so that is good news
Canyon - The solar panels alone can supply more than enough power to run the big pump all winter. For example, winter 2017 we were struggling with condensation filling the airline. The water in the lines increased resistance and drove up the power the pump was drawing to a low of 1,100 watts and a high of 1,500 watts. We were still able to run the big pump 6 hours per day off the solar system alone. With the redesigned valves, etc the pump alone is now only drawing ~900 watts. HUGE improvement!! The temperature at the pump outlet dropped from 180 degrees to 125 degrees. Another HUGE improvement! The reduced temps alone should lead to less condensation produced in the first place. The cool part is I will be able to identify any condensation issues by monitoring the power drawn by the pump. Any increase at all can only (I think) come from condensation issues starting to form.

The turbine was just going to supplement the power and was going to hopefully excel at times when the panels struggle like when a big storm blows in. The turbine was also going to provide additional run time for a second smaller pump (Thomas 2660 - 1/2HP) via an automated process.

Unfortunately the turbine is not working correctly. It has been a big struggle of it's own. We have verified that the turbine is built properly and producing power but we cannot get that power to the batteries for some unknown reason. In addition, I personally think the turbine contributed to the tripped breaker. So IMO safer to just disable the turbine and go with what I know works and has been battle tested. I will resume the turbine fight next summer.
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
I will resume the turbine fight next summer.


Great, thanks for the extra info, that makes a lot of sense. Sounds like it is a complicated electrical transfer or converter or charging component problem and that would take a bunch of spare parts or a turbine factory rep onsite, or a electrical engineer to figure out. I agree, do that type of work when the weather is a bit better!
Got an update from a neighbor on the mountain. Had ~15-20" of snow fall over a couple days. Then we got a couple days of sun to recharge batteries. Weather looks like we have quite a bit more snow coming from now through Friday. These big snow storms are what have given me trouble in the past. They dump a couple feet of snow and just over run the holes. Then aerator has a hard time chewing through the deep snow to reopen a hole before another big snow dumps. I THINK deep enough snow is able to bridge across the hole so maybe water isn't actually touching the snow. Don't have a way to prove that. Going to be interesting to see how the 1HP pump handles it. Hanging tough so far....

Smallest hole is from Koenders windmill.

Battling!!

Got snowed over for a little bit, but have battled back! The snow/weather has been a little rough on the solar so far. It sure would be nice to have the turbine up and running. Next summer I am going to add another 1,000+ watts of solar. It will be unneeded most of the year, but when it is needed it will be priceless!

Snow amount as of 12.12.19 is at 113% of 12.12.2018.

Another decent storm came through and snowed the holes over again. The deeper diffusers opened back up fairly quickly. Shallower diffusers battling with one of them (closest one in the pic) struggling more than the other. Another bigger storm coming in today and over the weekend. Possibly up to 2' of snow. Going to be interesting to see what happens. So far very good - much better than last year even though we have more snow this year!

That'd be my guess is the snow is bridging over the holes high enough off of the water so the water cannot touch it to melt it. I'd be willing to bet that the larger hole proves that theory.

Can you guesstimate the sizes of the holes in the ice in the first picture? (11-25-2019)
Originally Posted By: esshup
That'd be my guess is the snow is bridging over the holes high enough off of the water so the water cannot touch it to melt it. I'd be willing to bet that the larger hole proves that theory.

Can you guesstimate the sizes of the holes in the ice in the first picture? (11-25-2019)


Esshup I'll give a little perspective from the 11-25-19 pic and then take a stab. The Koenders windmill tower in that pic is 20' tall plus a couple feet for the blades. I measured the smallest hole, from the Koenders, on my screen and it's 1/2" and the windmill looks like slightly under 1/2" so I am gonna call the little hole 25' in diameter. The big hole is almost 3" so I am gonna say ~140' in that pic. No where near that big now tho.
Thanks. I've found that the for winter aeration, coarser bubbles are better because of the wave action they make. OR shove a LOT of air thru the fine bubble membrane diffusers.

I have a single membrane diffuser that will open up an area 30-50 feet in diameter depending on the ambient temp. and ice thickness. BUT I'm shoving more air thru it than recommended by the mfg.
Thanks for the ideas! I really don't want to have to change heads for Winter because I am not there in the Spring to change them back. If the lines don't freeze up this year I will feel better about closing one off and send more air the less discs. This year I have two lines that I was planning on being my sacrifice to the condensation gods. So far they seem to not be freezing up......yet.
Heading west today!! Going to the cabin for a week for Christmas! Planning to collect a lot of DO, Temp, Ice Thickness and etc data! Also hope to just watch the process for a week and see what I can learn!

Give me some ideas for what might be insightful info to look for that I am not thinking about!

Merry Christmas and happy New Year to all of you!
With that much snow cover on the ice, watch for overflow conditions (water on top of the ice) and be really careful on the ice as you get near any aeration openings.

It would be interesting to see the DO readings in 2'-3' increments (depth wise) and also how far away from the open aeration holes those readings were taken. i.e. how far from those holes in the ice does the DO stay in the correct levels to sustain life? 100 yds? 200 yds?

One last thing, what % of the pond surface area is open? 1%, 5%?

I think the snow cat will get a workout this year!!
Haha the Snocat IS going to get a BIG workout this year! Unfortunately, ours isn't done so I am borrowing this one.

I am way to chicken to get anywhere near the aeration holes! The big holes are in ~20' of water. Falling in there, with snow shoes on, would be a real bad day!

I am going to do my best to get extensive DO/temp data and due to my fear of cold water it will likely be far far away from the holes!

We also plan on doing some ice fishing in 2 or 3 other near by lakes (I don't want to hurt my fish lol) so I hope to get some DO data on those too!

I will do some figuring on open water percentage. I think it is very small.
A safe way to approach an open ice hole is to bore holes in the ice as you progress toward the open water. In a well frozen aerated pond that was not spring fed I have found 6" thick ice within 6 ft of aerated open water. General pond ice thickness was 6"-7". Uplifted bottom water cools rapidly as it rises upward and spreads outward in the open hole. Plus with daily aeration during ice cover the water gets well circulated and water rising from the bottom is very close to 34F and not much cooling has to occur for that water to reach 32F.

Once you know the prevailing ice thickness you should be able to find the same ice thickness within 30ft and then 20 ft of the open ice hole. Water temperature should be the same within 50 and 20 ft of the open ice hole.
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.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

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 (I relocated valve box after year one)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.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Halfway there
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Made it to the cabin
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Amazing sunrises!
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

The kid ice fishing at a buddy's cabin
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
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!!!
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!!

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.
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.
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?
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??

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.
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.
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.
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!

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"
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?
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).
Maybe install an air lift with the vent out of the ice?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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
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!
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
Why is doming considered a problem? Reference the post date in this thread for me for the answer.
Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
Why is doming considered a problem? Reference the post date in this thread for me for the answer.


Bill,

Here is part of my post from after my trip to the cabin
"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."

Here is the pic I mentioned


After the hole freezes closed for any amount of time, when the air kicks on next it is lifting the ice up off the water before a hole is melted open. Fairly quickly the water cannot contact the ice. This is preventing the diffusers from making holes. It is still domed over and frozen solid as of today.

The last day I was there I actually watched the dome form. The hole had frozen closed over night. When the aeration kicked on that morning I could see the water moving around under the ice. After about ten minutes I could only see the water intermittently touching the ice. After 15 minutes or so I never saw the water touch the ice again.
With the cold temps the past few days I turned my aeration system on today. I'll get a picture of the diffuser plume tomorrow. It's roughly 3' below the surface.

Today I woke up to 5F, and it never warmed up past 17F. It is supposed to be around 8F tonight.
Scott

Is the diffuser sitting on the bottom in 3' of water or suspended 3' below the surface over deeper water? Can you get out on the ice and take some measurements to see how far that water is moving?

It would be interesting to see if you could make yours dome up. Run the aeration for a few hours and turn it off. Repeat the next day.
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Scott

Is the diffuser sitting on the bottom in 3' of water or suspended 3' below the surface over deeper water?


Suspended in approximately 10 feet of water, depending on the pond water level.

Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Can you get out on the ice and take some measurements to see how far that water is moving?


If we ever get ice thick enough to safely walk on I will take temp/DO readings on the opposite side of the pond and report. I'll note how far away from the diffuser plume the readings were taken and at what depth.

Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr

It would be interesting to see if you could make yours dome up. Run the aeration for a few hours and turn it off. Repeat the next day.


Nope, can't make a dome. I can let the ice form for a few days to a week, turn the system on and within an hour to 2 hours the hole is open.

This year unless something changes, it will be difficult to test. While we had sub zero temps in November, the whole pond opened up again in early Dec. We had single digit temps starting early Sat. am, warming up to the teens in the afternoon and the same temps again yesterday, but by the upcoming wekend and continuing until Feb we are supposed to have highs in the upper 30's and lows in the upper 20's, so I don't know how much ice will form. I'll go get a picture in a little bit of the hole that is open from running the system continually for the past 36 hours. The system was started when there was a couple of inches of ice on the pond and a few inches of snow, and the temps have been in the 10-20 degree range for the past 36 hours.

If the problem with your pond is the dome forming overnight because of only having juice available during the day have you thought about a battery bank to run it at night? I really think moving the diffusers shallower will help eliminate any doming issues. You will see what I mean with my picture.
Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
Why is doming considered a problem? Reference the post date in this thread for me for the answer.


Bill C - did you see this? Have you ever dealt with the ice doming up? Reposted on 1/19/2020


Scott - I already have a pretty substantial battery bank. It is 680AH at 48V. I am not sure what it would take to run 24-7 up there, but I AM sure whatever it is is out of my budget! lol

I am hoping that shallow diffusers combined with the pipe will eliminate it.

Pretty obvious now that the doming is what has been killing my windmill hole as well!! NOT the snow.
I will have some data collected in a few weeks. Here is the situation:

A customer wanted to put in an aeration system to de-ice the water around his pier on a local public lake. A 2 cfm compressor was ordered, and 3 single disk air stations were installed under the pier. The pier is "T" shaped. Water under the pier varies from approx. 18" near shore to 48" at the end where the "T" is.

With the drop in temps last week the lake iced over. In the 5F temps the lake also froze over around the pier when the 35 mpg winds pushed ice around the pier. Winds were from the South, and had a 350 yd. straight shot across the lake.

The system was able to open an area approximately 5'-6' in diameter over each diffuser disk. Not enough to keep all the ice away from the pier.

I am going to swap out the 2 cfm compressor for one that outputs approximately 9 cfm and run it for a few days until different diffuser disks arrive (coarser bubbles). I will then swap back to the 2 cfm compressor and see how it performs with the different (coarser) diffusers, and then swap back to the 9 cfm compressor with the coarser disks. I will then see if I can retrofit some 2"x12" air stones in place of the disks and see how they do with each compressor.

One last possible option is swapping in a Regenerative Blower with 1" airline and the 2"x12" stones.

Pictures and a report will follow as data is generated.
I have seen doming twice on my pond in the last five years while running aeration to open a hole in the ice/snow. When it occurs, a hole at the shoreline eventually appears, releasing the pressure, and the dome eases back down. Once the dome "collapses" the diffuser goes ahead and opens the normal hole on location over the diffuser.
I have never had doming of the ice above the diffuser. Maybe this is because I don't start my aerator until the ice is 5"-6" or more thick. Ice that thick will have a great amount of weight and it is not likely to lift off the ice. The bubbling then just "eats" a hole in the ice.
Esshup - I will be looking forward to what you find. Anyway to measure temps out from the dock to see how far the water is moving?

Bill D - that is interesting. How long did it take for the hole at the shoreline to open up? How far is the diffuser from the shore? Last year my holes disappeared for two months!! I am now assuming they were domed over the entire time! Currently I have been domed over since 1/08!! Pumping ~ 8 CFM. I just don't understand where all that air can be going!!

Bill C - I guess the problem with mine is it is intermittent because my overall ice very thick. It was 7-8" thick 20 yards or so from the hole. The ice freezes back up overnight and then the next morning lifts up in about 15 minutes. Maybe it doesn't dome every time, but once it domes up enough the aeration is negated until something ends the dome.
Having that thick ice near the hole is normal. I've measured ice thickness in my pond and it was uniform until I got within 20 feet of the open hole, then it dropped an inch in thickness. I was drilling a hole every 10' as I approached the open water.

Here is a picture of my pond from today. The hole is about 40'-50' diameter.


Here is a close up of the plume coming from the single diffuser.
Picture from the opposite side of the pond
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
...

Bill D - that is interesting. How long did it take for the hole at the shoreline to open up? How far is the diffuser from the shore? ...


Interestingly, the "relief" hole that opens by the shore is not the closest shore to the diffuser. The hole opens approximately 100 feet from the diffuser. Only thing I can think of is the ice must lift a little more in that area. I don't know for sure how long it takes for the hole to appear at the shore, I think it must vary with ice thickness. I can tell you it takes a lot longer than when there is no doming and the hole appears over the diffuser.
Bill D - that is interesting. My closest diffuser to shore is 130-140'. I would THINK that would also be close enough to vent air. Unfortunately, while I was there I could not find any evidence of an"escape hatch". Maybe I just could not see it. You would think that all that air MUST be going SOMEWHERE. However, you did also say once yours vented the diffuser was able to open a hole. How long did that take? Mine has been domed over for over two weeks now. As usual I am so confused! I have got a lot of air that seems to be going to the Bermuda Triangle.

Scott - I wonder if a PART of why yours does not dome is how close your diffuser is to shore?? It seems that would immediately vent any air if the ice started to lift. I only mentioned my ice thickness in response to Bill Cody saying he waited until his ice was 5-6" thick before starting aeration and maybe that much ice weight discouraged doming.
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Scott - I wonder if a PART of why yours does not dome is how close your diffuser is to shore?? It seems that would immediately vent any air if the ice started to lift. I only mentioned my ice thickness in response to Bill Cody saying he waited until his ice was 5-6" thick before starting aeration and maybe that much ice weight discouraged doming.


Possibly, but when I start the diffuser with ice on the pond and no snow I can watch the air bubble move and it seems to move to the middle of the pond and east, which is to the left in the picture that is taken from the opposite shore.

I had it out further from shore, but one year 2 of my Springer Spaniels went in after a few geese. That was fine when the air temp was in the upper 20's and one brought a grey barnyard goose up to the house (alive). A few days later the temp dropped like a rock to sub zero temps and this time when they went into the water after the geese (I let them out to go to the bathroom, NOT to chase the geese - the pond is 150 yds. from the house) and they got so cold that they couldn't climb back up on the ice to get out. I DID get them out, but I can't tell you how close I was to loosing them both.

I didn't want to take that chance again and moved the diffuser closer to the shore so anything that went in could get to shore to get out and that's how I set up all winter diffusers that we sell locally. I advise any customers that purchase aeration systems to set them up that way and why.
Yeah that would suck!

Some good news today. Looks like one of the diffusers broke through. Not sure what ended the dome. Maybe it vented out to shore like Bill D was saying, no idea. Looks pretty close to being open water though. Interestingly, the power draw of the pump dropped even more. So the domes are for sure creating extra back pressure on the pump.

When I first start my diffuser during thicker ice cover (3"-6") I go out and ice auger a hole above the diffuser. This right away allows air to escape and bubbling at surface quickly melts into a larger ice free area. Once I get an open area that refreezes at night, the next day's aeration period fairly quickly melts the ice that froze overnight.
Interesting on how your current draw or load readout may tell you what is actually going on. You can't do more investigation or auger a hole on demand since you aren't there.

It does make for an interesting solution... could you rig up a few rounds of plastic explosives or dynamite, put them in a strategic place between shore and the typical place where a dome will show up and detonate using remote commands? You could place 4-5 charges there under water and over the course of a bad winter, detonate when needed to keep the blast zone open and keep any air that wants to build up under the ice above the diffuser moving over to the blast zone and then venting out there?

There has to be someone on this forum who has experience with explosives?
Have you ever considered using water and not air to keep a hole opened? A small pump shooting water straight up. May keep ice and snow off a small spot for your aerator to work. It takes a lot to freeze moving water. I know some cattle tanks use this method to keep them from freezing.
Bill C - 10-4. I understand now. Maybe part of the difference for me is how much ice can form over night between run times. I don't know. I do know it is happening regularly though and appears to have been the problem for this year and last year at least. Probably the problem with the Koenders windmill the whole time.


Canyon - Love the dynamite idea, haha!! Unfortunately that seems like that might kill the fish itself!

Nehunter - I HAVE thought about using water instead of air. For now, I think we possibly have the air method whipped though. We think the vent pipe has a VERY high probability of solving the dome issue. Combine that with suspending the diffusers over deep water just a few feet below the ice and it might be a one, two punch!
If ice doming is a big concern consider moving a diffuser closer to shore as noted by esshup. Diffuser 20 ft from shore would likely allow air to vent at the shoreline. Something to try.

I think with your severe winter conditions a pump spray technique would result in a massive frozen ice sculpture. Likely more trouble that benefit. It could work if the pond did not receive extended weeks of 0F temps.
Bill C - I am actually leaning towards trying that with one diffuser just for experimentation. I am not will to take to many chance, but at the same time I would like to learn what will work and what won't, what works better, etc.

Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
Interesting on how your current draw or load readout may tell you what is actually going on.

Canyon this part has been VERY interesting!! Today is going to be a nice test to validate how well these power reading actually work or not. With the hole open the pump was drawing ~900 watts. This morning the pump has been in the upper 900s all morning. If it keeps that up, I am going to guess my hole is closed back up when the pic comes in this afternoon.
Well.... doing better than last year, but still not great. Last year there was no visible hole for basically the end of January, all of February, March and half of April.

Interestingly, the single diffuser has opened up a hole - maybe because it is closer to shore. The dual diffuser has created some gray in the ice and snow but still no hole (about 7:00 from the open hole). The dual in the deep water at the far end of the pond looks like it MIGHT have a hole open, but it is nothing big (that hole doesn't show up well when small due to distance from camera and angle of pic). No sign at all of a hole from the windmill.

Unfortunately for the holes more snow on the way. Maybe a LOT of snow....

Good luck, half my pond completely thawed out today......
No visible hole open since 2.02.2020. VERY VERY small hole open in this pic. If you don't look at these images everyday you probably won't even notice it. I didn't see it till I blew up the image to post.

The air MUST have been escaping somewhere. I don't see how that much air can accumulate under the ice for almost 4 weeks.

Last year SOME fish survived, with no hole open for a very LONG stretch, after I ran the Thomas 1/2HP pump (~4cfm) all winter. Just hoping more fish survive this time with me running the 1HP (~12 CFM) pump all winter.

We have some really warm temps coming in the forecast and not much snow so maybe things will ease up a little up there.

Pic from today. 24 hours after the pic in post above. You can now clearly see the hole opening up. Very interesting. Clearly, after the ice dome is broken, the aerator does not have a problem enlarging the hole. Other diffusers must still be domed over. Again, the hole that opened up first is diffuser that is closest to shore.

Buddy went up to the cabin on Sunday to check things out for me and make some changes. He set the 1HP pump to run for 9 hours 7:00am-4:00 pm. I figured we just throw the HP at the ice and we will break through at some point. So far we have had 4 full days at 9 hours and no sign of a hole. He also took a DO & Temp reading for me. He said the auger was almost unable to get through the ice. He had it buried all the way to the handle and it just barely poked through. He estimated 3' to 3.5' of ice!! WAY more than I expected this time of year. Water temp was ~32.5F to 33F. DO was a disappointing .8PPM at 10' deep (he got the same reading last year and fish survived in the lake somewhere). He did not take a 1' deep DO reading. Going to be interesting to see how long it takes the 1HP pump to break through the ice now with the increased run time.

Good news is snow levels have dropped a good bit. Warm temps this week should drop some more. Hoping that will help us get a hole open that we can keep open till ice off.

Fortunately there isn't ever as much snow on the lake as there is on the driveway. Wind keeps it blown off pretty good I guess. Poor ole F150 toughing it out.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
I'm not sure any aerator of any horsepower is going to be able to punch through 3.5 feet of ice???!!!
3 feet of ice? I guess that is life on an alpine lake? Your photos are always the best, no matter the season. I have just the opposite issue. It can be -20 for three straight days but a week later the springs open up holes on the ice. Hope those trout make it again this year.
Canyon - I am hoping/assuming the ice isn't NEAR as thick over the diffusers. I would love to be able to see what the bottom of the ice looks like. It has to have some major contours with all the air I am throwing at it.

Joey - Thank you. My buddy has gone up early February but never early March. This is the thickest ice we've seen so far up there, but I am assuming this is normal. This hasn't even been a really cold year. Hopefully we are on the downhill side of it now. I would happily swap issues with you!! LOL When are you going to post some Brookie pics!!??


Once again I am just totally confused up there. I cannot understand where all that air is going. Obviously the air has to be escaping SOMEWHERE. Buddy flew the drone over the lake looking for any signs of an "escape hatch" and saw nothing. I thought there could possibly be a wet spot or even a hole along the shoreline by the timber that I just couldn't see in the trailcam pics.
Can your buddy lower a gopro (waterproof) on a pole and look around under the ice in various places?
Future state, they make wifi enabled remote cameras that are waterproof. Would be cool to keep it underwater. Of course once battery is dead you can't easily get to it at your location and elevation.

I too am stumped at why your CFM, and HP can't keep a hole open all winter long. It makes you wonder if there is air leak between the pump and the diffuser so that the boil isn't as powerful as it could be. You don't have a good sense of the boil plume before it iced over?

Going by Joey's conditions perhaps a plume of running water mixed with air would work. Maybe use your stored electricity to run a water jet plus an air bubble plume? of course perhaps in WI the springs are ground water temp (maybe 50-52 degrees) and you would be circulating pond water (37 degrees or colder). Your cabin have a well or is that out of the question at your altitude and with all that rock under you?
Canyon you should look back at my posts over the last couple months. We figured out the issue. The ice is actually trapping the air and forming a dome! I shot it while I was up there and the dome blew up/collapsed! It was crazy! The air lifts the ice off the water before a hole melts through. Then once the ice is no longer touching the water it cannot melt a hole. We think we have a solution as well. Going to be making changes this summer. Version 17.2-B. LOL
We haven't had a cold enough winter for me to get valid test results, BUT from initial testing using fine bubbles and .65 CFM per Vertex diffuser vs 3.3 CFM thru each diffuser showed change in the hole opened from 3'-4' diameter to roughly 15'-18' diameter.

That is with the diffusers placed at 2 feet below the ice.

In another pond where the diffuser has medium sized bubbles and is running about 6 CFM, and placed roughly 5'-6' below the ice, the hole is approximately 40' in diameter.

I wanted to do a test this winter by leaving the diffuser depth unchanged but swapping to different sized bubbles while keeping the CFM the same but the weather didn't cooperate. Our ponds and the majority of the lakes here were ice free 3-2-2020.

I think your biggest problem is having the diffusers placed too far away from the water surface (ice) during the winter, allowing the whole water column to super cool. Think about it for a minute, if you wanted to melt ice, would you rather use 33°F water or 35°F-36°F water?
Scott,

I hear ya and I am definitely raising the diffusers next year. I guess I need to be a 4' if I am getting 3'+ of ice.

However, some of this stuff may be "what came first, the chicken or the egg"? When we were at the cabin, after I shot the dome and got a hole open, I could start the compressor and watch the ice lift off the water. For the first five minutes or so I could see the bubbles and water moving all around on the ice formed overnight. Quickly after that all that water movement would vanish and it would just be clear ice. If a storm shuts me down for a couple days and the ice gets a little thick and then lifts off the water when compressor restarts, I don't think it matters what the water temp is if the water can't touch the ice. For my location I think it is going to take elevated diffusers and the pipe to make sure holes stay open.

What brand membranes are you using for medium and coarse bubbles?
This thread has always intrigued me and I always look forward to reading the input from the experts. Hopefully they will chime in and critique my ramblings below.

I have found the following web site informative, and I reference it occasionally to brush up on the ins and outs of dissolved oxygen:

https://www.fondriest.com/environmental-measurements/parameters/water-quality/dissolved-oxygen/

Can anyone comment on the possibility that it is OK if there is not open water exposed to the atmosphere on this lake? In other words, let’s assume that the percent O2 that is entering the water column via the diffuser is 21%, and that relatively little oxygen gets absorbed as it rises. If the air from the diffusers gets trapped under the ice, and spreads between the water/ice interface, won’t there still be diffusion of O2 into the water? Eventually, I would think, the air would make its way to the edges or fractures in the ice and escape, but if the diffusers continue to run, the air tracking along this ice/water interface should be at 21% O2 and diffusion into the lake water would occur. If this was happening across a surface area even larger than a hole in the ice (created by a diffuser) it would not be inconceivable that there is even greater surface area of air/water interface in this scenario compared to one with a smallish hole in the ice. One can even take it further. Let’s say the weight of the ice on that trapped air increases the partial pressure enough that there is even greater diffusion of O2 across the water surface (see link above). If that occurs, then it might, paradoxically, be a detriment to have a hole in the ice. Thoughts?
Good article. The other reason for getting open water is to let the sunlight in, and let harmful gasses dissipate, such as Hydrogen Sulfide.

wbuffetjr, Atlantic diffusers.
DrWizz - I like it a lot!! I have read the article a couple times now. Interested to see if anyone else has any thoughts on this. Something is going on for sure because I had trout survive 2 years in a row somehow and I know the water quality was no bueno.

Thanks Scott!
Interesting pic from yesterday. It looks like the dome on the near diffuser must have finally broken. You can see where the wet ring that formed appears to be the outside circle of the diffuser plume and not a small hole in the center like "normal". What caused the dome to break? I have no idea really. Maybe enough aeration to finally weaken it.


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Finally got a hole open!! Look how the center is not melted out though. It melted a ring around the outside. That MUST be because it has been domed over and the outer edge/ring of the dome was the thinnest ice. Pretty interesting. Next challenge - keep the hole open from now till ice off. Fingers crossed.

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Alas, more snow..... yay!

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finally getting a little action!! I was kind of surprised it took so long for the aeration to poke a hole through once the snow turned grey. I guess that's what happens when the ice is ~3' thick!!

I am predicting one month until ice off!

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so if ice out is May 12 this year, what is the average date? Maybe you don't know due to not having a camera up there every year?
Looks good to see open water again, sure the fish are happy
Canyon - just crossing my fingers there are some fish alive. I would THINK so after having some survivors two years in a row, but nothing is ever certain up there. Average ice out seems to start early May and be mostly done by mid May from what I have seen so far. Last year ice wasn't fully off until June 16!!! That was crazy!
Starting to get a little action.... MAYBE I will have some open water in a week!! Holes have grown nicely over the last couple days and there are some really warm temps in the forecast for the next several days.

After reading Lusks' article on "Aeration Strategies" in the latest PB magazine, I have another new idea. My DO levels seem to do really well from ice off until late August or early September. Each September the DO drops into the mid 4's and stays there until it starts to climb back up in October. I think there must be some kind of die off that is happening and my Gast 1550 cannot keep up with the Oxygen demand. This year, all Summer and maybe all Winter too, I am going to run a second air pump into my main airline to increase my CFM per disc. I am running the Gast 1550 that produces 15 CFM and I am going to add my Gast 0740 that produces 6 CFM. Unfortunately both those numbers are at sea level. At my elevation there is a 33% de-rate so I will be looking at 14 CFM at zero PSI for both pumps combined. I think adding the 0740 will increase my CFM ~40%. I am hoping this increase in CFM is enough to push my DO levels through the annual DO slump in September. Both pumps have backflow preventers inline and from what I have read running both into one airline should not be a problem. I am going to find out.

In the Winter I am also going to SUSPEND my diffusers in shallower water. I am currently thinking 5' or 6'. This should help on multiple fronts. One, per the article and per a guy from MN, I should not be directly feeding O2 to the bacteria on the pond bottom. I am hoping to put a rear naked choke on the aerobic bacteria and have it choked out early in the fall/winter. Hoping the bacterias' ability to consume O2 will be significantly reduced or even eliminated. Two, the reduced PSI on the pumps will increase their CFM output and I should move more water and chew through the ice easier. Three, the reduced PSI should substantially reduce the amount of power each pump will consume and since I am on solar power this means I should be able to run my pumps longer therefore moving more water and eating more ice. The reduced power consumption also means I can possibly run both pumps this Winter at maybe close to the same power consumption as the 1HP this Winter while aerating in deep water.

Love to hear some thoughts!

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I like your thinking on the additional pump to move more water this summer. Going in to winter with higher dissolved oxygen in the pond may help.

I worked up above 9000' feet today. Snow is nearly gone-only small piles on the north side of some buildings and in drifts alongside the roads.

We're expecting a couple of 80+ degree days this week down here at 6500'. Hopefully your pond will see 60s or even 70. It felt hot in the sun today at 9000+.
So, we still on track to see open water in 13 days? (May 12th)
Thanks 4CP! Definitely warm up there. High so far has been 62, but maybe we beat that today or tomorrow. Snow is coming off REALLY fast!

Scott - I think significant open water by this weekend. We will see!

Anyone got any ideas why my ice gets that brownish, dirty look to it? Is that normal? Is it from run off or due to nutrient rich water??

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Think about all the dust, smoke particles, etc. that get caught up in the snow over the course of the winter. When it melts, the dust/dirt gets more concentrated (that's my theory).
Snow is coming off. Ice is hanging on....

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esshup, that theory is spot on. We've had plenty of research done down here, as well as anecdotal evidence, that much of our soil is deposited material from Arizona and New Mexico (the Land of Enchantment). We refer to this loess as "grains of enchantment". Over many years it has accumulated 6' deep in places.

After a Spring windstorm, the high country snow has a decided reddish cast to it. We're seeing more and more of that as the dry country to the south loses its moisture earlier in the Spring, and the windstorms increase in frequency.
And we have open water!! ~5 weeks sooner than last year. That's gotta make fish survival a little easier. Hopefully my buddy is going up this weekend to check things out. It will be a hike in trip. Still can't get a vehicle to the cabin. The last 1/2 mile or so drive to the cabin is all North facing timber so it stays snow covered for an extra couple or three weeks depending on weather.

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Now maybe I am like a sailor that has been out too sea without seeing a woman in far too long or maybe it's just the lighting that's making her look so good, but that looks like some mighty fine looking water to me!!! It couldn't have shown up soon enough for me!! Just crossing my fingers there's some fish!

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Yes, beautiful green tinge there, lets think positive, with open holes most of the winter you have to have some hardy splake and scuds survive right? When is your buddy able to get us pictures? Would love to see if the crayfish made it too...
Thanks Canyon! I am more positive this year than the last couple years. Hard to pin him down to an exact day but hopefully real soon. Still going to be hike in for him at this point. This pic was taken this weekend by a neighbor and is over a half mile from the cabin. The last stretch of the drive to our place is the absolute last to lose all the snow every year. It doesn't look that deep where they stopped in the pic, but that area gets some sun. On up from there it's lots of shade, significantly more snow and STEEP the rest of the way.

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Buddy went up to the place to check on things. He turned on the small pump so now we are running two pumps at the same time. I think this will make a significant impact. I am going to throw as much air as possible at it until ice forms.

He said the wind was brutal and made it difficult to verify any fish survival. A neighbor went up with him and thought he saw a couple boils, but my buddy isn't ready to say it was fish.

All ice is off and things should start greening up soon.
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DO looks great, but that is probably to be expected this time of year. He only took one reading 4' to 5' deep. Way too windy to try to go out in the canoe and the boat motor is in storage.
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Well I got some PHENOMENAL news today!!! My buddies went up and the fish survived the winter again!!! They tried to fish for a little bit but there was too much wind again. Before the wind got too crazy they saw 8-10 hit the surface. Enough they were both confident to 100% confirm fish!! Don't know how many, but they are there. Feeling more confident about stocking fish this year.

Both pumps have been running simultaneous for 8 days now. DO levels are OFF the charts (for our place)! 5' deep temp was 54 degrees and 9.2 PPM!! Again, way too windy to get out on the lake in the canoe to get readings any deeper - 25-30 mph winds on the anemometer!

That is fish survival 3 years in a row!!
That's awesome! Might be some lunkers lurking 🤔
TREMENDOUS news!! So happy and can't wait to see the pictures of the fish and critters in the shallows!
Thanks fellas! Can't wait to get out there and do some fishing. I should have trout bigger than any trout I've ever caught before. Can't wait!
Couple buddies went up to our place to go fishing. They had a heck of a time. Caught a bunch of fish. Even had one Ultra Light rod snapped in half - No joke! He said the fish took off, folded the rod over and then boom! You know how fish stories go - they caught one even bigger than this but didn't have the camera. Now if I can just get them to quit holding them by the gills! This is a two year old Splake.

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Quite the fish there, wbuffetjr! 2 years old? They do have lots of natural foods, don't they! Those scuds, although small, are packed with nutrients, it seems.
I agree, get your buddies to hold the fish with two hands and sideways to the camera so we can see their beauty. Splake and tigers are the next best thing to brookies, aren't they?
Thanks 4CP! Yes that fish is two years old. I stocked the Splake on 10.20.2018 at 5-8". I do agree with you, splake and tigers are next best thing. I really am determined to grow Brookies. I am still hoping some have survived and they just didn't catch any this trip. We will see. Here a pic of the splake when we stocked them. I got them straightened out on handling the fish!!!

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Nothing like 5"-6" of snow in mid June to keep it real!!

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Snow on the peaks all around here this am. La Platas had a dusting; Engineer and The Needles had some real Freshies.
The Weather Liars predicted 29 degrees here last night (6500 feet), 22 in Mancos (7000 feet), more frost down McElmo Canyon in the region's gardening belt. Temps dropped to 37. Weather Liars lived up to their reputations.
As long as ice isn't forming on your lake, you're progressing, right?
4CP - Oh I am definitely progressing. I have no fear of ice or anything like that. Up there it's like Mother Nature is bipolar or maybe quadpolar! I'm just documenting the fun! A guy below us at ~8,900' said he got 5" of extremely wet snow at his place. We usually get some amount more than him. Sometimes a lot more, sometimes only a little more.

I have a weather station up there now that I can log into. It got down to 25F night before last and 29F last night. For what I am trying to do the colder temps are excellent. The last trip up there my buddy recorded water temp of 58.8F already! This year I am going to try to keep the surface water temp below 65F. So we backed the aeration off two hours and now it turns off at 2:00pm. When I get up there I am going to face my solar array slightly more to the East to try to capture more sun earlier in the morning. Then I think I can start the pumps around 6:00am and turn off at 12:00pm. We will see what happens.
Just make sure you run the aeration system long enough to keep more than 6 mg/l at the deepest part of the pond.

Trout will survive in water temps above 70°F if the O2 readings are in the 9mg/l or higher. (that's at 780' elevation).
Originally Posted by esshup
Just make sure you run the aeration system long enough to keep more than 6 mg/l at the deepest part of the pond.

Trout will survive in water temps above 70°F if the O2 readings are in the 9mg/l or higher. (that's at 780' elevation).

With Bob Lusk recently discussing LMB actually seeking out favorable water temps over better DO I have tried to pay more attention to temp this year. I would GUESS trout are even more sensitive to temps. Last year I got surface temps up to 71. This year highest surface temp I read was 65 so doing MUCH better. I had 7.5PPM DO at 1' and 7.0PPM at 12'. I am currently running the 1/2HP Thomas 2660 for 1 hour at midnight, 1 hour at 3:00am and turns on again at 5:30am to 1:30PM. Currently air temperatures are in the 50's at 5:30am so I think the night time running is helping keep water temps lower. The big 1HP pump comes on at 7:30am to 1:30pm and runs simultaneously with the 1/2HP pump. I will increase duration of both pumps next month as air temps come down.

Fish are HUGE and fight like crazy! Made 5 casts and caught 4 fish while standing in the same spot!

The water continues to do new and different things. Last year the grass blade bloom (GBB) started in early to mid August. This year the GBB showed up in late June. I have never seen the water so clear in July. If it was not for the GBB I would guess visibility would be 7-8'. Had a similar GBB/visibility situation for the first time ever last September. This year it happened in July - another first. Will be interesting to see what happens after a year at the increased level of aeration I am running nowadays.

Got one "plume pipe" installed in the plume of a dual diffuser. I had pipes at the cabin I wanted to use. those pipes turned out to be WAY too heavy duty. First pipe ended up laying horizontal on the bottom of the lake and is now considered structure. I am going to source some lighter pipe and install a second plume pipe in September. The purpose of the plume pipe is to stop the ice domes from forming over the aeration plumes during winter. 98% sure the ice domes are what have been preventing me from keeping a hole open in the ice through the last two winters. Also reoriented two other diffusers closer to natural structure protruding from the water as a test to see if the natural structures could also disrupt the domes. My remote camera will take one daily pic everyday and I will be able to monitor progress. Should be interesting.

Cool pic from the trip. Not sure why we get so many rainbows and not gonna complain about it.
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WBjr, what do you see in the shallows? Did the crayfish survive? Scuds? Leeches? shrimp?
Send pictures of the creatures and the fish you catch.

If you have time, how does the pipe prevent an ice dome? Does the pipe stay above the water level all winter long so the cap can't form around the end of the pipe?
Canyon - yes there are still a ton of minnows, scuds, crayfish and leeches. Unfortunately I am back in GA now. I will be back out there in Sept and I'll get some good pics.

The theory on the plume pipe is it will give the air a release point and the ice will not be able to lift off of the water. If we can keep the ice sitting on the water, the plume WILL melt a hole. The pipe sticks up out of the water 2.5' to 3'. The sun should heat the pipe up enough that it melts the ice away from the pipe. I just need enough of a gap for air to escape.
Great update!

...But where are the FISH PHOTOS!!!
Unfortunately, I only took one fish pic the whole time I was there. Biggest fish I've ever caught in the lake, but the pic doesn't give any perspective. I was in too big of a hurry to get them back in the water.

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Just a gorgeous fish! I know it's a trout, but what species? Splake?
Originally Posted by DrLuke
Just a gorgeous fish! I know it's a trout, but what species? Splake?

Thanks DR Luke! I THINK it is a Splake, but not positive. Technically the only way to distinguish between Splake and Brook Trout is to cut them open and count the "work like appendages on their intestines".
Just curious could any of your trout reproduce in your bow? Have you been stocking more fish even after you got them to survive the winter the last couple seasons?
Originally Posted by Downrigger56304
Just curious could any of your trout reproduce in your bow? Have you been stocking more fish even after you got them to survive the winter the last couple seasons?

Downrigger - yes I stocked a few more Brook trout last summer and this summer. Brook Trout will reproduce in lakes/ponds. However, I do not have concrete proof that they have survived. When those Brook Trout were initially stocked, they looked quite a bit different than the Splake. So far no one has caught a fish that was clearly one of the stocked Brookies. I have a THEORY that the Splake are surviving the winters better than the brook trout due to hybrid vigor. Hoping we figure it out for sure one way or another in September.
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