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#567855 06/12/24 05:14 PM
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First, Really have appreciated reading the advice on here over the last year or so (just joined up and thanks for having me.)
Searched and read all I could about windmill aeration here and other places, with that said, I would like to attempt to use the windmill system (could repurpose for other uses if not effective.)

I have a 4 acre pond dug two years ago in N. Central Texas, Pond is 18' Deep in one bowl and about 16' in the other bowl. Very asymmetrical shape!
Pond averages somewhere around 5-6'.

I would like to run bottom diffusers in each of the two bowls.

Does anyone have recommendations on a system they have been using?
Anyone splitting the line and running opposite directions over 100' each way?

It is my understanding that windmills do an excellent job of pushing/pumping air (of course when spinning) and I am absolutely not a fan of motor noise.

Thank you in advance for any info.

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One of the worst times for fish is when the pond water is the warmest in late July and early August. That warm water is much less capable of holding dissolved oxygen compared to cooler water.

That is also the time of year when a big, high pressure dome can sit in central Texas and run temps up to 110F for three straight days ... with no wind. That is a perfect recipe for a fish kill.

If you get some rough estimates on the internet, I believe solar systems are currently cheaper than the equivalent windmill systems. Further, the solar system is more likely to still be aerating your pond during the worst case scenario described above. The price comparison would certainly change if you already had a tower, gearbox, and wind wheel.

However, I am NOT an expert!. We do have several aeration and solar experts in the forum. Hopefully, they can give you some more specific information!

P.S. Your idea of splitting the lines and running to multiple locations in the pond is common practice, when you have sufficient air volume to support the distribution of your diffusers.

Congrats on you newish pond! I hope you enjoy your pond management.

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Having a blast so far. CNBG are a full year in, Red ears have had a couple months with FH's. Just stocked 100 CC and now getting what is supposedly pure strain Florida Bass. I figure I might as well give em the best chance I can to grow and develop. I will say that I am a little leary of doing a constant feeding program. Number one, I live 35 miles from our farm. Number two, I wonder if I can keep a generally well balanced pond if BG are more interested in eating pellets than bass fry etc...

With that said, I appreciate your thoughts on solar and will keep debating that idea. If you or others want to chime in and tell me why I would be a "DA" to go wind then I will definitely take it into consideration and possibly change my mind.

Please keep ideas and thoughts coming.

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I've been familiar with windmills for a long time since mid 1980's. Be leery of the advertised promotional material. They only tell you part of the story. As noted wind action is usually least during the dog-days of summers when ponds most need aeration. The smaller the pond the better a windmill (mill) will work to produce one pond turnover per day. I would not recommend a windmill for ponds greater than 1 ac unless you install 1 mill per acre. Keep in mind that the cfm produced by the mill is when the wind is blowing strong enough to achieve the cfm rated by the company's mill specs. Gentle winds produce minimal bubble action. The deeper the diffuser the more wind speed it takes to produce bubbles at that depth. IMO a pond needs 1 windmill per acre or less. Your 4 ac pond would be best served using 4 windmills. A mill works pretty good for a 0.25 to 0.5 ac pond. Generally the wind speed needs to be around 20 - 25mph mph to get a 1cfm air flow rate especially for water 16 - 18ft deep. Request a measured air flow rate and wind speed chart from the seller. The smaller the pond the better and stronger the aeration boil will become and the better the daily pond turnovers will be. I quit selling windmills when I learned all their deficiencies. A windmill is better than no aeration in a pond. A windmill would be good to keep an ice free area open in a pond during winter. A good electric air compressor (5cfm) system with the proper number of diffusers will easily produce around 10X more water movement per hour compared to a windmill.

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Well that information definitely makes me leery of a mill system. No way we are getting sustained 20-25 mph winds. Probably average 6-8 at most. Mr. Cody, are there alternatives to a noisy motor. Ill bare it if I have to, but I sure like my quite mornings and evenings.

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I have no hands on experience with aeration yet but have researched a bit on the forum, one of it's members and through google and with a couple of different vendors (not on this forum). Here's what I came up with on my application:

I ruled out windmill aeration due to the lack of or unpredictable wind. It looks like BC's comments above would be even more of a reason at 1CFM at 20mph sustained.

I do lack power on the property currently but we are planning to build our house in the coming years. This left me with solar or wait for power. I got quotes for both based off of our 1.5 acre pond. There was something that jumped out to me in review of the quotes that I questioned one of the providers on and the response I got kind of amazed me.

For the powered option our quote was for a (4) head system @ 120/240v system. It was said to put out close to 5cfm. This is what was recommended based on size and shape of our pond.

For the solar option what was recommended was a (2) head system. It was said to put out 2.5cfm. Again this is what they recommended based on our size and shape.

The cfm didn't make sense. How could I need (4) heads for one and (2) heads for the other or half the rate of aeration? The response was....well you will need to install the solar system and then test it and if needed you will have to buy another.

Another thing to keep in mind is that at certain times of the year aeration during the hottest times will actually warm the water even further during the day. Some of the pond owners aerate only at night when this happens. Not only does this keep the water a little cooler overall but it also boosts the O in the water when pond plants aren't providing it. To do that you will need to include battery power for the solar systems.

For my application, the difference in cost was 2 or 4 times the expense for powered vs solar depending on how many systems needed to be installed.

I even looked into building a system that would be powered long term but initially powered by solar panels. Something to get us by until we had power available. That part was somewhere in between on cost but there is no literature on it and it was more expensive than stand alone solar when battery applications were considered.

On the noise concern there are options for insulated cabinets that greatly reduce the sound. Additional to that would be mounting the pump away from the pond or closer to the power source and bury less expensive irrigation pipe between the pump and pond edge with a change to weighted airline in the water.

Is some aeration better than none....yep. Lots of pro's around here to help. Just my take on somebody planning to implement a system in the future as soon as we have available power.


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We also live about 45" from our farm and ponds. Hate it when I load my pickup with 100 items to do all of my projects, and it turns out I needed 101 items!

The automated feeders can now hold enough feed for weeks at a time depending on how many seconds you let it throw per day. Lots of the guys that don't live at their ponds use those. Also, the guys that DO live at their ponds use those. You might read some of the feeder threads. They are usually entertaining and informative!

Increasing the weight of your BG gets you more eating size BG to catch, and can support a much larger population of big bass. I wouldn't worry too much about controlling the bass fry. The bass are cannibals, and medium-size bass will eat lots of small bass.

Do you have AC electricity at your property? That is really the cheapest AND most fool-proof option for an aeration system. If you don't have a barn or workshed to house the compressor in a protected and quiet location, then most people build a cabinet a little ways from the living quarters. You then run your airline down to the edge of the pond and build a manifold there to get the expensive weighted airline run to each diffuser location. The 1" polypipe for your long pipeline run is much cheaper than electrical line.

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I should also thank you "Rod" for your thoughts. Will a solar system keep up with the same CFM of an electric system given the sun is shining(which is something we rarely have a lack of.)
Not opposed to any of these. However, I grew up on a peanut farm where the loudest noise was when the coyotes decided to sound off in the evenings. With that said, I want the quietest, yet most effective system possible. Now down a few roads from me are family that have ponds anywhere from 19 acres to 1/2 an acre that have never had aeration and are loaded with fish. I am just trying to do as right as possible.

Suggestions if you please!

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Yes sir Rod, I do have a meter and cabin on the farm. Electricity is almost exactly 100' from pond currently. I have most assuredly looked at some rocker piston style pumps that claim to be able to aerate 5+ acres. I do hear a lot of chatter about their noise. My wife and I plan on building very close to pond and electric meter. Therefore, no matter where that pump is (close to pond or power pole) it will be close to house. Thats my issue.

Now build a cabinet, closure, fan system, or etc.. I will do it if that is best option.

Thank you for what seems to be accurate and/or measurable information.

PS - I leave something I needed at house damn near every weekend.. haha .. Well plan the best you can I guess

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Doggle, So do you suspect you will have to buy two solar setups? That would kind of a suck. "Bill Cody" posted earlier that he would recommend 4 windmills for a pond my size. Well.. in short, that ain't happening. So 4 mills? two solar setups? or one grid setup? Well now I have to consider if the grid will be there always or at least when I need it. Is it worth spending the extra on extra setups? Again, I have family nearby that have ponds that have never been aerated and seem to do fine. One has produced at least 5 10+ lb bass that I know of and most personally observed.

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If a company says that you need a (4) head 5cfm system based on size and shape of pond ....I would also suspect that you will need the same cfm system if it's solar or powered. This is where the pros need to weigh in (I don't have enough expertise in this area). My understanding is that aeration is about turning over the water in a given amount of time. Shape of pond, and water depth have an impact on this. I'm a dirty rotten salesguy too and what I took away from my experience with a company not connected to this forum in any way was they were trying to make a sale.

The cfm is really important. From there, it's how many heads at what location (based on depth of water), and then it's how many units solar or powered do I need to support the heads / turn the water over.

One or two solar systems was just out of reach on our budget knowing that we are going to build on the property (hopefully in the near future). If it was a standalone property that was never going to have power, I probably would have figured out a way to put a solar system in. All in with (2) solar systems we were looking at 15-17k if battery backup was included. Add in some battery replacements in the future as the batteries fail and it's a hefty recurring expense. For those kinds of dollars I'd rather speed up building on the property than delay it with bubbles in the water (sorry fish!).

I think aeration is important based on what I've read and watched as it can help to increase the carrying capacity of the BoW which is what it seems like you are trying to accomplish in your goals for the pond.


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Originally Posted by Catch N 8 NTex
Again, I have family nearby that have ponds that have never been aerated and seem to do fine. One has produced at least 5 10+ lb bass that I know of and most personally observed.

I missed this earlier. As I mentioned I think Aeration is a tool to add capacity to the BoW. It can convert some unusable low oxygen water to usable and basically, in my rookie laymen terms, makes the BoW "bigger". That could be any combination of forage and predator fish. If your goals for the pond are to grow more or bigger fish this is one of the tools in the toolbox to help with it. Auto Feeding is another tool in the toolbox. Supplemental forage another tool...

Lots of ponds out there that don't have aeration, supplemental forage, auto feeders....

Maybe we should start at the beginning. What are your goals for the pond and why are you considering aeration?

If you can answer that one there are several guys on the forum that can really give good advice based on species that could line up with your goals. Might even save a buck or two along the way. Gratz on the 10lb club. I personally have never caught one that big.


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Originally Posted by Catch N 8 NTex
Will a solar system keep up with the same CFM of an electric system given the sun is shining(which is something we rarely have a lack of.)

I am definitely NOT a solar expert or an aeration expert. I do enjoy reading those threads when the actual experts give a lot of technical detail. (And my company does have lots of tiny solar systems as backups on some of our safety equipment.)

Yes a solar system can keep up with an AC electrical system, if you spend lots of money on extra solar panels AND lots on battery backup. However, the typical low oxygen point in your pond will be right before sunrise during the hottest days of summer. Your aquatic plants will not have produced any oxygen at all overnight. It sure is good insurance to have the timer on your AC system kick on at 5AM, as opposed to your solar system only kicking on at 9:30AM when the sun gets high enough.

I think it is usually difficult to get "payout" on your solar or wind equipment, because the modern diffuser aeration systems are so darn efficient. You are just compressing a reasonably small volume of air, and then the buoyancy effect of the air bubbles rising from the diffuser is doing all of the "work" to turn over your water column.

When you build your compressor cabinet, it will have a fan to draw air into the cabinet and keep your equipment cool. I think if you point the inlet vents at the human dwellings and point the exhaust fan vent away, it should be pretty darn quiet. Further, whenever I do any project builds that my wife thinks are "ugly", I just plant a lilac bush or something between her normal eye line and the project - so I don't have to sleep in the doghouse. Any bushes or a little hedge would make things even quieter.

I also agree with your observation about none of your neighbors experiencing a significant fish kill. They have pretty ideal conditions. The "mechanical" aeration of most ponds comes from wind-driven wave action. Waves need significant open area (called fetch) to fully develop. Consequently, a 4 acre pond does not have 4x the wave action of a 1 acre pond. It might have 8-10x as much wave action due to the higher percentage of "open water" that is not immediately adjacent to a shoreline.

Also, it sounds like your pond and the surrounding ponds have some deep water. That helps with the oxygenation for multiple reasons. It is certainly possible that you could manage your pond for 20 years without aeration and never have a big fish kill. However, aeration in your case would be pretty cheap insurance. If you calculated the value of 10 LMB in the 8-10# range, plus hundreds of bass over 3#, plus thousands of BG over 1#, then you might consider aeration some very reasonable insurance.

Finally, as Boondoggle says above, aeration can make your pond "bigger". There are people on the forum that max out the number of BG and LMB that can be raised in a 1 acre or even 1/2 acre pond. In that case, they must also manage their aeration since there are a LOT of oxygen-consuming fish in that pond that aren't feeling so good at sunrise on August 5th!

This is where I am going to give you non-expert advice. The experts usually recommend turning over the entire volume of water in the pond 1x per day. That seems to be a very important "rule of thumb" for smaller ponds that are packed with fish. In your case, perhaps you could just run two diffusers and turn over 30% per day and your fish would be fine in your larger/deeper pond? That is just a guess on my part, and the experts may chime in and point out my error.

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As I know it Solar Compressors they are 12V rocking piston compressors -still with the same noise level. If you want a quieter electric compressor with good air flow (CFM) then listen to or get db levels for rocking piston and rotary vane(RV) . IMO Rotary vane runs producing about the perceived 1/2 the noise level of a rocking piston. Rotary vane are available in 1/4hp 5cfm open flow, 3/4hp 10cfm and 1hp 13.5cfm open flow. RV typically work best for less than 18ft depths. Used 1/2 hp rotary vanes are available. 3/4hp can operate 10 diffusers and 1hp at least 12 disk diffusers. From an old forum post: their technical information the rotary vane operates at around 38 decibels (db) and their rocking piston operates at around 55 db (db's

As noted the aerator can be run only at night or when fewest people are home assuming the system is designed to produce adequate pond water circulation to keep the pond destratified (well mixed). Lots of commercial systems are IMO designed to operate 24/7 to get the job done. I disagree,. Over size it so it does not need to run 24/7 to get 1 turnover per day. This saves electricity and allows the compressor to run longer between rebuilds. More hours operating adds wear to the bearings and parts. RVs are easier and quicker to rebuild compared to rocking pistons.

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Originally Posted by Bill Cody
As noted the aerator can be run only at night or when fewest people are home assuming the system is designed to produce adequate pond water circulation to keep the pond destratified (well mixed). Lots of commercial systems are IMO designed to operate 24/7 to get the job done. I disagree,. Over size it so it does not need to run 24/7 to get 1 turnover per day. This saves electricity and allows the compressor to run longer between rebuilds. More hours operating adds wear to the bearings and parts.
Once it gets really warm in the Spring, I run my aeration during the coolest hours of the day (right now, 6 PM to 10 AM). This is nominally to help cool the pond, but actually it's to help keep the compressor cool - with a fan constantly sucking air from the North (coolest when the sun is out) side of the shed it is in and blowing directly on the compressor. This compressor has now lasted 16 years.


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Originally Posted by Bill Cody
As I know it Solar Compressors they are 12V rocking piston compressors -still with the same noise level. If you want a quieter electric compressor with good air flow (CFM) then listen to or get db levels for rocking piston and rotary vanes (RV) . IMO Rotary vane runs producing about about 1/2 the "perceived" noise level of a rocking piston. Rotary vane are available in 1/4hp 5cfm open flow, 3/4hp 10cfm and 1hp 12cfm? RV typically work best for less than 18ft depths. Used older models 1/2 hp rotary vanes are available. 3/4hp can operate 10 diffusers and 1hp at least 12 disk diffusers. .Gast 86R and 87R families of compressors now have new sound shield quiet running heads dba = 55-60dba for 1/2hp 4.8cfm

As noted the aerator can be run only at night or when fewest people are home assuming the system is designed to produce adequate pond water circulation to keep the pond destratified (well mixed). Lots of commercial systems are IMO designed to operate 24/7 to get the job done. I disagree,. Over size it so it does not need to run 24/7 to get 1 turnover per day. This saves electricity and allows the compressor to run longer between rebuilds. More hours operating adds wear to the bearings and parts. RVs are easier and quicker to rebuild compared to rocking pistons.


New info to ponder here before I get to adding in a system for the pond. That is great advice on oversize for shorter run times imo....As a consumer it seems as though most times we have to rely on the sales guy to give us the best option(s). Sometimes the best option isn't the lowest cost.

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Originally Posted by Boondoggle
New info to ponder here before I get to adding in a system for the pond. That is great advice on oversize for shorter run times imo....As a consumer it seems as though most times we have to rely on the sales guy to give us the best option(s). Sometimes the best option isn't the lowest cost.

The other advantage to oversizing - if your "theoretical" calculations were slightly in error, then you can still add another diffuser at a later date.


P.S. If you are seriously considering pulling the trigger on an aeration system, then now might be a good time to start getting some designs and quotes from the "sales guys". Some of the best aeration threads I have seen are when someone posts their pond configuration plus the recommended system design. Frequently, the experts here can offer a few tweaks that the consensus approves, or sometimes even points out a significant flaw in the original design and the OP goes back to the drawing board and gets a more appropriate design.

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It's on the list of things to do for sure Rod. I approached our local power company about a temp or permanent meter and they responded with a home permit they will extend the power to the meter for free and without a home permit they would extend the power to the meter at my cost for their labor and materials. Quick math put that at $18,000 - $20,000. They didn't even apologize to the fish just trying to live their best life in the pond.

We are hopeful to make progress on the home design this year and perhaps break ground the following. The good news is that the wife and I are of pretty like mind in what we want from the forever home and I know my place when it comes to finishes and details. We may even get lucky that "the google" updates our pond on the property to satellite view to aid in the process of aeration planning...

Sorry to Hi-Jack the thread for a second.


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If I had a N. Central Texas Pond 4 acre pond with a very asymmetrical shape dug two years ago as 18' Deep in one bowl and about 16' in the other bowl and pond averages somewhere around 5’ - 6' and I was on a budget, I would seriously consider not aerating it at least for the first 6-10 years. The larger the pond is the more it costs to manage it when it needs management.

Some of this reason is from what FishinRod said in the paragraphs below. But also note FishinRod's comments about "It is certainly possible that you could manage your pond for 20 years without aeration and never have a big fish kill. However, aeration in your case would be pretty cheap insurance. If you calculated the value of 10 LMB in the 8-10# range, plus hundreds of bass over 3#, plus thousands of BG over 1#, then you might consider aeration some very reasonable insurance."

This assumes you are able to grow 8-10 lb bass which is not a very easy thing to do. Pond management can be risky business even with aeration.


The "mechanical" (wind) aeration of most ponds comes from wind-driven wave action. Waves (of any size such as white caps) need significant open water area (called fetch) to fully develop even 2 ft waves. Consequently, a 4 acre pond . . . . . might, depending on amount of fetch have 8-10x as much or more wave action as a 1 acre pond due to the higher percentage of "open water" that is not immediately adjacent to a shoreline. (It is the distance between the waves and height of the waves that drive water into the depths.)

Also, it sounds like your pond and the surrounding ponds have some deep water. That helps with the oxygenation for multiple reasons. (Cody - Maybe not. Deep water helps with oxygenation mostly in winter). It is certainly possible that you could manage your pond for 20 years without aeration and never have a big fish kill. However, aeration in your case would be pretty cheap insurance. (Depending on one’s budget aeration might not be considered cheap).

Finally, as Boondoggle says above, aeration can make your pond "bigger". (Bigger meaning more usable water volume for growing fish.) There are people on the forum that max out the number of BG and LMB that can be raised in a 1 acre or even 1/2 acre pond.


Cody Note: “It is the wind action that naturally physically mixes pond water during summer when the warm water tends to stay on top of the cooler water below. This is due to water density; warmer is lighter, cooler heavier. Epilimnion vs deep hypolimnion with thermocline layer in-between. Normally in Ohio and the Midwest wind action will mix the surface layer down to around 6ft deep in most ponds less than 1 acre. With high exposure to frequent strong winds mixing can be down to 8ft deep. Mid-summer in TX the mixing depths could be different. Below that normal mixing depth is non-mixed water that is considered stagnant and gradually looses it’s DO as summer progresses after or once the water is around 60F-65F in spring. Speed of DO loss depends on bio-chemical oxygen demand (BOD) and clarity of the water. New ponds often have low BOD compared to older ponds that are enriched with nutrient accumulations.

The water area deeper than 6-7ft is usually the volume of water that can have no DO after Apr 30 or mid-May in the south such as TX. Again DO loss starts when the water temp is 60-65F and surface mixing is limited to 6ft to 7ft or the wind water mixed depth. Larger ponds can have water mixing down to 6-10 ft deep. It all depends. NOTE the larger the pond is and the more wind action exposure the pond receives the deeper the surface water mixes into the lower depth. Thus for some larger pond waters the surface water mixing can go down to 8-16ft. It all depends mostly on pond/lake size and exposure to wind – i.e. the fetch and water clarity. For large lakes that routinely receive 3-4ft white cap waves I have seen the surface water mix physically down to 18 to 24 ft deep to the thermocline.

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Sorry been away awhile. In response to "Doggle" my goal for the pond is to have as well balanced pond as possible with eater fish being Coppernose, Redears, Bass, and Catfish.
Grew up eating a lot of catfish and really enjoy them. With that said I love a good pan fish too. Bass I will eat and have no problem with it, just not my favorite.

Ultimately, I would like to have a good solid capacity of fish for eating and a good place for kids and grandkids (someday) to come and enjoy fishing.
I am not trying to focus on trophy anything. I just would like to have a well managed pond for those above mentioned species.

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Rod, I really did start this inquiry into aeration with the thought that if I could just get the water moving, with the aeration column, then some is better than none. With that said I do want to do the best I can for the fish. I dont know if I can go gold standard. But I want like to get pond aerated. Is turnover every 2-3 days good enough? or is that even how it works?

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"Cody" thanks for advice on rotary vanes and running mainly at night. I have been reading where many thought they were considerably quiter and if I'm not mistaken have less of a severe burn to the touch as compared to rockers.

So if I were gonna throw two lines on an rv and each being 100' and heading to depth of 14-16', you think it would be advisable to up horse it to a 3/4 as to produce a heavy column with more turnover through the night. Correct?

Joined: Jun 2024
Posts: 17
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Theo, sounds like good ideas. Probably why it has lasted so long.

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Boondoggle,

That is the exact situation my wife are in now. I am a couple of years from retirement and her about 5. We hope to build our forever home on the place which would be within about 50' of pond and overlooking it. It will be beautiful if we can get to that point. Again to my point, we really like to enjoy peaceful and quiet evenings and I just dont want to listen to the constant noise of a pump. I was hoping a double bladder mill system would work but its sounding like they may not be the case.

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Cody,
Just got through your breakdown on wind aeration etc... Very informative. While the pond is 4 acres it probably works more like a 2 1/2 acre and a 1 1/2 acre since the pond narrows to a channel that we built a 48' bridge over. Channel only 25' or so wide. With that said a good South wind might cause some small whitecapping. If I knew how to put a pic on here I would.
I doubt seriously the pond will have the natural mixing caused by wind as some in the midwest or even further North in Texas.

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