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#454091 08/15/16 09:14 PM
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I have heard it said many times on this forum that aeration should turn the pond over at least once every 24 hours. What is the science behind that statement?

Have also heard that anything less than a 24 hour turnover rate can actually do more harm than good. Is that true? If so, how is this so? What negative effects are realized?

For instance what if it only turns over every 25 hours? Or 48 hours? Or 96 hours? It seems to me the slower turnover would only provide proportional less benefit in relation to the amount of anoxic water aereated, but I have gathered from previous comments that not only would anything less than 24 hours not be helpful, it would actually be harmful. I am missing the logic. What harm is done by partial aeration?

What happens under natural aeration via wind and wave action? Can there be times of partial aeration turnover that can be damaging? A too fast turnover caused by a cold rain in the summer causing turnover we know can cause fish kills. Can wind action after a prolonged still spell do the same?

How does wind action come into play when sizing aeration systems? Not at all? A wide open pond in windy areas gets same system requirements as pond in valley surrounded by trees with little to no wind action?

Maybe too many questions for one post?

Last edited by snrub; 08/15/16 09:28 PM.

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""I have heard it said many times on this forum that aeration should turn the pond over at least once every 24 hours. What is the science behind that statement?""
That statement is a big generalization for average pond conditions and a conservative BIG 'estimate'. Many exceptions occur. The above generalization assumes all pond water is the same which is definitely not true. A few ponds with unique conditions do not need to be aerated compared to some hypereutrophic ponds that need three, four, or more turnovers per day. Extreme example: sewage treatment ponds.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 08/15/16 10:20 PM.

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The above is a big reason why information is needed on goals, species, feeding, and more to have a "properly" sized and installed aeration system done by an experienced professional instead of the average DIY or home built system for a better bang for the buck.



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IMO some or many "experienced" professionals (aerator sellers) do not fully understand the topics snrub described. Truth be known, many of his questions do not have definite answers. Pond conditions are highly variable and conditions constantly change. There are pretty good generalizations; thus "one turnover per day".


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I wonder if the 24 hour might have more to do with the "ramp up" time. Instead of doubling the time each till full turnover is achieved, preventing large swings in DO????

Last edited by BrianL; 08/16/16 11:58 AM.

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I figured there were lots of "it depends" involved.

I guess my main question would be, what if a person was only turning the water half as much as needed? That could be a pond that needed turned over twice a day getting only one turnover or a pond that needed one turnover every 24 hours taking 48.

Would the results be only partial benefits of aeration or would there be actual negative reactions making it such that it would be better to just turn the system off?

That is my main thrust of this discusion. Can a person actually do harm to the BOW, or is it just a matter of wasted money if a system is undersized?


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Originally Posted By: snrub

Would the results be only partial benefits of aeration or would there be actual negative reactions making it such that it would be better to just turn the system off?

That is my main thrust of this discusion. Can a person actually do harm to the BOW, or is it just a matter of wasted money if a system is undersized?


I am very interested in this. I KNOW in my scenario two windmills is under sized.


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I would like someone that is an aeration specialist to 'step up' and more fully explain how too little aeration would do more harm than good. Sue Crux would be a good candidate to start this discussion since Vertex is the company aeration "standard". Where are the Aeration Professionals when you need some specific information? Then a discussion could occur.

Too little turnover usually will resort in deep areas or percentages of the pond that are anoxic - devoid of oxygen while the area that is mixed will have a more oxygenated 'zone'. For example the deep area near the dam would be the only area mixed thus having a general higher DO near the bottom compared to areas unmixed further away from the dam. IMO this aerated zone could at times serve as an oxygenated refuge so whoever is in it has a better long term chance to survive. IMO As long as there is some top to bottom aeration the extent of the fish kill will be less whenever a fish kill occurs.


Last edited by Bill Cody; 08/17/16 09:13 PM.

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That makes sense to me.

It would seem to me an undersized system should still be of some benefit, just not full benefit.

Just like wind can aereate a pond, if it takes a sustained 10 mph wind to do so fully, it seems a 5 mph wind is better than no wind at all.

Thus logic would imply an undersized system would still be better than no aeration at all.

But I thought I might be missing something. Like maybe partial turnover might encourage unwanted algae growth or something other weird going on.


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I am getting ready to put in aeration system as soon as electricity is available, so am no expert.

However, I do remember Bob Lusk looking at the long, narrow island in my pond and asking, "Do you plan on aerating?" Anything that cuts down on the interaction between wind and water increases the need for aeration.


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Please excuse my DA, but I thought the purpose of the windmill was to keep a hole open in the ice and not so much for aeration. Would aeration in the winter cause over cooling the water in that nice mountain pond? Just curious here when it comes to aeration, its new at my place.

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Well, I am in the DA club as well!! My DO is very low and my lake needs aeration badly. It is basically just a leech farm right now.

Last winter one windmill was not able to keep a hole open in the ice for me. So this summer I have the diffusers set in the deepest water and this winter I am going to put the diffusers some what close together in shallow water and pray for a hole or two! I don't THINK I could super chill the lake, but I'm no expert.

I wonder if the fish would rather freeze to death or suffocate? lol


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The fish will tolerate colder water better than compared to lower oxygen.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 08/18/16 08:55 PM.

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Bill, Ha, can't live with out O2. Good point! lol See WBJ I said I was in the DA group smile Nice place you have there in the Mts

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No expert here either, but have a theory to ponder. If you aren't keeping up with or exceeding the O2 consumption rate on the bottom, then the water you are bringing up is "bad water" as in low O2 and hydrogen sulfide laden. If you are constantly compromising the top water where the fish want to be, that could be badness. In that case, a significantly undersized aeration system might not break up the thermocline, and not push through to a full circulation where water coming up is decent. The little O2 going down is consumed and levels are still not enough to support aerobic bacteria or fish. Then aeration may just continually bring up more bad water and fish are worse off.

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Lets see a show of hands of people that assume that the majority of O2 that enters a pond from aeration comes from the bubbles that the aeration system brings to the pond.

wink

Winter aeration is different than summer aeration. Different goals and different methods to achieve those goals.

Winter aeration for ponds that have a heavy snow/ice cover is different than winter aeration for ponds that get 1" of ice on it for 3-4 weeks of the winter.

During winter in cold climates where ponds freeze over, you do not want to aerate the lowest region of the pond anyway. Water is densest at 39F, and aerating the upper 1/3 of the water column allows the bottom of the pond to stay as a warm water refuge for the fish. Trout can survive in much colder water than RES can.

This is where the different geographical areas of the country really point out the differences in pond management strategy.

I agree with DNickolaus, that under aerating could create a lower water quality in the whole pond than if the pond was not aerated at all.


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Originally Posted By: esshup
I agree with DNickolaus, that under aerating could create a lower water quality in the whole pond than if the pond was not aerated at all.


Do you think I could be doing this Esshup?


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I would like to have more aeration pros weigh in on this topic. Where are they when you need them? I present an alternative opinion.

Too little aeration does reduce the amount of anoxia in the pond; be it a very small amount and results in some stressors. Fish do get some water quality stress (the 'badness') from the poor quality of upwelling water, depending on the volume of upwelling and degree or concentration of "bad" water. A low degree or volume of upwelling stress is in most cases easily tolerated by the fish which would be similar to being in "stuffy" air. You tend to move or search toward fresher air/water which is not far away when minimal aeration is occurring. Again it depends on degree or severity.

However if the 'top' water is also 'bad' for what ever reason then fish have nowhere to find acceptable water. Adding 'bad' water constantly to good surface water by under aerating increases the chances of fish kills, but too little aeration reduces the impact of a summer or the fall turnover whenever that occurs. The amount of anoxic reduction depends of strength of aeration and amount or volume of anoxia in the deep unmixed zone/depth.

Turnovers of various forms can be 'strong' or extensive enough to kill a few fish or all the fish. Thus under-aerating IMO will in the long term life of the pond result in fewer dead fish than no aeration at all. Fewest dead fish long term, due to poor water quality, occurs in ponds with the most top to bottom circulation. The less the pond is turned over, I think the more dead fish that will occur over the life time of the pond. It is a form of degree from none to "over aerating" with some aeration IMO being better than none even if some or minimal air does cause some periodic stress. However that stress will overall in the end be less than that of no aeration.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 08/20/16 10:36 AM.

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Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Originally Posted By: esshup
I agree with DNickolaus, that under aerating could create a lower water quality in the whole pond than if the pond was not aerated at all.


Do you think I could be doing this Esshup?


Possibly. Read what Bill Cody posted above. Since the single aeration windmill last year was not enough to open a hole in the ice and keep it open, this year I would try to get a hole open and keep it open. I think by having a hole open it will greatly help in your situation.

With not having anyone on-site during the winter, and the altitude that the pond is at, you have a uniquely difficult situation.

Without on-site monitoring, you don't know if it is a problem of the line freezing up and not getting air to the diffusers, air getting to the diffusers and just not being able to open the ice in a large enough area that it also melts the snow which stays bridged over across the hole, or not enough air getting to the diffusers to have them move enough water to punch through the ice.

I know your airline isn't this size, but I have seen grid based compressors have a 3/8" like freeze up, even when operated 24/7. With alcohol injected into the line, the plug thawed and air to the pond was restored. An automatic system like that would help if that was the problem.


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Thank you so much Bill and Scott! You guys are always helping. Sorry to hijack this post Snrub!

EDIT: That's why Scott gets my business!! smile

Last edited by wbuffetjr; 08/19/16 04:50 PM.

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No hijack at all. It is all part of the water quality discussion.

I had not thought about "bad water" being brought up and being a problem. That makes sense.

On the other hand, it would seem to me that would be a case of extremely undersized aeration. If say it was only turning the pond over in 48 hours instead of 24, would the water really get all that bad in a relativel short time frame? If it were turning over the air on the order of something like once every 5 days I could see where the lower water might be bad. At that rate though, the amount of "bad" water upwelling would be relatively low in volume also so its effects might be relatively modest.

Maybe a windmill system starting up after a week of no wind could be a problem.

Interesting subject.

Me thinks "it depends".

Last edited by snrub; 08/19/16 08:04 PM.

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Anyone claiming to be an aeration expert out there?


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Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
Anyone claiming to be an aeration expert out there?


You get my vote. Unfortunately we lost our other Ohio aeration guru a few years ago.


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Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
Anyone claiming to be an aeration expert out there?


Crickets......


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Bump..........

Bringing this thread back up because I have a specific question. I'm planning on upgrading my pump system to a single pump of the vane type. It seems that will be the best bang for my buck in a 10' deep maximum pond concerning cfm developed vs electric cost to operate.

Based on the three 9" double Matala diffusers in my main pond with a single in my sediment pond and a single in my forage pond, it brings the total number of diffusers to 8. Based on the air I need to adequately inflate them it appears I could go to either a half horsepower pump or a 3/4 hp pump. The half hp should be adequate for my cfm needs I believe and I do not want to break the bank in electricity costs.

There is a question.......I'm coming to it.

So if either compressor would be within the CFM capability of the diffusers, would I be better off buying the 1/2 hp and run it 24/7 or buy the 3/4 hp and put it on a timer? In other words a continuous pond turnover, or a higher rate of turnover (and water flow) run intermittently?

The 3/4 hp pump is not that terribly much more expensive than the 1/2 and I am leaning towards it. I figure running fewer hours it should have longer service life between rebuilds. And I can keep about the same electric costs by an appropriate cycle duration.

If I go the 3/4 I will have another question, but lets discuss this element first.

Edit Correction. It appears there is no difference between the 1/2 and 3/4 units as far as air flow. What I should have said ask is if I should go the 3/4hp continuous or the 1 hp and run it intermittent.

Last edited by snrub; 03/28/18 11:55 PM.

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