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Joined: Feb 2017
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Want to know more about aeration and algaecide

I am thinking about aeration might circulate the bottom muck. I want greater clarity, and want our aquatic life to be happy.

Any ideas about suggestions?

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Last edited by Cadillac Bill; 03/11/17 09:14 PM.

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Anyone recommend airstones??

Last edited by Cadillac Bill; 03/11/17 09:17 PM.

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I don't have a aerator yet, but most DIY on the cheap threads on here ends up wasted money a year or so in. I would look in the aeration section and check out systems like Vertex. You can DIY, but when you start adding quality parts, you don't save much money, but you can get a custom system. I think you are on the right track with aeration, but it needs to be started SLOWLY.


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Diffusers like the homemade one above usually need to be positioned almost horizontal or most of the air goes out one side or end. Be aware of this quirk. Homemade diffusers are very possible and there are numerous good variations available. I started my aeration education back in 1988 by building homemade diffusers. For the best money buy individual aeration heads from aeration supply houses. Then mount them on some sort of manifold. Remember you want to match the amount of air flow to the size of the diffuser. Make efficient use as possible for each cfm of air.

Basic rule of aeration: the smaller the bubbles and the more bubbles you make the more water you move. You can make several hundred small bubbles moving much more water than from one bigger 1/2" bubble. Smaller holes plug quicker requiring more frequent cleaning depending the material.

If you use your portable air compressor expect it to burn out relatively quickly. Call the company and ask the tech staff about using it for aeration. They will say this voids the warranty. Called these types of people way back in the 1980's and the engineers said no way we build these compressors to pump up and rest not continuous duty. I had guys not believe me and they burnt up a shop compressor pretty quickly.

Find a compressor that is built for continuous duty such as a rotary vane or rocking piston compressor. With proper use mine is 18yrs & on the 1st set of vanes at 14-17ft deep aeration, although it runs only 5-7hrs per day Apr to Nov.

DYI aeration can save some money but spend that money wisely on the correct equipment. There are very good used compressors available and separate new membrane diffusers from aeration supply houses. There is lots of good info in past posts here about DIY aeration. Airline can be economical black polyethylene irrigation pipe w/ weights, garden hose or self weighted best airline. Do good homework before spending your money on low quality, short life span materials.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/01/17 04:50 PM.

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Thank you all, especially Bill Cody. Am familiar with rotary vane pumps. Yeah, my little pancake compressor has a short duty cycle. Probably not a good idea. I have built a lot of "Rube Goldberg" projects. Some work and some not-so-well. I like to play with some things.

Still looks like an easy to build diffuser heads and a manifold. Was also thinking about a garden hose and drill some holes in it. Pump air into it....... Maybe a soaker hose?

Another question is about how cycling the aeration. I hear "go slowly" what does this mean? Worried about doing it wrong. My lake has been sitting for about 75 years. Unlikely it ever had aeration.


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If you search through old posts on aeration I think you will find most if not all of the things you mention doing have been tried, maybe worked somewhat, then finally abandoned for things that work as advertised.

As long as you are working with zero cost stuff and your time is worth nothing other than the fun of experimenting you probably can learn some lessons others have already learned.

But as soon as you actually start to buy stuff, even bargain basement stuff, soon you will have enough money tied up in stuff that either doesn't work or works poorly, you would have been half way to buying something that is designed for the purpose and for certain will work. I'll try to find a link to one of my threads back when I was in the experimentation stage of aeration.

The reason you start up aeration slowly is that if the water is stratified, as it usually is in summer, the lower layer of water below the thermocline is not only anoxic, it also has built up gasses and compounds that can kill fish. Stir up this nasty stuff too quickly and you get a fish kill. So you want to bring it to the surface slowly in short bursts so it can dissapate slowly causing little or no harm. Once the initial mixing is complete, then you can operate the pump continously.

Last edited by snrub; 02/02/17 08:36 AM.

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I will add some links here as I find them. Check back. Others probably know of threads on do it yourself aeration they can link to. Not all of the links will apply directly to your question, but questions you eventually will ask if you keep experimenting.

thread on potential dangers of under sized aeration

diffuser cleaning

discussion on pressure calculations

aeration installation
Some documentation of my DIY aeration system

some more on diy air system

finally got around to building the air pump housing

If your time is worth much, buying a pre packaged system from a reputable supplier is likely the best route. If you have a penchant for experimentation and learning in the process (as I do), you can put your own system together recognizing that if you make a few mistakes along the way it might end up costing you as much in the end to finally get it "right" as if you had just bit the bullet in the beginning.


Last edited by snrub; 02/02/17 09:16 AM.

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