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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #513866 11/08/19 03:21 PM
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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!


Last edited by wbuffetjr; 11/08/19 03:28 PM.

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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #513877 11/08/19 10:03 PM
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Growing a sport fishery at 10,000 ft is definitely a challenge.


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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #513921 11/11/19 10:23 AM
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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.


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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #513926 11/11/19 12:47 PM
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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....

Last edited by wbuffetjr; 12/01/19 11:55 AM.

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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #513936 11/11/19 04:59 PM
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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!


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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #513938 11/11/19 05:56 PM
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Great to hear your complications were fairly straight forward fixes! Post some pics over the winter! Us ice folk have to stick together!! Lol


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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #513969 11/12/19 01:04 PM
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I'll get some pics along the way - hopefully of some holes in the ice!


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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #513997 11/13/19 03:17 PM
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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.



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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #513999 11/13/19 03:57 PM
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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!

Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #514000 11/13/19 04:02 PM
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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

Last edited by wbuffetjr; 11/13/19 04:03 PM.

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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #514014 11/14/19 08:49 AM
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?? 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

Last edited by canyoncreek; 11/14/19 09:18 AM.
Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #514017 11/14/19 10:52 AM
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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.

Last edited by wbuffetjr; 11/14/19 10:58 AM.

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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #514020 11/14/19 11:34 AM
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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!

Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #514327 11/25/19 03:44 PM
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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.


Last edited by wbuffetjr; 11/25/19 03:49 PM.

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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #514362 11/26/19 02:45 PM
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Battling!!



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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #514601 12/03/19 04:34 PM
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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!



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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #514892 12/13/19 09:24 AM
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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!


Last edited by wbuffetjr; 12/13/19 03:51 PM.

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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #514902 12/13/19 11:09 PM
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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)


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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
esshup #514909 12/14/19 08:42 AM
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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.

Last edited by wbuffetjr; 12/15/19 09:59 AM.

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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #514939 12/15/19 02:37 PM
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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.


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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #515061 12/18/19 03:57 PM
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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.


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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #515141 12/20/19 12:29 PM
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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!

Last edited by wbuffetjr; 12/20/19 12:35 PM.

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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #515143 12/20/19 12:54 PM
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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!!


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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #515145 12/20/19 01:15 PM
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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.

Last edited by wbuffetjr; 12/20/19 01:15 PM.

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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #515155 12/20/19 08:39 PM
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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.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 12/20/19 08:48 PM.

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