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8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
#385145 08/16/14 12:38 PM
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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!

Last edited by wbuffetjr; 06/05/20 07:20 AM.

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Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #385146 08/16/14 01:22 PM
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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.


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Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #385148 08/16/14 01:38 PM
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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.

Last edited by snrub; 08/16/14 01:51 PM.

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Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
snrub #385153 08/16/14 02:05 PM
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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.


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Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
esshup #385156 08/16/14 02:20 PM
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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.

Last edited by snrub; 08/16/14 02:24 PM.

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Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #385165 08/16/14 07:50 PM
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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?

Last edited by wbuffetjr; 04/12/15 07:46 AM.

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Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #385166 08/16/14 08:03 PM
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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.


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Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #385183 08/16/14 11:49 PM
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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.


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Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #385191 08/17/14 08:59 AM
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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?

Last edited by wbuffetjr; 10/13/17 11:40 AM.

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Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #385192 08/17/14 09:12 AM
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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.


AL
Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #385197 08/17/14 10:24 AM
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I think you should be atleast considering both the 4 and 8 ft options..


I believe in catch and release. I catch then release to the grease..

BG. CSBG. LMB. HSB. RES.

Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #385198 08/17/14 10:36 AM
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Are you in SW Colorado?


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Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #385199 08/17/14 11:36 AM
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No, in Montana

Last edited by wbuffetjr; 08/13/17 10:33 AM.

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Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
Bluegillerkiller #385200 08/17/14 11:37 AM
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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!


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Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #385204 08/17/14 12:36 PM
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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.


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Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #385207 08/17/14 01:12 PM
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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.


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Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #385208 08/17/14 01:28 PM
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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.


Last edited by wbuffetjr; 08/08/17 02:35 PM.

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Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #385229 08/17/14 08:12 PM
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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.

Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #385242 08/18/14 02:11 AM
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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.



Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #385247 08/18/14 05:54 AM
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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.


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Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #403528 03/12/15 01:07 PM
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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.



Last edited by wbuffetjr; 08/08/17 02:36 PM.

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Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #403533 03/12/15 01:40 PM
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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.

Last edited by Bocomo; 03/12/15 01:42 PM.
Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
Bocomo #403535 03/12/15 02:53 PM
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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.


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Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #403536 03/12/15 03:08 PM
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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


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Re: 9 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
RC51 #403660 03/13/15 02:02 PM
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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.

Last edited by wbuffetjr; 03/13/15 02:26 PM.

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