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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #517599 03/05/20 07:16 AM
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Buddy went up to the cabin on Sunday to check things out for me and make some changes. He set the 1HP pump to run for 9 hours 7:00am-4:00 pm. I figured we just throw the HP at the ice and we will break through at some point. So far we have had 4 full days at 9 hours and no sign of a hole. He also took a DO & Temp reading for me. He said the auger was almost unable to get through the ice. He had it buried all the way to the handle and it just barely poked through. He estimated 3' to 3.5' of ice!! WAY more than I expected this time of year. Water temp was ~32.5F to 33F. DO was a disappointing .8PPM at 10' deep (he got the same reading last year and fish survived in the lake somewhere). He did not take a 1' deep DO reading. Going to be interesting to see how long it takes the 1HP pump to break through the ice now with the increased run time.

Good news is snow levels have dropped a good bit. Warm temps this week should drop some more. Hoping that will help us get a hole open that we can keep open till ice off.

Fortunately there isn't ever as much snow on the lake as there is on the driveway. Wind keeps it blown off pretty good I guess. Poor ole F150 toughing it out.
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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #517617 03/05/20 05:07 PM
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I'm not sure any aerator of any horsepower is going to be able to punch through 3.5 feet of ice???!!!

Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #517619 03/05/20 07:21 PM
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3 feet of ice? I guess that is life on an alpine lake? Your photos are always the best, no matter the season. I have just the opposite issue. It can be -20 for three straight days but a week later the springs open up holes on the ice. Hope those trout make it again this year.


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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #517626 03/06/20 06:24 AM
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Canyon - I am hoping/assuming the ice isn't NEAR as thick over the diffusers. I would love to be able to see what the bottom of the ice looks like. It has to have some major contours with all the air I am throwing at it.

Joey - Thank you. My buddy has gone up early February but never early March. This is the thickest ice we've seen so far up there, but I am assuming this is normal. This hasn't even been a really cold year. Hopefully we are on the downhill side of it now. I would happily swap issues with you!! LOL When are you going to post some Brookie pics!!??


Once again I am just totally confused up there. I cannot understand where all that air is going. Obviously the air has to be escaping SOMEWHERE. Buddy flew the drone over the lake looking for any signs of an "escape hatch" and saw nothing. I thought there could possibly be a wet spot or even a hole along the shoreline by the timber that I just couldn't see in the trailcam pics.

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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #517642 03/06/20 12:23 PM
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Can your buddy lower a gopro (waterproof) on a pole and look around under the ice in various places?
Future state, they make wifi enabled remote cameras that are waterproof. Would be cool to keep it underwater. Of course once battery is dead you can't easily get to it at your location and elevation.

I too am stumped at why your CFM, and HP can't keep a hole open all winter long. It makes you wonder if there is air leak between the pump and the diffuser so that the boil isn't as powerful as it could be. You don't have a good sense of the boil plume before it iced over?

Going by Joey's conditions perhaps a plume of running water mixed with air would work. Maybe use your stored electricity to run a water jet plus an air bubble plume? of course perhaps in WI the springs are ground water temp (maybe 50-52 degrees) and you would be circulating pond water (37 degrees or colder). Your cabin have a well or is that out of the question at your altitude and with all that rock under you?

Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #517652 03/06/20 01:41 PM
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Canyon you should look back at my posts over the last couple months. We figured out the issue. The ice is actually trapping the air and forming a dome! I shot it while I was up there and the dome blew up/collapsed! It was crazy! The air lifts the ice off the water before a hole melts through. Then once the ice is no longer touching the water it cannot melt a hole. We think we have a solution as well. Going to be making changes this summer. Version 17.2-B. LOL


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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #517692 03/06/20 07:15 PM
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We haven't had a cold enough winter for me to get valid test results, BUT from initial testing using fine bubbles and .65 CFM per Vertex diffuser vs 3.3 CFM thru each diffuser showed change in the hole opened from 3'-4' diameter to roughly 15'-18' diameter.

That is with the diffusers placed at 2 feet below the ice.

In another pond where the diffuser has medium sized bubbles and is running about 6 CFM, and placed roughly 5'-6' below the ice, the hole is approximately 40' in diameter.

I wanted to do a test this winter by leaving the diffuser depth unchanged but swapping to different sized bubbles while keeping the CFM the same but the weather didn't cooperate. Our ponds and the majority of the lakes here were ice free 3-2-2020.

I think your biggest problem is having the diffusers placed too far away from the water surface (ice) during the winter, allowing the whole water column to super cool. Think about it for a minute, if you wanted to melt ice, would you rather use 33°F water or 35°F-36°F water?


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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #517703 03/07/20 06:59 AM
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Scott,

I hear ya and I am definitely raising the diffusers next year. I guess I need to be a 4' if I am getting 3'+ of ice.

However, some of this stuff may be "what came first, the chicken or the egg"? When we were at the cabin, after I shot the dome and got a hole open, I could start the compressor and watch the ice lift off the water. For the first five minutes or so I could see the bubbles and water moving all around on the ice formed overnight. Quickly after that all that water movement would vanish and it would just be clear ice. If a storm shuts me down for a couple days and the ice gets a little thick and then lifts off the water when compressor restarts, I don't think it matters what the water temp is if the water can't touch the ice. For my location I think it is going to take elevated diffusers and the pipe to make sure holes stay open.

What brand membranes are you using for medium and coarse bubbles?


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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #517711 03/07/20 01:20 PM
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This thread has always intrigued me and I always look forward to reading the input from the experts. Hopefully they will chime in and critique my ramblings below.

I have found the following web site informative, and I reference it occasionally to brush up on the ins and outs of dissolved oxygen:

https://www.fondriest.com/environmental-measurements/parameters/water-quality/dissolved-oxygen/

Can anyone comment on the possibility that it is OK if there is not open water exposed to the atmosphere on this lake? In other words, let’s assume that the percent O2 that is entering the water column via the diffuser is 21%, and that relatively little oxygen gets absorbed as it rises. If the air from the diffusers gets trapped under the ice, and spreads between the water/ice interface, won’t there still be diffusion of O2 into the water? Eventually, I would think, the air would make its way to the edges or fractures in the ice and escape, but if the diffusers continue to run, the air tracking along this ice/water interface should be at 21% O2 and diffusion into the lake water would occur. If this was happening across a surface area even larger than a hole in the ice (created by a diffuser) it would not be inconceivable that there is even greater surface area of air/water interface in this scenario compared to one with a smallish hole in the ice. One can even take it further. Let’s say the weight of the ice on that trapped air increases the partial pressure enough that there is even greater diffusion of O2 across the water surface (see link above). If that occurs, then it might, paradoxically, be a detriment to have a hole in the ice. Thoughts?

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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
DrWizz #517725 03/07/20 09:36 PM
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Good article. The other reason for getting open water is to let the sunlight in, and let harmful gasses dissipate, such as Hydrogen Sulfide.

wbuffetjr, Atlantic diffusers.


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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #517813 03/10/20 04:12 PM
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DrWizz - I like it a lot!! I have read the article a couple times now. Interested to see if anyone else has any thoughts on this. Something is going on for sure because I had trout survive 2 years in a row somehow and I know the water quality was no bueno.

Thanks Scott!


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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #517867 03/12/20 05:55 AM
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Interesting pic from yesterday. It looks like the dome on the near diffuser must have finally broken. You can see where the wet ring that formed appears to be the outside circle of the diffuser plume and not a small hole in the center like "normal". What caused the dome to break? I have no idea really. Maybe enough aeration to finally weaken it.


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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #518026 03/16/20 02:37 PM
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Finally got a hole open!! Look how the center is not melted out though. It melted a ring around the outside. That MUST be because it has been domed over and the outer edge/ring of the dome was the thinnest ice. Pretty interesting. Next challenge - keep the hole open from now till ice off. Fingers crossed.

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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #518493 03/27/20 02:31 PM
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Alas, more snow..... yay!

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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #519279 04/12/20 03:10 PM
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finally getting a little action!! I was kind of surprised it took so long for the aeration to poke a hole through once the snow turned grey. I guess that's what happens when the ice is ~3' thick!!

I am predicting one month until ice off!

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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #519324 04/13/20 10:07 AM
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so if ice out is May 12 this year, what is the average date? Maybe you don't know due to not having a camera up there every year?
Looks good to see open water again, sure the fish are happy

Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #519327 04/13/20 10:19 AM
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Canyon - just crossing my fingers there are some fish alive. I would THINK so after having some survivors two years in a row, but nothing is ever certain up there. Average ice out seems to start early May and be mostly done by mid May from what I have seen so far. Last year ice wasn't fully off until June 16!!! That was crazy!

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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #520003 04/27/20 07:55 AM
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Starting to get a little action.... MAYBE I will have some open water in a week!! Holes have grown nicely over the last couple days and there are some really warm temps in the forecast for the next several days.

After reading Lusks' article on "Aeration Strategies" in the latest PB magazine, I have another new idea. My DO levels seem to do really well from ice off until late August or early September. Each September the DO drops into the mid 4's and stays there until it starts to climb back up in October. I think there must be some kind of die off that is happening and my Gast 1550 cannot keep up with the Oxygen demand. This year, all Summer and maybe all Winter too, I am going to run a second air pump into my main airline to increase my CFM per disc. I am running the Gast 1550 that produces 15 CFM and I am going to add my Gast 0740 that produces 6 CFM. Unfortunately both those numbers are at sea level. At my elevation there is a 33% de-rate so I will be looking at 14 CFM at zero PSI for both pumps combined. I think adding the 0740 will increase my CFM ~40%. I am hoping this increase in CFM is enough to push my DO levels through the annual DO slump in September. Both pumps have backflow preventers inline and from what I have read running both into one airline should not be a problem. I am going to find out.

In the Winter I am also going to SUSPEND my diffusers in shallower water. I am currently thinking 5' or 6'. This should help on multiple fronts. One, per the article and per a guy from MN, I should not be directly feeding O2 to the bacteria on the pond bottom. I am hoping to put a rear naked choke on the aerobic bacteria and have it choked out early in the fall/winter. Hoping the bacterias' ability to consume O2 will be significantly reduced or even eliminated. Two, the reduced PSI on the pumps will increase their CFM output and I should move more water and chew through the ice easier. Three, the reduced PSI should substantially reduce the amount of power each pump will consume and since I am on solar power this means I should be able to run my pumps longer therefore moving more water and eating more ice. The reduced power consumption also means I can possibly run both pumps this Winter at maybe close to the same power consumption as the 1HP this Winter while aerating in deep water.

Love to hear some thoughts!

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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #520045 04/27/20 11:35 PM
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I like your thinking on the additional pump to move more water this summer. Going in to winter with higher dissolved oxygen in the pond may help.

I worked up above 9000' feet today. Snow is nearly gone-only small piles on the north side of some buildings and in drifts alongside the roads.

We're expecting a couple of 80+ degree days this week down here at 6500'. Hopefully your pond will see 60s or even 70. It felt hot in the sun today at 9000+.

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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #520163 04/29/20 10:28 PM
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So, we still on track to see open water in 13 days? (May 12th)


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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #520220 04/30/20 02:52 PM
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Thanks 4CP! Definitely warm up there. High so far has been 62, but maybe we beat that today or tomorrow. Snow is coming off REALLY fast!

Scott - I think significant open water by this weekend. We will see!

Anyone got any ideas why my ice gets that brownish, dirty look to it? Is that normal? Is it from run off or due to nutrient rich water??

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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #520242 04/30/20 11:58 PM
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Think about all the dust, smoke particles, etc. that get caught up in the snow over the course of the winter. When it melts, the dust/dirt gets more concentrated (that's my theory).


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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #520418 05/03/20 02:43 PM
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Snow is coming off. Ice is hanging on....

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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
esshup #520441 05/04/20 08:10 AM
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esshup, that theory is spot on. We've had plenty of research done down here, as well as anecdotal evidence, that much of our soil is deposited material from Arizona and New Mexico (the Land of Enchantment). We refer to this loess as "grains of enchantment". Over many years it has accumulated 6' deep in places.

After a Spring windstorm, the high country snow has a decided reddish cast to it. We're seeing more and more of that as the dry country to the south loses its moisture earlier in the Spring, and the windstorms increase in frequency.

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Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s
wbuffetjr #520766 05/09/20 06:23 AM
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And we have open water!! ~5 weeks sooner than last year. That's gotta make fish survival a little easier. Hopefully my buddy is going up this weekend to check things out. It will be a hike in trip. Still can't get a vehicle to the cabin. The last 1/2 mile or so drive to the cabin is all North facing timber so it stays snow covered for an extra couple or three weeks depending on weather.

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