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New pond aerator water clarity
#521477 05/23/20 07:59 AM
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Love this forum. Thank you for sharing so much knowledge.
New pond in Ohio just filled over winter. Heavy silt re-introduced to pond as it filled due to uphill drainage from pond dig clay (I know, but unavoidable..).
I’m about three weeks into 2 diffuser rotary vane bottom aeration system. 1.1 acre. Just stocked fish.
My pond is chocolate milk as the silt has gone back in to suspension.
Any experience anyone can share about how long it may take to get better water clarity again?
Other options?
I’m currently running 24/7. Should I alter that?

Last edited by KingfisherBoiler; 05/23/20 08:03 AM.
Re: New pond aerator water clarity
KingfisherBoiler #521481 05/23/20 09:46 AM
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For a new pond, I usually do not recommend aeration, at least bottom aeration, until the silt settles and the water is allowed to clear. Aerating is designed to mix or circulate the pond water. Silt in suspension will tend to remain in suspension if one is constantly or even daily circulating the entire pond volume. Winds during open water season also help mix the upper pond layer and keep microfine clay in suspension. Let things settle and clear at least until the water has 2 ft of clarity, then start aeration. Suspended solids will settle as layers with heaviest settling the fastest and smallest colloidal clays slowest and in the last layer. Sometimes these microfine particles will not settle until ice cover eliminates the wind circulation action. Aerating before all the heavier particles settle just brings all this cloudy layer back to the surface.

The other water clarity problem that can occur in a new pond is the raw dirt basin does not have a natural biofilm layer on the bottom. This biofilm layer tends to seal the microfine bottom layer from the overlying water. This helps keep sediments on the bottom not in the water column.

Sometimes or often a new pond does not need to be bottom aerated until it is one year old or more. After one year old a pond as it ages continues to develop a noticeable biochemical oxygen demand that progressively consumes a significant amount of dissolved oxygen especially in the deep non-mixing layer and or layer that does not receive enough light for photosynthesis. This BOD process continues to increase as the pond ages thus the need each year of aging for more bottom to top mixing. The rate of BOD increase is based on the pond's productivity (eutrophication).

So IMO I would turn off your bottom aeration or operate it only few hours a day until your pond achieves 2 to 3 ft of clarity. In the meantime spend all your effort getting the watershed fully planted and grassed. It also helps a new pond to establish shoreline emergent vegetation or rip-rap the shoreline to minimize wind -wave action that resuspends clay from open mud shorelines.

Also I do not think it is a good idea to stock a new pond that has continually muddy pond water that has visibilities of less than 12"-16". Fish generally do not thrive in ponded muddy water, but can thrive pretty well in muddy water stream conditions due to higher oxygen concentrations due to flow and current. Significant muddy water is a stressor for fish and fish food development (invertebrates - plankton) and tends to inhibit their growth and pond productivity in general.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 05/23/20 09:51 AM.

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Re: New pond aerator water clarity
KingfisherBoiler #521482 05/23/20 09:53 AM
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What a great post. I almost forgot how knowledgeable the people are on this forum.


"Daddy, why is that fish sleeping?"
Re: New pond aerator water clarity
Bill Cody #521488 05/23/20 01:11 PM
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Got it. Completely understand Bill. Will turn it off and let it settle then wait for the clarity.
It’s a process.
I did have quite a bit of Fil algae build up before the aeration. I’ll probaly go to the ‘couple hours a day’ suggestion after getting the visibility back to help with the algae still.
Appreciate the guidance!

Re: New pond aerator water clarity
KingfisherBoiler #521513 05/23/20 09:36 PM
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Don't expect the aeration to help much to reduce filamentous algae growth. I have never seen a published journal article that shows aeration helps reduce FA. Aeration controlling algae is a very general term and used my many to sell aerators. I've seen way too many algae dominated ponds with good aeration to believe aeration will control algae.

Nutrient abatement of the proper macro and / or micro nutrients is what is needed to control excess algae. Full knowledge of that is still being learned. Unless someone has some documented proof then I would like to see it.

There are many genera of filamentous algae and even more species within those genera. Some are phosphorus hogs and some are nitrogen hogs. Likely each different one (specie) prefers a specific blend of nutrients that makes it grow profusely. Plus the lack of competition for nutrients and space from other plants no doubt allows FA to over grow. If the pond has too few native plants why wouldn't some rampant primary invader plant / FA want to fill the fertile space? Weeds do it on bare dirt,,,,, why not in water?

Last edited by Bill Cody; 05/23/20 09:50 PM.

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