Hi, New pond owner here - bought a house and got a pond. I am located in NE Ohio, this is a about 60'x 100' pond with a max depth of about 6' have had two pond management pros over to review the health. Both say it is in A condition (more details below). I have also raked the leaves from this pond (et nausea) - and it looks clean and clear! I have been reading up and THANK YOU all for your great information, now I have a few questions from the group:
#2-3 Aerator placement, good location choice? – Per my photo, I will be moving the diffusers to their new positions at #2 and #3. – the difusers are sand filled bases with rubber membrane difusers – this is about 4-5ft deep in these areas – the aerator is on 24/7 (matala 4 pro with 2 valves) – the fountain is on about 4-5 hrs/day if it is not windy or raining also, should I put the diffusers on a cement block -- also to add a hiding place for catfish and bass?
#4 Over spillway, keeping the pond fuller I like the height of the water there is a creek that runs behind the pond There is a 4" PVC pipe coming about 12 feet below the top level of the pond and about 10" behind, and there is a concrete block where I have indicated in the photo on the ponds edge the pond level had dropped about 10" after the winter thaw and we recently found the overflow ,may have been leaching water? not sure bit I put a lot of mud mounded higher that the spill and it seems to be holding the height. if this works, what is the right way to block this area or dam the dam?
#1 thinning the cattails done a lot by hand so far (a lot of crappy work!! but fun) and will supplement with a spray later this year to keep these within a walk in area where I can walk into the pond to cut the cattails in the fall. I have Resolve contact herbicide for these any other advice on these to keep them contained?
Water Lilies I recently added two hardy waterlillies that will grow to a max of 6' should I put the pots in another pot of pea gravel so the roots dont take into the natural pond?
Treatment plan – I have a variety of grasses, duckweed and filamentous algae (to be treated with citruine plus 16oz) – also about 6" of muck (to be treated after the citruine -- with muck pellets, about 16 per treatment) – Pond dye (I use very little for the fish camo and algae control) –also manual removal and raking any additional advise?
Wildlife – ducks (adorable) frogs and tadpoles – Dragonfly nymphs – geese have been held at bay – possible heron visits – Stocked with common goldfish, shiners, bluegil, cats and bass any additional advise?
Natural ramp looking to build a natural ramp to the right of the boat should I put carpet down themn a liner over then rocks -- or just wait to see if the muck reducer works? I may not follow through on this
perimeter planting I am planning on doing a little wildlife flowers on a hill to the right that you cannot see in the photo for the birds, butterflies and dragonflies. any plants to stay away from? I am planning on doing cosmos, iris, lily of the valley and ostrich fern
Be cautious moving your diffusers into deeper water. The deeper the diffusers, the harder the pump has to work. Do you have a pump curve for your aeration system? This will help us determine how deep they can go before stressing the pump and/or losing it's water moving ability. A quick web search for "matala 4 pro" indicates that it was designed for up to a 20,000 gallon pond. I think your pond is substantially bigger than that and it may be undersized to begin with. Your pond will be closer to 180,000 gallons. Get some specs posted on your pump and we can go from there.
Welcome to the forums, BTW! You have a nice looking pond.
Thank you for the compliment, Quarter Acre. I'm not sure where to find a curve, can you direct me?
My pond guy said this would be the right one the max depth on the web said this one could go to 8'. I am sure the max in my pond is about 5, but there's a little muck so I assume maybe 6 but I can stick an oar in the areas where I am planning on putting the diffusers, so they are planted in 4ish, but I could use a cement block to raise it up a little.
the other pro said 1/10th of an acre for the size of this one -- it is shallow around the parameter and I can walk into it al the way around. Not sure this helps.
It says your kit uses the "Matala HK60L Air Pump". So I searched on that and found that the Matala and the Hakko must share the same pump. Here is the site with the pump data that I ASSUME you have (it looks the same anyhow and has the same HK60L numbers)...
With your diffusers being around 5 foot deep, your pump should be putting out just over 2 CFM. This is a good CFM for 2 of the common diffusers. What I can not find is how much water can be moved by these diffusers at that CFM. Two other things concern me about the systems. 1.) The first noted site says the 4 pro system is "For Ponds between 8000 to 20,000 gallons.", AND, the second noted site says the assumed pump is "Suitable for koi ponds up to 6000 gallons.". Neither of these specs suggest it is sized appropriately for your pond size.
...with a 60'x100x pond with an average depth of 4'...It calculates 180,000 gallons. Lets' say that this number is off by 50%, for discussion's sake, that is still 70,000 gallons larger than the largest spec for your system. What this is telling me is that your pond may not be turned over at a rate that is good for adding good dissolved oxygen to your pond for good fish health. A good rule of thumb is to turn your pond over at least once a day (I prefer twice or more for good measure). I don't think you can turn it over too much unless turbulence becomes an issue and that would take A LOT of aeration). What is mostly happening with an aeration system is that the water is being moved upward, from the bottom, so that it comes in contact with the air and can absorb oxygen. The bubbles do very little with respect to adding O2 to the water. It is the water to air interface that does the majority of the O2 transfer to the water.
If you can get the water-lift-rate from Matala on these specific diffusers (at 1 CFM each)...we could do further calculations to determine if they are moving enough water to properly aerate the pond.
Ok, that's all the mumbo-jumbo I can spew out regarding your system, BUT, I think we can try a test to see what's really going on in the pond. The following test may have some inadequacies depending on several factors, but it is a start to understanding your pond and aeration system.
Most ponds will be cooler at the bottom and warmer at the top (without aeration and during the summer months). With smaller/shallower ponds like yours, I would think this statement would better apply at the end of a hot day. So, it might be helpful to know what the temps are near the top and at the very bottom at the end of a hot day (not necessarily sunny). I would get a cheap pool thermometer, tie something heavy enough to make it sink, tie that to long cord with a float (like a plastic soda bottle), set the float so that the thermometer will be at 18" below the surface, and throw it out into the middle of the pond away from the diffusers for a few minutes and pull it in quickly. Record the temp. Now, take the float off and throw it out to the bottom (away from the diffusers but very near the deepest part) for a few and pull it back in. Record the temp.
If the temps are within a few degrees, your aeration is turning the pond over enough to mostly mix the water and maintain a fairly constant temp top-to-bottom. Be aware that water at the very top will always be warmer than that just a foot down or so. That is why I suggested 18" from the surface for the the top temp an not necessarily a sunny day.
Knowing what these temps are without aeration would also be nice to know for comparison, but that involves shutting the system off for several days to let it settle down and repeating the temp readings. Keep in mind that starting a system back up needs to be done gradually to avoid killing any fish in the pond.
My 1/4 acre pond (10 foot deep) can have a 20-30 degree temp difference from the bottom to 18" below the surface without aeration, but with aeration, that temp difference is more like 3 degrees. I have taken multiple temp readings at 6" increments, top-to-bottom, to find where that breaking point is. The breaking point is where the effects of the sun stops heating the surface water. My pond is pretty muddy which makes that point closer to the surface whereas a pond with more clear water and less aeration may be further down.
Quarter Acre - that is an awesome illustration of what needs to happen. Thank you!
Currently, near Lake Erie, we are damp and rainy with no sunshine.
AND, I know the pond is currently 59° -- I just happened to take that temperature on Monday (first day of rain and overcast the entire day) by using a AquaView Camera with a temperature probe and just happened to notice that the temp fluctuated by 3-4° depending on the area I was in in the boat as I floated around looking for fish and structure for the first time. we were out there for about an hour and the temp on the cam is sensitive for fishing in ice (but we also use this in the summer to scout fish under the boat at the dock, so I know the temp sensor is accurate)
I will shut the aerator down and try this again in a few days just to replicate the results -- we are getting spotty weather in a few days again. I just got lucky floating on Monday and noticing the temps (I fish a lot and always note water temps if I can get that info for active fish and patterns).
I also believe you are correct that this is a Hakko pump. I feel almost foolish for relying on the one pond guy for advice and selling me the system (expensive learning curve there). But holding out hope when I contact Hakko, that they can confirm the numbers you requested above.
The max flow is what that pump will put out without anything hooked up to it. You are currently running your pump very close to the rated performance...that's a good place to be. Moving the diffusers deeper will cause it to dip below the Rated Performance and add stress to the pump which will likely shorten it's life. How much, who knows. I'd leave them at the 5 foot depths, but you could move them elsewhere in the pond if you'd like, just keep them in 5 foot of water or a bit shallower. I have found that my diffusers can sit 3 foot off the bottom (on home-made stands) in 7 foot of water and still circulate the 10 foot deep water that is 40 to 50 foot away. Your diffusers have a good chance of pulling water up from the deepest part of your pond while sitting in the 5 foot depths. So long as you tested temps at all depths and found that minor temp difference, I'd say your system is turning the water over well. My only concern is that it is early in the year and ground temps and air temps in your area may be equal (on average) and this may be giving you a false sense of security. eg. The ground temps are 55° F and the average air temps are 55° F (or close)...whos to say of the water IS getting turned over and not just staying consistent because of the surrounding earth and air temps ??? The temp testing needs to be periodically performed as summer air temps increase. When you turn off your aeration, you are looking for cooler bottom temps and warmer temps towards the surface. The bigger the difference between bottom to near (~18") top (without air), the more confidence you can put into the temp testing once the air is turned back on. You may find little to no temp difference without aeration this time of the year and have to wait until it warms up a fair amount.
There is always dissolved oxygen testing that you can do, but I have not mastered that at my pond and cannot offer much assistance other than how to get the water samples. Even with aeration at my pond, the DO seems to differ from top to bottom in the water column and does not seem to be as reliable as temp testing. We will have to rely on some other PB members to help determine what DO levels are considered good from top to bottom.
EDIT: And, without Lift-rates for the diffusers, you will have to rely on testing at the pond to know for sure. The diffuser specs sure seem to mimic what I have seen for other 9" Matala's and are close to the Vertex brand that I am familiar with.
Last edited by Quarter Acre; Yesterday at08:45 AM.