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Originally Posted by canyoncreek
BUMP

Can moderators help fix youtube embed or if they can't can they report to forum software manager to ask for bug fix?

I asked our resident techie, hopefully he sees the question.


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wbuffetjr, are you using a Koenders windmill? Do you like it?

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Originally Posted by G.DUB
wbuffetjr, are you using a Koenders windmill? Do you like it?

I do own one. I also have an American eagle aeration windmill. The Koenders functions as it is supposed to. However, I would not buy another windmill aerator at this point. I would go with an electric unit I could plug in if grid power was available. If no available grid power, then I would go with an on demand solar aeration unit. PERIOD.


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WARNING:: readers beware.. long winded post!

Just got back from a very exciting and productive trip to the mountains.

First day there I measured DO levels and saw a huge improvement over past years. I do not understand what caused the improvement, but I am happy for it. Maybe it is due to running aeration for some time now and overall things have improved??

End of Sept 2020 afternoon measurement
DO levels were
1' deep - 5.94ppm 56.6F
5' deep - 5.86ppm 55.3F
15' deep - 4.76ppm 54.5F

Oct 2nd 2021 afternoon measurement
DO levels were
1' deep - 7.50ppm 53.2F
10' deep - 7.15ppm 52.5F

In the Fall of 2020 we installed a pipe vertically in the pond and placed a vertex dual diffuser on the pond bottom next to the pipe. The pipe stood about 18" above the waterline. This pipe was an experiment to see if the pipe could prevent the ice from doming up over my diffusers which had been preventing the diffusers from keeping a hole open. I have five different vertex air station locations in the lake and only one of them had a pipe installed. The ONE air station with the pipe was the ONLY air station to keep a hole open all winter. It was also the ONLY air station to keep a hole open all winter EVER recorded in six years of monitoring this lake. My water temps in winter 2020/21 got very low, actually way too low - 32.5F.

The decision was made this year to install pipes at three of the remaining air stations (to prevent doming) and suspend the diffusers at a shallower depth to try to prevent water temps from going so low. The fourth air station, a vertex quad diffuser station in ~21' of water, got a buoy instead of a pipe. I am hoping to buoy can also disrupt the ice like the pipes do. Time will tell. Here's the setup.... I have two vertex dual diffusers stations located in ~12' of water suspended from the pipe at ~4' to 4.5'. The vertex quad diffuser station is located in 21' of water and is suspended from the buoy at 10'-11' deep. My Koenders windmill runs a single vertex diffuser that was suspended ~12" -18" below the water surface. I will say the meat of this theory comes from MNFish in Minnesota. He believes, for true Northern ponds, a guy should aerate the top layer of the water column and let the DO diffuse its way down into the lower water. DO NOT directly feed O2 to the bottom of the pond by having the diffusers sitting directly on the bottom. He believes this will prevent the muck/bacteria from sucking the DO out of the water when ice covered for months on end. (My lake is under ice for 7 to 8 months out of the year.) So far his measurements and results prove out. This also kept his water temps MUCH warmer than my water even though his Minnesota winters bring much colder temps than I ever see. He regularly deals with -20F and worse for extended amounts of time. His water temps never went below 37F. Last year my water temps hit 32.7F!!

Three days after making the change in the aeration setup there was a noticeable change in DO levels.I recorded the highest DO that has ever been recorded up there. I did not think 10.0ppm was going to be possible at 10,000' elevation.

Oct 5th 2021 afternoon measurement
DO levels were
1' deep - 10.03ppm!!! 53.8F
10' deep - 6.84ppm 51.4F
14' deep - 6.65ppm 51.1F

I was blown away by those readings. That made me think I needed to know a worst case for DO levels and measure first thing in the morning. I still have a lot of vegetation in the water so semi concerned of an over night DO crash.

Oct 6th 2021 sunrise measurement
DO levels were
1' deep - 7.49ppm 50.8F
5' deep - 7.14ppm 51.4F
10' deep - 6.71ppm 51.1F

Still WAY better than 2020!!

Here is a pic of my new setup. Like I said, this dual vertex is set ~4' to 4.5' deep. There is extra rope that allows the diffuser to be lowered down to 10' deep in the spring at ice off. I am DONE placing the diffusers right on the pond bottom. Suspending the diffusers has other multiple advantages. One, less backpressure on my pumps allows me to run for longer periods of time - I am running on 100% solar so any power savings is huge. Two, the plume is much more violent, although I AM moving less water.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Here is a couple videos of the plumes in action. I mention it in the video, but this plume is only from the Thomas 2660 1/2hp pump. Unfortunately I did not get a video of the big daddy 1 HP Gast 1550 running simultaneously with the 2660, which is how it runs the majority of the time. The plume then is down right violent.

[video:youtube]
[/video]

[video:youtube]
[/video]

Did anyone wonder "what happened to the fith air station"?? If so, here's your answer..... I also built a spawning box for the brook trout and used the fifth airline to power it. Thanks to an old Pond Boss magazine article by Mark Cornwell I learned about spawning boxes for Brookies. I saw the article was available in an old magazine so I called up PB and ordered a copy. Very informative. I also got Mark C on the phone and he told me he had personally documented 80 Brook Trout using ONE 4' x 8' spawning box!! Reproduction is the last thing missing in my lake. Now, the resident trout could be successfully reproducing and my previously nasty water quality over winter was just killing the fry. I don't know. I just figured the spawning box would be good insurance so I went with it. I should have taken more pics, but I didn't. I suspended the box from chains to four pipes driven into the pond bottom. The PVC grid is drilled to allow air to percolate up through the gravel. We then boated 2,000lbs of gravel by the five gallon bucket load across the lake to fill the box. Here is my dad ready to help me launch the box. I don't think he knew what he signed up for on this trip!

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Finally, I worked my azz off so hard I did not even cast a line one time in my own lake. How funny, or sick, is that!! I kind of don't even want to catch or disturb any of those fish! WTH is wrong with me?? I did, however, catch about 80 of these beauties!!! Can't wait to have 4-5 lb'ers like these in my own water! Hopefully I won't mind catching them then!!

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Last edited by wbuffetjr; 10/14/21 11:22 AM.

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You get the "Freak" title too!!!


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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That's great to see you are finally getting the diffusers up off the bottom for the winter. I think that will help you and the fish out a LOT.


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Beautiful trout.


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That is some beautiful trout!! forgive me for not knowing my trout species but which is that, it looks similar to a brown trout that I caught on Lake Erie before. wow those are some sharp colors!


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Thank you thank you for the post, the beautiful pictures and the update. Reading your updates is like getting an update from a mars rover complete with pictures. You are in uncharted territory and producing great pictures and results.

A few questions - how does the dual aerators stay fixed in place when hanging by ropes from the pole? Doesn't the pressure pushing upwards make them flop all over under the water? Great idea to suspend with extra rope so you can adjust depth

How is the population of small critters? scuds, salamanders etc? Did crayfish survive this season through the winter?

I don't see your grass blade algae, did you successfully pump it all out?

Finally, maybe a long shot but maybe if the buoy was painted black or wrapped in black duct tape it would help keep a hole open. It seems even though your pipes are not black they provide enough heat to keep holes open. Is that ground heat travelling up the pipe from the soil beneath or do you think solar heat is trapped in the metal? If so then painting pipes black or wrapping in black electrical or duct tape might help. Could even consider wrapping the top few feet of the pipe with the black pipe foam pipe wrap used to insulate copper hot water lines in your basement.

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I agree with everyone else, you write so descriptively well, this should be a blog. I really enjoy your, Mile High Musings.If I was on FaceSpace, I would give you two thumbs up.

I agree with canyon on more heat retention color scheme.

Also, do you run the aerators at night when air temps are below freezing?

Last edited by Joey Quarry; 10/14/21 06:33 PM.
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Thanks for the kind comments everyone! This has definitely been a learning experience. I tell Highflyer all the time... I don't want to get any smarter, I just want it to work!!!

Gehajake - the trout species is a Brook Trout.

Canyon - Diffusers floating up: I already had the diffusers attached to the old style gravel filled bases vertex used to sell. The bases are very heavy. Maybe too heavy. It is a struggle to get the quad out of the water. So far it seems like the weight from the bases hanging there is enough to keep the diffusers right where I put them. I initially thought they might want to rotate around the pipe, but it never happened. I think the weighted line also helps keep them "pinned" where you put them. Critters: This was again another "best ever" for critters. All my rip rap is full of baby crayfish. There seems to be more scuds this year than last year and I seem to have said that for the last couple years now. The fatheads seem to be following the same trajectory as the scuds! And finally, maybe the best news in the critter department, the leeches have almost completely vanished!! I am sure some folks remember me complaining about the leeches. At night you could walk down with a flashlight and with just a few steps you could count hundreds of leeches. I went down with a flashlight this trip and didn't see a single leech!! I am assuming leeches have been on the menu for the fish and the crayfish. It has been a while since I have laid eyes on a salamander. Not sure if they are still present or not. So, the forage base is more than set! Now all I need is baby Brookies!!! Grass Blade: I spent considerable time working on attempting to pump out the grass blade bloom. I ended up with the dewatering bag hanging over the water from the tractor forks on the East side of my peninsula. The pump intake was on the West side of my peninsula. I let the pump run for 1.5 hours. I watched as the intake hose was sucking up tons of grass blade algae. After the test run I shut the pump off to inspect and there was ZERO algae in the bag. The bag had a filter size of 470 microns IIRC. It was plenty tight enough to catch the algae. All I can figure is the pump completely obliterated the algae as it passed through and that allowed it to pass through the bag. That experiment was a definite fail unfortunately. Pipe/Buoy color: I do not think the pipe or buoy heating up is what is helping break the dome. I am pretty sure it is a mechanical advantage of sorts. I think the ice begins to lift from the aeration and it slides up the pipe. I think this movement up the pipe creates a fracture OR the ice moves enough to create a gap that allows the air to vent and that keeps the ice from lifting off the water. Since the aeration keeps the ice thin around the pipe the ice can't get a good "hold" on the pipe so it seems no risk of the ice lifting the pipes up. I can always go back and paint black if need be next year.

JQ - I do run the small pump at night. I have it set for two one hour time slots. Throughout the winter my air temps never get that extreme. I would say my average low through the winter is around 10F. At this point, especially with the new setup, I am less concerned about water temps and more concerned about DO. I think this night time running will help keep any ice that is able to form between runs very thin and keep that DO as high as possible.

Last edited by wbuffetjr; 10/15/21 05:31 AM.

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I also enjoy reading this thread, you have definitely got a ton of time, effort, and possibly a good amount of money in this project. I can only imagine.
As for the temps, I had pictured much colder temps then an average of +10 for lows, thats not too bad, seems I read somewhere that you expect about 6 to 8 months of ice cover, probably just hangs on longer due to the elevation, that's definitely a sweet place and I'll bet its hard to leave when it comes time to go, so much to do, so little time.
That's a beautiful Brookie btw, a person would never get tired of catching those! Kudos!


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so is the grass blade algae still in the pond or did you break it down with your pump system?

and another question, it sounds like you have a huge number of trout (splake, brook? others?) Is that one spawning bed enough for all of them to share?

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Gehajake - I am 8 years in on this project and more money than I'd ever admit. I do love it for sure and hope to spend a big chunk of the year, every year, out there once my kids are out of school. The mild winter temps up there were one of the biggest surprises to me. I only saw negative temps up there one day last year and that was -5F. Before I got the weather station up there I had imagined -20F type winter temps, but it's just not the case. The ice DOES hang around a long time. It varies a good bit year to year, but I'd say the average is ice on by November 1st and ice off by first week of May. On the tough years I have had ice by mid October and ice not come off until mid June! I am hoping my warmer water temps this year lead to shorter ice duration. We will see....


Canyon - I ran the trash pump for about 1.5 hours on the grass blades. When I saw it wasn't working I shut that down. When I was leaving the grass blade bloom had subsided somewhat.

I do NOT have a huge number of fish. I actually have a very small number. I do not know an exact number. Mark Cornwell told me he had personally observed 80 Brook Trout using one 4' x 8' spawning box. I have a feeling the trout are spawning other places in my lake as well so the spawning box was just more of an insurance policy. Will be interesting to see if there's any evidence of use from this year.

Last edited by wbuffetjr; 10/18/21 08:30 AM.

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WINTER IS COMING, but .......so far so good this year. I am trying to get my buddy up to measure temp and DO. I THINK raising the diffusers has led to warmer water temps than same time periods in the past. Warmer water temps is holding ice off a little longer. Need him to get water temps to verify, but pics so far back it up.

It may not seem like much of a difference, but I am thinking every single additional week without ice cover is a huge advantage. For example, if I can get two extra weeks without ice on the front end of winter and two extra weeks without ice on the back end of winter that is one month less of ice cover. That seems substantial to me. Keep in mind we usually stay under ice from late October until mid May.


Here are some pics for comparison:

First ice up 2019 was October 24th
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

First ice up 2020 was October 27th
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

So far for 2021 we have not iced up. Here we are as of 11.01.2021. 14" of snow has already come and almost gone.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Last edited by wbuffetjr; 11/02/21 01:06 PM.

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Originally Posted by wbuffetjr
WINTER IS COMING, ...
It may not seem like much of a difference, but I am thinking every single additional week without ice cover is a huge advantage. ....

Nice work !!! I agree - often there is a very fine line between survival and death. Often what causes fish to succumb is a combination of prolonged cold , stress (low DO) and starvation. The longer - front end and back end of the calendar you can maintain good fish condition the less likely you will lose fish.
















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Still kicking butt. Here is a comparison of this year to the last three years. Of course there is some variability in the weather and outside temps, but not THAT much. This year has already had 14" of snow fall, melt off and more come down. Clear improvement in ice for this year. Almost three weeks later than the worst year.

11.11.2018
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

11.11.2019
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

11.11.2020
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

and finally 11.11.2021
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


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That is a big difference ! 2019 and 2020 look similar as do 2018 and 2021.
















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Originally Posted by ewest
That is a big difference ! 2019 and 2020 look similar as do 2018 and 2021.

Thanks Eric! Actually 2018 was frozen up more solid than it looks in that pic. Looking back at my notes, my buddy went up 11.21.2018, 9 days after that pic, to gather data. The ice was 6" thick and we had 7.15ppm at 1' deep and 4.22ppm at 7' deep. I was running the 1/2 hp pump 9.5 hours per day.

Fast forward to this past weekend. My buddy went up to measure. He got as far away from the diffusers as he could which put him in about 12' of water. At 1' deep we had 7.82ppm and 36.7F. At 11' deep we had 7.75ppm and 36.1F. HUGE improvements over the past few years. Of course we were already under ice by this time the past few years so not really an apples to apples comparison. Keep in mind, this is with two dual diffusers at 4' deep, a quad diffuser at 10' deep and a single diffuser run by a windmill at 12" deep. He measured 200'+ away from the quad.

Here is what I find most interesting. In the winter we are not "aerating" we are only "deicing". A completely different topic. I have never seen this and the ramifications of this fully explained. In the summer O2 cannot penetrate deep into the water even with the help of wind. Maybe because of the thermocline, warmer water or something else? HOWEVER, in the winter O2 can magically penetrate through the majority if not all of the water column. Does it do this by osmosis? I don't know. What I do know is with diffusers suspended very shallow in the water, DO is reaching much deeper depths than what the diffusers are actually influencing! So, all I need to do in the winter is keep holes open and the DO will work its way down. I would love for someone to explain this. What sucks is I think there may have been people out there that understood this and yet I spent seven years learning it through the school of hard knocks. I do plan on making a separate well thought out post about this for any true northern folks out there searching for answers some day. Even with intermittent aeration and 3 feet of ice all you need is a pipe with your diffusers suspended from it and all your dreams can come true. My definition of true north is ice more than a foot thick for more than three months. We could simplify that some with just a decision tree or two. Look up. See the North Star? Are you two miles closer to it? If yes, you are in the North. If no, see question two. Can you drive a semi on your ice? If yes, then you are in the north. If no, you are in the south! Lol


Current temps are now considerably warmer than past years. I am thinking I may get another week or so until frozen solid. That would be almost a month less ice on the front end of winter!!

I guess we have to count yesterday as first ice up even though it was pretty weak. I know folks love pics and I can go back even further as we go on. So here we go
11.15.2021 first ice up of the year
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

11.13.2020 not the exact same date. Earlier date actually to be conservative. BIG difference
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

11.15.2019
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

11.12.2018 again an earlier date for conservative comparison. 9 days after this pic ice was verified 6" thick
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

11.08.2017 buddy took this pic while hunting. a week earlier than our 2021 pic and frozen very solid.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Last edited by wbuffetjr; 11/16/21 04:53 PM.

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May I suggest a Pond Boss article. I do think we can find a scientist/engineer who could help with the question of what is going on as to DO moving deep.

That last pic looks like a Christmas card !

Last edited by ewest; 11/16/21 09:34 AM.















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The O2 can move about the pond easier due to the colder water temps. Think about this: If you are in a room and someone on the other side of the room sprays some ether. Why can you smell it quickly if there is no wind in the room?

Same principle that the O2 in pond water is transferred better in winter than in summer.


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Originally Posted by ewest
May I suggest a Pond Boss article. I do think we can find a scientist/engineer who could help with the question of what is going on as to DO moving deep.

That last pic looks like a Christmas card !

Eric I think an article is an excellent idea. If this information is out there I've never seen it. I was resistant when MNFish first suggested to suspend my diffusers so shallow. I thought I would be sacrificing the bottom of my pond and a chunk of the life it contains, like crayfish. I have never heard, seen or read that the O2 will diffuse down throughout the water column. Unfortunately, after years learning the hard way I was recently introduced to Matt Rayl. Matt and I first talked just a few weeks ago after implementing the pipes with suspended diffusers like MNFish does. Matt is the man for Northern aeration IMO. He has seen aeration lift the ice off the water, ice domes, many times. He explained to me the concept of deicing versus aeration and that they are two VERY different animals. He also confirmed suspending the diffusers and DO diffusing its way down. Again, I am just in disbelief that after 7 years on Pond Boss we are just now learning this. Wish I had met Matt sooner.

Credit to Highflyer for all the help for sure. He's spent a lot on gas, etc driving up to my place and helping me with this whole experiment, spent hundreds of hours on the phone over the years, helped design and install my whole solar setup and never asked for anything except to enjoy the ride.

Credit to MNFish as well. That guy is a quiet genius. He R&D'd his way into this solution/discovery with a lot of dead fish along the way. You'd never know that he was a medical device engineer that owns over 50 patents for devices that have helped save millions of lives and he also happens to love pond management. He also will never tell folks he's produced the MN state record largemouth doing the exact things he was told were wrong and would never work. Wish he would post more often.


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Originally Posted by esshup
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.


wbuffetjr:

If you look back to the first page of this thread, specifically 08/16/14 07:05 PM I posted the above information. Just think of how much further ahead you would be with your journey if you would have gone that route from the beginning.............


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Scott really? What a lame response! With all due respect you NEVER shared the information I am describing. You reasons for moving the diffusers shallow to save animals walking on the ice are irrelevant for me. I explained to you that at 10,000' there is no need to put diffusers shallow because there are no animals on the mountain in the winter. You never even hinted at the concept of aeration versus deicing. Don't try to come back now and act like you provided this information. You either did not know or you did not share because you wanted to be paid to come out. You have also tried to discredit me on the doming issues and you are WRONG again. We can keep doing this all day. I know you are trying to generate customers here, but at the end of the day I'd imagine acting like this will do the opposite for you.

Big difference in moving the diffusers to the shoreline in 3-4' of water and suspending them from pipes over deeper water. Just to start there still would have been the doming issue. If you read back thru my posts I had a diffuser on the bottom in 5' of water last year. No hole open there bud.

Also, apparently the fish ARE able to seek out the safe zones. My trout have done it four winters in a row now. Diffusers surrounded by >1.0ppm water and they survived.

At the end of the day, you are an expert and a veteran in your area. You know it well. Stick to that. Three feet of ice is not your area of expertise. A wise man knows when to admit he ain't in his lane.

Last edited by wbuffetjr; 11/17/21 06:17 AM.

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*sigh* Yes, I AM going to go there. The reason behind my post was that I told you to put them in shallow water way back then. If you just want to give credit to people that recently told you that, and that is fine, I just wanted to point out that Brian and Matt weren't the first to tell you that.

Look at Page 1, 8/17/14 at 11:36 am
Look at Page 24, post #515398, #515422, #515442.
Look at Page 25 multiple posts

There is a reason why a number of the pond professionals that are paid to give advice are not posting on the forum. Greg Grimes was the first one that I remember that stopped posting. Many times the people here want to get validation for what they think will work and tend to dismiss things if what they hear is not what they want to hear. I am not saying that applies to you, I am saying that it happens here at least a few times a year. I know that spending time on here doesn't generate enough income for the time spent and that many pond professionals would rather put there time into generating income than giving away free information. How many other pond professionals are here posting? I can think of one, Bill Cody. Even Bob Lusk rarely posts here. Sue Cruz from Vertex hasn't posted in years, Rex hasn't posted in a long while, etc. Many pond professionals are now blogging and doing Facebook. Reason? They can generate income from that, they cannot generate income from posting on here.

As for being paid to come out there, that is correct. Would you come here to cook for free? If you remember, I offered to come out there to do the install and placement of the diffusers for the winter aeration, and if what I proposed didn't work, then you didn't have to pay for my time and travel expenses. You didn't take me up on that offer. Yes, I wanted you to buy the materials. I did NOT say that I wouldn't come out there to do the install for free (and only pay for my time/travel if it didn't work) if you didn't purchase them from me.

No, I am not on here to generate customers, I am doing this because I like to help people. The customers that I generate from this forum is less than 1% of my business. If I look at it strictly from a business standpoint, I should stop posting, moderating and reading posts because it is a huge time waster and income loser when it comes down to time spent vs. income realized. I advertise on here because if I didn't I would have to be very careful in what I post so I don't refer to customers, or the business. It is just easier to pay the advertising fee and not have to keep editing what I type.

I'm not saying the pipes don't work, I AM saying that having the diffusers shallower for the winter is what people need to do for winter aeration. I've been saying that from the very beginning. After a while, I tend to just not to repeat my advice if people don't want to listen. I am not politically correct, I don't say what people want to hear, I tell them what needs to be done. Do I need to explain the various reasons WHY the diffusers need to be in shallow water for the winter? No. All I need to do is tell someone that they should be there. If they decide not to listen then it's on them. I don't have to come back now and act like I provided that information, the post that I made on 8/16/14 showed that I did. Do I need to discuss every little nuance about why this or that is recommended? No I don't, and neither do many other professionals.

Just like if you bring your car in for the squealing noise when you step on the brake pedal. You are told that the brakes need replacing. Do you ask why they are worn out? Does the mechanic tell you that riding with your left foot on the brake pedal wears out the brakes faster? Or that going from the gas to the brake pedal wears out the brakes faster? Or that by not looking ahead to see if the traffic is backed up or the light is red and not coasting causes you to wear out the brakes faster? No, they tell you that your brakes are worn and that they need replacing. Same with aeration.

Having a single diffuser in shallow water with diffusers running in the winter in deeper water won't cure the problem. You are still mixing the total water column with the other diffusers that are on the bottom of the pond and that doesn't help. That's why I tell people that they need to have a manifold or valves to turn off the diffusers in deep water for the winter.

On page 24, I discussed the doming/bridging issue, water temp issue and coarse bubble for winter aeration issue. We had discussed doming/bridging prior to that via a bunch of text messages prior to that. Snow or ice, it doesn't matter, it's a dome or a bridge, preventing the water from coming in contact with atmospheric air that isn't going thru the diffusers and it is also preventing the moving/flowing water from the diffusers from contacting the ice/snow, and that is the reason why it's not melting. Another scenario is that the diffusers could also burn thru the ice that is there, but the thick snow cover is enough to cause a bridge to keep the water covered. When the aeration stops, the bottom of the snow could ice over like the inside of an igloo, making the problem worse. I think that if single coarse bubble diffusers were placed apart from one another in a grid pattern, 20'-30'-40' apart, I think that would not allow the dome to rise up off the water completely and the water would burn through the ice/snow to allow open water. (i.e. it would create a span that was at least 60') How much of a span is needed to allow the thicker ice up there to bend back down and touch the water where the water is moving from the diffusers? I don't know. There are too many variables to try and calculate. I do know that when I watch the ice in my pond dome, the dome gets bigger and the center no longer contacts the water being brought up to the surface by the diffuser. Then the dome gets large enough that it cannot support it's weight in the center and the center dips down contacting the water that is brought up by the diffusers and that is what burns a hole through it. After the hole is burned through the ice the dome disappears and the hole opens up in a span of <24 hours. If the pipes accomplish the same thing, great!!

I also posted about using diffusers with coarser bubbles for winter aeration opens up the ice better back on page 24. I learned that lesson in doing a test to de-ice around a pier and boat hoists with the diffusers in shallow water. I also learned that the more air going through the diffusers created more waves which also opened up bigger holes. 3 diffusers, spaced approximately 15-20 feet apart, in 18"-36" water, will keep ice at bay around the pier/boat hoists if the coarser membranes are used and approximately 3 cfm is shoved thru each membrane. The finer bubble membrane diffusers and <1 cfm going through each membrane diffuser won't keep the ice at bay.

Do I know all there is to know about melting 3' or more of ice and multiple feet of snow at 10,000'? No and I never said that I did and none of the aeration companies knew either. I DO know a lot about aeration in general and what is needed to be done to get ice to melt for winter aeration. Even with that, there is more learning being done every year.

1) You need to have a warm water refuge for the fish. Will it contribute to helping burn through the ice quicker? Yes, I believe so.
2) You need to create wave action to keep as little of the ice from forming as possible. How that is accomplished? Larger bubbles and more air volume going through the diffusers. Or a motor and propeller like the Kasco de-icing systems for docks and boats.
3) You need to have ice/snow in contact with the water to melt it. That can be accomplished in a number of ways as you have shown. As you hve seen, air is a great insulator.


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