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Let’s Talk About Types of Aeration Systems – Solar Aeration, Fine bubble Aeration, Course Bubble Aeration, Windmill Aeration

Posted on April 17 2021

What is Aeration?

Water aeration is most effective when the oxygen-rich air is supplied directly to the bottom of your lake or retention pond. By doing so, air is applied directly to the oxygen-loving bacteria that love to eat the muck off the bottom of the lake or pond. In stagnant waterbodies a thermocline develops towards the bottom . Water below the thermocline is colder and anoxic in comparison to the water above the thermocline. By applying oxygen to the bottom of the pond, you remove the thermocline and activate the bacteria you want working for you. Simultaneously, you also remove the anaerobic loving organisms from the lake that produce nasty things like blue-green algae.

Fine Bubble Aeration

Is the most efficient type of aeration as the finer the bubble the higher the oxygen transfer. Fine bubble diffusers that are designed to entrain water from the very bottom of the pond or lake is the ideal. The anoxic water from the bottom is pulled to the surface. As the bubbles interact in the water column and emerge at the surface of the water body, dissolved oxygen enters the water. It is circulated to the bottom of the water column which mixes the water top to bottom and activates the aerobic bacteria at the bottom the pond or lake. This process creates healthier clearer water that is oxygen rich for fish and other critters in the water.

 

Solar Aeration

Not all solar aeration is created equal! Many of the solar aeration systems on the market have 24 volt compressor and the systems are designed to run during daylight hours. Having some aeration is better than none but running only during the daylight hours with low CFM is not the best solution for some ponds. Ponds use oxygen at night so it is best to have the aeration operate into night.  If you are overwintering fish such as Trout in your pond this type 24 volt compressor aeration system is definitely not recommended! 

A rocking piston 110V or 220V is recommend with custom solar panel and batteries. If your goal is to achieve better water quality then design the system to run up to 20 hours during the summer months. If you plan on overwintering fish then design the solar system to run 24/7 even during December and January. The system needs to be located close to the pond to reduce the likelihood of frozen lines.

Course Bubble Systems

These systems were popular in the past when aeration was a new concept. However, as with all technology there has been great improvements in efficiency. The course bubble is just as it sound big bubbles of air pushed in the water. It is effective in keeping the water open but it is not effective in increased dissolved oxygen and these system are incredibly expensive to install and maintain.

 

Windmill Aeration

Windmill sound great in theory. No hydro, great this might be an option but a solar system would be a better solution. Windmills only operate when the wind blows. What happens in the dead summer at night? No wind! This is when you need the aeration the most. Windmills tend to not last long before requiring repairs. However, if you choose to install one, we advise that you find one with a good warranty.

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