AERATING YOUR NATURAL POND
Having a natural pond on your property can be a tremendous asset to your property. A pond can enhance your living conditions and add beauty to your property, and a healthy pond can add value to your real estate….a healthy pond that is. One of the very basic elements of a healthy pond is a pond that has good oxygen levels. Some ponds may need no help at all to maintain a good oxygen level while other ponds may need equipment or modifications to maintain and create acceptable oxygen levels.
There are several approaches to oxygenating a natural pond. Pond aeration can range from installing some strategic oxygenating pond plants to installing a floating or submerged aerator, or building a stream or waterfall into the pond. How you oxygenate your pond really should be decided from an aesthetic and budgetary point of view as well as the consideration of how bad your pond is and why it is in that condition.
First step in any of this is to determine WHY your pond is in need of help. Then the decision of HOW to remedy the issue can be approached most effectively. Is it a groundwater issue? Is it filling in with debris?
Generally speaking adding oxygenating plants to your pond would be the most economical form of raising oxygen and you have the added benefit of beautification if you are doing shoreline plantings. However, from a time line point of view this would also be the least effective way to raise oxygen in your pond and the positive results could take a while to manifest, and we like fast results, yes?
Want fast same day results? Then you are looking at investing in aerating equipment. The equipment could be a floating aerator like a fountain, or a submerged aerator; either of those can be installed in half a day, and begin to raise oxygen levels in your pond within hours. Both approaches are about the same level of investment.
The more effective of the two would be the submerged aerator. A submerged aerator will move the nutrient rich water sitting on the bottom of your pond up to the surface. It will circulate more of the pond’s water column than the floating aerator and provide faster more even oxygenation of your pond. A benefit of the submerged aerator is that there are no visible signs of equipment anywhere.
The floating aerator also quickly begins the oxygenating process but may take longer to bring up oxygen levels because it will typically draw water from the upper levels of the pond and recirculate those waters, so it could take some time to get oxygen penetration to the depths of the pond, if at all. The benefit of the surface aerator is that you can have a nice display on the surface of the pond by choosing different fountain styles that can create dramatic displays and even light up at night for 24 hour enjoyment of your fountain.
Have a little more time on your hands? Then you may want to consider having a stream or waterfall constructed for your pond. The upsides of this are numerous with the most obvious being that a naturalistic waterfall that can be viewed and listened to while enjoying your pond, or a sparkling meandering stream can be built which will not only be nice to look at but will also blend very naturally with your pond and add an element of nature to the pond display while effectively raising oxygen levels. The constructed options would likely be the most costly way to achieve aeration for the pond but could also actually add value to your real estate that is above what the pond alone offers. If a waterfall or stream is done particularly well, your investment could possibly pay for itself with added property value!
When making the decision of how to approach this problem with your pond it is always beneficial to contact your local pond professional for a consultation to make sure you are making the right decision for your pond and to make sure you are getting the equipment that will do the job for you. It can be very disappointing to invest in a fountain aerator only to find that the display falls far short of what you hoped for or that the submerged aerator is not string enough to pump oxygen to the bottom of your pond! A consultation with your local pond professional can pay you back tenfold.
All copyrights to this material belong to Mike Gannon.
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