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Recent Questions & Topics of Discussion

The Pond Report offers more than pond information. We not only help backyard pond owners and water-garden enthusiasts but also design and plan for municipalities, wastewater plants and home-owner associations. If you are in charge of your own small pond or are the manager of a large lake we can help solve the typical pond problems like poor water quality and algae growth as well as provide free consultations to size the correct aeration system or fountain installation. Our consultants work with the top manufacturers to provide the right solution.
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Email us for design assistance or with your questions. We assist with large and small projects. There is no charge for answering your questions.


Questions & Answers Page
Question: Deicer or Bubbler for Sailboats
Hello, I live on Lake Superior and have two sailboats. Hauling is getting too expensive as there are no hoists here only special order cranes. I'd like to try a deicer and leave the boats in the water. The dock is a very sturdy structure and we are at the end of the protected area of the harbour were little. Id like to put the two boats as the diagram show below: Please quote me on a system that will work for the harsh winter we sometimes get here. These photos are of the dock area the one I will be working on is the one on the left which is 90 feet long by about 30 long on the inside. Thanks, Greg

Answer: Deicer or Bubbler for Sailboats deicers & bubblers | dock bubbler packages
Hello Greg, Thank-you for writing. Please find your enclosed quote for the bubbler system. Let me know if you have any questions. Regards, ThePondReport.com

You will need, and everything is included in your quote::

1 - 1/3 HP Rocking Piston Compressor $488.00 4 CFM @ 10 PSI, 4.4 AMPS at 115V , 6' power cord, thermal overload protection, intake air filter, pressure relief valve Includes outlet for connection to connect to airline. Compressor must be placed in a cabinet or shed which is not included.

1- Weighted ½" De-icer Bubbler Tubing 50 Feet $275.00 Self-weighted de-icer tubing with lead keel requires no weights. Die cut slits every 24" for maximum de-icing. Requires min 0.01 CFM per foot and 2- 5 PSI. Set de-icer tubing on outside edge of structures. Bend, place & attach tubing carefully to prevent kinking. diffuser line, de-icing hose or bubbler line to be placed on pond/lake bottom. Attach to blocks for assured stability.

1 - Weighted 1/2" AirlineTubing 50 Feet $137.50 Weighted airline. 1/2" I.D. Flexible and puncture resistant. Runs from compressor outlets to the bubbler diffuser de-icing tubing around boats.

1 - Clamps, Plugs & Connector Pack $20.00 Stainless Steel Airline Clamps, Diffuser Tubing Fittings and PVC inserts connections. All required clamps and inserts included.


Question Follow-up: Deicer or Bubbler For Sailboats
Thank you for the quote. This compressor at 550 watts can you give me an idea of the duration it will run each day/ or does it run continuously for the entire sub zero season ( December through March) 'Trying to determine some of the power costs for budgeting.


Answer Follow-up: Deicer or Bubbler For Sailboats
Hello Greg, The system is designed for continuous usage but my clients often plug the compressor in to a thermostat controller or a thermo-cube system. These range in price from $100 to $150 but can save a ton of money when used because the compressor will only turn on when the air temperature is at freezing. Beyond the energy saving they can prolong the life of the compressor and internal vanes. The 1/4 HP compressor in your quote will cost $1.10 (Ontario approx) per day (24 hours continuous). A typical 3/4 HP Kasco de-icer will cost $2.00 per similar usage. The thermostat is the way to go to assure the system only operates when it is required. Our thermostat controller is $143 CAD extra. I have also included a picture of the steel cabinet and a look inside (the picture shows a larger cabinet with 2 compressors inside) yours would be the smallest cabinet. The information on the vane compressor is also included. Hope this helps! Again delivery is about 10-12 days and the products come from the USA so there would be some additional charges levied upon delivery (Canadian duty and border taxes...around 10 to 15% I believe). Payment is by Visa or Mastercard (using PayPal). Thanks again for contacting us and please let me know if there is a further way we can be of assistance! deicers & bubblers | dock bubbler packages


Questions & Answers Page

Question: Using Solar Power To Aerate a Pond solar aeration systems | battery operated solar air pumps
Hello, I am interested in using solar power to aerate my pond I am currently digging. It will be rectangular, approximately 1/4 acre, with a wedge shaped cross-section rising from 10' depth to ground level. This should be in the neighborhood of 38,000 gallons. What kind of system, and how many cfm of air diffusion should I use? Jeremy

Answer: Using Solar Power To Aerate a Pond
Hi Jeremy, You could get by with a single diffuser in the central deeper area. Using the DC air compressor would be fine. The compressor can run for 6 hours off a car battery but it can also be used solar direct (without batteries) if you use a linear current booster. I'm not an expert on setting up a solar system though, we provide the DC compressors mainly as a service who those who know the technical side of working with DC. But if you could get a diffuser (or a couple) and two or three CFM into the pond it would be perfect! Regards, Jay
solar aeration systems | battery operated solar air pumps

Question: Installing a Solar Fountain
We just put in a fire pond, approx 100' x 75' x 9' and are planning to add fish in the Spring. I'm interested in the Deluxe Solar Fountain; are there any photos available? This would seem to be perfect for our application; we want to aerate only the top couple feet - the pond is spring fed and should remain cold enough for fish in Summer. Any photos or advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Thank you! Dan

Answer: Installing a Solar Fountain
Hi Dan, Not sure if this solar fountain will do the job for your pond but I am enclosing a quote for an inexpensive and solid fountain; if you want a good fountain that runs without electricity then this is the unit. We also have a battery pack if you want to keep it running at night which is helpful if you have fish. Do you not have any power located nearby that could run a proper electric aerator? I have nothing against solar fountains but in a pond your size, if it were mine, I'd want to have a more substantial mixing system. Most solar powered pond fountains are too small to be usefull in anything but the smaller sized ponds, yours being close to half an acre would not be helped extensively by this fountain beyond perhaps providing a decorative spray and perhaps powering a small waterfall. That being said, the multiple heads of the fountain are lovely and if you put it near a nearby vantage point it will provide a nice splashing sound and look quite nice during the day...but you may have to squint your eyes a bit! Just kidding...the thing is, it is a rather small spray. You should really consider a floating fountain to provide a decent sized spray and a minimum of gallons per minute of movement. Let me know if you want to explore other options! Regards, Jay Miranda at ThePondReport.com

Question: Wastewater Aeration Design
I request some general assistance in sizing and then obtaining an actual price quote for a solar powered bubbler aeration system. Our agency has a stagnant 2.5 acre pond, 10 feet deep, (6.8 million gallons capacity) located behind a wastewater plant. Wastewater discharged from the plant is impounded, for a farmer to pump out of, to irrigate a cotton crop, when needed. The plant needs to maintain a 1.0 mg/l Dissolved Oxygen (D.O.) level in the pond (The D.O. readings are checked at 8 am every morning) . What equipment is needed to maintain a 1.0 mg/l dissolved oxygen level? What would be the equipment detail and price of equipment? Regards, Mr.S

Answer: Wastewater Aeration Design
Hello Mr. S, Is the need to use a solar powered system critical in this project? I am only asking because such systems can have a considerable initial cost; a high-efficiency electrical system could ensure the 1.0mg/L level for substantially less capital, likely 20% the overall expenditure. An electric system, quiet and low AMP draw, would cost in the area of $5000 complete with diffusers, tubing, lockable ventilated cabinet, etc. A comparable solar powered system would cost in the neighbourhood of $20,000 and this sort of system requires batteries and a more rigorous maintenance schedule. In the end, with today's efficient air compressors and pumps and with modern diffusers an electric system is often a more cost-effective option and one that I would be more comfortable quoting on. Let me know how you would like me to futher help with this project. Regards, The Pond Report .

Question Follow-up: Wastewater Aeration Design
A solar powered aeration system is not critical. An electric system can be used. Jay, thank-you for your fast reply. You are providing the best service I have seen. I definitely need your help with this project because my required task is to cost out all of the required electrical equipment and obtain literature on the components. I prepare the budget, so written cost detail is paramount at this time. Please advise of what information is needed from me.


Answer Follow-up: Wastewater Aeration Design
Hello, Glad to know that using electricity is a option as it will be MUCH simpler for everyone involved from you to the actual installation and maintenance crew. If you could fax (514-313-5658) or email me a site plan showing the basin with depth markings preferably and the location of the power source. Also do you have 3 phase power available or singe phase 220? If you can send me these details of the basin, as in a plan or drawing, it would help immensely with my providing a full technical quote and literature. Regards, Jay Miranda.


Question Follow-up: Wastewater Aeration Design
Hello Jay, Yesterday I sent a drawing of the pond via fax and via email. Please confirm receipt of the fax and the email message. Please note that the key design stipulation is to ensure a GREATER than 1 mg/l, Dissolved Oxygen level in the pond. I am interested in how the design is performed........ Do you use a formula or a spreadsheet calculator to size the equipment? The basis and how the determination is made for the equipment, is very important for satisfactory support documentation for the proposal. Please do not hesitate to telephone me, if you need anything. Thank you kindly. Your time and splendid efforts are highly appreciated. Best, Mr.S

Answer Follow-up: Wastewater Aeration Design
The documents we're recieved and I will have time later today and tomorrow to look at them and get back to you. I am finishing up a project for a tailings pond deicer system so am just trying to finsh that so I can devote 100% to your project. I'll let you know if I have any questions and will get back to you later today or tomorrow.Do you have the current parameters of the basin? Raising the level to 1.0 mg/l Dissolved Oxygen is not an obstacle but if you require the calculations involved I will need to know a bit more about the current levels in the basin as well as any historical data you had on levels of Oxygen, Ammonia etc. etc. to establish a baseline as well as to provide you with an insight into the system we will recommend. Please email any data pertaining to this system. Thank-you in advance! Jay Miranda ThePondReport.com

Question Follow-up: Wastewater Aeration Design
Hello Jay, The basin is used to hold water for a farmer to use for irrigating cotton. The pond is NOT a part of the wastewater treatment process. Therefore, there is no wastewater treatment process occurring to reduce the BOD levels, etc. The sole design task is to aerate the pond to maintain a 2 mg/l dissolved oxygen level at all times. Assume the impounded water has the following characteristics: BOD = 50 mg/l Total Suspended Solids = 40 mg/l Settleable Solids = .5 ml/l pH = 6.5 Thank you kindly for your outstanding customer service.

Answer Follow-up: Wastewater Aeration Design
Hello Mr. S, We have determined that this basin requires a minimum of 8 fine-bubble bottom-mounted diffusers. Our recommended system would include a single steel lockable, fan-ventilated cabinet equipped with 2 (two) 1 HP rotary vane compressors each with 4 (four) adjustable valves feeding bottom mounted diffusers via weighted tubing suitable for burial and puncture-resistant. Based on the size of the basin: Compressor system (dual compressors with filters, cords etc) = 1 total package Weighted diffusers for mico-bubble aeration delivery = 8 diffusers Weighted airline, suitable for burial, kink resistant = 1500 feet Clamps connectors and connector set = 1 Total cost of system = $10,300 Not sure if this is in the budget of of your client but this is what we would install if it were our project. Let me know if you have any questions. Regards, Jay Miranda ThePondReport.com

Question Follow-up: Wastewater Aeration Design
Thank you kindly. Yes, the dollar amount quoted is within our budget. Could you provide me with a vendor price quotation? Or, refer me to a vendor, so I can obtain an actual written price quotation from the equipment vendor on letterhead paper. Our agency's purchasing agent needs a source to contact for their followup equipment procurement process. Please continue the wonderful work. Your time and splendid efforts are highly appreciated. Have a remarkable day. Mr.S

Answer Follow-up: Wastewater Aeration Design
Here is your formal quote for the complete reservoir aeration system:

Custom Compressor System Two (2) 5 HP motor-mounted, oilless vane compressors. Each produce 45 CFM @ 10PSI 12 running amps, 1 phase, 220V. (one year warranty) Each equipped with an inlet muffler and 1" NPT ports. 5 HP motors listed are standard 1,725 rpm ODP. Power cords are not included. Motor and rotary-vane compressor bolted to steel base suitable for floor mounting. Two (2) six-way brass/steel manifold outlet control valves for regulation of airflow each with pressure relief valve. 12 outlets total (6 per compressor). All compressor outlets equipped with heater hose and barbed hose adapters to be connected to weighted tubing runs to ponds and diffusers. Glass enclosed noise/air muffler, replaceable air filters, pressure relief valves and liquid filled pressure gauges all included and installed.

NOTE: Ventilated cabinet is not provided for compressors but is available as an option. Use forced air ventilation in an enclosure with minimum dimensions of 72" x 72" x 36".

2000 Feet of 5/8" Weighted I.D Airline Tubing (Self-sinking air hose sold by the foot in rolls of 100 ft)
Insulated/weighted air hose (no metals) to run from compressor outlets to diffusers in basin. 5/8" I.D. Designed for waste water application. Puncture and corrosion resistant. Uses standard 1/2" barbed connectors (included). UV resistant, Kink-free, remains supple in cold temperatures, suitable for burial.

Twelve Synergistic™ Airlift Diffusion/Mixing Assemblies Six 9" ceramic-type diffusers mounted on a self-sinking underlay. (Five year warranty) Each diffuser circulates 6000 gallons per minute at 10 foot depth. Inlcuded diffuser underlay prevents sediment erosion. Diffusers resist clogging, require little maintenance and are suitable for basins with high organic levels and/or salinity.

All Required clamps, connectors, and hardware is included.

Shipping & Handling ** All charges, taxes, fees and duty included ** $17,445.00 Total In US Dollars

Let me know precisely what else would be needed to assist you with this project. I can provide the technical details of the compressors and if the installation crew requires instructions with the connection of the componants I can also provide that. The system I have quoted is plug-and-play and would require a basic 30 AMP power supply. I have included the instruction manual for a similar turn-key aerator for a less complicated aeration system. This is the manner of literature that would be included so let me know if it is adequate? As your system is a custom design we would likely have only generic documents and then could assist by phone any installation questions you may have. As you have seen, our strength is our willingness to participate and we can do so very well with email, fax and telephone! Regards, Jay Miranda ThePondReport.com

Question Follow-up: Wastewater Aeration Design
Hello Jay, Thank you kindly for the calculations. As I noted at the beginning of our numerous email messages my task is to obtain budget costs for miscellaneous equipment needed by our small municipal wastewater treatment plant. I prepare budget sheets with costs that are submitted to our agency's management for review and they in turn, approve, delay, or defer the work.

Our Board Of Directors meet once a year to adopt the budget for all of the projects approved by management. The process is long and arduous, since this is a municipal government bureaucracy. I have no idea how this project will fare compared to the myriad of other projects from the Roads Department, Health Department, etc., that require action and may require immediate attention. However, my humble task is completely finished, and now this project's thoroughly documented package has been forwarded up the chain of command to others. This will probably end my correspondence with you. Please know that I plan to pass your contact information on with high recommendations to my co-workers in wastewater.

Thank you kindly for the remarkable customer assistance. Please continue the phenomenal work. Your time and outstanding efforts are priceless. Have a splendid day. Yours truly, Mr.S

Questions & Answers Page

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Question: Lake Freezing Issues with Boat Lifts
Hi,
My husband and I live on a lake, we purchased an awesome dock bubbler from dockbubbler.com last year and it worked perfect, however our association without allowing us to represent our case made a rule that they would not allow dock bubblers, however we have no access to get our very large and heavy boat lift out without a crane or a lot of manpower. What other mechanisms can you recommend that would prevent ice from forming around our lift, we are trying to follow the rules but do not want our $4,500.00 investment to be destroyed not to mention what we paid for the bubbler. Any help you could provide and literature to support would be great. Some of our neighbors went and complained stating that we thawed the entire 62 acre lake last year which is not true we had a freeze with a lot of wind causing the ice to crack and break. They have liability issues, we live on a private lake everything you do is at your own risk, we had signs up about thin ice etc.

Answer: Lake Freezing Issues with Boat Lifts
Hi Kim, Since you were using a dockbubbler.com system which is a standard bubbler tubing deicer you had one of the standard dock deicer systems. The only option to reduce the size of the open water would be to have small diffusers placed on the pilings only. This would release a small column of bubbles around the footings only instead of the entire boat lift. You could use the same small compressor and send airlines to small diffusers attached to each of your dock pilings. However, if the association has declared any sort of bubbler illegal you might have to use a totally different system like a heater for the pilings. This would be like using a legal loophole! Add a small heater to each of your pilings to keep the zone ice free...of course you may have to rig up some protective PVC pipes around the heaters and the cost of a 3000 WATT submersible heater may become substantial. When laws restrict the use of bubblers or deicers you don't really have a choice but to remove the dock. Of course, this also may present an interesting business opportunity!! Regards, ThePondReport.com.

Question: Aeration system for 90,000 gallon tank
I much enjoyed your website! We’re looking for an aerator to maintain water quality in a 90,000 gallon tank of water. The water will be used for animal feed water. We plan to use solar power and want DC current. Do you have an aerator that you can recommend for this size tank? Thank you so much for the quick response and help. Yes, I would need tubing and diffusers as well – say 50 feet of tubing and two diffusers. The tank will be about 11 feet deep. I am also interested in algae information. Robin Thank you, Robin

Dear Jay, Thanks so much for all this great information. This equipment is for an Engineers without Borders project that we are doing in Mexico. There are still some more i's that have to be dotted and t's that have to be crossed before we purchase. I really appreciate your help. Robin

Answer: Aeration system for 90,000 gallon tank
Hello Robin, The DC-201 direct current compressor would probably be best. This DC oilless air-compressor will give you around 1.3 CFM of airflow which is more than enough for two diffusers in the tank although one would likely suffice. The DC-201 can be run solar direct by using a linear current booster and a few panels or if you know anyone who can help set-up a battery powered system that would be a good option. I wouldn't be able to help with the solar requirements as far as panels go as that's not my field but the AMP requirements are all listed on the webpage http://www.thepondreport.com/solar-battery-pond-air-pumps.shtml so whoever was setting up the DC system could use those numbers to get you up and running.

Regarding the algae information. We use a few natural products that are safe for animals and people so they could probably be helpful. Do you have algae growing in the tank already? We use the algaecides and natural bacteria listed here: http://www.thepondreport.com/pond-algaecide-natural-bacteria.shtml There are different formats to suit your tank size.

Aeration is key to assisting to keeping the algae down and will enhance the results of the bacteria. Regarding the aeration: The PR-DC201 DC compressor is supplied with a 3/8” hose outlet so I will include 50’ of 3/8’ weighted airline. Because you are using the DC compressor in 11 feet of depth you need to use 9” ceramic-type air diffusers. They're machined from a solid block of glass-bonded silica. They produce a uniform medium/fine bubble and are very resistant to clogging. And when cleaning does become necessary because of a buildup of calcium precipitate or bacteria, an light acid bath restores them to like-new performance. Two-year guarantee. Made in USA. The diffusers are 9" L x 1.5" W, 3/8" OD barb.

I will also include a pack of 10 diffuser bumpers to keep them from banging the tank. I’ll send some stainless steel clamps for the hoses and diffusers. I will also include the two way adaptor control valve; this manifold will connect to your compressor outlet hose and will allow you to split the line in to two lines and control the airflow in to each of your diffusers. The connection of the DC compressor (pigtail wiring included) to your panels, controllers, regulators and boosters and solar panels is something I can't help with and would be best to have done by someone knowledgeable to ensure the compressor isn't over/under worked.

Your order would be:

1 – DC Air Compressor (PR-DC201) – 12V 6 to 8 AMPS 1.3 CFM at 6 PSI (6 month warranty)
1 – Roll of 50’ weighted airline 3/8” ID 2 – Ceramic Diffusers 9" L x 1.5" W, 3/8" OD barb
1 Pack – Diffuser Bumpers (rubber) use 3 per diffuser
1 – Two –way valve control manifold with 3/8” ID fittings. Uses fine adjustable globe valves. PVC construction.
1 Pack – Stainless steel clamps and required connectors

The total cost would come to $690. This includes shipping. If you wanted to proceed let me know and I can send you the payment information. Best regards, ThePondReport.com
Questions & Answers Page

Question: Report on Blue-Green Algae
Dear Editors,I would like to read a real technical Report for successfully cleaning of blue-green algae from polluted on phosphate and nitrates lakes treated with microbial , not chemical products. I would be involved, if so far the discussion is, to deal with a project in China. The lake is huge, heavy polluted with chemicals. The water suppose to be of drinking quality after algae removal. The condition is not to use chemicals, only biological treatment. There are so many bacterial based products on the market. I would like to know when I use some of them how many lakes are successful treated and the results. If you can help me, I would be very pleased and thankful to you in advance. Thanks in advices Sincerely yours, GS

Answer: Report on Blue-Green Algae
Thank-you for writing. We have heard of a some pilot projects that have been accepted this year by the the Canadian Government to study bio-augmentation and the ability of natural cultures to repair and restore waters. I'm not sure if these studies are specifiacally focusing on blue-green / cyanobacteria but we're looking forward to see results. Most of what we read on successfully stopping blue-green algae is based on long term watershed management and not bacteria or chemical additives; expect in smaller closed ponds and systems. Are you involved in treating a lake or pond experiencing blue green blooms occasionaly?

We have dealt with several clients assisting with the growing problems of water quality in China. As mentioned, we are working with several firms along the Pacific Rim who are assiting firms in China to deal with bluegreen algae, cyanobacteria and other diseases of the eco-system. I hope you have found the enclosed information useful and we appreciate the gift of $500 for our services of providing information and contacts to help your firm with developing the market in China. Regards, The Pond Report.

Question: Winter Algae Problem
It is winter and my pond is full of algae on the rock and everywhere. I have a ultra violet light but in the winter it is off. The water is clear but the algae seems to grow and I cannot see the rock anymore. Do I wait until spring or even if spring arrives how do I get rid of this stuff. I don’t use chemicals just the regular “microbe-lift, activated carbon, Pond zyme barley, Amo-rock. And I use well water to fill the pond and water changes. The pond is 1100 gallon and has two waterfalls. I seem not to be able to get rid of the algae, probably string algae or it si puffy green on the rock..etc I want to use something that gets rid of the algae even o the rocks not just make the water clear. Is there something like that? HELP I am being overrun by algae !! Markus

Answer: Winter Algae Problem
Hi Markus, You probably need to treat with a safe algaecide for the stuff growing on the rocks. The non-copper algaecide we have that is great for stuff clinging to ricks, cement, waterfalls and other surfaces. It isn't a chemical and won't hurt fish or pets. Since you have a severe problem you might need to use larger doses. You mention microbe-lift and pond zyme barley and amo-rocks. These products may not be the right combination if you have continuing problems. We have had a very sucessfull with our Pro Rated 7 Natural Dry Bacteria which contains barley straw as well as natural cultures to reduce ammonia and help prevent algae and muck; it may be worth replacing the products you use with a single all purpose one. The Algaecide and Natural Bacteria can be ordered online here: http://www.thepondreport.com/pond-algaecide-natural-bacteria.shtml Do you have a bottom mounted aeration system or just the two waterfalls? If you had a picture of the pond I could perhaps spot something in the design that is causing porblems. I look forward to helping you! Best Regards,ThePondReport.com

Question Follow-up: Winter Algae Problem
Thank you for answering so quickly! Here is a picture of my pond. I purchased what you recommended and thank-you so much for helping me so quickly during the holiday season! Am I to put it in the pond even in the winter when the water is not circulated? I am so happy with the results!! Thank you, Markus


Question: Pond Treatment and Aeration
We are looking for help/advice for our pond. Attached is a picture of the pond to help you understand my description. First this is a newly dug pond and we have been filling it from our well for about a month now. We are located in South Carolina so we don’t have a problem with icing. Here is some info about the pond. Total pond area is 200 feet long and 140 feet wide. Island is round and approximately 50 feet in diameter. At it deepest point (around the island) it will be 8-9 feet deep. Deep section around the island base is about 30 feet wide. After the 30 feet, there is about a 3.5 foot shelf. From the shelf edge, the pond slopes (30 -38 degree slope) up to the pond edge. The area you see through the bridge and to the right of the bridge is the largest open area (140’ wide by 100” long). It is a gradual slope (maybe 18 degrees) from the base of the island to the edge of the pond. If you look at the left side of the pond about a 4th of the way in you can see the arc of the water feed line on the outside edge of the pond. It hits on a graveled area to prevent erosion. I would welcome your advice on sizing the aerator and what treatments we should be looking at now. Thank you, Gayla

Answer: Pond Treatment and Aeration
Hello Gayla,
Thank-you for writing and sending the picture of your pond, it helps make recommendations when we can see the pond in question.

Firstly, because it is a new pond there are a few phases that you will likely go through in the first two years that are fairly normal and can include, cloudy water, algae blooms, odors and other issues (not to mention issues with fish if you are planning on stocking the pond). A new pond can take a while to stabilize but once it has achieved a healthy balance it will require only minimal maintenance. Once the banks have become properly vegetated to prevent erosion it can make a huge difference in water quality. There are also some positive steps you can take throughout the year to ensure a healthy water chemistry.

Typically when we are treating a pond we add natural bacteria to assist and augment the existing healthy bacteria that live in aquatic-systems. These are not chemicals but are concentrated mixtures of existing bacterial colonies that already exist in ponds and in the earth. Adding bacteria regularly can greatly reduce the build-up of sediments which can cause algae blooms and odor causing nutrients.

Adding bacteria isn't always required but in new ponds it can be helpful and in all ponds adding some will help and once we have achieved a balanced pond we typically only need to add small maintenance doses. The recommended bacteria treatment for a pond your size is usually: A spring shock treatment of liquid bacteria (3 gallons) usually in February. Once the water temperature is above 43 degrees F a dry bacteria mixture with a barley straw additive (a natural algaecide) is added to eliminate ammonia, nitrates and muck. This helps keep waters clear and reduces nutrients. At the end of the season, usually in November or December an end of season over-winter treatment of liquid bacteria (again 3 gallons) is added.

The addition of an aeration system can greatly increase the efficiency of the bacteria cultures as the oxygen keeps the bacteria living longer. Again, the bacteria is safe for people, pets, animals and fish and plants. Since your pond is relatively shallow I would place a small aeration system to the right of the bridge in the larger area of the pond. A two diffuser system would be adequate. Place the diffuser assemblies equally from each other and from the banks of the pond. Since your pond is only 9 feet deep maximum you can use some quiet air compressor to operate your aeration system. I don't see any power source in the photo you sent but I imagine you have some power nearby.

Being a new pond, I would place the most importance on bacteria seeding of the pond, followed by the installation of an aeration system; then you would need to allow some time to pass so the natural growth and settling of the pond environment can occur. If you would like a quote for the recommended bacterial treatment and the aeration system I would just need to know where approximately the power source is located in relation to the pond and if you will have a structure or shed of some sort to house the air-pump or if you would prefer a system with a lockable outdoor cabinet. Also, having your zip code for delivery would allow me to provide an all inclusive quote with delivery included.

Oh, and are you planning to stock with fish? I look forward to helping with your pond project! Regards, Pond Report

Question Follow-up: Pond treatment and Aeration
Jay, Thank you for your prompt reply. We are debating on the power source for the aerator. We are considering everything from burying an electric line out to the pond, or solar panels, or even a wind mill for power. It all depends on the quotes and how much power is required. We are looking at stocking the pond and would again welcome advice as to how to discern if the pond is ready and what to stock to create a balanced ecosystem. I would welcome your quote for bacteria, aerator (with an explanation of the power requirement). Also, we would prefer a lockable outdoor cabinet. I “think” I answered all your questions. Again thank for the quick turn around!

Answer Follow-up: Pond treatment and Aeration
Hello Gayla,
I often answer questions regarding the cost of installing an aerator and what is the most cost effective way to do it.

I would say that if you have power within 500 feet of the pond it is more cost effective to install an electric aeration system at the power source and run an airline down to the pond. Running electrical wiring is always an option but it can cost from $3 - $6 per foot to run an electrical wire a substantial distance. You can run an airline the same distance for under 75 cents per foot per foot so your budget should be evaluated before choosing a system.

An electrical system is the most efficient and effective aeration system which offers the most control over start and stop times. As far as costing an electric system: if we assume you have power right at the edge of the pond and you could place the system within 50 feet of the pond your complete system In my experience the electrical system is the most effective and the cheapest compared to a windmill or a solar system. If your electrical connection was 500 feet away, you could still use the same electrical aeration system and then run airline to the pond to the two diffusers. This may add, with connectors and hardware, an additional $300 and may require some labor to bury the airline but I've found that it can be less expensive than running electric cable the same distance. Plugging the system in to a timer to operate 8 to 12 hours per day can save electric costs.

The aeration system I would use in your pond, including the rotary vane compressor and the ventilation fan in the lockable steel cabinet, requires only 6.0 AMPS. A standard 15 AMP fuse at your control panel will be more than enough if your electrician asks.

The complete turn-key aeration system (1/3 HP rocking piston dual outlet compressor, lockable ventilated cab with post mounting hardware, 200' weighted tubing, 100' regular tubing, 2 diffuser assemblies, hardware, including delivery) would cost $2185. An equivalent windmill system (all inclusive = 23' windmill, two diffusers, 200 feet weighted airline, 100 feet of airline suitable for burial & valves) would cost : $2025.

What I like about windmills is that they are quiet and require no electrical power. What I don't like about the windmill is that it requires a major installation; I used to work with a company that did windmill installations and we would charge around $1500 plus materials, the windmill requires cement footings and the construction and erection of the windmill can take over 32 man hours which can be costly in the end. If you have people who are on-site who can do the work it may be an option but with 90% of my clients the idea of a windmill is not a viable option.

If you wanted to use solar power you could expect an expenditure of at most: $2500 - $6000 depending on if you ran it with a battery system or simple solar-direct (no batteries but it only operastes when sunlight hits the solar panels). Solar aeration is not really our specialty so if you wanted to go this route you whould have a local contractor to provide the information on how to set-up a solar power system based on the specs of our DC compressors which I could provide if you were determined to go that route.

In my experience the electrical system is the most effective and the cheapest compared to a windmill or a solar system.

For the bacteria treatment I recommend this treatment and application rate: Winter Application (apply just before expected freeze-up or in January if you are a no-freeze-zone): 2 gallons liquid "BactaPUR XLG-A" Spring Application (apply as soon as ice is gone or in March): 2 gallons liquid "BactaPUR XLG-A" + 2 Gallons of "BactaPUR Pond" (One gallon 2 weeks after XLG treatment and the 2nd gallon 2 weeks later) Summer Application (when water is above 42 degrees F): 2 lbs of dry natural pond bacteria with barley straw per week. Comes in 1/2 pound soluble pouches. Toss 4 pouches per week near aeration diffusers. Cost per season: The cost of the 6 gallons of the liquid natural bacteria for the winter and spring shock treatment, plus a 25 pound supply of dry bacteria with barley straw for warm waters to reduce ammonia, nitrates, muck and algae would cost, including delivery is $825.

When adding bacteria, you can expect to reduce your applications every year. This recommended start-up dosing is for a newer pond, you will likely see reductions in yearly applications as the pond attains a natural health. During the summer, when applying dry bacteria, you may be able to reduce the applications based on observed results. We are here to help so as the seasons progress we can help, by looking at photos and through emails, determine if we can reduce bacteria treatments.

All natural cultures have a 3 year shelf-life so any stock purchased this year can be used in subsequant years if it is not required this year. As for stocking the pond, it should be ready for a hardy species that is available locally at any time once an aeration system is installed. You should stock your pond with a species that handles warm waters well (trout is not an option) and the best source for fish would be a local fish farm or fish supplier. Like plants, it is best to use native species if possible so they are acclimatized to your weather patterns, if you know people with ponds who can provide references that is probably the best way to find a reliable fish source.

One thing I have found is that it is best to know how many fish your pond can support which is based on the species you want to introduce. In the area I work in where many pond owners add large-mouth bass to their ponds and according to bass experts it is recommended to add only 2 large fish for every 15 linear feet of shoreline, so in your pond, which may have a circumferance of around 650 feet, you would only be able to support around 90 full-grown bass. So be cautious if a fish farm wants to sell you 3000 fingerlings unless they are small enough that only a minimum percentage is likely to survive. Due diligence! If you have any questions please let me know! I look forward to helping with your pond! Best regards, Jay Miranda for ThePondReport.com

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