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Aeration Systems for Ponds & Lakes

Aeration for ponds and lakes, understanding the importance and limitations of pond aerators

Everyone we talk to, when it comes ponds, asks about aeration for their pond and most of them speak of it as if it were some complicated process or expensive undertaking. It's not complicated and it doesn't have to be expensive. Of course there are turn-key packages on the market that have all the bells and whistles and added parephenalia that makes it nice to look at and like many beautiful objects they can be pricey. You should put your money in more important things when basically the aeration system should be a reliable and clean source of circulation and oxygenation...nothing more...most of the time we try to hide the darned thing anyway so why spend a fortune!

You want to build your own aeration system?
Because you are a real do-it-yourself kind of person, I'll tell you the three basic requirements you must have to build a cheap airator...ok...you need a few more parts than this but bear with me I'm making a point on how simple it can be for my uncle Howard. You really only need to buy three things to make my own aerator: 1. An air pump 2. An air hose 3. An air Diffuser

Now call me slow but that has got to be the simplest recipe, short of scrambled eggs, that I've ever seen. I mean how in the world can such a basic formula cause so much consternation and lead to so many different opinions and advice to be given? If you know all there is to know about air pumps and air compressors and blowers then you probably know what you need for your pond as far as pounds per square inch and cubic feet per minute of airflow and whether adual piston or rotary vane or linear air pump will be needed to make your pond happy! If you understand the different airlines, airhoses and other feeder tubing from self-sinking to rehular black poly pipe then you probably know the sizeand shape you need to use to fit your air pump!

And...you know where I'm going...if you know the most efficient bubbler, airstone disc diffuser then you probably have an idea on what diffuser would work with your air pump! So if you are somelike that then you probably have it all figured out and maybe then you just need some various parts. If you already have a handle on what you need to build your own aerator then you can find what you need in our parts department. For everyone else we have built some all inclusive systems that offer everything you need to aerate your water garden, pond or lake without needing to be a bathometric limnologist with a degree in biological rocket scientology!

There are many pond supply stores that sell parts or pre-built all-inclusive systems and you've probably heard of many of these or looked for reviews on forums and bulletin boards for recommendations. Vertex® Aeration Systems, AquaMaster® AquaAir, airBOOST® Deep Water Aeration Systems, AirTech Systems, Dr. Foster & Smith Koi Kits, Air-2-Go to mention just a few of the diffuder type packages that exist. All of them will work and some will work better than others. What makes one system more-efficient and more long lasting? Well...how the air pump is housed, the parts that are used, the ventilation design, the interioir mechanics of the electrical and magnetic and piston systems or rocking dual-piston etc.
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Small Aeration Systems
Price Includes USA Shipping

Small Pond Aeration System - $475
Battery Powered Pond Air Pump. System includes the linear compressor, 25 feet of weighted airline, one bottom diffuser, clamps and connectors and instruction manual for the complete installation. Item # PR-KPA1-3 More Info

Ideal for ponds up to 10,000 gallons or koi/fish ponds with up to 100 pounds of fish. Oilless AC linear diaphragm compressor. 2 CFM - Max Op. Depth = 8 feet - 50 Watts - 1 Year Warranty
Large Pond Aeration System - $695
System includes the linear compressor, 50 feet of weighted airline, two bottom diffuser, valve control, clamps and connectors and instruction manual for the complete installation. Item # PR-KPA2-3 More Info

Ideal for ponds up to 20,000 or koi/fish ponds with up to 200 pounds of fish.
Oilless AC linear diaphragm compressor. 3.7 CFM - Max Op. Depth = 9 feet - 90 watts - 1 Year Warranty

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Large Aeration Systems
Price Includes USA Shipping
If you are a do-it-yourself aeration system type of person then you likely only want to buy diffusers, tubing or pumps. If you are like most of us who want a complete turnkey aeration system that is cheap and easy to install without having to go to the hardware store for plumbing bits or have Uncle Jimmy build a wooden compressor shack then we recommend these fully complete systems. The pond size these simple systems can aerate depends mainly on the depth and shape of your pond, if you are unsure if these systems will be adequate for your pond then send us an email before you buy.

These pond aeration systems are complete and ready-to-go packages including everything you need: lockable heavy-duty aluminum cabinet, efficient rocking piston air compressor, base mounted quad-diffuser airstone synergistic diffuser assembly, 6 foot power cord, GFCI receptacle, 3/8" weighted tubing which is self sinking so the installation of your diffusers from the boat is easier because everything sinks out-of-sight and in to place! To keep from bringing the electricity to the lake, the compressor can be located up to 1,000' away with the addition of our high PSI 5/8" poly black plastic tubing airline which connects to the compressor outlet.

The included noise-reducing, fan-ventilated, weatherproof, heavy-duty steel cabinet can be installed easily on a post, pier or boat house. Instructions are included, and the entire unit can be shipped Ground. 115V/60 Hz.
Small Aeration System - $1300

Full system includes: 1/3 HP single rocking-piston compressor (aerate up to 30' deep), ventilated and lockable cabinet suitable for post mount, single micro bubble diffuser assembly with four air stones, all clamps and connectors, 100' weighted tubing, instruction booklet. 110/115V.
Item # PR-DA1AW
More Info

Aerates 1/8 acre with a 3-5 foot depth (125,000 gallons)
Aerates 1/2 acre at 9-12 foot deep to (1 million gallons
)
Aerates 1-1/2 acres with a 15-20 foot depth (7 million gallons)
Large Aeration System - $1540

Full system includes: 1/3 HP double dual rocking-piston compressor (aerate up to 30' deep), ventilated lockable steel cabinet suitable for post mount, two micro bubble diffuser assemblies with 4 airstones on each each, all clamps and connectors, 200' weighted tubing, instruction booklet. 100/115V. Item # PR-DA2AW
More Info

Aerates 1/4 acre with a 3-5 foot depth (225,000 gallons)
Aerates 1 acre at 9-12 foot deep (2.5 million gallons
)
Aerates 3 acres with a 15-20 foot depth (10 million gallons)

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Aerating a small pond correctly requires that the volume and depth are understood...especially the depth. These aeration systems are only good for ponds where the depth of the diffuser is not greater than 8 feet or 10 feet for the larger system.

These aerators use powerful, silent, linear compressors that have a two-year warranty which is twice the industry standard. You will be pumping only air into your pond so there is no electricity cords in the water and because you are using air to blow bubbles into the pond you can use as little as 50 watts to aerate a pond more effectively than with a 1/2 HP 1800 watt fountain!

These systems use Underwriters Laboratory Listed (UL), all-weather linear compressors that send air through the included weighted airline to the diffuser assembly or assemblies which are all included. All couplings, connectors, valves and instructions are include d so you won't have to make a trip to the plumbing supply store to by a missing fitting!

You only need to place the 4-stone diffuser into your pond, the weighted airhose sinks and is a dark blue so practically invisible in ponds, connect the airline to the compressor outlet and plug it into to a standard 110/115V plug. While the compressors are designed for 4 seasons you will prolong the life of the compressor by housing it in a small box or decorative cover near the pond.

If you are a do-it-yourself aeration system type of person then you likely only want to buy diffusers, tubing or pumps. If you are like most of us who want a complete turn-key aeration system that is cheap and easy to install without having to go to the hardware store for plumbing bits or have Uncle Jimmy build a wooden compressor shack then we recommend these fully complete systems. The pond size these simple systems can aerate depends mainly on the depth and shape of your pond, if you are unsure if these systems will be adequate for your pond then send us an email before you buy.

These pond aeration systems are complete and ready-to-go packages including everything you need: lockable heavy-duty aluminum cabinet, efficient rocking piston air compressor, base mounted quad-diffuser airstone synergistic diffuser assembly, 6 foot power cord, GFCI receptacle, 3/8" weighted tubing which is self sinking so the installation of your diffusers from the boat is easier because everything sinks out-of-sight and in to place! To keep from bringing the electricity to the lake, the compressor can be located up to 1,000' away with the addition of our high PSI 5/8" poly black plastic tubing airline which connects to the compressor outlet.

The included noise-reducing, fan-ventilated, weatherproof, heavy-duty steel cabinet can be installed easily on a post, pier or boat house. Instructions are included, and the entire unit can be shipped Ground. 115V/60 Hz.

My experience has shown that in most cases that adding air diffusion into the bottom levels of the pond is often the the best form of aeration. This manner of aerating is basically the injection of air bubbles into the water to supply oxygen as well to create water movement because as the small air bubbles rise to the surface they create a movement that pulls oxygen deprived waters from the depths up towards the surface where they can interact with the atmosphere and achieve a high level of efficient oxygen transfer.

The water of the pond is continuously being turned over and circulated towards the the surface by air diffuser plates, airstones, disc diffusers, or coarse bubble homemade diffusers that some people build themselves. There are many ways to get the air into the pond but the general rule is that the smaller the bubble the better the efficiency of the system will be. Aeration can be done with electric air compressors or linear pumps or by windmills or even solar aeration systems! There are many ways to achieve the goal and the location of your pond will determine whether you want to use a windmill for aeration, an electrical system, or a solar pump.

Whatever way you do it, take the time to install the best system you can afford as seeing a pond with clear water and happy fish and frogs is truly a joy and any fish lover knows that maintaining fish, either trout, ass or koi, is a passion and now to be taken lightly!

Aeration, depending on your longitude and latitude in the world can be effective all year round or only during certain seasons but it is undoubtedly the key ingredient in maintaining a healthy aquatic system. The benefits of using an aeration system, especially when combined with applications of natural pond bacteria that feeds on organic materials like leaves and fish waste, will return your pond to vibrant health in no time at all!.

Building an aeration system can be a snap especially if you have a pond store in your town where experts can help choose the best system components for you, although looking on the Internet for pond supplies is another fast way to get the information you need. But be careful, there are many people trying to get pond owners to part with their hard earned money with new fangled technologies like ultrasonic algae killers or complicated bubbler systems, when the fact is it is not rocket science!

The heart of any lake-bed, or bottom-mounted aeration system is often the air compressor itself. There are a variety of compressors that are quiet, small, energy efficient compressors that will pump a steady and constant flow of oxygen to your bottom-mounted diffuser system.

The depth of the pond where the diffusers are located will determine the type of compressor you require. Shallow ponds less than 9 feet deep can often be aerated with a small linear or diaphragm type of pump that are usually fairly silent and real energy misers.

If you have a deeper pond, from 8 to 15 feet deep you may need to use a rotary vane compressor, although the carbon vanes are known to require changing every 18 to 34 months. Piston compressors can delivery up to 35 PSI or more and are excellent for deep water aeration. While piston compressors often do not have the high levels of CFM (cubic feet per minute) of airflow as a rotary vane or linear pump, they make up for it in reliable strong airflow.

Windmills can also be used and in North America there are a few choices of windmill aeration systems both in Canada and here in the United States and I have even seen some real go-getters build a windmill aerator out of old cars and tractor parts, but I wouldn't recommend it. The standard windmill like a Superior Windmill or Koenders Windmill or Beckermills Windmill or American Eagle Windmill or Outdoor Water Solutions Windmill works by having a diaphragm compressor, bellows system in the American Eagle Windmill, in the head of the windmill

As wind turns the fans of the windmill compressed air is forced down the airline into the airstone in the pond. No electricity is required and the simple technology has worked extremely well for decades as farmers across the plains have attested to. Aerating dugouts with a windmill is a popular practice in areas where there is often no electrical source, plus there is only the initial cost and construction of the system to contend with and no ongoing maintenance fees.

Solar systems can be built as well but the DC compressors used in solar aerators deliver fairly low levels of pressure and CFM. Solar direct systems are less expensive and can be built by many people who want a homemade aeration system. Battery back-up systems are more expensive but allow you to use large compressor like a small rotary vane compressor which will increase your airflow and allow you to aerate a larger area.

Whichever compressor you choose you will then need to run an airline to your diffuser system (airstone, membrane disc, diffuser tubing) and there are ways to save money here. Using weighted tubing or self-sinking airhose is the fastest way because it will sink quickly on it's own but it can run over $1.50 per foot or more. A cheaper way is to use standard airline, often 1/2" or even 3/8" which does float but by zip tying some rebar or threading the tubing through bricks you can run any length from the compressor to the diffuser for under $100.

In order to determine the size of the compressor and the number of diffusers you will need there are at least two critical factors to consider and this is why it is often good to consult a pond expert before starting. First you must know the true depth of your pond as this will determine the PSI required from your compressor and when you look at the shape of the pond this determines the number of diffusers you need which will determine the best CFM you need from your compressor since most diffusers require at least .5 CFM for operation.

This data helps you decide if you can get away with using a linear air pump or need to go with one of the bad boys like a 1/2 HP piston compressor or 1 3/4HP rotary vane. Making the wrong choice at this stage can mean burning out a compressor and losing a lot of time and money in the process!

If you are using a windmill or a high pressure dual-piston compressor then the compressor can actually be replaced quite far from the pond, sometimes up to 900 feet or 1 km away although as you can imagine this requires laying out some 3/4" airline which can be a messy job if you need to bury your tubing. Better to try and get the system as close to the pond as possible although I want you to understand that you can go a long distance with the right tools and products.

A round pond like a big bowl with a single deepest area and an equally proportional interior grade may require only one diffuser placed at the deepest point. This will provide a nice even circulation but the diffuser doesn't necessarily have to be in the center so look at the entire pond as a whole because raising fish can add additional points of concern when using aeration such as overheating the pond with aeration. There are thermostat controls to automatically tun on aerators when temperatures drop below a certain level, this helps prevent fish kills as trout are very susceptible to warm temperatures.

An irregular shaped, often kidney shaped or bean shaped, pond with more variations in depth and shoreline slope may involve the installation of one or more diffusers but again, this is not always the case. Balance the need for aeration by looking at the existing condition of the pond, do you have algae, are fish dying? Sometimes even in a large pond we only add a single aeration station...it all depends and there are no hard a fast rules to go by...although pond stores will try and often sell their biggest aeration package they can!


Air Compressors & Air Pumps


When comparing aeration systems it is a good idea to look for forums and reviews that discuss the pros and cons of various systems. Since the principals of aeration are scientific and many companies offer products that do basically the same thing to various degrees of efficiency then it is up to us as consumers to use our due-diligence before buying a pond aerator. To compare prices with our recommended systems we have grouped some of the more popular bottom-diffuser aerator brands together for comparision with our best aerator systems.

Vertex Air 1™
Vertex Air 2™

The Vertex Air 1™ pond aerator is a super-efficient, (circulation rates test results) affordable and safe system. In a typical pond with 8 foot depths, an Air 1™ can aerate approximately 1-2 acres depending on shape, slope, oxygen demand and other factors. A 1/3 hp Brookwood™ SafeStart™ compressor, housed in our rustproof aluminum outdoor cabinet, feeds a bottom mounted CoActive AirStation™ utilizing Vertex’s MicronBubble™ technology. With bubbles from 500 to 3,000 microns in diameter, pumping rates and oxygen transfer rates increase dramatically. The rising force of millions of bubbles circulates the entire water column, entraining bottom water up to the surface allowing vital oxygen to be absorbed and poisonous gasses expelled. With no electricity in the water, Vertex’s aeration systems are safe for any type of water recreation. Our systems have a full two-year warranty plus a five-year warranty against rust and corrosion on the cabinet, five-year warranty on the AirStations™ and a 15-year warranty on BottomLine™ supply tubing (sold separately).
Available here. Contact us


Aqua Air 1
Aqua Air 2


Aqua Air Aerators AquaAir provides lakes, ponds, and marinas with superior aeration, circulation, and de-stratification. Dissolved oxygen (DO) levels are increased throughout the entire water column with the use of bottom mounted diffusers. The diffusers employ a super fine micro-bubble technology resulting in some of the highest diffuser oxygen transfer rates (OTR) available today. The micro-bubbles entrain bottom water and synergistically lift it to the surface where atmospheric oxygen is absorbed and then transferred throughout the water column. The diffusers are connected to a stainless steel cabinet-enclosed, shore-mounted air compressor via self-weighted air supply tubing. System sizes range with two types of diffusers available. Available at: www.pfpros.com

Air Lift 1
Air Lift 2


The AirLift™series is used for a wide variety of ponds and lakes with maximum water depths up to 35 feet. AirLift aeration systems contain up to six air diffusers. Each AirPod™ contains a single EPDM tubular air diffuser. The common components of our AirLift aeration systems are commercial grade air compressor cabinets, AirPod air diffusers and DownUnder weighted air supply tubing as shown in our overview. For deeper ponds and lakes, refer to our AirLift XL™ series.. Our dual piston air compressor, which can deliver air under high pressures (water depths up to 35 feet), operates very quietly (55 decibels at 2 meters or 6 feet). In comparison, the noise levels of our air compressors are about 15 decibels less than equivalent rotary vane air compressors. The AirPod™ contains a self-cleaning 24-inch tube, EPDM flexible membrane air diffuser equipped with a triple check valve system. Our air diffuser is constructed to withstand total airflow from the compressor without damaging the EPDM membrane (unlike EPDM disc air diffusers). Simply fill the two ballast tubes with pea gravel or sand prior to their placement in the pond or lake. Compressed air from our dual piston compressor is delivered to the AirPod™ using our DownUnder™ self-weighted tubing. DownUnder™ air supply tubing is constructed of a flexible PVC composite and is kink proof and puncture resistant. Available at: www.hydrologicproducts.com

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