Lake or pond aeration systems are also known as destratification systems. Their purpose is to help circulate oxygen to the bottom of the body of water. Aeration systems help provide fish the oxygen they need. They also help balance levels of dissolved oxygen and water temperatures. With aeration systems, oxygen-poor water from the bottom is drawn to the surface. Exposure to the surface air provides replenishment of the oxygen.
Good circulation and aeration is an important part of a healthy lake. As oxygen levels are increased throughout the strata of the lake, it can allow the fish to expand into new territory which was formerly lacking oxygen. Cycling water from the bottom to the top is an important part of aeration.
Some signs of too little oxygen are a foul smell, the presence of muck, the presence of algae, a bad taste to the water, and an overall sense of “bad” water. There can be toxins in the water that make people sick. The foul smell can come from hydrogen sulfide gases which are called anaerobic gases.
Aeration does not kill algae. What is does is create conditions that are anathema to the growth of algae. Certain levels of dissolved oxygen create an ideal situation where bacteria can grow. These bacteria deprive algae of nutrients it needs to grow. Plus, fish use the bacteria for food.
In the warmer months, oxygen-rich water exists near the surface. Cooler water that lacks oxygen sinks to the bottom. Cloud cover, wind and weather conditions affect the amount of oxygen, for if there is enough sunlight and wind, it can pierce the surface of the water and help maintain a level of dissolved oxygen. However, if winds are few and there is lots of cloud cover, oxygen levels decrease. This can cause massive levels of fish kills.
More oxygen gives life to tiny organisms that feed on decaying plants, leaves, fish, and other organic matter at the bottom of lakes or ponds. As these organisms feed on this organic matter, it accelerates decomposition of the sludge. This in turn reduces the bad orders and also reduces nitrogen that contributes to algae growth.
If fish stay toward the surface of the water, or die off for no reason, then one of the answers is probably the need to aerate the water. Aeration basically means mixing oxygen with air. A certain amount of this happens when winds blow and churn up the water. Aeration systems are employed as a scientific way to aerate lakes and improve water quality. Aeration is very beneficial for water during droughts.
Sometimes people use chemicals such as copper sulfate to treat algae. However, this does not solve the root of the problem, which is lack of oxygen. Mistreating the problem can cause other problems later.
In summary, healthy ponds or lakes in which fish thrive require an oxygen and nutrient balance. Oxygen must be carried throughout the body of water. Otherwise, de-oxygenation begins at the bottom and moves upward. Aerobic bacteria are energized by oxygen. Bacteria are part of a natural cleaning process that helps reduce muck. Water becomes clearer, muck is reduced, and oxygen is increased at all levels. Fish eat the bacteria and thrive, and fishermen are happy.
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