Aeration questions

Discussion in 'Pond Management' started by Salmonid, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. Looking to add aeration to the pond this summer. I see all the big dollar ( $1100-$2100) systems for a botom diffuser for my 3/4 acre pond but figured there must be a cheaper way to run the system then using there $600 piston style 1/2 hp pumps. I can spring for the weighted air lines and can make a bottom plate with 4 air stones on it, ( already using 4 air stones now for my homemade livewells) so the expensive part is the pump, should i look for anything in particular when shopping ebay, internet, Northern Hydraulics, etc?

    Last question, heavy surface aeration seems quite popular and is about half the price as a bottom difusser from Jones, will it do the job just as well?? There stats say YES, Pond is 3/4 acre, 12 ft max. for the most part is circular ( more like kidney shaped)

    Thanks Salmonid

    This is the link to the system I put in my 1/3 acre pond. I put in the economy system 1, it ran $550. 3 years ago. I made my own waterproof /soundproof enclosed case with a small fan. It runs for 10 hours a day everyday and have not had any problems at all. Good Luck!

  3. Fishman

    Fishman Catch bait???

    Obviously a lot of different systems out there, all have their pros and cons respectivly. It can be done by a do-it-yourselfer but a lot of the home made systems I've saw usually wouldn't last a year or two.

    If you have a bottom based aeration system run it 24/7. I highly doubt a pond could "destratify" in a 12 hour period. Unless you're really pinching pennys there's no reason risking itm run it 24/7 365. In the winter you can turn'em off for various reasons obviously, but again unless there is a special circumstance you really shouldn't.

    The appeal of surface aeration is that it puts a considerable ammount of oxygen in the pond, but all of the surface units I know of will not destratify a lake. You'll notice a lot of hatcherys use surface aerators because the ponds are shallow and as such arn't all that well stratified. At night is when oxygen levels in ponds usually dip to their lowest and that's when surface aeration saves the day. For overall functionality the bottom based units are the way to go.

    Another thing to remember when pricing the units is look at your long term energy useage. Most of the surface aeration systems will use more energy than the air compressors.
  4. Fishman pretty much hit the nail on the head. The surface agitator types have very high oxygen transfer but are only effective a few feet deep and cost twice as much or more to run (think $60/mo instead of $30). I've seen Ted Lea's system that Got One posted. It uses the Vertex diffusers which are arguable better than airstones but doesn't have a housing so it needs to be installed in a building. It also doesn't have all the fancy anodized aluminum manifolds and cooling fan but still looks like a good well built unit...more of a Chevy than a Caddilac.
  5. Lundy

    Lundy Staff Member

    I installed a bottom aeration double diffuser Vertex system last April. Ran it 24/7 through the end of November.

    I will restart it again this spring.
  6. If you want to build it yourself, ATAC supplies 1/4 HP Rocking Piston Replacement compressors starting at $395.00. The motor has a one year warranty and is equipped with thermal overload protection. ATAC sells complete systems with self maintaining rubber membrane diffuser disks starting at $695. See our estore at to see all of the systems that we offer.

    The advantage of our systems over some others is that we use maintenance free, rubber membrane diffuser disks. This means that once the system is installed the diffuser disk never has to be pulled up for maintenance. Airstones must be dipped in muratic acid annually to remove organic matter and mineral deposits that accumulate through normal use and can clog the airstone’s pores resulting in less effective oxygen transfer and water movement. In addition, the rubber membrane makes smaller bubbles which lead to higher oxygen transfer rates. We have weighted airline available and it is the customer’s preference, however ATAC feels that the cost of the weighted airline outweighs any advantage it might have.

    Aquatic Biologist, ATAC
  7. Fishman

    Fishman Catch bait???

    I've worked with poly airlines too long to know they stink in comparison to the weighted stuff, which is essentially just thick rubber hose. If you want to save a couple bucks go poly if you want to save yourself a hassle go weighted.

    Also like pondfin mentioned, price out unhoused compressor units. Most of'em can stand the elements if you place them in a homemade box with a small fan to keep'em cool.
  8. I put the weighted stuff in the pond, it's plenty thick enough to resist most hook punctures (probably not big cat gear) and it stays planted firmly on the bottom. From the pond, the weighted tubing goes a few feet underground through the bank because it will hold up a lot better to freeze/thaw cycles. I used irrigation poly pipe for the long straight run to a few feet short of the compressor then up out of the ground to the compressor with weighted for some freeze thaw flexibility and I think it better absorbs vibration from the compressor. Irrigation poly pipe was only like 12 cents a foot...way cheaper than weighted tubing.

    The compressors are pretty loud and vibrate and shake a fair amoutn. A good well made cabinet cuts down on noise a bunch as does a decent muffler on the intake.

    Use all stainless pipe clamps. Heating the poly pipe with a heat gun or mapp torch helps it slide over the connectors easier.