Dissolved oxygen is the key to the health of your pond, and aeration is one of the most effective ways to introduce that oxygen to the water. You most likely need to add artificial aeration if your lake isn’t spring fed, part of a larger river system or includes a waterfall. What are some signs that you need to aerate more?
Often a decrease in the amount of oxygen in a lake or pond is accompanied by a rise in nitrogen and phosphate, which comes from decaying matter and fish waste. Lake aeration usually helps keep these flowing through the ecosystem. These chemicals are bad for fish, but good for plants and algae. This means that you’ll be stuck with a large-scale bloom of algae. All this plant life may choke out your pond, depleting it of the rest of its oxygen.
Almost everything living in your pond uses oxygen as part of the respiration process- even decaying matter requires dissolved oxygen. If the water is not properly aerated, big organisms are usually the first to go. This means that a lot of dead fish is a good early indicator of an imbalanced lake. In turn, the decomposing fish will further exacerbate the problem, so remove them from the water as soon as possible.
Aeration has an influence on something called flow rate, which is basically the rate at which the water in your lake moves. Still water is not healthy, stagnancy can breed disease and make your pond more susceptible to undesirable influences, such as pH imbalance, ammonia and low alkalinity. Flow rate and aeration can be especially important in the summer, because warm water has a lower capacity to hold oxygen.
If you notice any of the above symptoms, the best way to address the situation would be to add an aerator to your pond. They can be inexpensive and easy to install. There’s no harm in using an aerator as a preventative measure, as well.