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How Does a Pond Aerator Work?

north star pond aerator

Have you noticed unsightly algae gradually building up around your pond or lake? Do you notice a slight, but persistent odor circulating in the vicinity of your pond? Are you concerned about an increase in unhealthy fish in your lake or pond?

These problems are all strong indicators of an unhealthy pond caused by a lack of proper aeration. So what is the solution to this issue?

Is there any way to address it without investing significant time and money to either fix it yourself or hire an expensive contractor?

One solution to these problems is to invest in a pond aerator for your lake or pond.

If you aren't familiar with pond aerators, this article will explain what a pond aerator does and how it works. We also highlight a few examples of popular aerators.

What Does an Aerator do for a Pond?

A healthy pond provides a wonderful visual that can really add value to a property. Maintaining that clear blue and healthy water front area does require some time and effort.

Without proper maintenance and upkeep, that nice waterfront area can turn into a real eye sore that damages property value rather than improve it.

Functions of a Pond Aerator

A pond aerator provides two key benefits for your lake or pond:

  • Adds additional oxygen to the water
  • Helps circulate the water to prevent stratification 

Lack of oxygen within a pond leads to algae buildup, unpleasant odor, stagnant water, and it slowly sickens fish and other aquatic life inside the pond.

Common causes of oxygen depletion include chemical reactions from nitrites, ammonia, and carbon dioxide that seep into a pond due to fertilizers and other nearby chemicals. Warmer weather also creates lower oxygen levels because warm water holds less oxygen than colder water.

Increasing Oxygen Levels in a Pond

Surface level floating pond aerators increase oxygen in a pond by pushing oxygen rich water back into the pond at a high rate of speed. Surface level water is pushed up in the air with a propeller.  The airborne water captures high concentrations of oxygen in the air.

The water then falls back into the pond at high rates of speed. This causes the oxygen rich water to circulate throughout the deeper layers of pond water. The cumulative effect is that oxygen is spread out evenly throughout deeper layers of the pond.

Surface aerators are designed to run 24 hours a day. The continuous cycle helps to create a consistent and sustained pattern of water circulation.  

The combination of additional oxygen and water circulation helps to break the pattern that creates unhealthy water conditions.

Visual Benefits of a Pond Aerator

pond aerator lights

A secondary benefit of a pond aerator is the ability to enhance the overall appearance of your pond or lake with a stunning fountain display.  

In order to create oxygen rich water, it is necessary to push out surface level pond water up into the air at high rates of speed. This allows pond aerators to serve two functions since they can also be utilized as an outdoor water feature on your pond.

Pond aerators with LED lights allow you to create amazing light displays that show off your water feature in the evenings. Some of the more advanced options feature color changing lighting that can be controlled remotely with a timer.

Pond Aerator Power Sources

Most pond aerators have electric power. Electric pond aerators tend to be less expensive than solar pond aerators. The primary challenge with electric pond aerators is making sure you have adequate power cord to reach the closest power source.

Floating solar pond aerator units are more expensive, but offer more flexibility when you don't have a readily available power source nearby. Over the long run, these aerators have lower operating costs which helps to offset the higher upfront costs. 

Popular Pond Aerators

Pond aerator types include a variety of sizes, styles, and features. We have highlighted a few of the most popular pond and lake aerators.

Display Fountain Aerator

scott display aerator

The display fountain aerator is popular because it is easy to setup and offers a range of sizes that make it suitable for small and large ponds alike. This display aerator creates a trumpet-shaped cascading water fountain, giving your property a beautiful, modern look.

People with smaller sized ponds should consider the 1/3 to 1/2 horsepower sized units.  While those with larger sized ponds will appreciate the extra power provided by the 2 to 3 horsepower sized units.

North Star Fountain Aerator

North Star Aerator

The North Star Fountain Aerator is popular for residential, commercial, or municipal ponds. The North Star model can move up to 600 gallons of water per minute with a powerful 1.5 Horsepower motor.

The North Star is available in sizes that start at 1/2 horsepower and increase in size all the way to 3 horsepower sized units. 

The larger sized units can create a fountain display that reaches sizes of up to 11 feet in height and a 30 foot diameter.

This pond aerator efficiently maintains oxygen circulation and reduces the conditions that lead to algae buildup. In addition, it offers a great aesthetic appeal to enhance the appearance of your property.

Color changing lights can also be paired with the North Star to create amazing light displays.

EasyPro Shallow Pond Aerator

If you’re looking for a pond aerator for a shallow pond, the EasyPro PAS8SWN Shallow Pond Aerator is a great option! This pond aerator is designed specifically for ponds that are 7 feet in depth or less.

This aeration kit includes a choice of a single or dual diffuser.  A single diffuser is used for round, regular shaped ponds. Choose a dual diffuser for long and narrow shaped ponds.

Final Thoughts

Adding a pond aerator can make a major difference to the health of your pond. Pond aerators operate 24 hours a day and require minimal maintenance after the initial setup. 

For more information, browse our selection of floating pond aerators. You can also read about how to install a pond aerator.