Why is Bottom Diffused Aeration Better?
There are lots of ways to improve water quality in your pond or lake. If it’s fairly shallow, then a surface aerator or a fountain can do wonders in helping circulate the water and add much needed oxygen. If it’s deeper than 8 feet, then it’s hard to find something better than a bottom diffused aerator.
What is bottom diffused aeration? That’s where you take compressed air and inject it into the bottom of a pond, lake, lagoon or anything containing water. Aeration accomplishes two things. It adds oxygen to the water as the bubbles rise from the bottom to the surface. It also circulates the oxygen rich water on the top and brings it down to the bottom, which is usually oxygen deficient and in an anaerobic state.
By circulating the water, we can increase the levels of dissolved oxygen or DO in the lower parts of a pond and make it aerobic vs. anaerobic. Aerobic bacteria are much more efficient and active in breaking down organic matter and excess nutrients. That’s why you see waste treatment plants churning the water, they’re trying to add oxygen and let the aerobic bacteria do their job, which is to consume organic matter. Aeration and aerobic bacteria can help clean up a pond by reducing the level of nutrients and muck on the bottom which helps to reduce algae because you’re eliminating their food source.
Bottom diffused aeration can be accomplished using electricity, wind or solar as a power source. Electric aerators are a great tool and offer aeration continuously but have a monthly cost associated with them. Wind driven systems also work great for eliminating stratification and circulation but are dependent on having a little wind sometime during the day. Solar is another alternative but is dependent on sunlight for power and is typically 2 to 3 times more expensive than either electric or wind systems.
Bottom diffused aeration can also eliminate most stratification of the water column and help keep a pond from turning over in the spring or fall. Pond turnover is one of the leading causes of fish death as the low oxygen water from the bottom comes to the top ½ of the pond where most fish live and there is not enough oxygen for fish to survive.
So in summary, adding oxygen and circulating your pond or lake is very important if you want it to look great in the long run. Bottom diffused aeration is not only effective, but also one of the best ways for pond aeration.