Oxygenation is an integral part of keeping a pond healthy. It’s naturally occurring in water, but the oxygen could dissipate quickly.
This is especially true in hot weather, or when the pond is heavily stocked with fish. Depending on how bad the situation is, you might want the pond oxygenated as fast as possible.
So, in this article, we have compiled the main ways how to oxygenate a pond quickly. These are:
- Use an air pump
- Use a fountain
- Spray water with a hose
Below, we’ll discuss how you can do these. We’ll also talk about the signs telling you the pond needs to be oxygenated.
But first, we must look at the reasons why your pond might have low oxygen levels.
A variety of factors can contribute to your pond’s oxygen levels going down. The most common cause is a combination of algae and higher water temperature.
In any body of water, higher temperatures cause lowered levels of oxygen. This is because warm water can hold less oxygen than cold water.
Heat excites molecules, causing them to move faster and allowing oxygen to escape from the water.
Algae consume oxygen during the night, as there’s no sunlight to photosynthesize with. They devour more oxygen than they produce as there are more algae than before.
Algae blooms can also cause massive oxygen depletion during cloudy or windless days. The lack of sunlight or wind to churn the waters will cause algae to deplete oxygen levels.
These are the most convenient methods that you can use to oxygenate your pond quickly. This is how they work:
A straightforward way to quickly add oxygen to your pond is to install an air pump. It’s placed at the side of the pond.
It will pump a steady stream of air bubbles through a tube into the bottom of the pond. The bubbles will then break on the water’s surface, adding oxygen.
Other than providing oxygen, air pumps also prevent ice from completely covering the pond during winter. The constant movement a pump does, ensures that a hole will remain in the ice.
When you buy a pump, make sure that you got the right one for your pond. Some variants are designed to sit outside in all weather conditions.
Others need to be sheltered from the elements in a shed or indoors. Larger types of pumps output more oxygen, which is suitable if you own a sizable pond.
You could also add a fountain to your pond. which works by drawing water from the less oxygenated bottom and splashing it back on the oxygen-rich surface. This also lets gas diffuse more effectively into the water.
Fountains are pretty inexpensive to buy compared to air pumps. However, it’s not as fast in oxygenating a pond.
When buying a fountain, remember that they come in different shapes and sizes. You don’t want a fountain that’s too big and powerful for your pond, as that will end up blowing water out of it.
On the other hand, if your fountain is too small, it might not have an impact on your pond’s oxygen levels at all.
If you have neither an air pump nor a fountain, or if you don’t want to buy them, you can use your water hose instead. This is also a suitable solution when you need to quickly oxygenate a pool when there’s no time to get these features installed.
The vigorous spray of water from the hose will rapidly churn the pond’s surface, adding in oxygen.
Before you go on to oxygenate your pool, you might want to know for sure if it needs it. If you’re oxygenating your pond at a whim, you could end up over-raising the oxygen levels. It can reach the point that it’s potentially lethal to fish.
Oversaturating the water with oxygen can cause fish to develop gas bubble disease. Here, excess gas creates bubbles around its eyes and inside the skin. These bubbles can block blood flow, injuring and eventually killing the fish.
So, these are the signs that you should look out for to know for sure that your pond has low oxygen levels. Check for these especially during the summer months, and on cloudy or windy days.
Those are the times that the oxygen level has most likely depleted.
If you see fish constantly coming to the surface with gaping mouths, that could be an early sign that your pond has low oxygen levels. This can easily be confused as hunger, but if it happens outside feeding times, it’s not.
Larger fish tend to be the first to start coming to the surface for oxygen from the air, as they require more of it. If small fish are also trying to get oxygen from the air, that means your pond is at a critically low level.
A low level of oxygen will also cause fish to display erratic behavior, such as remaining immobile at the bottom of the pool or swimming in odd patterns. Oxygen stress like this can permanently damage your fish.
Normally, the amount of algae in the water isn’t a concern. However, once it begins affecting the visibility of the pond’s surface, you should start considering oxygenating the pond.
Rapid algae growth, especially when it forms clumps of green material on the water, is a sign of poor aeration and filtration. It can grow into a thick mat that covers the entire pond, blocking off oxygen from the atmosphere.
Algae coverings also block out light for other pond plants, preventing them from photosynthesizing.
Decaying organic matter, such as sludge, dead plants, and fish waste is a sign of low oxygen levels. It could either be caused by bad filtration or poor water movement.
The main method of checking the exact oxygen level of a pond is by using a hydrometer. A pond should have 6 ppm (parts per million) of oxygen, going up to 8 ppm if you have koi fish.
These levels of oxygen will give your fish the most optimal conditions for growth and survival.
Levels below these are increasingly dangerous, with 2-3 ppm causing oxygen stress amongst fish.
While it’s effective for aeration, waterfalls only circulate the pond’s surface. It leaves the bottom untouched, which can cause an anaerobic or low-oxygen environment in the depths.
An anaerobic environment is dangerous to fish and can cause organic material to build up in the bottom.
An air pump does a better job at aerating the entirety of the pool, but a waterfall works just as well if you have a small pond.
Algae and submerged plants are the primary sources of oxygen in a pond. In the presence of sunlight, they enact photosynthesis and make oxygen.
However, as mentioned previously, if there are too many algae, the oxygen level will drop.
Oxygen is important for keeping your pond healthy. However, it can be depleted due to a combination of algae growth, water temperature, and a lack of aeration.
There are three ways to oxygenate a pond quickly. You can use an air pump, a fountain, or spray water with a hose.
Signs that a pond has low oxygen include odd fish behavior, rapid algae growth, foul smells, and a low hydrometer reading.
Waterfalls are good only for aerating the pond’s surface and are suitable for small ponds.
While pond algae produce oxygen, they are to be kept under control. Otherwise, they’ll also consume it when there’s no sunlight.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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