Aerator or pump?


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Hi everyone, 100% pond newbie here. :D

First, I'm so happy to have found this forum! Here's why: I'm trying to reclaim and maintain the natural pond on my property (about 60 ft x 10 ft, +/- 2 ft deep) without messing around too much with it (it's a breeding site for frogs). There's no liner and I'd rather not add one. I'd also like to avoid adding chemicals, if possible. But we get tons of mosquitos (despite the frogs) so I figure I need to ensure some sort of water movement. We have no intention of adding fish.

Each year the pond dries up by early summer, so I just installed an underground pipe to carry rainfall from my gutters to my pond. Plus I sometimes fill it with a garden house if it looks about to dry up.

At the risk of sounding stupid, do I need an aerator or a pump (or are they the same thing?) I have electrical power running to the pond already. If I drop the ball during a dry spell and the pond dries up, will it fry the aerator/pump if they keep running without water?

Also, I'm seeing comments about adding plants. Is this for minimizing algae? (which my pond now has lots). What kind of plants exactly?

So many questions... so little knowledge... even less time... don't even ask about the money...

Thanks for any advice you can offer
 

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If you just want to stop breeding mosquitoes , then i would just go with air bubblers around the pond and fountains . you can even make the air bubblers work as water pumps though you may not have the depth needed
 
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A pump is a motor and an impeller that moves water, usually uphill. An aerator is an air pump. You connect it to an "airstone" in your pond to add oxygen. A pump (assuming you run it to a waterfall) and an aerator will both aerate/circulate water, but each one is stronger at one task than the other. Most ponds your size have both.

Like @GBBUDD said, look into air lift pumps/bubble pumps. They're DIYI don't think they're sold commercially—and built from an air pump that you would use to aerate your pond, but they can move a lot of water with very little energy if you don't want or need a waterfall.

2' is on the very shallow side for an air lift/bubble pump but it might work. Would be a cheap weekend project to find out. And if it doesn't work out, you'd still need the air pump to run aeration, so not much lost.

If a water pump runs dry, it will burn up. Some have a heat limit switch for self-protection that will turn them off if they get too hot. An air pump doesn't care how much water is in the pond. It will just keep pumping air.

Plants consume ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates—all waste products in your pond. Start reading up on the nitrogen cycle. When too much ammonia/nitrite accumulates, it kills aquatic life. When too much nitrate builds up, you get algae blooms.
 

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