Informal "Poll": For Ponds that Incorporate a Waterfall, Is Additional Aeration Needed for Proper Oxygenation?


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Wondering what others here think about the need to provide additional aeration to a pond that has a waterfall. The pond kit I purchased included an air pump, but I wasn't planning on using it as I think my waterfall agitates the water pretty strenuously and my pond is only about 7x9 feet. The owner of the pond supply store I visited recently says a waterfall doesn't do enough, but I thought I've seen opinions to the contrary. Would it depend on the size of the waterfall? Size of the pond? What say the members here? Thought it would make for some good discussion about your experiences.
 
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I would say yes to all your "would it depend" questions. I would disagree with the opinion that a waterfall doesn't do enough, but would also say the additional aeration can never hurt. My aerator helps to keep leaf debris from settling as quickly, so it has a chance to get skimmed out. I also like using my aerator because my fish appear to like it - I've never officially polled THEM, but they do seem to love swimming through the bubble stream!
 
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It appears to me that the amount of water falling and the number of things the water splashes against on its way down to the pond will determine how well it aerates the pond.

In my thousand gallon pond, 4000 gallons per hour falls from about three feet high over several tiers of flat rocks. Makes quite a bit of pleasant noise, and keeps the goldfish happy.

pond.jpg
 

Mmathis

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As with everything else having to do with ponds...it depends. It certainly can’t hurt anything to have extra water movement. My pond was 3000 gallons. I kept an aerator going with 3 air stones (with inline valves so I could adjust the amount of the bubbles). Factors for me had to do with the size and shape of my pond, and the fact that we have brutally hot summers. My pond was more elongated and even though I kept the pump at the opposite end from the waterfall, I wasn’t satisfied. My oxygen levels tested well within normal parameters, but...the water temperatures were getting into the mid to high 80’s! Warmer water carries less oxygen.
 
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It depends on how much splashing occurs from your waterfall and maybe even how many fish you have and how big they are. But extra oxygen definitely can't hurt and since you already have the aerator, why not set it up and give yourself peace of mind. I have mine set up with a splitter feeding two large cylindrical air stones. Each line has a simple economical valve on it so I can fine tune how much air each one gets.
Be aware that your aerator pump may not be weather proof. You might need to cover it with something. I built a small "house" for mine out of scrap wood I had laying around. It took me maybe a half an hour to make it. I made the roof removeable to access the pump and valves.
 
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What kind of filter do you use? I use an air pump to push air into the bottom of my filter through two large stones to help eliminate dead zones where water would tend to sit and stagnate. As long as you have the filter, might as well plug it in and use it somewhere. Caution: the electricity usage could easily add 7-8 cents extra per month on your electric bill. ;-)
 
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Sounds like the owner of the pond supply store (and the members of this site) gave you good advice. How many fish (type and size) of fish do you have?
 
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For my 2 cents I would add a bubbler. My waterfall is not sufficient. Like others said it can’t hurt esp in very hot weather. Remember “Finding Nemo”? BUBBLES!
 
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With so many variables in play from one pond to another in one location compareded to others water Temps quality thats not a question anyone but you can answer. But I agree with others who have said you can't have too much i do not aerate the pond its self i aerate my snorkel tube to the bog this helps pull debris to the trap at the bottom of the snorkel as well as airates the bacteria in the bog while aerating the water for the pond . Then two one foot drop waterfalls to the pond whoops have to change that to three now. If you ever see your fish sucking at the surface your answer is you need more air. Especially in summer.
 
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My 3000 gallon pond has 2 falls, and a stream. I also have a "Swim Skim". It probably gets plenty of air. My 6000 gallon pond has a single fall, with a straight drop of about a foot, into the pool, after flowing over various rocks, at a rate of about 86 gallons a minute.
 

cas

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In my situation, an additional air stone helps to circulate the water at the bottom of the pond.
 
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I pump a lot of air into my snorkel tube to the bog it airates the water for fish and bacteria
 
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