Is there too much oxygenation?

Discussion in 'Winterizing Your Pond' started by Dmitry, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. Dmitry

    MitchM

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    Why do you call it a stagnate air tube?
    If you take off the top, you can see the water coming up and being exposed to the air by a 60 gph or so pump. winter - pond breather (3).jpg
     
    MitchM, Mar 4, 2018
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  2. Dmitry

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    Pond Breathers have nothing to do with putting oxygen into the water (measureably) and NEITHER do aerators. Doesn't matter how much force/size of the pump, it's the agitation at the surface doing all the aeration. The bubbles rising to the surface are negligibly impacting oxygenation. IF you can keep a hole open and the ice doesn't turn the water around the aeration hole into slush, THEN you have some aeration effect.

    Why is it so hard for people to understand what a pond breather does?
     
    brokensword, Mar 4, 2018
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  3. Dmitry

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    it doesn't circulate AIR, it circulates the water from below to the top. Minimal effect re oxygenation but since cold water holds more O2 in winter and if the algae can continue to live below (needs light), O2 is supplied. A hole open is for releasing of any buildup of toxic gases. There's some minimal effect re oxygenation but it's not the same as turbulence at the surface. I like aerators for this job, IF they could keep the ice from forming into slush, which is very hard to do when you get really low temps.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
    brokensword, Mar 4, 2018
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  4. Dmitry

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    and I'm sure they're using the aerators for WATER circulation, lower to higher, while trying to keep a hole open. Do you think if they had the lakes/ponds freeze over AND have the aerators on, that there'd be the same effect? Plus, lakes are a lot deeper and they're circulating the upper levels and lower to maximize oxygenation as it exists. In our backyard ponds, we don't typically have anything deeper than 4' and you need 6' and deeper for any stratification to occur. Hence why Mitch sees temps nearly the same, top to bottom.
     
    brokensword, Mar 4, 2018
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  5. Dmitry

    MitchM

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    That's what I want to know!
    So far it's only people that have never seen or used one.
    This is how inaccurate urban myths get started.
     
    MitchM, Mar 4, 2018
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  6. Dmitry

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    and you notice how many can't grasp that aerators do NOT put any measurable air INTO the water column???? I feel SO like taking my ship and falling off the world's edge, you know?

    Guess that's why I can't ignore this thread and the other; I don't want to see this myth EVER get started.
     
    brokensword, Mar 4, 2018
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  7. Dmitry

    Mucky_Waters

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    Well, I want to know why some people can't understand why "Super Cooling" of water can never happen in a pond??? ;)

    Ok, so some of these pond breathers have actual water pumps in them as well as heaters? If that is so, that is something I didn't understand and would certainly change the effectiveness of them.
    Still, haven't you ever wondered why the fisheries departments and other organizations that care of fish in lakes and ponds using aerators and not these breather tubes?
    You say that oxygenation only occurs at the surface, just how much air surface exposure does a pond breather create? Not much I'll tell you that. An aerator diffusing oxygenated air under the ice will actually trap a lot of air under the ice creating a large pocket of "air-surface", the thicker the ice the more air will get trapped under the ice and the larger the "surface" of air will be directly exposed to the water. The air will eventually be released back up into the atmosphere through tiny cracks in the ice, but this large pocket of air that forms under the ice is essentially why aerators are so much more effective at oxygenating small lakes and ponds, surface exposure.
    Not to get too far off topic, but my first year with my current 5 ft. deep pond I placed a thermometer near (but not touching) the ice surface and another one resting on the bottom and saw constant temperature difference of 3 deg. That first year I didn't circulate the water at all, now that I circulate the water in the winter no stratification can occur so I don't see those differences in temperature. So yes, I have witnessed significant stratification in my pond which is less than 6 ft deep. The slightest bit of water movement with a pump or aerator can disrupt that stratification though.
     
    Mucky_Waters, Mar 4, 2018
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  8. Dmitry

    MitchM

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    There's only one pond breather that I'm aware of and it apparently exposes 4,000 -10,000 times more water surface to the air than a floating heater that only opens a hole around the heater itself. I don't know how that compares to an aerator but at that point we're kind of splitting hairs. Any water circulation combined with exposed water to the air is a great improvement over floating heaters that so many people seem enamoured with.
    The low energy use and effectiveness of a pond breather or aerator compared to a floating heater makes the decision a no brainer for me.
    I'm skeptical about how an aerator setup can last with freezing temperatures though. I think condensation can build up in the air lines and cause blockages, rendering the setup useless.

    Pond breathers are consumer products, not commercial products that would be of much use to a government agency. There are probably certain manufacturing and testing standards that these products have to go through before a government will authorize their use.
    I tried to find out test results for various methods of deicing natural lakes and ponds but results and details were hard to come by and many setups would not be practical for our tiny backyard ponds.
     
    MitchM, Mar 4, 2018
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  9. Dmitry

    MitchM

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    You also should state the accuracy of the thermometers you used.
    I used temperature sensors that were accurate to within +/- 0.5 C.
     
    MitchM, Mar 4, 2018
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  10. Dmitry

    Mucky_Waters

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    The thing about that aerator you were using is it's a simple rubber diaphragm driven pump like something they use for indoor aquariums, the one the OP linked to is a piston driven pump similar to the ones the fisheries would use which is more robust and would be more reliable for frigid outdoor applications.
    [​IMG] VS [​IMG]
     
    Mucky_Waters, Mar 4, 2018
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  11. Dmitry

    MitchM

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    Possibly.
    The thing about having a hot motor pushing air into a cold hose is that somewhere along the hose length the air is going to cool and condensation will form. I don't think the type of pump matters that much.
     
    MitchM, Mar 4, 2018
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  12. Dmitry

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    Mucky; I bet they could build a 'lake-sized' breather but the electricity to run it would probably be a lot more than to run a compressor. I think for the most part, if temps don't hang too low, that the aerator (for lakes) keeps the water surrounding the turbulence from turning to slush and rendering a lot of that aeration power moot. Wouldn't be surprised though to one day see a larger, industrial sized version (with some sort of power control usage) used in larger commercial industries. As Mitch says, the power to run a pond breather is very low, as low as an aquarium air pump. I've used the piston driven ones and they get so very hot I was afraid to even use it. Probably a cheaper version, but still; no way for summer usage, imo, and the energy it used was a lot more than a breather.
     
    brokensword, Mar 4, 2018
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  13. Dmitry

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    might not be that much water in winter air, in those commercial units, though, Mitch; maybe that's one way they can keep from having continual problems. And too, if the hose runs directly into the water, the surrounding temp is ameliorated somewhat. I would think if you run a strong enough compressor, the condensation might not be much of a factor, but I don't know that as fact.
     
    brokensword, Mar 4, 2018
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  14. Dmitry

    Mucky_Waters

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    Well, I had the opportunity to swap thermometers a couple of times to see if the difference was the thermometers themselves and had the same readings. There was some variation in the top thermometer at times when we had warm spells (it was during the warm spells that I had the opportunity to swap thermometers when the ice melted a bit), but the bottom thermometer maintained a more or less constant temperature when the ice was completely frozen and it was during the coldest periods that I witnessed the 3 degrees difference between the top and bottom thermometers and the bottom one stayed relatively constant while the surface water next to the ice got very cold.
    It really doesn't seem that surprising considering one was very close to the surface ice which would have to be below 0 degrees Celsius or less, and the lower one was right next to the (relatively) warm ground below which is always about 12 degrees Celsius.
    In the winter the larger fish tend to rest on the bottom of the pond at the lowest point, I'm sure it's because they can feel and benefit from the little bit of warmth coming out of the ground.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
    Mucky_Waters, Mar 4, 2018
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  15. Dmitry

    MitchM

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    Last week my truck block heater tripped the GFCI running the aerator, it was about -20c so the air lines probably have frozen and are blocked with ice. With my thick ice cover I have no way to tell.
    There's no restarting frozen air lines.
    We get chinooks here that can bring in a lot of humid air so our humidity fluctuates.
    smh.
     
    MitchM, Mar 4, 2018
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  16. Dmitry

    Mucky_Waters

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    Sure some water condensation will occur so you'd need to get the airline into the water right away to prevent icing which could be a problem.

    The spec says your aerator uses 71 watts, the spec on the OP posted aerator uses 1.7 amps,,,, which I believe converts roughly to 183 watts for an electric motor like that, which doesn't seem to power hungry to me. It's only a few more watts than my winter circulating pump I use in my 3,000 gal pond. 183 watts doesn't seem too excessive for a large pond like the OP has.
    What sort of wattage do those pond breathers use?

    I use an underwater circulating system in the winter where a pump circulates water from under the frozen pond to my settling tank and back to the pond again. My settling tank functions as my breather hole and is located in my pump/filter room where it never freezes so it always has surface exposure.
     
    Mucky_Waters, Mar 4, 2018
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  17. Dmitry

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    heh, oh Mucky; it can't be less, right? That would mean the water is super-cooled, hey?;)
     
    brokensword, Mar 4, 2018
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  18. Dmitry

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    pond breathers use 40w, I believe...
     
    brokensword, Mar 4, 2018
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  19. Dmitry

    Mucky_Waters

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    I was referring to the ice, which could be far below freezing.
     
    Mucky_Waters, Mar 4, 2018
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  20. Dmitry

    MitchM

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    Right, 40 watts.
    The black heating strip you see in the picture I posted is 25 watts and the DC water pump is 15 watts I think.
     
    MitchM, Mar 4, 2018
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