Pond in the foothills

Discussion in 'Garden Pond Photography' started by MitchM, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. MitchM

    MitchM

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    Thanks folks.
    I'm leaning more towards aeration because I would need a fairly strong water pump to move the water around and even then I'm pretty sure the pond would ice over, preventing any gas exchange. Aeration would at least keep pumping fresh air under the ice. The excess air would find it's own way out, probably around the edges.

    Alberta Environment has been having success installing bottom aerators in some lakes around the province in order to prevent fish kill from some lakes that stock trout. They've tried subsurface aeration and that hasn't worked so well, so that shows that the preferred location is at the bottom of the pond, not a short distance below the ice.

    I think the pond breathers still work fine, but I of course can't control where a school of minnow fry will go while under the ice. During the summer I see schools of perhaps 100 fry staying together, so I think what happened was that a school got too close to the breather intakes.
     
    MitchM, Apr 10, 2017
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  2. MitchM

    cas

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    So no need to keep a hole in the ice?
     
    cas, Apr 10, 2017
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  3. MitchM

    MitchM

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    The important thing is to maintain a healthy dissolved oxygen level in the pond. (above 3 mg/l)
    How that is accomplished will vary by pond design, stocking levels and climate.
     
    MitchM, Apr 10, 2017
  4. MitchM

    Tula

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    I'm sorry about your gold fish :( A positive to the aerator you posted the link to, says it can keep an opening in the ice, for geese :)
     
    Tula, Apr 10, 2017
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    callingcolleen1 mad hatter

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    Might not work for your big pond Mitch, but just covering my two upper ponds with cattle panel cold frame with heavy plastic sure cut the ice down big time and saved lots of energy too. I also read years ago that farmers used to put a square bale of hay in the dugouts so air could exhange better as straw is quite pourus and allows better air exchange.
     
    callingcolleen1, Apr 10, 2017
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  6. MitchM

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    Mitch; I'd ask Meyer re the depth, but my research came up with NOT putting the aerator at the bottom but mid-height or near the top. Here's the link to further pond research in which fish farmers are trying to do what you want to do; keep their fish alive. The link is to a forum thread.


    http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=50723&page=1

    I think, without knowing your own Alberta research, that the reason they're having success is because the lake/pond is deeper. You need 5' depths before any stratification starts. If the data you're looking at is for those and deeper depths, it would explain why it's working; they're mixing the different strata and keeping the deeper from being oxygen deficient. Most of our ponds are not that deep and there is no stratification, so no need to mix. Take a look at the link I posted and see if there's any info pertinent to your situation.

    From what I understand; keeping a hole open lets the toxic gasses escape. These toxic gases build from the further decay of organic matter at the bottom of your pond. This decay process ALSO uses up oxygen as well. The bubbles you're going to put INTO the pond do nothing re aeration--they only provide current to mix and turbulence at the top. THAT'S where the ONLY aeration is going to occur. There's also data to show that keeping the ice clear of snow helps the algae below to continue living/growing/putting out oxygen. If your pond was completely covered the whole winter with snow (according to data, 5" or more) then the algae wasn't getting enough light.

    Putting the aerator at the bottom is only going to make the bottom water colder as it mixes upper and lower temp levels. And since all you are really doing with an aerator is providing turbulence at the top, no need to mix, but it can keep the ice from forming, which is all it's really going to do.

    Anyway, that's how I understand it. An aerator, no matter where you put it, is not adding oxygen except at the surface. If you have a small hole and any ice/slush at all, the turbulence is lessened and so is the aeration. Again, I think Meyer can confirm or correct me in this understanding.

    Michael
     
    brokensword, Apr 10, 2017
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  7. MitchM

    MitchM

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    Thanks Michael.

    My challenge is keeping an open hole at all. The breathers did that by way of the hard plastic breather tube that extended through the ice layer. They worked fine until they clogged for a reason I couldn't control.

    Right now Alberta Environment is putting a hold on some of their aeration projects because of some criminal liability issues with causing open water to a lake during the winter.

    So far I've seen where they are providing aeration by windmill generation, electric compressor, surface aerators and subsurface aerators. The subsurface aerators failed as did some windmill aerators. The surface aerators are not practical in my case

    My pond is only 5 feet deep and the water temperature is equal throughout so I'm not that concerned about mixing warmer and colder layers.
    I'm trying to find out more detail on which system exactly Alberta Environment is trying out.

    Here are some reference papers I'm looking at so far:

    http://www.ab-conservation.com/programs/fish/aca-aerated-lakes/
    http://www.ab-conservation.com/defa...ports/2015/fish/ACA_Lake_Aeration_2014_15.pdf
    http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/science-an...on/aerating-in-cold-weather/?id=1370376874549
    http://www.ab-conservation.com/downloads/aca_aeration/aca_aeration_plan_2015_16.pdf
     
    MitchM, Apr 10, 2017
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  8. MitchM

    tbendl T

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    I'm sorry about your fish Mitch.
     
    tbendl, Apr 10, 2017
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  9. MitchM

    MitchM

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    I would have to build a pretty substantial cover to withstand the wind and snow. My pond covers about 31' x 31'.
    I'm too lazy for that.;)
     
    MitchM, Apr 10, 2017
  10. MitchM

    MitchM

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    I've read through that thread and others and they only seem to address O2 and water temperature.
    One question I have about these winter aeration setups is if the bottom aeration was only set up during the winter?
    If so, then I would think that perhaps the change of bottom water circulation stirred up some sediment that contained H2S and that's what caused the fish kills. Maybe these bottom aeration systems would work better if they operated year round.

    .
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
    MitchM, Apr 10, 2017
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  11. MitchM

    waynefrcan 15 years ponding and hopefully 15 more!

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    Hi Addy, point me to his topic so I can see what else he did wrong. An AP-100 has massive aeration will not kill fish when used properly and it's in a large pond.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
    waynefrcan, Apr 10, 2017
  12. MitchM

    waynefrcan 15 years ponding and hopefully 15 more!

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    I don't agree with a few points made here. One of which is that this disturbed water at the top just sits at the top, no it gets recirculated and gives the whole pond volume O2.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
    waynefrcan, Apr 10, 2017
  13. MitchM

    waynefrcan 15 years ponding and hopefully 15 more!

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    I think for our climate everything needs to be done perfectly or you will have fish loss. Very fine line between life and death when water temps are 2-5 degrees C. This is why with koi I'm doing inside overwinter.

    Mitch from my experience and of others that overwinter here these steps work. Massive aeration with diffusers on the bottom or near bottom this aerates the whole pond volume and keeps a hole open until its really cold. Even frozen over is ok as gas will penetrate pores in the ice as at that spot the ice is thinner then rest of pond. Keep the airbreathers in for extra help with gas exchange, but put a fine mesh wire around the ball or add mesh nylon such as addy recommended inside ball to protect inlets. I put a heater at the bottom with the diffuser a few ft away and 1 ft higher so the very bottom stays slightly warmer. The fish will gather around the heater.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
    waynefrcan, Apr 10, 2017
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  14. MitchM

    waynefrcan 15 years ponding and hopefully 15 more!

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    And that article about the bottom staying warmer only works in deeper ponds, not the 2-4 ft backyard ponds that ice solid for 5 months which most of us North people have. I tested it and at 4' the temp was just above freezing same as rest of pond, that's why I put a heater in. I believe Mitch I remember you doing temp tests and your water stayed warmer at bottom 5' depth?
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
    waynefrcan, Apr 10, 2017
  15. MitchM

    MitchM

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    Thanks wayne.
    There was only about a 1 degree Celsius difference between the top and bottom of my pond. The slightest circulation would even the two.
     
    MitchM, Apr 10, 2017
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  16. MitchM

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    It was a neighbor/sort of friend. Moved and gone now, never posted. He used the ap100 in the shallow end of his pond, 2 feet deep or so. Deep end 6 feet deep. The shallow end stayed open, the deep end ice covered. When the ice started to melt nothing but dead fish, every single one.
    Clean pond, good water. His pond was in the range of 13000 gallons. Now filled in.
     
    addy1, Apr 11, 2017
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  17. MitchM

    sissy sissy

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    A lot of farm ponds I see here have windmill driven ones and not for winter but for the heat of summer .The ones I see here seem to be this brand for some reason
     
    sissy, Apr 11, 2017
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  18. MitchM

    sissy sissy

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    lol neat wrong post again not sure why it is not working right but guy made a home made one from snow shovels
     
    sissy, Apr 11, 2017
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  19. MitchM

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    I do not envy you true Northerners. Heat is so much simpler to deal with than ice-over. I fell that bottom-line your aim should be to devise a method that will work for you that will maintain some water/atmosphere interface (hole in the ice).
    Although some oxygenation does occur at the surface of the air bubbles generated by sub-surface aeration, the amount is quite small when compared to what occurs at the interface as a result of water turbulence created by these same bubbles.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Apr 11, 2017
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  20. MitchM

    waynefrcan 15 years ponding and hopefully 15 more!

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    I think when water is 1.5 C over freezing the fish brains go numb lol. I have seen fish go to a shallow end instead of the deeper part that had more O2 and a heater.
     
    waynefrcan, Apr 11, 2017
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