July 14th, 2015
Harpers Statuary & Water Gardens

Importance of Water Garden Aeration

Water Gardeners, whether they're amateur hobbyists or seasoned professionals, are often confused between water 'circulation' and water 'aeration'. Most people think if the water is moving that it creates enough oxygen throughout. They have been lead to believe proper aeration can be achieved with a waterfall, a skimmer filter, and a pump. This is not true. These elements only 'circulate' the top few inches of water in your pond. For a healthy eco-system, all of the water must have contact with the atmosphere at some point.

Aeration has been recently discovered as a key element to any backyard, commercial or large acre pond. It provides a beneficial amount of oxygen that most pond water lacks. It provides proper movement of waste from the bottom to the filter. Most pond owners do not realize how beneficial this is. Here at Harper's we highly recommend using these systems. People have been given the wrong idea about aquatic oxygenating plants. While they do provide countless benefits to a ponds eco-system, there is something little spoke of with these natural aerators. At night these plants run a process known as reverse photosynthesis, in which they are actually pulling oxygen back out of the water! With enough of these plants, the oxygen levels can become dangerously low every night. Pay close attention to your fish in the morning, when you believe them to be starving for food, they may actually be starving for oxygen, gasping at the surface for air.

Aeration is beneficial to the entire eco-system of any pond. There are many problem areas aeration can alleviate. Most important being the oxygen levels and circulation of material within the 'water column' (a conceptual column of water from surface to bottom sediments).  Harpers incorporates air stones at the bottom of their ponds to allow oxygenated water to rise up through the entire water column, moving the organic waste, and allowing toxic gas pockets that form underneath to release out of the water. The circulation of waste will also allow your skimmer filter to catch and clean more thoroughly, and reduce the unsightly forms of algae at the surface of your pond. The added surface current also prevents mosquito breeding. Fully oxygenated water means that the beneficial aerobic bacteria can thrive throughout the entire water column, and sufficiently decompose all the now circulated organic waste, giving you nice crystal clear water to enjoy even during the hottest summer weeks! Poorly oxygenated water can prove detrimental to fish in the winter months, as the lower half of the water column will be very low in oxygen and very high in toxic waste and gases. This is the leading cause of the winter fish kill some experience. Aeration units also prove to be a better alternative to a winter de-icer, as it will keep a portion of your pond from freezing over and leave less chance of oxygen depletion. So, along with proper oxygen levels and reduced waste, your fish will live a longer healthier life.

On top of all the beneficial qualities of proper aeration, one of the greatest benefits is the low cost and maintenance of an aeration system. Harper's can find a system for most any budget. Most aeration systems will equal a very small fraction of the costs people put into chemicals and other pond maintenance equipment. An average smaller aeration system can run around 6 watts of electricity, a fraction of a light bulb. Aeration units are easy to install to new or existing ponds, and require very little upkeep throughout the season.

Harper's Statuary & Water Gardens can provide all ranges of aeration systems needed for any pond application. Located in the Shenandoah Valley, off I-81, we provide aeration units and kits for small backyard ponds, all the way to large multi acre ponds. Stop in today and let Harper's help you set up your proper aeration system, and achieve healthy, beautiful, crystal clear water all year round!