During the peak summer months, when the weather is extremely warm, and the oxygen level in your pond starts to deplete, aeration and oxygenation become very important to the health of your fish. It is important to note that there is a difference between aeration and oxygenation, which we will explain in more detail below.
Aeration is water movement in the pond where the water is being moved by either mechanical force, the wind or something similar. This causes the gases to be dragged or moved into the water column.
Oxygenation is what happens after aeration. Oxygenation is actually where the oxygen is dissolving into, or being released into the water column. Oxygenation does not mean water movement, it just means oxygen is being put into water.
So with that being clear, how do you oxygenate your pond?
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Add Waterfalls, Fountains or Air Stones
The first way to oxygenate your pond is to create a waterfall in your pond to create steady and reliable aeration. If you have a smaller pond, you can add things like fountains. These are very small but effective ways of just disturbing the surface of the water and dragging water from the bottom of the pond to be filled with oxygen.
The most effective way of aerating and oxygenating your pond is to add air stones. Air stones are connected to an air pump, the size of the air pump can vary from something that runs a single stone to anything up to 20 stones. What you can do is pump air directly through the tube to a stone and then through to the pond, and as the bubbles move through the pond water, it will add oxygen. This will oxygenate the water, but it will also move the water.
Now you can use any combination of pumps, waterfalls, air stones, anything like that to aerate and oxygenate your pond.
The second way to oxygenate your pond is to use plants. Now, this will oxygenate but will not aerate your pond, this is because plants will not move your water column around. What they will do is they will grow and will release oxygen as they photosynthesize. So in this case, they are oxygenators.
There are many different types of oxygenating plants that you can use. Some of them are better than others, some of them will overwinter, and some of them won’t.
With a bunched plant oxygenator, all you do with it is chuck it in your pond and it will grow, and as it grows it will release oxygen. Now, oxygenating plants are limited to the fact that all they do is release oxygen, but they will also suck in a lot of nutrients from the pond. So when they are growing, they’re taking nitrates and phosphate out of the water. As well as oxygenating the water, they will also be helping to reduce the growth of the nuisance algae by limiting the amount of food available for this nuisance algae to grow.
Plants also provide a fantastic habitat for little organisms in your pond to grow. This is excellent for providing beetles, frogs, and newts with a home to live in. It’s very important if you can to plant your pond with oxygenators, give your fish the oxygen, but to also give a habitat for wildlife to live in as well.