Pond aeration and the prevention of fish kills

Pond aeration and the prevention of fish kills

Pond owners would be wise to remember one key word in order to maintain a clear, muck-free pond: prevention. Whether maintaining a large farm pond or a small garden pond, owners must stay a step ahead of several potentially disastrous problems. To name a few: • Prevention of low oxygen • Prevention of ice • Prevention of fish kills I’m sure we grabbed your attention there with “fish kills,” and well, that’s for good reason. It’s an expensive fix, and it’s not at all pretty. So, let’s talk about what causes it, and what you can do to avoid it. How Fish Kills Happen Fish kills occur in the summer months when oxygen levels can become depleted. As the sun beats down on the water, a layer of separation in ponds is created between the oxygen-rich surface water and the colder, oxygen-needy water on the bottom. This is called the thermocline. If a summer thunderstorm hits, all of the water is mixed together, and there is no longer enough oxygen for the fish. They are suffocated. Oxygen depletion happens in the winter months too, as fish must rely on what O2 is left after the water freezes over. Fish Kill Solutions Thankfully, there’s a preventative (there’s that word again) measure pond owners can take to help stop fish kills: aeration. In the summer months, you’ll need to get rid of the thermocline. To do this, employ bottom aeration. This process not only helps oxygenate the pond but continually mixes the entire body of water, making it more uniform in temperature. A major storm event will no longer be a...