Koi ponds bring a sense of tranquility to a garden or country setting as the fish glide elegantly through the water. The Koi and aquatic plants will remain healthy if you maintain your pond. You will need to purchase an aerator that will keep the water oxygenated. Where should you place the aerator in a koi pond for optimum efficiency?
Aerators pump oxygen through the water. Surface aerators are suitable for shallow ponds as they draw water from 1-2 feet beneath the surface and spray it into the air. One would use diffused aerators with compressors that pump air through a pipe into an underwater mechanism in deeper ponds.
Dissolved oxygen can be defined as the amount of oxygen the Koi and plants have available. If the levels are too low, the fish could die, and it will upset the degradation of organic waste. If a deep pond develops an oxygen-deficient layer at the bottom of the pond, it will deprive the Koi and plants of necessary oxygen. This is known as stratification, and the only solution is to install an aerator.
Where To Place An Aerator In A Koi Pond
Using an aerator in a Koi pond is essential to keep the dissolved oxygen levels high enough. An excess of aquatic plants can deplete the oxygen levels when they consume most of what they have released in the daytime. The type of aerator you use will depend on the size of your Koi pond.
Surface Aerators For a Koi Pond
Aeration occurs when a mechanical force moves the water around, and gases get transferred into the water. Oxygenation occurs when the oxygen is released or dissolved into the water, and there is not necessarily any water movement.
Most ponds incorporate a waterfall that serves two purposes. The first and more important function of a waterfall is its effective aeration and oxygenation of the pond. As the waterfall circulates, it moves the water around and releases oxygen into the pond.
Secondly, a waterfall adds to the aesthetics of the Koi pond. After all, a water garden is not simply about the fish. The layout, plant life, and water features contribute to the beauty and tranquility of a Koi pond.
Fountains are also good aerators for smaller ponds. A motor-powered rotating impeller pumps water from 1-2 feet below the water’s surface and sprays it into the air. The water breaks down into small droplets and takes in a large amount of air. These air-filled droplets mix with the pond water or return and release their oxygen back into the pond.
Fountains are popular choices as aerators for Koi ponds. Still, most can produce a very limited area of oxygenated water, so they are not always as effective on their own, so they are better suited to a small pond.
Floating surface aerators work on similar principles to fountains, but they are not as pleasing to the eye. They also draw water from the first 1-2 feet and use the air-water contact to aerate and oxygenate it. Shooting the water into the air, they disturb the water surface, dissolving the oxygen.
Floating surface aerators only work well in small Koi ponds because their capacity to circulate the water is limited to about 9 feet. The circulation and oxygenation occur in the top section of the water, leaving the bottom undisturbed and unaerated.
Sub-Surface Aerators For A Koi Pond
We use sub-surface aeration systems in deep ponds because surface aerators aren’t capable of moving the water and releasing oxygen into the depths of a large pond. This leaves the bottom layers undisturbed and oxygen-deficient or stratified.
Sub-surface aerators release bubbles at the bottom of the pond, which then rise to the surface. The bubbles displace the water, causing oxygen to transfer to the pond water.
Jet aerators oxygenate and aerate the pond from the bottom by drawing in air and injecting it into the water.
Coarse bubble aeration systems use compressors outside the pond to pump air through a tube or hose to a unit sitting on the pond’s bottom. Bubbles that are more than 2mm in diameter are considered coarse. In contact with the water, they release oxygen into it and move any stratified layers around. It is not an effective aeration system in a vast pond.
Fine bubble aerators transfer oxygen to ponds more efficiently. They work similarly to coarse bubble aerators, but the underwater unit is connected to diffusers. The diffusers pump air into the water causing fine bubbles with a very high oxygen transfer efficiency (OTE). Fine bubble aerators need to be cleaned regularly as they can clog easily.
When You Should Use An Aerator In A Koi Pond
Some would question whether it is always necessary to run the aerator, and the answer would be yes. During the summer, the Koi are more active and create more waste. The waste needs oxygen to break it down, so you will need an aeration system. The aerator will prevent the pond from freezing completely during winter, allowing oxygenation to continue.
How To Make A Simple DIY Aerator
You will need a bucket, some lava rocks, a pump strong enough for the size of your pond, and some tubing. First, you should drill a couple of holes in the bucket near the top and make a hole in the bucket’s lid wide enough for the tubing to pass through.
Next, place some rocks on the bottom of the bucket. Attach the tubing to the outlet port of the pond pump. Put the pump inside the bucket, leading the tubing through the lid. Fill the bucket with more stones, and you have a pond filter. Put the filter into the pond and switch on the pump. Water should be spraying up from the pond surface. You have made a water bubbler type of aerator!
It would be best if you aerated a Koi pond. It keeps the ecosystem in balance and maintains the health of the fish and water plants. When purchasing an aerator, remember that surface aerator are adequate for smaller ponds. Still, deeper ones need sub-surface aerators to aerate and oxygenate all areas of that tranquil Koi pond.