Pond aeration refers to the amount of dissolved oxygen in a pond. It is important for dissolved oxygen levels to be high enough to support fish and plant life, or a pond will become unhealthy. In nature, pond aeration is often largely self regulating, but sometimes the balance of dissolved oxygen levels can become disrupted, and the pond ecosystem becomes unhealthy as a result of low oxygen levels. When this occurs, there are means which can be used to aerate a pond artificially.
A number of things contribute to dissolved oxygen levels in a pond, including movement of water and the organisms living in the pond. High levels of algae, for example, can reduce oxygen levels, in addition to blocking light, making life below the surface unhealthy. For fish, this can become a problem, because they need oxygen in the water in order to breathe. Some signs that a pond is poorly aerated include fish death, unhealthy pond plants, or a foul smell in the water.
Some techniques which can be used for artificial aeration include installing a bubbler which will force oxygen bubbles up from the bottom of the pond, much like the aerators used in fish tanks. Installing a fountain or waterfall can also aerate a pond, by churning water and ensuring that the dissolved oxygen levels rise. Removing excess algae to keep the plant life in balance will also help.
It can also be beneficial to look at the conditions which caused the oxygen levels to drop in the first place. For example, if the water in a pond has become stagnant, it can be a good idea to explore the circulation in the pond to see if it would be possible to get it moving again. Likewise, if an algae bloom occurs, it is beneficial to determine why; algae populations tend to grow when water gets warm and rich in nutrients, as might happen if agricultural runoff polluted a pond which was stagnant due to low water levels.
Pond aeration systems can run on a number of power sources. Many are designed to connect to solar systems, while others need to be wired into a power source. Windmills can also be used to power a pond aeration installation. It is not uncommon to find companies which specialize in pond and pool maintenance who can assist with the installation of a pond aeration system, for people who do not feel comfortable installing one on their own.