Spring is here and if you haven't already put a maintenance plan in place for your water bodies, now is the time to do it!
Here in the Midwest, we have seen a lot of fluctuation in temperature over the past two months but the end result seems to be an early spring for us. The ice certainly receded earlier then usual from our test pond. With an early spring and water temps reaching 50F, it's time to start thinking about aeration.
Aeration is a very important part of any lake management plan. Not only does aeration benefit the aquatic ecosystem, it also has a big effect on the environment outside the water body.
Aqua Control offers multiple products to tackle aeration and water quality.
Display Aerators- 1HP to 7.5HP high performance units designed using propellers to produce high pumping rates for aeration while providing a spray pattern. Available in the Select Series 2 and Endur Series.
Pond & Lake Bed Aeration- Designed to move large volumes of water from near the bottom of the water body to the surface where it comes in contact with air and becomes oxygenated. Little visible disruption of water surface occurs making this option discrete.
Pond Bottom Circulators- Placed on the pond bottom, these 1HP to 3HP aerator pumps circulate large volumes of water considerable distances within a water body. The water flow is angled upwards so deep, oxygen deficient water is slowly brought to the surface where it is oxygenated.
Aeration is all about transferring oxygen into the water body. Dissolved oxygen (DO) is a key player when it comes to water quality. It is needed for aquatic plant and animal life as well as by aerobic bacteria. Aerobic bacteria are a lot like a maintenance crew for a water body. They go to work digesting organic matter, in turn, balancing nutrient levels in the water column which deters overgrowth of plants and algae.
So, what if you don't aerate your water body? When dissolved oxygen levels are too low in a water body a whole host of issues can start to arise. Foul (stagnant) odors, algae and weed growth and poor water clarity are usually some of the earlier more noticeable signs of an oxygen deprived water body. As these issues worsen sediment levels rise and the aquatic life in the water body is also detrimentally affected also. Low enough dissolved oxygen levels are known to cause fish kills.
Another benefit of aeration is mosquito larvae control. This can be achieved thru surface disruption. Already this spring we are seeing a lot of concern over mosquito-borne illnesses. With concerns including West Nile, Encephalitis and Zika a big push is being made to control mosquito populations. Key in controlling mosquito populations is controlling breeding. To breed, mosquitos*** need calm, still waters. Adding a display aerator, fountain, shallow pond aerator, lakebed aerator or pond bottom circulator to a water body will create subtle wave action which kills (drowns) mosquito larvae.
***Disclaimer: Some species of mosquitos are classified as 'floodwater species'. These species lay eggs in low spots, flower pots, storm drains, birdbaths and other areas that will collect and retain water during rains. It is important to keep these areas in mind so they can be drained after rains preventing mosquito breeding.