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Earthen Ponds & Fountains

Earthen ponds work well in many rural settings and suits both wildlife and recreation. They can be used to house game fish or operate as conservation refuges, providing a habitat for waterbirds and other wildlife. Larger earth ponds can accommodate swimming and even small watercraft.

If you have a significant amount of acreage and looking for larger options that traditional pond installation, chances are that you are in the market for an earthen pond. Small earthen pond installations are generally 100 × 150 feet, with larger installations occupying a three-quarters of an acre up to three acres.

Earthen pond installation involves excavating a natural hole in the soil and not lining it with any man-made products. With ponds this size, filtration systems such as bay areas, bog areas and natural waterfalls are an option. Most earthen pond owners choose a regular maintenance schedule of adding beneficial bacteria to help keep sludge and muck levels down.

In addition, Decker’s also recommends adding oxygen to earth ponds to keep sediment at bay and prevent algae growth. Oxygen equipment in the form of an aeration system is recommended to keep the water condition optimal. Adding bottom aeration to a natural pond coupled with beneficial bacterial will help keep nutrient level and muck at bay.

Earthen ponds are large water installations which require comparable budgets. However, once the initial investment is made, they are generally self-sufficient, requiring a reasonably light maintenance schedule provided water treatments such as beneficial bacteria and pond dye is added properly.

We’re here to help you create the perfect natural habitat for wildlife and your family to swim, fish or just bask in its beauty. Fill out our contact form and learn more about how our pond construction team can transform your outdoors into the natural retreat you want and deserve.

Why Should I Aerate My Earthen Pond?

Aeration is all about gasses. Aeration mixes the pond so toxic gasses are efficiently released and life-giving oxygen readily replaces it. An aerated pond will be clearer, cleaner, and have less bottom muck than a pond without aeration.

  1. Stratification  A pond without aeration will become stratified into two very separate layers in the summer heat. The warmer surface water becomes less dense and lighter than the cool water below it. The line at which these two layers separate is called the thermocline. Aeration prevents the water stratification.
  2. No Oxygen = No Life  The vast majority of water-cleaning organisms (aerobic bacteria & phytoplankton) in a pond use oxygen to drive their metabolic processes. Oxygen enters the water column almost exclusively through the surface of a non-aerated pond. Because the surface water does not mix with the water below, oxygen in the bottom layer quickly becomes depleted under stratified conditions, allowing toxic gasses to build up. Because no oxygen is available below, the pond’s overall ecosystem will begin to suffer.
  3. Nutrient Build-Up   Without water-cleaning organisms on the bottom, any sediment, debris, and nutrients that enter the system fall to the bottom and accumulate. An unwanted pile of muck and a toxic lower layer in your pond will quickly cause major headaches, including algae blooms, rampant weed growth, and fish kills.

Let’s Talk Fountains

Fountains are a great way to add visual appeal to your pond. Fountains also add a great deal of oxygen to the pond as the tiny droplets make contact with the air and fall back into the pond. But do pond water fountains provide enough aeration? Like choosing an aeration system, determining if a fountain is right for your pond depends on the depth, shape, and size.

Six Foot Rule

If your pond is more than 6 feet deep, a fountain will not provide enough aeration. Why? Proper pond aeration is achieved when the entire body of water circulates simultaneously. Fountains only draw water from the top of the water column, so the water deeper than the 6-foot mark remains untouched and oxygen-deprived.  Subsurface (bottom) aeration with weighted diffusor is recommended for deeper ponds to provide complete circulation. Air is pushed through diffuser plates positioned at the bottom of the pond. As the air bubbles rise, oxygenated water from the surface moves to the bottom, creating an aerobic pond ecosystem.

Significance of Shape

Bends and curves add a dramatic look to your pond, but they also restrict circulation. Multiple pond water fountains or a combination of a fountain and aeration system may be needed for uniquely shaped ponds. You cannot over-aerate a pond, but you can under aerate it leading to more weed and algae growth in the areas that are not getting enough oxygen.

Other Considerations

It is recommended to remove fountains for the winter to prevent damage during icy conditions leaving your fish without oxygen.  Additionally, a fountain can get costly when operating it 24/7. An aeration system is designed to be used in the chilly winter months and is an affordable alternative as it has lower operating costs.

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