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Oxygen and the Summer Pond

Oxygen should be your mantra as the days grow warmer and Summer approaches.  The warm weather has a dramatic affect on oxygen levels in your pond - the warmer the water, the lower the level of dissolved oxygen.  Low oxygen levels can lead to fish kills, increased algae growth, and a reduction in beneficial bacteria resulting in an increase in ammonia, nitrites and nitrate.

Use of an aeration system is often the best way to provide a pond the oxygen it needs.  There are two general categories of aeration: 1) surface aeration, such as fountains, bubblers and, to a lesser extent, waterfalls; and 2) bottom aeration, which are air pumps that pull air to the bottom of the pond, then diffuse the air bubbles up through the pond.

Surface aeration works well for shallow ponds, and ponds with a smaller surface area and good circulation.  For deeper ponds, or ponds that have a lot of nooks and crannies (poor circulation), the bottom based aeration system is the best choice.  Whatever aeration system you use, it should be run 24/7 during the hottest days of summer.

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