A pond, small lake, or reflecting pool on one’s property looks spectacular and provides many hours of enjoyment sitting within such a sylvan setting. However, quite often these artificial water features end up looking stagnant and lifeless after a few months or even weeks. Anyone who has ever seen water go dirty and green understands the reason for this.
Any artificial water feature is a closed ecological system. Unlike a natural pond, lake, or stream through which water circulates and also has sufficient depth to store large quantities of oxygen, a small pond basically is a basin of standing water. If the pond or pool is stocked with fish or other bottom dwelling animals and lacks depth, the available oxygen is quickly used up, starting at the bottom first and working steadily up through the upper depths all the way to the surface. As the oxygen is used up, the bottom-dwellers that usually feed upon fish waste, grass clippings, dead algae, and other biological waste, die off. This muck then steadily builds up on the bottom allowing algae to bloom. The result: a body of standing water that grows greener, duller, and ultimately begins to stink. Stagnant water is also an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Because of these buildups that an artificial pond cannot clear away on its own, it is necessary to equip such water features with mechanical pond fountain aeration. These devices continually circulate oxygen through the depths of the water, renewing the pond and allowing the natural processes of bottom-feeders to proceed uninterrupted. There are two basic systems one can choose from: surface splashers and bottom diffusion aerators. Both of these pump compressed air from a reservoir, filling the water with air bubbles. The bubbles capture and carry gasses built up within the pond to the surface while also injecting oxygen into the water.
Surface splashers take the form of fountains, water pumps, or circulation propellers. Diffusion aerators are seated right on the bottom and release multiple jets of air bubbles in a wide fan and saturates the entire pond from the bottom up. Fountains are ideal for decorative purposes and break up surface algal growths, but deep water aerators do a much better job at oxygenating the entire pond and are the ideal choice for complete pond maintenance.