An aerator of proper size and design can greatly enhance the chances of saving a pond and restoring it to its natural beauty. Aerators unlike fountains, which just disturb the surface water, work from the bottom up. Therefore, an aerator provides needed dissolved oxygen to the entire pond while it also circulates the water.

An aerator helps in the following areas:

Hard water problem

The three main plant foods are nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, but other elements stimulate plant growth. Calcium and magnesium are two. Calcium and magnesium if present cause hardness in the water. Hard water can hold a lot more carbon dioxide than soft water. The effect of aeration is that these elements (by the use of dissolved oxygen) are rendered unusable by the plant life. Aeration basically causes a plant nutrient starvation effect to take place. Plant growth is slowed and kept at a minimum.

Ammonia problem

The production of ammonia is the first step in the decaying process. Ammonia is deadly to most living organisms. Forming on the bottom of the pond ammonia causes death, which in turn contributes to the organic loading. Aeration dissipates this ammonia making it harmless. Another nice benefit is sulfur (that "rotten egg" smell) and other odors are also eliminated.

Iron problem

Plants need iron for photosynthesis. Plants need phosphorus for their enzyme production. Dissolved oxygen in the water oxidizes iron to the ferric state. Ferric phosphate is not soluble in water. In this state the iron and the phosphate sink to the bottom where it is useless to plant life. Again a plant nutrient is withheld from being used. Algae are nothing more than a simple form of plant life. Starve it and it will be under control.

Carbon dioxide problem

Plants use carbon dioxide and water to produce glucose (the building block of a plant’s cellulose). Aeration brings the carbon dioxide from the depths of the pond to the surface where the wind simply blows it away. End result is plant growth (including algae) is slowed. Another benefit is fish can live at a lower depth. Many fish eat plants and roots if they can reach them. Therefore this natural food source for many fish (young plants and roots) is eaten before it can mature, again helping to solve an over growth problem.

Warm water problem

Simply put, plants including algae grow better in warm water than cold. Aeration (do to the circulation effect) brings the colder water up from the bottom replacing the warmer surface water. Fountains look nice, but they only disturb the surface water doing little or nothing to add to the overall circulation or dissolved oxygen content of the pond.


This is not a problem. We want the help that mature beneficial bacteria can give us. BUT not all bacteria are alike. There is aerobic, which needs oxygen and anaerobic, which live in the absence of oxygen. The bigger difference between the two for our purpose is that aerobic bacteria grows and eats 30 to 50 times faster than anaerobic bacteria. In fact to illustrate this point, the amount of dead organic matter that can be consumed by aerobic bacteria in just one year would take anaerobic bacteria over thirty years. Bottom line… aerobic be fast, anaerobic be slow. Key word to make this work is of course "oxygen." Oxygen = Aeration. Add good bacteria, good aeration and the pond takes care of itself from then on.

Beautiful Ponds and Gardens Pond Restoration service can provide you with the products and advice you need to clean up any pond.

313 383 8653


Click here to see why a pond turns bad

Click here to see how to restore a pond

Click here for the benefits of beneficial bacteria

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Last revised January 25, 2010