The other day, I noticed that my little pond in the backyard was beginning to look swamped with algae growth. A friend suggested that I should set up an aerator in the pond to get rid of the algae. So I looked it up online and found that aerators have many benefits and there are several that can be purchased online as kits.
So, what makes a good water garden aerator and what are the options available? A good water garden/ pond aerator increases the flow of oxygen, fights algae and beautifies the garden. These days many water aeration kits such as those by Danner, Aquascape and Airmax are available online.
While water gardens and backyard ponds are a beauty to behold and add several health benefits to the environment by purifying it, such gardens need special kind of care for them to thrive. Water gardens and fish ponds need a good amount of oxygen to do well and also need to be protected from growth of harmful algae, which can look quite disgusting and ruin the aesthetics of the pond as well. These are certain threats that ponds and water gardens maintained by humans cannot protect themselves against, and need external aid for. That’s why water garden aerators are so important.
How exactly do aerators benefit water gardens and ponds?
- Aerators prevent growth of algae on the surface of the pond. Algae can clog the surface of the water completely, making it difficult for your submerged plants to breathe and to receive sunlight, and if there are fish, algae can be harmful for them as well. What an aerator does is that it pushes and propels the algae to the bottom of the pond, and since algae cannot live without sunlight, they die down there.
- One major issue with water gardens and ponds is that there is often an infestation of mosquitoes and other insects that can damage the plants. The aerator protects the pond or garden by keeping these insects at bay.
- Aerators also keep the water fresh and aid the filter in removing waste from fish and plants. Without the presence of an aerator, the water surface would be dirtied by all sorts of waste, which would rot there due to lack of movement and could cause health complications for plants as well as fish that are inhabitants of the pond or garden.
- Aerators keep the water circulating and help in oxygenation as well. Stagnation of water can be harmful for pond/garden life. It causes bad smell and also leaves the water looking murky and unclean. Aerators ensure that water keeps moving, often without disturbing the surface, preventing thermal layering and stagnation.
- By keeping the pond or water garden fresh and clean, the aerator also serves to beautify it and provide aesthetic value to the entire garden. Moreover, in case of fish ponds, owners have observed that most fish in the pond, such as goldfish and koi, take pleasure in playing about the bubbles created by the aerator, and are lively when the aerator is circulating air and water in the pond.
Top 10 best water garden aeration kits you can buy
Every gardening enthusiast would want the best for their water garden or pond, and this include everything from potting, soil substitutes, décor and aerators, which are quintessential for a healthy water garden. There are different options for good water aerators, some of which can be found at local Walmarts, and other general supermarkets. The ones in this list are all available online and have been linked below alongside-
Airmax CrystalClear KoiAir Mini Water Garden Aeration Kit
This aeration kit is particularly good for larger ponds and aquatic gardens. The issue with many aerators is that they are not able to cover a wide enough surface, but this kit does so pretty well. It can provide aeration and excellent oxygen circulation for ponds and water gardens of 1000 to 4000 gallons. Moreover, it is an energy-efficient option and works quietly, perfect for those who like their equipment functioning in the background. However, one drawback of this kit is that it only operates upto 4 feet of depth, which may be less for deeper ponds, but then again most water gardens are not that deep. Another issue that has been observed is that sometimes it does not sink below the surface, so one may have to push it in manually at times. All in all, it is a viable option for bigger ponds. Buy it here at Amazon here.
Hi-Blow Linear Air Pump Pond Aeration Septic Aerator
This aerator is a wonderful oxygenating solution for your water garden or pond since it provides around 80 litres of air every minute and is also a very quietly operating system. The capacity of this aerator is decent, as it can cover small water gardens or ponds of about an acre, and can handle water depth of as much as 8-9 feet. The smaller capacity can be a drawback, but it is a feasible option for deeper water. You can buy it here .
Aquascape Pro Air 20 Pond Aerator and Aerator Kit
This aeration kit by Aquascape is particularly high quality and is popular as an option for ponds and water gardens of all sizes since it can aerate up to 5000 gallons of water and is complete with a 15-watt compressor which is highly energy efficient. Moreover the product has a three year warranty, which is quite a decent time period and value for money. The aerator itself is encased in superior quality metal which can withstand damage from the elements, and the rubber tubing ensures that the sound and vibration from operation is minimized. Buy it here .
Laguna Aeration Kit for Ponds
This aeration kit is especially a wonderful option for keeping the water flow and oxygen running in water gardens or ponds in deep winters. Coming with affordable pricing, this aeration kit can be installed in as much as 3000 gallons of water content. This kit is particularly effective if you have a fish pond and are afraid of your fish freezing in the winter months- this aerator will prevent that hazard since it comes with airline tubing which is not only 30 inches long but is also very winter-safe and cold-proof. Moreover air stone depth can be easily adjusted as this aerator comes with a dense Styrofoam float. You can buy it here .
Blue Diamond ET 80 Septic or Pond Linear Diaphragm Air Pump
This septic air pump aerator serves the purpose of circulating oxygen flow in small water gardens and ponds. The aerator provides flow of 80 liters per minute, and has been observed to last a fairly long time, which makes it a good option for small gardens and home grown ponds. However, some users have complained that it is a rather loud aerator, so that might be a drawback for those who prefer quieter systems. Nevertheless, the product is quite popular for its low pricing and ease of use. You can buy this aerator at Amazon here.
Danner 04520 1700CUIN AP-20 Pond Air Pump with Diffuser
This aerator comes in three varieties in terms of air volume: 1700 cu.in/min, 2900 cu.in/min, 5500 cu.in/min, so you can pick as per requirement. The specialty of this air pump aerator is that apart from providing a good flow of fresh oxygen to the water garden or pond, it also helps in keeping fish healthy as it breaks down fish waste very quickly and in winter months, helps control the icing over in the pond. This aerator is more suited to larger and deeper ponds or water gardens, as the air pumped through might be a little high for 500-600 gallon areas. It is an excellent option for fish ponds in particular, as the fish thrive and enjoy this kind of air circulation. Buy it here at Amazon.
Patriot Bottom Aeration System LLS-45
This aerator kit is great for deep water gardens and ponds up to 15 feet in depth, and up to 4000 gallons volume. This oil free and energy efficient aerator system contains two air diffusers and the primary features include- cord length of six feet, weighted tubing and discharge outlet. The great thing about this pump is that it has a sensor system which prevents overload on the system and keeps it from burning out. This aerator also ensures that thermal layering is minimized and fresh air keeps circulating, bringing waste material to the top so that the filter can get rid of it. However, a con is that sometimes the item arrives with wrong minor fittings and you may have to purchase those separately. Buy it here at Amazon.
VIVOSUN Air Pump 950 GPH 32W GOL/min 6 outlet commercial air pump
This is a supremely budget-friendly option for those who want an aeration system, but are not too keen on the frills and fancies of a sophisticated, expensive kit. This simple pump aerator is able to circulate 60 liters of air per minute, which is decent for small fish ponds, home water gardens and ideal for hydroponic gardening. This aerator is known for providing remarkable pressure for filtration. Users have complained about the noise, but a simple solution is to put some tubing on the intake fitting, which reduces the noise greatly and makes this aerator a great affordable option. Buy it Amazon here.
AirmaxPondAir 2 Aeration Kit
This is another quality product from the house of Airmax, and is an affordable option, although it is only suitable for small ponds and small water gardens. It is also a good option for beginner gardeners or those starting out in hydroponics, as it is inexpensive and easy to use. The aerator can only work up to 1000 gallons of water and 2 feet of depth, and the kit comes with two air stones, power cord, check valves, compressor and vinyl air tubing. Overall, it is a decent option for smaller sized water gardens and good for hydroponics too. You can buy this aerator at Amazon here.
PonicsPumps Submersible Pump
This pump aerator offers a water flow rate of 396 gallons per hour at its best, and the best thing about it is that it comes with a 16 feet cord that is completely waterproof. The quality of this aerator ensures that it is resistant to corrosion and has a magnetic wet-rotor build that ensures safeguarding. The pump aerator, despite its low cost, is completely oil-free and is hence safe for fish in ponds as it has no exposed metals to it. It can keep the pond clean for long intervals of time and can redirect all the waste to the filter easily. Buy it here .
Things to consider when shopping for a water garden or pond aerator
Every water garden and fish pond needs at least one aerator to remain fresh, clean and oxygenated. While there is a diverse range of aerators and aerator pumps out there in the market, at least one of them no doubt suitable for your needs, there are a few things one must keep in mind before buying one.
- Consider the size of your pond or water garden. Naturally, the wider and deeper it is, you will need a more high-powered aerator that has the capacity to cover the entire surface area and keep all of it clean as well as oxygenated.
- This leads to the question as to whether you need more than one aerator. If the water garden or pond is rather large, say over 5000 gallons, you may need to purchase two aerators to look after different parts of the pond.
- Consider the pricing of the aerator, with respect to your needs. Do you want a simple, moderate powered pump aerator which will fulfill basic functions and provide decent oxygen flow at a low cost? Or would you prefer to spend more for a more sophisticated high-power system which performs additional functions such as filtering waste? Remember that high cost does not always mean great quality, and buy the aerator as per your need.
- Diffused aerators are great options for deep ponds and water gardens, where it is important for the bottom parts of the water to be circulated regularly. However these aerators are not ideal for shallow ponds and small water gardens, as there isn’t enough water to work with. Go for small pumps for such ponds/gardens.
Tips to maintain and clean pond/ water garden aerator
Choosing the right aerator for your water garden or pond and installing it correctly are important steps to ensure that your pond is aerated properly. However, like all other equipment, aerators also require care and timely maintenance. Here are some things to keep in mind about taking care of your water garden aerator-
- Care during winter months- Many pond aerators are built specially to resist frigid weather and keep the water circulating beneath the surface even when the pond freezes during winter. However, to ensure that the aerator is able to do its work properly, try to place the aeration plates in portions of the pond which are shallower. If despite that, the water remains frozen and you are growing concerned for your fish, you can use an ice auger and drill some holes just at the borders of the pond, never at the center.
- The air filter is an important component of the aeration system. Over time, this filter can get clogged by substances from the pond, so ensure that the filter is cleaned regularly and changed in intervals of three to six months. Alongside, it is important to check pressure gauges, tubes and airlines from time to time to ensure that the compressor is working properly.
- Be sure never to start the aeration system suddenly at high pressure. This can cause shock waves to pass through the pond or garden and may kill any living fish, as well as damaging the plants. Most aeration kits come with instructions to operate the system for half an hour on the first day and then turn it off, followed by running for an hour on day 2, two hours on day 3, and so on. Follow these instructions if you need to turn off your aerator and turn it back on for some reason. Ideally, the aerator should be running throughout the year.
Are any water garden aerators functional on renewable sources of energy?
Solar power and wind power can be harnessed to operate pond/ water garden aerators in sunny and very windy areas respectively. Wind powered aerators are perfect for shallower water gardens, and solar aerators are cost-effective in the long run.
Are fountain or waterfall form aerators effective for the purpose of aeration and oxygenation?
It is tempting to have waterfalls and fountains as part of the water garden, and to install these kinds of aerators for the purpose. As aesthetically pleasing these look, they are expensive and tough to maintain, and are often not so good at aeration, so the main purpose is defied.