Pond fountains are beautiful, soothing additions to your outdoor pond. The playful arc of the water can be mesmerizing to watch. Plus, the gentle splash is a soothing sound, especially on a hot summer afternoon.
You may be considering adding a pond fountain as a way to aerate your pond water. Proper aeration in your pond is very important.
Without it, your pond water would become stinky and dirty very fast. If you have fish they could suffer, become ill, and even die.
But do pond fountains aerate the water? And if they do, do they provide enough aeration for your entire pond? Let’s take a look and see.
Plant life and fish live underwater. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need oxygen to live. They also give off carbon dioxide and other gases that must escape the water.
In still water, the only place where gas exchange can occur is on the surface. The water gets fresh oxygen from the air. It also releases carbon dioxide and the other byproduct gases.
But this is only enough to oxygenate the surface. Oxygen never makes it down to deeper water.
Aeration is the process of circulating fresh air throughout the entire pond. This fresh air keeps your pond water clean and fresh and your fish alive and well.
Let’s look next at what happens if your pond doesn’t have proper aeration.
Pond water absorbs both heat and oxygen only on the surface. Something has to disturb the water to distribute both throughout. Otherwise, they remain in a layer near the top of the water.
This is called stratification. The water forms into progressively colder layers and more oxygen-deprived water goes to the bottom.
To make matters worse, anaerobic bacteria begins to thrive. The oxygen-deprived water at the bottom of the pond is perfect for it. This bacteria feeds on organic matter, which the bottom of your pond is also full of.
The bacteria works away, filling the water with byproducts that can’t escape. It’s not long before you have a stinky, rotting mess down there. If you notice fish congregating at the top, or dying, you may have a stratification problem.
If your pond is more than 6 feet deep the temperature of the water also becomes a factor. The topmost layer of water heats up faster than the depths of the pond.
Temperature changes the density of water. When this happens, it creates layers of water with different densities. Water with different densities does not like to intermix.
If the pond stays like this for long enough, the oxygen at the bottom will get used up. The plant life will die, becoming fodder for anaerobic bacteria. As you can imagine, it becomes a stinking, filthy mess down there.
When cooler weather comes, the water on top cools and the layers mix suddenly. A storm can also be strong enough to upset the water.
All that rotting plant life then suddenly fills the whole pond. The problem with this is that it uses up the rest of the oxygen in the pond too fast. If this turnover happens fast enough, it has the potential to kill all the fish and remaining plant life.
Of course, the way to avoid this is to ensure that the water is well aerated all the time. This will keep the plant life at the bottom alive and well.
Do Pond Fountains Aerate?
As you can see, aeration is very important. But you already know that you need to aerate your water. Stirring up all the water is the best way to ensure adequate air circulation. This is what you need to avoid stratification and turnovers.
But, does an elegant pond fountain stir up the water enough to do it? That’s the real question here.
The answer is–it depends. It depends on both the depth of the pond and the type of fountain that you choose.
Pond fountains do not draw water from very deep. That means that if your pond is more than 6 feet deep a fountain won’t draw water from the bottom. In that case, a pond fountain will not circulate enough water to aerate the pond enough.
If your pond is less than 6 feet deep, you may be in luck. But you have to choose the right spray pattern for the fountain to aerate enough. Let’s look at how spray patterns affect the aeration.
Pond Fountains Spray Patterns
Pond fountains are available with a wide variety of spray patterns. The idea is to create elegant, eye-catching designs that make your pond look amazing.
Not all pond fountains work well for aeration. Although some do work better than others. It depends on the spray pattern of your particular fountain.
The problem is that some expend a ton of energy creating a fancy spray pattern. In these cases, the water doesn’t move as much and won’t aerate enough.
Choose a simple yet elegant, V-shaped spray pattern for best aeration results. One with a finer spray will help expose even more water molecules to the air.
But, it also depends on the size, shape, and depth of your pond. Even this fountain may not be enough to adequately aerate the water.
If that’s the case, or if you want a fancier spray pattern, you still have options. You can also install an aeration system to keep the water clean.
Choose your Pond Fountain
Have you decided that you’d like to install a pond fountain? You can get started by checking out our designs. We have some beautiful fountains that offer lovely spray patterns and good aeration.
Even if you’re not sure yet, feel free to contact us. One of our friendly experts can help you determine if a pond fountain would fill your aeration needs.
You may end up deciding you want a fountain that doesn’t aerate enough. In that case, we also offer excellent aeration systems. Whatever you choose, we’ll make sure that your pond has what it needs to stay healthy and clean.