How Long Should I Run My Pond Fountain?

How Long Should I Run My Pond Fountain?


Installing a pond fountain is a great way to take care of your pond while enhancing your enjoyment of it. A fountain is a beautiful sight, and the sound of splashing water can be deeply relaxing. However, it takes power to run a fountain pump, and power costs money. Thus, many pond owners ask, “Is it okay to shut off the fountain overnight?”


A pond is more than just a decorative feature. It plays a key role in keeping the pond healthy and protecting its livestock. There are two reasons for purchasing a pond fountain either strictly for decorative purposes or for use as an aeration device. If you are using the fountain to aerate and are concerned with water quality, then shutting off the fountain for long periods can lead to stagnation, which is harmful to pond life. In most cases, it’s best to keep the fountain running as much as possible. When deciding how long to run your fountain, consider the following points.  


How A Fountain Pump Works


A pond fountain pump uses a motor to power rotating blades that draw in water through a filter and then push the water out through a pipe into the fountain. A submersible pump is suspended under the water with a float to keep the nozzle near the surface. Because the pump does not sink to the bottom of the pond, it is easy to access while remaining out of sight. This type of pump is ideal for small ponds, and it’s easy to use because it never needs to be primed. When choosing a pump, look for a size that can process the volume of water in your pond in approximately two hours.


Reasons To Run A Pond Fountain 24/7


Running your fountain pump non-stop is the best way to keep your pond in good health. The constant circulation of water keeps the water clean and fresh and protects the flora and fauna that live in and around the water. The following are some of the top reasons to keep the pump running continuously.


Keep The Water Clean


While larger fish ponds are too big for any type of filtration system that smaller ornamental ponds may enjoy. A fountain can help keep your pond clean by promoting the growth of the healthy bacteria that remove nitrates and ammonia. 


Keep Algae Growth Manageable 


Another reason to run the fountain 24/7 is to help regulate the growth of algae and weeds. Algae is a normal part of any pond ecosystem, and it plays a beneficial role in absorbing nitrates. Excessive growth, however, can be harmful. A large bloom of algae can remove oxygen from the water and block sunlight from reaching and warming some areas of the pond. By running the fountain as an aerator 24/7 you will reduce excessive nutrients in the water which will prevent these undesirable algae blooms. 


Keep Water From Stagnating


When water stops moving, a pond becomes stagnant. It takes in less oxygen from the air at the surface, and it becomes a friendlier environment for anaerobic bacteria that release noxious hydrogen sulfide gas. Furthermore, a stagnant pond is not able to release harmful gases because those molecules have little chance to reach the surface. Finally, a stagnant pond makes an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. However, their eggs can’t survive in circulating water.


Keep Fish Healthy


If your pond is a habitat for fish, it is especially important to keep the pump running 24/7. Not only do fish depend on oxygen to breathe, but the high levels of ammonia present in stagnant water are toxic to them. Also, when water doesn’t circulate, a pond can develop a warm, oxygen-rich shallow layer near the surface and a cold, oxygen-depleted layer below, this is called stratification. However, if the temperature drops suddenly and you have hard rain or heavy winds come up, the layers can mix and dilute the oxygen so much that fish can die. 


Tips For Saving On The Power Bill


If you’re concerned about the cost of running your pond fountain pump non-stop, you can try the following tips for saving on energy costs.


1. Make sure you’re getting the right size pump. If the pump is too large, you’re paying for more than you need, and if it’s too small, it will be overtaxed. You’ll need to know approximately how much water your pond holds to determine the best size pump. 

2. Choose an energy-efficient fountain pump. In the past, pumps were more costly to run, but newer models operate more efficiently and use less power. If you have an older fountain, an upgrade can save money in the long run.

3. Run an aerator if you shut off the fountain. An aerator helps to circulate pond water but uses less power than a fountain pump. Look for solar-powered aerators at Living Water Aeration, which are free to operate.


When It’s Necessary To Shut Off The Pump


If you live in a warm climate, you can leave your fountain running all year long. If you live in an area that freezes in the winter, however, you’ll need to shut off the fountain to avoid damage from ice formation. Experts recommend shutting off the pump and removing it from the pond when temperatures drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If your pond stays free of ice most of the winter, then it is not an issue to leave it in the pond year-round. When you take out the pump, make sure to drain it completely, clean it, and store it in a dry place until the spring.


Final Thoughts


Though it may be tempting to shut off your pond fountain pump at times to save money, the best way to keep your pond healthy is to run the pump 24/7. As water is pulled into the pump and pushed out above the surface, it traps oxygen molecules that nourish pond life. A pond that is in motion remains clean, healthy, and beautiful, and it supports all of the plants and animals that live in and around it. 

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