Frequently Asked Questions

List of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Will Aeration Improve the Water Quality of my Pond or Lake?

Answers 1-3

2. Water Fountain or Bubble-Type Aerator?

Answers 1-3

3. Solar or Electric Pond & Lake Aerators?

Answers 1-3

4. What is a Phase I Diagnostic-Feasibility Study for a Lake?

Answers 4-6

5. What is a NALMS Certified Lake Manager?

Answers 4-6

6. What are Hydrologic & Pollutant Budgets for Lakes?

Answers 4-6

7. Should I Aerate my Pond or Lake?

Answers 7-8

8. What are the Benefits of Lake Aeration?

Answers 7-8

1. Will Aeration Improve the Water Quality of My Pond or Lake?

Yes. The overall extent of improvement will largely depend upon how eutrophic your pond or lake originally was prior to aeration. Aeration is used to artificially circulate ponds and lakes in order to increase dissolved oxygen concentrations in deeper waters. Ponds and lakes that thermally stratify during the summer will completely mix when aerated. This will result in nearly uniform water temperatures from the surface to the bottom of the pond or lake. One potential benefit of aeration is the reduction of iron and manganese problems for drinking water supplies. Iron and manganese can be released from lake sediments under anoxic conditions in stratified ponds and lakes and artificial circulation via aeration can reduce this phenomenon. Another potential benefit of aeration is to improve water transparency by reducing the amount of phytoplankton . Lastly, aeration may even reduce the amount of accumulated muck in ponds and lakes. This may occur by oxygenating deeper waters near the sediments. Under such conditions, bacteria metabolize organic matter much more quickly.

Phytoplankton reductions resulting from aeration are based upon a series of complex physical, chemical and biological reactions. Some of the current theories are as follows:


  • Increased dissolved oxygen concentrations in deeper pond and lake waters will decrease the release of phosphorus (and metals) from sediments. Lower phosphorus concentrations provide less food for algae growth. 


  • When the water column is mixed, phytoplankton are pushed into the deeper water. This may result in lower growth and reproduction rates for the phytoplankton due to lower rates of photosynthesis in darker waters. 


  • Zooplankton (barely visible to the naked eye, tiny aquatic animals that feed upon algae or phytoplankton) are pushed into deeper waters due to pond and lake mixing. In darker waters, they are less vulnerable to sight feeding fish such as, juvenile bass, bluegill and crappie. Under such conditions, zooplankton survival rates are expected to increase, which in turn translates into higher predation rates on phytoplankton (algae). 


  • Rapid circulation of carbon dioxide-enriched bottom waters with surface waters and contact with the atmosphere may increase the carbon dioxide content and lower the pH of the surface waters. This encourages the growth of less noxious green algae as opposed to blue-green algae.  

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2. Water Fountain or Bubble-Type Aerator?

Overall, water fountains (also known as pond water fountains, pond fountains, floating fountains, pond aerators, lake water fountains, and lake fountains) are installed as water features to enhance the appearance of ponds and lakes plus provide aeration. Water fountains used for aeration are best for smaller, shallower ponds.  In these settings, water fountains may increase dissolved oxygen concentrations and possibly decrease the amount of phytoplankton (free-floating microscopic aquatic plants or algae). Water transparency (clarity) may even improve if phytoplankton levels drop significantly. 


For ponds and lakes where water depths exceed four feet, the best option to improve water quality and clarity is by installing a diffused-air (bubbler type) aeration system. These types of aeration systems don't serve as a water feature but are much more cost-effective in aerating ponds and lake. Some of the best diffused-air aeration systems are manufactured by Hydro Logic, AquaMaster, Kasco, AirMax and Keeton. Aqua Link is an authorized distributor and service repair center for the above manufacturers. 

3. Solar or Electric Pond & Lake Aerators?

To answer this question - first let's recognize that all pond and lake aerators require electricity to operate. The question is what is the source of electricity?  Electricity supplied by the power grid or generated onsite using solar panels or even wind mills.  


The most cost-effective manner to aerate ponds and lakes is to use electricity from the power grid. Solar powered aeration systems are much more expensive than standard electric aeration systems.  In addition, the air compressors used in solar aeration systems are much smaller than those installed in electric aeration systems. Smaller air compressors often means less air volume and lower air pressures at a substantial price increase.  


Even though far less efficient and more expensive than electric aeration systems, solar aeration systems for pond and lakes do have a place in the pond and lake aeration market.  Solar aeration systems are best for those ponds and lakes that are far distances from any source of electricity or for smaller ponds in the Southern U.S. like Florida, Georgia, Texas and California. 


In recent years, more solar powered pond and lake aerators have improved significantly.  The top solar powered pond and lake aerators are manufactured by AquaMaster, Kasco and Keeton.  Aqua Link is an authorized distributor and service repair center for all three of these manufacturers. 

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4. What is a Phase I Diagnostic-Feasibility Study for a Lake?

 A Phase I Diagnostic - Feasibility Pond Study or Lake Study is a two-part study designed to determine the current conditions of a pond or lake and its surrounding watershed and to develop a lake and watershed management plan. The diagnostic phase of the study generally involves collecting, analyzing and interpreting pond or lake and watershed data. The feasibility phase extends from the diagnostic work and its purpose is to identify and evaluate all plausible pond or lake and watershed best management practices to restore and/or protect pond or lake water quality. Therefore, it cannot be overemphasized that the collection, analysis and interpretation of pond or lake data and watershed data are a critical step when evaluating and selecting pond or lake and watershed best management practices for future implementation. 

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5. What is a NALMS Certified Lake Manager?

 The North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) one of the premier organizations when it comes to pond and lake management and restoration, maintains a list of Certified Lake Managers (CLM). Certified Lake Managers (CLM) are those individuals who have exceptional training and experience in lake management, thereby establishing themselves as valuable participants in the mission of NALMS.


A lake manager or professional is a person who is directly involved in the comprehensive management of a pond, lake, reservoir or other bodies of water and its watershed and makes decisions which affect the quality and uses of the body of water. This person will be primarily responsible for implementing appropriate measures and/or for making recommendations to the governing management body.

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6. What are Hydrologic & Pollutant Budgets for Lakes?

 A hydrologic budget is a detailed water balance for a pond or lake. The major water inputs and outputs to and from the pond or lake are determined. In addition, if you know the water volume of the pond or lake, the hydraulic retention time (HRT) of the pond or lake can be determined. Overall, the hydrologic budget has a large effect on the internal mixing and circulation properties of ponds and lakes, as well as on the settling rate of sediments. The HRT can have a huge impact on the rate and magnitude of algae blooms and therefore plays an important role in defining the chemical, physical and biological properties of a pond or lake.

Pollutant budgets generally represent the amount of nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen) and sediments annually transported from the watershed and internally from in-pond or in-lake sediments into the pond or lake. Information obtained from pollutant budgets often provides insight on the causes of various pond or lake water quality problems.

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7. Should I Aerate my Pond or Lake?

Many ponds and lakes contain moderate to high amounts of nutrients (namely, phosphorus and nitrogen). Elevated nutrient levels can adversely impact fish, other aquatic organisms and water quality during the summer months. Too many nutrients in ponds and lakes can result in accelerated rates of eutrophication.


Eutrophication is a process whereby pond and lakes excessive nutrients that stimulate excessive plant growth (algae and aquatic plants). Dissolved oxygen concentrations can severely decline when large amounts of algae (algal bloom) and aquatic plants begin to decompose. In turn, very low dissolved oxygen concentrations can cause other aquatic organisms to die. Nutrients can come from many sources, such as fertilizers applied to agricultural fields, golf courses, suburban lawns, soil erosion, streambank erosion and sewage treatment plant discharges. The symptoms of eutrophication are:


  • Low Dissolved Oxygen Concentrations
  • Poor Water Clarity (Transparency)
  • Algal Blooms (Excessive Amounts of Algae)
  • Excessive Quantities of Aquatic Plants (Weeds)
  • High Dissolved Metal Concentrations (Iron & Manganese)
  • Stress to Fishery and Other Forms of Aquatic Life (Fish Kills)
  • Shallowness Due to the Accumulation of Sediments
  • High Nutrient Releases via Anoxic In-Lake Sediments
  • Buildup and Release of Noxious Odors


Professional pond and lake manager have a number of scientifically proven tools to properly manage eutrophic water bodies. One of the most common tools in their toolbox is aeration. Aeration is the process of adding more air or more specifically, more dissolved oxygen into the water. Aeration is frequently implemented with other lake management restoration practices such as applying algaecides and aquatic herbicides to control nuisance quantities of algae and aquatic plants, respectively.


The two most common methods for aerating ponds and lakes are installing pond fountains and diffused-air aeration systems. Of the two, diffused-air aeration systems are much more cost-effective and require far less maintenance. In many instances, water fountains will not completely circulate ponds and lakes if their water depths exceed five feet. In addition water fountains are prone to clog if substantial amounts of filamentous algae are present. 


Many pond and lake owners find water fountains very attractive as a water feature. For these individuals, Aqua Link recommends installing both water fountains and diffused-air aeration systems. This is especially true when highly eutrophic pond or lake conditions exist. Overall, the water fountains will primarily serve as attractive water features, while the diffused-air aeration systems will be responsible for providing the bulk of the water mixing and aeration.


Diffused-air aeration systems like the Hydro Logic AirLift and AirLift XL series can significantly improve water quality and ecological health of ponds and lakes. Increased dissolved oxygen concentrations allow for decreased amounts of available nutrients throughout the water body. This translates into lower amounts of algae resulting in improved water clarity. Aeration also allows for less noxious, poisonous gases (methane and hydrogen sulfide) to be generated. The end result is healthier ponds and lakes for fish and all forms of aquatic life.


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8. What are the Benefits of Pond & Lake Aeration?

There are many benefits of installing aeration systems in ponds, lakes, reservoirs or marinas. Overall, pond aeration and lake aeration activate a series of complex physical, chemical and biological processes, which can significantly improve pond water quality and lake water quality.


Some of the more common benefits of aeration for ponds, lakes, reservoirs and marinas are as follows:


  • Increase Dissolved Oxygen Concentrations
  • Reduce Buildup of Poisonous Gases
  • Eliminate Stress to Fish & Aquatic Organisms (Fishkills)
  • Reduce Release of Noxious Odors
  • Increase Water Clarity (Transparency)
  • Reduce the Accumulation of Sediments
  • Reduce Algal Blooms (Algae)
  • Reduce High Metal Concentrations
  • Reduce Nutrient Releases by Anoxic Sediments
  • Improve the Quality of Fisheries
  • Reduce Mosquito populations
  • Reduce Risk of Spreading Mosquito Transmitted Diseases like West Nile Virus



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