Aeration 101

Why use aeration in your pond or lake?

Better Water Quality • Bigger & Healthier Fish • Eliminate or Reduce Odors • Reduce Undesirable Algae

  Aeration is key to predictable performance from your pond. Your pond environment receives life-supporting oxygen from the atmosphere at the surface where the air and water contact each other, as well as from the photosynthesis of algae and plants below the water surface. These processes are both affected by weather: available wind energy (wave action) and sunlight. Weather is unpredictable and that can create stagnant water and low oxygen levels. When there is no sunlight, there is no photosynthesis to create oxygen. In stagnant water, there is no physical energy to help the water and air exchange gases and water forms well defined layers of different temperatures. Poor environmental conditions in the pond for fish and other organisms are the result.

  Aeration will dramatically improves environmental conditions in your pond and helps keep good water quality predictable. Beneficial bacteria reduce sludge and nutrients, and there are reduced incidences of undesirable algae and odors. Winter ice is not allowed to seal the pond surface and restrict oxygen and gas transfer. Aeration allows your fish to thrive in an optimal environment and fish populations experience improved growth rates and vigor.

Diffused Aeration vs. Fountains - Which is Better?

They both have there distinct advantages.

Diffused aeration is the best way to aerate ponds 10 Feet and deeper. The air diffuser lies on the bottom. You achieve total pond aeration from top to bottom regardless of depth. These are not as affective in shallow waters. You also have to place more diffusers in the ponds bottom to properly aerate it.

Fountains are a popular choice when a more decorative aerator is desired. Fountains splash the surface of the pond and help control surface algae and duckweed, but do not aerate down to the bottom of deep ponds. The maximum depths you can aerate with a fountain are about 10 ft deep. Fountains work better in ponds 10 ft or less.

Diffused air systems are more natural in appearance and blend into your landscape better than surface agitators or fountains.

Diffused aeration is an effective method of aeration for ponds with depths greater than 10’. By using compressed air injected directly into the bottom of pond, a continuous flow of water is moved upward and thousands of gallons of water are mixed with little expended energy.

Absolute Aquatics LLC professional staff can assist you with choosing the correct system to provide these benefits for your pond:

  • The addition of oxygen

  • The removal of waste gases and waste products (nitrogen, ammonia, nitrites, etc.)

  • Mixing the water column (destratification)

  • Weed control through nutrient reduction

  • Reducing organic muck

  • Reducing surface scum

Each System has three basic components.

  1. Air compressor

  2. Air tubing

  3. Air diffuser


The air compressor (or windmill) is situated on shore and pumps air through the hose to the diffuser located near the bottom of the pond. The result is tens of thousands of tiny bubbles rushing out of the diffuser and rising to the pond surface, creating circulation and providing aeration.

There are several advantages to using diffused aeration kits:

  • Electrical components are on shore, not in the pond

  • Aeration originating on the bottom ensures aeration of the entire water column.

  • With proper sizing, distances of up to 2,000 feet of air tubing (not electric cable) are achievable, without the need for electricity nearby

There are several Disadvantages to using diffused aeration kits:

  • Doesn't work as efficiently in shallower ponds

  • Doesn't have a display like a fountain.

All Compressor motors are designed for continuous duty operation and are oil-less for low maintenance. Periodic cleaning of air filter and replacement of diaphragm and gasket every few years is all that is necessary. We can build much larger systems or alter these kits to fit you specific needs. Please call for assistance.

Kits include everything needed for installation and operation except for tubing weights. Non-Tubing is buoyant and requires a five pound weight every 6'-8' to sink or use optional self-weighted tubing.

It is crucial to the life of any of our air compressors that they be protected from the weather as well as dust and dirt. These factors will significantly reduce the operating life of the compressor. We offer several covers for outdoor use, or compressors can be housed in barns, garages or other structures.

  • The deeper an air diffuser is located, the more boiling action it will create and a larger area will be aerated.

  • Because ponds come in all sizes and shapes, one of our standard kits may not work for your application. Please call or email us with your needs and we can design a system tailored to your pond. Or you can used our Proposal Request form.

Example: A 1/4 HP compressor capabilities.

Example: Placement of Compressor and Diffuser or diffusers


Aerating Fountains

Aerating Fountains - These units are defined as any device that splashes the water into the air to create an aesthetically pleasing display. There is a wide range of fountains on the market. Some are designed more for display than aeration and some that mix more aeration with the display.

When looking at Absolute Aquatics equipment, these models are known as Aerating Fountains. Just as a multple diffusers are placed in larger or irregular shaped ponds. The same applies with fountains.


  • Add beauty to the body of water or pond
  • Works well in small-medium ponds that are Less than 10' deep.
  • Help reduce algae problems
  • Can operate in as little as 18'' of water.
  • Very good at venting off unwanted gases

Can be in any number of water ways such as

  • Municipal Parks
  • Retention Ponds
  • Home Owner Fishing Ponds  
  • Farms ponds
  • Estate Ponds
  • Duck Ponds
  • Lake Coves
  • Marinas
  • Drinking Water Reservoirs
  • Wastewater Lagoons
  • Campground Ponds
  • Livestock Ponds
  • Golf Course Ponds
  • Amusement Park Ponds

If you want to learn more about ponds, algae, water quality problems, and want more technical information .

Check out our Blog.