Why Aeration Is Important

Aeration is an important part of many lake management and restoration

efforts.  Naturally, most ponds will undergo two stratification periods

annually.  Stratification creates two distinct layers of water that are

separated by a transitional layer (thermocline).  Because of the density

differences between the layers, the lower layer (hypolimnion) is isolated

from nearly all input of atmospheric oxygen while stratification persists.

Without aeration, many ponds will develop an oxygen-deprived hypolimnion

throughout the summer. The same ponds may also run the risk of oxygen

depletion under periods of extended ice cover.  Ponds that undergo periods

of oxygen depletion may be influenced to different degrees ranging from a

decline in ecosystem efficiency to the extreme of experiencing episodes of

fish kills.  By disrupting the pond's stratification, the pond's ecosystem

is supplied with adequate oxygen, preventing the suffocating effect that

would have otherwise occurred.

 Aeration is also an important tool for reducing the accumulation of organic

muck that builds up on the pond bottom.  Under low oxygen conditions,

decomposition takes place at a much slower rate than under oxygenated

conditions.  As a result, organic material is decomposed at a very slow

rate, in fact, usually slower than the rate that new organic material is

being created.  The end result...a pond that is rapidly becoming shallower

as it fills with organic material.  Simultaneously, gases bubble up from the

muck, producing the foul rotten egg smell. Proper aeration can actually

reverse the build-up of organics in the short-term (natural succession

dictates that a pond will naturally fill in) and eliminate the foul odors as

a result of the accelerated decomposition of organic material under

oxygenated conditions.

Aeration is also instrumental in managing nutrients.  Under anaerobic

conditions, phosphorous compounds become soluble allowing the phosphorous to

be assimilated by other organisms (i.e. Algae).  However, by maintaining an

adequate supply of oxygen it can be retained in the sediments where it is

unavailable for algae growth.


 What types of aeration are available?


Although there are many variations in the types of aeration systems

available, most can be classified as either surface or bottom aeration.

Surface aeration systems, such as fountains and agitators, work by pumping

water into the air or by mixing surface water.  These surface aerators can

operate effectively in ponds less than eight feet deep, but are typically

ineffective at aerating deeper bodies of water.  Efficiency is also

sacrificed in fountain systems as a result of having to pump water into the

air.  Maintenance also tends to be higher on these units and issues of

safety arise with the need to run electric lines through the water.

Although the fountains may be aesthetically pleasing, owners must also deal

with the inconvenience of the floating unit, which may restrict water usage

in certain situations.

Bottom aeration is the second category of aeration devices.  Although design

and materials vary, most bottom aerators incorporate the same principle;

releasing compressed air or oxygen through a diffuser located near the

bottom of the pond (use of pure oxygen is not usually practical or necessary

in most pond situations). The greatest advantage of bottom aeration over

other types is that the positioning of the aerator allows for the

oxygenation of the entire water column.  As the bubble plume rises through

the water column, it also moves a column of water with it.  This water

movement disrupts the stratification and creates uniform oxygen

concentrations throughout the pond.  In addition, bottom aerators operate

efficiently, present few safety hazards, and pose little concern for water


The critical difference between bottom aerators arises from the type of

diffuser used.  Much emphasis is placed on the efficiency at which oxygen

from the air bubbles diffuses into the water column.  Although an important

consideration in some aquatic applications, it is not a great concern for

pond management.  However, it is important to note that 

smaller diameter bubbles produce better oxygen diffusion, but more

importantly, move a greater volume of water within the bubble plume.  By

maximizing water circulation within the pond, the oxygen that diffuses into

the upper layer of the pond from the atmosphere and from photosynthesis,

gets mixed with the anaerobic waters in the hypolimnion.  The result is a

uniformly aerated pond that is operating efficiently and is aesthetically


Proper aeration can make considerable improvements in a pond ecosystem.

By circulating water within the pond, stratification is eliminated and

dissolved oxygen levels rebound.  Higher oxygen levels yield greater biotic

growth, including fish growth.  However, aeration is just one of the tools

needed for holistic pond management.  To maintain a balanced ecosystem,

other tools including beneficial microbes and physical removal need to be

used in conjunction with aeration. Implementing this multi-faceted

approach allows managers to work with Mother Nature to meet their goals.

All Tilapia are NOT Equal

IBN sells ONLY Pure Blue Tilapia NOT hybrid Tilapia. When you buy Blue Tilapia from IBN you get:

  • 6" plus fish that are Brood Stock - ready to reproduce
  • Blue Tilapia live longer 
  • Begin eating plant material right away

Why Stocking "Tilapia" is not the same

  • Smaller Sized Fish are not ready to reproduce
  • Stocked Later in Season
  • Die Earlier in Season


By stocking smaller Tilapia you will NOT have the same amount of overall consumption! Don't fall into the trap of buying smaller fish. 


Key to Natural Pond Management

Nutrients are key in natural pond management. Our management techniques identify nutrient problems, develop means of reducing nutrient input, and provide long term control of residual nutrients. In doing so, we are taking the excessive nutrients responsible for nuisance plant growth and converting them into more manageable plant and animal growth.  Using an array of tools such as Beneficial Microbes and Bottom Aeration, Inspired By Nature, Inc. provides safe, low maintenance, and affordable solutions for your pond or lake.

To inquire or order any of our products or services please contact us at 419-669-4084


In 2010, we introduced Blue Tilapia as a tool to help manage ponds naturally. Since that time we have seen incredible results! Tilapia are NOT a magic bullet but when used at proper stocking rates they can be a very effective. Tilapia alone are not going to solve all of your pond troubles! Read more about Tilapia here

Schooner Farms

Sustainable, Non-Conventional Farming, inspired by nature! In 2009 we added another segment ot our business - Schooner Farms. Visit us at www.schoonerberries.com

  • Raw Honey
  • CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)
  • Educational Classes
  • Pasture Raised & Certified Organically Fed Poultry & Fresh Eggs
  • Volunteer & Intern Opportunities
  • Shiitake Mushrooms
  • and more