Frequently Asked Questions
Aeration System FAQs:
Most ponds and lakes can benefit from the addition of aeration. After many years of research, we believe aeration to be the foundation for improving and maintaining proper water quality in ponds and lakes. Lake bed aeration acts to increase dissolved oxygen levels while eliminating water stratification.
When an aeration system is initially installed there will be a period where the aerator will draw up large amounts of poor-quality water and some organic debris from the bottom that can have an impact on the water quality.
It will increase the oxygen demand and potentially raise the phosphorus and nitrogen levels for a short period of time. This is a critical time for the lake, but as long as the aeration system is running it will be able to combat these issues and in time the lake will turn around.
Changes take place in your pond immediately after starting up an aeration system, no matter if it is electric or solar. However, in typical situations, it takes about 6 weeks to actually see improvements.
Most pond and lakes that are using an aeration system in the winter, are trying to help the aquatic environment (beneath the ice); increase water quality for the fish and the desirable aquatic plants, and/or decrease sludge. Never try and walk on the ice when you see this. It is potentially hazardous because the ice is weak and you may fall thru. A warning sign may be required by local regulations.
Beneficial Microbe FAQs:
Of course! Beneficial microbes like ClearLake™ Pond and Lake Clarifier are naturally occurring and are completely safe for all wildlife—pets and humans alike. Our beneficial microbial products are made from all-natural nutrients and ingredients and are non-toxic. Traditional applications used to restore unhealthy waters are just a band-aid. They require repeat applications and can jeopardize the health of pets, kids, wildlife, and even trees and grasses nearby because they typically use chemicals.
ClearLake™ Pond and Lake Clarifier, our beneficial microbial product designed to improve water quality and create a balanced aquatic ecosystem, is a natural “good bacteria” that “graze” on excess nutrients. As soon as ClearLake™ Pond and Lake Clarifier is dropped into your pond or lake, these microbes begin to consume the unwanted excess nutrients! However, if you have an abundance of excess nutrients, it may take a few weeks, even a few months for you to visually see a difference. In typical situations, a significant change can be seen in 4-6 weeks. But, keep in mind that you can apply more dosing in the beginning to “jump start” the process.
Pond & Lake FAQs:
Gaping fish indicate low oxygen levels. The fish gape at the surface where oxygen levels are the highest in the water. In many cases this will be seen during a fish kill event and supplemental aeration is needed to increase oxygen levels immediately.
Green water in ponds and lakes is caused by microscopic algae. Massive blooms of blue-green algae can cause a rapid shift in water color in the upper reaches of the water column. In some situations, these algae can be toxic or cause oxygen crashes resulting in fish kills.
Pond scum is another slang word used to describe algae floating on the surface or the layer of organic sludge at the bottom. In either case, pond scum is a symptom of poor water quality and indicative of poor pond or lake health.
Pond sludge is the result of the accumulation of organic material, such as leaves, dead algae and waterfowl waste, on the bottom. The buildup of organics on the pond bottom increase the demand for oxygen, which commonly leads to anoxic conditions (no oxygen) which further increase the rate of accumulation.
Ponds and lakes can smell for many reasons, but Hydrogen Sulfide gas and planktonic algae are the most common. In many ponds and lakes, anoxic conditions (devoid of oxygen) can develop on the bottom. Anaerobic bacteria will flourish leading to the buildup of Hydrogen Sulfide gas, which has a very characteristic “rotten egg” odor. It can be especially prevalent under windy conditions or when a new aeration system is installed.
Planktonic algae (cyano-bacteria) can secrete compounds that have a very distinct chemical odor. The odor is often a result of large algae blooms. You may also have smelled something similar in tap water, as the compounds tend to make it through typical water purification processes.
Yes! It is a great time to enjoy your water, but two negative things can happen if you are not prepared.
First, the warm weather heats up your pond creating a great place for aquatic plants and undesirable aquatic weeds to grow. An abundance of aquatic weeds can not only be unsightly, but they use an abundance of oxygen to grow and/or decompose resulting in suffocation of the desirable aquatic plants, fish and other life in your pond or lake.
Second, what is referred to as “turnover” or “mixing” during the stratification process. Stagnant waters experience turnovers when water temperatures warm up on the top and equalize with the colder bottom layers. Warm water does not carry as much oxygen and when it mixes with the bottom layer it can, bringing up large quantities of nutrients and causing the dissolved oxygen concentrations to plummet. In some situations, this can lead to fish kills. Aeration is a solution for this type of phenomenon. It continually keeps the water from becoming stagnant and stratified, and keeps oxygen levels high throughout the body of water.
Cloudy water is a result of suspended particulates. Cloudy pond and lake water can be caused by dissolved organic material or suspended clay particulates. Organic particulates often give the water more of a brownish color, where clay leaves the water more tan in appearance.
Aquatic vascular plants or weeds are a natural part of aquatic ecosystems. Under natural conditions aquatic plants will not overgrow their habitat. But, under eutrophic conditions (high in nutrients, such as Phosphorus and Nitrogen) aquatic plants can grow unchecked completely overgrowing the entire pond or lake.
Winter fish kills are a result of low oxygen levels, typically caused by a natural phenomenon known as fall and spring turnover a process that takes place during the stratification cycle.
There are many reasons you would want to deice your pond or lake. Benefits of a deiced pond or a deiced lake include: prevent winter fish kills, attract waterfowl, prevent damage to docks and/or boat launches, prevent damage to boats, and water quality improvement.
Besides aeration, you can use cold water beneficial microbes that will continue to work and maintain your pond’s clarity and quality. Keeton Industries is proud to offer a cold water microbe, ClearLake™ Coldwater Clarifer, that is active in 52° and below water temperatures. By combining this specialty microbe treatment and aeration, you will maintain your pond’s health and quality and save yourself more work in the spring!