Pros and cons of dam aerators

Whilst there are many plants that help with pond aeration, anything above a small pond can benefit from using dam aerators to maintain the health of the pond. A lack of aeration can lead to low oxygen levels, fish kills and even algal blooms in severe cases, and the pond will look and smell unhealthy. At this point some form of water treatment is necessary and a dam aerator is the ideal dam cleaning solution.

Pros of using dam aerators

Essentially, aerators are designed to keep your pond healthy by circulating air throughout the water column. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen naturally with most of the oxygen remaining in the surface layers of the water. Stratification then becomes a problem with organic matter collecting at the bottom, using all the oxygen and resulting in a build-up of toxins in the water. Dam cleaning then becomes necessary to remove the toxic sludge and some form of water treatment to remove the overgrowth of algae that can also occur.

Bottom dam aerators prevent this damaging cycle in its tracks, keeping oxygen levels as high as possible throughout the water column, circulating water from bottom to top; bottom sludge is minimized, toxins are circulated to the surface water and released into the atmosphere, and water quality and fish life are healthy.

Aeration also prevents fish kills that happen in large lakes when the lake water naturally turns over as the weather starts to cool down in the autumn. As the surface water temperatures drop to match the cooler bottom water, the whole water column mixes or turns over, bringing up the toxic sludge from the bottom and causing fish kills. Water treatment with aerators stops this build-up of sludge, so even though the lake still turns over, the fish remain healthy.

Cons of using dam aerators

The main problem with dam aerators is the initial cost of  purchase and set up, followed by on-going maintenance. The costs will depend on the size of the water body and number of aerators needed, but for the practicalities of dam cleaning, they tick all the boxes. You need to remember however, that even with an aerator you might still have a fish kill or an alga bloom. This is because an overly productive lake with lots of bottom sludge can quickly become toxic due to the rapid decomposition of so much organic debris. It’s this toxic sludge, rather than a lack of oxygen that can result in the occasional fish kill.

For more information on water treatment for your lake, pond or dam, call BioRemedy on 1300 798 022 or send us an email.

Will algae control in lakes and ponds lead to a new environmentally friendly fuel?

Algae control in lakes and ponds is necessary to maintain the health of the pond and the wildlife in and around the pond. Too much pond algae and the water becomes anoxic, the pond becomes stagnant and the wildlife no longer have access to fresh water and either die or leave the area.

Pond algae control is therefore a vital part in keeping our ecosystems healthy, but some researchers now believe that pond algae could also have a completely different role to play in our future. This role is as a carbon neutral fuel, because algae already convert sunlight into their own energy, as well as converting carbon dioxide from the air into oxygen.

Even better, some pond algae already store this energy within an oily substance that could be farmed and used as fuel for our vehicles. This brings a whole new meaning to algae control in lakes and ponds, as it might be possible to grow as much algae as we need on a continual basis. Just imagine a carbon neutral fuel that is also a renewal resource!

Does pond algae fuel have legs?

Well, in 2011 United Airlines actually flew a passenger plane from Chicago to Houston fuelled by algae biofuel and Japan is hoping to replicate this flight in a few years. Japan has even gone so far as to create a fleet of buses that run on an algae biofuel, whilst elsewhere in the world, funding into biofuels has only recently been considered as a viable option.

Some future thinkers believe that one day we could use our knowledge of pond algae control and have algae ponds located next to power plants. The pond algae could convert the carbon dioxide released by the power plants into energy that could be used as a biofuel, reducing our carbon footprint and creating a low cost fuel at the same time.

Compared to plant based biofuels, it’s thought that pond algae would be far more cost-effective, as algae are potentially capable of producing up to 100 times more fuel per acre. The only stick in the mud is a lack of funding to identify the best strains of algae to produce the most biofuel for the least cost. Who knew that algae control in lakes and ponds could be so interesting?

For more information on pond algae control on your property, call 07 3889 8250 or send us an email.

Controlling aquatic weeds in dams with a pond cleaner and good water management

Anyone with a dam on their property will know that good water management is essential to keeping their dam free from an overgrowth of aquatic weeds. With the summer already here, the combination of high temperatures and falling dam levels can lead to problems with aquatic weeds choking dams and preventing wildlife and farm animals from reaching clear, fresh water.

It needs to be said that these aquatic weeds provide food and shelter for small crustaceans and fish, as well as for many birds. So the aim of water treatment is to manage these aquatic weeds, rather than to eradicate them completely from dams. The main two water management options for the control of aquatic weeds is either a mechanical pond cleaner or a chemical pond cleaner.

Using a mechanical pond cleaner for water management

A mechanical pond cleaner is best for small dams, mainly because it is very labour intensive. It simply involves cutting, dredging or chaining the water to mechanically remove the overgrowth of aquatic weeds. This type of water treatment is also expensive and doesn’t last very long, as the weeds quickly recover and grow again.

Using a chemical pond cleaner for water management

This is the method most often used by farmers to reduce the number of aquatic weeds in their dams. For these chemicals to be an effective form of water treatment, the aquatic weeds need to be identified as either emergent, free floating or submerged.

Emergent aquatic weeds have their roots embedded in the bottom of the dam with their leaves extending into the air. The most suitable chemical pond cleaner for emergent weeds is one based on glyphosate, and most of these products are frog friendly (you will need to check this).

Free floating aquatic weeds are not rooted to the bottom of the dam and the choice of water treatment depends on the species with glyphosate one of the options.

Submerged aquatic weeds are the most difficult to contain, because the chemical pond cleaner needs to reach very high concentrations in the water. The volume of water needs to be calculated and the chemical selected based on the species.

For more information on controlling aquatic weeds and good water management on your property, call 07 3889 8250 or send us an email.

6 Key strategies for lake and pond water management and remediation

Ornamental lakes and treatment ponds tend to have two characteristics in common – they are high in nutrients, but they are also stagnant, which makes water management important to their health and the ecosystem in general. Without good water management techniques, the water will become acidic and unhealthy, jeopardising the health of fish and other creatures that live in and on the water.

Stagnant, smelly water that smells like rotten eggs is often a sign of mismanaged water bodies that are deficient in oxygen with an accumulation of sludge on the bottom. A deficiency in oxygen is the main cause of these problems, but they can be easily remedied by careful water management using pond pumps or larger devices that include one or more of the following six strategies.

  1. Mechanical aeration: These submersible aerators oxygenate the water by drawing in air from the surface and dispersing it at depth. The air outlets can be placed at anything from 3m to 15m below the surface and are a very affordable and efficient pond cleaner.
  2. Mechanical circulation: These pond pumps circulate water throughout the water column from the surface to the bed of the water body, destratifying lakes and ponds and effectively reducing algae.
  3. Ornamental aeration: This type of surface located pond cleaner draws water through a central column and shoots it into the air, oxygenating a large body of water very efficiently. These ornamental pond pumps not only produce a wonderful fountain of water, but they can also be moved to different locations on the lake.
  4. Solar powered aeration: For a more environmentally friendly water management solution, why not use the sun to power your pond pumps? Our solar panels turn an efficient and chemical free pool cleaner into a cost saving device that also cleans your pond or lake.
  5. Static aeration: Utilising the existing infrastructure, a static aerator is attached to your water pump and mixes air with the water to oxygenate lakes, dams and treatment plants.
  6. Weed & algae control: At BioRemedy we use Cupricide or Kupramine to clear away all the algae that has built up in a water body, as well as Water Clear to reduce the aquatic weeds.

For more information on water management & remediation for your ornamental lake or pond, contact BioRemedy on 07 3889 8250 for a free quote.