Winter Aeration - Pittsburgh Pennsylvania,  Aquatic Edge





- Pennsylvania Pond & Lake Aeration by Aquatic Edge -

Fountains, Aerators, Diffused Aeration – How to Choose the Best Option for Your Pond

There are many types of aeration devices on the market today. They all serve a particular purpose, and it is extremely important to understand the key attributes of each before making your selection. In this article we will explain the basics of the three most common types of aeration, as well as offer some tips on how to choose the best aeration device for your pond or lake.

**We strongly recommend that you, as the property owner, consult with a qualified local pond & lake management company when considering aeration options. Purchasing the wrong type of aeration device for your pond’s conditions will not only cost you extra money, you will also see limited or no results and potentially harm your fish population. If you are having trouble finding a qualified local company, contact us for help here.**


Diffused Aeration System – This type utilizes a quiet-running compressor placed on shore, which pushes atmospheric air through a hose connected to a diffuser (aka air station) resting on the lake bottom. Air is forced through the diffuser membrane, creating a column of tiny bubbles that rise to the surface. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not only the oxygen transfer from the air bubbles that aerates the water. It’s also the “lift” created by the bubbles floating to the surface. This lifting action pushes deep and un-oxygenated water toward the surface, which causes oxygen-rich surface water to travel downward to compensate. A cycle is created, bringing vital oxygen to the entire water column and breaking the zones of thermal stratification.

Pro’s, and when to use it:

Great for aerating an entire body of water with depths greater than 5′
Low energy consumption, can run 24/7
Quiet operation, normal conversation can take place right next to the compressor
Gets oxygen down to the sediment surface, which aids in muck and odor reduction
Presents no fishing obstacles
No electrical lines in the water
Keeps a hole in the ice in winter
Allows the entire water column to be used by fish (no stratified layers)

Con’s, and when NOT to use it:

Not very useful in water less than 4′ deep
Creates thin ice conditions in winter
In ponds with trout populations, may increase the water temperature too high in summer
In winter, deep water air stations should be turned off to allow a deep zone of warmer water for fish to utilize

Aerator or Aerating Fountain – Aerating fountains have a PROPELLER that pushes a high volume of water through a large opening, resulting in a low-height display of water. This display will typically resemble an eruption of water at the surface, or it may have a more symmetrical “umbrella” look. Aerating fountains don’t produce fancy spray patterns, but they do a good job of moving water. All types of floating fountains must be anchored into place, either by mooring lines attached to shore or anchor lines attached to two or three weights.

Pro’s, and when to use it:

Great for shallow water aeration, 4′ and less
Turbulent conditions created help to discourage plant and algae growth within the immediate area
Small, shallow, stagnant coves of a lake

Con’s, and when NOT to use it:

Large volume of water is rather noisy
Mooring lines and anchor lines present fishing obstacles
Only suitable for mixing and aerating shallow water less than 4′
Not ideal for swimming areas due to the presence of electrical cord in water

Display Fountain – A floating display fountain’s design looks similar to an aerating fountain. The difference is in the way water is forced through the nozzle. Display fountains use an IMPELLER, vs. the PROPELLER used in aerating fountains. While propellers push a high volume of water at relatively low pressure, impellers push a lower volume of water at a much higher pressure. This allows the water to be forced through small holes within the nozzle, which creates the stunning tall and wide-arching patterns that define this category.

Display fountains look amazing when lit with LED lights. They range in size from as small as 1/3 horsepower to 5 horsepower and larger, and there are dozens of patterns available between various manufacturers. Like all floating fountains, they must be anchored and require electrical access reasonably close to shore.

Floating Lake Fountain
Aquamaster Floating Lake Fountain in front of Washington, PA home

Pro’s, and when to use it:

Beautiful displays make a real statement, a great way to add the Wow-Factor to your property
Can run in shallow or deep water
Can help to circulate the water column when used with an optional deep-water intake tube

Con’s, and when NOT to use it:

Not as functional for aeration compared to aerating fountain and diffused aeration system
Mooring and anchor lines present fishing obstacles
Can become clogged with vegetation in heavy growth areas
Not ideal for swimming areas due to the presence of electrical cord in water

This should give you enough baseline knowledge to get you pointed in the right direction. Remember to consider your options, and as always remember – “Every Pond is Different.” The most important factor to consider is this: What is your goal for the pond or lake? Will the aeration device you choose help you reach that goal?

Pond & Lake Aeration

Diffused Aeration Systems are strongly recommended in most farm ponds and private lakes in Western Pennsylvania - Pittsburgh, Erie, Washington, Greensburg, Ligonier, etc. Aquatic Edge offers professional installation, seasonal service, and system design of the highest quality pond and lake aeration systems and aerating fountains.

Vertex Pond & Lake Aeration - Vertex is the most trusted name in aeration for ponds and lakes of all sizes and climates. Aquatic Edge specializes in properly designing aeration systems to specific ponds and lakes. In doing so, we incorporate contour mapping, water sampling, and muck/sediment sampling.

Properly designed aeration systems give lake owners the following benefits:

  • Eliminates the thermocline, greatly increasing fish habitat
  • Increased bacteria activity helps to reduce the “muck” layer
  • Causes noxious gases from sediment to bubble out, reducing odor problems
  • Oxygen causes phosphorus to form bonds with other elements, making it unavailable to algae, reducing algae blooms
  • Bubbling water keeps an area of open water during winter
  • Eliminates possibility of oxygen depletion during summer and winter, main causes of fish kills
  • Reduction in midge fly populations

Almost every lake and pond can benefit from properly designed aeration systems. Aquatic Edge highly recommends that you have a professional aeration assessment completed to ensure that your system is sufficient for your lake. This is particularly important for lakes over 1.5 acres in size, as there are many factors that contribute to proper system sizing.  

Aerating Fountains - Power House Inc. manufactures quality Aerating Fountains. These fountains are sometimes preferred over aeration systems in certain situations (such as water shallower than 4 to 5 feet). It is important to understand the differences between Aerating fountains and Decorative fountains when choosing the right fountain/aeration system for your pond. Refer to our article Pennsylvania Pond & Lake Aeration by Aquatic Edge​ (below) for a quick and easy read that will help you determine which option is  right for you.