Pond Aeration: How to Choose the Right Aerator

fountain pond aerator

This article will inform the reader how to aerate their pond and the essential benefits aeration provides to your pond’s health. As well as providing types of pond aeration, it will also help you to decide which aeration technique will work best in your pond, lake, or waterway. 

There are many benefits to installing a mechanism in your pond for aeration. Not only is it essential for your fish, plants, and shrimp to receive well oxygenated water for survival, but it also adds a tranquil feature to your habitat.

Proper koi fish pond care requires a well oxygenated pond and there are many negatives to low oxygen content that include harmful algae blooms and loss of inhabitants. Surface run-off, excess leaves/debris, algae, and acid rain effects on your pond can all reduce the dissolved oxygen levels.

A well aerated pond is crucial to your habitat’s success.

waterfall pond benefits

What is pond aeration?

Aeration is the process in which air gets mixed in with a liquid — in this case, your pond water!

As some of you may know, aeration is one of the most important factors in promoting the health of both a pond and it’s inhabitants. This is because oxygen plays a vital role of any element in water.  Without the proper amounts of dissolved oxygen in your pond water, you will run into problems such as managing algae control in your pond or fish loss.

Luckily, there are many different techniques for proper aeration.  These techniques range from simply increasing the amount of aquatic plants to building advanced custom aeration equipment.  In this article we’re covering a few of the more popular tools for pond aeration. Yes, you will still need to scoop up pond scum and string algae on the surface.

fountain pond aerator

Why should I aerate my pond?

Especially in smaller fish ponds, fish food and fish waste can lead to higher nitrogen levels. Fish require oxygen to process their food and whenever there is an instance where there is too much decomposing waste or there are too many fish in a pond, dissolved oxygen will be critical to their survival since levels can dramatically drop causing a rise in nitrogen and phosphate leading to fish kills and aggressive algal blooms.

Aeration also adds an element of aesthetic beauty to your pond and you should choose the aeration technique based on your budget or style of pond. However you choose to move water in your pond, it will naturally help diffuse oxygen at the surface and the underwater current aids to aerate water around the pond. There is also no need to just choose one aeration tool, for example there are many plants that will naturally help with pond aeration.

Types of Pond Aeration Mechanisms

Waterfalls for Pond Aeration

Often seen in backyard ponds and water gardens geared toward the more natural look, waterfalls are a great way to increase aeration in a pond.  In addition to functionality, aesthetics (imagine babbling water sounds, sun glistening off of cascading water, etc.) are one of the more elegant selling points of waterfalls.


  • Adds a natural look to the pond
  • Emulates a natural form of aeration
  • Doesn’t stick out like mechanical devices


  • If not naturally occurring, installation can be costly and time consuming
  • May not aerate as effectively as other mechanical devices
  • Can leak and drain pond over time, as well as require more maintenance

Fountains for Pond Aeration

Common in golf course ponds, fountains are one of the more popular methods of water aeration for their aesthetics and surface area.  Fountains are driven by pumping surface water through one main mechanism and propelling it into the air. Choose a fountain that create lots of turbulence at the surface, with a finer mist of water droplets.


  • Visually appealing for most pond owners
  • Very efficient in completely aerating smaller bodies of water
  • Great intersection of mechanized efficiency and natural beauty


  • On-going maintenance costs
  • Can be ineffective in deeper bodies of water

Windmills for Pond Aeration

Large, bulky, and often very impressive, windmills do not require electricity which is both a benefit and a drawback. Powder coated windmill aeration systems can be customized to suit the style of your setting. Ex. Farm, Ranch, Golf Course, Park.


  • No electricity needed
  • Oxygenate shallow or deeps ponds
  • Can act like a paddlewheel to agitate the surface
  • Can act as diffused aerator to force air to the bottom
  • Great intersection of mechanized efficiency and natural beauty


  • No oxygenation on non-windy days
  • Bulky, hard to install, and occasionally unrealistic
  • Can be ineffective in deeper bodies of wate

Diffused Aerator for Pond Aeration

Best used for deep ponds, they compress forced air through tubing to the bottom of the pond where it is then sent upward. These are effective, elegant and not cheap so take time to consider if this low surface movement solution is best for aerating your deep pond.


  • Best used to aerating deep ponds
  • Good choice for owners with less surface movement than fountains


  • Not ideal for shallow and smaller sized ponds
  • Requires electricity, but solar power can also be substituted

Still not sure which method is right for aerating your pond?

You’re not alone.  Every pond is unique will respond differently to each method of aeration. Finding the most efficient way to incorporate higher levels of oxygen is an important task for any pond owner. This knowledge is, more often than not, attained from trial and error of sifting through the plethora of aeration techniques. However, whether you choose a waterfall, fountain, wind aerator, paddlewheel, or horizontal aspirator (to name a few), you can always benefit by coupling these methods with a supplement to improve the balance of your pond

Nualgi Ponds is proven to control nuisance algae, prevent new pond syndrome, and aid in the processes that promote higher levels of dissolved oxygen. A quick and easy regimen serves as an extra force in the battle for better pond aeration. Don’t put your pond and/or fish health at risk by neglecting proper aeration techniques, try these methods in conjunction with Nualgi Ponds today!

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