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Glossary » D

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Vertical mixing within a lake or reservoir to totally or partially eliminate separate layers of temperature, plant, or animal life.


Any of the microscopic unicellular or colonial algae constituting the class Bacillarieae. They have a silicified cell wall, which persists as a skeleton after death and forms kieselguhr (loose or porous diatomite). Diatoms occur abundantly in fresh and salt waters, in soil, and as fossils. They form a large part of the Plankton.


The movement of a substance from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration. Turbulent diffusion results from atmospheric motions diffusing water, vapor, heat, and other gaseous components by exchanging parcels called eddies between regions in space in apparent random fashion.


The amount of oxygen dissolved in a body of water as an indication of the degree of health of the water and its ability to support a balanced aquatic ecosystem.


A lake characterized by a lack of nutrients, and often having a low pH (acidic) and a high humus content. Plant and animal life are typically sparse, and the water has a high oxygen demand. This stage follows the Eutrophic Phase in the life cycle of a lake.