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winter aeration image
pond aeration reduces algae
pond aeration reduces midges
pond aeration helps fish
pond aeration reduces stratification
pond aeration reduces odors
pond aeration reduces nutrients
pond aeration helps bacteria

Aeration Science for Pond Restoration

Aeration Prevents Growing Season Lake Problems

Muck Reduction Case Study Destratification Case Study Nutrient Abatement Case Study

StratificationDuring the summer months, when water is warm, oxygen can be consumed faster than it can be replenished. Ponds and lakes can become "stratified"; the warmer, oxygen-rich upper water laying on top of the cool, denser, lower-oxygen deeper water. This reduces habitat available for fish and beneficial bacteria, slowing the breakdown of organic matter at the bottom of the lake, and leading to muck buildup. Excess nutrients from the muck are made available for weed and algae growth while noxious ammonia and hydrogen sulfide gases cause odor problems.

Extreme pond or lake stratification also causes the pH to rise in the surface waters. Algae species preferring high pH, still-water habitats tend to be unpalatable types that do not enter the fish food chain, or toxic algae that can make swimmers sick.

In the cooler months, stratified ponds and lakes can cause further problems when they suddenly destratify during wind and storm events. De-oxygenated bottom waters laden with toxic gasses can suddenly rise to the surface, resulting in massive fish kills and/or odor problems. Nutrients trapped in the bottom waters may cause sudden algae blooms when released to the surface.

Vertex aeration systems create a vertical current using the rising force of millions of small bubbles to entrain the water column, "turning the lake over" and allowing oxygen to be absorbed at the lake's surface. By moving the lower-oxygen water up from the bottom and eliminating thermal stratification, oxygen levels increased. Wide swings in oxygen are stabilized, preventing fish kills. Our systems also improve sport fisheries by allowing fish to expand their territory into formerly oxygen-deprived portions of the lake while providing ideal habitat for organisms in the fish food chain.

Aeration Reduces Water Born Swarming Pests Midge Fly Reduction Case Study

midge FlyStagnant water is the breeding ground for some of the most obnoxious summer pests including mosquitoes and midge flies (also known as blind mosquitoes). Not only are these insects annoying, adult mosquitoes spread disease and midge fly swarms are a terrible nuisance that can trigger allergies and respiratory reactions.

midge fly life cycleNuisance levels of larvae escalate in the heat of the summer with densities of 4,000 per square meter or more on the bottoms of nutrient rich lakes, ponds, and canals. Midge fly larvae are often called "blood worms" due to their larger size and red coloring from hemoglobin. They feed and develop within the rich organic matter and low oxygen level environment on the bottom sediment where there are very few predators. Without anything to inhibit their growth, midge populations spread. It is not uncommon for tens of thousands of adult midge flies to erupt from a pond every night for weeks during the emergence cycle.

What can be done? The best method of limiting these pests is to create conditions favorable for their natural predators to thrive by introducing a steady source of oxygen at the lake bottom. Vertex aeration systems help limit and prevent the swarm from ever happening.

Aeration Prevents Problems Caused by Ice

Download: Winter Aeration PDF

Open water

There are a several reasons for winter pond aeration: to increase oxygen levels in order to prevent winter fish kills, keep open areas of water for winter water fowl and other wildlife, or to prevent dock or boat damage. The right aeration system from Vertex Water Features can prevent problems caused by freezing over of ponds and lakes.

Aeration prevents winter fish kills

During winter months in northern climates where ponds and lakes freeze over, oxygen related fish kills are common. As a pond or lake freezes and is covered by snow, diffusion of oxygen from the air above and the production of oxygen by plants below is cut off. As the fish and bacteria consume what’s left of the oxygen, the levels quickly plummet. A significant, and potentially catastrophic, winter fish kill is the result. A pond aeration system will increase oxygen top to bottom. More information about winter fish kills.

Aeration helps winter waterfowl

Winter waterfowl seek out areas of open water for a number of reasons, most importantly to rest while protected from predators. Other wildlife seek out areas of open water in order to drink, and because their prey will likely be there too. Whether you are a winter waterfowl enthusiast, or enjoy winter hunting, Vertex winter pond aeration can help you provide for the needs of these animals and help you keep them around all season.

Winter Aeration System

Aeration keeps docks de-iced

Property owners with ponds or lakes that freeze in the winter face the daunting possibility of severe dock and/or boat damage caused by ice every year.

Ice has a tendency to shift over the course of the season which can cause ice jacking/lifting damage or ice expansion damage resulting in extensive repairs with astronomical costs.  Don’t leave the chance of potentially catastrophic ice damage to your boat or dock to Mother Nature. Prevent it!


Pond Restoration through Aeration


  • Fish kills
  • Unsightly algae
  • Poor water clarity
  • Swarming Insects
  • Foul odors
  • Muck accumulation

 Caused by:

  • Low oxygen levels
  • High nutrient levels
  • Temperature/oxygen stratification
  • Stagnant water/poor circulation
  • Hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide gases
  • Low levels of beneficial bacteria
3D Aeration

Before and after aeration link


Healthy ponds and lakes have the proper balance of oxygen and nutrients to sustain plants, fish and other living organisms. There are two sources for oxygen in the water; as a byproduct of photosynthesis, or from currents or wind pushing oxygen through the surface. Oxygen depletion occurs because oxygen is used even when there is insufficient natural water current, wind or sunlight occurring:Blue Gill

  • Above the water - at night, during overcast days, trees, ice, snow or other cover
  • In the water - from overabundance of algae or aquatic weeds at the surface caused by thermal stratification, warm water at the surface, cool water at the bottom.

No matter what the cause of low oxygen in your pond, adding diffused oxygen to the water column is the permanent solution to increase water circulation, prevent stagnant-thermally stratified water, and reduce muck; restoring a healthy, balanced pond ecosystem.

A pond aeration system is a big investment. If you are not sure of the size of your pond, or what system will work best for you we can help. Vertex uses satellite technology to measure ponds so that you get the right product for the size, shape, slope and depth of your pond. Don't guess which Vertex aerator is right for your pond or lake, learn how we go about calculating the correct system.

Contact Us for a free consultation.