Oxygen is essential for all living organisms in your pond. It is important to maintain oxygen levels to prevent fish mortality and algae growth. Any pond can experience an oxygen deficiency. Especially now that spring is in full swing and temperatures are rising again, the chance of an oxygen deficiency is greater.
The behavior of your fish is a good indicator of oxygen levels. Do you see your fish gasping for air at the water surface? Are they crowding each other in oxygen-rich areas such as the outlet of a waterfall? Are they moving slowly? Then there is a very good chance that the oxygen level in your pond is too low and your fish are at risk.
Are you still unsure about the oxygen level? With the help of a digital oxygen meter you can accurately measure the content. Fish need an oxygen content of at least 4 to 5 mg/L to survive.
Most ponds are stocked with oxygen plants. The oxygen that these water plants produce is absorbed into your pond. Unfortunately, this is not always enough to provide your pond water with enough oxygen and an oxygen deficiency is lurking. An oxygen deficiency can have several causes.
High water temperature
The higher the water temperature, the less oxygen the water contains. This is particularly problematic in the spring and summer. As a result, extra measures are sometimes necessary in warm periods.
Organic material such as leaves or uneaten fish food cause pollution in the pond. Fortunately, your pond is full of good bacteria that clean up the dirt. During this process, however, these bacteria consume a lot of oxygen. If you have a lot of dirt in your pond, a lot of oxygen is also being extracted from the water.
Shortage of aquatic plants
Aquatic plants or oxygen plants produce oxygen and release the oxygen directly into the water. More aquatic plants in your pond therefore provide more oxygen. If you have too few water plants in your pond, this can cause a shortage of oxygen in the pond water.
Stagnant pond water contains less oxygen than moving water. Water that is in motion, for example by a waterfall, rain or wind, absorbs more oxygen. Especially during warm periods, it is essential to keep the water moving.
Plants and algae take up oxygen from the water at night and gradually give it back during the day. In the morning there is therefore less oxygen.
What can you do yourself to prevent your pond from running out of oxygen? First of all it is important to minimize pollution. Do not overfeed fish and remove fallen leaves from the pond. Also, make sure your pond has enough aquatic plants. But most importantly, keep the water moving. Water in motion absorbs more oxygen at the surface compared to still water.
To keep the water moving you can place a watercourse, waterfall or fountain. This allows oxygen from the air to enter the pond. But of course this is quite an investment and may not fit with the design of your pond at all.
The most simple and effective solution is to use an oxygen pump. An oxygen pump or air pump not only moves the top layer of water, but also deeper water layers. This continuously maintains the oxygen level in all layers of your pond. The aeration pumps from AquaForte are quiet and low in power consumption, so you can run 24 hours a day, even during your vacation.
Quick solution needed?
Do you have an air pump or fountain but an acute shortage of oxygen? You can always throw buckets of water into the pond yourself or use a garden hose to spray water into your pond for some extra oxygen.