A pond fountain adds beauty and serenity to any pond. The sound of water splashing can have a soothing effect. In addition, they can help keep your pond clean and healthy by making sure the water is aerated regularly.
If you manage a large apartment complex or own commercial property, you know that a pond on the property adds value to the property. Installing a fountain not only helps keep the water fresh and free of environmental problems but is also a visually pleasing addition to the property.
Whether you have a natural pond or an ornamental pond, they both need proper aeration to stay healthy. Aeration mixes oxygen into the water, which lets the fish breathe and process their food. Aeration also helps keep good bacteria in the water so that they can deal with the nitrogen and phosphates that build up due to plant and fish waste. Keeping the surface water moving also keeps the bug population at bay, making ponds a more pleasant place to hang out.
Types of Pond Fountains
There are two main types of pond fountains: decorative fountains and aerating fountains. Decorative fountains are usually chosen for their aesthetic appeal can range in height from a few feet to a spectacular 20 feet or more above the pond’s surface. They often include interchangeable spray nozzles that can create different patterns, from cascading tiers to starbursts, to one majestic jet.
While the water movement caused by the splashing of a decorative floating fountain offers some valuable surface aeration, aerating fountains provide more gallons per minute (GPM) of water movement. This means more volume, splashing, and water movement than decorative fountains provide. Aerating fountains with a V-shaped pattern perform more aeration than other styles, and may be the better choice for a pond if aeration is the primary goal.
Choosing a Pond Fountain
There are a few factors to consider when choosing a pond fountain. The type of spray pattern and how much horsepower you need are the main considerations. These will be influenced by the shape and depth of your pond, as well as whether or not you are choosing a decorative or aerating fountain.
Considerations When Choosing an Aerating Fountain
- Depth: an aeration fountain works well in water that is six feet deep or less.
- Shape: relatively round ponds are best for aeration fountains, since the fountain may not be able to reach all the areas of an irregularly shaped pond.
- Size: the larger the pond, the more horsepower the fountain will need. The size will also determine the height of the spray. Spray height should be no more than half the width of the pond to prevent too much water being removed.
Spray Patterns for Decorative Fountains
When you are choosing a pond fountain, there are many spray patterns to choose from. You might be tempted to choose a super fancy one, but the most effective spray pattern for aeration is the V-shaped pattern. The more decorative the spray pattern is, your motor will be putting more effort into the spray than in aerating your pond.
Some traditional spray patterns include:
- Crystalline: this pattern features an amazing diamond-shaped spray.
- Crown and Geyser: a high spray of water is surrounded by smaller, lower sprays so that the pattern looks like a crown.
- Plume: this nozzle creates a wide funnel of water resembling an ostrich’s plume.
- Plum Tree: narrower than the Plume, this spray rises and falls in a round shape, giving the appearance of a tree.
How Much Horsepower Does Your Pond Fountain Need?
If you are using a pond fountain as your primary source of aeration, then you should choose a motor that has 1.5 hp for each acre of water. If the pond is only for decorative purposes, 1 hp per acre should be enough. However, if the spray pattern is more decorative, you’ll need to increase the horsepower back up to 1.5.
Benefits of Pond Fountains
An aeration system is a valuable way to manage the water quality of your pond. By using a pond fountain, you get a wonderful feature that also helps maintain your water quality. Here are the benefits of having pond fountain aeration systems.
Improves Your Overall Water Quality
Sediment at the bottom of your pond can release gasses that cause water quality issues. A pond fountain can provide the aeration you need to oxygenate the water and keep the pond healthy.
Helps Control and Reduce Excessive Algae Growth
By using an aeration system in your pond, you can starve out the excess nutrients that allow algae to grow and prosper. The aeration caused by the fountain mixes algae spores into the deeper parts of the pond where there is less sunlight available so that less of them can grow.
Reduces Bad Odors
Fountains help move the water from the pond’s surface to the bottom. Aeration by the fountain oxygenates the water, keeping hydrogen sulfide gas from collecting at the bottom and ultimately, significantly reducing the amount of this gas in the pond.
Helps Create a Healthy Habitat for Fish
The aeration process also helps make your pond’s ecosystem healthy. By improving the oxygen levels throughout the pond, fish and other aquatic organisms can thrive, contributing to the health of your pond.
Decreases Mosquito Activity
Mosquitos need still water for their eggs to hatch. A fountain creates constant water movement that helps keep mosquitos from breeding. It is a natural mosquito control solution.
Reduces the Accumulation of Bottom Sediment
Organic matter’s decomposition rate is much slower under low-oxygen conditions, which often leads to a buildup of bottom sediment in ponds. A fountain can provide the aeration needed to help reduce the overall accumulation of organic sediment.
Pond Fountain Maintenance
Pond fountains need little maintenance, but you should monitor the pump intake to make sure it is free of debris such as leaves and small sticks. In most ponds, you don’t have to worry about clogging the fountain, since it includes a grate over the bottom. Most leaves and small sticks that get near the motor are instantly pulverized.
However, if the pump intake gets clogged, the motor could overheat. Excessive mineral buildup can also damage the pump, especially the seals and bearings. For these reasons, it’s a good idea to remove the fountain once per season and flush it with clean water.
Keeping your pond ecologically balanced and beautiful isn’t a one-time job. It requires consistent, proactive care by highly trained lake management professionals. Choosing a reputable pond management company who can give you proactive, preventive care and keep your pond fountain working at its best will help you get the most out of your fountain and your pond.