How to Choose a Fountain

Fountains are a great way to add visual appeal to the landscape and the stirring water is relaxing and tranquil to hear. In addition to their aesthetic qualities, fountains also add a great deal of oxygen into the pond as the tiny droplets make contact with the air and fall back into the pond. But do pond water fountains provide enough aeration? Similar to choosing an aeration system, determining if a fountain is right for your pond will depend on the depth, shape, and size.

6' Rule
If your pond is more than 6 feet deep, a fountain will not provide enough aeration. Why? Proper pond aeration is achieved when the entire body of water circulates at the same time. Fountains draw water from the top of the water column only, so the water that is deeper than the 6-foot mark remains untouched and oxygen deprived.

Subsurface aeration, like the Airmax Electric Systems are recommended for deeper ponds to provide complete circulation. For these units, air is pushed through diffuser plates positioned at the bottom of the pond. As the air bubbles rise, oxygenated water from the surface moves to the bottom, creating an aerobic pond ecosystem.

Significance of Shape
Bends and curves add a dramatic look to your pond, but they also restrict circulation. In ponds with an island, cove, or irregular shorelines, the oxygenated water created by a fountain may not reach isolated sections of your pond. Similar to aeration systems, multiple pond water fountains or a combination of a fountain and aeration system may be needed for uniquely shaped ponds. Keep in mind, you cannot over aerate a pond, but you can under aerate it - leading to more weed and algae growth in the areas that are not getting enough oxygen.

Sizing Your Fountain

For ponds less than 6' deep and uniformly shaped, a fountain will be a good option for aerating the pond. Now we need to consider the spray pattern and horsepower.

  • Spray Pattern - The most effective shape for pond aeration is the classic V-shaped pattern, like the one included in the Airmax Fountain system. It does the job simply and effectively. The more decorative the spray pattern, the less likely it is to adequately aerate your pond because more energy is being spent on creating the patterns than on moving the water.
  • Horsepower - When using a fountain for pond aeration purposes, a good rule of thumb to go with a 1.5 HP motor per acre. If you are using the fountain for decoration only, you can go with a 1 HP motor per acre instead.

Other Considerations
It is recommended to remove fountains for the winter so they do not get damaged during icy conditions, so your fish would be without pond aeration for the winter. Additionally, a fountain can get pretty costly when you are operating it 24/7. An aeration system is designed to be used in the chilly winter months and is an affordable alternative as it has lower operating costs. Whichever method you choose, don't go without aeration, because that could cost you more in the long run!