Oxygen – A Key Component to Fish Health

The most common source of low levels of oxygen in a backyard pond is when the owner uses too much algaecide. Remember to follow the directions when using algaecide and that more is not necessarily better. When the algaecide does its work and kills the algae in your pond, it also causes the oxygen levels to plummet. Low oxygen levels can kill your entire stock in less than an hour.

What is an oil bubbler (gas bubbler)? When is it required? - Radleys

Unlike other fish killers, there is no treatment for fish dab rigs that are starving for air and stressed due to low oxygen levels. In general, if you don’t notice the low oxygen levels within the first 10 minutes, you will probably lose your fish. Some signs of low oxygen levels: first, your fish will start to gasp for air at the surface of the water. After another 5-10 minutes of low oxygen, fish lose control of their swim bladder and struggle to stay upright. Within the next 45-60 minutes, the fish’s internal organs are damaged and its body literally shuts down. The fish can no longer breathe and soon asphyxiates.

Oxygen level preservation can be very challenging for every pond owner. Ponds generally are of a very large volume and have a few deep pockets of water – both of which present a challenge. New ponds and those struggling with algae are also likely to have problems with oxygen levels. Thankfully there are solutions to your oxygen problems.

The first and most obvious way to keep oxygen levels high is through circulation. We don’t like to breathe stagnant air, so why would your fish want to breathe stagnant water? Despite popular belief, an air stone or bubbler is not enough. While an air stone or bubbler may certainly help, you need a lot of movement at the surface of the water to get a high rate of oxygen exchange. A bubbly, moving pond surface will keep your oxygen at a healthy level.

We all have to treat for algae, but when you do make sure to take precautions to prevent a drop in oxygen. Make sure to use an extra power-head when you use algaecide, and make sure to point it up so that you get a lot of movement on the surface. This simple act (and following the algaecide’s directions of course) is all you need to keep your oxygen levels high during algae treatment.

Another good way to keep your oxygen up is to use plants. Not only do plants add oxygen to the water, they also combat algae by competing with microbial algae cells for carbon dioxide consumption. A pond with 1/3 coverage in plants will have much clearer, algae-free water. Plants are a great visual addition to your pond and you can choose from potted pond plants or floating plants such as water cabbage or water hyacinth.

1.) The discharge line is run from the sump pump to an existing discharge pipe outside. This can cause problems because the existing pump that is being connected to might have a problem with it already. Flushing water through a pipe that’s already clogged can cause back ups and cause your pump to be overwhelmed and fail. It’s always best to have a whole new discharge route be installed rather then tying into something that already exists.

2.) Pipe freezing and bursting can be combated in a few different ways. Not only does the discharge line have to be pitched in order to fully remove water but also the line should have a bubbler pot at the end. This combination removes water from the line via gravity and allows the water at the end to be absorbed back into the ground rather than having it find its’ way back into your line. The bubbler pot also has the added benefit of allowing water to escape through the top of it onto the surface if the soil is already fully saturated with moisture.

3.) Cracks in the discharge line can be caused by any number of things. Fence installation, tree roots, or extreme soil movement. Typically it’s suggested to think in the big picture format while dealing with a discharge so to design it towards an area where it won’t be disturbed. Sometimes this can’t be avoided. Tree roots can be combated by smart design or root killer flushed through the lines (not suggested if your state has laws against this or your neighborhood has well water). Discharges lines can be wrapped in crushed stone in order to give the line extra padding and give for soil expansion and contraction. Worst-case scenario, if your line has a crack or is broken the line needs to be redone.

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