May included several 90-degree days and a subtle reminder that dog days of summer are near.  How does summer heat affect small ponds?

As temps reach high 90’s and humidity hovers around 30 percent, expect water levels to drop one-inch every two or three days.  If you feed fish, be aware certain feeds affect water quality.  As catfish and bluegill consume two pounds of grain-based products, they produce one-pound of waste. Waste sinks to the bottom.  Biological activity peaks in hot water.  Without aeration, which cleanses water, waste builds, resulting in water quality issues.

Effects Of Summer Evaporation

Watch for dense plankton

Closely monitor the environment.  Early warning signs of potential problems include dense plankton with very low visibility.  Fish may be observed swimming on the surface gulping for air.  If you see unusual numbers and activity at the water’s edge, their gills may be burning.  They’re attempting to escape deteriorating conditions.  Should this occur, stop feeding until the condition is resolved.  Immediately implement an emergency aeration plan.  Without aeration, fish loss is imminent.

Develop a response plan now to aerate water quickly. Stage equipment nearby for immediate deployment.  Don’t wait until the event occurs and lose crucial hours locating equipment.  It’s no different than us obtaining medical treatment in the golden hour after a medical crisis. Back a boat into the pond, leave it on the trailer, and run the outboard motor.  If you have power at a dock, consider a surface aerator that can be anchored off the dock or a circulator that can be mounted to the dock. The more water you mix from a few feet below the surface, the better. The mission is increasing dissolved oxygen levels.  Don’t pump from deep, stagnant holes.  It will compound the problem.

We don’t want to alarm you, but small ponds often experience higher risk for water quality incidents.  Monitor fish activity.  They will signal symptoms if  oxygen rates decline.  If you’re contemplating an aeration system, we can custom design a plan for any size pond.  We’re also a dealer for surface or circulating models.

As water temperatures rise, dissolved oxygen rates fluctuate.  Like us, fish are stressed by sultry, summer heat waves.  Let’s make an aeration plan!