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Top 5 Best Pond Aerator & Aeration Systems (2021 Buyers Guide)

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If you want the healthiest pond possible, then a pond aerator is a must have.

Aerating your pond will not only help pond fish survive and thrive, it can also help improve water quality and reduce pond muck!

But, what type of pond aerator do you need and what size will be best for your pond?

Let’s take a look at 5 of the best pond aerators on the market today, what to look for in a pond aerator and answer some of the most common questions when it comes aerating a pond.

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Pond Aeration Kit Comparison Chart

Description Awards Price
Beckett Corporation Air Pump Solar Kit Beckett Corporation Air Pump Solar Kit Best Solar Pond Aerator SEE PRICE »
TetraPond APK100 Air Pump Kit TetraPond APK100 Air Pump Kit Best Air Pump for Koi Pond and Small Pond Aerator SEE PRICE »
AirPro Pond Aerator Kit by Living Water AirPro Pond Aerator Kit by Living Water Best Pond Aeration System and Large Pond Aerator SEE PRICE »
Custom Pro FT 3500 Floating Pond Fountain Complete Kit Custom Pro FT 3500 Floating Pond Fountain Complete Kit Best Surface and Fountain Pond Aerator SEE PRICE »
Laguna Aeration Kit for Ponds Laguna Aeration Kit for Ponds Best Overall Pond Aerator For The Money SEE PRICE »

*Buying through links in this chart may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

5 Best Pond Aerator & Aeration Systems

Beckett Corporation Air Pump Solar Kit

  • Best Solar Pond Aerator

The Beckett solar pond aeration kit is designed to supply your pond with all the oxygen it needs to keep your fish and pond life healthy - without electricity!

This solar pond pump is perfect for ponds that don’t have an electrical outlet nearby and/or for those who don’t want to spend the money using an electrical version.

And while the prospect of free oxygen for your pond sounds quite captivating (who doesn’t love free?), it can come at the cost of performance. The air pump only turns on when there is enough sunlight to power it, so if you live where it’s often cloudy, or your pond is covered by shade, a solar pond pump might not be able to supply the amount of oxygen your pond needs.

Pros

  • Requires no electricity
  • Comes as a complete kit
  • Surprisingly powerful for a solar powered pump

Cons

  • Not ideal for low sunlight areas
  • No on/off switch
  • Not submersible
Beckett Corporation Air Pump Solar Kit

Beckett Corporation Air Pump Solar Kit

Price:
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TetraPond APK100 Air Pump Kit

  • Best Air Pump for Koi Pond
  • Best Small Pond Aerator

The TetraPond APk100 air pump provides vital oxygen for your pond and the fish in living in it.

This kit is ideal for ponds up to 5000 gallons and has a 100 gallon per hour flow!

This pump will help maintain an opening in the ice for proper gas exchange during winter. This, along with a pond that has an ideal depth, will help keep your fish happy and healthy over the cold winter months.

Pros

  • Perfect for ponds with aquatic life
  • Help keep your fish alive over winter
  • Dual air stones make it easy to spread aeration to different parts of your pond

Cons

  • Not ideal for larger ponds over 5000 gallons
  • Some reports of air stones that stopped working
TetraPond APK100 Air Pump Kit

TetraPond APK100 Air Pump Kit

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AirPro Pond Aerator Kit by Living Water

  • Best Pond Aeration System
  • Best Large Pond Aerator

The AirPro Pond Aerator Kit is a complete aeration system that is incredibly powerful.

In fact, the super strong piston aerator can operate up to 50 feet deep and aerate a pond up to an acre in size.

And, of course, safety is always key, which is why this aeration kit operates without running electricity through the water. This keeps your ponds wildlife, and family, safe from electrical shock.

This kit comes with a powerful ¼ horsepower compressor, 100 feet of ⅜” weighted tubing and single head membrane diffuser.

The compressor comes with a 2-year warranty and the tubing and diffuser come with a 5-year warranty.

Pros

  • Powerful aeration system that works up to 50 feet deep and in ponds or lakes up to an acre
  • The design will keep your family and wildlife safe from shock
  • Solid product warranty

Cons

  • A higher cost of operation due to power and size
AirPro Pond Aerator Kit by Living Water

AirPro Pond Aerator Kit by Living Water

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Custom Pro FT 3500 Floating Pond Fountain Complete Kit

  • Best Surface and Fountain Pond Aerator

The Custom Pro FT 3500 comes with everything you need for a stunning fountain display in your pond.

Choose from 4 different fountain spray patterns, including a gusher, skinny trumpet, and two different V-shaped patterns. The gusher spray reaches heights up to 18 feet!

The 3500gph pump uses only 300 watts of electricity and comes with 4 fountain spray nozzles, 100-foot long electrical cord, steel filter basket, heavy-duty float, and a tether rope.

And best of all, it takes only minutes to set up and plugs into a standard 110-volt outlet.

Pros

  • Two-in-one pond decoration and aeration system
  • 4 different fountain spray patterns
  • Comes with everything you need to be up and running in minutes

Cons

  • Pump only has a 1-year warranty and no warranty on the other parts
Custom Pro FT 3500 Floating Pond Fountain Complete Kit

Custom Pro FT 3500 Floating Pond Fountain Complete Kit

Price:
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Laguna Aeration Kit for Ponds

  • Best Overall Pond Aerator For The Money

The Laguna Aeration Kit is an extremely popular, budget-friendly pond aerator that comes with everything you need to be up and running in minutes.

This simple aeration kit will allow for proper gas/oxygen exchange to keep your fish alive and help surfaces from completely freezing over in winter.

It comes with an aeration pump, 30 feet of winter safe tubing, an air diffuser, and a high-density styrofoam float which allows you to adjust the airstone depth.

And while they claim its beneficial for any size pond, it’s not exactly “suitable” for larger ponds.

Pros

  • Extremely popular with overwhelmingly high reviews
  • Cost effective pond aeration solution
  • Helps to keep your pond from freezing in winter
  • Helps to keep fish alive and healthy

Cons

  • Not suitable for larger ponds
Laguna Aeration Kit for Ponds

Laguna Aeration Kit for Ponds

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What Is A Pond Aerator/Air Pump?

If you have a pond, then in most cases you’ll want to cause some sort of surface movement and provide oxygen to the water. There are many benefits to aeration as you’ll find out below. To do this, you can easily pump air into the water and cause flow by using a pond aerator.

Some people prefer the more natural ways of aerating their pond water, for example, designing a waterfall feature which creates movement and provides oxygen to the pond. A fountain is even considered a natural method, since the water that is sprayed into the air collects natural atmospheric oxygen and reintroduces it to the pond as it falls back in.

Custom Pro FT 3500 Floating Pond Fountain Complete Kit

Custom Pro FT 3500 Floating Pond Fountain Complete Kit

Price:
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Or you can use a dedicated pond aerator which is merely an electrical air pump that, as you probably guessed, pumps air into the water.

There are several aeration products to choose from on the market. You can purchase the eco-friendly aerators which run on solar power and are great for small ponds!

Beckett Corporation Air Pump Solar Kit

Beckett Corporation Air Pump Solar Kit

Price:
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Or you can choose an electrical aerator.

Laguna Aeration Kit for Ponds

Laguna Aeration Kit for Ponds

Price:
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Clicking this link to make a purchase may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

If you choose the standard aerators which use electrical power, they can aerate bigger ponds and even small-sized lakes. The air pumps in electrical aerators come in different power levels and sizes. They all serve the same general purpose, though, which is to provide oxygen to water.

did you know Did you know...

An aerator and oxygenator are actually two different things. An oxygenator is a device which simply oxygenates the water. Pond plants are good examples of oxygenators. Aerators, on the other hand, will send oxygen to the pond water and cause surface movement as well. This means you get the aeration and oxygen for the pond water.

As stated above, air pumps can function with either a solar, wind, or an electric powered motor. When turned on, oxygen gets pumped straight into the pond water. It doesn’t just get pumped into one area of the water, though. There is a diffuser which you attach on the hose’s end that lets you transfer oxygen throughout the entire body of water. If you have a small size aerator, then a pebble or stone will likely serve as the diffuser attachment. If you have a big pond aerator, it probably comes with a diffuser and a lengthy metal tube that has tiny holes in it. This combination lets you place oxygen into a wider range of the water.

What Are The Benefits Of Pond Aeration?

There are many advantages to raising your pond water’s oxygen levels and increasing flow. But, do you need to aerate your pond?

If there is very little water flow in your pond and it has fish in there, then you’ll need to increase the water flow with an aerator and supply extra oxygen.

If you decided to use a fountain or waterfall as a natural aerator for your pond, this will likely be suitable enough to solely oxygenate the water.

But, if you’re dealing with a big pond and there are a lot of Koi in it, a more powerful oxygenator may be needed. Koi depend on lots of oxygen in the water in order to survive.

AirPro Pond Aerator Kit by Living Water

AirPro Pond Aerator Kit by Living Water

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Please Note: A pond with lots of fish and very little water flow will only benefit from an aeration system in the long run.

But, even if you don't have fish, there are many reasons to use an aeration system! Below are the top 5 advantages to using an aeration system in your pond water.

Higher Oxygen Levels

Aeration will obviously increase oxygen levels in your pond water. This will help keep existing fish alive, of course, but what many people don’t realize is that it helps the good bacteria that live there, too.

If there was no oxygen in the water, it would cause your pond to have more anaerobic bacteria. This type of bacteria won’t be able to consume organic material as efficiently as aerobic bacteria (about 20 times less efficient). And when anaerobic bacteria consume organic material, it generates hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide. These elements are what cause the pond water to have that sulfur/rotten egg odor.

But, when aerobic bacteria consume organic materials, it emits an odorless gas. This will help your pond smell fresh and clean after all the muck is gone.

Less Muck

When ponds get older, there are more nutrients which build up on the bottom of the pond. This build-up turns into something called muck. If you ever step foot into the pond, you certainly wouldn’t want your feet stepping on this muck. There could be leeches in there and a very foul odor.

You need proper pond aeration to get rid of this debris and muck. The more oxygen that circulates throughout the water, the better it will be.

Aeration basically causes good aerobic bacteria to form colonies in the water which eat the nutrients, resulting in less build-up of muck.

Better Quality of Water

When you have muck on the bottom of the pond, some of the muck debris will find its way to your water column too. This will result in your pond appearing foggy and dirty on the surface. By increasing water flow and oxygen levels, you can help stop the nutrients from building up and your pond water will be clearer and the quality will certainly improve.

Proper aeration will even help keep pond weeds and algae under control because there won’t be enough nutrients for them to consume.

Gets Rid of Thermocline

The thermocline is the area in between the deep colder water and the upper warm surface water. The colder water on the bottom has less oxygen than the water on the surface. If you add an aeration system, it will mix the upper and lower layers of water together to oxygenate everywhere. This means the oxygenated water toward the surface will go to the bottom of the pond, resulting in a lot of good bacteria being produced. Plus, the temperature of both layers will only be a few degrees off from each other.

Less Chance of Fish Dying

When fish suddenly die in a pond, it is usually due to a drop in oxygen levels. During the decomposition of organic materials, there are gases emitted which might get trapped in the water if the outside temperatures are too cold and the pond surface freezes over. This means the fish in the water won’t have access to the oxygen and will die from suffocation.

This often happens in wintertime. But, if you have an aeration system, it will pump additional oxygen into the water and create a hole in the ice which will allow for proper gas exchange.

During spring and autumn, fish may die from stratified water caused by turnover events. This turnover event will mix the bottom oxygen starved water with the top of the water, causing oxygen to be reduced in the top. An aeration system will stop these turnover events from happening by removing the thermocline.

Types Of Pond Aeration Systems

Solar Powered Pond Aerators

If you want to aerate a pond without electricity for whatever reason (you don’t have a power source near your pond, to save money, etc.) then a good option is a solar-powered aeration system. Even though they aren’t as powerful as an electrical aerator, they can still oxygenate an aquarium in your home or a small pond.

Simply position the aerator under direct sunlight and make sure there are no trees or other objects that will shade the solar panel from the sun.

You may find you’ll get the most benefit from solar-powered aerators during the summer and spring seasons because the sun is typically strongest these times of the year.

Beckett Corporation Air Pump Solar Kit

Beckett Corporation Air Pump Solar Kit

Price:
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Windmill Pond Aerators

Similar to solar-powered aerators, wind-powered aerators are an environmentally friendly way to aerate your pond with renewable energy.

While they can aerate ponds of all sizes, they really shine by providing massive amounts of oxygen to large ponds and lakes at a zero-running cost!

Check out our windmill pond aerator guide for reviews of the best windmill aerators available today, as well as, a complete windmill aeration guide to get you started on the right foot!

Outdoor Water Solutions 12-Feet Pond Aeration Windmill

Outdoor Water Solutions 12-Feet Pond Aeration Windmill

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Electric Powered Pond Aerator

More power goes into this type of aeration system, as opposed to a solar-powered aerator because it connects to a main electrical socket.

Most people prefer electric aerators for their ponds, especially if they have a lot of fish in them or if it’s a larger pond. There is a lot more reliability with electric pond aerators than with solar powered ones because they don’t depend on sunlight and they can run 24 hours a day.

You can find much bigger air pumps with the electric pond aerators too. Some can oxygenate ponds with anywhere from 500 to over 8,000 gallons of water. This aerator will be consistent and efficient in supplying oxygen.

Laguna Aeration Kit for Ponds

Laguna Aeration Kit for Ponds

Price:
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Floating Pond Aerator

The floating aerator can be either electric or solar. It floats on the surface of your pond and uses a diffuser or fountain to supply oxygen to the water.

One of the pros of using a floating aerator is you can easily move it around to provide more oxygen to certain parts of a pond. And if you have a floating fountain aerator, you can easily move it to different parts of the pond for aesthetic reasons.

You can also anchor a floating pond aerator or let it naturally flow around the pond.

Custom Pro FT 3500 Floating Pond Fountain Complete Kit

Custom Pro FT 3500 Floating Pond Fountain Complete Kit

Price:
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Pond Aerator FAQ's

How does a pond aerator work?
The two most common types of pond aerators, surface and submerged, supply oxygen to the water in different ways.

A surface aerator takes water from your pond and throws it in the air, where it picks up oxygen and falls back into the pond.

A submerged aerator releases bubbles into the pond that release oxygen as they rise to the top.

Why do I have to aerate my pond?
Aerating your pond has many benefits, and may even be necessary if you have fish, as they need oxygenated water to live.

Aside from keeping your fish alive, when your pond is properly aerated it can reduce muck and bad odors, improve water quality and clarity, and help encourage beneficial bacteria.

If you have fish in your pond, you will want to keep oxygen levels higher than 3 ppm in the upper 2 feet. Many fish will die if the oxygen content is below 0.5 ppm for an extended period of time, according to the UT Institute of Agriculture.

How long should I run my pond aerator?
We typically recommend leaving your aeration system on 24 hours a day, unless you have a waterfall or other feature that routinely moves the water.

If you find your water maintains a safe level of oxygen for your fish while only aerating it part-time, then that will be sufficient, but there are other benefits to aeration as explained above that may warrant just leaving it on at all times.

During the winter months, if you stock koi or other fish you will want to leave it on full time as to not let your pond freeze over. Check out our guide on how to keep pond fish alive in winter for more tips to ensure their survival.

Which is better for my pond: an aerator or fountain?
A fountain is actually a type of aerator called a surface aerator. There are also submersible aerators which release oxygen into your pond below the water surface, instead of on top.

Should I turn pond aerator off when pond has algae?
No. In fact, proper aeration can help control pond algae!

How do I keep the pond aerator line from floating?
Most pond aerators come with a weighted airline, so it should sink. If your aerator did not come with this type of airline, your best bet is to replace it with a weighted airline. If not, you could get creative and use fishing line weights, for example, to force the line to sink.