I have a large pond at home and was wondering if I could add something to help pond aeration but have it powered by the sun to be more eco-friendly. There are solar pond aerator pumps available, but will they work for me, and will I save on electricity costs?
I’m sure these are questions many people ask about their ponds, unsure if they should go solar-powered or not.
Solar-powered pond aerators and diffusers can be a cost-effective, eco-friendly solution to keep your garden pond healthy without adding to your power bill.
Whether you have a small koi pond or need a solar aerator for a 1-acre pond or larger. Luckily there are lots of battery-free systems and solar power solutions that will fit your budget and needs.
This article will review five different solar pond aeration systems and how they can fit your situation.
In addition, other higher-powered solar aerator systems are available from the installers mentioned in the post.
I’ll cover aspects like what solar aeration systems do and how to select the right one for your needs. I’ll also cover some of the details surrounding solar aerators.
1. Solariver Solar Water Pump Kit
This product is perfect if you want a solar pond aerator and water pump to help aerate a large volume of water without using main grid power.
The Solariver Solar Pump is a durable and efficient brushless pump with adjustable flow control for over 20,000 hours of pond aeration.
The solar panel is framed in Aluminum and has a 16-foot power cord allowing you to mount the panel wherever you want.
And on top of all these great features, it also comes with a 1-year warranty and a 100% money-back guarantee.
- 12, 20, 35, 70 Watt Solar Panels
- No Battery Backup
- 360 Gallons Per Hour
- Energy Efficient
- Easy installation
- Low maintenance
- Value for Price
- 100% Money Back Warranty
- Some reviews mention it is a little small for what they need.
- No longer has an extension cord available.
2. Aisitin 2.5W Solar Fountain Pump
This solar aerator fountain pump is for people looking for something compact, cheap, and easy to use for smaller applications.
The Aisitin pond aeration pump is perfect for fish tanks, small ponds, bird baths, and other small bodies of water. It is essential to remember never to use a pump without water could potentially damage it.
- 2.5 Watt Solar Panels
- 6 Different Nozzles
- 4ft Water Pipe
- Low Budget Friendly
- Good Suction Power
- Long Life
- Easy To Install
- Small Pump
- Doesn’t Work Well In Low Sunlight
3. Sun Energize Solar Water Pump
Amongst all of the solar aerators available, the Sun Energize Solar Water Pump is highly efficient, with a flow rate of about 320 GPH and a max lift height of 8.2 Feet.
This solar pump is made of durable materials allowing it to run for over 20,000 hours, and has a 1-year warranty.
In addition, it features four different nozzles that allow for additional water flows, heights, and strengths to fit your needs.
- 320 GPH Flow
- 20 Watt Solar Panels
- 4 Different Nozzles
- 24/7 Service And 1-Year Warranty
- Easy Installation
- Strong Suction Power
- Long Lifetime
- Stable Base
- Runs Quietly
- Dependant On Constant Sunlight
- Battery Not Included
4. AISITIN 3.5W Solar Bird Bath Fountain
This water fountain has high-quality solar power panels that work even in weak sunlight.
The Aisitin Solar Bird Bath Fountain has a backup battery, allowing it to work at night or on cloudy days with little light for up to 4 hours. It also has an auto shut-off feature to protect against damage when out of water.
This Solar pond pump is ideal for bird baths, water fountains, and small ponds. It has six different nozzles allowing various water flows, patterns, and strengths.
- 3.5 Watt Solar Panels
- 1500mAH battery
- 6 Nozzles
- Easy To Install
- Easy Assembly
- Long Lifetime
- Too Small And Weak For Deep Water
- Must Be Cleaned Regularly
- Made Completely Out Of Plastic
5. ECO-WORTHY Solar Fountain Water Pump Kit
The ECO-WORTHY Solar Fountain Water Pump Kit is a 12 Watt solar-powered aerator with a submersible pump perfect for bird baths, small ponds, and garden decorations.
It produces a flow of 196 GPH and a lift height of around 5.6 feet. It also comes with a 1-year warranty and a 100% money-back guarantee if the pump doesn’t meet your needs.
- 12 Watt Solar Panels
- 196+ GPH pump
- 16 Foot cord length
- Easy To Clean
- Easy Installation
- 1 Year Warranty
- Long Lifetime
- Battery Not Included
- Does Not Runs At Night
What Does A Pond Aerator Do?
Pond aerators help improve the overall quality of the water to promote a healthy ecosystem and aquatic environment for fish and other plant species to thrive.
It helps to add oxygen back into the water, especially if there is little circulation.
Most ponds are in direct sunlight and don’t have adequate movement in the water causing excessive algae or pond scum to grow.
As a result, you can have an algae bloom when you have hot summer days. However, algae are not harmful to your pond since it creates oxygen through photosynthesis during the day.
The problem occurs when there is no sunshine then the process is reversed.
Algae then use oxygen, which should not be a problem unless you have too many algae, affecting oxygen levels and reducing water clarity.
When you have an overgrowth of algae, it can also cause foul odors in your pond since significant algae die off during overcast days
This produces a lot of muck at the bottom of the pond, further contaminating your pond with toxic gases.
In the fall, the temperature drops, and the days get shorter; you will have less oxygen produced by the leftover plants.
Many plants die off in the colder seasons, and if there is no circulation and oxygen, then the aerobic bacteria that dissolve this vegetation cannot function properly. Proper aeration is then needed.
How Does A Pond Aerator Work?
You can employ two types of pond aerator systems in your pond, depending on the size and shape of your pond or water features.
First, diffused aerators pump air from outside the pond to create water movement.
The second type is surface aerators or windmill aerators that pump water from the pond into the air creating a sprayer-like effect.
You can use a surface aeration system that pumps water into the air for round, oval, or symmetrical-shaped ponds.
The droplets catch oxygen on the way down. It then disperses the oxygen-infused droplets improving the water quality.
These also create an aesthetically pleasing water feature for your pond.
When you have a pond with an asymmetrical shape, you will need diffused aeration systems since surface aerators will not be enough and will create “dead spots.”
These diffused systems pump air from outside the pond. As the bubbles move up through the water to the surface, it oxygenates the water.
What To Consider When Choosing A Solar Pond Aerator
I used the following aspects to decide which solar aeration system would best suit my situation. Of course, your setup and pond will be different, but the considerations are the same.
The first aspect should be to size your pond. This can be easy if you have a prefabricated pond or built one yourself and know the dimensions, water quantity, and depth.
However, if you are unaware of the size and volume, you must calculate it by finding the pond’s surface area and depth.
Elements like the types of pond vegetation will also factor into your sizing and the population of fish and other living animals that might live in or on the pond, like ducks.
All these elements produce waste, and you must balance it in your pond.
The second aspect to consider is the amount of aeration you require. You don’t want your pond to be woefully under or extremely over-aerated.
You don’t want a system installed here that is too powerful because it will look like a jacuzzi or geyser causing a lot of water evaporation and noise.
The third aspect would be maintenance. Nobody likes to go through the trouble of replacing or repairing parts continually.
I prefer a system that can run smoothly for an extended time and doesn’t require much maintenance. I don’t mind the occasional filter change and cleaning of solar panels.
“In summary, my pond is 5 acres, and I’m running a solar panel to an inverter to a 110v pump.
There’s virtually no maintenance other than cleaning the filter every few months. The biggest thing is it just runs when the sun is out.
It would be much more impactful if you had a battery backup to where it ran through the night. I have seen a decrease in algae.
The fish seem to stick to those areas with the bubbler during the summer.
It also helps keep a spot open when the pond freezes, which is a help for our cattle so we don’t have to break the ice so they can drink.”
solar powered pond aeration was a success! keeping the fish healthy!♬ original sound
Getting a brushless pump and corrosion-resistant piping is a must in this situation for low-maintenance applications.
I also don’t want to have to continually dive into the water to see if the aerator is still effective or has much biofouling (undesirable accumulation of microorganisms) growing on it.
The next aspect has to be the electrical system you will use.
Again, since we are talking about solar pond systems, we would want a solar system that effectively delivers enough power to the aeration pump in all seasons.
Also, the distance from the pond and how far your piping and cabling need to run.
Maybe you want your pond to aerate through the night. In that case, you will require batteries.
This is unnecessary for most pond solutions, but your situation may require batteries. This will increase the cost of your system significantly, though.
Selecting The Right Solar And Pump Components
When choosing a specific solar system, make sure that you get one rated for your location’s specific solar output.
Knowing your solar production and the system’s required power will give you an idea of whether it will be sufficient for your pond.
If you decide to use solar batteries to keep the system running even without sunshine, please research which type of batteries will work best for your situation and budget.
There are many options for power storage, and it is challenging to sort out facts from sales talk. If you have the budget, get LiFePO4.
I also chatted with Marie Carlton, a freelance American writer in South Africa, and she said this about their experience:
“With South Africa’s constant rolling blackouts, knowns as load-shedding, we’re always looking for ways to save electricity.
Thus, we gave a solar power pond aerator a go. But we totally went about it the wrong way.
We impulsively bought one while at a DIY store that was on a “deal.” And like most “deals,” it was awful. Think it worked properly for about a day.
Then it was downhill from that. Didn’t even last a month. So not only did we waste money, we’ve added junk to landfill – not green at all.
Real teaching moment that you must research these things properly before buying. Also, better to spend a few extra bucks and get quality that will last.
Ultimately, you’ll spend far less and produce less waste.”
It shows that you should research the products you want to buy, even if it is a great deal.
Top Solar Pond Aerators
The criteria I used for the selection of the best solar aerators came down to the following factors:
- Efficiency – Will it produce enough dissolved oxygen for my pond?
- Durability – Will it withstand continuous daily operations and the elements?
- Ease of installation – Will I need an expert to install it, or can this be a DIY project?
- Maintenance requirements – As mentioned before, I’m not particularly eager to do a lot of maintenance except for minor cleaning and replacing filters.
- Eco-friendly – I wanted whatever pond aeration solution I chose to save money on my electrical bill and simultaneously feel like I’m contributing to the environment.
- Customer reviews – I took some time to read through the reviews of various aeration systems to see whether the product advertised is what they received and did it work as expected
Will Solar Pond Aerators Save You Money?
In the long run, comparing the electrical consumption of a solar aeration system to standard aeration kits in your pond will save you money.
To calculate the cost of running a standard aerator system, you can use this equation:
Amps x Volts of your circuit (115V) = Watts x hours per day of operation ÷ 1000 x cost per kilowatt hour (This is the price you pay per kilowatt from your utility company).
Equations to use:
- To get your pump wattage, if not shown on the specifications, use: W = V x A
- To see your total wattage per day, use: W x hour per day ÷ 1000
- To see your cost per day, use (W x hour per day ÷ 1000) x (price per kilowatt hour you pay, for example, $0.30 in California)
- Take the total cost per watt per day and multiply it by the days in a year (365) or month (28, 30, 31). If not on solar, you will have the total running cost for pond aeration.
Solar aeration systems are a cost-effective and eco-friendly way to keep the water quality of your garden pond healthy while saving money in the long run.
After determining your pond’s size and solar requirements, you can invest in a solar aerator to fit your budget and needs.
In addition, it is best to run aeration 24 hours a day, so investing in a battery solution can further help your pond’s health.