Last updated on August 17th, 2022
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For your pond to be clean and healthy and to support fish, the water must have plenty of oxygen in it at all times, following on from my review on pond fountains which can help aerate the water. Using a pond aerator is a better way to do this. If you’re already using a pond pump or a pond pump with a built-in filter, a pond aerator can act as a back-up system or just aerate the pond on the extra hot days in the summer. You can also use pond skimmers where I recently learnt that the Oase Swim Skim Skimmer 25 also aerates the water as well as clean the surface of the pond of leaves and other debris.
This review looks at different styles of pond aerators, including those run by solar power. I lay out each model’s pros and cons, and discuss their features before giving our recommendation. My Buyer’s Guide goes into more details about how an aerator could increase your garden pond’s well-being and describes how an aerator works.
Best Pick – Solar and Budget
Pond Aerators Reviews
1. Pontec Pond Aerator Set 200 (PondoAir 200)
The Pontec Pond Aerator Set 200 is encased in a sleek black unit that’s fully waterproof. The model we review puts out 200L/hr of air into your pond of up to 2,000L in volume. But it’s part of a series that ranges up to the Pontec PondoAir Set 3600, which puts out 36,000L/hr of air for ponds with a volume of 32,000L. whatever the size of your garden pond, there’s an aerator in the series that provides the correct air flow rate.
The power consumption of this Pontec model is an efficient 4W. The two air stones each have their own 5m plastic tube to the pump through which the air flows. You can place the tubes in different parts of your pond (as long as they’re connected to the pump) to ensure a widespread of air bubbles. Some online reviewers report that they found the air stones a little small for their particular ponds, so they bought larger stones which fit nicely onto the tubing.
The power cable is pretty short at just 1.5m, so you probably have to make arrangements with an outdoor electric cord to reach your outside power outlet. But as the unit is fully waterproof, you don’t have to worry about positioning it so that water never splashes on it.
- Sleek black air pump that’s fully weatherproof.
- Outputs 200L/hr of air.
- Works in ponds up to 2,000L in volume.
- Power consumption is an energy-efficient 4W.
- Two air stones, each with their own line, are included.
- Replacement diaphragm comes with the purchase.
- Comes in a range of other air flow rates for all sizes of ponds.
- Air stones are relatively small and light.
- Short power cable.
The Pontec Pond Aerator Set 200 is a minimalist-looking unit so even if you place it in the open near your pond, it fits into the landscape.Two separate air outlets in the case lets you use the two air stones and direct them to different parts of the pond with the long 5m air tubes. The PondoAir range of aerators comes in a full range of flow rates to cover all sizes of ponds, up to extra large ones.
The Pontec Pond Aerator Set is my choice for Best Pick of the pond aerators in this review.
2. Woodside Solar Oxygenator Air Pump for Pond
Best Pick – Solar and Budget
The Woodside Solar Oxygenator Air Pump for Pond is a solar powered aerator that produces 1.5W of power to send out air bubbles from the single air stone. The bubbles cause the water in the pond to circulate and so increase its oxygen content as it puts out 120L/hr of air bubbles.
As with any other solar powered product, this aerator needs full direct sunlight to work (just daylight isn’t enough). Use the spike attached to the solar panel to stick it in the ground near the pond in a site that receives a lot of sun. You can also adjust the angle of the panel itself to face it towards the sunlight.
Note that on overcast days with minimal sunlight, the panel doesn’t generate much power and the trickle of air bubbles will slow right down. A solar powered aerator is a good choice, however, for a back-up system in case the mains power goes off to your electric pond pump.
Unfortunately, the pump for this model doesn’t have a waterproof rating. It’s best to put it away from the pond or enclose it in a waterproof container – some online reviewers use a plastic tub for this purpose. You have a 3m cable to run from the solar panel to the pump and a 2m tube from the pump to the air stone. This may take some experimentation on your part on how to place these elements.
- Solar powered pond aerator with one air stone (3cm diameter).
- Maximum air flow rate is 120L/hr and peak power is 1.5W.
- Comes with 3m cable from the solar panel to the pump.
- Has 2m tubing to the air stone.
- Solar panel has a spike on the lower edge to put into the ground to place it.
- Adjustable solar panel so that it can always face the sun.
- Pump doesn’t have a waterproof rating.
- Needs direct full sun to work.
The Woodside Solar Oxygenator Air Pump for Pond is a good pond aerator for those on a budget. The single 3cm diameter air stone introduces sufficient air bubbles into the water for a small to medium size pond. As long as you enclose the pump in a waterproof container to keep it dry, it’ll keep on working in all weathers. The adjustable solar panel means that you can have it always facing the sun.
The Woodside Solar Oxygenator Air Pump for Pond earns two of our Best awards – Best Solar Pick and Best Budget Pick.
3. All Pond Solutions Outdoor Koi Fish Pond Air Pump Kit
The All Pond Solutions Outdoor Koi Fish Pond Air Pump Kit is another sleek black aerator but this time the air stones are in a pyramid shape. The stones are made of erosion-resistant silicon carbide. And their shape with a large base makes them stable as they sit in your garden pond.
Each of the six stones has its own air tune and placed on the six-outlet connector. So there’s just one connector to put into the aerator casing, leaving everything neat and tidy. Each air tube is 2m long, so depending on where you situate the six-way connector in your pond, you can cover a large area of water with the air bubbles from the air stones. This leads to most of the water circulating and receiving fresh oxygen.
The air flow rate of this All Pond Solutions model is 1,800L/hr. This is by far the fastest rate of the models in our review, but having the air exit from the six air stones makes this manageable for your pond. However, if this is ever too much water circulation for your pond and its fish, online reviewers have had success plugging up one or more of the outlet tubes and having less air exit from the aerator.
A very useful feature of this model of aerator is that the connectors each have one-way valves in them. This stops any water from flowing back and getting into the pump, potentially causing harm to it. And speaking of water flowing, this model has a waterproof rating of IP44 which means that it’s OK with the occasional splash from the pond.
- Sleek black air pump designed especially for outdoor koi ponds and indoor aquariums.
- Air flow rate of 1,800L/hr.
- Waterproof rating of IP44 – place above the water level and protected from water spray.
- Comes with six air stones made of silicon carbide in a pyramid shape.
- Wide bases of stones create stable platforms for them to rest on.
- Each air hose (one for each of the six stones) is 2m long and fits into a six-way outlet.
- One-way valves to stop water getting into the pump.
- Use less than six stones by blocking off the outlets you don’t want air to come out of.
- Short tube from pump to six-way outlet.
The All Pond Solutions Outdoor Koi Fish Pond Air Pump Kit comes with six air stones, each with its own air tube, so you can cover a large area of your pond water with air bubbles. The pyramid shape of the air stones makes them more stable than the usual round disk stones and their construction of silicon carbide is anti-erosion and anti-clogging.
4. Oase Pond Aerator OxyTex 400, Single unit
The Oase Pond Aerator OxyTex 400 looks and acts a little differently from the other aerator models in this review. To start with, it doesn’t come with any stones to release the air into the water. Instead, this unit looks like a bundle of fake, long grass blades sitting in a black plastic bowl. This is a multi-function product as the air exits the bowl and the grass blades filter the water.
This is how it works. The unit connects to the air pump (not included) via the provided black air tube. The air bubbles come out of the black bowl at a significant rate of 500L/hr. This is a fast air flow that causes the air to circulate strongly through the pond water. That’s the aerator part.
Filtering of the water happens through the grass blades. As the blades are tall and thin, there’s a large surface area to filter out any solids in the water and also to encourage the good bacteria to grow there. These bacteria eat organic matter and clean the water.
This is a handy aerator with a built-in filter.
We review the single model. Be aware that the two units shown in sales photo identify the different sizes – 400L/hr and 1,000L/hr; you only receive one in the size you order.
If you don’t have an air pump, this OxyTex aerator is also available as a set of two smaller units (400L/hr) along with a pump or one larger unit (1,000L/hr) also with the pump.
- Pond aerator has a decorative and functional style with long artificial grass strands out of the top of a plastic base.
- Air bubbles are discharged from the top of the black plastic base.
- Acts also as a pond filter as microorganisms settle into the flora and break down nutrients and waste in the water.
- Discharges 500L/hr of air bubbles.
- Airline for connection to pump is included
- Need to supply your own air pump with this model.
The Oase Pond Aerator OxyTex 400 is more of a ventilation system than just an aerator. You do need to have a separate air pump to power this so this works as an add-on to what’s already in your pond. It’s a powerful aerator that adds to the circulation of pond water and has unique surfaces (long fake grass blades) that provide a large surface area as a filter.
This is a good choice if you already have a pond pump and want to add ventilation as well as aeration, or you’re prepared to buy the aerator set that comes with the pond pump.
5. Primrose Solaray Solar Floating Oxygenator Aerator
The Primrose Solaray Solar Floating Oxygenator Aerator is another aerator that’s powered by sunlight. This also needs full sun exposure to work efficiently; overcast daylight won’t get a full stream of air going from this item.
If your pond is up to 2,000L in volume this Solarray aerator is suitable for keeping it clean and well-oxygenated. It pumps out 100L/hr of air, which isn’t very much but is sufficient for that size pond.
You may do a double take when we tell you that the single air stone connects to the pump unit by a tube that’s only 0,5m long. This isn’t long enough with the usual arrangement of having the pump on dry land and the stone in the water. But this Solarray unit floats on the water, so the 0.5m tube just has to reach down into the pond. No more visible tubing on land from the pump to the air stone.
That’s right, the pump is encased underneath a black circular ABS plastic support that’s on floating foam. The solar panel is on the top within the black ring. The unit floats happily on the water, moving with the wind until it bumps into some plants and stays there. You can strategically position this unit where you want it to stay – perhaps in the middle of the pond for the most coverage – by nestling it up against or within some plants.
- Solar pond aerator that floats on the water.
- Pumps out 100L/hr of air that circulates in your pond.
- One spherical air stone connects to the solar panel/pump unit with a 0.5m tube.
- Pump and 1W solar panel floats on a ABS plastic support on floating foam.
- Suitable for small to medium size ponds up to 2,000L in volume.
- Needs full direct sunlight to work (as with any solar-powered product).
The Primrose Solaray Solar Floating Oxygenator Aerator bobs along gently with the breeze on the surface of your small to medium garden pond until it fits in with some water plants. There’s no tubing insight from the land into the water, leaving you with a visually uninterrupted but clean pond.
This is a good choice if you have a circular pond and want to position your aerator for the most possible coverage. Or if you don’t like to see tubes and cords running over your landscape.
Buyer’s Guide for Pond Aerators
This Buyer’s Guide looks at the benefits of using an aerator in your pond and describes how one works.
Why you should aerate your pond
To be upfront, some experts say that you don’t actually *need* to aerate your pond. Your pond pump circulates the water and that gets some oxygen into it. But an aerator is specially designed, through the release of air bubbles upwards into the water, to move the water from the depths of your pond up to the surface. There it comes into contact with sunlight and wind and oxygen, and absorbs most of these, moving it back down into the depths newly refreshed.
We want to highlight here that we’re talking about, and reviewing, aerators that work from underneath the surface of the water. Surface aeration, also a good idea, is carried out by above water-level features including fountains and waterfalls.
7 benefits of pond aeration
Aeration develops pond water containing a good supply of oxygen and so:
- Allows your fish to breathe easily.
- Reduces the build-up of organic sedimentation on the bottom of the pond.
- Reduces algae.
- Decomposes bad bacteria.
- Removes bad smells.
- Disturbs mosquitoes and big, biting flies.
- Balances and stabilises the pond ecosystem so everything can grow live and grow well.
How pond aerators work
Each pond aerator needs a pump and some way of diffusing the air into the water. Most pond aerators, though not all, come with both of these, plus the tubing to hook everything together.
The pump, which you put on dry land, takes in and compresses air and sends it through an air tube to a diffuser which is usually an air stone. If the aerator has more than one air stone, there’s a tube to each one. The air stones lie at the bottom of the pond and release the air in the form of bubbles into the water. These air bubbles rise up to the surface of the water where they’re exposed to oxygen and sunlight (if any). The oxygen dissolves into the water and so is brought down into the pond eco-system.
Even if you already have a pond pump in your water feature, putting in an aerator ensures that there’s enough oxygen in the water to keep both it and your fish clean and healthy. Solar-powered aerators can stand on their own in the sunny summer, but are not so independent on overcast or rainy days. However, they work well as a back-up system to an existing electric pump. Electric aerators are more reliable but do require placing the power cord and the pump on land, although you can hide these elements within your garden landscape.
My Best Pick is the Pontec Pond Aerator Set 200. This model of aerator comes in a large range of air flow sizes to suit all ponds, from the small to the large.
My Best Pick – Budget is the Woodside Solar Oxygenator Air Pump for Pond. This is a solar aerator whose pump needs to be kept dry. But it has enough power for a medium size pond.
Now that you have enough oxygen in your garden pond, how about adding some more plant life? See our recommendations in 7 Best Oxygenating Pond Plants For Water Health and Clarity, Best Pond Plants For Small Ponds – Our favourite picks, and Top 7 Must Have Floating Pond Plants.
Last update on 2023-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API