The Difference Between Fountains, Submersed Aeration and Nanobubbles

Lakes and ponds serve many purposes. They accumulate sediment and runoff from rainstorms. They are used for recreation for fishing, boating, swimming, and offer beautiful ecosystems that communities can enjoy year-round. No two bodies of water are alike. However, there is one thing healthy freshwater systems have in common: a plentiful amount of dissolved oxygen (DO). The exchange of dissolved oxygen happens naturally on the surface, but aquatic weeds and algae or poor circulation can block dissolved oxygen from reaching areas that need it more. This can lead to imbalances that will cause poor water conditions, foul odors, excessive sludge, midge and mosquito infestations, fish kills, and harmful cyanobacteria blooms.

Thankfully, there are a lot of sustainable solutions that will remedy the imbalanced dissolved oxygen conditions. Each solution has its unique benefits and restrictions.


Floating and architectural fountains are an option to encourage water circulation and dissolved oxygen. Fountains offer vital water column mixing for shallow water bodies. When the fountain water falls from the air in their appealing patterns, it splashes across the surface, promoting the release of submersed gases, which helps reverse nutrient pollution while adding beneficial dissolved oxygen into the upper layer of the water. These benefits will subside when the fountain is not running.

Lake and pond fountains are customizable to suit the function and aesthetic needs of your waterbody. For example, you can add traditional lighting or colored lenses to add to the dramatic effect of your fountain, making it the focal point at night. Depending on your water body’s unique characteristics, your freshwater management professional may suggest a fountain of a specific size ranging from 0.5hp to 60hp. Adequate fountain sizing is especially important, and Discount Pumps offers a wide variety of options.

Submersed Aeration

Another way to raise dissolved oxygen levels in large lakes and ponds is with a submersed aeration system. These operate by using an onshore compressor that pumps air through submersed tubes and diffusers that circulate and oxygenate the water from the bottom up. As bubbles rise from the bottom, they elevate dissolved oxygen throughout the waterbody. Like a floating fountain, submersed aeration systems help change nutrients into a more diluted form that cannot support aquatic weed and algae. For better results, these systems should be installed in the deeper parts because they do not circulate appropriately in shallow water.

Windmill & Solar-Powered Aeration

Sometimes there are situations where it is unrealistic to install an aeration system in an isolated waterbody that has no economical way of providing a power source. Solar-powered and windmill systems are a great eco-friendly solution for this type of situation. Though these systems still use an on-shore compressor that pumps air to the bottom of the water body, the source of the power is created naturally from sunlight or wind. You can help ensure the aeration system continues working when the sun is down, or there is not a sufficient amount of wind. Professional maintenance is required regularly for these systems.

Nanobubble Technology

Nanobubble is a new technology for dissolved oxygen that helps maximize the benefits that come from fountains and submersed aeration. Like traditional submersed systems, nanobubbles are created by an on-shore generator. However, these are about one million times smaller than regular bubbles, and they have a significant negative surface charge. This will provide long-lasting oxygenation throughout the water column and will even the sediments for up to two to three months. Nanobubbles do not offer vertical mixing benefits that fountains and standard diffusers do since they do not rise to the surface.

Nanobubble technology is highly effective at reducing foul odors, breaking down the sludgy layer, and restoring the water quality. Some equipment is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a pesticidal device, which means they can be used as a natural way to eliminate nuisance algae and remove cyanobacteria toxins.

You do not need to install a nanobubble unit to receive the benefits. With an annual management plan, nanobubbles can be introduced into your lake or pond through recurring treatments as your aquatic ecosystem requires it. This approach will provide the custom and balanced care that it needs without having to invest in a nanobubble system for your waterbody.

All these lake and pond solutions work in different ways. Using them in different ways, even pairing them based on your circumstances, could help target your unique water quality issues. Regardless of how you use your lake or pond, it is worth it to implement these natural management tools to increase dissolved oxygen levels and preserve the health and beauty of your freshwater resource.