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EFFECTS OF AERATION ON WATER TEMPERATURE AND POND EVAPORATION

Hisham A. Abdelrahman* and Claude E. Boyd


School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences
Auburn University, Alabama 36849-5419 USA
haa0008@tigermail.auburn.edu

This study was conducted to determine the influence of aeration on evaporation rates and water
temperature in ponds. To accomplish these objectives, the study was carried out in six, 0.04-ha
research ponds located in the Auburn University E. W. Shell Fisheries Center. Water exchange
was not used and overflow did not occur in ponds. One pond was an unfertilized control (no
aeration) while the other five ponds were treated with nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer twice
per month. One of the fertilized ponds was a fertilized control (no aeration) while the other four
were supplied with different numbers (1, 2, 3 and 4) of 0.37-kw aerators. Surface water
temperature in each pond and air temperature were monitored at 1-h intervals with HOBO data
loggers. Light intensity and water temperature at 70 cm depth were also monitored at 1-h
intervals with HOBO data loggers. Chlorophyll a concentration was measured weekly, and
Secchi disc visibility was measured daily. The study was carried out in two phases. During the
first phase, the water level was measured with a hook gauge every 24 h for 66 d. Aeration was
used on alternative days in each pond and the water losses are shown (Fig. 1). During the second
phase, aerators were turned on for a period of only12 h each day for 30 d resulting in 15 d with
aerators on during daylight time and 15 d with aerators on during night time. A rain gauge was
used to measure rain fall and a Class A evaporation pan was used to measure pan evaporation.
Then water budget was calculated for each pond. Turbidity of water was measured daily during
the first phase and two times per day during the second phase. The correlations between
variables and the amount of water loss per horse power of aeration will be presented.

16
Av. off Av. on
14
12
mm loss/day

10
8
6
4
2
0

Fig.1. Effect of different levels of aeration on pond evaporation