Anyone Tried Solar Powered Aeration ?

newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)April 17, 2008

So I come upon these solar powered pond aeration systems for sales that use solar power to drive a small air pump for oxygen. I wondered if anyone had tried them. Of course they only work during the day so I am wondering if there is enough oxygen left in the water overnight.

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sheepco(MN z4)

I bought an itty bitty one to oxygenate a 100 gallon stock tank - worked for about 2 days - I guess you get what you pay for - $24.99 down the drain. Live and learn.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 12:25AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

I know Swiss_apls_Tx uses one in her stocktank pond. She'll probably be along in a little bit. I've been thinking about looking into one, for my stocktanks that are too far from the outlet. It would be nice not having to pay for electricity too!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 6:54AM
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I have a couple Solar systems. The little one I use in the Goldfish Pond is a couple years old now and does well for me. It has a battery in it's base that stored the energy for cloudy or night use so it is 24 hour usage. It is a "SunJet Magic 290M" by Smart Solar, designed to be a fountain. My Pomnd Man ordered it and converted it to the waterfall usage. But it works best as a fountain. I said earlier that it sprayed 12 inches in the air but I measured yesterday and it was 20-22 inches high. It is really a nice size for my Above the Ground 65in tank. It has a timeer on it too that I've never used.

My other Solar fountain is out on a Pond stock tank and much bigger and about $800.00. The panel is a bout 4 X 4 foot and short cord we had to add an extension to from land to underwater pump. It shoots off sporaticly when the sun is not intense. So not as dependable. The storage battery was just too pricey for us so we opted out of that and maybe we shouldn't have cut that cornor. It's an "Atlantis Solar 28" by Oase (Germany)and the Pond Man ordered it for us. It quit once and was quickly replaced with the warrentee. We just use it as an ornament so no fish depend on it. Although the Bass may like it in the hot Summer months. The part way over my head was the technical stuff like it taking so many watts or amps to push so much pounds of water over such and such a distance and up a grade so many feet. The solar panels themselves are very sensitive. A hand passing over blocking the sun shuts it off. Our Big Panel needs to be aimed for the morning sun and then switched to the afternoon sun to get it's full usage. A bit of a hassel. But I love my little fountain I just set up in the Goldfish Upper Tank. I go to bed just before dark so I haven't seen the night light and it's color changes on the fountain yet. (and it's two years old so the light may be burned out)

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 10:09AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Hi Kathy,
I missed your post on this.
I'm thinking of getting one for my above ground 300 gallon stocktank that will have tropical lilies in it. I just want it for a little aeration. Can you adjust the flow of the spray of water? I wouldn't want it 20" high. Do they all have a panel that you have to place somewhere outside the pond? How far away from the pump can it be placed? Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 7:41PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

P.S. Kathy.....can you turn the light off? I don't really want a light on it.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 7:44PM
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I took some pictures for you Catherinet. The solar panel is 7 1/2 inches square and sits on top of battery storage unit. The cord to the pump is about 15-20 feet long. The float that the fountain head is on is 7 1/2 inches diameter. The light is pin head size and could be covered by a pea sized piece of duck tape I suppose. The sun strength on the solar panel determines the height of the fountain spray. I suppose you could cover part of it to lessen the height of water.

the tiny white spot at 3 o'clock under the fountain head is the light.

An anchor set comes with it to place it in your pond - I didn't use - the cord keeps mine in the center. Holes and screws come to fasten the solar panel/battery in one place and the panel pivits to align with the sun. I just turn mine at noon to catch afternoon sun and keep my base portable. 2 year warranty. Rare these days.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 5:38PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks Kathy,
I was just afraid the spray of water would be too high for my stocktank, and spray out. so it isn't adjustable?
Don't I remember you saying once that the light changed colors? Does it just light up the area above the water?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 6:22PM
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The spray is not very wide. Look at the 2nd to the last picture. Just bearly over the 7 1/2 inch float. Some times I pull it to the side to water the surounding plants. It's a very soft spray. The light is not very bright - more of a mood glow. It doesn't really light up anything. Maybe just a little of the spray. It doesn't light underwater.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 12:36PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

swiss_apls_tx - How many gallons in the stock tank in the picture and how wide and deep?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 1:37PM
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The tank on the top is 2 feet deep and 65 inches across nd holds about 380 gallons. How big is your tank?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 9:01AM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

It is 26 inches deep and 4 feet by 7 feet (48 by 84) holds 300 gallons.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 12:11PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Rita, your stocktank is just about the same size as the round Rubbermaid stocktanks, but your's is oblong. One thing I don't like about the Rubbermaids, is that the sides are flat. I guess they did that so farmers could put their stocktanks right up against a building. But I think it makes a freestanding stocktank took a little crooked. It would be nice to have it completely oblong like I think your's is.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 12:26PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

I looked for a long time (about 2 years off and on) thinking about a stocktank but this spring I just stumbled accross the Freeland Brand name ones instead of the Rubbermaid that most people seem to have. I really liked what I saw.

Look part way down the page and on the right and you will see the one I have, the 300 gallon one.

Here is a link that might be useful: Freeland Poly Stock Tanks

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 12:58PM
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I've been looking in to solar aeration for son long that the sun has set on many of my best intentions! :)

I've done like many of you...spend $5o on a cheap solar pump just to have it give up the ghost before the fresh milk in my fridge goes sour! Why am I trying to save on my electricity bill and obviouselt spending more than 2 months of hydro electricity ieach time I buy one of these fountains or pumps?!


I finally dug deeper and did some research...luckily I had a bottle of aspirin because this is very complicated! Trying to find a decent solar powered air pump isn't easy and the cost is, well...more than I had thought...but it was worth it.

Those cheap solar pumps are cute but I was looking for a solid bubbler system for my koi pond...a battery powered solar pump with a few airstone diffusers in the koi pond...nothing complex but in the end I had to speak to a local fellow who specialized in solar systems to get me set-up so my pump would work.

It eventually worked...I now have a DC battery powered aerator working in my pond but it did cost me over $1000 when all the parts and labour were included.

It's worth it!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pond Information & Building Solar Aeration Systems

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 12:04AM
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ok, so i know its REEEEAAAAAALLLLLYYYYYY old but i thought id share my experience in case anyone is looking at solar as an option

so i got one of those stupid kits from overstock, 8w panel, pump, stupid LED light, etc. it did ok, but i didnt like the "only on for 4 hrs" feature, so i started researching

1st problem, running continuously, i figured my pump draws less than 1a, so to run all day/night, i needed minimum 24 amp hours. add in cloudy days, blocked sun, etc, i ended up with a 34AH AGM wheel chair battery(do some research, i went AGM for long life)

2nd problem, the 8w panel wouldnt power that, so to ebay i went. found a 35w monocrystalline panel(again, research it, the amorphous are cheaper, but dont last as long) from a california company that came with a charge controller(must have) that puts out 35w and close to 2A.

3rd problem. where the he(( is all this going? I mounted the panel on top of this trellis bench thing i built years ago using some aluminum angle, and various bolts/nuts, and ran the wire to the pond connecting it to the back of the bench with coax cable "staples". pump had a connector, not wires so i had to clip it, splice the wires into the charge controller, no problem. mounted the battery and charge controller in one of those metal ammo cans i had laying around(drilled a couple small holes for ventilation) and now the whole set up is weather tight-ish.

plugged it all in and its worked for about 9 months, flawlessly.

cost involved
60$ solar panel
90$ battery
10$ wire
various fasteners were free as was the ammo can(had them), but ill say 20$ if you had to buy them(little bolts, coax cable clips, etc)

i estimate the life around 5-8yrs for the battery. 15-20 for panel, and maybe a year for the pump(need to find another substitute, soon)

so around 200$ of "free" electricity, to keep the water flowing in my 40gallon "pond" doesnt make alot of economic sense. but it was an experiment, and it beats digging a trench through the yard to get 110 to that area. the birds dig it, and im certain the mosquitos will too...sigh, another problem...

at the end of the day, to figure it all out, you need to know what your load is(amperage draw for pump, lights, etc) then get a panel that makes more than that, then figure out how to store it( mine was 1a x 24= 24AH, plus close to 50% for error/clouds etc)

ill post some pics later, or can email if you would like more info.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 4:39PM
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