Lake stratification is the dividing of lake water, or formation of water layers based on salinity and temperature. Colder water is at the bottom of a lake while warmer water is at the top. When water is stratified it causes unhealthy side effects for the lake. These problems include: dying fish, foul odors, excessive weed growth, cloudy water, and excessive algae growth, all which result from low oxygen levels.
The best way to increase the levels of oxygen in a lake is with aeration. This can be accomplished with lake fountains and aeration systems. By maintaining proper oxygen levels in the lake: the breakdown of organic matter is quicker allowing good bacteria to thrive; a healthy ecosystem is maintained; and if operated during freezing months, will keep areas of lake from freezing allowing gases to escape and sunlight to enter.
The lower levels of the water that are cooler and the warmer water do not naturally mix. The lower levels are not conducive to healthy marine life, but can be home to non-beneficial bacteria that release noxious gases into the water which is what makes some ponds smell badly. When the oxygen level stayed down at the lower levels, it required marine life to live only in the upper levels of the pond. This increases the demand and use of oxygen at this level, putting a strain on the water without additions of oxygen through aeration.
Lake fountains can float on the top of the water or be a diffused system that pumps water from the bottom of the lake to the surface. Whether you need one or the other depends on the depth of your lake. Shallow lakes respond well to floating lake fountains, while deeper lakes seem to need the diffused system to pump the largest volumes of water to the surface. In both systems water is introduced to the air and gets oxygen which it brings back down to the water.
Floating lake fountains take the water from the top couple of feet, while the diffuser forces water down creating bubbles that then float to the surface. The current created by the rising bubbles brings low oxygenated deeper waters to the surface mixing it with oxygen rich water. In addition to oxygen levels being increased, harmful gases in the water are released from the lake.
Whenever a healthy, balanced lake ecosystem is desired, using lake fountains for aeration is the solution.