Does A Waterfall Oxygenate A Pond?

A calm pond with plants and trees around it is mesmerizing to anyone who looks at it. Unfortunately, stale water is not suitable for water plants and fish as it lowers the level of oxygen in the pond. So, the best way to create movement in pond water is to install a waterfall. But, does a waterfall oxygenate a pond?

A waterfall will oxygenate the pond only if the pond size is small or not too large because a waterfall has its limitations when it comes to creating movements in the water. It can generate enough circulation in a small or medium pond. But if the pond is large and too deep, the water flow will not reach everywhere.

Just like every other living thing, pond plants and their inhabitants need oxygen to grow and be healthy. Is a waterfall suitable enough to ensure that? Let’s take a look at today’s article to find more about pond oxygenation.

What Is Pond Oxygenation And Why Is It Necessary?

Oxygenation is the process of adding oxygen to a system. It helps boost the life of the particular system and improves the environment.

Pond oxygenation happens when there is a medium or system to oxygenate the water. It usually occurs when the water’s surface touches the air. There should be enough movement in the water to make it happen.

Moreover, oxygenation boosts the pond’s ecosystem and makes the pond environment healthy. It also reduces the growth of algae and other harmful chemicals.

Besides, when the oxygen level is low, various organic matters, such as wastes and debris, start building up. They make the pond water turn greenish, smelly, and toxic. The oxygenation process eliminates all those harmful matters to ensure a fresh environment.

Does A Waterfall Oxygenate A Pond?

This answer is a little complicated to explain. But you need to understand that the environment system works in layers. Everything must go through one process to reach another. The same thing can be said when it comes to waterfall and pond oxygenation.

Waterfalls do not oxygenate the pond directly. Before that comes the process called aeration. Aeration is the stage where the water comes to contact with the air when there are movements in the pond.

When the water and air come to contact, the oxygen gets transferred to the pond water. And, when the oxygen spreads around the pond, it is called oxygenation.  So the waterfalls do not cause oxygenation directly. However, it plays a vital role in improving pond health.

Besides, a waterfall isn’t enough to create aeration or oxygenation in pond water. Since the waterfall is most probably artificial, it can fail to cause movement in the entire pond. So, this process may work only in small ponds, not the extended and deep ones.

How To Know If There Is Not Enough Oxygen In The Pond

Without enough oxygen, pond plants and fish will be in a dangerous environment, while algae and other organic matter keep blooming. And if you do not fix the issue quickly, the pond water will turn toxic and kill the fish eventually.

But how will you know if there is not enough oxygen in the pond water? Keep your eyes on the pond and look for the following signs. If you notice any of them, your pond will need more oxygen.

Fish Staying Near The Surface

Fishes love coming up to the pond surface from time to time. They spend a lot of time near the surface during summer. However, if they spend most of their time near the surface or at the bottom of the waterfall, they are probably not getting enough oxygen.

Fish Keep Gasping From Air

If the fish keep poking out its mouth frequently, they’re gasping for air. It happens when there isn’t enough oxygen below the surface. This problem can decline the fish’s health faster.

Increasing Mosquitoes

Stale water lowers the oxygen level of the pond. And mosquitoes thrive in still water. Once your pond’s oxygen level decreases due to water stillness, mosquitoes will swamp the pond surface.

Algae Bloom

Do you know what else happens when there isn’t enough oxygen in water? The algae start thriving inside and on the surface. These growing algae increase the level of carbon dioxide in water.

The Pond Will Smell

When food wastes, fish wastes, rotten leaves keep gathering in the pond, they start lowering the pond’s oxygen. As a result, the water starts smelling foul.

Greenish Water

Without enough water circulation, the pond water will start gathering harmful matters. They will gradually turn the water stinky and toxic. At some point, the water will start turning green, which is another sign of low oxygen.

Let’s watch a video

How Do I Measure Oxygen Level In Ponds?

It is necessary to keep the pond’s oxygen level in check for the well-being of the fish. You can check the oxygen level with a pond testing kit in the following ways.

  • First, collect a sample of pond water in a sample bottle.
  • You have to submerge the bottle entirely and tightly close the lid while it is still underwater.
  • The test kit will have magnesium sulfate and alkaline iodide azide. Add them into the sample bottle.
  • Soon you will notice brownish clumps gathering. Let it settle.
  • Then add sulfamic acid (included with the kit) and shake the sample bottle. Now the clump will dissolve, and the sample color starts to turn yellow.
  • Next, you have to add a stated amount of chemicals and water.
  • Then add sodium thiosulfate drop by drop. You need to keep the sample swirling as you do it and stop when the water clears.
  • If you divide sodium thiosulfate drop number by two, you will find the level of dissolved oxygen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What Causes Low Oxygen Level In Ponds?

The oxygen level can drop due to the following reasons.

  • Overcrowded Pond: It is one of the main reasons why a pond’s oxygen level goes down. Too many fish will consume more oxygen to live and multiply. Thus, the pond’s oxygen level keeps dropping.
  • Dead Plants: Plants perform photosynthesis, which oxygenates the pond. But if the plants keep dying, it causes oxygen depletion.
  • Organic Matter: An increasing amount of organic matter in the pond can drastically lower its oxygen level. Besides, they end up making the water environment toxic and dangerous.
  • Weather: Oxygen levels can lower during summer. The temperature stays warm, causing evaporation and a low oxygen supply.

Q. How Can I Increase Oxygen Level In My Pond?

Once you realize that your pond’s oxygen level is low, you can increase your pond’s oxygen level in the following ways.

  • Oxygenating plants are the best and one of the most natural ways to increase the oxygen level. There are floating and submerged plants that help with the pond’s oxygenation.
  • Remove the organic matter, such as debris, rotten leaves, and algae. They are threats to a safe and healthy pond.
  • Add a pump that will keep the water flow active and help with aeration.

Q. How Can I Oxygenate My Pond Quickly?

Once the pond’s oxygen level starts getting lower, the pond water starts becoming toxic. So, you need to oxygenate the pond as soon as possible.

  • The simplest and quickest way to oxygenate a pond is to add a pump. You can set it up at a side of the pond, and it will pump the water from there through a hose. As the bubbles enter the surface, it will allow the oxygen to enter the water.
  • You can install one or more waterfalls or fountains, depending on your pond size. This option will increase both the oxygen level and the pond’s beauty.
  • If you want to refrain from choosing any previous options, you can spray water for quick oxygenation. Use a hose to spray water violently all over the pond to ensure better oxygenation.

Q. How Can You Oxygenate My Pond Without A Pump?

A pump is not the only way to oxygenate a pond. If you don’t have a pump or want to purchase one, you can still do a few other things to ensure your pond has enough oxygen.

  • You can’t imagine a better way to oxygenate a pond without plants. And then, some plants improve a pond’s oxygen level.
  • If you don’t want to go through much, you can use oxygen tablets. They are for both plants and fish and do not harm aquatic life.
  • Waterfalls are impressive when it comes to creating movement in pond water. Thus, they help oxygenate the pond.


Waterfalls are known for increasing water flow, along with the pond’s beauty. The question was, “Does a waterfall oxygenate a pond?” I must say that the answer is both positive and negative.

Waterfalls do create movements in water, but sometimes, it is not enough. Often the circulation cannot reach the bottom of the pond. Thus, it fails to oxygenate the pond. In that case, you can add more waterfalls or install a water pump.

But that is not all. To maintain a pond’s oxygen level, you need to take care of it regularly. Keeping the pond clean, planting oxygenating plants, and providing enough water circulation can change everything.