LED vs. Halogen Lighting

The biggest difference between Halogen and LED lights is how they function. LED lights produce their light with an electrical current that is run in an arc pattern between two electrodes. Halogen lights produce light by heating up a tungsten filament

As far as lifespan, LED lights last much longer than their traditional halogen counterparts. Typically halogen lighting lasts from anywhere between 2,000 to 6,000 hours, which is two to three times as long as an incandescent light. To put that into perspective, LED lights can last upwards of 100 times as long as an incandescent light bulb.

LED lights are also considered to be much more efficient than Halogen lights. The reason for this is that the light that is emitted by LED lights is produced using small amounts of power. Halogen lights are just slightly modified incandescent bulbs and use a great deal of energy. 

Halogen light bulbs do cost much less than LED light bulbs which seems to be the main advantage of halogen lights. LED lights have a high production cost which contributes to the costly prices. However because LED lights last much longer, overtime they are a much more cost effective option for a number of different uses including fountain lighting, light strips, and even accent lighting. 

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Amazing Fountain Lighting

The Magic Fountain of MontJuic’s in Barcelona is an amazing example of how important fountain lighting can be to the splendor of a fountain. Below is a video of The Magic Fountain which has an impressive array of different colored fountain lights that are coordinated to music.

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Algae: the Original Fuel

Apparently algae can be much more than a stubborn aquatic weed, it can be fuel! The crude oil that lies miles below the Earth’s surface was actually formed from layers of prehistoric algae blooms that has settled on sea beds around the world.

Massive algae blooms from over a million years formed in warm areas of shallow lakes and oceans, feeding from atmospheric carbon dioxide and sunlight. The natural lifecycle of the algae involves the blooming and then eventual death of the algae. Once the algae died it settled on the bottom of the seafloor combining with sediment.

Over time the algal biomasses were pushed deeper into the earth where they decomposed into kerogen. Geological heat and pressure eventually transformed the kerogen into liquid oil. This oil seeped upwards due to its low density to surrounding reservoirs. It is these reservoirs that oil companies now collect their oil from.

The coolest thing about this algae based oil is that scientist have figured out how to replicate the process in a matter of days. They are now able to convert algae into biodiesel, gasoline and even jet fuel. Better yet, these algae reservoirs are above ground and do not need to be drilled into, they also never run dry! 

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What is Algae, Really?

Everyone has witnessed a pond of lake overrun with algae at some point, but what exactly is algae? According to Wikipedia, algae is a diverse group os simple, typically autotrophic organisms, ranging in many different forms. 

Algae can be unicellular to multicellular which controls how long algae can grow to. For example there is a species of giant kelp that grows to be 65 meters in length. Seaweed is actually a form of algae and is the most complex form. 

Algae also exhibits a wide range of reproductive strategies from simple asexual cell division to complex forms of sexual reproduction. This is probably why algae is so difficult to remove from your pond or lake. 

Algae is just about as interesting as it is appealing to look at. If you have an issue with algae in your pond or lake the best thing to do is to contact some sort of lake maintenance professional that can help you clear it away. 

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The Best Ways to Circulate Water

There are a couple different ways to circulate the water in your pond or lake to prevent water stratification and turnovers. By far, one of the best ways is to install a diffuser system. Diffuser systems use an air compressor to pump air into the bottom of your pond, much like air stones in an aquarium. The diffuser breaks air into smaller bubbles which expand as they rise to the surface. The rising on the bubbles pushes water and forms a current that mixes the entire water column.

Other methods to circulate the water in your pond are pumps such as centrifugal irrigation pumps and sump pumps. Both of these water pumps push water but if not designed correctly they will not prevent stratification. 

The trick is to make sure that these pumps are creating a current to mix the bottom layers of water with the surface layers. Irrigation pumps can also be installed on land as long as they draw water from the bottom of the pond. Water pumps are not self-cleaning so regular maintenance is important to keep them from getting clogged with debris and aquatic vegetation. 

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How to Prevent Lake Turnover

Turnover is an event that occurs when pond water becomes stratified. Essentially stratification is when the water in your pond is not being mixed and the top layer becomes heated by the sun while the bottum layer stays cool. The problem with this is because oxygen levels become depleted on those cooler levels.

This is where turnovers come in. Turnovers are when the warm and cool layers of water rapidly mix which dilutes oxygen levels even further and usually result in fish kills. Although turnovers occur naturally in the fall ever year, they are usually much more gradual and don’t cause much harm. Rapid turnovers on the other hand typically occur during the warmer months and coincide with storms or windy days. 

The best way to prevent stratification and turnovers is mechanical circulation, mainly through a well maintained aeration system.  It is also important that the construction of your pond is at the proper ratios. The ratio of surface waters, called epilimnion, to deep waters, called hypolimnion, is a major factor to the amount and severity of turnovers you can expect. 

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The Importance of Your Aeration System

The circulation and aeration of water in stormwater ponds has several benefits that many  people are unaware of. A proper aeration system oxygenates the water and more importantly mixes the water to prevent stratification. 

Stratification occurs when the sun heats the top layers of the water while the deeper water remains cool. When these layers do no mix, the bottom cooler layers become depleted of oxygen due to organic decomposition. Meanwhile the warmer top layer of water receive too much oxygen and produces excess amounts of phystoplankton.

Stratification is extremely detrimental to the health of fish and other aquatic life, especially in smaller ponds. Stratification also creates the perfect conditions for a rapid turnover which results in fish kills because the fish suffocate from the lack of oxygen.

Contact a lake specialist to install or repair your aeration system if you fear your lake or pond may be experiencing stratification.

 

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