Remediation of water quality by stimulating algal photosynthesis using light-emitting diodes (LEDs) has attracted attention, but few studies have examined this in outdoor freshwater environments. To understand the effects of LED illumination on water quality, the dissolved oxygen (DO), temperature, pH, and electric conductivity were monitored over 5 months in three depressions with or without a red/blue LED light at the bottom of an experimental pond. The effects of the blue LED on water quality were evident in the period with less rainfall after the change of water quality to an equilibrium state; DO and pH were higher, and EC was lower for the blue LED than for the control. The diel changes of these variables were also lower for the blue LED. The effects of the red LED on DO and pH were also evident, but to a lesser extent compared to those of the blue LED. A vertical mixing of water associated with a nighttime cooling of the surface water was suggested by a rapid DO increase after a temperature decrease in the control. Such internal water circulation and an inflow of water after rainfall might have obscured the LED effects in the rainy period. The bottom water of the blue LED had a higher density and species richness of phytoplankton than that of the control at the end of the experiment. A lower density of phytoplankton and higher nutrient concentrations in the red LED might have been due to a higher density and feeding activity by zooplankton. Our results confirmed the applicability of LED illumination in stimulating algal photosynthesis, and in improving the oxygen condition of the bottom water in freshwater ponds.
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