Garden Pond Heaters

  Quickbeam 08:53 07 Dec 2010

Do any of you use them?

I was reading site click here and looking at this product click here For the first time in 15 years I've got serious icing over my pond which is in a quite sheltered area of the garden. I do however have an aerator running 24/7 and that has kept an approx 12" hole clear over the last two nights when it's dropped to minus 10C or thereabouts.

That is OK, but as I'm going away for a week at Christmas, I'm thinking will it freeze over completely, and what harm would a few days of being iced over do?

  ventanas 10:53 07 Dec 2010

I always found that a plastic milk bottle part filled to keep it part way below the surface would stop a pond from completely frezing over. And you can put warm water in it to help.
The fish always survived winter, but this one does seem to be something else.
But unless you expect the entire pond to freeze over for days on end I would not worry.

  peter99co 11:33 07 Dec 2010

I was told a tennis ball could help to keep a hole clear. It seems to be movement that is needed to retain a small hole. Just enough to release trapped gas.

  namtas 13:11 07 Dec 2010

A problem can arise when the gas from decomposing matter such as leaves can not escape to the atmosphere. The build up of toxic gas derives the fish of oxygen. If your pond is clear of leaves etc. (and the large broad leaves I understand are worst type) then you should not have a problem

  Bingalau 13:16 07 Dec 2010

I always thought the edges round a pond stayed unfrozen. Maybe enough for oxygen for the fish etc., gets through that small gap.

  carver 13:46 07 Dec 2010

It depends on several factors, how deep is your pond and as namtas has stated about old leaves in the bottom of the pond.

One thing you shouldn't do is to try to break any ice on the surface, the noise from doing that can distress the fish.

Its rare for fish to die just because it's frozen for a few days, because they are cold blooded they will just slow down and not feed.

  uk-wizard 17:07 07 Dec 2010

I leave the submersible pump running but take the jet assembly off so that it directs a stream of water up-wards, the heat from the pump and that stream of water has been enough to keep a hole clear in the ice.

  spuds 17:25 07 Dec 2010

If you want your fish to survive, it would depend on how deep the pond is.

  spuds 17:32 07 Dec 2010

Went into cyber-space before I had finished?.

We use a couple of footballs which seem to do the trick.

If you are going to use an heater, then check to see if it as a 'standard' plug fitted, because it should not have, due to electric and water combination and safety hazard. The heater or any pond device should be fitted by a qualified electrician via a safety unit.

  Forum Editor 19:22 07 Dec 2010

and it will wipe out your fish quite rapidly if allowed to remain trapped under wall to wall ice.

I leave my pumps running all winter, and the water that tumbles down the rock waterfall on one side of the pond keeps an area of water ice-free. It's enough, and I haven't lost a fish to the gas for years. I've never used a pond heater, the fish don't need it as long as they can get down in about 600mm of water.

  Nontek 20:22 07 Dec 2010

I use a Superfish pond heater - a small electric pump indoors, pushing warm air through a tube to what looks like a white floating-flying saucer, on the surface of the pond - the tube goes through the floating saucer and to a depth of about 12 - 15 inches, on the end of the tube is a small effervescent stone block through which the warm air moves creating a steady continuous flow of warm-air bubbles. This has kept a clear de-iced area of about 18" diameter, while the rest of the pond is totally frozen over. It works a treat.

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