There is no better way of keeping your fish alive during winter than using a pond heater or deicer (Source).
It is the one tool that will ensure your fish get a continuous supply of fresh air. This way, they will not succumb to harmful gases produced by decaying matter and fish waste.
For those of you who are new to pond heaters; these are devices used to avert the buildup of ice or snow in your fish pond during extreme cold conditions.
Most pond heaters are engineered to help with gas exchange, but a few of them can heat the pond to specific temperatures.
The choice of the best pond heater is huge in today’s market, and not everyone can make the best buying decision. In this guide, we have outlined the various features that a good pond heater must have.
Submersible or Floating Pond Heater
Table of Contents
- 1 Submersible or Floating Pond Heater
- 2 Best Pond Heaters 2019
- 3 1. Farm Innovators Heated Electric Pond Heater – Best Overall
- 4 2. Tetra Pond Deicer – Best Value for the Money
- 5 3. Laguna PowerHeat Heated Deicer – Best Heater for Gas Exchange
- 6 4. K&H Pet Products – Most Energy Efficient Pond Heater
- 7 5. Aquascape 39000 Pond Heater – Luxury High End Choice
- 8 How to Keep My Pond Free of Ice in the Winter?
- 9 Benefits Using a Pond Heater in Winter
- 10 Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Pond Heater
- 11 Final Verdict
They both have the same purpose – to maintain an opening in the pond ice and let the oxygen penetrate. Yet they are not created equal. So be sure to consider your needs when choosing between submersible and floating heaters to make the right choice.
Let’s check these pond heaters and go from there.
- Floating pond heaters: As you may assume, these devices float on the water surface and heat the pond water. They are more suitable for ponds with plastic liners. In such an environment, a submerged heater would wreak havoc on your pond by causing the liner to melt completely.
- Submersible pond heaters: These pond heaters produce a stream of warm water, sitting on the pond floor. The advantage of submersible models is that they’re protected from the elements such as snow, rain, and wind.
Best Pond Heaters 2019
|K&H Pet Products|
1. Farm Innovators Heated Electric Pond Heater – Best Overall
The Farm Innovators Heated Electric Pond Heater is a high-quality and versatile small pond heater. It is multipurpose equipment that can be used as a submersible pond heater or a floating deicer.
This pond heater is made of all cast aluminum structure. This material provides a range of benefits, which include: chemical stability, good surface finish, low hot cracking, short casting cycles, low melting point, and high fluidity.
The aluminum construction is ultimately efficient and safe. The heater is incorporated with a thermostatically controlled element of 1250 watts. This wattage is safe for use in ponds and tanks. And it can be submerged in a tank or porn with up to three hundred gallons of water.
It comes complete with a durable power cord that measure up to ten feet long. For a 300-gallon pond, the pond heater can maintain remarkable temperatures that will keep your fish alive during winter.
2. Tetra Pond Deicer – Best Value for the Money
Fishkeeping fans have looked to the Tetra Pond Deicer for solutions during winter. This uniquely engineered pond heater can work for both experienced and inexperienced users. It helps you deal with the problem of fish waste and decaying matter.
It achieves this by getting rid of harmful gases produced by fish waste and decaying matter. Unlike other pond heaters, this particular model features a natural stone texture that will exceptionally blend in with the surroundings of your pond.
It is integrated with a thermostat control of 300 watts that automatically shuts off power when not in use. This makes the heater energy efficient. It is UL listed and very effective for up to -28.8 degrees Celsius.
In most cases, the deicer would turn off when temperatures exceed 32 degrees. You are strongly advised to surround the pond with windbreakers. This will allow the stone too function accordingly.
3. Laguna PowerHeat Heated Deicer – Best Heater for Gas Exchange
Do you want to keep your fish from icing over or freezing? If yes, then search no further than the Laguna PowerHeat Deicer. It will help prevent the fish from dying due to harmful gases produced by fish waste and decaying matter.
This pond heater works wonders for small water bodies and ponds that hit temperatures of twenty degrees Fahrenheit. It is integrated with a 15-watt heating element that is very effective at breaking down snow and ice when it makes contact. This also prevents the tool from being buried by ice or snow.
The deicer does an amazing job of gas exchange in the pond. This ensures the fish are not deprived of the necessary oxygen they need to survive. You will know that the deicer is functioning if you see the installed LED light on.
The Laguna PowerHeat Deicer comes with a safety feature that automatically turns it off when there is a problem. This ensures there are no electrical problems or burn outs. However, this particular deicer is meant to help with gas exchange and not heating the water.
4. K&H Pet Products – Most Energy Efficient Pond Heater
The K&H Pet Products Thermo Pond Heater is one of the best deicer in today’s market. The patented design preserves a hole in the pond ice. It is one of the most resourceful, versatile, and energy efficient pond heaters for the money.
The open hole created in the pond by the deicer allows for effective gas exchange. This helps the fish survive the harsh conditions in winter. The twelve-inch hole is preserved regardless of whether the weather is sub-zero or not.
It is an economical deicer. If you want a pond heater that will not produce huge electric bills, then the K&H Heater is what you need. It thermostatically operates with 100 watts of power, which is cost-effective.
The internal thermostat does automatically turn the pond heater on or off as required. The heater features a patented technology that keeps the deicer on, only when needed. The design will never burn your plastic pond or pond liner.
5. Aquascape 39000 Pond Heater – Luxury High End Choice
Are you in search of a high performing floating pond heater? Look no further than the Aquascape 39000 Pond Heater. It does a good job of maintaining a small opening on the surface of the pond when the water freezes.
The hole is sufficiently large to allow proper gas exchange. This helps to keep the fish alive when the temperatures are extremely cold. It uses a 300-watt thermostat, which is remarkably energy efficient during use.
Unlike conventional pond heaters, the Aquascape 39000 features a stainless steel construction. This construction will not crack when it comes in contact with rocks, and it is corrosion resistant.
How to Keep My Pond Free of Ice in the Winter?
If you have just built a fish farm pond, the last thing you want is winter-killing. Cold temperature exposure will put your fish at risk of dying by giving rise to ice.
That’s because the surface ice interferes with gas exchange. Without enough dissolved oxygen, your fish will become sick or die.
Here are a few ways to keep your pond ice-free in the winter:
- Crack the ice manually – While this can do the trick, you are advised to avoid using physical force to break a hole in the pond ice. This will cause vibrations that may harm your fish. Breaking up the ice with an ax or hammer can severely injure or stun your fish.
- Use pond heaters – As their name suggests, these devices are intended to heat the pond water. Most koi breeders prefer heating the water to between 50 and 75 °F, as these temperatures encourage fish to feed, grow and survive the winter months. However, this is a costly solution that’s not suitable for all koi enthusiasts.
- Employ pond de-icers – This is an energy-efficient way to keep your pond ice-free and help your fish remain alive in the winter. Pond de-icers are not only easy to use and install, but they are also inexpensive to operate. While most de-icers aren’t meant to heat the water, some models are thermostatically controlled for best results.
Benefits Using a Pond Heater in Winter
Pond heaters allow you to have better control over the water temperature of your pond. This is especially important during cold winter months. The benefits of pond heaters are listed below.
- Provides oxygenation: If your pond becomes frozen in the winter, the oxygen levels will start to decrease since the air oxygen can’t pass through the ice. By melting ice in your pond, a pond heater will promote oxygenation and prevent your fish from dying.
- Increases water flow: Your pond heater will make the water free of ice while increasing its temperature at the same time. Warm water will start moving to areas with colder water, thereby improving oxygenation. This will eventually create better water flow in your pond. It is beneficial to the ecosystem of your pond and your fish as well.
- Helping your fish during hibernation: The Koi carps hibernate during the winter, remaining at the deep and warm points of the pond. They will be happy there as long as they have enough oxygen. A pond heater can ensure a sufficient amount of oxygen in the water, thus helping Koi during hibernation.
- Faster thawing: When spring and warmer temperatures begin to arrive, your pond will thaw out much faster if there is already an ice-free area. Rather than breaking up the ice manually, let the pond heater melt ice gradually.
Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Pond Heater
Choosing the best pond heater does not have to be a difficult proposition. You just need to pay attention to the most important features. This way, you will be able to buy a device that will best suit your application.
Here are the important things you need to consider:
Type of Pond Heater or Deicer
There are 3 main kinds of heaters that you can buy. They include: gas fired boilers, inline electric water heater, and pond heaters/deicers.
A gas fired boiler heats water within its system and then it circulates the water into a heat exchanger. The pond water is also pumped in to another chamber in the exchanger. Then the pond water absorbs the heat of the hot water from the adjacent chamber before being release into the pond.
For the inline electric heater, the pond water is propelled into the heating chamber of the heater. Then again the pond water comes into contact with a heating element. The water is heated before it is released into the pond.
Pond heaters or deicers are the most favorite because they are cheap and highly portable. There are two types of deicers: floating and submersible. A floating pond heater settles on the surface of the water. It maintains a sufficiently large hole for superior gas exchange.
The submersible version settles at the bottom of the water. It helps with gas exchange by keeping a specific area of the pond ice-free. A pond heater or deicer is the most popular choice among users, especially for those who own a small pond.
The Best Temperature for A Koi Pond
The optimal temperature a pond can operate on various considerably from one region to another. Most pond owners believe that fish require a favorable temperature for them to survive. But the temperature does not have to be extremely high.
In light of this, most pond owners would prefer a pond deicer that runs moderate thermostat wattage. A 300-watt thermostat can effectively keep a pond warm if it is submersible, and maintain a well-sized hole for gas exchange if it is floating.
Wattage and Thermostat
You must ensure that the type of pond heater you purchase is best suited for the size of the pool. Higher wattage heaters are more convenient for larger ponds. For instance, a zone of 3000 gallons would need a 1250 watt unit.
A smaller pond would need a pond heater in the range of 100 to 300 watts. Also, the best pond heater is one that is thermostatically controlled. Such a unit will turn on when the pond temperature drops towards zero degrees, and off when the pond temperature increases.
Size of The Pond
You need to buy a heater that suits the size of your pond. A smaller pond that accommodates only a few fish and plants will work best with a compact heater or deicer. However, you may need a sizeable heater, in case you are dealing with a larger pond.
Compact heaters or deicers come highly recommended because of the technology and features they come with. Most of them are engineered to run on their own with little or no intervention. They are also very affordable compared to the larger heaters.
Bigger heaters may be suitable for larger ponds. However, they are usually not technologically advanced when compared to the smaller models. You should be very careful when selecting the ideal size for your pond, because a larger heater may be a poor investment for a small pond.
Type of Fuel Used
Pond heaters run on different types of fuel, including: electricity, gas, and oil. You should choose a pond heater that runs on a fuel that fits your budget. Heaters that operate on gas and oil are usually expensive to manage.
In comparison, pond heaters that use electricity are inexpensive at first. Nonetheless, their maintenance budget may increase with time. However, the cost of maintaining heaters running on gas and oil may end being cost-effective with time.
The Aquascape 39000 Pond Heater marks the end of our best pond heater review. We selected each product after a thorough analysis of design features, performance, and customer satisfaction.
It is best to avoid melting the ice with hot water or breaking the ice open. This can hurt or upset the fish underneath or do damage to the liner.
And that is precisely why we have introduced you to the five pond heater / deicer. They are safe for your fish and suitable for your pond.