Pond Heaters And
Garden Pond De-icers
Pond heaters are needed in the winter to keep an area free of ice. Without a pond heater the
surface of the water will be completely covered in ice when the temperature drops below zero. Throughout the year
toxic gases are created in the pond by the interaction of plants and fish. These gases escape to the atmosphere in
normal conditions, but when the surface of the water is covered by a layer of ice, the gases are trapped and can
build up to a level that is harmfull to the fish. To avoid this problem you install a pond heater which will keep a
small hole open and free from ice to allow the toxic gases to escape.
Pond heaters come in a variety of types and sizes. Most are designed to float on
the surface of the water but others are submersible. With very few exceptions, all are powered by electricity and
there are different sizes and power ratings suitable for all pond types.
The larger models are rated between 1000 and 1500 watts. These will keep open an ice-free area of
some thirty inches in diameter. Most models are thermostatically controlled so that they switch off at 60 degrees
fahrenheit and so save electricity as the temperature rises. One further consideration is that if you have a rubber
liner pond then you will need a special heater fitted with a guard to ensure that the heat does not damage the
The main drawback of the large models is the running cost which can be as much as $35 a month.
There is a small 100 watt pond heater that costs as little as $2 a month to run and claims to work in temperatures
down to 30 degrees below zero fahrenheit. Its secret is a small hole through the middle of the heater. Instead of
keeping an area around the heater ice free, this model just ensures that the water below the unit is clear so that
the gases can escape through the hole in its center.
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