I need advice on a heater, POND PEOPLE

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I have 3 fish ponds. Only one currently has any fish in it. They're all outdoors.
It is 1,450 gallons and is less than 30" deep. It has plants and 11 Swordtail fishes.
I want to be prepared for the temperature this winter. It does occasionally get into the lower 50s. And that's too low for them.
I'd like something I could plug in and drop in the pond the day before that could take the edge off of the cold. At least in that area of the pond, yet not be a danger to my FIRESTONE pond liner.
What are you using?
Maybe for turtles?
 

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Markw84

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I have 3 fish ponds. Only one currently has any fish in it. They're all outdoors.
This one is in my patio, is1,450 gallons and is less than 30" deep. It has plants and 11 Swordtail fishes.
I want to be prepared for the temperature this winter. It does occasionally get into the lower 50s. And that's too low for them.
I'd like something I could plug in and drop in the pond the day before that could take the edge off of the cold. Yet not be a danger to my FIRESTONE pond liner.
What are you using?
Maybe for turtles?
I know of no practical way to heat a pond. You would need a huge pool type heater to heat that much water.

If I were in your area, I would take advantage of the ground water. In you area, ground water should be pretty steady at about 74° or so. IF you are on a well that should be the temp the water is coming out of your faucet. IF on city water, you may need to check it, but probably in that range too.

If you have a good overflow, on cold nights, I would slowly cycle fresh water through the pond. You will find the fish will gather around the inflow, so don't have to have the whole pond up to temp, but there would be a place where the fish would find comfort overnight.
 

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I know of no practical way to heat a pond. You would need a huge pool type heater to heat that much water.

If I were in your area, I would take advantage of the ground water. In you area, ground water should be pretty steady at about 74° or so. IF you are on a well that should be the temp the water is coming out of your faucet. IF on city water, you may need to check it, but probably in that range too.

If you have a good overflow, on cold nights, I would slowly cycle fresh water through the pond. You will find the fish will gather around the inflow, so don't have to have the whole pond up to temp, but there would be a place where the fish would find comfort overnight.
I'm on city water. And its heavily chlorinated.
 

wellington

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I would catch the fish if possible and bring them into a heated area or a smaller area you could easily heat.
My floating pond heater works great for keeping my small pond from freezing over and sometimes the fish/koi/gold fish are hanging out around it but I doubt it's enough for your type of fish.
Maybe set up a water proof box/plastic tub that a water pump, pumps pond water into, it heats up with an aquarium heater, there a many that are not glass a and then flows out the top area back into pond. Would help to top the pond off with warmer water just before the cold.
 

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I would catch the fish if possible and bring them into a heated area or a smaller area you could easily heat.
My floating pond heater works great for keeping my small pond from freezing over and sometimes the fish/koi/gold fish are hanging out around it but I doubt it's enough for your type of fish.
Maybe set up a water proof box/plastic tub that a water pump, pumps pond water into, it heats up with an aquarium heater, there a many that are not glass a and then flows out the top area back into pond. Would help to top the pond off with warmer water just before the cold.
I was imagining something like that with like a 600-800 gph pump.
I'm expecting another warm winter. But I don't want to get caught with my pants down.
I can use a 200 watt shielded heater that I already have and try it out ahead of time
 

dd33

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Heating that volume of water in the ground would require a lot of electricity. I believe you can find some BTU calculators online. Mark is right about using water. You said you're on city water. Do you have an irrigation well? Florida fish farmers have been breeding live bearers outdoors for 80+ years. The main tool for regulating water temperatures has been a slow exchange of water from a well. Fish that are more sensitive will have their ponds covered either temporarily or with a greenhouse structure.
 

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Heating that volume of water in the ground would require a lot of electricity. I believe you can find some BTU calculators online. Mark is right about using water. You said you're on city water. Do you have an irrigation well? Florida fish farmers have been breeding live bearers outdoors for 80+ years. The main tool for regulating water temperatures has been a slow exchange of water from a well. Fish that are more sensitive will have their ponds covered either temporarily or with a greenhouse structure.
Wells are very common both to the north and to the south of us. But are non existent in this part of the county.
I have several tarps I could use.
I've contacted a friend of mine. A fellow TFO member that lives in Palm Beach County about how he overwinters his own Swordtails and fancy guppies.
This is all new to me.
The issue before was that my water was always marginally too warm for my Koi
 

Turtulas-Len

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When I built Walkers house I ran 1/2 inch soft copper tubing under the floor above the insulation. I bought a 4 gallon hot water heater and a circulation pump to circulate the hot water to heat the floor using a closed system. I have never needed to use them.
You wouldn't need a closed system but could set set one up using high temp plastic tubing. Since then I have picked up a one gallon heater and couple of instant hot water heaters. The instant heater would probably help keep the water warmer for what you are trying to do. The water would need to be filtered before going back thru the heater.
 

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It got down to an extra chilly 57° last night.
I've ordered a 1,500 watt 500 gallon aquarium heater.
I'm going to mount it inside of a steel mesh fish trap. (To make sure that no fish, plant or pond liner touches it) and toss it into the deep end of the pond.
I'm going to see if it will heat at least an area of the pond safely. Just a warm area that fish can retreat to.
 

Calaveras

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It got down to an extra chilly 57° last night.
I've ordered a 1,500 watt 500 gallon aquarium heater.
I'm going to mount it inside of a steel mesh fish trap. (To make sure that no fish, plant or pond liner touches it) and toss it into the deep end of the pond.
I'm going to see if it will heat at least an area of the pond safely. Just a warm area that fish can retreat to.
I agree with others that heating the water by a "fish tank heater" which uses electrical resistance is not economical or a good idea. I use a smaller heater than that for a winter in a hundred gallon tank and could see a $30 a month increase in my electric bill. 1500 watts [1.5 KW] costs between 13-30 cents per hour. which comes to about 200 dollars per month.
They also fail under maximum use and that could be dangerous to your fish and you.
 

Markw84

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It got down to an extra chilly 57° last night.
I've ordered a 1,500 watt 500 gallon aquarium heater.
I'm going to mount it inside of a steel mesh fish trap. (To make sure that no fish, plant or pond liner touches it) and toss it into the deep end of the pond.
I'm going to see if it will heat at least an area of the pond safely. Just a warm area that fish can retreat to.
The post above by @Blackdog1714 is excellent. The guy even uses the correct term - poikilothermic instead of "cold blooded or ectothermic! (turtles and tortoises are also correctly poikilothermic). With the heater you bought, I would create a place like in this video. Great approach.
 

mark1

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Fish that are more sensitive will have their ponds covered either temporarily or with a greenhouse structure.
covering your pond from my experience makes a huge difference .....

i started using a temporary "greenhouse" structure to cut down on my electric bill, took a lot of electric to keep my ponds from freezing ..i cover my ponds in january and february ... it makes a huge difference in temperature , and my electric bill ....... it's 20 degrees outside right now and 45.9 under the plastic ....... if you get a lot of sun , i'd be pretty confident on a 50 degree day under the plastic would hit 80 ...... at night it does cool down significantly , but the still air , the water , the ground and rocks keep it from equalizing with the outside temps , with some additional heat source i'd guess in florida you could keep a pond pretty warm through your winter .......... i have had problems with my ponds freezing to thicknesses that were concerning to me ........ covered in a really cold winter i've never seen more than small iced up areas along the edges........ i actually learned not to seal the structure up to well as it gets to hot under the plastic , that could be a problem in florida ........... you can get 6 mil 20'x100' rolls of clear plastic for around 100$ i get 2-3 winters out of the plastic . i use pvc electrical conduit for the supports , they connect to themselves and bend into U's very easily , i cross them like a dome tent , and use zip ties at the intersections , 1/2" rods driven in the ground to hold the ends in place , it's pretty sturdy if you arrange them right ,i've seen them support 4-6"of snow without collapsing ........... might be impractical in your situation or more than your wanting to do , but i have no doubt it'd keep your ponds warmer .....

DSCF8396-2.jpg


20 degrees outside
DSCF8436-2.jpg

DSCF8427-2.jpg


DSCF8433-2.jpg
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
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I have no clue but Google led me to the Fish Doctor on Youtube
Yeah.
This!
Exactly.
The night temp last night was 61. Daytime is 80.
I'm going to test this out tonight while I still have so few fish.
 
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ZEROPILOT

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The post above by @Blackdog1714 is excellent. The guy even uses the correct term - poikilothermic instead of "cold blooded or ectothermic! (turtles and tortoises are also correctly poikilothermic). With the heater you bought, I would create a place like in this video. Great approach.
I think it's my only feasible choice.
I don't want miserable fish. And I'll only need the heat for maybe 20 days out of the entire year.
I'm going to give it a try.
 

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Here's the prototype.
I'm going to close off the ends with something.
Set it and drop it in.
The deep end is covered with plants and has little water movement. I'm hoping it will be the best area.
I fully expect to see those Swordtails huddled around it in the morning.
The photo doesn't show how physically large and chunky that heater is. It looks small in that giant trap
 

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ZEROPILOT

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I agree with others that heating the water by a "fish tank heater" which uses electrical resistance is not economical or a good idea. I use a smaller heater than that for a winter in a hundred gallon tank and could see a $30 a month increase in my electric bill. 1500 watts [1.5 KW] costs between 13-30 cents per hour. which comes to about 200 dollars per month.
They also fail under maximum use and that could be dangerous to your fish and you.
I was sent an 800 watt.
South Florida is an odd state when it comes to electricity. The price is pretty low.
I've added a total of 3 fish pond pumps, two UV sterilizers, two CHE and a floodlight outside and there is no noticeable difference in my electric bill.
I'll keep an eye on next months bill after I use this for a few nights or more. I don't know in advance how many nights will get below 60ish.
It won't be many
 

Markw84

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I was sent an 800 watt.
South Florida is an odd state when it comes to electricity. The price is pretty low.
I've added a total of 3 fish pond pumps, two UV sterilizers, two CHE and a floodlight outside and there is no noticeable difference in my electric bill.
I'll keep an eye on next months bill after I use this for a few nights or more. I don't know in advance how many nights will get below 60ish.
It won't be many
This does draw considerably more electricity than your pumps and UV, etc. running for 12 hours is 9.6 kilowatt hours. Most of the US pays much less for electricity than those of us in California. Most are in the 7¢ - 10¢ range. So you're looking at about 65¢ per day you run it for 12 hours. (With PG&E in California that would run $3.93 for 12 hours!)
 

Tim Carlisle

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This does draw considerably more electricity than your pumps and UV, etc. running for 12 hours is 9.6 kilowatt hours. Most of the US pays much less for electricity than those of us in California. Most are in the 7¢ - 10¢ range. So you're looking at about 65¢ per day you run it for 12 hours. (With PG&E in California that would run $3.93 for 12 hours!)
Ouch! High taxes, high regulation, AND high electricity. Ugh.
 

ZEROPILOT

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This does draw considerably more electricity than your pumps and UV, etc. running for 12 hours is 9.6 kilowatt hours. Most of the US pays much less for electricity than those of us in California. Most are in the 7¢ - 10¢ range. So you're looking at about 65¢ per day you run it for 12 hours. (With PG&E in California that would run $3.93 for 12 hours!)
I'll need to charge those Swordtails more for rent!
 
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