aquarium water heater?? will it make water too warm??

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by boat309, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. boat309

    boat309 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 30, 2013
    south shore mass
    so over the summer I built a 5 gallon bucket with horizontal nipples on the sides and the chickens love it. my plan for the winter was to just drop in a very small submersible aquarium water heater like 20w (its for a 15 gallon aquarium). the lowest temp setting on the heater is 66 F. will the chickens drink the water if its that warm??
     
  2. pawtraitart

    pawtraitart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Idaho
    I have a battery powered heater that heats a 5 gallon container to around 60 F with outside temps as low as 4 F. I don't know how low temps can go and still have it work but we typically get temps down to -18 F so we'll see. My birds love it. I don't think I'd want the water much warmer, though. 66 F is probably okay.
     
  3. fred081646

    fred081646 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 10, 2014
    I was going to use an aquarium heater too, but I thought it would use a lot of electricity trying to keep the water warmer than it needs to be. I bought a heater from tractor supply that comes on at 35 degrees and off at 45.

    Fred
     
  4. pawtraitart

    pawtraitart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, we're going to put in a switch so that the heater only turns on when needed to extend the battery.
     
  5. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Of course chickens will drink 66° water, during the summer months the water is almost always warmer than that...

    As far as using an aquarium heater they will work but they can pose some risk and the excess raise in water temp will increase evaporation and could drive humidity up if it's in the coop... Many are made of glass and can break, this risk is increased if the heater ever runs dry even more so if you add water and the heater is dry and hot...

    There are better low temp heaters, but they generally cost a bit more...

    Also use a Thermocube so the heater is only on when it's needed....
     
  6. pawtraitart

    pawtraitart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't have electricity in some of my coops so a battery is the way to go for those birds. A battery charge lasts at least 5 days. Eventually I'll have my solar chargers going so I don't have to mess with the batteries at all.
     
  7. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    Yep, they'll drink water that warm. Like MeepBeep said, they drink water warmer than that in summer.

    I've used both a 100w glass submersible aquarium heater and a 250w stock tank deicer in a 5 gal bucket. The latter has a built in thermostat, on at 35 off at 45. The deicer cost as much as the aquarium heater. If I were to use the aquarium heater again, I'd plug it into a thermocube. Even though it was made of glass, it's very tough glass. Think of a glass baking dish, just not as thick. Any submersible heating device can be risky if the water runs dry...just NEVER let that happen!

    I will use the deicer for most purposes but will keep the aquarium heater as a backup in case the other fails or I want to put up a second bucket should we go away for a week.


    As for evaporation, it happens with both the aquarium heater and deicer. But the lid on the bucket keeps most of that from escaping. I cut a small hole in the side of the lid to allow the electric cord to pass through, and this keeps the lid fairly flush.

    @aart posted a nice post about his setup. I like the little cage platform he built around the heater. This would keep the heater more securely fastened to the bottom of the bucket.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/aarts-heated-waterer-with-horizontal-nipples
     

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