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Idea on using Fishtank Heaters

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by n2music, Feb 27, 2017.

  1. n2music

    n2music Hatching

    Jul 2, 2013
    I have researched relentlessly trying to find a good solution for keeping my chicken 5 gallon waterer from freezing during the winter. I have used the fish tank heater before but am concerned about the possibility of running dry and rupturing, possibly killing the flock, until I had a minor epiphany. I was watching with amusement as people tried using salt water in a 2 liter bottle to keep the chicken water from freezing only to see it fail time and again. Then it hit me, and maybe someone else has tried this, but why couldn't you fill a liter bottle full of water, insert the fish tank heater into the bottle full of water and seal the thing so that the heater is always in water? Then put the thing in your 5 gallon or whatever you use waterer, then plug it in to the thermonuclear[​IMG] socket so it comes on below 35 and turns off at 45 without worry of electrocuting your flock? If this has been mentioned before, I apologize for mentioning it again....
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2017

  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Welcome! I am VERY careful with electricity in my coop, and that includes the creative use of heaters not meant for use out there. Every aquarium heater I've had says to use it at 'room temperature', not outdoors. I believe it! It's going to be safer to use a bucket heater, or a cookie tin type heater, that's designed for winter temps. Following directions is safer, and burning the coop down with birds inside is very bad! Mary
  3. CLutze27

    CLutze27 In the Brooder

    Feb 1, 2017
    If your wanting something that is outdoor rated you could go with something like this.


    You could just wrap it around the outside of your bucket. They are designed to be used out doors or in cold locations. In my line of work we use them to wrap drain lines in walk in coolers and freezers as well as piping that is exposed. Obviously you wouldn't need 50' of it, and they make some that is self regulating so you just leave it plugged in year round and it will heat up and as the temp drops.
  4. Howard E

    Howard E Songster

    Feb 18, 2016

    What you want is a bird bath heater. Something like this:


    I have this exact model and it kept my uninsulated plastic water bucket from freezing down to -5F, which is as cold as it got. Bucket needs horizontal nipples in it to keep working at those temps.

    Note it cuts out above freezing temps and shuts off if the bucket goes dry.
  5. RonP

    RonP Crowing

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