Pond aerator or heater???

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by sianara, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. sianara

    sianara Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    I'm finally building a new pond/pool for my ducks. It is going to be 5' x 6' x 18" deep or about 337 gallons of water. I want it to be swimmable all winter long so I've been researching heaters and aerators. My understanding is even though a heater may be submersible as this one is it will only keep a hole in the ice sheet for fish to breath not keep the entire pond/pool unfrozen. http://www.123ponds.com/kh8100.html

    remember awhile back I asked about heating/aerating and someone suggested getting an aerator to keep the water moving and unfrozen instead of using a heater.

    I live in Central MA zone 6 where the average winter temps are 0 - 30. Will an aerator really work in freezing temps to keep the entire 337 gallons unfrozen?
  2. Denninmi

    Denninmi Songster

    Jul 26, 2009
    No, if you use either a recirculating pump or an air pump to move and aerate the water, it will still only keep a relatively small area open. And, during the colder spells, even that may ice over. I used to run a pretty big pump shooting a jet of water a couple of feet into the air when I had koi (before the blue heron ate them all!) and that would make the most spectacular ice towers and sculpture in sub-zero weather, and at times the entire column would freeze over on the outside, building upon itself like a stalagmite, with liquid water still flowing in the center.

    Of course, you have a pretty small pond both in area and volume. If you had a big enough pump with enough jets going to really keep the whole thing moving fast, it would probably keep a fairly large percentage of the area open during all but the coldest weather. You really won't know unless you experiment. But, I don't know how well the ducks would like swimming in a whitewater rapids effect, since they are mostly birds used to calm waters.

    And, as you already know, the floating heaters just do the same, and the energy consumption is pretty high.

    Really, the only guaranteed way to keep the whole thing liquid, IMO, would be to have some type of heater similar to what is used in hot tubs. And, it wouldn't be easy to rig up or cheap to run.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2010
  3. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    I don't think it will be working either. My neighbor has a waterfall going and that one has a lot of water flow. It keep the water open, but only at the point of impact. I use two water heaters with about 100 watts each. On in the bottom and one floating. This is to keep my koi alive in a 28" deep stock pond. We can get harsh freezing temps that create 3 feet of ice, so I need to keep a warm zone for my fish. I only turn the bottom heater on when it gets that cold or so much ice that I have to worry. Otherwise it is just sitting down there. I have a second floating heater to keep an air opening and it just keep it at the size of the heater and not more. That one stays on all winter. Adding an airator is not a good idea. The air pump will suck in the cold air and freeze up.
  4. ijon1

    ijon1 Songster

    Jan 26, 2009
    gaines, michigan
    I have homemade windmill that keeps about a thirtyfoot circle of water open in the winter. Try a small areator pump.
  5. sianara

    sianara Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    Quote:Any specific aerator pump?
  6. sianara

    sianara Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    Quote:I'm now focusing on aerating pumps which as I understand it will basically just keep pumping air into the pond/pool which I'm assuming is the reason the water doesn't freeze.

    The search is just so frustrating because I can't seem to find a product specificially meant to keep a pond/pool unfrozen. There has to be one.

    There are so many duck keepers here, hopefully someone will have had experience with this issue and found a way to deal with it positively.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2010
  7. sianara

    sianara Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    I'm wondering if this one will work to keep the entire pond/pool unfrozen...


    I don't know enough about the whole air in the water situation and am curious if this amount of air will be all that's needed to keep the water liquid. [​IMG]

    Anyone know????
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2010
  8. chikky

    chikky Songster

    Jun 13, 2009
    Glenmont, Ohio
    I'm going to try a 1250 watt stock tank heater (with guard on it so it doesn't melt the plastic or bump up against the ducks) for my 130 gallon pool. My mom uses one in her horse water tank and also keeps fish in it year 'round, so I thought I'd give it a try.

    They are at Tractor Supply. The info says they'll work for up to 300 gallon stock tanks (I suspect they may struggle with that much- my opinion). And the good news is that they're pretty inexpensive, around $40 plus the guard.

    Has anyone tried these? I'd like to hear if they worked out ok.

    I didn't really think about using an aerator, figured it would freeze up.
  9. Hattiegun

    Hattiegun Songster

    I have also been trying to figure out what to use this winter.. I work in the farming community and everyone said to use stock tank heater... the local farm supply store did not really have much so I did order one from 123Ponds...P-429 - Submergible Pond P429 1 39.98 Deicer - 1500 Watts.... http://www.123ponds.com/p429.html
    pond is around 250 and my pen will be enclosed this winter, but it does get Very cold here.



    editied to say.... maybe 2 heaters and a small aerator pump ????? or one heater and one pump or just 2 heaters !!
    I will try 2 heaters if the one doesnt work...
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
  10. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    Quote:That is a lot of power consumption, so I would not be surprised if it works. Please keep us posted on that one, because I really like to know. All I know is that the standard 100-150 watt ones are not strong enough, but they were not build to do it either. I have a small fountain in my backyard that I keep clear with a bucket heater. The small birds love it.

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