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    Thread: SO how many heaters do I need guys!

    1. #1
      uscstaylor's Avatar
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      SO how many heaters do I need guys!

      Just wondering what others are doing for their large ponds in the colder months. I'm covering mine but was just curious how many heaters should I run and what size for a 5000 gallon pond. I have a 750 watt heater but was thinking of getting 2 more. Any input would be great folks...


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      I had a 4000 gallon pond and was able to maintain over 60* with most of the winter at 70* using 3 each 1500 watt submersible heaters. I have several now that I think all work that I would entertain selling.

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    3. #3
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      If the cover keeps the pond warm, I would say no heaters. I know a few people who have 50-60 degree water with the cover. What was yours last year with just the one heater?



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    4. #4
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      I have this I can sell. 11 kw. i didn't want to loose my house to keep my pond 65 degrees plus are winter. my power bill would kill me
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      I hear ya there Kevin. I'm gonna try 2 - 1250 watt heaters with my clear heavy plastic cover and see how it goes....Is it better to submerge them cause with my aerator running I'm not worried about the pond freezing over.. just curious?

      Just curious Kevin what brand is that heater


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      Quote Originally Posted by uscstaylor View Post
      I hear ya there Kevin. I'm gonna try 2 - 1250 watt heaters with my clear heavy plastic cover and see how it goes....Is it better to submerge them cause with my aerator running I'm not worried about the pond freezing over.. just curious?

      Just curious Kevin what brand is that heater
      Coates. it is probably way overkill lol. i have seen covers even used here in California to keep the temps up in the winter. usually the early tosai come as well as the adults and the water is still cold here.

    7. #7
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      I have seen temps in my pond at 33 degrees several times for a few days and the fish did OK each time (not recommended). This year I will be building a cover to see just how much it changes the temp.
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    8. #8
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      Hey David
      I covered mine last winter and the temp never dropped below 50. I have two heaters in there as well. This year is my 1st winter with my big pond so I plan on covering it again and having 3 heaters in there. 2-1250 watt heaters for the bottom and one 750 watt for the top. Just to keep everything stable. Should do well, we'll see how it goes!


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      The cheapest way is natural gas or propane, If heating the pond you want to stay out of aeromonas alley which is above 65 degrees. Most pond heaters have a lowest temp setting of 65 degrees. I know allot of people on here do fine without heaters and/or without heating the water temperature that high. GCtek sells modified pool heaters that are modified for koi pond use by replacing copper pieces. . I've had discussions with allot of experienced koi breeders and owners that say that that is a bunch of bull and just a reason to hike prices up. The argument is that water coming from a public source is already contaminated with copper. The only advice I would give is to make sure you have a high pressure water flow going to the heater or you can damage the unit.


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      I think I'm going to use a portable room heater to heat the air rather than the water. Yeah, the water won't stay quite as warm but I think it will be warm enough and not cost an arm and a leg. I guess we will see what happens when we go two straight weeks with the outside temps never breaking 40 degrees.

      On Monday I put my cover on and have the small portable heater running (not visible in the photo). The air under the cover is WARM! The early AM water temperature was back up to 60 degrees this morning after dropping to as low as 55 degrees over the weekend. If the water temperatures will stay in the mid-to-high 40s even during the coldest times of the winter I'll be extremely happy. I'm not trying to keep the fish from slowing down--I just don't want to have to shut everything off and have them go into full torpor.

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    11. #11
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      However you decide to heat I'd encourage you to check the power meter mid month or so.
      I heated my QT (in a non heated garage) and lower pond (in ground and covered) one year
      and iirc I had 6 stock tank heaters on thermostats running... 4 on the pond and 2 on the QT.

      My power bill that comes every two months went from about $500 normally to $1600. Needless
      to say after that two months the fish were on their own.
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      Quote Originally Posted by audioenvy View Post
      I think I'm going to use a portable room heater to heat the air rather than the water. Yeah, the water won't stay quite as warm but I think it will be warm enough and not cost an arm and a leg. I guess we will see what happens when we go two straight weeks with the outside temps never breaking 40 degrees.

      On Monday I put my cover on and have the small portable heater running (not visible in the photo). The air under the cover is WARM! The early AM water temperature was back up to 60 degrees this morning after dropping to as low as 55 degrees over the weekend. If the water temperatures will stay in the mid-to-high 40s even during the coldest times of the winter I'll be extremely happy. I'm not trying to keep the fish from slowing down--I just don't want to have to shut everything off and have them go into full torpor.

      Name:  File Oct 18, 3 07 33 PM.jpg
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      Nice construction!

      Most of the heat loss would normally be to evaporation and the cover will be very effective there! Do what you can to keep air leaks down that will allow the dry Utah air in, allow only enough to provide for a healthy air exchange!

      Depending on your location, the soil frost line can be an issue! The soil at 3' deep can be in the 40s as much as 3' out so either insulating the sides at construction would help reduce loss due to conduction but you can improve your situation by insulating the ground surface up to 2 or 3 feet out! Don't worry if you cant do that entirely, Styrofoam laid on the ground where, you can, will help!

      Glue an end cap to a 3' piece of conduit and drive it down until you can just place a cap on the upper end about 2 feet out from the pond wall! Now you have a 'test well' that will allow you to actually measure the temperature difference between a normal soil temperature and one that has a 4' piece of 2" Styrofoam laid on the ground above!

      You can get some understanding of ground temperatures at 3' by measuring the temperature in the well in late January and again in late July or August!

    13. #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by audioenvy View Post
      I think I'm going to use a portable room heater to heat the air rather than the water. Yeah, the water won't stay quite as warm but I think it will be warm enough and not cost an arm and a leg. I guess we will see what happens when we go two straight weeks with the outside temps never breaking 40 degrees.

      On Monday I put my cover on and have the small portable heater running (not visible in the photo). The air under the cover is WARM! The early AM water temperature was back up to 60 degrees this morning after dropping to as low as 55 degrees over the weekend. If the water temperatures will stay in the mid-to-high 40s even during the coldest times of the winter I'll be extremely happy. I'm not trying to keep the fish from slowing down--I just don't want to have to shut everything off and have them go into full torpor.

      Name:  File Oct 18, 3 07 33 PM.jpg
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      my concern would be are you still letting some air exchange going on or is it totally sealed up?

    14. #14
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      Quote Originally Posted by Rich L View Post
      Most of the heat loss would normally be to evaporation and the cover will be very effective there! Do what you can to keep air leaks down that will allow the dry Utah air in, allow only enough to provide for a healthy air exchange! Depending on your location, the soil frost line can be an issue! The soil at 3' deep can be in the 40s as much as 3' out so either insulating the sides at construction would help reduce loss due to conduction but you can improve your situation by insulating the ground surface up to 2 or 3 feet out! Don't worry if you cant do that entirely, Styrofoam laid on the ground where, you can, will help!
      Interesting information! I did use foam insulation on the walls of the pond behind the liner--but it's only an inch thick. I'm measuring my water temps with the Seneye so I will be able to monitor it.

    15. #15
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      Quote Originally Posted by kevin32 View Post
      my concern would be are you still letting some air exchange going on or is it totally sealed up?
      It's not fully air tight right now but once the weather turns cold I will batton down the hatches so you've brought up a great question. The area where the two waterfalls come in are open to the air. And of course the aerators are running 40lph each. But is that enough? There is definitely no "puffing out" of the plastic anywhere so I'm assuming there's plenty of air exchange but I honestly don't know for sure. I'm open to suggestions!

    16. #16
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      I don't think that you could make it totally air proof. The main idea is to keep the wind off and limit the free exchange of high humidity air within the enclosure with the cold dry air outside, both reduce the evaporation, which is a major cooling factor.

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    17. #17
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      An air stone will add outside air.
      Need more Koi

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      Quote Originally Posted by audioenvy View Post
      I think I'm going to use a portable room heater to heat the air rather than the water. Yeah, the water won't stay quite as warm but I think it will be warm enough and not cost an arm and a leg. I guess we will see what happens when we go two straight weeks with the outside temps never breaking 40 degrees.

      On Monday I put my cover on and have the small portable heater running (not visible in the photo). The air under the cover is WARM! The early AM water temperature was back up to 60 degrees this morning after dropping to as low as 55 degrees over the weekend. If the water temperatures will stay in the mid-to-high 40s even during the coldest times of the winter I'll be extremely happy. I'm not trying to keep the fish from slowing down--I just don't want to have to shut everything off and have them go into full torpor.

      Name:  File Oct 18, 3 07 33 PM.jpg
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      I used a small electric space heater under my cover. Pond temps were never below low 40* in the northern Indiana winter. But that was rare, temps were 50* or so most of then time with most pumps and filters up and running. I had to shut off heater alot of the time especially in day time.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Koifetti View Post
      I used a small electric space heater under my cover. Pond temps were never below low 40* in the northern Indiana winter. But that was rare, temps were 50* or so most of then time with most pumps and filters up and running. I had to shut off heater alot of the time especially in day time.
      Why did you have to shut it off?

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      I have a 2000 gallon pond that is covered, with a solar pool cover, and used (2) 1500 watt buckets heaters, 1 at the skimmer intake and one hanging over the waterfall. My pond is longer than wide, so it's a straight type of flow. Water stays at about 55 to 60F. There are several holes in my cover at the base from the rats who like to live in Florida, I just keep these patched as best as I can. A little bit of air flow is actually pretty good because you don't really want to have totally stale air. You can get a timer so that the heaters are only on during the night time when the sun isn't out, and that could save some power. A solar pool cover really holds in the heat; I usually only run my heaters two months out of the year, January and February.


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