My cheap Winter pond De-icer (testing it this winter)

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by newday3000, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. newday3000

    newday3000

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    I looked at pond de-icers and they are expensive and use way to much electricity plus they don't circulate any water or areate so I don't see the value in them.

    I'm in Zone 5A and temp will drop to -31F or -35c for a couple of weeks or days in the middle of winter so it doesn't get much colder than this.

    I have input from others in my zone that the solution is simple to keep ice open with only a pump aimed at the surface.

    I put this together using the following pieces
    - Aquaclear 50 pump 11watts
    - aquarium airpump 1 watt
    - riser for undergravel filter (pre-filter for the power head so it doesn't clog (already happened since I dropped it into the pond)
    - also added outdoor electical box to keep the air pump and extension cord under the deck in a water sealed box.

    Pic's of the pieces and assembled solution
    Siliconed power head adaptor to riser tube to ensure it doesn't fall off in the middle of winter under the ice.
    [​IMG]

    full assembly with airstone tie wrapped to the powerhead power cord to keep it in 1 place.
    [​IMG]
    sealed box with air pump and electricty
    [​IMG]

    working in the pond waiting for ice, it's sit's on the plant shelf 12" under the water so it doesn't draw warmer water from the bottom of the pond where the fish stay.
    [​IMG]

    Will post how its working once I get ice, which can't be far off now.
     
    newday3000, Oct 18, 2009
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  2. newday3000

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    Can you do a video of this in operation, starting with you putting the assembly into the pond so we can see it and then the results? We love to see this kind of innovation.
     
    DrDave, Oct 19, 2009
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  3. newday3000

    newday3000

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    I changed the design at bit. The silicone was not very secure and the pre-filter detached. It had fully cured. I used a drill to put a small hole through power head attachment and tubing and used a good old lockable plastic tie through both pieces to attach it. This won't detach now.

    Pic's of new pre-filter setup
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Video of how it looks and what it does when submerged on the plant shelf about 12" under the surface. The humming sound is the air pump in a water resistant electical box.
    [ame]
     
    newday3000, Oct 20, 2009
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  4. newday3000

    oldmarine Married 32 years

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    Just a sugestion. What if you were to use a larger diameter clear tub attached to the power head and install a submersible aquarium heater inside the tub? The water would flow into the tub and around the heater and be circulared more efficiantly around the pond.

    Also, some of the power heads that I have used in my aquariums in the past had a port at the top to attach a air line for aireation.
     
    oldmarine, Oct 26, 2009
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  5. newday3000

    newday3000

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    The hydro required to use an aquarium heater would cost a fortune since they are designed to keep the entire body of water a specfic temp and they won't stop cycling on until the entire pond reaches that temp.

    A pond heating de-ice is only trying to keep a small open and not heat all the water. I don't think an aquarium heater makes sense when ice forms on a pond.

    I do like your idea of connecting my air pump to the powerhead air input as this will help keep the whole open better with the water and bubles raising together in the same spot. I will try this tonight.
     
    newday3000, Oct 26, 2009
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  6. newday3000

    oldmarine Married 32 years

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    I respect your opinion, but I had a 150 watt submersible aqaurium heater next to the intake of my water pump in the skimmer/pre-filter reservor, and it kept the water temps in my 365 gallon pond above freezing even on those nights when the temps dropped down into the teens. It was quite efficient, and it didn't cost a fortune.

    Just letting you know what worked for me.
     
    oldmarine, Oct 27, 2009
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  7. newday3000

    newday3000

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    I will let you know how my 11 watt solution works.
     
    newday3000, Oct 27, 2009
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  8. newday3000

    oldmarine Married 32 years

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    Thank you, I'm always open to new ideas that work well. I really enjoy reading the postings here, because I have overcome some of my own pond mistakes by reading and asking questions here at this forum.
     
    oldmarine, Oct 27, 2009
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  9. newday3000

    newday3000

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    Ice and snow has arrived finally. Thought I would post how my solution is working so far. 11 watt pump and air pump has kept 25% of the pond ice free.

    [​IMG]
     
    newday3000, Dec 8, 2009
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  10. newday3000

    koikeepr

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    that's all you need open! Nice solution! Will be curious to hear if the motor in that thingee lasts all winter.
     
    koikeepr, Dec 8, 2009
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  11. newday3000

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    Keep a backup available just in case.
     
    DrDave, Dec 8, 2009
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  12. newday3000

    newday3000

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    I will keep an eye on it. I don't expect an issue but if I do, I can get a powerhead cheaply from any LFS.

    I figure the water temp where the pump is now is as cold as it's gong to get since any water below freezing temp is ice.
     
    newday3000, Dec 8, 2009
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  13. newday3000

    koidance

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    I use AQUAEL floating pond heaters,made in Warsaw.They are 300 watts each and they heat my 2 ponds of 1000 UK gallons each all Winter.They have a cut out thermostat,are robustly built and really do the job.They are not expensive and I consider cheap to run.I leave filters running and the waterfall toned down.The heating bill will be about 75GB pounds more than normal.
    I love the fish and want them all to survive in comfort.Today all the fish were feeding and active,my plants flourish also.As long as you keep the ponds covered the heat does not dissipate - my ponds are covered with raised frames,but I leave the overlap of Bubble and Tarpaulins down each side.
    I cannot praise these heaters enough and so cheap.
     
    koidance, Dec 14, 2009
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  14. newday3000

    newday3000

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    You should not be recommending a 300 watt heating solution in a climate with an average temp well below -10c. It seems you are living where the average temperature is above freezing almost all winter. 300 watt heater in my climate would cost a lot to operate and it would be cycled on most of the time. It would cost a fortunate to heat the water to keep them active and feeding let alone trying to trap heat anywhere with sub freezing temperatures. The fish are cold water and fully adaptable to cold water.

    So far my 11watt solution is working fine at -10c and keeps a 12" diameter hole open in the ice.
     
    newday3000, Dec 14, 2009
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  15. newday3000

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    I don't think the issue here was cost but survival and quality of life for their Koi. If folks don't care about cost then they should decide that for themselves. It is not our place to judge.

    No one is challenging the fish's ability to survive cold temperatures.
     
    DrDave, Dec 15, 2009
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  16. newday3000

    newday3000

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    I don't think it makes sense to suggest more expensive solutions especially in very cold climates. Also don't think it makes sense to suggest a solution in climates that are not comparable at all. I don't think your suggesting heating a pond to +55F (to feed the fish) for climates that drop to -22F like it does where I live. I think it makes sense to promote cost effective solutions that work in all climates.
     
    newday3000, Dec 15, 2009
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  17. newday3000

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    I didn't suggest anything. What I said was it is not our place to decide how much a person should pay to heat thier pond. What part of that didn''t you understand?
     
    DrDave, Dec 15, 2009
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  18. newday3000

    newday3000

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    I guess I don't understand your role on this forum. You jump in and comment on how things should be done DIY and save money and the next day you're suggesting spending as much as you want even though cheaper alternatives exist. I'm having a hard time valuing your input when it's all over the map with no consistency.
     
    newday3000, Dec 15, 2009
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  19. newday3000

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    I don't make judgements on how much a person wants to spend to maintain their pond. I also don't care how much it costs to maintain mine. I don't worry about KWH's or the gallons of water I use. I am not all over the place, in fact I am quite objective and protective of everyones position.

    It is you that seems to be concerned. If a person wants to use a 300 watt heater, why do you care? It is not coming out of your pocket. if they can afford it and it brings them pleasure then I say go for it.

    So please tell me how I am all over the place? And be specific, because you are on thin ice.
     
    DrDave, Dec 15, 2009
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  20. newday3000

    oldmarine Married 32 years

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    I see nothing wrong with sharing our knowledge with each other, especially if it from experience and it works. I personally feel that it is not my place to tell someone how to manage their pond unless they specifically asked, and I feel I might have a plausable solution.

    This forum has been an outstanding source of information, and I really appreciate how willing everyone has been in working the bugs out of my filtration system without being critical of how I set up my pond.
     
    oldmarine, Dec 15, 2009
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