Pond heaters - A must have for cold climates, pond heaters keep an opening in the ice to allowing oxygen to circulate for fish and plants.
The function of the pond heater or de-icer
is not to warm the water, it is designed to keep ice from forming on the surface. There are two basically 2 types of pond heaters; submerged and floating.
A floating pond heater is a great way to keep ice from forming on the surface of the water. They come in 1000 watt and 1500 watt sizes and are designed to turn on when water temperatures drop to 42º or below.
A submerged pond heater is a device that sits under the water's surface and heats a larger area.
In addition to electric heaters, pond heaters are also available that use natural gas or oil. If you are conserving energy, the floating type of heater consumes is more energy efficient.
Carefully monitoring the water temperature is the first step in wintering your pond. You will need to tailor your fish's diet for the winter months, change the water, and cover the pond with a mesh covering to keep out falling leaves. At the first sign of ice forming, remove the mesh and install the pond heater. Once it is cold enough for you to install your pond heater, you should remove the pump for cleaning. If the pump is left on, it will lower the pond's temperature and work against the pond heater; it will also hinder a fish's natural ability to slow down its metabolism to survive the winter.
Be prepared for unexpected emergencies and unusually cold spells by installing an uninterrupted power supply or generator to keep the pond heater going in the event of a power outage.