Aerator vs. Pond Deicer- Which one do I use to keep a hole in my fish pond for the winter in New Jersey?
It's fall, you're getting the pond netted before the leaves fall and thinking about what you need to get your pond winterized the best way for your fish. All over the internet and even us pond nerds (that would be me) may suggest using a pond aerator and pond deicer or just one of them. I know it sounds confusing, why in the world would you need both?
Here is what we do and suggest:
We use an aerator as our main source for de-icing during the winter, to keep that hole in the ice. We will then add a "true" pond de-icer as a back-up floating in the pond but not plugged in. We only plug it in unless it gets really cold and our hole in the ice is closing up. It's also great to have a back-up de-icing device in the pond in case another decides its too tired and stops working.
Why a pond aerator?
1. They use much less electricity than a "true" pond de-icer.
2. Pond Aerators are much better at keeping a hole in the ice.
3. Oxygen is also being added to the pond. (The fish love this)
4. It can also be used all year to aide in fish health and keep oxygen levels high in your pond all year round.
5. Can last for many years (many of them can be repaired)
Pond Aerator Buying Tips:
Do not by a cheap one. Get a heavy duty aerator like the one pictured below. Although your initial cost will be higher, it will last much longer and pay for itself over the years.
Make sure it's rated for outdoor use. If it's not put it in a bucket or invest in a faux rock to keep it out of the rain and snow.
Why a pond de-icer? (sometimes known as a pond heater)
1. The only reason we use this is as a back-up. If we end up getting a really cold winter in New Jersey you will need this as an aide to keep that hole in the ice.
Why don't we just use the pond de-icer? The main reason is the electrical cost. These units use 10x the electric that a good aerator will use. Another reason is, they fail a lot. We have found the Aquascape 300 watt pond deicer to be the best on the market as far as longevity for the unit itself.
Pond Deicer Buying Tips:
Do not buy a cheap one. It just won't last. Cheap pond de-icers many times don't make it through one season.
You don't need to buy one bigger than 300 watts. You will be wasting electric at that point.
Try to get one with an indicator light. No more guessing if it's working. The little light will tell you it's on.
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Over the last 18 years, Clay has been involved in landscaping and aquascaping, which led him to his passion, POND BUILDING and opening A Frog’s Dream in 2006. His true passion is to create works of art for others to enjoy and marvel at in the privacy of their own backyards.