Does anyone use a pond heater for goldfish? I have them in a 300 gallon preformed pond and I am afraid hubby will overfeed them in the winter when it gets colder. He loves to go out and feed the fish, lol. Would it hurt anything to put one in there?
How cold does it get and how long does it stay so cold? If the temperatures stay in the 50s and higher, you can feed pretty much as normal. I don't think you need a heater but perhaps someone from near you could comment.
We don't stay below freezing for too long at a time. He is used to tropical fish and knows we have a heater in the aquarium and got worried when he saw the fish huddling at the bottom of the pond after a cold spell last week. I told him I thought they just get still and stay on the bottom when its cold but wasn't sure since this is our first winter with pond fish. I know you aren't supposed to feed them when its below 50 which isn't a problem yet but will be in a few months so he said to ask if he put a heater in if he could continue to feed them all year and would it keep his tropical water lillie alive. I told him I would ask, lol. I don't think its needed but if it won't hurt anything and it makes him feel better about it I don't mind.
I don't know where Copperas Cove is, but I have a friend in San Antonio, and was surprised to learn that they can actually get some pretty cold nights there!
Yes, you can use a heater to keep your pond water warm, but don't use an aquarium heater because they're not designed for outdoor conditions. There are heaters designed specifically for ponds, but they are a bit expensive. I have one in my 1600 gal pond. It isn't powerful enough to keep the water, say, 70 degrees, but with a plastic cover on it, it keeps my pond water in the 50's. In a 300 gallon preform, it would probably keep your water in the 60s or 70s if desired.
Below is a link for a more inexpensive bucket heater that can be used in a pond, but if you want something designed specifically for ponds, try Hot Rod Pond Heater. I have a Hot Rod, and it does not significantly raise my electric bill.
Here is a link that might be useful: bucket heater
Two years ago I added heaters to my large pool and was surprised to find the tropical water lily goes dormant any way.lol They can survive down to freezing for sure. So not much advantage to heating the water lol
I used 3 standard aquarium heaters of 800 watts each located in 3 locations as I circulate the water from the pool to a 150 aquarium located in a shadehouse.
I found this works as long as the temps stay above 40 below that the heaters could not keep up. I used bubble wrap on the pool and styrofoam on the aquarium which solved the problem down to 35 but doesn't allow using the heat to warm the air in the shadehouse which was the goal in the first place.lol
I do keep tropical fish so it worked from that standpoint
For goldfish there would be no point in heating the water
and unless you can keep the temps above 60 the plants will go dormant anyway.
Feeding fish below 35 can kill them as they can't digest the foods as their systems shut down. Place a small pond heater in the pond and they will be fine, and will survive thru the winter. In the spring you feed them a special spring diet which supplies them with the nutrients needed to start another warm season.
Thanks everyone. They pretty much went into hiding so it wasn't too hard to convince him to quit feeding them until it warmed up for a couple of days and they came out. I told him as long its going to be warm for a couple of days he could feed them a little then and he is ok with it. I spent the afternoon cleaning leaves out of the pond but I spent more time picking up the tadpoles I found on the ground and putting them back in the pond. Will they live through the winter? Should I leave the layer of leaves on the bottom until spring since they seem to be living in there?
I read where the dormancy in tropical plants is triggered by light value. If you want them to stay in the growing phase you would need to change the wavelength of the light and its duration. Strange to think plants get SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), too. Sandy
Lol, I don't care if it goes dormant I just don't want it to die. What about the tadpoles? I hate all the leaves that are collecting in my ponds. Is it best to clean them out now or wait til spring?
I have often heard that also but when you think about it the closer you get to the equator(tropics) the more equal the day/night length year around. Yet a bunch of tropical plants go dormant even without temp change. Seems to be the total amount of water or the quality of the water.
Have often wondered about areas like the Amazon basin,temps, light levels change very little but in seveal areas there is 70 feet difference in water level between wet and dry season.!! Water lilies had better get very long stems .very quickly for sure.lol