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Deicer: Why Your Pond Needs One

Winter - Frozen fish pond, resized image 1 Winter - Frozen fish pond, resized image 2 Winter - Frozen fish pond, resized image 3 Ponds enhance a garden’s aesthetic look. It adds to the natural grandeur of the outdoor design in our backyards (and sometimes in our front yards). The soothing sound of the water exudes a relaxing feeling, and the sight of live fishes busily swimming about never ceases to give a pleasant feeling to whoever drops by to see. Nevertheless, like all the other elements in our exterior decorations such as the plants and trees, the pond (and the fish and plants in it) likewise needs proper maintenance and care—especially during the harsh seasons of winter.

Even at the installation phase of their ponds, pond owners are always faced with the question of whether or not a pond deicer is necessary to be installed in their ponds.

It is, therefore, significant to note that there are some factors that need to be taken into consideration when one intends to answer that perennial question: “Is it necessary for me to install a deicer or a heater for my pond?” First, pond owners should be knowledgeable about what exactly happens to their ponds during the harsh and cold season of winter where a deicer and heater are badly needed. Unbeknownst to some, ponds change with the changes in the weather. During the spring and summer, ponds have collected debris that settles right at the bottom. By fall, leaves that have fallen from the surrounding trees join this accumulation. By the time winter comes, these materials are ready to decompose. With the decomposition process taking place, toxic gases are released and eventually dissipated into the air. Of course, this is the normal process that occurs when the water has not completely frozen and it becomes easy for these gases to rise out of the pond surface.

In colder regions, however, water in these ponds completely freezes trapping these toxic gases. It should go without saying that these gases being toxic will prove hazardous and fatal to your pet fish. One would, therefore, need to have a hole readily available where these harmful gases can escape and diffuse into the air. As easy as it may sound, getting your axe and chopping away the iced water is not the most sensible thing to do to obtain this goal. Although this could easily break the ice, it has been studied and discovered that it is even more harmful for the pond residents. Chopping the frozen water with an axe or the hammer sends out intensively massive shock waves throughout the entire pond that could unfortunately cause the outright death of the fish, or if they miraculously survive, go brain dead the rest of their lives—which, to calculate, may only be some more minutes.

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This is where one can say yes to the question earlier asked. This is where the pond deicer comes into the picture. It is one wise decision for a pond owner to invest on a deicer. Not only is the device nearly indestructible, it is safe not only to your fish but also to the liner.

So what exactly is a pond deicer and how does it work?

A pond deicer is a device used to vent the stuck toxic gases in your pond when its water completely freezes. It is designed with a temperature switch, normally referred to as a thermo regulator, which is automatically triggered and set on when the water where it is placed hits the freezing temperature and set off when the temperature is at 45 degrees or above. Hence, a deicer will have an area in the pond regularly thawed, allowing the toxic gases from the now-rotting matter to escape and not contaminate the pond. Simultaneously, oxygen is likewise allowed to continue entering the pond providing the much-needed ventilation for the pond inhabitants. Because of this, a pond owner is reassured that his fish is kept healthy all year round—even during the cold winter months. If you opt to buy a deicer, however, you must be forewarned that the use of such device will entail larger electric bills. Choose a pond deicer of lower wattage that is still able to function properly and will not give you monthly headaches when electric bills come up.

To get the most our of your pond deicer, position it in such a way that it is not exposed to high winds. This is to avoid these winds to blow the heat off from the deicer proving it less effective. Some pond owners even go to the extent of utilizing wind blocks to help achieve the best benefits out of their deicers.

Regardless of the depth of your pond, it will need a deicer in it. Some pond owners have this misconception that shallow ponds will not allow fish to survive in it during the winter months. They think that fish will perish with the freezing of the water. They have no idea that fish dies not only due to the coldness of the environment but also because of the trapped toxic gases. It should be clear, therefore, that in this instances, a pond deicer will prove very beneficial to the pond—fish, water, and all.

At prices ranging from $10.00 to the pricey $60.00, pond deicers come in various models (submerged and floating) and wattages (200, 1250, and 1500) depending on the needs and the size of your pond. Make sure though that your deicer is just enough for your pond size. A small deicer for a big pond will mean overworking the deicer entailing bigger utility bills; while a big deicer for a small pond means overusing the device which is not advisable as well.

With winter always being just around the corner, it always helps to be ready for it. This means keeping your pond—and fish—prepared for the harsh cold it brings.

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