You don’t want the fish in the pond to freeze when it’s winter. Make sure you have an efficient pond heater or de-icer during winter to keep them comfortable.
Here’s a list of the best pond heaters on the market.
Best Pond Heater
The Dannex Pondmaster Pond De-icer is ultra-efficient. Its thermostatic control systems saves you time and money and it is ideal for small to medium ponds. Other good choices include the Finnex Deluxe, Aquascape 300, Tetra Pond, Farm Innovators, K&H ThermoPond, Laguna PowerHeat and the API Floating Water Tank De-Icer.
At A Glance List
Here’s my list of the best pond heaters that could help your fish and aquatic plants have a healthy environment. Click on the link to go to the full review.
|#1: Danner Pondmaster Pond De-Icer (Read Review)||$||⧫ Best Buy ⧫||97%|
|#2: Finnex Deluxe Titanium Tubes (Read Review)||$||Small ponds & aquariums||95%|
|#3: Aquascape 300-Watt Pond De-Icer (Read Review)||$$$||Harsh winters||92%|
|#4: TetraPond De-Icer (Read Review)||$||Aesthetics||91%|
|#5: Farm Innovators Pond De-Icer (Read Review)||$||Large ponds||90%|
|#6: K&H ThermoPond Perfect Climate Deluxe Pond De-Icer (Read Review)||$$||Versatility||90%|
|#7: Laguna PowerHeat De-Icer (Read Review)||$$$||Long cord||89%|
|#8: API Floating Water Tank De-Icer (Read Review)||$||Power conservation||88%|
What Are Pond Heaters?
Ponds are great. They are beautiful and they elevate the look of your yard.
Ponds can be good for your mental health, too. Studies suggest that being near the water will be good for you.
A pond is not complete without the fish and aquatic plants. Throw in the visiting frogs and you have a complete ecosystem.
Having a pond provides you with joy. But you need to take care of the pond and its inhabitants to continue feeling that joy.
Providing a good environment for the fish, frogs and aquatic plants. That means making sure that the pond is clean and healthy.
But what happens when it’s winter?
Fish gets cold, too
If the temperature is too low, the pond could freeze. Although, this only happens at extremely low temperatures as water is actually good at holding heat.
Even if the pond doesn’t freeze, it doesn’t mean that the fish will not get cold.
Keep them safe and warm during winter with a good quality pond heater. It’s a piece of equipment that provides a healthy environment for your fish and aquatics.
It’s not just that. Filters will also have a hard time functioning in the winter especially when there is ice formation.
As a result
Without proper winter care, more dirt will be accumulated in the pond during winter.
It’s important to keep the pond water warm for the sake of your fish, aquatic plants, and your filter.
The heater doesn’t just keep the pond warm, it keeps the environment clean too. All the better for the fish and aquatic plants.
The heater also keeps the right balance for the pond.
Do you need one?
Generally, if you live in a place that experiences low temperature, you should have a pond heater.
Benefits of a Pond Heater
Let’s start with the obvious:
1. It prevents ice in pond
When the pond freezes over for a long period of time, the fish will not survive. They will be fine for a day or two but not for weeks.
These are not ice-bound fish in natural bodies of water that are known to slow down their metabolism during winter.
2. Allows gas to escape pond
Gas is not good for fish. It could actually suffocate the fish. Gas is formed through decaying matter in the pond.
When the pond, even if it’s just the top part, turns into ice, the gas is basically trapped under.
There is no way to go
As a result, the fish may take in too much gas and die. A pond heater or de-icer prevents ice from forming.
3. Maintains a healthy level of oxygen
Fish need oxygen. They could get it from the aquatic plants, the atmosphere, the sun, and just movement within the pond.
When the pond iced over, there is no movement and the sun cannot penetrate within.
Fish and aquatic plants need oxygen to survive the winter.
What to Look for in a Pond Heater
There are hundreds of different heaters in the market. Which one should you choose?
We made a list for you to make it easier. However, there are certain parameters that you should consider when buying a pond heater.
Here are some of them:
There are two major types of pond heaters:
Floating pond heater / de-icer
This piece of equipment floats on the surface of the water. This keeps a part of the pond free of ice so that there will be no gas buildup.
A lot of fishes can live comfortably even with ice on the pond surface as long as there is an area that allows the pond to actually “breathe.”
This is an effective tool but it’s not really good for aesthetics.
Submersible pond heater
Obviously, this is a heater that is placed at the bottom of the pond. The equipment provides heat that will be circulated in the pond water.
It’s nice because people don’t actually see it. However, if your pond is quite deep, then it won’t stop the ice from forming on the surface of the water.
Each pond heater has a maximum surface area that it will be capable of heating. It’s important that you know this while also knowing the surface area of your pond.
Knowing the heater’s capacity is going to be crucial in terms of efficiency.
You will need the right amount of wattage to prevent ice from forming on the surface of the pond or to provide adequate heat to keep the pond comfortable for the fish.
Just know that the higher the wattage, the more expensive your electricity bill will be.
To give you an idea
A 300-watt de-icer is enough to sustain a hole in the surface water for a pond with 500 to 1,000 gallons of water.
It’s more complicated for the submersible one because it’s about maintaining a certain temperature so that the pond will be warm.
You should always buy the most efficient product that would be best for your pond, no matter the price. If you buy the cheapest one but it is not the right fit for the size of your pond, then it defeats the purpose of having a pond heater.
Understandably, people will always check the price because budget matters. Just make sure you have the best value-for-money option that is right for your pond.
Check out this video to know more about pond heaters and de-icers:
I hope you love the products that I recommend here! Just so you know, I work with Amazon and other affiliate partners and may be compensated from the links below.
Best Pond Heaters List
#1: Danner Pondmaster Pond De-Icer
Product dimensions: 12” x 12” x 4”
Maximum heating capacity: 250 gallons
Cord length: 18’
Weight: 3.65 lbs
PRICE GUIDE: $
The Danner Manufacturing Pondmaster Pond De-icer is a corded electric floating equipment. It weighs 3.65 pounds.
As most de-icers do, it maintains a small opening on the surface so that gas will be released and not trapped inside when the temperature gets too low.
Here are the best parts
Working at 120 watts, this de-icer is energy efficient. It works really well without hurting your budget even if it has to function 24 hours a day.
It has a thermostatic control system that would reduce heating time and as a result, will save you from getting a high electricity bill as well.
It’s perfect for a pond with a maximum of 250 gallons of water.
Don’t worry, if you have a large pond, it’s perfectly safe to use two of these de-icers (or more).
The equipment itself is sealed with internal electronics epoxy to ensure that no water will penetrate the de-icer. The exterior material is high-impact ABS plastic.
It has an 18-foot power cord, which is considerably long.
It will not damage preformed ponds or the flexible liners on constructed ponds.
Now, what I don’t like
I wish there were other colors available. Red, generally, is a nice color. But for pond use, it’s too loud–it stands out too much.
Another thing, I don’t know if I should count this as a con, but this de-icer doesn’t really melt the ice.
You need to use this de-icer when the temperature is lowering, just before the surface starts to freeze.
This way, ice will not form around it. If the ice is already there, the Danner de-icer won’t melt any part of the ice.
It doesn’t really sound like a con, it’s just a matter of using the tool the right way.
All in all
This is a really great de-icer that works well, saves energy, and is easy on your pockets.
MY RATING: 97%
- Saves electricity
- Won’t damage liners
- Long cord
- There should be other colors, too
- Won’t exactly melt already-formed ice
#2: Finnex Deluxe Titanium Tubes
Small ponds and aquariums
Product dimensions: 16.5” x 1” x 1”
Maximum heating capacity: 265 gallons
Cord length: 5’7”
Weight: 1.5 lbs
PRICE GUIDE: $
If you are using saltwater for your pond, then this is the right product for you. The Titanium Finnex Heating Tube is corrosion-resistant.
It’s also durable. You may call it “virtually unbreakable” with its titanium material.
This heater prevents temperature swings. You don’t want water temperature to fluctuate badly because it would stress out the fish and aquatic plants.
You always want a stable temperature for the fish–and even for the visiting frogs or toads.
This may be a really light material. At just 1.5 pounds, this should be a floating device.
But you don’t have to worry about it floating about, the product has suction cups so that the tube will stay wherever you want them to stay.
The size and weight (aside from the submersible aspect) of this thing are really great because the tube is quite slim so it doesn’t really tarnish the aesthetics of your pond.
The heating tube has a protective gear to prevent the fish (especially if you have really small ones) from penetrating the equipment. Not that there’s a place for the fish to penetrate.
You know what’s annoying?
You will need a temperature controller to allow the heating tube to function. But get this! It is sold separately.
Although, you don’t really have to buy the Finnex one as long as it is a compatible three-prong controller.
You need to check the water every now and then because a few people have been reporting electric shocks when used for quite some time.
It’s not too damaging but it’s still unwarranted.
This is a great heater for small ponds because of its small size. It can also be used in aquariums. It doesn’t impede the aesthetics of the pond either.
MY RATING: 95%
- Prevents temperature swing
- Has suction cups to stay in one place
- Features protective gear
- Temperature controller is sold separately
- Could generate electric shock
#3: Aquascape 300-Watt Pond De-Icer
Combatting the harshest winter
Product dimensions: 8” x 8” x 6.5”
Cord length: 22’
Weight: 3 lbs
PRICE GUIDE: $$$
The Aquascape Pond De-Icer is a great product to keep the fish alive by maintaining a small hole in the ice of the pond during winter.
One of the best features of this product is that it is energy efficient.
There’s also this:
It’s corrosion-resistant. The product is made of stainless steel, which could efficiently survive even if you are using saltwater for your pond.
Also this: It has a built-in LED light to let you know that it’s in use and functioning. The red light tells you that it’s on while the blue light indicates that it’s off.
You know what else?
The product has a three-year warranty. That’s not very common for de-icers.
But it’s worth nothing that this is also not the cheapest product around.
It keeps tripping the circuit breaker / GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter). Yep, it’s quite irritating.
It’s also quite expensive. This could be why it also has a three-year warranty.
Should you buy it?
This is a small product that could endure the harshest winter. So, yes, it’s a good buy.
MY RATING: 92%
- Energy efficient
- Build-in LED light
- Long cord
- Great warranty
- Keeps tripping the GFCI
#4: TetraPond De-Icer
Product dimensions: 11.31” x 6.44” x 6.94”
Cord length: 15’
Weight: 3.9 lbs
PRICE GUIDE: $
The best thing about the TetraPond De-Icer is that it looks like a rock and it’s green. Basically, it blends in perfectly in the pond.
Most of the de-icers look like floating devices. This one just doesn’t stand out in the pond with its natural-stone finish.
It works great. As most de-icers do, this one keeps a part of the pond free from ice so that gas will not be trapped in the water thereby suffocating the fish.
It works even when the temperature goes as low as -30 degrees.
The de-icer can keep around an opening of around a foot. This, even when the ice forming on the surface of the pond is already about three inches.
Related to that
It can also melt the ice. This is important when you have not prepared the device and the pond’s surface is already frozen.
Plus, it’s durable.
On to the not-so good:
It doesn’t have a power-off button or system. This means that if you’re not monitoring the pond, you could wake up one day with a steaming pond.
The de-icer will continue heating even when the pond is no longer freezing.
This pond is just made for freezing temperatures. When it’s not, you have to unplug it.
The continuous heating will also drive up your electric bill.
This pond de-icer works really well when it’s winter and it’s freezing. As soon as the temperature starts going up, you have to unplug this or it will continue heating the pond.
MY RATING: 91%
- Works well even with temperature at -30 degrees
- It can melt ice
- No power off
- May not be friendly to your electric bill
#5: Farm Innovators Pond De-Icer
Product dimensions: 4.5” x 7.5” x 7.5”
Maximum heating capacity: 600 gallons
Cord length: 10’
Weight: 3.1 lbs
PRICE GUIDE: $
Let’s start with the best part: The Farm Innovators Pond De-icer is great for larger ponds. It can work on ponds with water capacity of 50 to 600 gallons.
It also provides a large vent hole that allows gas to escape rather than be trapped under and harm the fish and aquatic plants.
Let’s talk about the material
The product is made of cast aluminum that has been patented by the company. The material was especially made to provide a safe and efficient de-icing process.
It has a power of 1,250 watts.
It’s really durable. Many people who have this same product could attest that it helped their fish in so many winters.
It also melts ice.
The bad part?
It’s quite inconsistent. Today, it may be creating and maintaining a large vent hole, by tomorrow, it could be at the bottom of the pond.
Or maybe it won’t float but it would freeze over too.
The cast aluminum may be good for safety and durability, but it rusts after some time.
In a nutshell
This product works really well and is good for large ponds. It provides a large vent hole so you know your fish will be safe despite freezing conditions.
MY RATING: 90%
- Good for large ponds
- Provides a large vent hole
- Product rust from overuse
#6: K&H ThermoPond Perfect Climate Deluxe Pond De-Icer
Product dimensions: 7” x 7” x 5”
Maximum heating capacity: 400 gallons
Cord length: 12’
Weight: 1.65 lbs
PRICE GUIDE: $$
Do you just want a pond heater or a de-icer? The K&H ThermoPond De-Icer can be both.
What does this mean?
The product can be a submersible pond heater if you want to. But when the surface starts freezing, then you need this to be a floating device.
In case you want to submerge this, it’s safe for pond liners.
How does it work?
The product has a removable floating top. If you want to submerge the heater, you just remove the top and the product will go down.
It’s actually MET listed.
The product has been thoroughly inspected for safety purposes.
It’s also thermostatically controlled. This means that it will automatically turn on and off based on the weather temperature.
The product is really only good for smaller ponds. The heat doesn’t spread out much, when used as a submersible heater.
As a floating de-icer, it also doesn’t provide a large ring.
Expect your electricity bill to be on the expensive side. This eats up the electricity.
If you have a small pond, this works quite well. The best part is the versatility–you can use it as a submersible pond heater or a floating de-icer.
MY RATING: 90%
- Won’t damage pond liners
- Thermostatically controlled
- MET listed
- Small heating capacity
- Expensive electric bill
#7: Laguna PowerHeat De-Icer
Those looking for a really long cord
Product dimensions: 9.5” x 8” x 9.5”
Cord length: 22’
Weight: 2 lbs
PRICE GUIDE: $$$
The Laguna PowerHeat De-Icer is made of stainless steel. It is safe for the fish and aquatic plants and it provides a thawed area to allow gas to escape.
It has 500 watts and is corded with an amazing 22-foot electric cord.
It features a LED light so that you will know when it is on. It’s quite annoying when there is no indicator because you have to monitor the pond closely.
It has a thermostatically controlled power system, too.
The product could also melt ice, just in case you start using it when the surface is already frozen.
This is my problem:
Of course, the product had to be kept when winter was over. By the next winter, the de-icer was already tripping my GFCI. It started to sink, too.
Just make sure you store this one properly and put it indoors. Keep it properly and maybe it will work well next winter.
To sum it up
This is an efficient de-icer with a really long cord and with a LED light to indicate if it’s on or not.
MY RATING: 88%
- Thermostatically controlled on-and-off system
- Really long cord
- Features LED light
- Melts ice
- Doesn’t work so well after storage
#8: API Floating Water Tank De-Icer
Product dimensions: 14.63” x 5.38” x 15”
Maximum heating capacity: 300 gallons
Cord length: 6’
Weight: 3.1 lbs
PRICE GUIDE: $
The most important thing about the API Floating Water Tank De-Icer is that it can conserve power and energy.
It has a built-in thermostat. When the pond doesn’t need heat, then the de-icer will try to conserve its power.
This is important because the product has 1,500 watts.
The de-icer also has an enclosure to protect the product.
An important feature:
It could heat a pond with up to 300 gallons of water. The product is durable, too.
Now, while this heater can be used for all ponds and for whatever fish you have, this is actually a favorite among koi.
Okay, hear me out
No koi actually said it out loud – lol. However, you can see that the koi in the pond were really quite comfortable when this de-icer was on.
While a de-icer is pretty straightforward, the instructions on this product are quite difficult to follow. You are better off Googling how to put this thing together.
It doesn’t melt the ice either. So, just make sure you start using it before the pond starts freezing.
Also, the cord is only six feet. That’s really quite short.
MY RATING: 88%
- Conserves power and energy
- Buoyant enclosure
- Won’t melt the ice
- Instructions are not great
- Cord is only six feet
There you have it! My list of the eight best pond heaters in the market. To sum it up:
Best Pond Heater for Functionality
That would be the Danner Pondmaster Pond De-Icer, which works really well and is not even that expensive. It’s not hard on your electricity bill, too.
Best-Looking Pond Heater
The TetraPond De-Icer is made to look like a stone. This way, it won’t damage the aesthetics of your pond. It’s functional too, in case you’re worried.
Most Versatile Pond Heater
The K&H ThermoPond Perfect Climate Deluxe Pond De-Icer can float and it can be submerged. It can work as a de-icer and if you remove the top, it can then be used as a submersible pond heater. It’s really versatile.