If you have a backyard pond, especially one containing fish, it may be wise to consider a floating pond heater. Living in an area of the country which realizes extreme temperature variations during the winter, a means of allowing poisonous gases to escape from underneath an ice covering will help keep your pond in a more inhabitable condition.
Rotting vegetation under the water can produce gases which not only cause a foul odor in the water, they can be deadly to fish and possibly to other plant life. By providing a hole by using a floating pond heater, through which these gases can escape, will make a healthier aquatic habitat.
Additionally, by providing a hole in the ice cover, needed oxygen will also be replenished into the water. Some folks may prefer to manually poke holes in the ice, but a floating pond heater can keep a hole opened without having to confront the ice personally.
Keep Opening Available Throughout The Winter
Most floating pond heaters are powered by electric, usually with a ten foot cord, allowing it to float through the water, but limiting the size of the hole. By allowing it to float freely over the pond, it may not be concentrating enough heat in one area to maintain the opening.
The floating pond heater can be placed in the water before the ice forms, and a thermostat allows for it to be turned on and off at a specific temperature. For example, A typical setting of 40 degrees will not turn the unit on until the air temperature reaches that point. When it gets below the set temperature, it will turn on and prevent the ice from forming in the space in which it is floating.
When the air temperature rises above the setting, a floating pond heater will automatically turn off so as not to waste power when the pond probably will not freeze over anyhow. Thus it can be placed in the water in the fall and left to do its job as required until the threat of a freeze has passed. It can then be removed until next winter.
Of course a floating pond heater may have other uses than keeping a hole open in the ice on a pond. A person with outdoor animals may use one to keep ice from forming on a water source for those animals. It can also be used to allow for a water source for wild outdoor animals who may have to go without fresh water when ponds and streams are frozen over in the winter.