Keeping your Pond Ice Free

During the winter months your pond will invariably get covered in ice. What should you do? Dan Everton's guide to keeping your pond from freezing over in the winter will provide the answers.

Created by Dan Everton on Thursday, 7th of February, 2013.
Updated on Monday, 15th of February, 2016.

Oase Thermo Heater

Although over winter fish and amphibians will survive under a frozen surface for some time, ice traps gases escaping from decaying material and prevents oxygen from entering the water. Snow cover also cuts off light, preventing plants from producing oxygen.

To stop this happening, it is always a good idea to try and clear snow off the surface of the pond if possible. Always take care when doing this and never stand on the ice.

All of this will clearly have a detrimental effect on animal and plant pond life. The answer is to either heat the surface of the water or aerate the pond so that movement of the water deters the formation of ice. And don't forget, if you make sure that a portion of the pond is unfrozen, birds will also benefit from this vital source of fresh water.

Pond Heaters

Pond Heaters will ensure that at least part of your pond surface will remain free from ice allowing oxygen in and letting harmful gases escape.

Oase IceFree Thermo Pond Heaters will ensure that at least part of your pond surface will remain free from ice even in temperatures as low as -20C, allowing oxygen in and letting harmful gases escape. Both 200 and 300 watt models come with 10 metres of cable.

The Bermuda heater, will also see your pond through prolonged winter weather. It has a polished brass casing for efficient heat transfer and the heater simply floats at surface level. The two variants have 150 and 300 watt elements with five and ten metres of cable respectively.

Hozelock market a 100 watt floating heater that will keep just the right area free of ice with minimum running costs. Velda have a more powerful surface level model with a stainless steel heater guard and an internal automatic thermostat to prevent overheating. The 300w element is recommended for a 5000-litre pond.

Cloverleaf pond heaters are made from high quality stainless steel with a very efficient titanium element. They also feature a unique state of the art intelligent digital thermostat that will prevent burn out. Available in three sizes, 100, 200 and 400 watt, a complete installation kit is supplied.

Air Pumps

Air pumps are an alternative to heaters and can be cheaper to run. Doubly useful, in the winter they can keep the pond ice free and during the summer will aerate the water reducing carbon dioxide levels.

Delivering a maximum air output of 45 and 75 litres per minute, more than enough for most domestic ponds, the two Hozelock Air Pumps have a stylish weatherproof aluminium cage and their design allows the maximum diffusion of air into the water. The Velda V-Tech Air Power Air Pump Set has electronic output control and dual outlets.

There are three Oase AquaOxy models, with 400, 1000 and 2000 litres per hour air displacement. Easily adjusted, these safe low voltage pumps consume only 10 watts of power and are suited to all pond types with each 'air stone' attached to a five-metre long air line.

The Blagdon Pond Air 1 is designed for ponds of up to 2250 litres, the 4-watt pump giving an air flow rate of 210 litres per hour. The more powerful Air Pump 2 is for up to 4500-litre ponds and has two 8 metre lengths of air line and two 50mm air stones but still only consumes 5 watts with a maximum flow of 330 litres per hour.

The same company also produces powerful Koi Air Pumps for water to a depth of 3.5 metres with 8, 12 and 18 air stones and maximum flow of 25 litres per minute.

For Further Information

If you require any help or further advice, you can contact the Aquatics Department at GardenSite on 0121 355 7701 or email The department is open to visit 7 days a week.

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