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  1. #1
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Nanasai blue harbour's Avatar
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    Would you have/build a koi pond without having some form of heating!?

    As above, if you were starting from fresh on a new build say - would you build with the intention of keeping koi if you didnít want to/ maybe couldnít have some form of heating for the pond/ how important do you consider heating in the grand scheme of things!?

    When I built my latest pond I did initially include a 2kw in line heater, but it was pretty expensive to run and I was never really happy with the installation and it was a pig to get it to stop leaking too so I ended up taking it out and simplifying my pipework etc, but obviously I then had to forego any type of heating!

    The better more efficient types of heater also have a much greater initial outlay in terms of cost donít they so thatís something to keep in mind too.

    I can see the benefits of being heated as it allows you to heat ramp for treatments (if you have a good enough heater etc) and itíll also allow for more stable temps year round, and being able to maintain a decent minimum in late autumn/winter etc, but obviously this again comes back to cost doesnít it!

    Iíd appreciate your input on this as ok Iím currently shut down and have sold/ are selling my stuff off, but unless I smash the pond up I might still revisit koi keeping at some point, but just with fewer fish & a more suitable setup, but costs involved will obviously play a part in that.


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  2. #2
    Member Rank = Nisai AJB's Avatar
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    I have been to Japan a few times and as a novice what I observe is they keep it simple. I am not looking to grow champion Koi - we have a Koi pond for ornamental reasons as part of a Japanese garden. Over winter we are focussed on survival, so we insulate well but do not heat. Were I to do this again I would build a bigger, deeper pond, with good predator protection, and make even more effort to integrate it with the garden design. I would opt for the best low maintenance I could. No heat.

    In summary - it all depends on why you are keeping water with Koi in it. I might be tempted by perfect specimens of robotic Koi !!

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  4. #3
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Kyusai Pomster's Avatar
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    Despite what people think/say it is'nt vital to heat, it's a luxury.
    I've just started building a small pond for a friend which will not be heated. I might, just might even be tempted to build a pond for myself again who knows? But if i did, it would'nt be has big as the ponds previous ... maybe a 2k gallon 4ft deep at the most. I've still got the heat exchanger etc but i dont think i'd bother
    Not to read a newspaper makes you uninformed. But to read a newspaper makes you misinformed

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  6. #4
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Supreme Champion Davej's Avatar
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    The problem with having a heater is that Guys feel the need to use it!

    My take is that having some form of defensive protection by way of a heater is highly desirable so that you have the option of stopping the water get real cold should you wish to. What is real cold is the cause of great debate but I would be looking at 4-5C. If the pond is covered then in a traditional winter we could be talking of maybe 20 days a year (at most)?

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  8. #5
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Nanasai blue harbour's Avatar
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    Cheers guys for your replies!Would you have/build a koi pond without having some form of heating!?

    All very interesting and food for thought! I know some will heat to prolong the growing season, some will add ďsomeĒ heat as & when in an attempt to add more stability to the overall water temps (so there isnít so much of a swing in lowest to highest etc).

    Have also heard/been told multiple different things for the winter period, some have said they like to keep a minimum temp of 15deg c to avoid ďaermonas alleyĒ or whatever itís called, some have said let your temps drop to a minimum of about 8deg c, some slightly lower!

    I can certainly see the benefits of being able to heat in so much as it allows you to be able treat for parasites etc if the need arises (when temps are lower)and if you heat enough it will also be beneficial in aiding healing etc.

    Would also be better when the weather is like what it has been recently I guess what with it having been fairly cool and wet/a poor summer so far, but that really goes to better stability of water temps as I mentioned above wouldnít it!






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  9. #6
    Senior Member Rank = Rokusai Tom Koi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue harbour View Post
    As above, if you were starting from fresh on a new build say - would you build with the intention of keeping koi if you didn’t want to/ maybe couldn’t have some form of heating for the pond/ how important do you consider heating in the grand scheme of things!?

    When I built my latest pond I did initially include a 2kw in line heater, but it was pretty expensive to run and I was never really happy with the installation and it was a pig to get it to stop leaking too so I ended up taking it out and simplifying my pipework etc, but obviously I then had to forego any type of heating!

    The better more efficient types of heater also have a much greater initial outlay in terms of cost don’t they so that’s something to keep in mind too.

    I can see the benefits of being heated as it allows you to heat ramp for treatments (if you have a good enough heater etc) and it’ll also allow for more stable temps year round, and being able to maintain a decent minimum in late autumn/winter etc, but obviously this again comes back to cost doesn’t it!

    I’d appreciate your input on this as ok I’m currently shut down and have sold/ are selling my stuff off, but unless I smash the pond up I might still revisit koi keeping at some point, but just with fewer fish & a more suitable setup, but costs involved will obviously play a part in that.


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    Ive been in touch with Heatpumps4ponds and chap told me that the Thermal inverter heaters are the way forward now the 9kw is just under 1700quid and cheap to run, 9kw is a lot of energy though,

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  11. #7
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Nanasai blue harbour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Koi View Post
    Ive been in touch with Heatpumps4ponds and chap told me that the Thermal inverter heaters are the way forward now the 9kw is just under 1700quid and cheap to run, 9kw is a lot of energy though,
    Still itís an initial outlay of nearly £1700 & that a lot of money!!


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  13. #8
    I guess it all boils down to your priorities - koi have evolved from common carps perfectly adapted for winter hibernation around 4 dC - so they do not need any heating by definition - they are not tropical fish like Discus who needs 29 - 30 dC otherwise does not survive.

    JPN breeders are focusing on maximizing their income given the formula Bigger Nicer Fish = Bigger Profit Made - so they heat in the winter to keep growth rates as high as possible.

    So if you want fastest growth in shortest time, you should heat.

    If you want to "just" enjoy the nice fish you bought in your garden pond, you do not need to heat / temper - unless your pond does not have sufficient depth allowing for normal winter hibernation - here the point is, that as long as you keep - and should keep - your filters running all winter, even with good pond insulation and winter cover - unless you have really large pond volume - on typical 10 - 20k L pond you would need to compensate for the heat loss in filters.

    When starting fresh you should answer to yourself principal question - if you do not want to heat, you should build your pond deep enough in the ground without any insulation - as surrounding ground will keep the pond with running filtration warmer. If you want to temper / heat your pond, you need to insulate it well. But it is not that good idea to have well insulated pond and not heated - as surrounding ground will not help to compensate heat losses from filtration circulation.

    Given the fact, that most ponds are running at quite high stocking levels, in my humble opinion the key here is avoidance of any stress factors as much as possible - high temperature fluctuations being one of them - so precaution avoiding too fast temperature changes needs to be taken - either large enough pond volume buffering such high temp oscillations (like Fall / Spring day / night temp differences) - if not possible, supplement heating / tempering device - smoothing the temp oscillations is advisable.

    In my case I have opted for tempered pond - not heated - difference being I do not want to hold any defined temperature by all means all the time - but in summer use 5kW ASHP to keep min. 21 dC (on 24k L in the ground pond), in OCT trim it down to 15dC - keep it there as long as weather is supportive - once night freeze arrives, switch it off and start heat exchanger connected to house central heating tempering filters - set to 7 dC - and keep it so till March - with warmer weather switching ASHP back again to 15 dC - increase the heat exchanger setting also to 15 dC - and in the course of one week or so bring it from 7 to 15 dC - this avoids as much as possible the period, when bad bugs are already active while koi immune system not so. With this approach it is not that expensive and my humble opinion helps our koi to minimize stress levels otherwise translated into weakened immunity and higher vulnerability to pathogens outbreaks.

    Just food for thought......there is no right or wrong - but everyone needs to decide for himself his desired setup.
    You get what you pay for - or better - what you make yourself.

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  15. #9
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Kyusai Pomster's Avatar
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    Way back in the 90's Koi Carp magazine did an article on heating ponds. I remember it being primarily about electric (Electro) pool heaters and the contributor had a 2k gallon pond and lived in Hampshire ... Cant think what he was called, no doubt it will come back?
    Anyhow, one recommendation was to run a pipe through a compost heap ... Granted it will have to be a big heap but It's not a bad idea .. Ever put your hand in a pile of grass cuttings etc? Regulating the heat output will require some thought though
    Not to read a newspaper makes you uninformed. But to read a newspaper makes you misinformed

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  17. #10
    Moderator Rank = Supreme Champion Feline's Avatar
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    I agree with Dave. The ability to heat the pond effectively can be a real life saver, literally if you run into parasite or bacterial problems at a time of year where temps would otherwise stop you being able to treat.

    Last winter was very mild here and for various reasons I didn't get round to putting the pond covers on, so I therefore set the stat on my ASHP to 8C and left it like that over the colder months once I turned things down at the end of October.

    My personal reasons for heating are 3-fold:

    1. Allow heating up to16C or whatever was needed if I needed to treat.

    2. Be able to extend the growing season into the Autumn to get good growth on the koi.

    3. Prevent suffering / misery / unhappy fish in the very cold weather.

    Last summer I also discovered a new and unexpected benefit- my filters took a temporary knock at the start of that really hot weather causing an ammonia spike just when temps were really high. I was able to prevent it affecting the fish adversely by using the ASHP to cool the pond down to 22C, keeping much more of the ammonia in the less toxic form. The pond temp had been climbing up towards 28C which would have made the ammonia lethal. In the UK we don't often have to think about cooling

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    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Kyusai Pomster's Avatar
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    If it's a major concern why not put a qt tank in the shed and over winter in there using a couple of aquarium heaters?
    Not to read a newspaper makes you uninformed. But to read a newspaper makes you misinformed

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  21. #12
    Senior Member Rank = Rokusai Tom Koi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue harbour View Post
    Still it’s an initial outlay of nearly £1700 & that a lot of money!!


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    Yep, heck of a lot especially with everything else as well

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  23. #13
    Senior Member Rank = Adult Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue harbour View Post
    Still itís an initial outlay of nearly £1700 & that a lot of money!!


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    Not so bad if you consider the longer term view.


    Running a normal 3KW heater over winter heating to 12C assuming it is operating on average 12 hours a day would cost around £300+ for 2 Months.

    That's £300 per year you'll never get back.
    You could sell the heater for maybe £150

    But the £1700 heat pump will likely be worth £1000 2nd hand so really it's costing you £700 to purchase.

    Then obviously the electric bill will be significantly lower (by how much I don't know).

    So in 3 years you'll probably be at breakeven over the normal heater. Beyond that you'll be saving a good chunk each year.


    *Figures are guesswork, but probably not too far from the truth.

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  25. #14
    Senior Member Rank = Rokusai Tom Koi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RS2OOO View Post
    Not so bad if you consider the longer term view.


    Running a normal 3KW heater over winter heating to 12C assuming it is operating on average 12 hours a day would cost around £300+ for 2 Months.

    That's £300 per year you'll never get back.
    You could sell the heater for maybe £150

    But the £1700 heat pump will likely be worth £1000 2nd hand so really it's costing you £700 to purchase.

    Then obviously the electric bill will be significantly lower (by how much I don't know).

    So in 3 years you'll probably be at breakeven over the normal heater. Beyond that you'll be saving a good chunk each year.


    *Figures are guesswork, but probably not too far from the truth.
    Id like to heat, but if pond is open its burning money, Mrs doesn't want a pond closed in, I like the idea, if weather bad you can still go out with a beer sit down and enjoy your fish and that's what its all about for me anyway.

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  27. #15
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Supreme Champion Davej's Avatar
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    If you are simply using the heater to protect the Koi during those short sharp really cold snaps then the ASHP route isn't that attractive as when it gets real cold they tend to struggle.

    It does all depend on how far you want to go with heating, essential / desirable / optimum . Best choices for particular ponds tend to flow from there - as does the capital and running cost.

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  29. #16
    Senior Member Rank = Rokusai Tom Koi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davej View Post
    If you are simply using the heater to protect the Koi during those short sharp really cold snaps then the ASHP route isn't that attractive as when it gets real cold they tend to struggle.

    It does all depend on how far you want to go with heating, essential / desirable / optimum . Best choices for particular ponds tend to flow from there - as does the capital and running cost.
    ASPH? sorry Dave I probably have seen it written before, but can't think what it means,

    Im having a moment I think lol

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  31. #17
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Supreme Champion Davej's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Koi View Post
    ASPH? sorry Dave I probably have seen it written before, but can't think what it means,

    Im having a moment I think lol
    ASHP = Air Source Heat Pump.

    Dave

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  33. #18
    Senior Member Rank = Rokusai Tom Koi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davej View Post
    ASHP = Air Source Heat Pump.

    Dave
    Face palm time doh!

    Cheers Dave

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