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Thread: Pond heat pump

  1. #1
    Senior Member Rank = Sansai MARKG71's Avatar
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    Pond heat pump

    Being in North Wales it gets very cold ! Last winter my pond never froze and all fish survived.
    This winter has been much tougher and got me thinking about pond heating.
    I don’t want to pay a fortune on electric so thinking a heat pump as more economical option, more expensive to buy but cheaper to run.
    My pond is about 12000 litres so about 2600 gallons, part underground and part above ground.
    I am looking at a 9kw inverter unit from Automated Environmental that uses a max 1.3kw electricity.
    Would this be too big and what temperatures do people aim for ?
    I am thinking that I could maintain a good temperature in the autumn and let it reduce in winter but keep well above the the natural temperature and raise quicker in the spring.
    Your views would be much appreciated.


    12’500 Litre - bottom drain - lined pond
    Nexus 220 - Jebao 12000 - EA UV

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Rank = Rokusai GadgetBazza's Avatar
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    Hi Mark.

    Firstly, I would say that although the initial outlay would be more, an oversized heat pump can actually pay back. They are most economical when they aren't running at capacity, so if you buy a unit that you are having to run flat out then it's going to consume more electricity than a larger unit that handles it in it's stride. That does of course come with added up front cost.

    The fact that you are part in ground will be a big help, are you thinking of doing anything to cover and retain the heat? This is a key factor to consider, otherwise all your pennies will evaporate up to the sky.

    I've used AES before for basement pump solutions and their advice was sound in that regard. They didn't do heat pumps when I used them previously, so didn't know they did them now. I see they list them as Koi Pond heat pumps, but when I clicked into it, they said Swimming Pool heat pumps on most models. Whilst they do exactly the same job and are potentially interchangeable, be careful as many swimming pool heat pumps cannot function efficiently (some not at all) at sub zero temperatures. Which model are you looking at?

    Quite a few people bought into heat pumps this year so I think there should be some good feedback from the others when they come along...

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    Senior Member Rank = Rokusai GadgetBazza's Avatar
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    Just had another look. I assume you are looking at the Remora units as they are marketing them for koi ponds. I can see they show they operate down to -15 so that part seems covered.

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    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai Spongebob's Avatar
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    Hi Mark,
    im currently running a Remora 9 kw from AES on 9000 litres. The 9 kw isn’t too big for you it’s too small, you need minimum 12 kw for that sized pond. If you look at the Remora details you’ll see it states 9kw for a maximum pond size of 9000 litres, this is to maintain 15 in winter and 22 in summer. Mine is doing fine even in the recent cold spell but is right on the limit.

    The pond calculation for heat pumps is pretty simple 1 kw per thousand litres to be on the safe side.
    9000 litre, fibreglass, BD/skimmer, Nexus 220, Draco, Remora i9 ASHP, Econbead 50 bead filter.

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    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai Spongebob's Avatar
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    The above presumes a covered and well insulated pond.
    9000 litre, fibreglass, BD/skimmer, Nexus 220, Draco, Remora i9 ASHP, Econbead 50 bead filter.

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    Moderator Rank = Supreme Champion Feline's Avatar
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    I have a 10kW Duratech Duro+ on 6000 gallons, fitted with the drip tray heater to prevent icing up, so I guess it depends what brand of heat pump you buy.

    Mine can certainly maintain 15C when the pond is covered over winter no matter what the air temps have been. I didn’t cover this winter (mostly because I have a bad back and need to modify my covers) and it’s maintained 12C completely uncovered. It would have been on a lot less with the pond covered though. I’m in the SW where it is relatively mild, so you should get advice from the heat pump specialist if you are in a harsher climate.

    All good heat pump sellers for koi ponds will advise you what the types they sell can do- and will also advise you to have some kind of a backup in place for super-cold weather because a heat pump failure could have your pond temps plummeting and be life threatening for your fish.

    The best system of all would have both an ASHP and gas boiler (or zone valve off your house boiler) installed- in cold weather the gas is by far the most economic and effective method, whereas once temps are in double digits the heat pump wins. Expensive to do both in the first place though.

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    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai Spongebob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feline View Post
    I have a 10kW Duratech Duro+ on 6000 gallons, fitted with the drip tray heater to prevent icing up, so I guess it depends what brand of heat pump you buy.

    Mine can certainly maintain 15C when the pond is covered over winter no matter what the air temps have been. I didn’t cover this winter (mostly because I have a bad back and need to modify my covers) and it’s maintained 12C completely uncovered. It would have been on a lot less with the pond covered though. I’m in the SW where it is relatively mild, so you should get advice from the heat pump specialist if you are in a harsher climate.

    All good heat pump sellers for koi ponds will advise you what the types they sell can do- and will also advise you to have some kind of a backup in place for super-cold weather because a heat pump failure could have your pond temps plummeting and be life threatening for your fish.

    The best system of all would have both an ASHP and gas boiler (or zone valve off your house boiler) installed- in cold weather the gas is by far the most economic and effective method, whereas once temps are in double digits the heat pump wins. Expensive to do both in the first place though.
    With a modern inverter it’s all about going more than needed in theory to save money on electric. If it’s right on the limit an inverter is isn’t economical , meaning the buyer may as well go for an on/off, that’s why AES recommend the 1Kw per 1000 gallons. Or at least that’s how it was explained to me
    9000 litre, fibreglass, BD/skimmer, Nexus 220, Draco, Remora i9 ASHP, Econbead 50 bead filter.

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    Senior Member Rank = Sansai MARKG71's Avatar
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    Thanks all, Feline I will take your advise, looking to buy from AES So will give them a call and see what they recommend.
    Love the idea of a back up from the house heating, but the pond is a long way from the house �� so not sure what to do on that one.
    12’500 Litre - bottom drain - lined pond
    Nexus 220 - Jebao 12000 - EA UV

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    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Gosai Andymadd's Avatar
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    I was reading about house heat pumps the other day and the articles I read make a lot of good points. ASHP are best for swimming pools that you want to heat all summer as the air temp is high and gives great output for the power used. If you want heat when its below 5c ASHP is a very poor option and will not give you the output you need. The ground source heat pumps do better in cold weather but most people have a gas backup.

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    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai Spongebob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andymadd View Post
    I was reading about house heat pumps the other day and the articles I read make a lot of good points. ASHP are best for swimming pools that you want to heat all summer as the air temp is high and gives great output for the power used. If you want heat when its below 5c ASHP is a very poor option and will not give you the output you need. The ground source heat pumps do better in cold weather but most people have a gas backup.
    For houses not the best option, for Koi ponds the perfect option. All's you need with an ASHP is to go above the recommended. Even in this winter mine has worked perfectly and having seen the bill the cost in negligable. Ive maintained min 15 all winter and currently at 19, the ASHP is now set to smart mode and is maintaining well drawing low wattage. Im not sure I get the need for a gas backup, certainly while running a unit under guarantee, it breaks they come on site to fix, an inline electric would be good just for that period should the worst happen
    9000 litre, fibreglass, BD/skimmer, Nexus 220, Draco, Remora i9 ASHP, Econbead 50 bead filter.

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  21. #11
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Gosai Andymadd's Avatar
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    I agree if you go bigger it will heat your pond to the temp you want but the point the article was making is as the weather gets cold you don't get the super efficency promised by these units. For it to really be using very low power and producing a high amount of heat the air temp needs to be high as possible.

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    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai Spongebob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andymadd View Post
    I agree if you go bigger it will heat your pond to the temp you want but the point the article was making is as the weather gets cold you don't get the super efficency promised by these units. For it to really be using very low power and producing a high amount of heat the air temp needs to be high as possible.
    True, but you take an average throughout the year as you would with gas, a heatpump is still a very economical way to heat a koi pond, even in cold temperatures. This is the same unit as mine (although mine is the smaller 9KW version) Costs are low as shown in the vid, even in winter.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOzglEaAMtM
    9000 litre, fibreglass, BD/skimmer, Nexus 220, Draco, Remora i9 ASHP, Econbead 50 bead filter.

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  25. #13
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Gosai Andymadd's Avatar
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    Good video the figures certainly add up.

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    Senior Member Rank = Sansai MARKG71's Avatar
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    Carrying on from my heat pump question, I am now considering what temperatures I should aim for ? I see there seems to be a divide between heating all year or having a winter period for the koi but keeping temperatures above the normal winter temperatures.
    Are there benefits of the fish having a semi dormant winter period ?
    12’500 Litre - bottom drain - lined pond
    Nexus 220 - Jebao 12000 - EA UV

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    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MARKG71 View Post
    Carrying on from my heat pump question, I am now considering what temperatures I should aim for ? I see there seems to be a divide between heating all year or having a winter period for the koi but keeping temperatures above the normal winter temperatures.
    Are there benefits of the fish having a semi dormant winter period ?
    Think there is a few pros to giving them a winter one is to help stop egg bound females. In the cooler water and need being fed they absorb the eggs for energy

    Body shape as well lean down a bit over winter so not to be complete footballs
    Sent from my F5121 using Tapatalk
    Johnathan

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    Senior Member Rank = Yonsai Jampot's Avatar
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    Carrying on from my heat pump question, I am now considering what temperatures I should aim for ? I see there seems to be a divide between heating all year or having a winter period for the koi but keeping temperatures above the normal winter temperatures.
    I've posted this before:-)

    Heating koi ponds

    It's all there for you.....

    JIm
    I don't keep fish, I keep water. I don't keep fish, I keep water. I don't keep fish I kee........

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  33. #17
    Senior Member Rank = Sansai MARKG71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jampot View Post
    I've posted this before:-)

    Heating koi ponds

    It's all there for you.....

    JIm
    Thanks Jim, a fascinating read that answers all my questions.
    Ive read a few of Manke Sankes other articles and they are excellent.
    12’500 Litre - bottom drain - lined pond
    Nexus 220 - Jebao 12000 - EA UV

  34. #18
    Moderator Rank = Supreme Champion Feline's Avatar
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    When deciding on the spec of your heating, bear in mind that even if your aim is just to keep the pond just into double figures over winter, it’s very very nice to have the ability to bring it up to 16C should you have issues with any of the fish and need to use treatments that require that kind of minimum temp to work. It’s not uncommon to get a koi inconveniently bash itself right at the start of winter. If you have a big enough QT to hold most of your stock then don’t worry about this, but for most of us our koi eventually outgrow the tank so don’t have the option if it’s one of the bigger fish.

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  36. #19
    Senior Member Rank = Sansai MARKG71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feline View Post
    When deciding on the spec of your heating, bear in mind that even if your aim is just to keep the pond just into double figures over winter, it’s very very nice to have the ability to bring it up to 16C should you have issues with any of the fish and need to use treatments that require that kind of minimum temp to work. It’s not uncommon to get a koi inconveniently bash itself right at the start of winter. If you have a big enough QT to hold most of your stock then don’t worry about this, but for most of us our koi eventually outgrow the tank so don’t have the option if it’s one of the bigger fish.
    Thanks Feline, that’s a really good point that I hadn’t considered.
    I will contact the manufacturer and aim for pump that could heat to 16 or so all year.
    I looked through your pond build the other day and your pond is amazing.
    12’500 Litre - bottom drain - lined pond
    Nexus 220 - Jebao 12000 - EA UV

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    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai Twhitenosugar's Avatar
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    So the name of heat pumps that are generally suitable for ponds seem to be:

    Duratec
    Thermotec
    Remora
    Dream

    Are there any others?

    Sent from my Pixel 4a (5G) using Tapatalk
    12,500L fibreglassed raised pond with window

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