Prevent your stock tank from freezing solid with a battery powered stock tank heater. Most aquarists have confessed that this is the best device to have ever been invented. I keeps water available to your fish for swimming 24 hours in a day.
These heaters use very low voltage batteries that only need to be changed once a day while chopping the ice up to 4 times a day! As compared to manually chopping ice by hand throughout the day, swapping batteries once a day is surely easy. You could also use bigger batteries that run up to four days a row. This and more tips are below.
Battery-powered heaters are built to last a lifetime. Also, they are inexpensive and the low voltage they use means that no shock accidents can even threaten your fish.
Fun Fact: Did you know that an estimate of 17,000 animals and fish die each year from electrocution? This is attributed to using very high voltage heaters to help the water. These electric heaters tend to crack often.
Therefore, to keep your fish safe, it is advisable to use a low voltage heater that runs on battery power or runs on a low voltage power source. A good example is a 50-amp battery charger. Using low voltages like 12, 24 and 48 voltage heaters are the safest to use as no accidental electrocution can ever occur.
Why does a Battery Powered Stock Tank Heater work so perfectly?
The water heater keeps heating the water slowly even during the day when the temperature is above the freezing point. This heated mass of water acts as a thermal mass that holds the heat throughout the night when the temperature drops. This will be more effective if you have insulated your tank.
If you have ever unplugged a portable spa, you will probably have noticed that after several days, the water will still be very warm despite the freezing weather. This is the main reason why heating your water with a slow voltage battery powered heater works so perfectly.
Tips on Extending Battery Time
Bank your batteries in a parallel form and not a series one. This will extend the time between your visits to your stock tank. Another great trick that will extend your battery time by up to 4 times is to use 6-volt batteries and running your heater on only 6 volts. This will extend your battery time. However, they will not run as hot either which works well for small tanks.
If there are a lot of wiring configurations at your disposal, you could try some out to derive the best heating curve and longevity out of your batteries. In case you also have a solar panel or possess a wind turbine, you could use this to charge up your batteries too.
Only you can find out what works well for you and apply it. You just need to pay close attention to the water and heater during the first few days to find the best option for you.