Reducing Energy Costs Of A Pond
With the cost of electricity currently rising rapidly we are seeing an increasing number of customers looking at how they can reduce the running costs for their ponds.
The most common products which consume electricity in a pond are pond pumps and the UV in filter systems.
If you have a pond without fish then a pump and filter are not necessary. They will help keep the water fresh, clear and can reduce mosquito larvae, but the other inhabitants do not need them to be running.
If you keep fish, then during the feeding season circulation through a filter is vital twenty-four hours a day. Oxygen in a pond is vital for all fish and bacteria in your filter. The oxygen levels in a pond are primarily kept high through circulation, although waterfalls, fountain and air pumps will also help. The worst time for low oxygen levels in the pond is at night when underwater plants including oxygenators and algae stop producing oxygen but continue consuming it. Thus, running the pump at night is as important as running it through the day.
Filters also need to be run continuously during the feeding season, the bacteria in the filter are living organisms which require food, water and oxygen, without this they can begin to die off within 3 hours. If this happens the fishes waste could build up to dangerous levels and cause your fish harm. In addition, most filters strain the waste material out in foam. If a filter is switched off and on, the surges will dislodge the waste and flush it out, if this happens too often it will not produce clear water.
The UV light in the filter affects single cell algae allowing it to be caught in the filter. This is not a health issue for the fish but will affect water clarity, so could be sacrificed if you are happy for green water.
The property of water means that as it cools it holds more oxygen. As winter approaches the fish become less active and the need for the same high circulation levels drops. This can mean that a smaller pump could be used and if the fish stop feeding for an extended period the pump and filter could be switched off completely. If you do switch your filter off, it is important to remember not to feed the fish until the filter has been switched back on for a while. Obviously replacing your main pump with a smaller pump has an initial cost. Whether this is worthwhile will depend on the savings you can make between the power consumption of each pump, but a second pump brings added benefits. It should prolong the life of the main pump and is very useful to have a standby for when and if the main pump fails.
How much can I save with a more efficient pump?
To find out how much you can save by using a more efficient pump, enter the unit tare you pay for electricity, how many house per day the pump is used and the wattage of the two pumps in to the form below and then press calculate. In some cases, the reductions are so big that it is cheaper to throw away a high consumption pump as the paving will pay for the cost of the new pump.
Unit Rates - January 2024 update - the average unit cost of electricity in the UK is £0.29 per/kWh, however if you are on a fixed rate the cost may be different to this.