I have dug out a 3ftx3ftx44ft (d/w/h) (0.9mx0.9mx13m) area for raising tilapia, and I will be adding a layer of 6mm plastic to hold the water. I want to know whether I will need to buy a heater for this and if a cover at night would help keep the fish warm. I am worried about this especially because this winter is supposed to be really bad, so I want to invest in a heater now if it will be needed. Tilapia need to be in temperatures 55°F (12°C) or higher, so that is what I am aiming for at the minimum.

Fish hole

I assume I will need a heater, but I would like to hear from others before I buy one. Thanks in advance!

  • 1
    I forgot to mention, we have cardboard around the plastic between it and the dirt.
    – Duel
    Commented Sep 5, 2022 at 13:49
  • 1
    is the measurments of your pond correct,1m x 1m x 13m ? i have a garden pond that is about 13 x 9 x 1,7 meters l/w/d and i have a hard time understanding how your pond must look. Commented Sep 6, 2022 at 16:02
  • 2
    @trondhansen It is less of a pond and more of a rectangular hole in the ground. I am using it as a temporary tank until I finish my full pond, which is roughly 7 feet deep and a typical pond shape.
    – Duel
    Commented Sep 6, 2022 at 20:54
  • 2
    A photo might be helpful if its not too much trouble
    – Journeyman Geek
    Commented Sep 7, 2022 at 1:23
  • 1
    @JourneymanGeek It is currently late at night where I live, but I will edit my question with an image tomorrow!
    – Duel
    Commented Sep 7, 2022 at 2:11

1 Answer 1


Blue Tilapia (Oreochromis aureus) are the hardiest species - able to withstand water temperatures as low as 46°F. Niles can withstand colder water too but will not breed at temperatures below ~68°F.

In any case, you're better off safe than sorry. An inexpensive failsafe would be to bury some heat cabling below the pond. It will still run cold in the winter, but you'll at least be sure the temp doesn't drop to fatal levels.

  • 1
    Please add a source for your facts about the fish. If not for proove quality, then for researching further Commented Sep 11, 2022 at 5:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.