Solar cover v. solar liquid pill or fish

May 29, 2008
Has anyone tried the liquid solar covers they have out? You just put the pill in the skimmer basket or put the fish in your water? I am about to order a solar blanket but heard the pills are less work but do they really work? I still can't imagine how a pill like that can keep your water warm.

Any comments?



TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
The solar pills/fish do help just a little, but any kind of breeze disrupts the protective layer on the water till it is calm again. A regular solid cover will give much better results, but the pills/fish are worth a little if a solid cover is out of the question.
May 29, 2008
Thanks bunches, I will stick with getting a normal solar cover. I can afford to do it OK just thought maybe if the pill/fish worked just as well it would save me the trouble of having to take the cover off and on. I don't want one of the reels, I think they just look ugly and get in the way.


Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 14, 2007
Detroit Burbs
If you have no interest in a reel, then get a cheep solar cover. I made the mistake of getting a thick heavy duty one, now my wifey complains about how hard it is to pull over.
Maybe this is just an excuse to have me do it??
I need to make one of those Matt4X4 reels that is outside of the top rails.

So get a cheap light weight one, and replace it annually, they don't last long.


12 mil covers are the best buy. The 8 mil ones don't last more than a season and the 16 mil ones don't last that much longer than the 12 mil to justify the expense (and they are cumbersome to put on and remove.)


LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2007
North Richland Hills, TX
I know solar covers will help control evaporation during the summer (I think I know that), but how much (if any) will it raise the pool water temp? Being here in north central Texas the pool gets plenty warm on its own. :p


LifeTime Supporter
Mar 31, 2008
Central VA
I tried the liquid solar blanket and it does NOT work very well at all...good concept, but in practice it didn't do much, maybe slowed down evaporation a little. A solar cover definitely works far as raising water temp., if you do not want the temp to go up, you can just use the cover on the nights you don't want to lose much of your water temp (or any of your water temp., depending on how cool it gets at night).
However, if you leave it on during the day, I have found that it will raise your water temp. Also, my PB told me that if you leave it on too much during the day, it can cloud your water, which makes sense to me (if the water can't 'breathe'). I have left it on a couple of days at a time without trouble, but I'm guessing a week or so wouldn't be wise.
It was to my understanding that a solar blanket was not for increasing the temp in your pool, but to reduce evaporation at night, preventing heat loss from evaporation, thus maintaining a pools temperature.....not increase it. A solar fish (correct me if I am wrong) leaves a chemical layer that helps reduce evaporation. Yes, a breeze will disrupt this barrier, so less effective than a solar blanket, but more effective than nothing at all.

If these statements are true, let me know....I am interested in using the solar fish.


LifeTime Supporter
Mar 31, 2008
Central VA
That is all true, according to what I was told by my PB and the literature I have read on the liquid solar covers. However, I have a heat pump (electric, so not as 'quick' as Natural Gas to bring temp. up), and I tried the liquid cover for our first season. My PB told me that you could go disrupt the water and see evaporation come off of it, proving that the cover worked...I guess that was true to some extent, but I still saw evaporation on cool mornings, even if the water was still.
When we got a solar cover, the difference was immediately noticeable. You don't have much to lose if you try the liquid solar cover, so you may want to give it a shot. But IMHO, the bubble-type solar cover wins hands down.
And I think the bubble solar cover is definitely marketed as a device that will stop evaporation and not necessarily warm up the water, but I kept it on for several days at a time at the beginning of this season, and with the heat pump running my water temp. rose WAY faster than it would have with just the heat pump and no I'm not sure exactly how that all worked out technically speaking, but it seemed to really help.


Well-known member
Jun 3, 2008
Marana, AZ
I use a lightweight solar cover, not sure if it's an 8 or 12 mil, it came with the pool. One thing I heard is if you don't want to raise your pool temp, leave the cover off at night, but put it on during the day. The way those covers work is keeping heat in the pool, but they don't raise the temp too much more during they day than without, so if you leave it off at night you give the water a chance to cool at night. Controls evaporation better that way, too.

I don't have a reel. What I have is a large garbage can. I roll up the cover while I'm in the pool, then I fold it over itself about 5 times (I have a 20' diameter round pool) and then plop it in the can. When I'm ready to put it back on, I take the end and start pulling it out of the can, then when I have it all in the pool, I unroll it. Works well, doesn't take much more time than a reel, and I can handle it myself! (But I do get my teenager to help when I can.)