Best Aquarium Heater: Fish Tank Heaters Reviews

  • By:

    Vicki Smirnova
    Vicki Smirnova

    Author: Vicki Smirnova

    Vicki S. is a professional writer and editor who adores animals and helps readers get along well with their pets. Vicki has been working in digital media for more than 5 years and has great experience writing content about lifestyle, including pets. Vicki specializes in dog health and nutrition, cat feeding, dog training. She is an aquarium lover and is passionate to write about fish care at home. Also, Vicki headed several websites and worked as a news editor.

    View all 78 articles Learn about our editorial process and veterinary review board.
  • Viewed: 48

  • Updated on: 01/11/2021

Constant water temperature in the required range contributes to the normal existence of fish and other aquarium populations. If the temperature is not the same, or changes frequently, it can lead to aquarium fish stress or even death.

best aquarium heatersImage by @PDPics from Pixabay

What is The Best Aquarium Heater?

After thorough research, we gathered the best 15 aquarium heaters in the table below:

Products

Benefits

Links

Our TOP Pick
aqueon pro aquarium heater

1. Aqueon Pro Aquarium Heater

  • Allows for completely submersible and safe aquarium temperature control.

  • Suitable for both healthy salt and freshwater communities.

  • Precise temperature dial from 68 to 88 °F.

Best for Saltwater Aquarium
eheim jager trutemp submersible heater

2. Eheim Jager TruTemp Submersible Heater - 250 W

  • Temperature shock-resistant glass.

  • Placed vertically in your tank, the controls are very easy to access.

  • Automatic shut off in case the water level gets too low.

Best for Freshwater Aquarium
orlushy submersible aquarium heater

3. Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater

  • It can be positioned anywhere, horizontal or vertically.

  • Automatic shut off when reaching a set temperature.

  • Highly efficient heater for aquariums up to 80 gallons in size.

Best for a Small Aquarium
szelam 25w mini fish tank heater

4. SZELAM 25W Mini Fish Tank Heater

  • Made of heat resistant ABS housing.

  • Comes with free plastic aquarium plants

  • Two suction cups for easy fitting.

Best Affordable
tetra ht30 submersible heater

5. Tetra HT30 Submersible Heater

  • Can be mounted vertically or horizontally.

  • Contains silicon carbide crystals for better heat dispersal.

  • Indicator light shows when water has reached correct temperature.

Best for Turtle Tank
tetra fauna aquatic reptile heater

6. Tetra Fauna Aquatic Reptile Heater

  • Protective plastic cage to prevent breakage.

  • Two oversized suction cups provide maximum hold to prevent movement by active reptiles.

  • Appropriate for heating up to 30 gallons of water.

Best Titanium
finnex deluxe titanium heater

7. Finnex Deluxe Titanium Heater

  • LED water temperature reading.

  • Finnex memory chipped Digital Control.

  • Designed with a cover to help keep your pet safe.

Best for 5-gallon tank
nicrew submersible mini aquarium heater

8. NICREW Submersible Mini Aquarium Heater

  • Precise temperature adjustment from 68℉ to 94℉.

  • It will automatically shut off if heater is no longer properly submerged, preventing damage.

  • External controller allows easy and safe temperature adjustment outside.

Best for 10-gallon tank
cobalt aquatics electronic neo-therm submersible aquarium heater

9. Cobalt Aquatics Electronic Neo-Therm Submersible Aquarium Heater

  • The LED display shows both the set temp and aquarium temp simultaneously.

  • Accurate to within +/- 0.5°F.

  • Temperature range of 66 to 96°F

Best for 20-gallon tank
freesea aquarium fish tank submersible heater

10. FREESEA Aquarium Fish Tank Submersible Heater

  • Temperature range: 59°F~94°F.

  • Aquarium heater is built with durability in mind and safety for every design.

  • Automatic, constant temperature control.

Best for 55-gallon tank
aqueon preset aquarium heater 200w

11. Aqueon Preset Aquarium Heater, 200W

  • Automatic safety shut off and overheat protection.

  • LED indicator light displays red when actively heating.
    1-year warranty.

Best for 75-gallon tank
u-pick aquarium heater with extra thermometer

12. U-pick Aquarium Heater with Extra Thermometer

  • Made of explosion-proof quartz glass.

  • Can heat tanks up to 80 gallons in size.

  • Features scald-prevention design.

Best for 150-gallon tank
ista in-line external heater aquarium heater

13. ISTA in-Line 500W External Heater Aquarium Heater

  • Thermal spraying glass, faster heating process.

  • External design. 

  • Two sensors to test the temperatures of water (inlet and outlet).

Best 50 Watt
marineland precision heater

14. Marineland Precision Heater

  • Easy-to-view sliding scale to check temperature.

  • Automatic on/off thermal switch.

  • Fully submersible. 

Best 300 Watt
fluval e 300 watt electronic heater

15. Fluval E 300 Watt Electronic Heater

  • Digital LCD display.

  • Displays real-time temperature readings.

  • Built-in fuse protects your fish.

TOP Rated Fish Tank Heaters Reviews

Our Top Pick

1. Aqueon Pro Aquarium Heater

aqueon pro aquarium heater

Keep your fish with the perfect water temperature with the adjustable and precise Aqueon Pro aquarium heater. Whether your fish tank is freshwater or saltwater, you can be sure that the water climate is suitable for your fish. Unbreakable construction will keep your fish safe and sound. Thanks to the wide range of available capacities, you can choose the appropriate heating level. The product is equipped with a constantly on LED indicator and an automatic emergency shutdown function.

Pros

Cons

  • Durable shatter-resistant heater.
  • LED indicator lights.
  • Perfect for easy maintenance.
  • None.

Back to the chart

Best for Saltwater Tank

2. Eheim Jager TruTemp Submersible Heater – 250 W

eheim jager trutemp submersible heater

All Eheim’s models may be fully submerged in water and are equipped with the new TruTemp scale, which allows the user to recalibrate the heater with an accuracy of +/- 0.5 ° F to achieve the required temperature readings. The fully submerged safety regulator turns off the heater when operating without water.

Pros

Cons

  • Made from shatter-proof glass.
  • On/off light clearly states when it’s working.
  • 3-year warranty.
  • The calibration process can be a bit of a hassle as it can take a few days.

Back to the chart

Best for Freshwater Aquarium

3. Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater

This model is suitable for aquariums from 40 to 80 gallons. The product length is 11 inches, the power supply voltage is 110-120V and the power cord is 6 feet long.

Shows the area for temperature adjustment, making it easy to adjust the heater for short intervals.
The explosion-proof heater is made of quartz glass with a thickness of 2 mm. This model can be used in aquariums with fresh and saltwater.

An accurate temperature scale from 68 to 89 ° F allows you to fully control it with a 1-degree difference.

Pros

Cons

  • Precise temperature controls.
  • Made of explosion-proof tempered quartz glass.
  • Can be used in both fresh and saltwater.
  • It can be difficult to control the heating.

Back to the chart

Best for small tank

4. SZELAM 25W Mini Fish Tank Heater

Smart control is an intelligent system with an accurate temperature sensor and a constant heating system. No external thermometer required; unlike other products, you need to manually adjust the temperature. This product just needs to be connected to the power supply and it will work. It operates in intermittent mode and automatically turns on/off to reach the set temperature.

This model is different from the one with manual adjustment. The heater automatically adjusts the temperature to 73 oF-82 oF (25 ° -28 °), with no need for manual adjustment. Place it next to the filter station’s strong water flow so that the entire aquarium is the same temperature.
High quality: Heat-resistant ABS plastic housing, sand-quartz filler and ceramic heating system made of aluminum oxide MCH, explosion and cracking protection.

Pros

Cons

  • Automatically turns off when correct temperature is reached.
  • Fully submersible.
  • Easy to use.
  • Only available in smaller wattage.

Back to the chart

Best affordable

5. Tetra HT30 Submersible Heater

tetra ht30 submersible heater

This new model is for aquariums from 2 to 30 gallons and is easy to use. The electronic thermostat automatically adjusts the power to maintain a constant water temperature of about 78 ° F. All you have to do is place the Tetra HT30 heater and connect it to the power supply.

Pros

Cons

  • Fully submersible.
  • Built-in electronic thermostat.
  • The indicator light turns red/green.
  • Temperature is not adjustable (stays at 78°F); not for tanks larger than 30 gallons.

Back to the chart

Best for turtle tank

6. Tetra Fauna Aquatic Reptile Heater

tetra fauna aquatic reptile heater

Protected plastic housing to prevent breakdowns from mechanical impacts or falls.
An automatic thermostat keeps the water temperature at around 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
Two large suction cups ensure maximum fixation. Suitable for heating water in an aquarium with up to 30 gallons of water.

Pros

Cons

  • Designed with a cover to help keep your pet safe.
  • 100-watt heater is compact and completely submersible.
  • Helps keep water at a constant temperature of 78 degrees for frogs, newts and turtles.
  • Some buyers indicate that the product is short-lived.

Back to the chart

Best titanium

7. Finnex Deluxe Titanium Heaters

Finnex is an electronic heater with a memory chip and a smooth titanium tube with a power of 800 watts.
The set temperature adjustment range is from 0 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit. The LED indicator will tell the user about the water temperature. Suitable for aquariums with a water volume of up to 265 gallons.

Pros

Cons

  • Comes with a digital controller.
  • Titanium built design.
  • Available in up to 800W.
  • No adjustment dial.

Back to the chart

Best for 5-gallon tank

8. NICREW Submersible Mini Aquarium Heater

This model has the function of precise temperature adjustment in the range from 68 ℉ to 94 ℉. The convenient and safe device automatically shuts off if it is not submerged in water properly, preventing damage or overheating.

The LED indicator makes it easy to visually confirm the operation, and the built-in display allows you to determine the current water temperature in the aquarium.
An external controller allows you to quickly and safely adjust the set water temperature. The product has a fully submerged design and can be placed on the bottom.

Pros

Cons

  • Fully submersible.
  • Convenient and secure design.
  • LED reads water temperature.
  • No separate controller for redundancy

Back to the chart

Best for 10-gallon tank

9. Cobalt Aquatics Electronic Neo-Therm Submersible Aquarium Heater

cobalt aquatics electronic neo-therm submersible aquarium heater

Maintain a stable and appropriate water temperature in the aquarium with this product. It provides one-touch control of settings.

The model comes in a modern, elegant case that provides the device’s highest security and reliability. The advanced thermostat has an accuracy of +/- 0.5 degrees, and the LED display simultaneously displays the set temperature and the temperatur in the tank. The built-in thermal protection circuit disables the heater before it can overheat, and the rugged, unbreakable housing is virtually indestructible.

Pros

Cons

  • Available in up to 150W.
  • Fully submersible.
  • Modern design.
  • More expensive than others on the market.

Back to the chart

Best for 20-gallon tank

10. FREESEA Aquarium Fish Tank Submersible Heater

This product can work in an aquarium from 1 to 10 gallons of water and heat water in the range of 59 ° F ~ 94 ° F.

When the water temperature reaches the set value, it automatically stops, and the automatically starts heating when the level is below the set. This function greatly facilitates the process of aquarium care. It is only intended for use when fully submerged in water.

Pros

Cons

  • Safe and easy to use.
  • Bright, LED display.
  • Unique oval shape.
  • Design can cause some fish to get caught behind it and get stuck.

Back to the chart

Best for 55-gallon tank

11. Aqueon Preset Aquarium Heater, 200W

This product is pre-set to a heating temperature of 78F, so no temperature adjustment is required. It has a shatter-free design that has high strength. Automatic safe shutdown and overheating protection ensure a long period of operation of the device without damage. The LED indicator lights red when heating is active. The model has a fully submersible design.

Pros

Cons

  • Preset to 78 degrees; appropriate for most tropical fish.
  • Fully submersible.
  • Shatter-resistant construction.
  • 1-year warranty.
  • No dry-safety.

Back to the chart

Best for 75-gallon tank

12. U-pick Aquarium Heater with Extra Thermometer

This upgraded product is equipped with stronger quartz glass, which is shockproof and explosion-proof and prevents electricity leakage, and the updated, stronger protective container of double-sealed material prevents melting and protect you and your pets from burns.

This heater comes with an optional thermometer that shows the aquarium’s exact temperature to avoid overheating or freezing your fish. It provides constant warm water in the aquarium for your pet fish’s physical health and is suitable for both fresh and saltwater.

This product operates in intermittent mode and automatically turns on/off, so that the water is always approximately the same temperature. Use the pink button to set between 68 ° F and 94 ° F.

It is ideal for tanks of different sizes, from 3 gallons to 80 gallons; please choose the appropriate capacity. It is recommended to place it near a strong water flow, such as near the aquarium water filter outlet so that all the water is the same temperature.

Pros

Cons

  • Comes with a digital, external thermometer to always see the temperature.
  • Easy to control from 68°F – 94°F.
  • Automatic safety.
  • It cannot be used in sand or under gravel as it will not heat as well.

Back to the chart

Best for 150-gallon tank

13. ISTA 500W in-Line External Aquarium Heater  

This product ensures high-quality heating and constant maintenance of the set temperature.

The design has 2 temperature sensors at the inlet and outlet of the water flow to the heater.

Ceramic-coated glass provides a faster water heating process.

The ppearance has an excellent design, and the device itself is elementary to install and does not take up space in the tank.

Pros

Cons

  • Power: 500W.
  • Displayed in Celsius.
  • 2 sensors.
  • It cannot be mounted horizontally.

Back to the chart

Best 50-watt

14. Marineland Precision Heater

marineland precision heater

Maintain a comfortable environment for your fish with the Marineland Precision heater. This product features an adjustable temperature scale with a well-readable display. It has a flat mesh heating element that surrounds the mica core for superior heat transfer and greater efficiency.

The product automatically turns off if the temperature reaches the preset temperature, as the thermal fuse switch turns off the heating element and turns on again when the water in the aquarium cools down. The kit also includes a mounting bracket for secure attachment to the glass.

Pros

Cons

  • Available in 8 sizes.
  • Features an adjustable temperature dial with a high-visibility temperature display.
  • Includes a secure mounting bracket.
  • Glass may not be shatter-proof; thermostat may not be completely accurate.

Back to the chart

Best 300 watt

15. Fluval E 300 Watt Electronic Heater

The most technologically advanced aquarium heater available today is the Fluval E300. This product with Vuetech technology ensures uniform water heating in the aquarium and continuously displays the water temperature in real-time. The system is equipped with an intelligent control system for the heating element, which ensures the device’s maximum efficiency.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy access to controls.
  • Safe disconnection technology.
  • 5-year warranty.
  • High cost.

Back to the chart

The Final Verdict

After analyzing reviews, we concluded that the best one is the Aqueon. This unbreakable, submersible heater is characterized by maximum strength and long operation. Aqueon has been working in the aquarium industry for a long time, and many people trust this manufacturer. 

This adjustable product comes with a water temperature dial. Thanks to this, you can set the desired temperature yourself. Aqueon Pro features high accuracy within 1 degree. This allows it to be used even in a delicate environment and for a reef tank. [4]

READ MORE: Saltwater Aquarium Filtration System

best-heater-for-small-aquariumImage by @sandipruel from FreePik

Types of Aquarium Heaters

These products create the necessary comfortable living conditions for water creatures. Water is heated by particular elements that convert electrical energy into heat.

There are five types:

  1. This has a fully waterproof housing and can be submerged in water without fear of damage or an electric shock to fish.
  2. Part of the heater, and the regulator and other components remain on the water surface. They are best placed close to filter installations to achieve a circulation of heated water in the aquarium.
  3. This has a flow–through water heater that is connected to the filter system, and its body is not in contact with water, which allows you to save space in the aquarium for fish.
  4. This pallet has a heater that can be installed in your pallet system to save space. This type has the same advantages, but it takes up a little more space.
  5. This has a substrate heater, which is rare and usually not very efficient. This type usually consists of heating coils that you install along the bottom of the tank. While they may work well for aquariums with plants, they do not work well for general heating.

Some models are equipped with a thermostat to turn off the heating element when the set water temperature is reached. These type are the safest, since the electronic system will not allow the water in the aquarium to heat up above the set temperature, and your fish will remain healthy. There are also models of water heaters with controllers equipped with LCD displays for setting temperature parameters and operating times of the heating element.[1]

Freshwater tanks and saltwater tanks use the same water heaters, but there are specialized models for reef aquariums.

Often, an aquarium heater is a small tube with a completely or partially submerged thermometer and is attached to the inside of the wall with a suction cup or a special attachment to the upper sides. The submersible water heater can be installed vertically and horizontally on the bottom of the aquarium, while the partially submerged one can only be fixed at the water surface.

All water heaters are classified according to the built-in heating element’s power, so the power can vary from 5 watts to 800 watts. The capacity for the aquarium is selected depending on the volume of the aquarium; the greater the amount of water, the more power it requires.

Important features to choose the best one

Before buying, you need to decide on the type of device that is more suitable for your aquarium’s shape, volume and other features:

  • For round aquariums, a partially submerged heater fixed to the aquarium wall’s upper edge is better.
  • For fish tanks of standard square or rectangular shape, any types are suitable.
  • For aquariums with a large volume of 80 gallons or more, it is better to choose submersible water heaters and attach them to the bottom of the aquarium to achieve a more significant effect of heating all the water.

When buying, the best choice is a device with a light indication of the device’s operation and the heating element.

Also, the heater’s necessary function is the ability to adjust the temperature, since there are models with a set temperature that cannot be changed. [5]

For convenient and functional mounting, it is better to choose fully submersible type with a location at the bottom of the aquarium or heaters with a mount on the upper face of the aquarium wall, since the attachment on the suction cups may eventually cease to perform its function and the heater will not hold.

Best place to situate aquarium heater 

The best place to place is at the bottom of the aquarium, as the heated water rises and creates natural circulation and will not harm the fish. However, this type of installation requires a large square or rectangular aquarium.

For an aquarium with round walls, the best place to install the heater in the aquarium wall’s upper face. This arrangement is the most suitable since, due to this arrangement, maximum efficiency is achieved in the heating element’s operation for aquariums with round walls. It is better to place such a heater near the filter unit, which creates water circulation.

The flow heater is placed outside the fish tank and is highly efficient due to the constant circulation of water through the heating element due to the filter pump pressure. These water heaters also allow you to save free space for fish, even in the smallest aquariums. [2]

The bottom heater is installed under the bottom of the fish tanks and heats the entire lower part of the aquarium, including the substrate and plants. The efficiency is lower than that of submerged ones due to the cost of thermal energy for heating the glass bottom, the heat from which is dissipated, including into the room’s air aquarium is installed.

The substrate heater is placed directly on the bottom of the aquarium inside the substrate and has low efficiency due to heat dissipation into the aquarium’s glass bottom and into the substrate, while the water is heated in a small volume.

READ MORE: Aquarium Plants Fertilizers

guide to best aquarium heaters

Guide to Using

Before installing and using the heater, you must complete the following steps:

  • Inspect it to ensure that the housing is intact and that there is no visible damage.
  • Before installing directly into the fish tank, you can test the performance in any other water tank.
  • After you have made sure that the heater is working correctly, choose a place to install it.
  • If the heater is mounted on suction cups, the glass at the installation site must be clean.
  • Place the heater in the desired location so as to not come into contact with plants or decorations.
  • After water immersion, wait 15-30 minutes before turning on the heater. This procedure allows you to normalize the temperature and minimize the risk of cracks when the temperature changes sharply.
  • If it is not equipped with a thermometer, place a thermometer in front of the heater and take the initial temperature reading.
  • Set the desired water temperature and turn on the heater.
  • Before checking the water temperature, let the heater work for about 24 hours, after which you can take the thermometer readings.
  • After that, adjust the temperature higher or lower with a check after 5-6 hours until the desired level is reached.
  • After all the manipulations and reaching the desired temperature, you can launch your fish into the aquarium. [3]

Also, when choosing, you should take into account the ratio of power to the volume of the aquarium:

Tank size

Raise temp by 5-9°F

Raise temp by 10-14°F

Raise temp by 15 – 27°F

5 gallons

25 watt

50 watt

75 watt

10 gallons

50 watt

75 watt

75 watt

20 gallons

50 watt

75 watt

150 watt

25 gallons

75 watt

100 watt

200 watt

40 gallons

100 watt

150 watt

300 watt

50 gallons

150 watt

200 watt

2 x 200 watt

65 gallons

200 watt

250 watt

2 x 250 watt

75 gallons

250 watt

300 watt

2 x 300 watt

FAQ

What size aquarium heater do I need?

You should choose the size relative to the size of your fish tank. To place the immersion heater in a horizontal position at the bottom of the tank or the substrate heater, you must choose a device located along the aquarium’s entire length.

For the heater’s vertical position, the size does not matter much since the location near the filter unit and the created circulation will allow you to warm up the water evenly.

The size does not play any role in the quality of aquarium water heating.

How many watts per gallon?

The generally accepted and recommended ratio is 3 watts per 1 gallon of water. Thanks to this ratio, the heater can maintain the required water temperature at any time of the year, and the owner of the aquarium will save money on electricity consumption.

How do I know if the heater is broken?

If the device fails, it will stop heating the water, and you will notice a decrease in the temperature in the fish tank to room temperature.

There are models with an indicator of the heating element; if it is out of order, the indicator will notify you with a light signal.

Do I need to check my heater?

Regular temperature screening will allow you to understand whether the heater is working and whether it is in good condition. If the temperature has increased or decreased without making settings or changing the operating mode, this may mean that your heater is out of order and needs to be replaced or repaired.

Article Sources:

  1. “Aquarium Heater.” Wikipedia, 15 Mar. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquarium_heater.
  2. Sandford, Gina. Aquarium Owner’s Guide: The Complete Illustrated Guide To The Home Aquarium. 1 Feb. 2000, amazon.com/Aquarium-Owners-Guide-Complete-Illustrated/dp/0789446146.
  3. Axelrod, Herbert R. Exotic Tropical Fishes. amazon.com/Exotic-Tropical-Fishes-Herbert-Axelrod/dp/0876665431.
  4. Sands, David. Fishkeepers Guide to Central American Cichlidsamazon.com/Fishkeepers-Guide-Central-American-Cichlids/dp/3923880588.
  5. “Heaters.” The Aquarium Wikitheaquariumwiki.com/wiki/Heaters.

ThePets is an informational website that features articles written by qualified veterinarians and professional writers. You can learn more about our editorial process. When selecting food for your pet, use Pet Food Finder, and search for the clinic to treat your pet using Vet Clinics Locator.

5 people found this helpful.

helpful not helpful