10 Best Aquarium Heaters to Create a Homely Temperature for Your Aquatic Pet

Aquarium Heater
By Pranay Das Updated

One of the most essential components of an aquarium, which contributes to creating a natural habitat for your pet inside a captive environment, is undoubtedly aquarium heaters. With its help, you can virtually keep any aquatic pet in your tank irrespective of what the outside temperature is. But with more and more brands bringing out their own heaters every day in the market, how do you make your decision? This is where we come into play. We are here to guide you through the ABC of aquarium heaters, thereby helping you make the right choice.

Factors to Consider While Buying an Aquarium Heater

First and foremost, you need to look at the key points that would dictate your decision while buying an aquarium heater. They are as follows:

Power of the Heater

Not only you would be required to plug the heater to an electric source all the time, but you also have to leave the heater turned on almost 24*7. Obviously, it means having an aquatic heater is not too generous on your electricity bill. The power of the heater denotes the ability to generate heat and maintain an optimal temperature in your tank.

We strongly recommend you to use two heaters instead of one strong heater so that you can rest one while using the other from time to time.

Obviously using a high-end heater for a small tank is not ideal.  Here’s a laydown of the power of heater that you need to buy for your tank.

Size of the Tank Power of Aquarium Heater
5 Gallon 25 Watts
10 Gallon 50 Watts
30 Gallon 100 Watts
65 Gallon 200 Watts
100 Gallon 300 Watts

Temperature Readability

It is ideal if you can keep a tab on the temperature of your tank water. Therefore, we would always suggest you go for an aquarium heater that comes with a numerical temperature gauge. Having this saves you the cost of buying an additional thermometer for your tank.

Safety

While picking an aquarium heater, make sure you go for one that comes with the automatic shut off feature. This feature will automatically shut the heater down when the temperature of the water gets too high or when the water level inside the tank gets low.

In addition, the presence of a light indicator that denotes when the heater is on and off is always appreciated.

Ease of Control

You should easily be able to have access to control your heater. This is especially true for fully submerged heaters. The control knobs should be large and convenient enough to twist and grab underwater.

Ease of Maintenance

Aquarium heaters are long-term investments; you wouldn’t want to go and buy them every month.  This calls for regular maintenance. Go for a brand/model that is easy to clean.

Another factor that you need to keep in mind in this regard is that you have to find out how easily and economically you can change worn out or broken parts of a heater. You definitely don’t want to be in a situation where one broken part would force you to change the product altogether.  

Budget

Set a budget that you want to allot for your aquarium heater. The bigger the budget, the fancier the features are.

To be honest, you don’t need most of the new-edge features. They are just there to allure customers. As long as the heaters get their basic job done and have safety features, they are good to go. 

Depending on the size of your tank, be ready to spend anywhere between $18-150 on your aquarium heater.

10 Best Aquarium Heaters You Need to Buy

The market for aquarium heaters is becoming highly competitive with each passing day. There are more brands producing their own products now than ever before.

Based on our market analysis, we have finalized our choice to the following ones. Find out about them in detail, and also learn each of their pros and cons.

01

Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm Heater

Available in seven different power variants that range from 25-300W (5-100 Gallon), the Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm Heater is a fully submersible aquarium heater that allows you to set the temperature between 66-96° F (18-35° C).

Featuring a “One Touch” control system, it sports an LED display to showcase both the current temperature of the tank water as well as the temperature set by you. In addition, this shatterproof heater comes with integrated thermal protection that will shut your heater down automatically to avoid hazards.

What We Like?
  • Modern flat design
  • Temperature readability
  • Resin-based shatterproof case
  • 3-year warranty
  • Automatic thermal protection system
  • Convenient “One-Touch” control system
  • Light indicator
  • Comes in varied wattage power
What We Don’t Like?
  • Weak suction cups make the heater often fall off to the substrate.
  • Expensive
02

Aqueon Pro Aquarium Aquarium Heater

Coming with an electric thermostat, the shatterproof Aqueon Pro Aquarium Aquarium Heater features plastic housing that ensures fish swimming past the heater won’t be burnt by it.

To help you keep a tab on the heater, it sports LED heat indicators that get illuminated during heating of the tank water. This means that when the temperature goes down, the red light is switched on and stays so until the desired temperature is set, after which it switches to green light, indicating the shutdown of the heater.

Its adjustable suction cups also give you the liberty to install the heater horizontally and vertically, however you want in the tank.

Available in five distinct sizes, you can use this submersible heater in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. It enables you to adjust the temperature from 68-88° F (20-31° C). Another great fact about this product is its auto shut feature which makes sure the device shuts off automatically if the top portion of the heater falls below its bottom portion.

What We Like?
  • Fully submersible
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Large control knob
  • LED light indicator
  • Shatterproof
What We Don’t Like?
  • Temperature dial not reliable; it needs a separate thermometer to be installed.
03

Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater

Specifically designed for large-sized aquariums, the Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater comes with shatter-resistant tempered quartz glass. You are free to place this heater both horizontally or vertically based on your décor preference. Besides, it is suited for both saltwater and freshwater aquariums.

It is also easy on your pocket since it saves up on your electric bill by automatically shutting itself off once the desired temperature is reached. You will able to set the temperature of the water anywhere between 68-89° F (20-31° C) with this heater.  Available in four size variants – 100W, 150W, 200W, and 300W, this submersible heater is highly economical and is a great buy.

What We Like?
  • Suited for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums.
  • Automatic shut off
  • Shatter-resistant tempered quartz glass
What We Don’t Like?
  • Too large in size
04

Marineland Precision Heater

The budget-friendly Marineland Precision Heater is available in eight different variants that range from 50-400W, thereby giving you the freedom to use it on whatever tank size you have – from a 10-gallon tank to a 125-gallon tank.

Its low price would enable you to buy two of them together which you can place at either side of the tank to ensure even distribution of heat. The thermal switch shuts off the heater on its own when the desired temperature is reached and starts itself once the tank gets cold.

It also has an adjustable temperature dial that allows you to set your preferred temperature. The three windows on its mounting bracket give a clear view of the temperature as well. In addition, one of its most popular features is its ‘Advanced Heating Element’ that provides superior heat transfer and increased durability due to it containing mica core.

What We Like?
  • Wide range in its power variants.
  • Made up of mica core that ensures superior heat transfer.
  • Auto shutdown when the desired temperature is achieved.
  • Auto start when the tank water gets cold.
  • Adjustable temperature dial
  • Budget-friendly
What We Don’t Like?
  • Quality of thermostat could have been better.
  • Glass is not shatterproof.
05

U-Pick Aquarium Heater

One of the oldest and most trustworthy heater brands in the business, U-Pick never ceases to amaze us. The safety of your pet is the priority for U-Pick Aquarium Heater, which is evident from its usage of highly durable quartz glass. Not only it is shatterproof, but it also prohibits leakage of electricity.

Besides, you don’t have to worry about the heater melting or scalding from the heat itself since it is covered with a protective gear. It also features a thermometer that allows you to easily keep a tab on the temperature.

You can set the temperature anywhere between 68-94° F (20-34°C) to match your pet’s natural habitat conditions. Furthermore, it is suited for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. It is available in three variants – 50W, 100W, and 300W, meaning it can serve a wide range of tanks.

What We Like?
  • Scald-free design
  • Made of anti-melting double sealed material.
  • Shatterproof quartz glass
  • Easy to control
  • Puts an end to leakage of electricity.
What We Don’t Like?
  • Can’t be placed on sand as it won’t heat well.
06

Boxtech Submersible Aquarium Heater

Available in three variants – 50W, 100W, and 300W, the Boxtech Submersible Aquarium Heater shuts off on its own when the desired temperature is reached and also starts back automatically when the temperature gets too low. It can be placed both in a freshwater and a saltwater aquarium.

You will be able to set the temperature anywhere between 68-90° F (20-32° C). Its external temperature controller comes in pretty handy and the heat-resistant milky quartz glass ensures the safety of your pet. Besides, it is also shatterproof and stops leakage of electricity.

Now, we do understand that this submersible heater is expensive when compared to the rest, but its reviews are very positive. Its high-end performance makes it highly in demand among fish enthusiasts.

What We Like?
  • External temperature controller
  • Fully submersible
  • Made of shatterproof quartz glass.
  • Auto shut off when the desired temperature is reached.
  • Suited for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums.
  • LED light indicator.
  • Auto start when the water gets cold.
What We Don’t Like?
  • Highly expensive
  • Overheating issues in some cases.
07

Hygger Submersible Aquarium Heater

The Small and lightweight Hygger Submersible Aquarium Heater has a convenient design that allows its users to keep it hidden in the tank. Coming in three different variants – 50W, 100W, and 300W, it features an LED indicator that lets you know as to when the heater is on.

It also features a detachable shield that keeps your aquatic pets safe. In addition, it sports an external temperature controller and an easy to control temperature dial. Made of heat-resistant milky quartz, it can be set both in a freshwater and a saltwater aquarium.  It also has an in-built thermometer that gives you a clear view of the temperature of the tank water.

This shatterproof heater also has an overheat protection feature that shuts off on its own when the desired temperature is reached. You can set the temperature between 75-91° F (23-32° C) to suit the requirement of your aquatic pet.

What We Like?
  • Automatic shutdown when the desired temperature is reached
  • Shatterproof
  • Fully submersible
  • External temperature controller
  • Durable
  • Compact
  • Suited for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums.
  • 12-month warranty
What We Don’t Like?
  • LED light is too bright
  • Vertical installation is not recommended.
  • Expensive
08

Fluval E Electronic Heater

Known for its precise temperature control that can be set in 0.5° increments between 68-93° F (20-33° C), the Fluval E Electronic Heater is available in four variants – 50W, 100W, 200W, and 300W. Their dual temperature sensor uses a microprocessor to give you a precise real-time reading of the temperature through an LCD display.

In order to protect your pet from getting burnt if they come in contact with it, this heater features a glass sleeve and an integrated guard. In addition, there is a built-in safety shutoff along with a ‘Fast Heat’ technology. This heater also shuts off automatically when the water level is low. It will also alert you if the flow of the water is low. 

Its slim profile mounting bracket allows it to mount the heater at whichever angle you prefer. You can adjust and move the heater without taking off the bracket.

What We Like?
  • LCD display with color warnings
  • Temperature reading
  • Integrated guard protects your pets from getting burnt by the heater.
  • 5-Year warranty
  • Alerts you if the water flow is insufficient.
  • Auto shutdown if the water level is low.
What We Don’t Like?
  • Highly expensive
  • Difficult to set up.
  • Horizontal set up is not recommended
09

ViaAqua Titanium Aquarium Heater

Featuring a remote temperature sensor that can be placed 18” (45 cm) away from the heater; the ViaAqua Titanium Aquarium Heater comes in three power variants – 100, 200, and 300W. This submersible heater is suited for large-size aquariums.

The control unit being outside in this heater makes it extremely convenient for you to read and adjust the temperature.  It also has a red LED light that lets you know when the water is heating. Since the product is made of titanium instead of glass, it is much more durable.

What We Like?
  • Remote sensor
  • Easy accessibility of control
  • Highly durable
  • LED light indicator
What We Don’t Like?
  • Expensive
  • Difficult to set up
  • Runs a risk of getting heated; can burn fish if they come in contact with it. Thus, needs to be used with a guard.
10

Hydor In-Line External Aquarium Heater

An in-line heater, which is hooked up to a filter line, is well-suited for large-sized tanks since they heat up the water before it enters the tank, thereby lessening the pressure on the heater to heat up the tank water altogether after it is collected inside. And Hydor In-Line External Aquarium Heater is one of the best in its category in the business today. It has to be installed in-line with an external canister filter.

Suited for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums, this heater comes with a highly efficient PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) technology which prevents it from overheating while still maintaining an optimal temperature level.

Since it needs to be mounted outside your tank, it saves space inside your aquarium. It also features a dial and a red LED light that lets you know when the heater is on. It is available in 200W and 300W variants.

What We Like?
  • PTC technology prevents overheating.
  • Easy to install.
  • Suited for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums.
  • Saves space inside the tank.
  • Ensures pre-warmed water to enter the tank.
  • Made of highly durable plastic.
What We Don’t Like?
  • Indicator light is not visible if the heater is kept behind the tank.
  • Horizontal mounting is not possible.
  • Has to be used with a canister filter.

Final Verdict

As you have discovered a number of factors go into making an aquarium heater suitable for your aquarium, a thorough knowledge about them is necessary.  The important takeaway from this guide is that buying a heater is not just a complementary or aesthetically pleasing element of your aquarium. The survival of your aquatic pet is dependent on it. So, be wise and consider all the aforementioned points along with our reviews of each of the products before making your final choice.

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