Best Aquarium Heater Reviews and Buying Guide

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An aquarium is a home to a variety of creatures. These creatures are dependent on water temperature in order to maintain their body temprature. This is the main reason why you need to keep aquarium water to an optimum temperature. Fish possess natural ability to survive in oceans and seas where the temperature mostly remains constant. Moreover, the sea creatures are better adapted to their living conditions. But aquariums are not their natural habitat. They are man-made and for the well being of the creatures living inside it, we must provide the suitable temperature for the animals living inside the aquarium.

1. Aqueon 50W Pro Heater

Aqueon 50W Pro Heater

The Aqueon 50W Pro Heater is a calibrated aquarium water heater meant for a balanced heat distribution. It is a fully submersible aquarium water heater that you can install horizontally. This safe and adjustable heater is the solution to your water temperature problem for freshwater as well as marine aquariums.

It consists of a power monitor light which turns red when it is heating and turns green when the water reaches the desired temperature. The thermostat supports a temperature ranging from 68 to 88°F. It contains the auto shut-off feature with the help of which it automatically switches off when left out of the water.

It also automatically turns on when put back inside the water. You can easily make 4 degrees F increments with the help of a large knob. This heater also includes a 6 feet cord with suction cups. It measures 4 x 14 x 2 inches.

  • Higher security due to precisely calibrated heater and electronic thermostat.
  • Made up of shatterproof plastic that avoids breakage.
  • Lifetime warranty
  • You have to be really careful with the installation. Follow the provided step-by-step guide.

2. EHEIM Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater

EHEIM Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater

The EHEIM Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater is high-tech aquarium heater that comes with an adjustable temperature control and is calibrated. The thermostat heater helps you regulate the temperature. The manual re-calibration feature ensures precision. It is made up of a shatterproof casing that can withstand sudden change in temperature.

You can monitor the heater at a glance with the ON/OFF indicator light. When the level of water dips too low the thermo-safety control turns off the heater automatically. The temperature ranges from 64°F to 93°F and is adjustable. They are fully submersible in marine water as well as freshwater.

  • The EHEIM Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater comes with different Watt levels.
  • It has a stable and sturdy design.
  • The monitoring light indicator allows you to monitor the heater at a glance.
  • The casing is shock-resistant and shatterproof. These features make the product safe to use and can prevent accidents.
  • TruTemp system is present in order to ensure uniform heating.
  • Buyers have to keep in mind that sometimes the TruTemp doesn’t work properly. In such a case the heater can overheat.
  • The customer service is not up to the mark.

3. Fluval E Electronic Heater

Fluval E Electronic Heater

The Fluval E Electronic Heater comes with a digital readout that displays the current temperature in Celcius and Fareheight. Instead of the traditional dial, it has a switch on top that enables you to set the desired temperature. Click it toward the left and you can lower the temperature down to 0.5 degrees. Click it toward the right and you can increase the temperature up to 0.5 degrees.

The LCD screen displays color-coded temperature. When the temperature is optimum, the screen is green, when it drops, it’s blue and during a rise, it turns red. The guard around the heating element ensures that fish will keep away from the heater.

  • The color-coded temperature makes it easy and convenient to use.
  • The LCD display eliminates the need for another thermometer to examine the temperature. It also allows you to check the temperature at a glance.
  • The sturdy heater guard enhances safety and keeps fish away from the heating element.
  • The price is on the higher end so everyone can’t afford these heaters.
  • Even though it has an auto-shutoff feature, it is recommended that the heater should b unplugged during water changes.

4. Hydor In-Line External Heater – Original ETH

Hydor In-Line External Heater - Original ETH

Hydor In-Line External Heater – Original ETH is easy to use aquarium heater suited for both tropical and marine aquariums. It has an electronic temperature control of high precision. It comes in 200 and 300 Watts power ratings mostly sufficient to heat up an aquarium containing about 60 gallons of water. You can easily adjust the temperature with the red bezel located outside of the heater.

The Hydor In-Line External Heater is made up of super durable plastic. Water flows through a glass tube present inside, sealed with a rubber gasket. A conductive heating element surrounds the glass tube and heats the water evenly. There is a safeguard that protects the heater from overheating.

  • The hardware is kept out of the fish aquarium.
  • It has a consistent thermostat that simplifies temperature control.
  • This range offers various sizes of the connectors and wattages.
  • The flow of the filter is smooth; therefore the Hydor In-Line External Heater works more efficiently than most of the other aquarium heaters available in the market.
  • Water can leak if the glass tube cracks, so one has to be really careful while installing the heater.

5. Finnex Digital Heater Controller with Deluxe Titanium Tube

Finnex Digital Heater Controller with Deluxe Titanium Tube

Finnex Digital Heater Controller with Deluxe Titanium Tube comes in 3 different wattages- 300W, 500W & 800W. It consists of a sleek titanium tube and a chipped digital control. It has a control range of 0 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit. The heater guard protects it from damage. It is the perfect heater for aquariums that have a capacity up to 265 Gallons of water.

In order to help you maintain a constant temperature, the Finnex Digital Heater Controller provides you with LED display where you can clearly check the temperature. The tubes are long lasting and corrosion resistant.

  • This heater can heat up a large amount of water in a small duration of time.
  • It is affordable considering that it offers features of other expensive brands at such a great price.
  • The temperature control box being outside is a huge advantage. No touching the heater with wet hands!
  • It provides full precision and accuracy due to its digital control. It also helps in maintaining a steady temperature.
  • Sometimes there is a mild fluctuation in the water temperature.
  • Installation is a bit tough for newbie.

6. Catalina RF-1000T Heat Controller and 1000 watt Titanium Heater

Catalina RF-1000T Heat Controller and 1000 watt Titanium Heater

The Catalina RF-1000T Heat Controller and 1000 watt Titanium Heater is a 1000 Watt aquarium heater that ensures a quick heating with the use of titanium tubing. This tubing is made up of a corrosion resistant and shatterproof material. It is advisable to use this heater for large sized aquariums, say, that have a capacity of 150 to 400 gallons.

Submersible mounting can easily be carried out with the help of the temperature sensor that is provided. It supports temperature ranging from 72 to 93 degree Fahrenheit. It has a length of 14 inches and the width is half an inch. The quality of the material doesn’t degrade even if the PH of the water fluctuates.

  • Corrosion- resistant tubing
  • Made up of shatterproof material
  • The material is not affected by the PH fluctuation of water.
  • Thanks to its constant temperature setting, you don’t have to check the water temperature every now and then with a separate thermometer.
  • You have to make sure that you store the RF-1000T unit in a dry place.
  • The unit doesn’t have mounting rings.

7. Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm Heater, 75 watt

Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm Heater

The Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm Heater has a sleek, modern design with an accuracy of the accuracy of ±0.5ºF. The ultra-fast response time of the electronic thermostat helps to maintain a constant temperature. The sleek built is great for crowded sumps and nano aquariums. Thermal protection circuitry and the fact that the outer casing is shatterproof is great from a safety point of view.

It can heat tanks up to 6 gallons capacity. Its “one touch” system makes it easy to set up. The LED display shows both tank temperature and set temperature. The temperature ranges up to 96ºF. The manufacturer offers a warranty of 3 years.

  • Attractive packaging
  • Due to its flat built it can be set up even in the most compact and restricted areas. It also offers more area for surface contact.
  • A hard plastic case encapsulates the heating element. This is what makes it shatterproof and safe.
  • User-friendly
  • These heaters are highly reliable.
  • The flat shape results in the heat being dispensed over a larger area.
  • Installation is a bit tricky for newbies. The process of setting up is not as hassle-free as you want it to be.

8. Aquatop Quartz Glass Submersible Heaters (50W-300W)

Aquatop Quartz Glass Submersible Heaters - best aquarium heater reviews

The Aquatop Quartz Glass Submersible Heaters are capable of heating a tank with a capacity up to 3 gallons. It requires a voltage of 110-120 Volts. It is fully submersible and has a user-friendly heat setting. Almost every aquarist can afford this heater as it is affordable (under $20). It is made up of quality materials that are meant to last longer.

This brand provides a power range of 50-300W. The temperature remains constant without needing frequent adjustments. Even if you get a high wattage heater for a small tank you need to adjust its temperature only once. The installation is easy and user-friendly. You just have to attach this heater on the wall of your fish tank and turn on the switch after plugging it in.

  • The Aquatop Submersible Heaters have a greater lifespan. You can use them for years to come.
  • The installation is easy, so you don’t need a technical expert for that.
  • It eradicates the need for frequent adjustments since the temperature is constant.
  • The heater is made of a long-lasting and durable material.
  • Proper cleaning from time to time is a must otherwise it can get a little rusty.

9. Marineland Precision Heater for Aquarium

Marineland Precision Heater for Aquarium

The Marineland Precision Aquarium Heater comes in a large variety of wattages- 50W, 75W, 100W, 150W, 200W, 250W, 300W, and 400W. Marineland Precision Heater can heat up a tank with a capacity of 100 gallons. It has a mounting bracket that enables the user to set it in a convenient position. It also allows a precise setting of the temperature due to its temperature dial that is adjustable. You can change the temperature by a degree with every click of the knob.

The heat is distributed evenly as the heating element is surrounded by a mesh. It comes with a thermal switch that will turn off if by any chance the temperature increases above a prescribed limit. Once the heater cools down this feature will revert to the original temperature.

  • Increased versatility due to the large variety of wattages
  • Can be set up in various positions according to the user’s convenience.
  • The temperature knob is adjustable.
  • The thermal switch feature enables auto shut off in case of overheating.
  • The sliding scale display can give faulty readings. An issue can arise if the water overheats and the display shows a different reading.

10. Inkbird Aquarium Dual Stage Temperature Controller

Inkbird Aquarium Dual Stage Temperature Controller

A technology that can function as both heating and a cooling device, it is known as a dual stage device. The Inkbird Aquarium Dual-Stage Temperature Controller + NTC Sensor has a controller that shows the temperature in both Centigrade and Fahrenheit. At 110 volts, it provides an output of 1,100 watts. The temperature controller is made up of a water-proof and stainless material.

The controller has two displays- one for the current temperature and another for reading the set value. The temperature cable is about 5 feet long. The temperature probe is submersible and waterproof. The plug-in cable consists of two outlets- one for cooling and another one for heating. Some additional information and specifications are printed on the back of the unit.

  • High accuracy results in a precise temperature setting.
  • High reliability
  • User-friendly
  • The probe material can be a compromise for a freshwater aquarist.
  • The resolution is limited only to whole degrees when it is set in Fahrenheit.
  • The heating and cooling outlets are placed a bit too close.

Aquarium Heater Buying Guide

An aquarium heater really comes in handy in many situations. Keeping in mind the well-being of your precious creatures, let us take a look at the factors you need to keep in mind while purchasing an aquarium.

Type of Heater

There are mainly 4 kinds of heaters –

  • Immersible – There is a heating control pad that regulates the temperature and heats the water via direct contact. Although, this heater is the cheapest,firango  it is also difficult to install.
  • Substrate– They are kept below the substrate and heat the water in a more even manner. They also promote the growth of plants. The only downside is its difficult installation process.
  • Filter – They are placed in a filter and water gets heated up when it passes through the filter. No equipment is kept in the aquarium. It is suitable for aquariums containing a large amount of water.
  • Submersible – They are simple to set up and comparatively less expensive. They provide the appropriate heat as they are submerged under water. Although they are not easy to repair and are made up of glass. So, they are prone to breakage if a large fish tampers them.

Size of the Heater

Aquarium heaters come in various sizes. Factors such as room temperature, size of the aquarium, amount of water in the aquarium, etc. are used to determine the size of the heater. Subtract the present room temperature from the temperature required. After that, determine the tank’s size. The user can easily determine the size of the heater after considering these two measurements.

Placement of the Heater

Users should decide whether they wish to place the heater above the water line, in the middle or at the bottom of the tank.

How to Install an Aquarium Heater

An aquarium heater does not prove to of any use if the heat is not distributed evenly or if it is damaged in any way. Considering the health of your fish there are certain things you should keep in mind while installing an Aquarium Heater.

Checking of the heater

Check the wiring, casing, and the heating element of the aquarium heater. The casing should be intact, wires shouldn’t be exposed and the heating element should be free of any damage.

Placement of a heater

The first step in the installation of an aquarium heater comprises of its proper placement. This is an important step but is often overlooked by people. There are three factors to consider at the time of placement- conduction, convection, and circulation. One should place the heater where there is plenty of water flow. This distributes the heat evenly. If you have a large aquarium it is advisable to install two heaters on each side. Even if one heater fails, the other one will act as a backup.

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Location

Ensure that any decorative items or plants don’t come in contact with the aquarium heater.

Adjustment

Allow the glass casing to get accustomed to the temperature by keeping the heater in water at least 15-20 minutes before turning it on. This will prevent cracking of the casing due to sudden changes in temperature.

Examining the temperature

An ideal temperature is a must for fish to survive in a healthy way. Allow the heater to heat your aquarium for at least 24 hours. Then examine the temperature with the help of a thermometer. Adjust the thermostat accordingly. Recheck the temperature after every 6 hours for some time. If the temperature range is stable and optimum, add your fish to the water.

Cool Aquarium Fishes

If this is your first time as a fish keeper then you should go for cool aquarium fish as they adapt easily. If you opt for cool aquarium fish then there is some room for mistakes without causing harm to the fish. These are some things you should keep in mind while looking for a cool aquarium fish.

  1. Make sure that the species you get is compatible with the size of your tank. There is absolutely no point of getting a fish that grows a foot long and your aquarium is merely a foot and a half.
  2. Make sure you opt for a peaceful breed that easily gets along with other fish. You don’t want your own pets eating each other, do you?
  3. Ensure that they can be taken care of easily and can survive in less optimal conditions.

Now, let us take a look at some cool aquarium fishes that are simply exotic.

  1. Sword Tails

As their name suggests, they have a sword-shaped tail. They thrive in communities so it is always better to keep a group of them. They prefer a plant-based diet and are perfect for beginners.

  1. Mollies

These are hardy and peaceful fish that are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.

  1. Cory Catfish

This community breed can easily live in harmony with other fish. They have aggressive eating instincts for algae and other vegetation that grows in your tank, thereby keeping it clean.

  1. Pearl Gourami

It has a hardy build and a beautiful, exotic appearance. They do require some space at the top of the tank in order to breathe.

  1. Neon Tetra

They are small, beautiful and calm fish that are easiest to take care of. They love to live in groups so get as many as you want. The more, the merrier.

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