If you own an aquarium, you probably already know how vital an aquarium heater is. Fish are cold-blooded (unlike us) and cannot regulate their own body temperature. Many fish species thrive in warm water, so if you live in a cold country, you will have to get an aquarium heater so you can keep your aquarium at the perfect temperature.
In case you’re impatient, here are our picks for the best fish tank heaters.
Best Aquarium Heaters — Comparison Table
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With that out of the way, we will be covering the best aquarium heaters currently in the market. We have divided these products into three categories:
Best aquarium heaters up to 150 Watts
Best aquarium heaters between 200-300 Watts
Best aquarium heater for massive fish tanks
Before we go to our products, however, let us spend some time talking about aquarium heaters. What are they and why do you need one?
Aquarium heaters are devices that keep the water in your aquarium at a certain temperature. These devices hold the water at the optimum temperature for pets since fish and other aquatic animals usually survive best in a certain temperature range.
You can buy several types of aquarium heaters, including:
These hang over the side of a tank with the heating element placed inside the water. Beginners typically use these heaters since they get the job done despite being less efficient than other types of heaters.
These are placed underwater, next to your filter inlet. This position allows the device to heat water as it re-enters your tank. These heaters are more efficient and stable than immersible heaters.
These rare devices consist of wires that attach to your aquarium’s base and heat your water from below. Their popularity spiked during the 1990s since they encouraged plants in planted tanks to grow.
These heaters are fitted between your tank’s filter and sump, so water is heated as it goes back to your tank. They are much more expensive than other types of heaters and are best suited for aggressive fish who start fights with equipment (like cichlids).
Some aquariums have a heater built into their filter.
An interesting thing to note here is that some countries face the opposite problem — their weather is too hot. In such areas, aquarium owners use fish coolers to maintain water temperature.
Without any further ado, let us get started with our best aquarium heaters review!
Best Aquarium Heaters up to 150 Watts
This section contains aquarium heater reviews for aquarium heaters up with an output of up to 150W. These small heaters work best for small aquariums that do not require a massive change in temperature.
The Marina Betta Submersible heater is our first and lowest-powered heater. This submersible heater operates on only eight watts and is designed for small aquariums containing up to 1.5 gallons of water.
It does make sense: why would you want to buy a (relatively) massive 150W heater for your tiny tank that doesn’t even hold two gallons of water?
The Marina Betta automatically reaches the set temperature. It is manufactured from a durable polymer that Marina claims is more robust than glass.
The heater comes with a suction cup so you can attach it to your tank’s wall and has a red light that indicates when the device is operational.
The heater is designed specifically to create an environment where betta fish (also known as Siamese fighting fish) will thrive.
The Fluval Marina submersible is one of the best fish tank heaters for small tanks that you can buy. The Fluval Marina comes in two versions: a 25W version and a 50W version. Today, we will be looking specifically at the 50W version.
This mini heater works well in both saltwater and freshwater aquariums. Its temperature settings are easy to read, and its body consists of impact-resistant glass. The device’s body features waterproof seals — a necessity for any submersible heater.
An indicator light tells you when the heater is working, and a bumper guard on the heater ensures your fish’s safety.
The device ships with a bracket and suction cups that allow for easy installation. The device measures 6-inches in length, in case you want to plan out where to install it in advance.
One disadvantage of the mini heater is its lack of temperature markings on the thermostat. You will have to experiment with the thermostat (gray component on the heater’s top) to get your specific temperature.
Cobalt’s Aquatic Neo-Therm aquatic heater is another excellent device that is one of the best aquarium heaters you can buy. The heater comes in three sizes: 50W, 75W, and 100W. Today, we will be looking at the 100W version.
The device is extremely thin and flat and is only 1/3 of an inch thick. It has temperature markings and allows you to set it to the specific temperature that you need for your tank. You can adjust the temperature between the range of 66 to 96 degrees Fahrenheit. An LED shows you both the target temperature and the tank’s temperature, giving you all your tank information at a glance.
The heater is also shatterproof and is a quality European product that will last you for a while. The Neo-Therm turns off automatically instead of continuing to heat the water. If you have ever fried your mistake, you know how important such a feature can be.
Cobalt even gives you a 3-year warranty on the device, giving you peace of mind for at least three years after you buy it.
The Cobalt 150W Neo-Therm is similar to the lower-powered Neo-Therm devices we looked at in our previous entry. This heater, however, has a power output of 150 Watts, meaning that you can use it to heat much larger tanks.
The Neo-Therm looks sleek with a thickness of only 1/3 of an inch. It contains an electronic thermostat accurate to plus or minus 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit, and it has safety mechanisms that shut it down in case of malfunction to prevent boiling your aquarium’s water.
The device is well constructed and shatterproof. Cobalt provides a 3-years warranty on the product, ensuring that you do not have to worry about it failing for a very long time. Say what you will, but this is an excellent warranty for a product that costs less than $100.
Best Aquarium Heaters between 200-300 Watts
In this section, we will cover aquarium heaters that have a power output of 200-300 Watts. These heaters are more powerful than the ones we have already covered, and they are ideal for medium to large-sized tanks. Let us get started with our aquarium heaters reviews!
The Aqueon Pro adjustable heater is a 200W fully submersible device. This device contains an electronic thermostat accurate to +/- 1° F. The heater is shatterproof and close to indestructible — you do not need to worry about an aggressive fish breaking it apart.
The device has an auto-shut-off feature that shuts the heater off when overheating is detected, helping protect your fish in case of a malfunction. The device also resets automatically when the temperature goes down, meaning that you do not have to reset it yourself.
The LED light on the heater is always on. It displays a red light when heating and a green light when not doing so.
Aqueon provides a limited lifetime warranty on the product. This does not cover all faults and malfunctions, but for the most part, Aqueon will ship you a replacement if your heater fails naturally.
The hygger submersible fish tank heater may have a solid name, but this is one of the strongest contenders for the ‘most reliable aquarium heaters’ title. The hygger is designed for fish tanks containing 30-60 gallons of water. With an output of 300W, the hygger is a powerful heater.
The device comes with an auto shut-off feature that shuts the heater down if a fault occurs. hygger also recommends you stop heating the water when the temperature is one or two degrees less than your target temperature. This prevents overheating and avoid affecting even the most sensitive fish.
With a compact design, the hygger is easy to hide in the tank. Its quartz body and use of alundum sand as the heating component make it extremely reliable. The device is heat-resistant and explosion-proof. It regularly operates for up to three years without requiring servicing.
The heater is waterproof and requires full submersion to work effectively.
The external temperature control lets you set the temperature in the range of 75 to 91 degrees. Unfortunately, the temperature control only contains odd numbers — you cannot set it to temperatures like 80, 84, or 90 degrees. If this bothers you, you may want to look at another product.
The Eheim Jager is another 300W thermostat heater. This excellent device is an aquarium heater with a thermostat, which gives you finer temperature control. Eheim produces several versions of the heater ranging between 25 and 300W of output, allowing you to pick the one most suited to your tank.
The device is fully submersible and uses thermal safety controls to prevent it from running dry. As soon as you remove the heater from water, it shuts off automatically. When you replace it in the water, it will (again, automatically) resume functioning.
With shatterproof glass construction, you do not have to worry about your heater cracking spontaneously. The glass jacket on the heater also enhances heat distribution by providing a larger heating surface.
The TruTemp temperature dial allows you to select a temperature setting between 65-93 °F. You can always recalibrate the heater using the readjustment ring on the dial.
You get a mounting bracket and suction cups with the heater, making the entire device easy to set up. Eheim gives you a three-year warranty on the heater, and with this, you do not have to worry about defects or other issues cropping up during usage.
The Fluval E electronic heater comes in three options: 100W, 200W, and 300W. Today, we will be looking at the 300W version. Fluval E is an excellent heater with several functions that will reduce your work and make your life easier.
First of all, two temperature sensors on the device measure water temperature accurately and in real time. The Fluval E’s LCD temperature readout can show temperatures both in Celsius and Fahrenheit. You can adjust the heater’s output to keep your aquarium between 78° and 93° Fahrenheit.
Fast heating technology stabilizes your tank water faster than comparable heaters. An auto shut-off safety feature shuts the heater down in case of a malfunction. You even get a fish guard with your heater to ensure your fishes’ and other invertebrates’ safety.
VueTech technology gives you warnings when temperatures fluctuate. If water temperature varies more than +/-2° from your target temperature, the readout screen will display a different color. If this variance increases to 5.5°, the screen starts flashing to show that your fish may be at risk. Of course, all these measurements can also be made in Celsius.
A slim mounting bracket lets you install the heater easily without worrying about hiding it in your aquarium.
Finally, Fluval E provides a 5-year warranty on the heater, a shockingly excellent warranty on a sub-$50 product.
The ViaAqua 300W submersible heater is a well-designed device that works well and lasts for long. The heater is made out of high-quality quartz glass to improve durability and ensure safety — you don’t want your heater shattering and killing your fish.
The ViaAqua is fully submersible and needs to be placed entirely underwater for it to work well. This heater does have a disadvantage: it does not keep water temperature as steady as other, more expensive, heaters. This is not a significant disadvantage, however, since the products are mind-bogglingly affordable and their low price more than makes up for any minor issues.
This heater is best suited for people who own more than one aquarium, need multiple heaters, and are on a budget.
Best Aquarium Heater for Massive Fish Tanks
Our final product on today’s list is a monstrous 800W aquarium heater explicitly made for large tanks.
Finnex digital heater controller is the most powerful heater on our list by far. With a power output of 800W, the Finnex is designed for large tanks containing up to 265 gallons of water. The heater has a control range of 0-99 °F and is accurate to 2 °F.
The heater comes in three options with different power outputs: 300W, 500W, and 800W. The three-pronged power receptacle is perfect for use with generic heating elements or any of the Finnex heating tubes.
The Finnex has an LED display where you can see your tank’s water temperature.
The device comes with built-in memory that allows it to restore the tank’s temperature to the set values when power outages occur. An auto shut-off safety feature stops the heater if water temperature passes the preset high-temperature value. An inbuilt alarm also starts ringing to alert you of the problem with your tank.
The one feature that hurts an otherwise perfect product is the shortness of the packaged cords. You have to set up the unit right next to your aquarium. Luckily, this should not be a problem for you unless you own a very deep tank.
There you go!
Above is a list of the ten best aquarium heaters reviews. These reviews cover digital fish tank heaters in several categories. While you may not find an aquarium heater that fits your requirements perfectly, you will probably find one close enough that it makes no difference.
We hope you have learned something by going through our list, and we have made it easier for you to choose the most reliable aquarium heater for your purposes.
Last update on 2020-12-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API