If you own your very own at-home aquarium, then we’re sure that you’ll be in complete agreement with us when we say that there are a variety of components that each contribute to its ecosystem.
Along with making sure that you have a top-notch water filter, you’re also going to need to make sure that you have a high-quality heater, too.
Why? Well, to cut a long story short – aquatic life (such as turtles and fish) each rely on the temperature of the water around them to effectively regulate their own body temperature and make sure that it is in the optimum range.
Without a heater, the water runs the risk of being too cold – and that can be a big problem for your aquatic friends.
Hygger 120-180 Gallon Aquarium Heater
Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater
Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater
MarineLand Precision Submersible Heater For Freshwater
FREESEA 50W Mini Aquarium Heater
Inkbird Aquarium Heater with Probe Thermostat
VIVOSUN Aquarium Heater
HiTauing Aquarium Heater Submersible Tank Heater
The good news is that there are a number of different options available to help ensure that your tank stays nice and warm.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the best aquarium heaters for all tanks. We’ve tried to keep things simple here so that you won’t have any trouble finding the right one for your needs.
So, without further ado, just keep reading to discover some of the best aquarium heaters that are currently on the market.
Table of Contents
The Best Aquarium Heaters
So, now that we have covered why aquarium heaters are such an integral part of your aquarium tank (see also ‘The Best Rimless Aquarium Tanks‘), we are now going to be providing you with a list of the best heaters that are currently available to buy on the market.
Kicking our list off, we have selected the Hygger 120-180 Gallon Aquarium Heater With Digital Temperature Controller, which is a great option for anyone looking for a premium aquarium heater at an affordable price point!
Demonstrating why it is one of the best aquarium heaters available on the market currently, this heater from Hygger is fully submersible and will be able to maintain your tank’s (see 10 Gallon) temperature effectively so that your fish will have a safe living environment where they will not be too cold or too hot.
For your convenience, this awesome aquarium heater comes with a built-in LED light that will be able to show you (in real time, might we add) what the temperature of the water is clearly at all hours of the day.
Plus, to help make sure that your tank’s water is at the optimum temperature, it even has a red light indicator that will tell you when the water is warming up, and a green light to indicate to you that the optimum temperature has been reached.
In addition to this, this aquarium heater also features a super durable design, which means that you will be able to benefit from getting the very best value for your money.
So much so, that this tank heater features a corrosion-resistant design that is made of titanium that will also be able to resist shattering.
If all that wasn’t impressive enough, it is also suitable for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums.
All in all, if you’re in the market for an affordable aquarium heater that will be able to offer premium features – you’re in luck with this particular heater from Hygger.
- Suitable for use with both fresh and saltwater
- Features a corrosion-resistant design
- Not ideal for use with large aquariums
- Does not feature a remote
Following on, another great aquarium heater that is currently available to buy is the Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater!
This heater from Orlushy is perfect for those who want a high-quality aquarium heater that can keep their tank warm while being easy to use.
It is designed to fit into any standard aquarium tank and will be able to provide you with a reliable heating solution that won’t break the bank.
With its digital temperature control system, this heater from Orlushy will be able to ensure that your tank’s temperature stays constant throughout the day, meaning that you will never need to worry about whether, or not, your fish are going to be comfortable.
In fact, this heater is capable of maintaining temperatures between 70 °F and 90 °F, which is ideal for keeping your fish happy and healthy.
Another feature that makes this heater stand out from others is its ability to operate silently, which means that you won’t need to worry about disturbing your fish as they sleep.
All in all, this heater is a fantastic choice for those who want a top-quality aquarium heater that will last them years to come.
- Digital temperature control system
- Easy to install
- Silent operation
- Not suitable for larger tanks
If you’re looking for an aquarium heater that will give you peace of mind, then look no further than the Eheim Jager Aquatic Heater!
This heater from Eheim is one of the most popular aquarium heaters on the market right now, and for good reason too.
Not only does this heater have some of the best features around, but it is also incredibly efficient and effective at providing warmth to your tank and helping to make sure that your fish (and whatever aquatic pets you might have) are able to regulate their own body temperature correctly.
This heater has been specifically designed to work perfectly with the Eheim AquaClear Filter System, which means that you’ll be able to enjoy crystal clear water without having to worry about clogging up your filter.
As well as this, you will also be able to enjoy the benefits of using a filtration system that doesn’t require chemicals, which means that you don’t have to worry about adding anything harmful to your tank.
In addition to this, this heater has a built-in thermostat that allows you to set the exact temperature that you would like your tank to maintain.
All in all, this heater from Eheim is a fantastic option for anyone who wants to enjoy a heated aquarium without worrying about damaging their filter or harming their fish.
- Innovative design
- Great value for money!
- Works best when in combination with the Eheim AquaClear Filter System
Are you on the hunt for versatility? If you answered yes to that question, then we think that you might like the MarineLand Precision Submersible Heater For Freshwater and Saltwater Aquariums!
This heater from MarineLand is designed to be used in freshwater tanks as well as saltwater ones, so if you’re thinking about buying a new aquarium heater, then this could be the one for you.
With its unique design, this heater can help to keep your fish warm while still allowing plenty of air circulation through your tank.
The great thing about this heater is that it can easily fit into any size tank, making it perfect for use in both small and large aquariums.
In terms of functionality, this heater works by heating the water inside your tank via a combination of convection and conduction.
It uses two different types of heating elements: a ceramic element and a copper coil.
Both of these heating elements are encased within a stainless steel housing, meaning that there is very little chance of either element coming into contact with the water.
In addition to this, this model from MarineLand comes with a digital control panel, which allows you to adjust the temperature settings according to what suits your needs best.
We really like this feature, as it means that you will be able to set your tank’s temperature to a precise temperature range of your choice.
This will help to guarantee that your fish and turtles have a safe living environment at the optimum temperature.
- Suitable for saltwater and freshwater tanks
- Very safe design
If you have a smaller aquarium tank, then you’re not going to need to invest in a big heater – and this is where the FREESEA 50W Mini Aquarium Heater comes into the mix!
This small but mighty heater is ideal for home aquariums that are on the smaller side.
With an output capacity of just 50 watts, it’s important to keep in mind that this heater won’t be able to provide enough heat to larger-sized tanks, instead, this heater is best-suited to small tanks to ensure that the water is effectively heated.
However, despite this, it does mean that you won’t have to spend too much money either.
What’s more, this heater is easy to install, meaning that you won’t have any problems getting it up and running.
As well as this, this heater features a display screen that shows the current temperature setting, which is perfect for those times when you forget to turn off your heater.
In addition to this, you’ll also notice that this heater has a power cord that’s long enough to reach all areas of your aquarium, which will make it easier for you to set it up.
All in all? This heater from FREESEA is a great option for anyone looking for a heater that will be suitable for their smaller home aquarium tank.
- Mini size
- Ideal for small tanks
- Not suitable for larger tanks
A true favorite in the aquarium community, the Inkbird Aquarium Heater with Probe Thermostat is another excellent option for anyone looking for a reliable heater that isn’t going to break the bank.
This heater from Inkbird is designed to work perfectly in both freshwater and marine environments, so whether you’re using it in a freshwater or saltwater tank, this heater is guaranteed to do a fantastic job keeping your fish happy and healthy.
What’s more, this particular heater is equipped with a probe thermometer, which can help you monitor the temperature of your aquarium at all times.
So, if you ever need to check how hot your water is, then you simply need to remove the probe from the heater itself, place it in the water, and wait for it to read the correct temperature.
In addition to this, this heater is equipped with a thermostatic controller, which means that you don’t have to worry about manually adjusting the settings on this heater every time you use it.
Instead, this heater automatically adjusts its own settings based on the temperature of your aquarium, ensuring that you always have the right amount of heat.
In terms of size, this heater measures 48 inches long, making it one of the longer options on our list. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to struggle to fit this heater in your aquarium.
In fact, this heater fits easily inside most standard sized aquariums, including some of the bigger ones.
So, what’s more, this heater comes with a 1-year warranty, meaning that you can rest assured knowing that this heater is built to last.
All in all, this heater from Inkbird is a superb choice for anyone who wants a heater that’s not only affordable but also reliable.
- Great value for money
- Probe thermometer
- Smaller size
If you want a heater that’s capable of providing plenty of heat for your entire aquarium, then the Vivosun Aquarium Heater is definitely the way to go.
With a maximum output of 250 watts, this heater is capable of heating your whole aquarium without any problems whatsoever.
In addition to this impressive feature, this heater is also equipped with an automatic shutoff function, which makes sure that it won’t burn out your electrical system while you’re away!
As well as this, this particular heater is capable of being used in either fresh or saltwater tanks, so whether you’re planning to keep tropical fish or saltwater fish, this heater will be able to provide the necessary heat for them.
However, what really sets this heater apart from other similar products is its ability to maintain a constant temperature within your aquarium, even when there are fluctuations in the ambient air temperature around it.
This is thanks to the digital control panel, which allows you to adjust the temperature of the heater according to the current conditions in your tank.
Plus, for your convenience, this heater comes with a touch-button controller that allows you to precisely change the temperature of your aquarium tank without having to worry about contaminating the water or getting your hands wet! How impressive is that?
All in all, this premium heater is perfect for those who like to keep their aquarium at a consistent temperature – regardless of the outside environment.
- Suitable for freshwater and saltwater tanks
Last but certainly not least, our final selection is the HiTauing Aquarium Heater, which is a fantastic choice for anyone that is concerned with making sure that the heater that they use is safe for their fish and plants.
Available in a variety of watt amounts, this aquarium heater is available in models that range from a maximum output of 200W all the way to 500W.
However, the most popular model is the 300W unit, which is great for medium-sized aquariums.
As well as this impressive feature that offers you plenty of versatility, this particular heater is also extremely easy to install, requiring only a few simple steps before it’s ready to work.
All you need to do is take it out of the box, plug it in and drop it into the tank – and this heater will begin getting to work in heating up your aquarium tank!
To ensure that you have the very best value for your money, this fish tank aquarium heater has been made out of stable nickel-chromium heating wire, which will be able to conduct heat within the water safely.
Plus, for your complete peace of mind, this tank heater even comes complete with a temperature control system that allows you to precisely set the temperature range that you require for your fish.
Another great feature that is worth mentioning is that this aquarium tank heater also comes with an automatic sensor that will immediately switch the heater off in the instant that it overheats itself.
In the very rare case that this might occur, this heater will begin to flash green in order to indicate to you that the optimum temperature range has been exceeded.
All in all, this heater offers excellent value for money and is definitely one of the best aquarium heaters on the market today.
- Excellent value for money
- Very easy to install
- Stable nickel chromium heating wire
- Not recommended for tanks that are larger than 180 gallons
The Different Types Of Aquarium Heaters
Now that you have taken the time to read through our roundup above, we’re hoping that you’ve now got your sights set on the ideal aquarium heater for you.
However, before you go ahead and make that purchase, we think that it would be a good idea to provide you with some helpful information to ensure that you pick the right aquarium heater for you, your tank, and your aquatic animals.
So, with that being said, keep reading to discover what the differences between all the various types of aquarium heaters are:
The most common type of heater is the immersion heater. This is used in both freshwater and saltwater aquaria. It is placed directly into the water tank so that it heats up the water directly by conduction.
The advantage of this type of heater is that it does not have any moving parts and therefore is very reliable.
Another popular form of the heater is the surface heater. These heaters are usually placed on top of the aquarium and use electricity to generate heat.
They are often more expensive than immersion heaters but are easier to regulate. You will find that some surface heaters come with thermostats which allow you to set the desired temperature.
Electric heaters are also available for aquariums. These are similar to immersion heaters (see also ‘Best Immersion (Bucket) Water Heater For 2021‘) except that they do not require direct contact with the water.
Instead, they rely on electrical resistance to transfer heat through the water.
This means that there are no problems with scale build-up or corrosion. It is important to note that these heaters are kept on the outside of the tank.
Heat mats are another option that some people choose to use in combination with a heater. They consist of a heating element embedded within a mat which sits inside the aquarium.
Some heat mats are designed to fit over the back wall of the aquarium while others sit suspended above the water line.
These are the most popular kind of heater, and the main type that we have included in our product reviews.
Submersible heaters are placed below the level of the water in the aquarium. They work by generating heat using either gas or electric power.
Most submersible heaters are made from stainless steel and are designed to last for years without breaking down.
The best factor about them is that they can be submerged into the tank’s water without interfering with its performance. This helps to ensure that the water is effectively heated.
Now that you have taken the time to read through the guide above, you may be wondering how to buy the best aquarium heater for your needs.
Here is a guide to help you make the right choice:
Size matters! When choosing an aquarium heater, consider the size of the aquarium first. Smaller tanks need less heat than larger ones.
For instance, if you have a 10 gallon tank, then you should look for a heater that has a wattage rating of around 50 watts.
On the other hand, if you have a 20 gallon tank, then you’ll need something with a higher wattage rating.
Compatibility plays a big role when buying an aquarium heater.
Make sure that the heater you purchase works well with the water chemistry of your aquarium. Do not use a heater that was designed for marine aquariums in freshwater tanks.
Likewise, avoid using a heater that is too powerful for your aquarium, otherwise it may heat up too much, which could be dangerous for your aquarium.
Even though the majority of aquarium heaters on the market are relatively affordable and offer great value for money, we still recommend that you try to make sure that you opt for an aquarium heater that comes with a warranty.
The main reason that we say this is because the presence of a warranty tends to indicate that the company you are buying from is reputable and genuinely cares about the customers, which in turn, usually means that the products are of a high value.
Still, it is entirely your preference, and there are a variety of great aquarium heaters currently on the market that do not come with a warranty included in the purchase.
As a side note, if you are looking to invest in a premium aquarium heater, then we strongly recommend that you opt for one that comes with a warranty that is going to last at least 2 years.
There are many factors that go into determining the cost of an aquarium heater. However, the price of the aquarium heater does play a part.
In general, the more expensive aquarium heaters tend to be better quality, although this isn’t always necessarily going to be the case.
In order to ensure that you are able to purchase the best aquarium heater for you (and without having to worry about breaking the bank) we recommend that you take a few moments to set out a clear budget prior to going ahead and making your selection.
By doing so, not only will you be able to make a wider spending decision, but you will also find that you are able to enjoy a much more enjoyable shopping process, too.
Safety is another thing to keep in mind when buying an aquarium heater for your home aquarium. It is very important to make sure that you are purchasing a heater that is high quality and safe for use.
The last thing that you want to do is to buy a heater that ends up causing harm to either your aquatic plants or pets.
To make sure that you purchase the highest quality aquarium heater possible, we recommend that you check out the reviews section before going ahead and making a purchase, as this allows you to read authentic testimonials of the heater’s performance prior to parting ways with your hard-earned cash.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is An Aquarium Heater?
An aquarium heater is a device used to maintain the temperature of your fish tank.
Most people who have aquariums use them to help their fish stay healthy by keeping the water temp between 72 degrees Fahrenheit and 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
Aquarium heaters are required if you intend on keeping tropical fish in your aquarium.
Tropical fish cannot live in cold water, the water that they live in must be heated to match the temperature of the water that they would naturally live in if they were in the wild.
In contrast, cold water fish do not typically require an aquarium heater because they are used to living in colder temperatures.
In short, an aquarium heater is an essential piece of equipment if you are planning on keeping tropical fish in your aquarium. Without this, your fish will not survive.
So, if you plan on buying tropical fish, you will need to purchase an aquarium heater first.
How Does A Water Heater Work?
The most common way that aquarium heaters work is through the use of electricity.
They are plugged into a wall socket and they create heat by running electrical current through copper coils inside them. This creates heat that is transferred to the water in the tank.
The heat that is generated by connecting the water heater to the electricity is transferred into the cold water using either a dip tube or heating element that is kept inside the tank.
The heat is released into the water, and then the heat rises throughout the tank. Heat naturally rises, so the heat that is released into the tank will continually rise.
As this happens, the heat will spread throughout all the water in the tank, keeping the water at a temperature that is healthy for the tropical fish that you are keeping in it.
Why Should I Use An Aquarium Heater Instead Of A Hydrometer?
The biggest advantage of using an aquarium heater over a hydrometer is that the aquarium heater can give you a more accurate reading than a hydrometer.
When you use a hydrometer to measure the water, you don’t know how deep the water is in the tank. You may get a different reading depending on where you place the hydrometer.
With an aquarium heater, you can always count on getting the same reading no matter what depth of water you put the probe in.
What Are Some Benefits Of Using An Aquarium Heater Over A Hydrometer?
Using an aquarium heater instead of a hydrometer has several benefits.
One benefit is that it allows you to see exactly how much water is in your tank. If you use a hydrometer, you won’t know how much water there is until you add some.
Another benefit is that you can use an aquarium heater to control the temperature of your tank.
You can adjust the amount of power that goes into the aquarium heater so that it gives off just enough heat to keep your fish happy.
What Types Of Aquarium Heaters Exist?
There are a variety of different aquarium heaters on the market currently, and each of them offer slightly different benefits from the rest.
One of the most popular types of aquarium heaters are submersible heaters, which are perfect for all different types of tanks and are known to offer the highest efficiency.
These heaters are usually placed directly under the surface of the water in the tank, and they provide a steady stream of heat to the water.
Submersible heaters are great because they are easy to install, they are affordable, and they are extremely efficient at heating the water.
Another type of heater that is becoming increasingly popular is the floating heater.
Floating heaters are ideal for smaller tanks, such as those found in homes, because they aren’t too big and bulky. They also tend to be less expensive than other types of heaters.
There are also many different models available, ranging from small ones that fit perfectly inside a small tank, and large ones that are able to accommodate up to 100 gallons of water or more.
There are also a variety of other heaters including immersion heaters (which are very similar to submersible heaters), heaters that are located on the exterior of the tank, and even heating pads as an interesting alternative.
How Long Should Aquarium Heaters Last?
Aquarium heaters last anywhere between 2-5 years, depending on the model that you buy and the size of the tank that you have.
To help make sure that your heater is kept in tip-top condition and is performing correctly, you should conduct regular checks to make sure that there is no corrosion or damage, particularly if you are planning to use a heater that can be submerged inside the tank.
How Do I Set An Aquarium Heater Up?
Setting up an aquarium heater is pretty simple. Most aquarium heaters come with instructions that will show you how to set everything up properly.
Once you’ve installed your heater, you’ll want to check out the manual that came with it to learn about the various settings that you can change.
This way, you can find the best setting for your particular tank and ensure that your heater is working efficiently.
How Much Does It Cost To Run An Aquarium Heater?
The cost of running an aquarium heater depends entirely on what kind of heater you choose to purchase.
Some aquarium heaters run on batteries, while others require electricity. The price of these heaters varies greatly based on their design and features.
A basic model may only cost around $20-$30, while a high-end model could easily exceed $100.
If the heater you are using requires batteries, then you should ensure that you have spares on hand in the instance that you need to replace them.
On the other hand, if your heater is cord attached, then you should be sure to familiarize yourself with how much power it requires to run, especially if you are concerned about how much it might cost.
How Many Aquarium Heaters Do I Need?
Ultimately, the answer to this question will vary depending on a variety of different factors that you are going to need to take into account and decide for yourself.
While there is no fixed rule for how many aquarium heaters you should be using, it is generally considered that at least three are ideal for a standard aquarium heater, as this means that all the water volumes can be easily accounted for.
To follow on, if you’re looking to keep several fish species in one large tank, then it should go without saying that you are likely going to need multiple aquarium heaters.
However, if you just want to keep one or two fish species in a smaller tank, then you probably won’t need more than one or two aquarium heaters.
As we have already briefly touched upon above, as the answer to this question can vary from tank to tank, if you are unsure about how many aquarium heaters you should be using and you’re not feeling confident, then why don’t you ask a vet or someone at your local pet store?
By doing so, you will be provided with a second opinion from a person that has knowledge in this area.