A comfortable and cozy environment in your aquarium is essential for your pet animals to flourish. For this, you need to provide good quality water in the tank at the right temperature. The inlet water can be of a temperature that is not conducive for the aquatic pets to live comfortably. Aquarium heaters are therefore used to heat the water to bring it to a soothing temperature.
Finding a good aquarium heater can be challenging as there are many factors involved in selecting the best one for your purpose.
To simplify the job for you we have reviewed many aquarium heaters available in the market and shortlisted the top 7 best heaters among them. We have also provided other important inputs including an extensive buying guide to help you select the best one among the shortlisted ones for your special purpose.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 6 Best Aquarium Heaters Reviewed
- 1.1 #1. Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater – Best Overall
- 1.2 #2. Tetra Fauna Aquatic Reptile Heater – Best for Budget
- 1.3 #3. Hygger Digital Titanium Submersible Aquarium Heater – Best Premium Pick
- 1.4 #4. ViaAqua Titanium Aquarium Heater
- 1.5 #5. Aqueon Adjustable Pro Aquarium Heater
- 1.6 #6. Finnex Hang-On Electronic Controller Aquarium Heater
- 2 Best Aquatic Heater Brands
- 3 Types of Aquarium Heaters
- 4 Getting the Best Aquarium Heater- Buyers Guide
- 5 Conclusion
- 6 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Top 6 Best Aquarium Heaters Reviewed
- Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater – Best Overall
- Tetra Fauna Aquatic Reptile Heater For Frogs, Newts & Turtles,100 Watt – Best for Budget
- Hygger Digital Titanium Submersible Aquarium Heater – Best Premium Pick
- ViaAqua Titanium Aquarium Heater
- Aqueon Adjustable Pro Aquarium Heater
- Finnex Hang-On Electronic Controller Aquarium Heater
#1. Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater – Best Overall
- Type: Fully Submersible
- Wattage: 300 Watts
- Volume: 6-17 Gallon
- Temperature: 65-93OF
The Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat heaters offer just the right temperature in any tank that your fish love to be in. Many aquarium heaters will surprise you with their extreme simplicity.
The Eheim Jager heaters are one of those articles that fall in this category. Just hang the rod in the tank and heat the water- it is as simple as that! But the simple design does not mean a lack of features. The Eheim heaters are one of the most ultra-modern heaters that utilize the latest technology to offer maximum comfort and convenience to their users.
Apart from modern technology, the special glass used in making the jacket increases the overall surface area of heating. It acts as a heat shield and provides just the right amount of uniform heat to transfer to the water.
The heater offers a similar level of precision of temperature regulation for the nine different tank capacities ranging from 6 Gallons to 17 Gallons. Not only does the glass jacket provide uniform heating, but being shatterproof it also rids you of the worry of inadvertent breakage.
The fully submersible heater comes with all standard safety features. It has the auto cut off feature to protect the heater from overheating and running dry. Besides, the heater also has a shock resistance feature.
You can have these heaters in a variety of wattages ranging from 25W to 300 watts for fresh as well as saltwater. Despite having such high-quality features, the Eheim offers their heaters at highly affordable prices.
Overall, the Eheim Aquarium Thermostat heaters are one of the simplest yet modern and affordable aquarium heaters available in the market.
#2. Tetra Fauna Aquatic Reptile Heater – Best for Budget
- Type: Submersible
- Wattage: 100 Watts
- Volume: Up to 30 Gallons
- Temperature: 78OF
Fish and other animals, particularly the larger ones need different types of heaters. They should be stronger and sturdier compared to the ones you use for the fish aquarium tanks, to bear the impact caused by large animals like turtles.
The Tetra Fauna Aquatic Reptile heater possesses enough of that strength to withstand the frequent collisions with your pets. The heater comes equipped with two suction cups that keep the heater in its position even during the high impact hitting by the moving reptiles.
Besides, the plastic cage covering the heater protects it from these forceful impacts and also protects animals from burns by preventing them from coming in contact with the heater.
The Tetra 26445 Fauna heater has a rating of 100 Watt that can keep the aquarium tank at a constant temperature of 78°F. It is exclusively designed for reptiles. The heater comes in one of the most affordable price ranges.
Overall, Tetra Fauna heaters are one of the best aquarium heaters for reptiles. They are sturdy and robust and provide the optimum environment for the large aquatic animals at very affordable rates. The heater comes with a 2 years warranty.
#3. Hygger Digital Titanium Submersible Aquarium Heater – Best Premium Pick
- Type: Submersible
- Wattage: 200 Watts
- Volume: 5-120 Gallons
- Temperature: 32 to 104oF
The Hygger Digital Titanium Submersible heaters are unique in many ways. Instead of plastic or glass, this one from Hygger has a titanium heating element.
The high-class material makes it corrosion-resistant and therefore makes it highly suitable for any type of water, be it freshwater or marine water.
Besides, the element quality also ensures very high durability. The compact size of the heater ensures that it does not occupy space meant for free movements of the fish inside the tank. Besides, it also allows for its discreet fitting inside the aquarium.
The heater has an automatic temperature controller. You can set the highly precise thermostat at the desired temperature and it will regulate it with an accuracy of 1oF.
The most unique feature of the heater is its wide temperature range. It has a huge temperature range of 32 to 104oF which is phenomenal for any aquarium heater.
The separate thermometer can measure temperature from -68 to 140oF with an accuracy of 0.2oF. The heater is available in 4 different wattages for different sizes of aquarium tanks.
Apart from maintaining the temperature, the unit is also equipped with a digital LED display that shows the current temperature. It also displays the heating status of the heater. Besides, you can also use the unit to select between Celsius or Fahrenheit.
Overall, Hygger digital titanium is one of the most premium aquarium heaters that offer a wide range of precise temperature control for multiple tank sizes. Highly durable, this heater is the ideal product to be used in the harsh conditions of marine water.
- Type: Submersible
- Wattage: 300 Watts
- Volume: Up to 80 Gallons
- Temperature: 68 to 93oF
ViaAqua Titanium aquarium heater is a class apart. This fully submersible heater has many unique features. The first one is that it has a titanium heating element.
That means it offers very high durability to the heater. Besides, it does not crack or get damaged like the glass or plastic heaters. Moreover, because of its corrosion-resistance properties, it works perfectly well in marine water.
The 300 watts heater can keep the water warm in up to 80 Gallons aquarium tanks. With its highly sophisticated temperature monitor and controller, it can maintain any temperature between 68 to 93oF.
The temperature sensor is unique in the sense that it can remotely sense the temperature in the tank. You can keep the sensor 1½ feet away from the heater. The remote sensor also enhances its sensitivity and allows for a more precise setting of water temperature.
The temperature controller has red LED digits to display the actual temperature. The display unit is fitted outside the tank allowing you to read and set the desired temperature and also making it easy for you to select between Celsius and Fahrenheit.
Setting the temperature is pretty simple. You just need to press the button provided on the control unit. As soon as the temperature starts blinking you need to release the button and then have to press it again to set the desired temperature. The control unit will indicate the continuation of heating with a red LED.
In total, ViaAqua is a premium heater that has a titanium heating element for high durability and a remote temperature sensor for accurate temperature control. If you want a premium product with high precision, this heater will never disappoint you with its performance.
- Type: Fully Submersible
- Wattage: 100 Watts
- Volume: 5 to 30 Gallons
- Temperature: 68 to 88oF
Many aquarium heaters will offer you various fanciful features but will be quite expensive. There are some which are budget-friendly but do not have enough functional features.
Aqueon Adjustable Pro is a wonderful aquarium heater that offers all the necessary features at quite an affordable price. Besides, the heater is suitable for multiple applications, unlike many specialized heaters meant for specialized applications.
The heater is made with a highly durable shatterproof material. It is non-corrosive and offers uniform transmission of heat inside the tank. You can set the temperature of the heater from 68 to 88°F. The heater has an accuracy of 1°F.
Apart from the 100W rating, Aqueon Pro heaters are also available in 50, 150, 200, and 300 watts to provide effective heating for the tanks with capacities ranging from 5 to 90 Gallons. The fully submersible heater is effective for freshwater as well as reef water. The unit is equipped with an auto shut-off feature to prevent overheating.
Overall, the heater is highly adored by the new users and highly regarded by the experienced aquarists- thanks to its easy settings, high-quality construction, and discreet fitting.
- Type: Hang-on Heater
- Wattage: 150 Watts
- Volume: 30 to 60 Gallons
- Temperature: 70 to 92oF
The Finnex Electronic Controller aquarium heater is a class apart. The heating element is made of titanium that offers very high durability to the equipment.
Besides, its non-corrosive properties make it highly suitable for reef water. The heater can also work very effectively with freshwater. The highly conducting material, titanium offers very quick heating of the water in the aquarium.
The heating tube is guarded through a heater guard to prevent fish from burns due to accidental contact with the heating tube.
The heating unit can offer temperature from 70 to 92oF with an accuracy of +/-2ºF. It can heat the water in the tank with a capacity ranging from 30 to 60 Gallons. The heater comes in 50 to 500 watts ratings. You can select as per the size of your aquarium.
Overall, Finnex Hang-on is a robust and highly effective heater that offers a safe and cozy environment for your aquatic pets.
Best Aquatic Heater Brands
EHEIM from Eheim Aquatics
Founded in 1949 in Germany by Gunther Eheim, EHEIM has been one of the most innovative companies in the field of aquatic products. They started their business operation with a company involved in Repairing and Manufacturing Technical Toys. Eheim ventured into the field of Aquatic Products in the year 1963 with their first filter system. They are regarded as the pioneers in the field of ornamental fish aquariums. A little more than a decade they launched with the most innovative pond technology. In 2004, Eheim joined hands with mp and Jager, two other big European names in the field of aquatics, to form EHEIM Aquatics Group. All three brands are known across Europe for providing the highest-quality products and services to their customers. Their wide product portfolio includes pond pumps, aquatic filters, UVC clarifiers, aquarium heaters, and ice preventers, etc. Since 2012, all their products are sold under the brand name EHEIM.
Hygger from Shenzhen
Hygger is one of the most promising brands of Shenzhen City MagoTrading Co., Ltd, China. Shenzhen, established in 2008, is one of the new entrants in the field of aquatic products. With the core philosophy of “quality, brand, service”, Shenzhen registered Hygger as its international brand for aquarium products. Not only in China, but the brand has also maintained a high reputation in different parts of the world including Europe, the United States, and Asia. The brand, though relatively new. is giving tough competition to many established brands in the segment- thanks to the high-quality products and reliable services offered by the company to its highly valued customers.
Types of Aquarium Heaters
Before finding out the factors important to consider when buying aquarium heaters, let us first know about their different types available in the stores.
Submersible Aquarium Heaters
Submersible aquarium heaters are one of the most popular types of heaters used by aquarists. As the name suggests, submersible heaters are the ones mounted inside the tank fully underwater. They provide highly effective, efficient, and uniform heating of the water. As they are inside the water, they offer quick temperature control and very consistent heating throughout the tank. Another advantage with submersible aquarium heaters is that they are very easy to set up and use. This is one of the major reasons for its high popularity.
Immersible heaters, also known as hanging or hang-on heaters, are mounted above the water in the aquarium. They provide heating to the top surface of the water that trickles down to warm the whole water in the tank.
High affordability is the biggest advantage that immersible heaters offer over their submersible counterparts. Apart from being low cost, they are also safer compared to the other types. On the flip side, these heaters do not offer very effective and uniform heating to the water. Moreover, the mounting of the heater may make it difficult for you to open the hood of the tank. As a beginner, immersible heaters can be a good option for you, however, over time you need to shift to a different type to get better results.
In-line Aquarium Heaters
In-line heaters are the heaters connected in line with the inlet of the water. You can connect them in the sump tank or just before the filter. They are mounted inside the tank under the water surface. These heaters offer the distinct advantage of keeping your aquarium clutter-free. It, therefore, does not interfere with the aesthetics of the aquarium. Besides, some of the aqua fauna get disturbed by additional objects in the tank. These heaters provide a heating option that offers your pets an environment free of stress-causing objects. These heaters are, however, costlier compared to the other heater types.
Substrate heaters are now almost obsolete. But at one time they enjoyed huge popularity among aquarists. So, you can still find many of them still serving many of the ornamental aquarium enthusiasts. These heaters heat the water from the bottom radiating heat to the top surface of the water, thereby heating the whole water in the tank. As the wires are mounted at the bottom, they do not provide a very safe environment and at the same time, they are a bit expensive. Substrate heaters also do not offer the convenience that submersible heaters provide due to their easy setup and simple-to-use feature.
Getting the Best Aquarium Heater- Buyers Guide
After going through the reviews, you would have selected a few heaters among the reviewed products that suit your specific requirements. We will recommend you to go through our detailed buyers guide to finally select the best heater among them.
It is one of the basic parameters of an aquarium heater that you should consider before buying a heater. Wattage rating represents the power output of the heater. It indicates the effectiveness of the heater in heating the water in the tank. The higher the output faster and higher will be the heating. To select the right one for your heater you need to know the size of your tank. As a rule of thumb, the wattage of the heater should be 3-5 Watts/ Gallon. It means if your tank size is 50 Gallons, you should buy a heater with 150 to 300 Watts. Almost all branded heaters provide the tank size vs temperature chart to facilitate you to select the right wattage of the heater.
It won’t be an exaggeration if we say that safety is the biggest factor to consider while buying an aquarium heater. The wattage of the heater is important to establish the heating capacity of the heater while the safety features are essential to keep the safety of your pet animals in the aquarium and should never be compromised at any cost. Most of the modern brands realize the importance and that is why they keep a very high level of safety in their equipment. There are two major aspects that you need to consider to ensure the safety of your aquatic pets.
One, the safety guard. The heater should have a safety guard to prevent pets from coming in contact with the heater. This may lead to serious burns to them and may even be fatal.
The second safety requirement is the auto-shutoff feature. This feature ensures that the heater is automatically shut off as soon as it reaches higher than the set temperature and also if the water level goes too low. If your heater does not have this feature, you are putting the life of your pet animals at serious risk.
Finally, it is important to have a distinct display indicating whether the heater is on or not. Many heaters come with an LED display indicating their on/off status. Some of the heaters also have LED or LCD screens that display the exact temperature of the water inside the tank.
So, never compromise with the safety feature by selecting a cheap heater. You can save a few bucks on the initial expenses but may lose a lot more than that in the bargain. Remember that high-quality heaters mostly recover their higher initial cost through their longevity and higher efficiency.
Gone are the days when you used to have a pre-set temperature in a heater. Most manufacturers offer temperature setting options to allow you to set the desired temperature in your aquarium. This is very important as the ability to raise the temperature can be limited by the ambient temperature. So, if the surrounding temperature goes down too much, the heater fitted inside the tank may not be able to raise the temperature to the desired setting despite continuous heating. Second, it is also important because different aquatic lives find comfort in different temperature conditions.
It is important to know your budget before finalizing the aquarium heater. If you have enough bank balance, you can go for a feature-rich heater for your aquarium. However, if you are short on money, you should avoid going for the fanciful features and should limit your requirements to the wattage and safety features of the heater.
So, this was all about the most promising aquarium heaters from our side. We hope that our reviews and other information related to aquarium heaters helped you select the best aquarium heater for your tank. However, we realize that as all the heaters reviewed in the article possess so many unique features, it can be a little tricky to select the best among them. In case you too find it a little difficult to pin-point the one heater for your aquarium, we will recommend you to go with the EHEIM JAGER heater for its simple design and modern technology. If, however, you have a budgetary constraint, you can very well opt for the Aquatic Reptile Heater by Tetra Fauna. For those, who do not want to compromise on any aspect of the aquarium heater, Digital Titanium Submersible Aquarium Heater by Hygger will be the best choice.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q: How many heaters should I install in my aquarium?
A: Though a single heater will do the job pretty well, having a set of two will be extremely beneficial. With two heaters you will never have to struggle in getting the desired temperature inside the tank in any ambient conditions. Besides, with two heaters, each unit shares the load thus giving longevity to the heater. And last but not the least, two heaters keep you relaxed even if one of the heaters goes out of function for some reason. You still have one to maintain the temperature of water in the aquarium during the time you get the non-functional one repaired or get a replacement for the damaged one.
Q: How should I set up the aquarium?
A: First, take out all the fish from the tank. Then do a visual check of the heater for intact wires and proper insulation over the cables. If required, scrub the glass where you are going to stick the suction cups. The mounting of the heater should be done near the inlet of the filter. Follow the mounting instructions provided with the package. Check the initial water temperature, set the desired temperature, and switch on the heater. Wait for the time recommended in the instructions. Cross-check the temperature with a thermometer. Recheck after a day for its proper functioning before adding fish to the aquarium.
Q: How to ensure that the heater is working properly?
A: You should check the temperature with an external thermometer to ensure that your heater is working as claimed by the manufacturer. It will be highly beneficial if you can check the temperature of the heater once every day. This will be helpful for you in keeping your aquatic pets safe and comfortable at all times.