This is likely not the first time you have read about aquarium heaters, since they are an important part of using an aquarium. The work of the heater is to keep the water at the right temperature consistently.
The best aquarium heaters will do this safely, by using a controller that makes it operate within a certain range of temperatures. In this guide, we get to learn more about what it means to have the right aquarium heater for your tank. Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Why is a Heater Important in a Fish Tank?
The most common important thing is keeping the water at a certain temperature. You might have filled the aquarium with water at room temperature, but that is not a guarantee that it will remain that way. You need a heater to keep it within the best range for your pets in the aquarium.
See also: Temperature for Fish Tanks – All You Need To Know
Depending on the type of fish you have in the tank, the need of a heater may not have been important before. Some types of fish will need a higher temperature to survive other than the room temperature. This means having a heater to raise that temperature.
The heater is also important for maintaining the water temperature. This is important so that the water temperature does not create a stressful environment for the fish.
It is just like for humans; you do not want to be in an environment when the temperature will change suddenly or frequently.
The Best Aquarium Heaters For Your Aquarium Types
|Pictures||Aquarium Heaters||For Aquariums||Links|
|Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater||Up to 30, 50, 60, 80 Gallons|
|Hygger Submersible Aquarium Heater||Up to 30, 60 Gallons|
|Aqueon Preset Heater||Up to 30, 55, 75 Gallons|
|Hygger Titanium Aquarium Heater||Up to 10, 25, 120 Gallons|
|FREESEA Aquarium Fish Tank Submersible Heater||Up to 10, 15, 20 Gallons|
|U-pick Aquarium Heater with Extra Thermometer||Up to 80 Gallons|
|Cobalt Aquatics Flat Neo-Therm Heater with Adjustable Thermostat||Up to 6, 12, 20, 29, 40, 55, 100 Gallons|
|ViaAqua Quartz Glass Submersible Heater||Up to 50 Gallons|
|Aqueon Adjustable Pro Aquarium Heater||Up to 10, 30, 55, 75, 90 Gallons|
|Boxtech Submersible Aquarium Heater||Up to 15, 30, 80 Gallons|
Aquarium Heater Reviews
1. Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater
If you are looking for a submersible aquarium heater that can heat up a space of up to 80 gallons, the Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater might be perfect for you.
This heater is made from a shatter-resistant quartz glass, which helps to keep your fish and other aquarium dwellers safe. Additionally, it can be used in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums.
It’s important that your chosen aquarium heater keeps the water at a consistent temperature, and the Orlushy heater does this very well. On top of this, it has an automatic shut off once the desired temperature is achieved.
This heater can be placed either vertically or horizontally, and it is easy to hide in the tank.
Most people looking for a submersible aquarium heater are also looking for a good value for their money, and the Orlushy heater doesn’t disappoint here, either. It is affordable, durable, and a great choice for anyone looking to improve their aquarium’s environment.
- Highly efficient heater for aquariums up to 80 gallons in size
- Precise temperature controls up to 89 degrees F
- Made of explosion-proof tempered quartz glass
- Automatic shut off when reaching a set temperature
- Can be used in both fresh and saltwater, and it can be positioned anywhere, horizontal or vertically
- Large in size and bulky shape
- It can be difficult to control the heating
2. Hygger Submersible Aquarium Heater
The Hygger Submersible Aquarium Heater is a small, lightweight option for people who are looking to heat their water. It has a detachable shield to keep fish safe, and it is easy to hide in the tank.
You can choose from three different sizes, which allow you to heat tanks from 10 to 60 gallons, and an LED indicator light, which illuminates when the heater is heating.
The external temperature control of this heater adds to its convenience, and it is easy to set thanks to its easy to understand temperature dial. The heater keeps the water uniformly heated at a temperature between 1.5 to 2 degrees F from the set temp.
This heater features an overheat protection feature, an automatic shut off, and it is both shatter-resistant and explosion-proof. When considering the price, this heater is a bit more expensive than others, but it comes with a 12-month warranty.
- Fully submersible, small in size, and easy to hide in the tank
- Automatic shut off that keeps the tank within two degrees of the set temperature
- Heats up to 91 degrees and it comes with a built-in thermometer
- Made of heat-resistant, explosion-proof quartz
- Can use in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums
- LED light is very bright
- Should only use horizontally; the manufacturer doesn’t recommend a vertical installation
- A bit more expensive than other heaters
3. Aqueon Preset Heater
If you are looking for a small, affordable submersible aquarium heater for a beginner enthusiast, the Aqueon preset heater could be a great option. This heater is compact in size, and it is ideal for tanks that are 75 gallons or smaller.
In fact, you can even put it in a small 10-gallon tank, and it will still work great. This heater is not adjustable. Instead, it keeps the water temperature at a consistent 78 degrees F, which is appropriate for the most popular tropical fish species found in home aquariums.
Aqueon is a popular brand in the fish care world, and this heater is a great option for people who are just getting into the hobby of raising fish. The heater can be fully submerged into the water, and since it is small in size, it is easily hidden from view.
Another great feature of this heater is that you can install it either vertically or horizontally, which isn’t always the case for other heaters on the market. It has an indicator light, automatic standby mode, and if there is an electrical short in the tank, the heater will automatically shut off.
- Small in size, and is suitable for tanks up to 75 gallons
- Built-in, automatic thermostat, which keeps tank at 78 degrees F
- Extremely affordable option
- Can be placed vertically or horizontally
- Preset to 78°F, no change temperature
- No dry-safety
4. Hygger Titanium Aquarium Heater
One of the issues that people have with glass aquarium heaters is that there is always the possibility that they will crack or break. This is not the case when you use the Hygger Titanium Aquarium Heater, as it is made of titanium.
Additionally, you can use this heater in either freshwater or saltwater tanks, and thanks to its small size, it is easy to hide.
This aquarium heater is available in four different sizes, and they can heat tanks ranging in size from 5 to 120 gallons. The heater has a digital thermostat, which allows you to set a certain temperature, which can go up to 104 degrees F.
The display shows the current temperature inside the tank and also the temperature that the heater is set at. This allows you to ensure the heater is working correctly. The heater is also highly reviewed for reliability and accuracy.
Thanks to all of these amazing features, you should expect this Hygger heater to be a bit more expensive than other aquarium heaters on the market.
- Available for tanks up to 120 gallons
- Fully automated controls
- Keeps temperature steady up to 104 degrees F and within 1 degree F of set temperature
- Small, easy to hide, and can be used in either freshwater or saltwater aquariums
- Made of titanium
- Can only be used horizontally, not vertically
- Expensive option when compared to other similar heaters
5. FREESEA Aquarium Fish Tank Submersible Heater
This is an interesting heater thanks to its unique shape, but this submersible heater from FREESEA works well to provide a constant, automatic temperature. This heater works to heat the water up to 94 degrees F, and it can fit tanks up to 20-gallons in size.
The temperature is set with a touch of a button, and it features a bright, LED display, which allows you to see the temperature in a glance.
There are four different sizes for this heater, so make sure to get the right size when purchasing. This heater comes with a 12-month warranty, too, and it features a 3.5-foot cord. The temperature is easy to set, and it displays both Celsius and Fahrenheit temperatures.
The one caveat of this heater is that the manufacturer recommends a wave maker to improve heat flow, and because of the design, there are some fish, based on size, that can slip behind it and become stuck.
- Temperature up to 94 degrees F and fits up to a 20-gallon tank
- Automatic, constant temperature control, which is set with the touch of a button
- Unique oval shape, which makes it different than most other heaters
- Bright, LED display
- Design can cause some fish to get behind it and get stuck
- Heater does not come with instructions which is confusing
6. U-pick Aquarium Heater with Extra Thermometer
U-pick has been in the aquarium heater game for a long time, and with this version of its tank heater, it continues to improve. This aquarium heater is made of durable quartz glass, which makes it shatter and explosion-proof.
This glass also helps to prevent the leakage of electricity. Additionally, this heater is covered with a protective container, which allows it to prevent scalding and melting due to the heat.
The heater also comes with an extra thermometer, which allows you to accurately read the internal tank temperature. The device also provides a consistent temperature and is appropriate for both saltwater and freshwater tanks.
You can easily control this device thanks to its easy to use settings, and the temperature can be set up to 94 degrees F. These heaters can also heat tanks from three to 80 gallons in size.
- Made of explosion-proof quartz glass and features scald-prevention design
- Comes with a digital, external thermometer as to always see the temperature
- Easy to control the temperature from 68°F – 94°F
- Can heat tanks up to 80 gallons in size
- Only comes in a 100W version
- Cannot be used in sand or under gravel as it will not heat as well
7. Cobalt Aquatics Flat Neo-Therm Heater with Adjustable Thermostat
The Cobalt Aquatics aquarium heater features a flat, modern design, which is unlike other tank heaters on the market. It is fully submersible, and it has a reversible bracket, which allows the heater to be placed in different positions.
You can set the temperature anywhere from 66°F – 96°F, and you can easily set the temperature with only a touch. This heater is known for accuracy, and it keeps the temperature without 0.5 degrees F of the set temp.
This heater features an LED display with both the actual and set temperature, and it has an automatic shut off and thermal protection circuitry, which prevents the device from overheating.
Since this heater is made of resin, you don’t have to worry about the device shattering and harming your fish. With a three-year warranty, you can rest assured knowing that this device will work and work well.
- Flat, fully submersible design that can be placed in many positions
- One-touch temperature setting, which keeps the tank at +/-0.5°F
- Thermal protection system, which keeps the tank from overheating
- Made of resin with a shatter-proof casing, which keeps fish safer
- Suction cups aren’t well-designed, and the heater can fall into the sand/gravel
- More expensive than other heaters on the market
8. ViaAqua Quartz Glass Submersible Heater
The ViaAqua Quartz Glass Submersible Heater is an affordable option for those looking for a tank heater. This device is made of explosion-proof quartz glass, and it is fully submersible.
Thanks to the bright, clear display, you can also easily see the temperature, and since you can use it in either fresh or saltwater tanks, it has a lot of conveniences associated with it. Additionally, there is an indicator light, which shows when the heater is in operation.
This heater is also easy to install thanks to the suction cups that are used to stick it to the side of the tank. You can also get this heater in a variety of sizes, and it perfectly heats tanks up to 80-gallons in size.
When you compare the ViaAqua heater with others on the market, you will also note that it is very affordable and highly reviewed.
- Made of high-quality, quartz glass that is explosion-proof
- Available in a multitude of sizes; heats up to an 80-gallon tank
- Adjustable temperature that is easy to set and change when necessary
- Can be used in both freshwater and saltwater tanks
- Manual temperature adjustment is the only option
- Prone to turning off before desired temperature is reached
9. Aqueon Adjustable Pro Aquarium Heater
All of the Aqueon Pro Aquarium Heaters have been designed with consistency in mind. Each heater is created with a shatterproof, plastic housing and features an electric thermostat.
Each thermostat has an auto shut off feature, and it will also shut off automatically if the top of the heater falls below the bottom of the heater.
In addition to all of this, the heaters from Aqueon have LED heat indicators, which are illuminated when actively heating, and feature adjustable heat settings. With adjustable suction cups, you can also easily and quickly install this heater vertically or horizontally.
You can use this heater in either saltwater or freshwater aquariums, and it is available in five different sizes.
- Adjustable heat up to 88 degrees F with accuracy of +/- 1 degree F
- Shatterproof and completely submersible in the tank
- LED light is always on so you can tell if it stops working
- Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
- Large control knob that is easy to use and access
- Expensive to buy when compared to similarly rated heaters
- Only for freshwater tanks, not saltwater tanks as it can corrode the elements
10. Boxtech Submersible Aquarium Heater
For tanks from 5 to 80 gallons, the Boxtech aquarium heater is ideal. There are several sizes available, and it can heat between 68 and 90 degrees F.
The heater is automatic, so it turns on when the set temperature gets too low, and then turns off when the heat gets too high. This heater is made of milky quartz, which is heat resistant, and it is also shattered and explosion-proof, which helps to prevent the risk of electricity leakage.
This heater from Boxtech is fully submersible, but it can only be installed horizontally. It is also recommended that you place this heater near a flow of water. This heater is a bit more expensive than other heaters on our list, but it is highly reviewed.
- Suitable for any tank ranging from 30 to 80 gallons
- External temperature controller, which heats up to 90 degrees F
- Made of explosion-proof quartz glass, which also keeps the electricity safely inside
- Fully submersible and must remain underwater
- Expensive when compared to other similar heaters
- Some report accuracy issues and that this heather doesn’t last long
How to Choose the Right Aquarium Heater?
Size of Aquarium Heater
Of course, you have to look at the size of your aquarium before you can make the decision about what heater to buy. Every manufacturer that makes aquarium heaters will indicate which aquarium size will be the best for each model.
The heater has to be strong enough to deliver the performance you need when it comes to heating your tank. It has to be sufficiently powerful that it does not take too long to bring the water up to the right temperature.
Types of Aquariums
You always have to consider what type of aquarium you have before making up your mind. The manufacturer will always give more information in the description regarding where you can use the aquarium heater.
You can be sure to find heaters for saltwater aquariums, freshwater aquariums, turtle tanks, betta tanks, and reef tanks.
It is also possible to find models that will work for various types of aquariums. A versatile option is always going to be a good choice.
Types of Aquarium Heaters
Several types of heaters exist today. Options include the immersible heater, submersible, in-filter, in-line, in-sump, and substrate aquarium heaters.
As long as you choose wisely, you can be sure that they will all deliver great performance. There is a need to understand how each type works before you can make up your mind.
The submersible heaters are the most common and would always deliver the performance you want.
Ease of Maintenance
At some point, you will have to deal with the issue of maintenance. It all comes down how easy it will be to maintain the heater in good working order. Pick a model that is easy to clean. The same thing applies to how easy it will be to replace any broken or worn out parts.
The other thing you have to consider is the amount of money you are willing to spend. Sometimes your budget determines just how much performance you can afford.
With a bit of research, you can still get the best aquarium heater for the money. It is amazing how you can get the best heater at a bargain if you are willing to look.
What is the Best Aquarium Heater?
When it comes to saying a particular model is the best, there is a lot that goes into it. The list above comprises what you can easily call the best aquarium heaters on the market right now.
These heaters are made to live up to the standards of most users. They always deliver on performance, durability, and impressive heating capacity.
As much as all of them are great, the best possible pick would be the Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater. This type of heater offers some of the best features available such as better heating capacity and accurate temperature reading.
It is also built with the safety features you need to make sure you remain happy with your purchase for a long time to come.
How to Install an Aquarium Heater?
Nowadays, aquarium heaters are designed to be easy for users to install. There are a few variations depending on your particular aquarium heater but all heaters can generally be installed with the following steps.
1. Examine the heater before installation. Make sure the casing is intact, no signs of damage on the heating element, and no exposed wires.
2. Find a suitable location in your aquarium that you want to install the heater. Make sure the glass surface in that area is clean.
3. Use the suction cups provided by the manufacturer to attach the submersible heater to the desired location. Adjust the heater if possible. Ensure no plants or aquarium decorations don’t come in direct contact with the heater.
4. Allow at least 15 to 30 minutes for the heater to rest within the water before turning it on. This allows the casing to adjust to the surrounding water temperature so there is no cracking from the sudden change in temperature.
5. Place an external thermometer in your aquarium opposite from your heater (if your heater does not come with a thermometer to read the water temperature). Read the initial reading of your aquarium water.
6. Turn your heater on and adjust to the desired temperature.
7. Allow the heater to operate for about 24 hours before checking the thermometer for aquarium temperature. Check your heater every four to six hours and adjust the setting up and down until the desired temperature is reached.
8. Finally, add your fish to your aquarium. Because of the high level of fluctuation in the few days, the heater is set up, having your fish in the tank before adjusting the temperature may irritate the fish greatly.
Where to Place Aquarium Heater?
This is often a simple but overlooked question when it comes to aquarium heaters. It is advisable that you keep the heater new the water flow. It could be the outlet or inlet from the filter or even the stream of a power head.
This is because having the water flowing directly past the aquarium heater makes it easy for the heat to disperse easily throughout the aquarium.
How Much Electricity Does an Aquarium Heater Use?
You do not only need to plug the heater into an electric source but you also need to leave it turned on almost all the time. That undoubtedly will increase your electricity bill. But, by how much?
Heating an aquarium can be expensive depending on your tank size. The larger tanks, the more heat it is required and the more expensive it will be. In addition, a tropical fish environment usually requires a higher water temperature, which means more electricity spent on turning up the temperature on the heater.
Generally, a 30-gallon tank heated at 72°F or 22°C will consume approximately 110 kWh. You can calculate this rate according to your tank size to guess how much electricity your tank will use to be heated.
The same tank, if it is heated at 82°F or 28°C will consume about 440 kWh per year, which is 4 times as much.
In general, there is no way to give you an exact number of how much your electricity bill your aquarium tank will cost. But with the size of your tank and the temperature set, you can do some guesswork based on the information provided above.
How Many Watts Does My Aquarium Heater Need?
Here is a guideline you can use to determine what heater you need. Remember, it can change depending on the performance of your particular heater.
|Tank size||Watts needed to increase 5°F||Watts needed to increase 10°F||Watts needed to increase 15°F|
From the list above, it is possible for you now to pick the best aquarium heater with ease. Many people who have used them always ended up with top quality products that deliver on performance always.
You can be the next one to keep your fish and at the right temperature needed for survival. Go ahead and pick the one you feel is the best.
Related Buyer’s Guides and Aquarium Adviser Lists:
The Best Aquarium Thermometer: Most Accurate & Easy to Use
The Best Betta Tank Heater For Your Fish Stay Healthy & Safety
The Best Aquarium Test Kits Help Monitor Water Quality
Best Aquarium Sand for Plants, Freshwater & Saltwater Aquariums
Derald J. Spears Sr. says
I will be acquiring colorful large breed warm water fish for a 65 gallon aquarium. I would like 5-7 species with 3-4 per group. The South American breeds are those I prefer most.
It’s good to know what you’re looking for I guess.
Wattage chart was very helpful, thank you!
Christian Reintar says
I have a 1.7 gallons marina tank. What type of heater i buy for my betta fish and can i put also my betta fish with goldfish?
probably old question but betta is triggered by fluff so goldfish with fluffy fins wont be a good mate. those feeder goldfish type maybe okay since they have short fins.
Betta is better kept alone.
as for heater, if the room you keep the tank is Air conditioned throughout the year and does not drop temp fast (few degrees in a day) I have kept them doing fine at 65F in winter no problem.
But the room changes temp fast (like 5degree in a day) then get the small preset one.
No, your Betta should not be with gold fish. As for the heater, many people don’t use a heater with one, but keep them in a warm temp stable room. For such a small tank I would use nothing more than the 50w cobalt aquatics.
Patricia Watkins says
I have a 200 watt Eheim Jaeger heater which works well, although the suction cups supplied haven’t lasted long. I am concerned to read above, though, that this heater sometimes overheats, and am anxious to know under what circumstances this is likely to happen, and what to expect as a result. Thank you.
Eric Thomson says
Mine EHEIM heater just kicked the bucket after 20 yrs of in service use. Not too bad considering 10 yrs is about average for most. Basically I came home and my thermometer was audibly alarming at 80.6F. I had the heater set for 77F. I had a spare EHEIM heater that I purchased last year just in case… Easy swap.
I think I have owned at least one of each of the heaters listed. And I totally agree with you rankings. For any show tank set up I use the Aqueon Pro. They are amazing. I have a 60g that has never varied from exactly 77 degreesF in 3 years. For small tanks I use the Tetra presets. They are +/- a couple degrees, but good enough, cheap and last forever. Great review. Thanks.
Clearly not owners of any of these. Aqueon are cheap tend to fail high and kill fish, and are not calibrated well. Have owned many all were bad, none held their temp correctly, and most had water intrusion and failed high. One electrocuted the fish to boot. These are awful. For any of these highly recommend a temp controller like the inkbird model 306t. This protects form the common fail on condition. Eheim Jagers are built like tanks. Have several that are decades old.
These are all for small tanks. Are there no good heaters for 100 gal tanks?
Hygger Titanium Aquarium Heater #4 can use for tanks up to 120 Gallons.