If you have an aquarium at home you are probably well aware that you need some pretty specific gear to keep your fish alive, and of course keeping your fish alive is the number one goal. If you have fish that need to stay warm, then something like an aquarium heater is exactly what you need.
Why Do I Need a Heater In My Aquarium?
Fish need certain water temperatures in order to stay healthy and alive. The only way to make sure that the water in the fish tank is warm enough and at the proper temperature, you will need an aquarium heater. (The Aqueon Pro Heater is our top pick). This is especially true if you have a coral, reef, or tropical fish tank.
What We Think is The Best Aquarium Heater
Aquarium heaters are sometime simple necessities that your aquarium may need. Of course you want the best heater possible, and this following option is our top pick.
Aqueon Pro Heater
This is definitely a great option to go with in terms of aquarium heaters. Let us tell you why exactly this is our top pick. You can check the price here.
One of the things which is really neat about this particular aquarium heater is that it comes in 5 different sizes to suit various sizes of aquariums. Another thing that makes this an ideal aquarium heater is the fact that it comes with suction cups so you can attach it anywhere in your fish tank, plus it is also fully submersible to make it as versatile as possible.
The next thing which makes this heater an ideal choice is the fact that it has a light which helps you monitor the power level, plus it also contains an electronic thermostat which helps you keep track of the water temperature and lets you accurately set the temperature to a specified level. It even has a light that tells you when it is heating and when the water has reached the specified temperature.
This thing is also very durable and it is virtually shatterproof. Even better is that this thing is ideal for both salt water and fresh water aquariums. This thing manages to heat the water just fine, yet you can still touch it when it is running without burning yourself.
- Fully submersible.
- Attaches to the side of your tank.
- Accurate temperature setting and monitoring.
- Works for salt water and freshwater tanks.
- Won’t burn you.
- Lets you know when it is heating and when not.
- It may rust and pollute the water.
8 Other Great Heaters To Consider - Our Reviews
Of course we would recommend the above option as the number one water heater for your fish tank, but you may not see it in the same light, in which case you can always check out any of these other eight fantastic options.
1. Fluval E Electronic Heater
Another fantastic water heater option to go with is the FLuval E Electronic model and it’s for a few good reasons.
One of the best features of this particular water heater is that it has dual temperature sensors to allow it to accurately keep track of the water temperature in real time. Another cool aspect about this model is that it has an LCD temperature display in order to let you easily keep track of the temperature, plus it functions in both Fahrenheit and Celsius for versatility.
Perhaps the best part about the Fluval Electronic Heater is that it uses fast heat technology to quickly heat the water, plus it also comes with a fish guard so it won’t fry your fish. It even has a safety shut off in case it gets too hot. This thing also has a color coded alert system to let you know when it is heating, when the water temperature has been reached, and when it is not heating.
We also like the fact that this thing has a very slim profile so it won’t take up too much space in your aquarium, plus it has an easy to install mounting bracket as well. This is a 300 watt aquarium heater that will work for aquariums as large as 300 gallons. The last good part about this heater is that it is very durable, has no moving parts, and will definitely last you a very long time.
- Ideal for aquariums up to 300 gallons.
- Very durable.
- Easy to mount bracket.
- Fish guard for safety.
- Fast heat technology.
- Easy to use and set temperature.
- LCD display for accurate reading.
- Dual sensors for real time readings.
- Should not be places in a high flow area.
2. EHEIM Jager Thermostat Heater
This is yet another fantastic aquarium heater option to go with and it is thanks to the wide array of features that it has. It will definitely do a great job at heating your aquarium without question.
Perhaps the best feature when it comes to the Jager Thermostat Heater is that it is ideal for both fresh water and salt water aquariums. Or maybe, even better is the fact that this thing is made out of shock resistant and shatter proof glass that is nearly impossible to break or damage.
Another beneficial aspect of this heater is that it comes with a TruTemp dial that recalibrates the heater for the ultimate in precise temperature setting.
This thing will also automatically turn off when the water reaches the desired temperature and will turn on by itself when the water temperature is too low. Of course this model can also read the water temperature to give you accurate readings.
Moreover this thing will also shut off on its own when it sense that the water level is too low, something that prevents it from running dry. We also like the fact that this thing is completely submersible. There is also the fact that this heater comes in various sizes and wattage levels to accommodate different tank sizes.
- Shock resistant.
- Shatter proof glass.
- Turns off when the water level is too low.
- Automatic on and off feature.
- Provides accurate temperature readings.
- Fully submersible.
- Can be accurately calibrated.
- Suction cups for easy attachment.
- Wiring may melt if heater is on for too long.
3. Zacro AH045 Submersible Heater
The Zacro Submersible Heater is a really good choice to go with thanks to the quick heating ability, the accurate readings, and the fact that it is fully submersible. This thing will definitely do the trick when it comes to heating your aquarium to a specified temperature.
Perhaps the best part about this aquarium heater is that it is an extremely durable piece of equipment. It is totally water proof, thus making it fully submersible. It is also made out of double sealed plastic and it has a black protective container as well, both things which make this heater shock proof, it won’t burn your fish, and it won’t smash either.
Another thing that is awesome about this particular model of aquarium heater is that it has a visible temperature setting so you can accurately control the water temperature. This thing also has a temperature monitor so you can easily keep track of how warm the water is.
We also like the fact that this heater can be used for both salt water and fresh water applications, not to mention that it will work for fish tanks of up to 99 gallons in size.
This thing also comes with an extra thermometer, it has features to help it stop from over heating or under heating the water, and it functions by heating for 10 minutes followed by a 10 minute rest session.
- Has a thermometer included.
- Comes with an extra thermometer.
- LCD display for easy control.
- Features to stop it from over or under heating the water.
- Very durable.
- Protects the fish from being burned.
- Fully submersible.
- Has a tendency to blow up.
4. Aquatop Quartz Glass Submersible Heaters (50W-300W)
Yet another really good choice of aquarium heater to go with is the Aquatop Submersible heater. It has a number of good features that make it a prime choice, not to mention that it is very durable too.
One of the things which you will really like about this aquarium heater is that it is made with high quality glass that is double insulated. This glass should not shatter, melt, or over heat due to anything. This thing works really well to heat your aquarium thanks to being 300 watts, which means that it is ideal for larger aquariums of up to 75 gallons in size.
Even better is that the Aquatop can be fully submersed in the water and it simply attaches to the inside of your aquarium with the provided suction cups. The temperature of this heater is very easy to adjust thanks to its analog nature and the adjustments are extremely precise.
This thing also comes with its own thermometer so that you can accurately measure the temperature of the water in real time.
- Accurately set the temperature.
- Real time temperature readings.
- Very durable.
- Double insulated glass.
- Ideal for aquariums up to 75 gallons.
- Easily attach to the inside of the tank.
- Stiff temperature dial.
- Has a tendency to overheat.
5. Finnex Hang-On Electronic Controller Heater
This is a fairly advanced aquarium heater option, one that you will definitely be happy with. It is a simple yet effective heater that will definitely do the trick.
We really like this heater and it is thanks to the fact that it involves no glass, plastic or quartz. It is a simple titanium tube that heats up to warm the water. The titanium is super strong, plus it is corrosion resistant, plus of course the metal can’t smash either. Being corrosion resistant also makes this heater more than ideal for both salt water and fresh water use.
This thing is fully submersible and that makes it a prime choice indeed. One of the best parts of the Finnex Hang On Electronic Heater is that it comes with an easy to use temperature dial for simple water temperature calibration, not to mention that it is extremely accurate too.
This heater is in fact so strong that it will heat up tanks as big as 120 gallons in size. Another good part about this aquarium heater is that it easily hooks onto the side of your aquarium. This thing also has an LED light so that you know when it is on and when it is off.
- Corrosion resistant.
- Extremely strong titanium build.
- Easily hooks onto the side of your aquarium.
- Very accurate.Easy to adjust the temperature.
- Works for aquariums up to 120 gallons.
- LED light to show you its function.
- Sometimes turns off by itself.
6. Cobalt Neo-Therm Heater
The next aquarium heater on our list is the Cobalt Neo-Therm Heater and it definitely makes for a really good choice.
Perhaps the best feature of this particular heater is that it has a very sleek profile. It is extremely thin which means that it takes up minimal room in the aquarium. There is also the fact that this thing is submersible and easily hooks onto the side of your aquarium for the ultimate in versatility.
Another thing which we really like about this heater is that it has an advanced electronic thermostat that lets you adjust the temperature to within -/+ 0. 5 Fahrenheit. This thing also includes an LED display that tells you both the set temperature of the heater as well as the temperature of the water itself. The temperature can be set anywhere between 66 and 96 degrees Fahrenheit.
This heater features an integrated thermal protection system that protects the circuits and automatically shuts down in order to prevent overheating, plus the shatter proof casing makes this thing virtually indestructible. Moreover, this model of aquarium heater will work just fine for both salt water and fresh water applications.
- Extremely strong.
- Shatter proof.
- Automatic shut off to stop overheating.
- Precise temperature control.
- LCD display to tell you the water temperature.
- 400 watt model is ideal for tanks up to 40 gallons.
- Easily hooks onto the side of your aquarium.
- Tendency to explode.
7. Fish Guards Submersible Heater
This may be the last heater on our list, but it is not the worst one by far. This thing will definitely do the job and keep your fish nice and toasty.
One of the things which is definitely beneficial about tis aquarium heater is that it has a guard around the outside so that it doesn’t burn your fish. Another great aspect of this particular heater is that it is fully submersible and also comes with suction cups to easily attach to the inside of your aquarium. This thing works for both salt water and fresh water aquariums.
Something else that is great about this particular heater is that it is fairly small and has 50 watts of power, yet it can still heat up aquariums of up to 20 gallons in size. This model does come in higher powers of up to 300 watts which makes the more powerful versions ideal for tanks up to 125 gallons.
This is also a really neat heater because it lets you easily set the temperature as you want. There is also the fact that this heater has a safety shut off feature in order to stop it from overheating. Once the heater cools down it will turn back on all by itself.
- Comes in different power settings.
- Fairly durable.
- Fully submersible.
- Attaches to the inside of the aquarium.
- Lets you accurately choose the temperature.
- Very short cord.
- Light may stop working after prolonged use.
8. Jetsu Submersible Aquarium Heater
One of the main reasons as to why this aquarium heater is on this list is because it is made out of quartz, plus for a few other reasons too.
Like we said, the main reason that this aquarium heater is on this list is because it is made out of well insulated quartz, a material that is extremely strong, shock proof, and heat resistant, much more so than glass can ever be. This thing also comes with a gravel guard to protect the end of the heater from damage.
Another reason as to why we really like this heater is because it has power level of 300 watts, making it ideal for large aquariums of up to 75 gallons in size. This is a really good heater thanks to the intuitive temperature dial that can accurately heat your water anywhere from 20 to 34 degrees Celsius, making it a very versatile heater indeed.
This heater is very simple to use and even easier to maintain and clean, plus it also comes with a 1.5 meter long power cable to make it even more versatile. Even better is that this particular model can be used in both salt water and fresh water aquariums and it attaches to the side of your aquarium with suction cups.
- Large temperature range.
- Easy to regulate temperature.
- Fully submersible.
- Attaches to the inside of your aquarium.
- Made of extra strong quartz.
- Easy to clean and maintain.
- Ideal for tanks up to 75 gallons in size.
- May start overheating after prolonged use.
- May leak after prolonged use.
Different Types Of Aquarium Heaters
There are a few different types of aquarium heaters that you can choose, each of which will do just fine in terms of heating up the fish tank water. Each of the different types has slightly different features and benefits, so let’s talk about each of the types quickly.
Immersible Aquarium Heater
These are the least expensive type of heater, but they still work fine. These types of heaters rest in the water and hang on to the side of the aquarium. These are not fully submersible and the heater controls need to be above the water.
These things can be a little difficult to calibrate and set the temperature to a specified level, but the price makes them worth it.
Submersible Aquarium Heater
These heaters are a little more expensive than the previous kind, but simply put, they are quite a bit better. The whole thing including the dial can be submerged in the water, they are easy to set the temperature with, and they can be easily concealed for aesthetic purposes.
These things do have a major drawback which is that they are completely sealed in glass or other water proof materials so they can’t be readily repaired, plus the glass can smash if not treated properly.
Substrate Aquarium Heater
These are not all that popular in North America, but they sure are in Europe. These heaters consist of a number of heating cables that sit below your aquarium’s substrate. They are great because you can’t see them in the water, plus they do a good job at heating the water uniformly. On the other hand, you need to take everything out of the aquarium in order to install them.
This final type of heater is a very new type of heater that is built into a filter system. It heats the water as it passes through the filter. These things look good, plus they can’t be damaged by active fish.
We have also covered a post on quiet air pumps that you might find helpful.
When it comes to the best aquarium heater, the right choice is the one which will serve you the best. Obviously we would recommend one of the above options because they are the best around and their features make them stand out from the rest of the pack no doubt.