Choosing an aquarium heater is essential as it affects the health and life span of your aquatic pets. A heater is a crucial aquarium supply, especially when keeping tropical fish. Fish can’t adjust their body temperature so a heater is needed to keep the water at a level that fish can tolerate.
A drop in temperature of only one degree over a twenty-four-hour period can affect the health of your fish, making them susceptible to diseases that might wipe out your whole tank population. The ideal fish tank heater keeps the water temperature stable, lets you see real-time temperatures, and has safety features to ensure proper functioning.
What Are The Best Aquarium Heaters?
These are the best aquarium heaters:
JBJ True Temp Titanium Heating System
The JBJ True Temp features corrosion-proof titanium coating. It means that it works well with both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. For safety, it has a heater guard that protects your fish against burns. There are push-button controls and an LED display with lights that show when heating is in progress.
- Easy to install and set up
- The controller is easy to operate
- Magnets keep the heater in place
- Effective heating
- Protective outer layer to keep fish safe
Cobalt Aquatics Flat Neo-Therm Heater
The Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm Heater lets you set the temperature range and keeps the temperature within 0.5°F of your setting. The control system uses LED to show the current temperature as well as the “set” temperature. There’s integrated thermal protection that shuts down the heater before it overheats.
- Beautiful design
- Adjustable temperature
- Easy to set up
- Automatic shut-off safety feature (prevents overheating)
- Shatterproof design
- Suction cups need to be replaced after some time
Aqueon Pro Adjustable Aquarium Heater
The Aqueon Pro Adjustable Aquarium Heater has an electric thermostat that is accurate to 1 degree. It also has an auto-shut-off feature to protect against overheating.
- Auto shut-off safety feature
- Adjustable temperature
- Simple, quality design
- Available in different wattages
- Temperature may be off by a few degrees
- Need replacing after a few years
Aquatop Aquarium Glass Submersible Heater
The Aquatop Aquarium Heater maintains a temperature range of 68° to 93° F for up to 75-gallon tanks. It’s easy to set up and adjust the temperature settings. It also displays the temperature setting.
- Built-in thermometer
- Only preset temperatures (cannot adjust)
EHEIM Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater
The Jager Aquarium Thermostat is convenient and straightforward. It has an automatic shut off feature, on/off indicator light, and it keeps the temperature within .5°F of your setting.
- Auto shut-off feature
- Accurate temperature control
- Long power cord
- Longer than other heaters (needs more space)
- Adjustment dial for temperature can be difficult to move
- Size (may not fit in smaller tanks)
Hygger Aquarium Heater
You can set the temperature with the Control Box and see it on the digital display with the Hygger Aquarium Heater. It runs on auto-pilot after set-up. It stops heating when the water temp reaches the set temp, and when the water temp is too cold, the tank heater restarts heating.
- Fully automated controls
- Keeps temperature steady up to 104 degrees F
- Easy to hide
- Can only be placed horizontally
ViaAqua Titanium Heater
The ViaAqua Titanium heater has a remote temperature sensor. The remote sensor offers a more accurate temperature reading. The control unit is outside of the tank, making it easy to read and adjust settings when needed.
- Great for large aquariums
- Easy to read LCD Controller.
- No attachment device included
What Is An Aquarium Heater?
An aquarium heater is a device used in fishkeeping to warm the temperature of water in aquariums. Most tropical freshwater and marine aquariums need stable temperatures that range between 22-30 °C (71-86 °F).
Why Do You Need An Aquarium Heater?
When keeping tropical fish, you need a heater. A fish tank heater ensures that the aquarium does not get too cold and keeps the temperature stable throughout the day. Most tropical fish require a water temperature of at least 78 °F.
Are Aquarium Heaters Safe?
Placing an electrical device like a heater in water might seem like a big no, no. But, most water heaters are designed for this purpose and are safe.
The only time to be concerned is if the heater becomes faulty. Perform regular checks during tank maintenance to ensure that there are no broken wires or parts.
7 Things To Look For In A Good Aquarium Heater
The five main things to look for when buying a heater for an aquarium are:
The most important thing to consider is the type of fish that you’re keeping. Different fish require different temperature levels to thrive. Do some research on the fish to determine the heating requirements.
Submersible heaters are the most popular type of aquarium heater, but other kinds may be better for your needs. Most of the time, you will choose a heater based on the size of the tank, spacing, and the inhabitants of the tank. See below for the different types of tank warmers.
Wattage is the power of the heater. The wattage determines how well the heater can heat and maintain the required temperature in the tank. In most cases, 3-5 watts per gallon is the recommended norm.
Never buy a heater that is too powerful for your tank, and it is best to use two heaters in place of a single powerful heater. Here is some recommended wattage for aquarium heaters based on tank size:
- 50 Watts: Suitable for aquariums up to 15 gallons
- 100 Watts: Suitable for aquariums up to 30 gallons
- 200 Watts: Suitable for aquariums up to 65 gallons
- 300 Watts: Suitable for aquariums up to 100 gallons
A heater that allows you to adjust the temperature settings is ideal. Believe it or not, some heaters come equipped with unchangeable temperature settings.
A heater that has clear and accessible controls is best. It is especially important if you have to submerge the heater. A control knob that is easy to access and adjust will make the process less frustrating.
Most people recommend aquarium heaters that come with numerical temperature gauges. It makes monitoring the temperature of your tank easy.
The heater for your tank ought to be submergible, and it should have an automatic shut-off feature to prevent overheating. Light indicators are also crucial so that you can tell when the heater is on and heating.
- Aquarium Heater Size Guide – The Spruce Pets – https://www.thesprucepets.com/aquarium-heater-size-guide-1381033
- Help with choosing a heater for a 75 gallon: Aquariums – Reddit – https://www.reddit.com/r/Aquariums/comments/ad14qq/help_with_choosing_a_heater_for_a_75_gallon/
- Let’s talk heaters: Aquariums – Reddit – https://www.reddit.com/r/Aquariums/comments/3gs4p6/lets_talk_heaters/
- Fish Tank Heaters by That Fish Place – That Pet Place – https://www.thatpetplace.com/articles/fish-tank-heaters-article
The Different Types of Aquarium Heaters
There are different types of fish tank heaters. Each has its unique features and benefits. Here are the five main types of aquarium heaters:
An immersible heater is a type of heater that hangs onto the back of the aquarium but water covers the heating apparatus. It is the most common type of heater and also one of the cheapest.
You place the entire submersible heaters in an aquarium. When using these fish tank heaters, you must place them away from the substrate and other tank decorations. There should also be enough space for fish to swim around it.
In-line aquarium heaters connect to the filtration system in your tank. You place these heaters between the tank and the filter. You usually use in-line heaters in larger aquariums.
Install in-sump heaters in your sump system. It’s ideal if you want to save space. They are the same as in-line heaters but take up less space.
Substrate heaters use heating coils placed on the bottom of the tank. You then use the substrate to cover the coils. They are not common and are the least useful type of aquarium heaters.
How To Install And Use A Fish Tank Heater
Most heaters have some tool to attach them to the side of a fish tank. There are temperature dials to help regulate the temperature. For example, some heaters have a + or – to adjust and will need a thermometer to know if adjustments are required.
Other heaters have pre-defined temperatures from which to choose and the heater will adjust to and maintain the selected temperature. Still, use a thermometer to verify accuracy.
Before turning on the heater, please leave it in the tank for a few hours so that the glass can acclimate to the temperature of the water and won’t break when the heat increases.
- Fish Tank Heaters – Are They Safe? – The Fish Tank Guide – https://thefishtankguide.com/fish-tank-heater-safety/
- How to Choose an Aquarium Heater – Video – YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DUkOGiXveo
- Environmental temperature and body temperature in fish – https://esi.stanford.edu/temperature/temperature3.htm
- Common Engineering Mistakes in the Analysis of Aquarium Fires – http://egr.uri.edu/wp-uploads/asee2016/64-137-1-RV-5.pdf
- Filtration, Lighting, and Heating – https://sites.psu.edu/periodicpostulations/2013/01/16/filtration-lighting-and-heating/
- Aquarium Equipment: What’s Essential and What’s Not? https://users.cs.duke.edu/~narten/faq/hardware.html#:~:text=Heaters,temperature%20of%2078F%20is%20ideal.
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