One of the most important aspects of setting up an aquarium is choosing the fish for the tank. Just as in their natural habitat, different fish need different water temperatures to remain healthy. It is vital to select fish that thrive in the same water temperatures – do not mix fishing that live in cooler water with fish that need warmer water.
All tropical fish need warm water to survive. Before you add fish to your aquarium, be sure you research thoroughly so that your fish have a higher chance of surviving in the tank. The most common type of fish available for aquariums are tropical fish – and tropical fish need water temperatures between 75 to 80 degrees to thrive.
Table of Contents
- Comparisons of 7 Best Aquarium Heater in 2019
- Types of Aquarium Heaters
- 7 Best Aquarium Heater Reviews in 2019
- What to Consider When Choosing an Aquarium Heater
- Final Thoughts
The practice of temperature control is vital for a healthy and thriving fish community. For this, you will need a tank thermometer and heater. One of the best types of tank thermometers is a stick-on thermometer. As the name indicates, it sticks to the side of your tank and allows you to see the temperature at a glance.
Comparisons of 7 Best Aquarium Heater in 2019
|Brand||Wattage||Safety Features||Adjustable||View on Amazon|
|Marineland||50, 75, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, 400||Automatic Shutoff||Yes||Check Price
|Penn Plax||25, 50, 75, 100, 150, 200, 300||None||Yes||Check Price
|Cobalt Aquatics||Not Stated||Automatic Shutoff||Yes||Check Price
|Aqueon||50||Automatic Shutoff||Yes||Check Price
|FLUVAL||100, 200, 300||Automatic Shutoff||Yes||Check Price
|Eheim Jager||25, 50, 75, 125, 150, 200, 250, 300||Automatic Shutoff||Yes||Check Price
Types of Aquarium Heaters
There are several types if aquarium heaters to choose from.
- Submersible Heaters – As the name suggests, submersible heaters are completely or partially submersed in the water. The most common type of submersible heater will be placed underneath the filter output so that it heats the water as it is reintroduced into the tank. This ensures that there is a constant stream of clean, heated water circulating throughout the tank.
- Hanging Heaters – This type of heater hangs over the side of the tank. The heating element is submersed in the tank while the controls are outside the tank for easier access.
- External Heaters – An external heater, as the name implies, is located on the outside of the aquarium. Water from the tank is pumped into a filter, then passes through the heater, and is warm before it goes back into the tank.
7 Best Aquarium Heater Reviews in 2019
#1. Best Saltwater Aquarium Heater
One of the best saltwater aquarium heaters on the market is the Marineland Precision Heater. Featuring an adjustable temperature dial, the Precision heater provides safe and stable water temperatures for your aquarium. The Marineland Precision heater is easy to setup and allows you to easily maintain the right water temperature for your fish community.
Since 1970, Marineland Aquarium Products has focused on provided high-quality, innovative, and user-friendly products to ensure that consumers have the cleanest and healthiest environment for your fish to grow and thrive. Whether you are a beginner or a hobbyist, Marineland provides the products you need to establish an enchanting underwater world.
#2. Best Submersible Aquarium Heater
The Penn Plax Aquarium Heater is one of the best submersible aquarium heaters available. The heater is fully submersible and is accurate to within 1 degree of your desired temperature. The heater comes preset to 76 degrees Fahrenheit but can be adjusted to between 68 and 89 degrees, which allows you to find the perfect temperature for your aquarium.
Penn-Plax was founded in 1956 when a fish hobbyist who also happened to be an engineer decided to open a pet shop in Brooklyn with his wife and brother. While operating the pet shop, they decided to design 3-D aquarium backgrounds along with air-operated aquarium ornaments to sell in the shop. Since that humble beginning, Penn-Plax continues to work diligently to provide innovative, quality products for pet owners around the world.
#3. Best Aquarium Heater with Built-In Thermostat
If you are searching for the best aquarium heater with a built-in thermostat, the ViaAqua 300-Watt Quartz Glass Submersible Heater should be on your short list. With a temperature range of 68-92 degrees Fahrenheit, you have plenty of opportunities to create the perfect underwater environment for your fish. The ViaAqua is easy to install with strong suction cups that secure your heater to the side of your aquarium.
The best temperature for healthy tropical fish is between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, there are some species of tropical fish that may need water that is warmer than 80 degrees. Before you begin to add your fish to your aquarium, be sure the fish you have chosen can live in the same range of temperature.
#4. Best Small Aquarium Heater
One of the best small aquarium heaters is the Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm Heater. Only 1/3 of an inch thick, the Neo-Therm does the job without taking up a lot of space in your aquarium. Bright LED lights display both the set temperature and the water temperature so that you have quick access to the information you need to provide a stable environment for your fish community.
Located in South Carolina, Cobalt Aquatics was established in 2011 by three hardcore fish enthusiasts with a combined 60 years of experience in the Aquatic Industry. From a humble beginning of a line of probiotic flake fish foods, Cobalt Aquatics now provides hundreds of high-quality aquarium products all over the world.
#5. Best 50-Watt Aquarium Heater
The Aqueon Pro Adjustable Heater is one of the best 50-watt aquarium heaters on the market. One of the main worries with heated aquariums is knowing if the heater is actually working. If it stops working without your knowledge, the water temperature could quickly become too cold for your fish.
With the Aqueon Pro, that worry is eliminated. There is always a monitor light that tells you what the heater is doing – red when heating, green when the correct temperature has been reached. If you do not see a light, you immediately know that your heater is not working.
#6. Best 300-Watt Aquarium Heater
The Fluval E 300-watt Electronic Heater features dual temperature sensors for real-time accurate readings, making it one of the best 300-Watt aquarium heaters available. The Fluval E 300-watt heater will provide adequate heat for aquariums of up to 100 gallons.
Fluval is a brand of Hagen, Inc. For over 30 years, Fluval has been one of the world leaders for providing quality products for aquariums. Their wide range of aquatic products include aquariums, heaters, and filtering systems. Fluval strives to provide reliable, efficient, and simple-to-use products for the beginner as well as experienced fish enthusiasts.
#7. Best Aquarium Heater for 5-Gallon Tank
The fully submersible Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater is one of the best aquarium heaters for a 5-gallon tank. Whether you have a freshwater or saltwater aquarium, the Eheim Jager will provide your tropical fish with the healthiest environment with temperature accuracy to within 0.5 degrees Celsius. Temperature adjusts from 64 degrees to 93 degrees Fahrenheit (18-34 degrees Celsius).
Eheim was founded in 1949 for production and repair of technical toys. During the 60s, they introduced the world’s first aquarium suction filter. Today, Eheim, MP, and Jager have combined as Eheim Aquatics Group, one of the world’s largest suppliers of quality and innovative aquarium products.
What to Consider When Choosing an Aquarium Heater
Along with the type of fish that will live in the aquarium, there are few other considerations when choosing the best aquarium water heater.
The size of the heater is rated in watts. The most common method of determining the size of your aquarium heater is the rule of thumb that you need five watts per gallon of water. Thus, a 20-gallon tank would need a 100-watt heater. You can determine the size heater you need using this method or you can use the manufacturer’s recommendation that indicates the size tank a specific heater is for.
Some aquarium heaters are equipped with safety features. An important safety feature is an alarm that sounds when the water level drops below the heater. For aquarium heaters to work properly, the heating element must always be submersed in water. Some have an alarm that sounds if the heater becomes stuck in the “on” position. This feature is important for the safety of the fish because it alerts you to the problem before the water gets to hot.
Though non-adjustable heaters work well, adjustable heaters allow you to better control the water temperature in your tank. Adjustable heaters allow you to set the heater to the temperature you desire rather than constantly checking the temperature of the water. Adjustable aquarium heaters are often more expensive than non-adjustable, so price may play a role in which you choose.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced fish aquarium enthusiast, the most important thing is to provide a stable, healthy environment for your fish community. Once your aquarium is set up and ready for your fish, there are several things that will help you maintain the perfect environment for your fish community. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) offers these helpful tips for keeping your aquarium healthy for your fish and your family.
First and foremost – ALWAYS wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before AND after feeding your fish, handling your fish, or cleaning your aquarium.
Choosing Your Fish
Choosing your fish is one of the most important aspects of setting up your aquarium. Here are some tips:
- Research to find out what types of fish can live together and what types can’t. For instance, most fish live exclusively in either saltwater or freshwater. Also, some types of fish are more aggressive than others and do not live well together.
- The standard for deciding how many fish to have in your aquarium is 1 inch of fish per gallon of water. It is vital that fish have enough room to move.
- When selecting fish at the pet store, be sure to select active fish. Stay away from aquariums that have a high number of dead fish in the tank.
- Once you choose your fish and bring them home, it is vital to acclimate the fish to the temperature of your tank. Do not simply add them to the tank because this may be too much of a shock to their system. Place the bag with your fish on top of the water in the tank and let it float on the surface for about 30 minutes before releasing them.
Maintaining Your Aquarium
- Thoroughly wash hands before and after performing maintenance tasks to your aquarium. This protects yourself from germs that can be spread by fish and protects your fish from germs that can be spread by you.
- Wear gloves if you have cuts or open wounds on you hand. Also, wear gloves for handling spiny fish or rough gravel to protect your hands from injury.
- Do NOT dump aquarium water or clean your aquarium in the kitchen sink. If you use your bathtub, be sure to clean it thoroughly afterwards with a commercial disinfectant.
Monitor Fish’s Health
- Look for signs of illness daily. These signs can include lack of appetite, abnormal swimming, swelling, or the appearance of red, brown, or white splotches.
- Immediately remove a fish that shows any symptoms of illness and place in a different tank or bowl.
- Immediately remove any dead fish.