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. So 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.
The practice of temperature control is vital for a healthy and thriving fish community. Therefore, you will need a tank thermometer and heater. One of the best types of tank thermometers is a stick-on thermometer. As you can guess from the name, it sticks to the side of your tank and allows you to see the temperature at a glance.
Table of Contents
- Comparisons of 10 Best Aquarium Heaters in 2020
- Top 10 Best Aquarium Heater Reviews in 2020
- 1. Hygger Temp Controller Aquarium Heater
- 2. Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater
- 3. Cobalt Aquatics 31000 Neo-Therm Heater
- 4. ViaAqua Quartz Glass Submersible Heater
- 5. Penn Plax Submersible Aquarium Heater
- 6. Aqueon Pro Submersible Heater Best for Aquarium
- 7. Orlushy Fish Tank Submersible Water Heater
- 8. Hygger Submersible Aquarium Heater
- 9. Fluval E Advanced Electronic Heater
- 10. Marineland Visi-Therm Submersible Aquarium Heater
- Types of Aquarium Heaters
- What to Consider When Choosing the Best Aquarium Heater
- Final Thoughts
- Relevant Resources
Comparisons of 10 Best Aquarium Heaters in 2020
|Hygger Aquarium Heater||Check Price|
|Eheim Jager Aquarium Heater||Check Price|
|Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm Heater||Check Price|
|ViaAqua Submersible Heater||Check Price|
|Penn Plax Aquarium Heater||Check Price|
|Aqueon Pro Submersible Heater||Check Price|
|Orlushy Aquarium Heater||Check Price|
|Hygger Aquarium Heater||Check Price|
|FLUVAL E Electronic Heater||Check Price|
|Marineland Visi-Therm Heater||Check Price|
Top 10 Best Aquarium Heater Reviews in 2020
1. Hygger Temp Controller Aquarium Heater
Sleek and modern looking water heater that is very durable and quite however it still comes with a reliable heating element as well as the clear LCD display for easy data reading plus this model offers additional reading such was water pressure and humidity.
Moreover the electronic control unit will beep to alert you if the water temperature will rise or fall as it will ring out in case of any changes in humidity and pressure too. Customers who have purchased this water heater have reported it to be very useful especially if you want a water heater that will basically work on its own without requiring you to set the temperature daily.
You can use this water heater for any type of aquarium including saltwater or freshwater however ensure that you do not use it in fish tanks that are bigger than 120 gallons because otherwise it might not work as required due to overloading and in the end you will end up with patches of cold water in the fish tank.
- One of the best models of water heater from this manufacturer
- Comes with suction cups for easy hanging
- 2-year warranty from the manufacturer
- Lack of customer support
- Available in one size and design only
2. Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater
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.
- Thermo Safety Control automatically shuts heater off when water level falls
- TruTemp technology continuously recalibrates the heater to precisely regulate the temperature of your aquarium.
- Shock-resistant, shatter-proof glass case keeps the heating element protected.
- On/Off indicator light allows you to check the status of your heater at a glance
- Includes an extra long power cord for various aquarium setups
- Some customers felt it was too large for a 5-gallon tank
3. Cobalt Aquatics 31000 Neo-Therm 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.
- One-touch temperature adjustment
- Temperature range from 66 to 96 degrees Fahrenheit
- Extremely small – takes up very little room in your aquarium
- Suitable for freshwater or saltwater tanks
- Automatic shutoff to prevent the heater from overheating
- Electronic thermostat is accurate to 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit
- Some consumers had trouble with the suction cups holding the heater in place
4. ViaAqua Quartz Glass Submersible Heater
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. Moreover, 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.
- Quartz glass construction is resistant to breaks
- Suitable for saltwater and freshwater tanks
- Visible temperature setting allows you to see the temperature setting at a glance
- Ceramic heater core evenly disperses heat
- Indicator light lets you know when the heater is heating and when it is off
- Some consumers state the life expectancy of the heater is only around 2 years
5. Penn Plax Submersible Aquarium Heater
The best aquarium 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.
- Fully submersible, the heater can be placed vertically or horizontally in your aquarium.
- Easy to program if the preset temperature is not what you want.
- 2 suction cups provide stability for the heater inside your tank.
- Suitable for both freshwater and saltwater tanks.
- Heavy duty coils encased in shock-resistant glass offers durability and even heating
- The most common complaint about this heater is that the cord is too short.
6. Aqueon Pro Submersible Heater Best for Aquarium
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 best aquarium heater is not working.
- Automatic shutoff protects the coil if the heater is taken out of the water or the water level gets too low.
- Aluminum core surrounded by shatterproof plastic protects the heater from damage and evenly distributes heat.
- Features a large control knob for easy temperature adjustment.
- Can be placed vertically or horizontally in your tank
- Temperature setting ranges from 68 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Larger than some comparable brands, so takes up more space in the aquarium
7. Orlushy Fish Tank Submersible Water Heater
Moreover it comes with an adjustable knob thermostat as well as 4 suction cups that you can use in order to fix the water heater in the aquarium and ensure it does not fall during use.
However this water heater will be suitable only for fish tanks up to 80 gallons of water if you plan on heating the water to average recommended temperature.
- Great water heater that is suitable for freshwater and saltwater fish tanks up to 80 gallon of water
- Comes with suction cups that you can use to fix the water heater inside the fish tank
- Adjustable knob thermostat is included in the packaging box as well as a 6 ft. cable
- Customers have reported that after some time the knob tends to stop working
- No warranty from the manufacturer or customer service
8. Hygger Submersible Aquarium Heater
Another great water heater that has been designed to be used for medium to large fish tanks regardless of freshwater or saltwater plus this water heater comes with an electronic control thermostat that has been very easy to use and set the needed temperature.
Moreover it comes with an external LED digital display that can be used to quickly obtain all the necessary information such as the water temperature and humidity level. The electronic control unit is backlighted for easy use even during the night without light.
Furthermore this model of water heater comes with suction cups as well as a quarter glass tube that will protect the heating element from getting damaged inside. Overall, customers have reported loving this model as it offers all the required basic features of a standard water heated and even more as in case with the LED display unit and humidity reading.
- Durable water heater for medium to large fish tanks
- Suitable for freshwater and saltwater aquariums
- Comes with an LED backed control unit for quick and easy access
- Expensive compared to other similar models
- Cannot be left on for more than 30 days straight
9. Fluval E Advanced Electronic 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 hob filtering systems. Fluval strives to provide reliable, efficient, and simple-to-use products for the beginner as well as experienced fish enthusiasts.
- Digital microprocessor monitoring system has 2 sensors and displays the temperature in your aquarium in real time, so you always know the water temperature.
- Includes a fish guard to protect the fish in your tank.
- Easy-to-use adjustment lever allows you to easily change the temperature setting
- Color-coded temperature screens alert you to rapid changes in the temperature – blue is below set temperature; green is at the desired temperature; red is above set temperature
- Slim profile when mounted with the brackets
- Adjustment lever is sometimes difficult to move
10. Marineland Visi-Therm Submersible Aquarium Heater
One of the best saltwater aquarium heaters on the market is the Marineland Visi-Therm Heater. Featuring an adjustable temperature dial, the Visi-Therm heater provides safe and stable water temperatures for your aquarium. The Marineland Visi-Therm 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.
- Dual high-visibility temperature display – side view and top view provide two views of the temperature.
- Temperature dial adjusts the temperature 1 degree with each click.
- Heater automatically turns off when the temperature rises above the pre-set temperature and turns back on once it goes below the pre-set temperature.
- Heating element is designed for remarkable heat transfer and extended durability, featuring a flat mesh heating element with a mica core.
- Secure Mounting – bracket attaches securely to the glass of your tank and allows temperature display to be seen from several angles.
- Available in a variety of sizes
- Dials are difficult to move without removing from the water.
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.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best 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. Also, 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.
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.
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.