Top Pick: Eheim JagerCheck Latest Price →
Why We Chose It:
- Precise temperature.
- Fully submersible.
- Automatically turns off on low water level.
- Shock-resistant glass.
- Shatter-proof glass.
- 300 watts.
Curating a thriving aquarium for your fish is quite different from simply having a fishbowl. You’ll need to keep track of a number of factors, ranging from the acidity of the water to the specific elements that you keep in the fish tank. One of the most important factors that you will have to consider is water temperature, something that you really won’t be able to regulate without special equipment. An aquarium heater is definitely one of the essential pet gadgets (similarly to electric dog fences for dogs). As such, a good aquarium heater has become a must-have device for many aquarium owners to keep their fish happy.
If you know that you need an aquarium heater to keep your tank heated to the proper temperature, it makes sense that you would be on the lookout for the best-quality aquarium heater. We’ve done the research for you, both by tracking down where you can buy some of the best aquarium heaters out there and by reviewing each product to figure out which heaters are going to be the best fits for different types of consumers. If you’re in the market for the best aquarium heater for your fish tank, we will help you find what you need.
Best Aquarium Heaters In 2021
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We have found a number of great aquarium heaters, but each of them has features that make them stand out from the pack. It’s always best to be able to compare the major features of each leading brand, both so you can know what to expect from a great heater and so that you can figure out exactly what you need. Below are some of the best aquarium heaters that you can find for sale today.
Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater
- Fully submersible aquarium heater installed vertically or horizontally via suction cups
- Turns itself off if the water level goes too low
- Shock resistant and shatterproof
- Made for freshwater and saltwater
One of the most important features for which you can look when you’re searching for a new fully submersible aquarium heater is the level of safety that the device provides for the fish in your tank. Introducing any foreign object into the fish tank is always a risky proposition and it should be your goal as an aquarium owner to ensure that objects like aquarium heaters are going to end up doing more good for the fish than harm. Fortunately, this aquarium heater looks and feels like it has been designed with the safety of consumer aquariums in mind without sacrificing any of the utility of temperature control that makes for a good heater.
It is the safety features that tend to stand out when looking at this aquarium heater. Easy to install in your tank, this heater is fully submersible and there shouldn’t ever be a time when it can be easily broken either by the fish in your tank or by human intervention. If it does manage to fall, the unit is both shock and shatterproof – both engineering functions that will allow the heater to keep working without any chance of it causing danger to the fish in your aquarium. The unit even turns itself off if the water level gets too low, allowing you to keep the heater on without having to worry about fire hazards.
This heater is quite safe but it also embraces most of the other features that make a good aquarium heater. It can easily work in both salt and freshwater, making it a good fit for regulating the temperature in virtually any reasonably-sized aquarium out there. The heater also features an easy-to-read on/off indicator light so that you know when it is working and even recalibrates itself to ensure that the water temperature in your tank stays consistent. This is a solid piece of work with which any aquarium owner should feel comfortable, which is why we’ve chosen the Eheim Jager as today’s best aquarium heater
Fluval M Submersible Heater
- Reflective surface blends into the background
- Easy to adjust the water temperature
- Made for fresh and saltwater, this heater comes with a 3-year warranty
- Easy to install using suction cups
When you add a new element to your aquarium, you always need to think about how that element is going to impact the balance in the biosphere. Though there are some elements like heaters that are certainly necessary for the operation of your aquarium, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take a moment to ensure that the device won’t upset the balance in the aquarium. This particular aquarium heater goes a long way towards keeping your environment safe while controlling the temperature and comfortable by putting in a little extra work to keep it from interrupting the daily activities of the fish in your tank.
One of the best features of this aquarium heater is that it is designed to blend in with your fish tank. This means that it’s going to be less attractive to your fish and less of a potential nuisance, reducing the stress for the animals in your tank and making it easier for the device to control the temperature without being poked at or interrupted. The unit is even designed to be easy to install so the interruptions for the life of the fish in your aquarium will be minimal from the moment that you first introduce the device to the tank to heat the water.
It’s also best to note that most aquarium owners will have a fairly easy time interacting with this product when they’re attempting to set the temperature. While most aquarium heaters don’t exactly require a degree in marine engineering to work with, this unit feels even easier to use than most. Again, this is a feature that will ultimately help anything that lives in your aquarium, as it becomes easier to ensure that the heater is properly installed and that you have the temperature set to the right range. If you’re looking for something that is minimally invasive, this might be the best fit for you.
Orlushy Mini Aquarium Heater
- Temperature range of 65-93 degrees
- LED display and external heater temperature control
- Designed to be fully submersible, attaches with suction cups
- Works in fresh and saltwater
While having the best aquarium heater should be the goal of every aquarium owner, the truth is that actually interacting with the device as you set the desired temperature can be a little more difficult than most might like. It’s not that any heaters require a degree in engineering to operate, it’s just that they tend to keep some of the most important bits of the device in the water. If you’d like to continue to use your aquarium heater without worrying about getting your hands wet when you need to make adjust the temperature, you’ll definitely want to take a look at this device.
Though the heater itself is designed to be submersible, this unit stands out by putting all of the temperature controls outside of the water. This makes it much easier to make changes to the desired temperature as necessary, as you’ll never need to remove the device from inside the tank in order to change the temperature. The unit even has an LED display that will help you keep an eye on the temperature, making it easier than ever for aquarium owners to figure out exactly how well their heaters are running using the external heater temperature controller. While not quite as nice as an LCD display, this is better than nothing. If you’re looking for something that’s just easy to use, this might be the best heater for you.
With that said, this unit is also quite functional. It works in both fresh and saltwater, is designed not to shatter when dropped, and has a twenty-eight-degree temperature range. This is a perfect aquarium heater for those who are looking for a device that sits at the junction of usability and functionality.
ViaAqua 300-Watt Quartz Glass Submersible Heater with Built-in Thermostat
- Made of durable quartz glass
- Fully submersible heater
- Easily visible temperature setting
- Can be used in fresh or saltwater
Durability matters when it comes to different types of aquarium heaters. Though there’s not a single heater on this list that is going to break easily, some of them do last longer than others. This factor is largely dependent on how the submersible heaters are engineered and how they are constructed, so those who really care about durability are generally tasked with finding a device that puts that feature as the main concern. If you want an aquarium heater that is really going to last, you should take some time to look at this unit from ViaAqua.
ViaAqua’s aquarium heater is incredibly durable. This not only means that it’s going to stand up to being dropped or even falling off the side of your tank, but that it’s going to deal with normal wear and tear on a level that’s hard to match. More durable submersible aquarium heaters are not only safer for the aquatic life in your aquarium, but they are also easy to hide and tend to have longer functional lives than most of the other heaters on the market.
You will definitely appreciate this aquarium heater lasting, as it does function of producing the desired temperature quite well. Whether you need something for fresh or saltwater, this unit can keep the temperature in the aquarium steady. The operating temperature of the unit is also quite easy to read, so you’ll always know if it is functioning as intended and when the desired temperature is reached. This is one fish tank heater that’s definitely going to ensure that your aquarium is kept precisely as warm as it needs to be – which is of particular importance for tropical fish.
Cobalt Aquatics Flat Neo-Therm Heater with Adjustable Thermostat
- Adjustable between 66-96 degrees with one-touch control system
- LED display for both real and set temperature
- Incredibly well-engineered for safety, this heater comes with a 3-year warranty
- Reversible brackets and flat design
There really is something to be said for making sure that your aquarium heater is easy to use. While you’re absolutely right if your primary goal in choosing an aquarium heater is mostly focused on how safe it will be for the aquatic life in your aquarium, it’s also important to make sure that you’re going to be able to use that fish tank heater correctly. This is why it is nice to have a unit like the Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm, which goes a long way towards improving the user experience for its best-quality aquarium heater.
It’s hard to overstate just how easy this aquarium heater is to use when controlling the temperature inside the tank compared to some older models. It has a thirty-degree temperature range that is easy to set with a one-touch system, which means less time spent trying to figure out exactly how to alter the temperature in the aquarium. The unit even displays both the real and set temperature of the tank in an easy-to-set and easy-to-read LED system, allowing you to see how well your aquarium heater is working and whether you’ll need to make any adjustments to the temperature setting. While an LCD display would be nice, the display included on this unit still makes it easy to operate. The flat design even makes it easier to install in your tank, minimizing the amount of work you’ll need to do with the Neo-Therm heater.
Though the user experience is definitely improved here, the unit does not cut any corners when it comes to safety. You do not have to worry about it shattering or burning out in the tank, allowing you to rest a little easier knowing that your aquatic creatures are safe while the heater is working. The unit really is designed to ensure that it will keep working in a way that not only keeps your aquarium at the proper temperature but that will do so without any potentially harmful malfunctions.
Mylivell Aquarium Heater Submersible Auto Thermostat
- High-quality engineering for safe operation
- Adjustable temperature from 65-93 degrees
- Fully submersible
- Can be used in fresh and saltwater
Quality is one of the operative words when it comes to finding a good aquarium heater. It’s not enough to have a product that works; instead, you must have a product that works well and that will not cause any harm to the creatures who live in your aquarium. While all of the aquarium heaters that are discussed here are certainly safe for use, the dedication to safety in this unit really does go above and beyond. If your primary goal is to get a heater that’s going to remain safe throughout its operational life, you’ll want to look at this device.
The best engineering is always the key to having a better aquarium heater. This heater is designed to ensure that it won’t break, short out, or shatter while in use – three factors that can wreak havoc on an aquarium and endanger anything that lives in the water. It also has an automatic shut-off feature when problems do arise. Taking the extra time to ensure that the unit won’t succumb to some of the most common causes of failure was a good way to ensure that consumers could continue to feel comfortable when using this type of heater for your tank and that the creatures in the aquarium could stay comfortable without the potential of harm.
In addition to being safe, this heater is also fairly easy to use. This electronic thermostat works in both salt and freshwater, is fully submersible, and has a fairly wide range of temperatures at which it can be set. It has all of the basic functions that most aquarium owners want from their heaters without adding much else, giving owners access to a simple but effective heating unit. The manufacturer even backs it with a 3-year warranty. If you are looking for an aquarium heater that will be not only effective but safe, you’ll definitely want to look at this heater.
Frequently Asked Questions
What wattage heater do I need for my aquarium?
The amount of wattage you need from your heater is going to vary depending on the size of your tank. The general rule is that you’re going to need at least three watts per gallon of water that you have in your aquarium, though some would argue that it’s best to have as many as five watts of power. If you have a twenty-gallon aquarium, then, you’re going to need a heater with a wattage of somewhere between sixty and one hundred watts.
Can aquarium heaters burn fish?
Yes, it is possible for an aquarium heater to burn a fish. It doesn’t happen very often, but it can occur if the fish somehow gets trapped between the heating element and the glass of the aquarium. That’s why there are now so many heating elements that have a flat design so that it’s harder for fish to get stuck in a way that will lead to burns. Even with a typical design, though, it’s relatively rare to see fish get hurt by these devices.
How long do aquarium heaters last?
This is another question that’s going to vary based on a lot of elements, not least of which is the type of aquarium heater that you’ve chosen to buy. There an awful lot of aquarium enthusiasts who recommend replacing heaters once a year, but the truth is that many heaters can last far longer than that. It’s best to keep track of the temperature in your tank to figure out if your heater is still working properly. If the water isn’t heating up as it should, there’s a good chance that your heater is starting to die.
Do fish tank heaters raise my electric bill?
Yes, fish tank heaters are going to raise your electric bill. This is something that’s going to vary greatly based not only on the size of your aquarium but also on the room in which the aquarium is kept. The harder the heater works to keep the water at the recommended temperature, the more energy it will draw, and the more that it’s going to cost you in terms of energy usage. An average-sized heater is going to cost you somewhere around seventy-five cents a day, though that number will vary depending on your set-up.
Where should a heater be placed in an aquarium?
It’s generally best to place your heater where it’s going to do the most work with the least effort. This usually means placing it near where aquarium water is already moving so that the existing functions of your aquarium can help to move the warm water rapidly. Placing the heater near a filter outlet is usually best, as this will help to keep the warmer water moving and allow your heater to use less energy in order to accomplish its task.
Aquarium Heater Buying Guide
One of the most important things to remember when buying an aquarium heater is that you’re looking for something that’s going to work best with your unique aquarium set-up. This means that the units that some people praise really aren’t going to be as effective for you while the devices that some ignore might be a better fit. If you’re shopping for the best aquarium heater, you’ll definitely want to start by thinking about the specific factors discussed below.
This is the big one for most aquarium owners. You need a certain amount of wattage in order to ensure that your aquarium heater is able to keep the water in your aquarium warm and going too low on this factor will lead to problems for your aquatic pets – especially tropical fish. The general rule is that you want to have somewhere between three and 5 watts per gallon of water that’s in your tank. If you have a five-gallon tank, then, you’re going to look for a heater that runs anywhere between fifteen and twenty-five watts in order to get what you need.
Temperature and Water Type
Two other factors to keep in mind are the temperature range of the device and the water type in which it is used. Take a moment to look at the preferred living temperatures for the creatures that you are going to keep in your aquarium and then check that temperature against the temperature at which the heater operates. Likewise, you’ll want to check the back of the heater box to make sure that the unit can function regardless of whether your aquarium is fresh water or salt water aquarium. If your heating element can’t function in the type of water you have, it’s not worth buying.
How are you going to control the heater in your aquarium? Does it have a one-touch control system? Are you going to have to remove the device every time you want to adjust the temperature? If not, where will the controls be located? Will you be able to check a read-out or indicator light to see if it is functioning, or will you have to take the temperature manually? These are all questions that you need to ask yourself before you start shopping, as failure to do so can lead to a particularly unpleasant kind of user experience.
Finally, look at how well the heater is going to stand up to bumps and drops. While there’s no such thing as an invincible heater, you do definitely want to make sure that it’s not going to break when bumping up against the side of your tank. Likewise, you need to make sure that the heating element won’t shatter if it does manage to fall in your tank, as this could lead to serious problems in your tank’s ecosystem. Durability is an important factor that often gets overlooked, but it a factor towards which you should pay considerable attention. If durability is of particular importance, you may want to consider an in-line heater as an alternative. While in-line heater systems are far more complex, they do have their advantages in some situations.