The 5 Best Aquarium Heaters

Aquarium Nov 6, 2019
Written by | Updated Jul 24, 2021
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best aquarium heater

The 5 Best Aquarium Heaters

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Keeping an aquarium is an exciting challenge completely different from keeping any other kind of pet. You fish will live in a captive underwater environment for their entire lives, so it is up to you to ensure that the conditions in your tank meet their needs. One of the most important aspects of caring for aquarium fish is maintaining a staple tank temperature and, for that, you need an aquarium heater.

In this article, we’ll talk about heating your aquarium and provide some tips for choosing the best aquarium heaters. You’ll also see our top 5 picks for the best aquarium heaters.

At a Glance: Best Aquarium Heaters To Buy

We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product. You’ll also find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

Compare Best Aquarium Heaters

Overall Best
Cobalt Aquatics Flat Neo-Therm Heater

1. Cobalt Aquatics Flat Neo-Therm Heater

Runner Up
Hygger Submersible Aquarium Heater

2. Hygger Submersible Aquarium Heater

Best Durable
Aqueon Glass Adjustable Aquarium Heater

3. Aqueon Glass Adjustable Aquarium Heater

Premium Choice
Eheim Jager Thermostat Aquarium Heater

4. Eheim Jager Thermostat Aquarium Heater

Best Budget
Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater with Thermostat

5. Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater with Thermostat

Brand
Cobalt Aquatics
Brand
Hygger
Brand
Aqueon
Brand
EHEIM
Brand
Tetra
Watts/Rating
25w to 200w (6 to 55 gallons)
Watts/Rating
100 to 300 watt (10 to 60 gallon)
Watts/Rating
50w to 300 w (5 to 90 gallons)
Watts/Rating
100 watts (26 to 40 gallons)
Watts/Rating
50w or 100w (2 to 30 gallons)
Features
Flat-back design, fully submersible, shatterproof
Features
Submersible, heat-resistant, adjustable
Features
Submersible, shatter-resistant, compact
Features
Auto-shutoff, shock-resistant, shatterproof
Features
Fully submersible, built-in thermostat

What To Look For In Aquarium Heaters?

There are two primary types of aquarium heater – hanging heaters and submersible heaters. The main difference is that a hanging heater attaches to the back or side of your aquarium using a suction cup while a submersible heater is designed to be completely under the water. Either model is perfectly fine, it just depends where you want to place the heater for the greatest benefit to your fish.

Here are some important things to look for in a heater for an aquarium:

  • Size and rating. Aquarium heaters come in a variety of different sizes and they are rated for tanks of different capacity – choose one appropriate for your tank size.
  • Programmable. Some aquarium heaters are programmed to maintain a specific temperature while others are adjustable, so consider what you want before you start shopping.
  • Safety features. There are two primary safety features to look for in an aquarium heater. One is an automatic shutoff that prevents the heater from running when it is out of the water. The other is a thick, shatterproof housing to protect your fish.
  • Price. You don’t want to shop for aquarium equipment by price alone, but it can certainly be a factor in making your decision. You want to strike the right balance between quality and affordability.

Our Top Picks For The Best Aquarium Heaters

Now that you have a better idea what to look for in an aquarium heater, it’s time to start shopping! Keep reading to see our top 5 picks for the best aquarium heaters.

Overall Best
1.

Cobalt Aquatics Flat Neo-Therm Heater

Product Info

  • Brand: Cobalt Aquatics
  • Watts/Rating: 25w to 200w (6 to 55 gallons)
  • Features: Flat-back design, fully submersible, shatterproof
Pros
  • Available in six sizes ranging from 25w to 200w
  • Flat-back design and fully submersible
  • Temperature range 66°F to 96°F, 0.5°F accuracy
Cons
  • Somewhat expensive compared to other models
  • Suction cups may not hold very long
When it comes to the wellbeing of your aquarium fish, you shouldn’t gamble. If you’re looking for a high-quality and reliable aquarium heater you can count on, consider the Cobalt Aquatics Flat Neo-Therm Heater.

This heater comes in six different sizes ranging from 25 watts to 200 watts, able to accommodate tanks as small as 6 gallons and as large as 55 gallons. It features a flat-back design for easy installation in your tank and it is fully submersible with a shatterproof housing. You can adjust the temperature between 66°F and 96°F with a single touch and the heater will keep to within 0.5°F.
Runner Up
2.

Hygger Submersible Aquarium Heater

Product Info

  • Brand: Hygger
  • Watts/Rating: 100 to 300 watt (10 to 60 gallon)
  • Features: Submersible, heat-resistant, adjustable
Pros
  • Available in three sizes 100w to 300w
  • Fully submersible with 9 temperature settings
  • Heat-proof milky quartz is shatterproof
Cons
  • Vertical installation not recommended, should be horizontal
  • LED indicator light may be too bright for some
If you like the idea of an adjustable aquarium heater that is also fully submersible, but the previous model is a bit too expensive, consider the Hygger Submersible Aquarium Heater. This heater comes in three sizes ranging from 100 watts to 300 watts, rated for 10 to 60 gallons. It features a fully submersible but compact design that is adjustable to nine different temperatures between 75 and 91, simply rotate the dial to choose the right temperature. It is made from heat-resistant milky quartz which is shatter-resistant, and it is affordably priced under $40 for all three models.
Best Durable
3.

Aqueon Glass Adjustable Aquarium Heater

Product Info

  • Brand: Aqueon
  • Watts/Rating: 50w to 300 w (5 to 90 gallons)
  • Features: Submersible, shatter-resistant, compact
Pros
  • Compact design available in five sizes
  • Shatter-resistant quartz glass construction
  • Automatic safety shutoff feature
Cons
  • May not be recommended for saltwater tanks
If you’re in the market for something compact and easy to use that won’t break the bank, consider the Aqueon Adjustable 50 Watt Aquarium Heater. This aquarium heater comes in five different sizes ranging from 50 watts to 300 watts, all of which are priced under $35. The heater is fully submersible with a shatter-resistant quartz glass construction and automatic safety shut-off.
Premium Choice
4.

Eheim Jager Thermostat Aquarium Heater

Product Info

  • Brand: EHEIM
  • Watts/Rating: 100 watts (26 to 40 gallons)
  • Features: Auto-shutoff, shock-resistant, shatterproof
Pros
  • Fully submersible with TruTemp recalibration
  • Made of shock-resistant and shatterproof glass
  • Compact design and affordable pricing
Cons
  • May be too long to install horizontally with ease
  • Calibration process can take a few days
The EHEIM Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater is another great option if you’re looking for something affordable and reliable. It is a fully submersible heater with thermo safety controls to protect it against running dry. It also features TruTemp technology to recalibrate the heater for precise temperature regulation and it is made from shock-resistant and shatter-proof glass.
Best Budget
5.

Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater with Thermostat

Product Info

  • Brand: Tetra
  • Watts/Rating: 50w or 100w (2 to 30 gallons)
  • Features: Fully submersible, built-in thermostat
Pros
  • Affordably priced and fully automatic
  • Available in two sizes 50w and 100w
  • Can be installed vertically or horizontally
Cons
  • Only available in two sizes (50 and 100 watts)
  • Not adjustable, heats to a single temperature
If you’re looking for something you can set and forget, the Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater is a great option. This model comes in two sizes for moderately sized tanks and automatically heats the water to 78. It is fully submersible as well and can be installed horizontally or vertically.

Tips For Heating An Aquarium

In addition to choosing the right heater for your aquarium, you also need to be mindful of things that could impact the tank temperature. Avoid putting your tank in the path of direct sunlight, for example, or anywhere near a door, window, or vent where it could be affected by drafts or air conditioning. If you live in a very warm and stable climate, you may not even need a heater!

Here are some simple tips for heating your aquarium:

  • Choose an aquarium heater that is rated for your size tank or larger – there is no harm in choosing a bigger heater than you need, but you definitely shouldn’t go smaller.
  • Read the directions for installation on the heater to double-check whether it can be fully submersed or if it needs to be kept partially above the water.
  • Research the type of fish you are keeping in your tank to determine the ideal temperature range for that species and set your aquarium heater accordingly.
  • Check your aquarium heater on a daily basis to make sure it is working – you should also install a thermometer to double-check the temperature.

Now that you understand what an aquarium heater can do and how various models are different, you’re ready to start shopping for the best heater for your particular aquarium. Consider what you’ve learned here and put that knowledge to use when making your decision.

Final Remarks

Once you’ve chosen your aquarium heater, the next step is to install it in your tank and use it. If you’ve chosen a submersible heater, you should consider placing it a few inches below the waterline or at the bottom of your tank for more even distribution of heat. If you chose a hanging heater, place it in the middle of the tank so it disperses heat throughout.

If you’re still not sure where to start in looking for an aquarium heater, try out one of the top 5 best aquarium heaters we’ve reviewed above. Good luck!

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Kate Barrington is avid pet lover and adoring owner of three cats and one dog, her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. She has been writing about pet care and pet products since 2010
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