The best aquarium heaters are essential for a wide variety of fish.
The vast majority of species have evolved in naturally heated waters to temperatures above room temperature.
This is true with both tropical freshwater and saltwater aquariums.
In order to simulate the natural environment of the fish, you need a heater that keeps the water at a constant temperature.
You also need it not to break or malfunction because if you go too long without heat, your fish will start to stress out and eventually die.
The good news is that there are plenty of great options on the market right now.
I’ve put together this list of the best aquarium heaters to help you get started searching for the right one for your tank.
Before I kick off this list, I want to give you my number one tip for choosing an aquarium heater: buy two!
If one goes out, you’ll be thankful you bought another one instead of having no backup plan!
Aquarium Heater Size Guide
To find the right heater for your tank, you need to decide on the correct wattage.
The basic rule of thumb is to use between 2.5 and 5 watts per gallon of actual water volume in the aquarium.
The higher the wattage, the quicker it can heat your tank.
For example, a 50-watt heater will be able to raise the temperature of a 10-gallon fish tank by 5 degrees Fahrenheit per hour.
So if you have a 20-gallon tank, you should aim for a heater with 100 watts or more.
If you have a 50-gallon tank, go for at least 250 watts.
If in doubt, always go with a higher wattage model – it’s better to have too much power than too little!
9 Aquarium Heater For Your Fish Tank
Compact Hygger Submersible Aquarium Heater
To start with, this is a submersible heater.
This means a lower chance of you boiling your fish as it is usually placed inside the tank and not outside.
This makes it harder to break accidentally, so this is a solid choice if you have kids or pets that might bump into or chew on the heater.
The only downside to submersible heaters is that they will take up room in your tank.
Keep this in mind while choosing your heater, as it might limit what size of fish you can keep in the aquarium.
The Hygger Submersible Aquarium Heater comes with a 1-year warranty and a 30-day refund policy.
Cobalt Aquatics Flat Neo-Therm Heater
Cobalt Aquatics Flat Neo-Therm Heater is excellent. It’s simple, compact, and easy to use.
It also has a great warranty that comes with it.
The temperature range of 66°F to 96°F makes it compatible with many different fish species.
And it looks great in your tank.
The biggest downside to this heater is the price. You could quickly get a cheaper heater for half the cost.
You will be paying for quality and reliability here, but that doesn’t mean you should throw caution to the wind when using it.
Test and check the heater regularly like you would with any other submersible heater.
Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater
The Eheim Jager is a solid aquarium heater, but it’s not the best option.
It comes with many of the standard features you would expect from the best brand names, but it lacks a few unique additions that some of the more expensive models have.
It can be an excellent buy for someone who doesn’t need one of these things for high-end saltwater fish and will be using it as a primary heater to keep their freshwater tank warm.
I like that this model is fully submersible and offers a thermometer so you can quickly check on your water temp at a glance.
It also has all of the safety features you would expect from a solid aquarium heater – though some competitors have added more than this one has.
I don’t like this model because there isn’t an indicator light to let you know when it’s on or off.
That may not seem like a big deal, but when you are dealing with safety issues in your tank, every little bit helps.
FREESEA Heater with LED Temperature Display
The FREESEA is one of the best aquarium heaters on our list, especially considering the price.
It has an excellent temperature range for its size and features a very cool LED display.
When coupled with aquarium light, this heater can enhance your fish tank to a new level.
It’s also straightforward and takes up very little room in your tank.
As a result, this is an excellent option for most people, especially if you have a smaller tank.
Fluval E200 Electronic Heater
The Fluval E200 Electronic Heater is a fully submersible, shatterproof aquarium heater designed for precise temperature control of your freshwater or saltwater fish tank.
The product features include:
An easy-to-use push-button interface with a large digital display that shows the current water temperature and lets you adjust the temp in one-degree increments from 66°F to 88°F (18.9°C to 31.1°C)
- A safety shutoff feature that turns the power off if the heater is exposed to air, so it cannot run dry
- An adjustable mounting bracket that lets you mount the heater on glass up to ½ inch (1.25 centimeters) thick
- A sturdy plastic body that’s more resistant than glass heaters to damage by curious fish and other tank inhabitants
This is an excellent aquarium heater. It’s easy to install and works flawlessly.
I have installed the 200-watt version of this heater in my 55 gallons tank, and it has maintained a perfect temperature of 77°F (25°C) for the last few months.
I also own the Fluval E100 Electronic Heater, designed for aquariums up to 100 gallons (380 liters).
But, when I wanted to set up a smaller tank, I chose the E200 because I had heard many good things about this heater.
Hygger 200W Digital Quartz Aquarium Heater
The control unit is where you set the temperature for your tank.
It works with temperatures between 72 and 94 degrees Fahrenheit (23 to 34 degrees Celsius).
In addition, the control unit has a temperature adjustment button that you can use to adjust the desired temperature up or down in 2-degree increments.
The control unit also has a power button, an indicator light that lets you know when the heater is on, and an indicator light that lets you know when the heater is heating.
Because of its three-part design, this heater is much more compact than most heaters.
Installation is also straightforward and doesn’t require any special tools.
Place the heating unit inside your tank and plug it into the controller.
The only part that might require extra work is attaching the temperature probe to your tank.
That can sometimes be challenging if you don’t have an excellent spot to suction cup it.
Overall, this is an excellent heater. The temperature probe and control unit is convenient.
The heater itself is made of high-quality components. There’s just one tiny issue: it’s not adjustable.
Fluval M200 Submersible Heater
The Fluval M200 is a 200-watt submersible heater with adjustable digital temperature control.
This makes it easy to get the exact temperature, then just set it and forget it.
The Fluval M200 also has a very slim profile and a modern look, so it shouldn’t detract from your tank’s appearance.
Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater
The Eheim Jager aquarium thermostat heater has a lot of great qualities, but the main thing that I think people will love about it is that it’s fully submersible.
I prefer a submersible heater because I’ve had a few glass heaters crack on me over the years.
So, having a glass tube that can be completely submerged in water gives me peace of mind.
I also like the large temperature display on the front of this heater.
It’s easy to see and read even when you’re standing far away from your tank — which is handy if you have a large tank.
However, the display is only suitable for seeing your tank’s temperature.
It doesn’t indicate whether or not it’s working correctly or if your tank needs to be recalibrated.
But I do have some significant issues with the size of this heater and how accurate it is at maintaining a specific temperature.
- Fully submersible;
- Easy to read dial.
- Large size makes it challenging to install in smaller tanks;
- The temperature dial is not always accurate.
HITOP Adjustable PTC Aquarium Heater
The PTC heater is a great all-around option for those who want a small, simple heater with temperature control.
Its quality is decent, and it uses modern technology to keep temperatures at a steady level.
But there are several issues with it.
First of all, I have to mention that installing this heater was pretty tricky.
You’re supposed to attach the suction cups to the heater guard by pressing a nub on the back of the cup through pre-drilled holes on the back of the guard.
This is pretty standard; many suction cups devices are like this, even several others on this list.
But, these were insanely difficult to push through.
I hope with this post, you were able to determine the right size of aquarium heater for your fish tank.
Once you’ve got the idea of the right size, select an aquarium heater out of the 9 options listed in this post.
That’s all for now.
If you need any help setting up your fish tank, feel free to reach us at [email protected]