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Review: Best Aquarium Heaters of 2021
Last updated: 13 Aug 2021
Proper aquarium heating is essential to the survival of your fishes. Unlike mammals, fishes cannot produce their own body heat and rely on the temperature of the water around them to regulate their body temperatures. The best Aquarium heaters in 2021 can help you maintain the right temperature year-round.
There are different sizes and types of aquarium heaters with various features and prices. It can be difficult to find the right product for your aquarium if you’re unfamiliar with aquarium heaters. That is why we gathered a few of the most promising products on the market and reviewed them. We also attached a helpful guide to better help you understand water heaters.
The Orlushy submersible water heater is a functional choice for all types of aquarium owners. It comes with excellent features like automatic temperature adjustment supplemented with a precise dial and a thermometer. It produces no harmful toxins while it works so it’s great for fresh and saltwater fish. There are various voltage options to choose from.
The Orlushy Submersible Aquarium heater is an excellent choice for beginner aquarium owners who are looking for something functional for their tanks. It works on fresh and saltwater tanks.
The FREESEA Submersible Aquarium heater has a ton of practical and helpful features. It comes with automatic temperature regulation, a broad temperature range, and a fully submersible body.
The FREESEA heater has a few features compared to other heaters on the market and performs remarkably well despite those limitations. It comes in different wattages and is excellent for fresh and saltwater tanks.
The Tetra HT submersible heater comes with an electric thermostat, fully adjustable heating, and a wide temperature range. You can also set up the Tetra in both horizontal and vertical orientation in your tank. Its small form factor guarantees that it will go unnoticed by the aquarium residents. The Tetra heater also comes with handy indicator lights that tell you when the heater is on and working and when it is off.
This great-performing heater has a small form factor and comes with a host of practical features that separates it from the other great heaters on the market.
It is easy to use and set up
It has a small form factor
It has a thermostat and automatic temperature regulation
The manufacturers don’t make models for bigger tanks
The VIVOSUN Aquarium Heater features precise temperature control that is reinforced with a proprietary intelligent IC chip that directly controls the heater temperature. The VIVOSUN uses a titanium pipe instead of ceramic that is more temperature, explosion, and damage resistant. On top of great temperature control, the VIVOSUN also features an external touch control for manual temperature adjustment and you can set it up horizontally or vertically in the tank of your choice. The heater is safe to use in marine aquariums, aquacultures, glass containers, and hydroponic systems.
The VIVOSUN heater is one of the best aquarium heaters you can invest in. It features precise temperature control, is made of titanium, and is truly flexible. It is the only heater you will ever need for your fish.
It is easy to use
It is more durable than ceramic submersible heaters
The Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat packs a few exciting features. Its outer body is made entirely of shock-resistant, shatterproof glass. It also features an on and off indicator for easy monitoring, automatic heat and water regulation. The Eheim is available in several wattage options for smaller and larger tanks.
The Eheim is a fully submersible sleek-looking aquarium heater with a great pedigree in the fish community. They’ve been making quality water heaters, filters, etc for decades now, and are long-lasting.
The Fluval M50 has a lot to offer Aquarium owners in the way of features. It has a reflective casing that mirrors the surrounding of the tank and hides the heater. It features a computer-calibrated thermostat that automatically adjusts the water temperature. You can also do this manually with a dial. The glass is also shock-resistant and made of ceramic, and it’s super easy to install.
The Fluval M50 is an excellent submersible aquarium heater for fresh and saltwater fishes. It comes with the latest technologies and features you’d expect from a modern heater, and it has a reflective glass casing that lets it blend into the fish’s environment.
The Bnzaq Aquarium heater is a remarkable choice for all types of fish lovers. It comes in different voltage models that scale up to match your in-house aquarium. It has a built-in temperature regulator and is fully adjustable. The heater has an automatic temperature system that monitors the temperature of the tank and ensures that it is always at the level your fishes need.
The Bnzaq water heater is an excellent choice for all sizes of fresh and saltwater aquariums. It comes with handy features like automatic heat regulation, an LED indicator, and environmental temperature imitation.
It comes with automatic temperature regulation
It is available in a ton of size options for different aquariums
It does not heat the water evenly if it’s not next to the pump
Aquarium heaters are necessary if you want your fishes to live long and healthy lives. Feeding and grooming them is not enough. You have to make an effort to recreate their natural habitats. It is where they thrive best, and an aquarium heater is integral to that.
Though aquarium heaters do nothing but heat aquarium water, choosing one can be a lot more complicated than most realize. You have to factor in the size, wattage, temperature limit, and so much more. In this guide, we'll be going over what features and factors you should consider when you're shopping for an aquarium heater.
What are the types of aquarium heaters?
There are 3 different types of aquarium heaters available on the market for sale. The heater you will choose will depend on the type of fish you keep, as well as your aquarium volume.
Hanging heaters are also known as immersible heaters. They have two components: the top and heating mechanism. The top is attached to the edge of the tank and the heating mechanism is lowered so that it can heat the water. The heating mechanism was a heating coil encased in a glass tube.
It is not the most efficient type of water heater. Most of the heat escapes through the top of the aquarium.
They are the most common types of heaters for small or new freshwater tanks, and are not adjustable or suited for salt and brackish water.
Submersible heaters are aquarium heaters that sit under the water. They are placed next to the sump so that the water temperature is regulated just as it pumps back into the aquarium. The heater is composed of a heating coil, encased in a solid ceramic, toughened plastic, or metal tube. They conserve more energy than immersible heaters and come with some type of thermostat-assisted heat-regulation system.
In-line heaters are fitted into the sump or filter of an aquarium and heat the water before it flows back into the tank itself. It is more expensive than immersible and submersibles, and are technically fitted outside the tank. It is an excellent choice for pet owners who have aggressive fishes who like to attack equipment.
The filter is typically made from hardened plastic and requires some technical know-how to set up by yourself.
Submersibles are the obvious choice if you have a small, medium-sized, or large tank. They give you the best bang for your buck. It performs better than the immersible heater and is cheaper than the In-line filter. You should consider submersibles before you look at any other type of heater.
What factors should you consider when choosing an aquarium heater?
There are a few important factors every aquarium owner should consider when they are choosing an aquarium heater.
The Size of your heater and wattage determines how much heat it can produce and regulate in a water tank. Smaller sized and lower wattage heaters are suited for small 5-15 gallon heaters, while larger and more power-hungry heaters are for larger aquariums. Most manufacturers offer three to six different sizes and wattage options for each of their water heaters and attach gallon/volume requirements. Check if the heater you’re interested in is suitable for your tank before purchasing it.
As a rule of thumb, most water heaters typically need 2.5 to 5 watts of power to heat and regulate a gallon of water. Smaller aquariums are exempted from this rule. Since they have a smaller body of water overall, they require more heat to regulate.
The price of aquarium heaters can vary tremendously from manufacturer to manufacturer. Added functionalities and features like touch bar temperature adjustment, and LEDs drive the production price up, and that will reflect in the upfront cost. The type of aquarium heater you’re using will also affect the cost. Finally, you also have to account for manufacturer bias. Manufacturers can set their prices as high or low as they want to.
Temperature regulation is arguably the most important feature an aquarium heater should have. They help you raise or lower the tank temperature to suit the desired specifications or temperatures you’ve set. The more advanced the regulation features of a heater is, the better it tends to be.
Most heaters only come with two layers of temperature control. The first one is an automatic regulator that starts and switches off the heater to maintain a predetermined temperature range.
The second is a plain old dial that you can use to manually raise or lower the temperature of the tank.
The heater you choose should at least feature one, if not both of those temperature control features.
The heater casing could be made of several materials- hardened plastic, glass, or titanium. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages, and that can affect the overall price and performance of the product. Plastic is explosion resistant, but manages extreme heat poorly. Glass is brittle, and Titanium is expensive.
What other factors should you consider?
Do you have some experience using a certain type, brand, or size of aquarium heater? Then you might be predisposed to choose similar products. You might also prefer a product because your pet likes it, or it better blends with the surrounding fauna.
Sentiment and past knowledge also play an essential role in the buying process. Choose products you are confident in.
Smaller is always better when you’re dealing with aquarium water heaters. Small heaters are easier to set up vertically or horizontally. They are also more difficult to spot. Aggressive fishes have a habit of attacking aquarium heaters and ruining them. A small heater might fly under their notice.
A few manufacturers go the extra mile with their products. Some heaters feature a glass camouflage that allows them to blend seamlessly into the aquarium environment if it's positioned beside a glass or plant. This is useful if you have aggressive fish in your aquarium.
Aquarium Heater FAQs
Where should I place my heater?
You should position your heater next to your filter inlet. It allows the water to be equally heated as it flows into the tank.
Do you need more than 1 Heater?
Yes. You can keep the second one as a backup in case the first fails. You can also use the heater to complement the first one during colder months.
Do I need an aquarium heater?
Yes, you need an aquarium heater in the long run. While freshwater fishes might do just fine without an aquarium heater in the summer, they might not survive the winter.
Growing up in a seaside town, Manuel gained an immediate appreciation for aquatic life. His current home features a massive aquarium, teeming with fish, algae, and other aquatic pets. He's volunteered his time to give advice on aquatic pets of all shapes and sizes.