How to Choose the Right Aquarium Heater?

There are a few things to consider when choosing an aquarium heater, such as the size of your tank, the climate you live in, and your budget.

Let’s dig into detail…

Size is probably the most crucial factor when choosing an aquarium heater. You’ll need to know the gallons of your tank so you can purchase a heater that is rated for that size. It is vital to get a heater that is the correct size for your tank because if it’s too small, it won’t be able to heat the water properly, and if it’s too big, it could overheat the water.

The climate you live in will also affect what type of aquarium heater you need. If you live in warmer weather, you won’t need as powerful of a heater as someone who lives in a colder climate.

Your budget is also something to consider when choosing an aquarium heater. Heaters can range in price from around $20 to over $200. It’s crucial to find a heater that fits your budget but also does an excellent job of heating your tank.

Some other things to keep in mind when choosing an aquarium heater are the warranty, the features, and the energy efficiency. Finding a heater with a good warranty is important if it breaks down within the first few years.

The features of the heater are also something to consider. Some heaters come with automatic shut-offs, thermostats, and timers. These features can be beneficial in keeping your tank at the correct temperature.

Finally, you’ll want to consider the energy efficiency of the aquarium heater. Heaters that are more energy efficient will cost more upfront but will save you money in the long run on your electric bill.

Now that you know some things to consider when choosing an aquarium heater, you can start shopping for the perfect one for your tank. There are various types and sizes of heaters available, so you should be able to find one that fits your needs perfectly.

So, what are you waiting for? If you’re looking for a great selection of right aquarium heater? Check out our selection of the 10 best right aquarium heater today!

Top 10 Best Selling List for Best Aquarium Heater

  1. Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater,300W Adjustable Fish Tahk Heater with 2 Suction Cups Free Thermometer Suitable for Marine Saltwater and Freshwater
  2. Fluval E300 Advanced Electronic Heater, 300-Watt Heater for Aquariums up to 100 Gal., A774
  3. HiTauing Aquarium Heater, 50W/100W/200W/300W/500W Submersible Fish Tank Heater with Over-Temperature Protection and Automatic Power-Off When Leaving Water for Saltwater and Freshwater
  4. MantaMaze 800W/1000W Upgraded Titanium Aquarium Heater – Submersible Fish Tank Heater for 50-265 Gallon with Over Heating Protection and Anti-Dry Burning – Suitable Freshwater and Saltwater
  5. Submersible Aquarium Heater, 800W/1200W fish tank heater, double tube heating, rapid heating and energy saving, LED digital temperature controller, suitable for sea water and fresh water(1200W)
  6. HITOP Aquarium PTC Heater with Controller: 200W Digital Heater for Fish Tank and Turtle Tank 30-90Gallon, with Protective Cover
  7. Marineland Precision Heater for Saltwater or Freshwater Aquariums
  8. hygger Fully Submersible 500 W Aquarium Heater with External Temperature Display Controller Upgraded Double Quartz Tubes Fish Tank Heater for 65-120 Gallon, Suitable for Marine and Freshwater
  9. hygger Updated Energy Saving Titanium Aquarium Heater Digital Submersible 800 Watt Tank Heater for 120-180 Gallon Auto Shut Off Overheat Protection
  10. hygger 800W Aquarium Heater, Submersible Fish Tank Water Heater with External Color LED Digital Temperature Controller, Fast Heating for 120-180 Gallon

Best Seller #1

Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater,300W Adjustable Fish Tahk Heater with 2 Suction Cups Free Thermometer Suitable for Marine Saltwater and Freshwater

  • ★300W aquarium heater is suitable for 40 to 55 gallons aquariums,Length – 11 inch,voltage 110-120V, power cord is 6ft, please choose the right wattage aquarium heater according to our size chart.
  • ★It shows an area to adjust the temperature. It’s not exactly accurate but it turns easy and can be adjusted at small intervals.
  • ★Explosion Proof: 2mm thickened quartz glass,can be used in fresh water and salt water aquariums,easy to hide in the tank.
  • ★Precise temperature dial from 68 to 89°F allows for complete control of aquatic climate within a 1-degree difference.
  • ★Adjustable Aquarium Fish Tank Water Heater Sensitive and reliable thermostat maintains uniform temperature. Automatic shut off when the temperature is reached

Best Seller #2

Fluval E300 Advanced Electronic Heater, 300-Watt Heater for Aquariums up to 100 Gal., A774

  • Aquarium heater with dual temperature sensors provide accurate and real-time water temperatures
  • LCD temperature display available in both Fahrenheit and Celsius; with a range of 68 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Fast heat technology built with a safety shut-off and integrated fish guard to protect fish and invertebrates
  • Equipped with a slim profile mounting bracket and colored display alert system

Best Seller #3

HiTauing Aquarium Heater, 50W/100W/200W/300W/500W Submersible Fish Tank Heater with Over-Temperature Protection and Automatic Power-Off When Leaving Water for Saltwater and Freshwater

  • 🐠【Rapid Heating and Two Temperature Control System】300W aquarium heater is sutable for 40-75 gallon fish tank and made of the most stable nickel-chromium heating wire, which can quickly and stably conduct heat to the surroundings. It has a built-in temperature control system of Fahrenheit and Celsius(Temp range: 63-94℉/17-34℃). You can press and hold the button next to the controller for 2-3 seconds to switch.
  • 🐠【Intelligent Water Sensor and Over Temperature Protection】This fish tank heater has a unique intelligent temperature and water sensor system, the heater will automatically stop heating when the heater is completely out of water or it rapidly heats beyond the set temperature, the indicator light will turn green in both cases to ensure the maximum safety of you and your aquatic organisms just like protecting our own safety.
  • 🐠【Explosion-proof Quartz Glass Aquarium Heater】The submersible aquarium heater is made of explosion-proof quartz glass material and a high-temperature resistant nickel-chromium heating wire with silicon carbide heat conduction, faster water heating and longer lasting. And the stronger black shell is a high temperature resistant ABS material which protect the fish, your aquatic organisms and you from scalding.
  • 🐠【Accurate External Digital Display Controller】The external IC temp controller of this aquarium water heater can show the water temp with 2 red LED digits. The temperature in Fahrenheit and Celsius is displayed, which can be switched by pressing and holding the button for a few seconds. To set the temp, just press the button over and over until the screen displaying the temp you desired, the setting is done and the led shows the current water temp again.
  • 🐠【Wide Range of Use】This 300 watt adjustable aquarium heater is suitable for many occasions. The fish market is a common place for us. It can maintain the freshness of fish. They are also suitable for places where aquatic life such as fish tanks, aquariums, and small fish ponds are kept. There are strong suction cups on the heater guard and the thermometer, it’s easy to install the aquarium heater no to the tank walls or bottom, please keep them fully submerged.

Best Seller #4

MantaMaze 800W/1000W Upgraded Titanium Aquarium Heater – Submersible Fish Tank Heater for 50-265 Gallon with Over Heating Protection and Anti-Dry Burning – Suitable Freshwater and Saltwater

  • 🐟【𝐔𝐥𝐭𝐫𝐚 𝐏𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫】MantaMaze 800W Aquarium Heater is desinged for 50-215 gallen tank. Fast heating up aquarium heater, fast heat conduction and fastest 3 seconds warming. No matter the size of the fish tank, it can reach the set temperature faster. Let your fish say goodbye to the cold quickly.
  • 🐟【𝐇𝐢𝐠𝐡 𝐐𝐮𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲】Quality titanium steel heating element, double covered by sturdy plastic guard, service life can last for 3 years or more. IP68 waterproof, explosion-proof and anti-corrosion make it stronger than normal glass and quartz aquarium heaters. Your fish will be no longer afraid of winter.
  • 🐟【𝐒𝐚𝐟𝐞𝐭𝐲 𝐆𝐮𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐞】With anti-dry burning and over heating protection, when the water temperature exceeds 94℉, the adjustable aquarium heater will stop and alert. It will also stop when the water level is 1.2inch lower than the heater and it will automatically restart heating after you place the heater fully under water.
  • 🐟【𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐬𝐞 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐥】MantaMaz aquarium water heater with external IC temp controller, you only need to press the controller again and again to adjust the temperature you need. Temp range: 68-93℉/20-34℃ (Long press for 5 seconds can convert the unit from ℉ to ℃). Temp accuracy: ±1°F (Auto shut off when over-heats, resets when it cools down).
  • 🐟【𝐄𝐚𝐬𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐔𝐬𝐞】This 800W aquarium heater is suitable for places where aquatic life, such as fish tanks, aquariums, and small fish ponds are kept. Can be used for fresh-water and salt-water fish tanks. The 800W fish tank heater comes with 2 strong suction cups, you can install the heater to the tank wall easily.

Best Seller #5

Submersible Aquarium Heater, 800W/1200W fish tank heater, double tube heating, rapid heating and energy saving, LED digital temperature controller, suitable for sea water and fresh water(1200W)

  • 🐠【SAFE AND DURABLE】 The aquarium heater uses explosion-proof quartz tube, high temperature resistant environmental protection ABS plastic protective cover, high-definition LED digital display controller and high-quality power cord, which is safe and more durable for your fish tank
  • 🐠【EXTERNAL SMART THERMOSTAT】 The controller uses PID smart chips, fast heating, high efficiency and energy saving, intelligently maintains constant temperature, and can accurately control the temperature within ±1ºF
  • 🐠【POWER-OFF MEMORY FUNCTION】 When it recovers after a power failure, without any operation, the heater will automatically restore to the temperature setting before the power-off, saving you the trouble of resetting the temperature
  • 🐠【PRODUCT FEATURES】 (1) The heater has automatic power-off protection function when it leaves the water surface. (2) Automatic fault detection, flashing prompt. (3) LED digital display, the fish tank temperature is clear at a glance. (4) Constant temperature protection to prevent cooking fish. (5) Adopt frequency conversion heating technology to save energy and electricity
  • 🐠【APPLICABLE FISH TANK SIZE】The suitable range of this fish tank heater: 800W (100-210gal) 1200W (150-300gal), this heater is suitable for seawater fish tanks and freshwater fish tanks

Best Seller #6

HITOP Aquarium PTC Heater with Controller: 200W Digital Heater for Fish Tank and Turtle Tank 30-90Gallon, with Protective Cover

  • 🐬 HITOP 200W Aquarium PTC Heater with Controller, Simple design, space-saving, suitable for 30-70 Gallon fish tanks and turtle tanks, can be used in seawater and freshwater.
  • 🐬 Ceramics PTC Heating material: PTC means positive temperature coefficient, as a heating material of aquarium heaters, has the advantages of high heating efficiency, long service life and safer. And it is anti-impact, so don’t worry about breakage.
  • 🐬 Digital controller: This external temperature controller can display the set temperature and the current temperature of the water, which is easy to read. Press the external setting button to conveniently set the temperature. And the temperature display can be converted between ℃ and ℉. The temperature setting range is 68-93 ℉.
  • 🐬 Removable protective cover: The protective cover of this fish tank heater can be easily removed, which is convenient for cleaning, especially when the tank is dirty, it is very important to clean the heater regularly. Moreover, this protective cover can also prevent impact and burn, which is safer for aquarium pets.
  • 🐬 Easy to install: This turtle heater is equipped with a 1.8M long power cord, and 5 suction cups, which allows the heater to be firmly installed anywhere in the aquarium. We provide 12 months warranty.

Best Seller #7

Marineland Precision Heater for Saltwater or Freshwater Aquariums

  • This 300 watt heater is for aquariums up to 80 gallons. Adjustable temperature dial allows you to set the temperature 1 degree with every click.
  • Thermal Switch automatically turns off as temperature rises above an internal preset and turns back on once it cools down.
  • The advanced heating element contains a mica core surrounded by a mesh heating element for superior heat transfer with enhanced durability
  • Advanced mounting bracket securely attaches to glass and provides 3 window positions to view the temperature display
  • Easy to view sliding scale tells the exact temperature setting. Top dial view shows the setting from an additional location.

Best Seller #8

hygger Fully Submersible 500 W Aquarium Heater with External Temperature Display Controller Upgraded Double Quartz Tubes Fish Tank Heater for 65-120 Gallon, Suitable for Marine and Freshwater

  • 【External Digital Display Controller】With its easy-to-use LED digital screen simultaneously displays the set temperature and the current aquarium temperature. You’ll be able to set temperature up in a healthy range of 59 to 93°F with button and monitor how well the heater is doing its job in real-time.
  • 【Double Tubes Heating Element】Featuring shatterproof quartz glass tube + nickel-chromium heating wire for fast, steady, more evenly distributing heat. With a PC plastic guard to protects your fish touch it they won’t get burnt.
  • 【Running-Dry Shut Off Protection】This is a completely submersible heater that will stop working when exposed to air and display error code “E1”, which resets itself to resume working when placed back into the water.
  • 【Overheating Protection】This fish tank heater automatically turns off and displayed “HH” error code once the water temperature reaches 95°F. Until it drops to the set temp. Accurate temperature controls within 1°F difference.
  • 【Works in both Freshwater and Saltwater Tank】The 500 watt heater can be used to heat for a 65-120 gallon aquarium. The package included two suction cups that easily installed vertically or horizontally underwater below 5 inch.

Best Seller #9

hygger Updated Energy Saving Titanium Aquarium Heater Digital Submersible 800 Watt Tank Heater for 120-180 Gallon Auto Shut Off Overheat Protection

  • An Excellent Energy-Saver, this fish tank heater with low power start-up conserves energy and saves your money on lower electrical bills. Automatically increase or decrease frequency as needed, smart PID Variable Frequency Drive Technology. Turn it up at full power for a fast heat up aquarium water, or down for maintain proper temp and to reduce energy costs
  • Based on Renesas high performance chipset, hygger heater auto shut-off when water level dips too low, resumes when fully submerged; Equipped with three overload sensors to prevent burnout; Beeping alert system when water temp over 96.8°F
  • At-a-glance Temperature LCD Display, the heater rod shows real time water temperature and power simultaneously; indicator light to let you know when the heater is on. It will be red when heating at full energy, green at low energy, no light when the proper temperature has been reached
  • External hand button temperature control, just keeps pushing the button, it will cycle through all the set temperatures, adjustable temp setting between 70°F to 94°F in 1-degree increments
  • Submersible Aquarium Heater is constructed of heavy duty and explosion- proof titanium, double sealed by plastic guard which prevents fish from coming into contact with the heating element. 800 WATT aquarium heater is recommended for 120-180 gallon freshwater aquariums

Best Seller #10

hygger 800W Aquarium Heater, Submersible Fish Tank Water Heater with External Color LED Digital Temperature Controller, Fast Heating for 120-180 Gallon

  • 🐟LED DIGITAL DISPLAY CONTROLLER: ① Displays real-time water temperature or set temperature, three-digit display, water temperature display accurate to 0.1 °F, easy to read. ② 4 kinds of work instructions – Working/Malfunction/ Thermostatic/ Out of water, easy to understand. ③ Upgrade the buttons to increase the sense of touch, and the operation is simple and easy, just cycle the buttons.
  • 🐟RAPID HEATING: Fastest 5 seconds warming, the internal material is updated and upgraded, using titanium steel material, which is safer to use, not easy to deform, and has very strong corrosion resistance. Automatically reduces power when approaching the set temperature, fully utilizes thermal energy inertia to smoothly reach the set temperature, saving energy.
  • 🐟INTELLIGENT THERMOSTAT: Over-temperature protection prevents “cooking fish”. When the water temp exceeds about 93.5 °F, start alternately flashing EE fault code; and over 97℉, the heater will stop heating automatically. When the water temp cool down to 93℉, the heater will start working automatically. In addition, it has a power-off memory function and no need to set it again.
  • 🐟ANTI-DRY PROTECTION: When the heating rod is exposed to air, display ER fault code and the heater will shut off automatically. When the heating rod is completely immersed in water, it will start working automatically. Effectively extend the service life.
  • 🐟HIGH-QUALITY MATERIALS: Built-in dual temperature probe, real-time monitoring of water temperature, temperature accuracy of ± 1 °F; high temperature resistant ABS material, no deformation and no softening, explosion-proof and anti-corrosion, no leakage of electricity. Strong suction cup bracket, can stably fix the heater in every corner of the fish tank.

Does My Aquarium Need a Heater?

If you’re keeping tropical fish as pets, they’ll likely need a heater to maintain water temperatures around 78-80°F. Most fish are cold-blooded animals that rely on their surrounding environment to regulate body temperature, so if your home is usually cooler, your fish will need a heater to remain comfortable.

Most aquarium fish can tolerate cooler temperatures than recommended because, in nature, the environment dips several degrees at night or during rainstorms. However, keeping the water at a steady warm temperature is less stressful on your fish and helps prevent diseases. Some species – like goldfish, Japanese icefish, and white cloud mountain minnows – enjoy cooler temperatures and would be fine without a heater. Other fish – like discus, ram cichlids, and certain Apistogramma cichlids – prefer hotter temperatures around 85°F and require a heater. By understanding the temperature preferences of the fish you’re trying to catch, you can better match the conditions of their natural habitat and improve your chances of success.

What Size Aquarium Heater Do I Need?

If you’re a fisherman, the general rule of thumb is 5 watts (W) of heat per 1 gallon of water if a) you need to heat the water to 10 degrees above room temperature, if you’re using an aquarium lid to retain warmth and prevent evaporative cooling. For example, if you have a 29-gallon tank under those conditions, the suggested heater size is 100 watts. However, if your home is on the colder side at 65°F and you need to raise the water temperature by 15 degrees, consider adding a second heater. This will ensure that your fish stay healthy and comfortable in their environment.

Recommended heater sizes for different types of aquariums:

Aquarium SizeHeater Size
5 gallons25W to 50W heater
10 gallons50W to 100W heater
20 gallons100W heater
29 gallonsOne or two 100W heaters
40 gallonsTwo 100W heaters
55 gallonsTwo or three 100W heaters
75 gallonsThree 100W heaters

Other factors that impact a fish tank’s temperature include its location in your home, how much sunlight the room gets, and whether or not it’s near an air conditioner. Additionally, because heat naturally rises, the tanks at the bottom of an aquarium rack will be cooler than the tanks at the top. Furthermore, equipment such as lighting and filtration contributes to the total heat produced in an aquarium. For example, a Fluval FX4 canister filter runs on 30 watts of power and therefore acts like a mini heater in your aquarium, slightly heating the water as it flows through the filter.

If you have a large tank that requires 200 watts of heat, we recommend purchasing two 100-watt heaters instead of one 200-watt heater. This way, if one heater malfunctions, it will not overheat the entire aquarium. Having two heaters also provides a backup in case one shuts off. This will prevent the water from getting too cold.

Where Should I Put My Aquarium Heater?

There are a few things to consider when deciding where to place your aquarium heater.

  • First, you need to ensure the heater is not in a place where it can be knocked over or damaged.
  • Second, you need to ensure the heater is not too close to any other objects in the aquarium so that heat can circulate properly.
  • Finally, you need to ensure the heater is not in a place where it will be in the way or difficult to reach.

With these things in mind, the best place to put your aquarium heater is usually on the back or side of the aquarium near the filter.

What to Consider When Choosing an Aquarium Heater

There are many aquarium heaters, but most of them function similarly. An aquarium heater typically has two main parts: a heating element and a thermostat. The heating element is usually made of metal and is responsible for generating heat. The thermostat is a temperature-sensitive switch that turns the heater on and off to maintain a consistent water temperature.

Thermostat

Most aquarium heaters have a built-in thermostat, but you can also buy separate thermostats that can be used with any type of heater. Aquarium heaters come in various sizes and shapes, so it is essential to choose one that is appropriate for the size of your aquarium. Smaller aquariums may only need a small heater, while larger aquariums may require a larger one.

Wattage

When choosing an aquarium heater, it is essential to consider the unit’s wattage. The wattage indicates how much power the heater uses and how much heat it can generate. Higher wattage means that the heater will use more electricity and generate more heat.

Size

When choosing an aquarium heater, it is also essential to consider the aquarium size. If the aquarium is too tiny, the heater may not be able to generate enough heat to keep the water at a consistent temperature. Conversely, if the aquarium is too large, the heater may use too much electricity and overheat the water.

Type

Finally, it is essential to consider the type of aquarium you have when choosing an aquarium heater. Freshwater aquariums require different kinds of heaters than saltwater aquariums. Be sure to select a heater designed for the type of aquarium you have.

Now that you know more about aquarium heaters, you can start shopping for the perfect one for your needs.

There are many aquarium heaters, but the most common type is the submersible heater that operates completely underwater. The water current helps spread the heater’s warmth to the rest of the tank. Ideally, the heater should be placed next to the filter output or pump for maximum flow. Install a thermometer in a corner opposite the heater to make sure the heat is reaching the other side of the tank. This will help ensure your fish are healthy and comfortable in their new home.

Some heaters must be positioned vertically, while others can lay down horizontally. For long, tube-shaped heaters, we recommend mounting the heater at a 45 degree angle to get the best heat distribution. You can conceal the heater by placing plants and decor in front of it or hiding it in the sump if you have one.

Do You Leave the Aquarium Heater on All the Time?

As a general rule of thumb, you should always leave your aquarium heater on. This will help to maintain a consistent water temperature, which is critical for the health and well-being of your fish. There may be times when you need to turn the heater off for short periods, such as when you are cleaning the tank or doing routine maintenance. However, as a general rule, it is best to always keep the heater on.

Yes, you could depart the heater 24/7. Aquarium warmers have an inner thermostat that turns off the warmth while it reaches a particular temperature; for this reason, preserving the water temperature inside some levels of the preferred setting.

When first putting in the heater, permit the device to acclimate to the aquarium water’s temperature for 20 to half-hour earlier than plugging it in, to save you breakage from temperature shock. Also, the heater should constantly be submerged in the water while it’s grown. (Sometimes, you’ll see a line at the heater that marks the minimal water level.) Otherwise, it can not appropriately study the water temperature and efficiently manipulate the heating. If you depart the heater jogging simultaneously as uncovered to dry air, it can burn out or crack, so don’t forget to unplug it or flip off the electricity strip while doing water changes.

Thankfully, warmers now no longer require a good deal of upkeep until you need to apply a toothbrush to softly scrub off algae. However, when you have to put off the heater for a few reasons, producers propose ready at least half-hour for it to settle down earlier than handling.

What Is the Best Aquarium Heater?

Out of all the supplies you need to buy when setting up a new fish tank, the aquarium heater is not one to skimp on. You want to find a good quality brand that is safe and reliable because unproven brands may fail by overheating, shutting down, or cracking – all with disastrous results. We personally would not recommend getting a used heater because you have no idea if the previous owner dropped it, left it running while out of water, and so forth.

We designed our own Aquarium Co-Op 100W heater with the goals of having excellent quality and a full range of features, such as:

  • The small, compact design makes the heater easier to position in the aquarium and hide behind decorations or rocks.
  • The digital display provides a large temperature reading that can be clearly read.
  • The heater guard is a protective plastic cage around the heater that prevents fish from wedging themselves and getting stuck behind the heater. (Yes, I’ve actually had fish die this way.) This enclosure also shields the heater from larger fish species that may crash into it. 
  • The adjustable temperature feature is useful in case you need to raise the temperature to treat diseases or lower the temperature to induce breeding. Unlike most heaters that use temperature dials, the Aquarium Co-Op heater has a simple button controller that is located outside of the fish tank so you don’t have to get your hands wet to change the temperature.
  • The extra-long, 11.8-foot power cable makes it possible to reach faraway wall outlets, even if you have a deep aquarium.
  • The suction cups allow you to firmly mount the heater onto the aquarium wall, and four extra suction cups are included as replacements.
  • The 1-year warranty and automatic over-temperature protection offers you peace of mind from heater malfunctions and manufacturing errors.

If you have a nano aquarium that holds 6 gallons or less, consider using the Fluval 25W submersible heater that is preset to maintain a temperature of 76-78°F.

Bottom line: don’t try to save money on heat. Give your aquarium fish a warm and comfortable home, and they’ll thank you for it with hours and hours of entertainment. 

Video Guide on “How to Choose an Aquarium Heater”