Types of Aquarium Heaters

There are several different types of heaters. The one you choose will depend on the size of your aquarium, the species of fish and plants you have, and their preferences as a species.

Let’s take a look at the different types and how they work to determine the best kind of heater for your aquarium.

The Seven Main Types of Aquarium Heaters

As you know, there are many different types of aquarium heaters on the market. Which one is the best for your tank? Here is a quick rundown of the seven main types of aquarium heaters:

Submersible Heater

A submersible heater is also known as a pendant heater. It hangs over the top of the urn, and the heating element (typically encased in a glass tube) sits in the water to heat the tank.

These are probably the most common heaters for beginner freshwater tanks and often come as part of a starter pack.

This type of heater is usually less efficient but provides primary heating. Immersion heaters are not recommended for installations in brackish or salt water.

Submersible heaters are those that are located underwater. This heater should be placed next to the filter inlet to heat the water as it returns to the tank.

This heater has a coiled element wrapped in tempered glass or plastic tubes. Glass can be cracked if the unit overheats because you don’t turn it off with water changes. Rigid plastic is less prone to cracking.

These heaters usually have an LED light near the top that will tell you when the heater is on.

This heater will help keep your aquarium at a more consistent and stable temperature than a submersible one.

1300W 120V Titanium Fully Submersible Portable Electric Immersion Water Heater, 100% Waterproof Immersion Heater, Thermostat, Auto shutoff, Overheating Prevention, Bucket Water Heater, Easy to Use

1300W 120V Titanium Fully Submersible Portable Electric Immersion Water Heater  100% Waterproof Immersion Heater  Thermostat  Auto shutoff  Overheating Prevention  Bucket Water Heater  Easy to Use

  • Completely submersed in water, sea water, underground water, solutions, chemicals
  • Effectively and conveniently heat liquids
  • High degree of efficiency as the heat is quickly dissipated directly into the liquid
  • Automatic thermostat and overheating prevention
  • Excellent durability and outstanding performance

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Hang-On Heaters

Aquarium heaters are devices used to maintain a constant water temperature in an aquarium. They come in various sizes and shapes, but most are designed to hang on the aquarium’s back. Hang-on aquarium heaters are one of the most popular because they’re easy to install and use.

Advantages of Hang-On Aquarium Heaters:

  1. Easy to install – most hang-on aquarium heaters come with suction cups that allow them to be easily attached to the back of the aquarium.
  2. Easy to use – hang-on aquarium heaters typically have an adjustable thermostat that allows you to set the desired water temperature.
  3. Affordable – hang-on aquarium heaters are usually less expensive than other aquarium heaters.
  4. Don’t take up a lot of space – since they’re designed to be hung on the back of the aquarium, hang-on aquarium heaters don’t take up valuable space inside the tank.
  5. Can be used with different size tanks – hang-on aquarium heaters are available in various sizes to accommodate other size tanks.

Disadvantages of Hang-On Aquarium Heaters:

  1. Can be challenging to remove – since they’re attached to the aquarium with suction cups, hang-on aquarium heaters can be difficult to remove when it’s time to clean the tank or replace the heater.
  2. Can be broken by rough handling – hang-on aquarium heaters are made of glass and can be damaged if they’re dropped or handled too roughly.
  3. Can be a potential safety hazard – if the suction cups fail and the heater falls into the tank, it can pose a severe safety hazard to you and your fish.
  4. They May not evenly heat the entire tank – since they’re only attached to one side of the aquarium, hang-on aquarium heaters may not evenly heat the whole tank.
  5. It Can be challenging to find replacement parts – since they’re not as popular as other types of aquarium heaters, it can be challenging to find replacement parts for hang-on aquarium heaters.

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use and affordable aquarium heater, a hang-on aquarium heater may be the right choice for you. Just be sure to carefully read the instructions before use and periodically check the suction cups to ensure they’re still securely attached to the aquarium.

Finnex 500-Watt Hang-On Electronic Controller Aquarium Heater, Titanium Tube, 100 to 120-Gallon, (HMA-500)

Finnex 500-Watt Hang-On Electronic Controller Aquarium Heater  Titanium Tube  100 to 120-Gallon  (HMA-500)

  • Titanium Tube
  • Sleek analog controller
  • HMA 500: 100-120 Gallons
  • Age range description: all life stages

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In-Line Heaters

In-line aquarium heaters are a type of aquarium heater installed outside the aquarium, in the same line as the filter. This has a few advantages over other types of heaters. One advantage is that it evenly heats the water in the aquarium since it is not inside the aquarium where there might be hot and cold spots. Another advantage is that it is easier to monitor the temperature since the heater is not in the aquarium. In-line aquarium heaters are a good choice for larger aquariums or people who want an extra level of safety for their fish.

Some things to consider when choosing an in-line aquarium heater are the size, the type of fish in the aquarium, and the climate. In-line aquarium heaters are available in different wattages, so it is essential to choose one that is powerful enough to heat the entire aquarium. It is also necessary to select a heater with temperature control so the water temperature can be easily regulated.

When choosing an in-line aquarium heater, it is vital to ensure that it is compatible with the filter being used. Some filters can cause problems with in-line aquarium heaters, so it is essential to read the manufacturer’s instructions before purchasing one. In-line aquarium heaters are a great way to keep fish healthy and happy in an aquarium. They are easy to install and maintain and provide a safe and evenly heated environment for fish.

Hydor ETH 200 In-Line External Aquarium Heater, 200w, 1/2″ hose

Hydor ETH 200 In-Line External Aquarium Heater  200w  1/2  hose

  • Suitable for marine and tropical aquariums
  • Easy to use
  • High precision electronic temperature control
  • For external use
  • 1/2 inch hose

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Immersible Heaters

If you’re looking for an aquarium heater that can be fully submerged in water, then an immersible aquarium heater is a great option. These heaters are designed to be completely submerged in water, and they’re a popular choice for both fresh and saltwater aquariums.

Immersible aquarium heaters are available in various sizes and wattages to choose the right one for your tank. They’re also relatively inexpensive, making them an excellent option for budget-minded aquarium enthusiasts.

When choosing an immersible aquarium heater, it’s essential to select one that is appropriately sized for your tank. In general, you’ll want to select a heater rated for a tank size 20-30% larger than your actual tank size. This will ensure that the heater can adequately heat the water in your tank.

It’s also important to consider the heater’s wattage when choosing one for your aquarium. The higher the wattage, the more influential the heater will be. However, you’ll also want to ensure that the heater you choose is not too powerful for your tank.

If you’re unsure what size or wattage of an immersible aquarium heater is right for your tank, ask a local fish store professional. They can help you select the right heater for your specific needs.

Once you’ve selected the perfect immersible aquarium heater for your tank, follow the instructions with the heater. This will help you avoid potential problems and ensure that your heater works properly.

With a bit of research, you can easily find the perfect immersible aquarium heater for your fish tank. These heaters are a great way to keep your fish happy and healthy, and they’re an affordable option for budget-minded aquarium enthusiasts.

Submersible Aquarium Heater Aquarium Fish Tank Water Thermostat Stainless Steel Submersible Auto Thermostat Heater for Fresh Water(200W)

Submersible Aquarium Heater Aquarium Fish Tank Water Thermostat Stainless Steel Submersible Auto Thermostat Heater for Fresh Water(200W)

  • THERMOSTATIC DESIGN: Double-metal silver-plated contact temperature control, internal fixed temperature setting process, strong temperature sensitivity, small temperature error.
  • SUBMERSIBLE DESIGN: Double-layer waterproof protection, full submersible design, the maximum immersible depth is 12cm, suitable for fresh water use.
  • ENERGY SAVING: Heating 5 to 1 minutes, pausing 2 minutes until it reaches your set temperature, ensure that the heating rod does not overwork, improve lifespan.
  • ADJUSTABLE: Temperature can be adjusted from 18 to 34 degrees, can accurately maintain the set temperature, and strong suction cup can fix the heater firmly on the tank.
  • HIGH QUALITY: The heating rod is made of high quality stainless steel material, sturdy, rustproof, explosion proof and corrosion resistance.

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Substrate Heater

These are typically used as an addition to other heaters and come in the form of cables that attach to the base of the aquarium.

This type of heater peaked in popularity in the 1990s, especially in planted tanks, as the heating promotes gentle water movement that can encourage root growth.

These heaters are much less common now and quite expensive.

Advantages of Substrate Aquarium Heaters:

  1. Aquarium heaters made of the substrate have good heat conduction performance, which can make the temperature in the fish tank more uniform and reduce the thermal stress of fish.
  2. The bottom material of the aquarium heater is mainly made of ceramic, which has good corrosion resistance and is not easy to be polluted by dirt.
  3. The bottom material of the aquarium heater is also easier to clean.
  4. The substrate aquarium heater has good heat preservation performance, which can better maintain the temperature in the fish tank.
  5. The substrate aquarium heater can be placed at the bottom of the fish tank, which will not occupy too much space in the fish tank.
  6. The bottom material of the aquarium heater can better protect the heating wire, and the service life of the aquarium heater will be prolonged.
  7. The substrate aquarium heater is more concealed and will not affect the overall beauty of the fish tank.

Exo Terra Heat Mat, Reptile Terrarium Substrate Heater, 16 Watt, Medium

Exo Terra Heat Mat  Reptile Terrarium Substrate Heater  16 Watt  Medium

  • Reptile terrarium substrate heater provides safe, even heat distribution for tropical or temperate reptile and amphibian species
  • Conductive heat source for reptile, amphibian, arachnid and planted terrariums
  • Helps in thermoregulating – important for metabolism, digestion, appetite and activity
  • Ideal 24-hour primary or secondary heat source for all glass terrariums
  • For mounting under and on the side of terrariums

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Outdoor Heater

This heater can be installed between the sump and filter, so it heats the water back to the aquarium.

It is usually made of heat-resistant plastic, so it does not cause fires. This type of heater is ideal for those who keep more extensive and more aggressive fish that fight with equipment, such as some cichlids. They are much more expensive than other heaters we are looking at, and another downside is that the more components you have out of your tank, the more chance there is for leaks.

Outdoor Heater Aquariums: How to Choose the Right One

If you’re looking for an outdoor heater aquarium, you’ll need to consider a few things before making your purchase. Here are a few tips on how to choose the right one for your needs:

  1. The size of the aquarium. This is probably the most crucial factor when choosing an outdoor heater aquarium. You’ll need to ensure that the heater you choose is the right size for the aquarium. If it’s too big, it will take up too much space, and if it’s too small, it won’t be able to heat the water properly.
  2. The type of fish you have. Another essential factor to consider is the type of fish you have in your aquarium. Some fish require higher temperatures than others, so you’ll need to ensure that the heater you choose can accommodate the needs of your fish.
  3. The climate you live in. This is another essential factor to consider when choosing an outdoor heater aquarium. If you live in an area with a lot of humidity, you’ll need to ensure that the heater you select can withstand high moisture levels.
  4. The price. Of course, you’ll also need to take into consideration the price of the outdoor heater aquarium. You don’t want to spend too much money on something that won’t work correctly.
  5. The warranty. Make sure that the outdoor heater aquarium you choose comes with a warranty. This way, if something goes wrong with the heater, you’ll be able to get it replaced or repaired without having to spend any money out of your pocket.

Keep these factors in mind when shopping for an outdoor heater aquarium, and you’ll be sure to find the perfect one for your needs. With a bit of research, you should have no problem finding the right aquarium heater for your home.

FREESEA 25 Watt Aquarium Betta Fish Tank Heater with Aquarium Submersible Thermometer

FREESEA 25 Watt Aquarium Betta Fish Tank Heater with Aquarium Submersible Thermometer

  • ★【25 Watt Heater】: This Aquarium heater is suitable for 1 to 5 gallons aquariums, Length – 6.8 inch,voltage 110-120V, power cord is 4.0 ft, please choose the right wattage aquarium heater according to our size chart.
  • ★【Temperature range】: 63°F~95°F , It is very easy to adjust the temperature you need, we also deliberately give each customer a free diving thermometer, you can observe the water temperature of the fish tank at any time.
  • ★【Intelligent temperature control】: Automatic constant temperature function, when water temperature reaches to specified temperature value, heater will automatically stop heating, when water temperature is lower than the set temperature, heater will automatically start heating. Furthermore, Automatic safety shut-off feature, and overheating protection.
  • ★【Note】: 1. Aquarium heater is 100% submersible use only, during its heating time, heater must be 100% submerged into the water.,Please unplug the power supply when cleaning the fish tank or aquarium water changes. 2. Heater rod is suitable for people over 16 years of age. Children or minors should be under adult guidance or supervision.
  • ★【SATISFACTION GUARANTEED】: Gain the confidence to go hard with us! Our Aquarium Heater is built with durability in mind and safety for every design, In the remote possibility that you’re not satisfied with our product, just contact us, and we will gladly give you a new Aquarium Heater replacement. 12 Month Warranty and 24 Hour Professional After-sales Service.

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Filter Heater

If you’re looking for a way to heat your aquarium while also filtering the water, you may consider investing in a filter heater. Filter heaters are designed to do both tasks and can be a great addition to any fish tank.

Remember a few things when choosing a filter heater for your aquarium. First, you’ll need to decide on the size that you need. Filter heaters come in various sizes, so choosing one that will fit your tank is essential.

Another thing to consider is the type of filter that you want. There are two main types of filters: mechanical and chemical. Mechanical filters trap dirt and debris in a mesh, while chemical filters use chemicals to remove impurities from the water.

You’ll also need to decide on the wattage of the filter heater. The higher the wattage, the more influential the heater will be. However, choosing a heater that’s not too powerful for your aquarium is essential. Otherwise, you could end up damaging your fish or plants.

Finally, you’ll need to decide on the price. Filter heaters can range in price from a few dollars to several hundred dollars. It’s crucial to find one that fits your budget and your needs.

Filter heaters are a great way to filter and heat your aquarium. Keep these things in mind when choosing one, and you’ll be sure to find the perfect filter heater for your tank.

Aquarium Fish Tank Filter with Light + Free Heater for an Healthy Environment for Fish and Plants Created by Using Advance Filtration + Full Spectrum LED Light + Heater

Aquarium Fish Tank Filter with Light + Free Heater for an Healthy Environment for Fish and Plants Created by Using Advance Filtration + Full Spectrum LED Light + Heater

  • Impurities that can build up in the water are removed by the 2in1 Aquarium filter light and 3 layered filtration system, keeping the water and aquarium clean and with full spectrum led lights they help create an healthy environment for your fish and plants.
  • 100w heater with the same temperature range as a 50w but with a much quicker warm up time. Thermostatically controlled for consistent water temperature with the aid of a digital display and auto power of if removed from the water.
  • The Aquarium filter lights 3 layered filtration helps with cultivation of the nitrifying cultures (natures cleaners) and removing impurities and odours, keeping the Aquarium an healthy environment for fish and aquatic plants.
  • Fish are protected from the heating element by a non corrosive hard plastic outer shell which is fixed below the water line to the inside of the aquarium with suction cups for stability and has auto power off if removed from the water
  • The filter light with remote make your aquarium a bright and colourful feature for everyone in the home to enjoy and with its quite pump (40db) and a silent heater it will not be intrusive. Suitable for a rimless tank 0.15-0.27in/0.4-0.7cm thick glass up to 9 gallons/40ltrs aquarium, 255ltrs p/h IPX8(unit only not remote or power lead). The heater has a digital display for accurate remote control.

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2 Main Types of Aquarium Heaters

Conclusion

In conclusion, each type of aquarium heater has its own set of pros and cons. It is important to carefully consider your needs before choosing a particular type of heater for your aquarium. Submersible heaters are generally the most effective and efficient option, but they may not be suitable for all tanks. Immersible heaters are another good option, but they can be less effective in larger tanks. Substrate heaters are best for planted aquariums, but may not be suitable for all fish tanks. Filter heaters are a good option if you are looking for a 2-in-1 heater and filter combo. Ultimately, the best type of aquarium heater for your tank will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

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