Fish are sensitive beings and if you keep them as pets, they come with a whole of responsibilities. There are various aspects including the breeding cycle, food, temperature, water hygiene and an adaptable environment that have to be taken care of to ensure optimal health of your fish. Temperature is one of the most important ones of them all. Different fish species have varying temperature requirements and with a fish tank, providing the ideal environment for each fish type is almost impossible. This limits the types of fish that can be kept in a fish tank. This is where aquarium heaters come in and provide ideal temperatures where a variety of fish species can thrive.
Overview of the top 10 aquarium heaters
The temperature of your fish tank is an important factor that ensures the well being and comfort of your fish. They have to rely on heaters to maintain their body temperatures as they can’t do it on their own. Part of lessening the stress that comes with hunting for an aquarium heater comes with knowing the top products in the market. For those who are on the lookout for the best aquarium heaters, we have compiled reviews of the top heaters on Amazon.
Types of aquarium heaters
There are several types of aquarium heaters to choose from. They all have varied uses, so it’s important that you choose the right one for your fish tank.
1. Immersible heater
Otherwise known as a hanging heater, this type of heater is usually hang over the tank with the glass tube that houses the heating element is immersed in water. Immersible heaters are quite common, and the best option for people who are still new to keeping fish. The aquarium hood needs an opening to accommodate this. It’s important to ensure that the immersible heater is properly secured because otherwise, it can electrocute your fish and even start a fire. This heater is not ideal for use in marine or brackish fish tanks. This is because if the water finds its way into the tube, it can lead to corrosion.
2. Submersible heaters
Since these heaters are placed right in the water, they are much more efficient as compared to immersible heaters. Just ensure that there is enough space left around the heater to give your fish enough room to move around freely. In addition, these heaters shouldn’t touch the gravel because the difference in heat conductivity can crack the glass.
3. In-sump heaters
They require more room and offer the same benefits as in-line heaters. They are also easier to maintain, and are put in the sump.
4. In-line heaters
These are external heaters that involve either a filter or a sump. They are placed in the line between the tank itself and the filter or sump. They are a great option for larger aquariums, and prevent contact between fish and the heater.
5. Substrate heaters
These aren’t very common, and usually consist of wires as the heating element. The wires are buried underneath the gravel, from where the heat travels to the water. They are ideal for plant fish tanks, where the gravel keeps the plant roots too cool.
Overview of the best aquarium heaters available right now
Zacro AH038 Submersible Aquarium Heater of 50W with Visible Temperature
This is a fully submersible aquarium heater known for its durability and one can count on it to last for several years. It features a PTC heating element as well as a shatterproof glass, which comes in handy when heating small fish tanks from about 5 - 10 gallons. The PTC patented heating system allows for a
Marina C17 Compact Heater
With a name like Marina C17 Compact Heater, what could possibly go wrong? In addition to being easy to set up, this fish tank is ideal for use in plastic and glass aquariums, particularly small ones. It is an unbreakable heater that comes as one unit and ideal for fish tanks with a capacity of 3 gallons. It transforms any fish tank into a tropical tank. It is also easy to set up, use, reliable and a great option for those who are keeping fish for the first time.
AquaTop Model GH-300 Submersible Heater
This fully submersible heater offers an easy and effective way to maintain a stable heat environment in large aquariums. It works great for fish tanks of up to 75 gallons and is easy to install with the use of suction cups. Moreover, it features insulated glass construction for added durability efficiency. It can be used for both saltwater and freshwater fish tanks. It is a 300-watts aquarium heater.
ViaAqua Titanium Heater
This is one of the latest aquarium heaters from ViaAqua and it features LCD temperature readout, a high tech way that allows you to keep an eye on your fish tank. Its heating element is made from titanium, making it highly durable. It is fully submersible, and the temperature setting is fully adjustable.
Hydro Mini 15w Heater
The Hydro aquarium heater is a small fish tank heater that works great for small, desktop aquariums. It safely regulates the water temperature to ensure the perfect heat environment for your fish to thrive. It is completely submersible, making it easy to conceal it in your miniature fish tank that has a capacity of 2-5 gallon tanks.
Hagen Fluval E Electronic Heater 15-300 Watts
The Hagen Fluval E Electronic Heater is a technologically advanced heater that resembles a military device. It offers continued regulation of water temperature to ensure survival of your fish. It packs many features including a LCD light that changes color display in case there’s a variation in temperature from the pre-set temperature; and which creates a flashing display if the temperatures change drastically. In addition, it has dual temperature sensors for real time temperature readings. It can be mounted at any angle and the inner shock resistant glass heater core is surrounded by an external guard that protects aquatic life from electrocution.
ViaAqua Quartz Glass Submersible Heater
This is a fully submersible aquarium heater which is available in four wattages. It is made with high quality, break resistant glass and has a built-in thermostat that automatically regulates the water temperature. The temperature readings are usually in red for added visibility while the included suction cups make setting up easy. They can handle fish tanks with capacities of between 13 gallons to 80 gallons.
Aqueon Pro Heaters 50 – 250 Watts
One of the reasons that make this aquarium heater popular among consumers is its nearly indestructible construction. This is primarily due to its aluminum core which eliminates the need for a glass core, making it stronger and more durable than most aquarium heaters. The electrical thermostat automatically regulates water temperature and turns off when not in water and vice versa when immersed in water. It can be placed horizontally or vertically, and the large control knob allows for easy modification of temperature. Aqueon has great confidence in the quality of their products, which is evident through the lifetime warranty they provide for this heater, which is available from 50 to 250 watts.
EHEIM Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater 25-300 Watts
This heater is constructed from shatter proof glass for marine or fresh water. It is also shock resistant and heavy for additional strength. It comes with heater feature thermo controls that allow it to turn off automatically when the water levels are too low, and protect against running dry. Its Trump dial automatically regulates the water temperatures while the on and off indicator allows one to monitor things at a glance. It is available from 25 to 300 watts.
Cobalt Aquariums Neo-Therm
Cobalt Aquatics is a brand that is known for its innovative designs and the Neo-Therm is quite the masterpiece. It meets all of the criteria for a good aquarium heater and then some. For instance, it comes with thermal protection circuitry as well as shatter proof glass so you never have to worry about cracked glass. Installation is very simple and the One Touch system allows you to set the preferred temperature. The heater can maintain the water temperature within half a degree.
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How to buy an aquarium heater
Fish are cold blooded animals and as such, they cannot regulate their body temperature like other mammals. They require the right external temperatures for them to thrive whether in the open sea or in a fish tank. Fish have a natural ability to survive in open waters because the heat conditions remain fairly constant. However, because aquariums are man-made habitats, more effort is required to maintain the right temperatures to ensure the survival of fish. Aquarium heaters provide an easy, effective solution to regulating temperatures in a fish tank. The challenge with getting an aquarium heater comes when consumers realize the overwhelming choices available to them from different manufacturers. Buying the right heater becomes an overwhelming process and knowing what to consider can lessen the stress of purchasing an aquarium heater. There are many aspects that go into buying a heater including:
1. Size of the heater: Fish tank heaters come in various sizes and the choice of a particular size depends a lot on the amount of water inside the fish tank, size of the aquarium as well as the average temperature of the room. To calculate the ideal size of the heater, subtract the current room temperature from the required temperature. Also determine the size of the aquarium. With these two measurements, determining the ideal size of a heater should be easy. Generally, a 25-watt heater is great for a five gallon tank, 50-watt for a ten gallon tank and so on. Larger aquariums may require more than one heater and in such a case, the heaters should be placed on either side of the tank to ensure even distribution of heat.
2. Type of heater: There are various types of aquarium heaters as discussed above, each of which serves a different purpose. Be sure to learn more about each type to make the right choice.
3. Placement of the heater: Placement of the aquarium heater inside the tank is another important consideration that should be made. You can choose to place a heater on the end or in the middle of the tank. This choice can help you choose an appropriate sized heater. Placing the heater near the inflow/outflow location is probably the best decision as this will ensure that the water is heated evenly.
4. Cost: Of course, you have to consider the amount of money you are willing to spend on this purchase. Heaters come at a wide variety of prices, which depend on the manufacturer and features they come with. If you are looking to buy the cheapest aquarium heaters, you should be on the lookout for immersible heaters.
5. Ease of maintenance: Cleaning and maintaining fish tanks is a lot harder than what many people imagine. The same applies to heaters. As such, it’s always important for consumers to choose heaters that are easy to clean and maintain.
6. Additional features: Other than the above factors, there are things that should be kept in mind when purchasing a fish tank heater. These include the thermometer or temperature scale that helps keep the water temperatures within a certain range. The temperature control is highly important particularly if you are keeping fish that are sensitive to temperatures.
For anyone who owns a fish tank, investing in the right aquarium heater is imperative as this could make the difference between life and death for their fish. The important thing is that whatever you buy should be durable and reliable. Our guide covers the various types of heaters, top products in the market as well as a buying guide to make the purchase process less of a hassle.