The Best Aquarium Heaters: Keep Your Tank Warm With These Affordable Products

May 8, 2017

If you are keeping tropical fishes, then having an aquarium heater is crucial. This is because tropical fishes thrive in water temperatures that range between 71 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit or 22 to 30 degrees Celsius. Even fresh water tanks need this feature.

Today, we are featuring a buying guide and several reviews to help you find the best aquarium heater for you and your tank. After all, this equipment is an essential to keep your fresh water or tropical fishes happy and healthy.


Things to Know Before Buying an Aquarium Heater

Keeping a fish tank is can be very challenging if you are not aware of the basics. Equipment such as the filter, air pump, and most especially the heater, is crucial among freshwater and tropical fishes.

Different from how warm blooded animals and humans produce their body heat, fishes do not build theirs. Some types of fishes heavily rely on the temperature of the water they thrive in. This is the reason it is crucial to take note if your fish tank is going to be for non-tropical fish species or not.

However, there are several things you must consider first before buying an aquarium heater. This will ensure the comfort and overall well-being of the fishes you will be keeping. Here are some things to consider:

1. The type of heater

The first thing that you have to consider is the type of heater. What type of heater works best with your fish tank? For starters, there are four basic types of heaters: the immersible, submersible, filter and substrate aquarium heaters.

Submersible heaters are the cheapest among these types. Submersible heaters control the temperature of the water through direct contact. However, installation can be quite a challenge because the heating control pad must be kept above the water line.

Substrate heaters, on the other hand, are installed below the aquarium’s substrate. Because of this, it allows the water to be heated more evenly compared to other heater types.

This heater type is also ideal if you are growing plants inside the tank. But then again, the installation might also be a bit of a challenge.

The filter type aquarium heater is one of the latest types to get to the market. Based on the name itself, filter type heaters are placed inside the filter itself. Thus, heating up the water that passes through the filter.

This type is ideal for larger tanks that require more water. It is also good for people who do not want any additional bulky equipment at all obstructing the tank.

This type is very popular because it is cheaper than most other forms and is usually easy to set up. However, it can be pretty fragile. When attacked by larger fishes, it has the tendency to break.

2. The size of the heater

This is crucial as well because this will decide the positioning of the heater in the tank. If you research hard enough, you will find heater size guides online to help you rule out this factor with much more ease.

Depending on the size of your tank, the initial temperature of your water and the number of fishes in the tank, the size of the aquarium heater will play a very significant role in the well-being of your fishes.

3. The durability and other features of the heater

Finally, is the heater durable enough to withstand the movements of your fishes? Can it last you a long time without too much maintenance costs? Does it have additional features as well?

There are aquarium heaters that come with temperature controllers or thermometers to help you keep track of the tank’s temperature from time to time. Durability is also important not only to save you money but also to your fishes.

If the cold weather comes and the tank’s water temperature suddenly drops, you can’t have your heater breaking down on you. Water temperature inconsistencies can cause your fishes unnecessary stress or even illnesses. Or worst, even death.

Sadly, water heaters are bound to break down in time. Aside from causing harm to your fish, you might even get electrocuted due to faulty heaters. So make sure to take the time to check on the materials used on a water heater as well as its safety features.

Our Top 5 Picks

#1 Aqueon 50W Pro Heater

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The first feature that the Aqueon Pro Heater boasts is its durability in the fish tank. Aqueon is proud to call this aquarium heater as almost indestructible and shatter-proof.

With this heater, you’ll also get a fully submersible thermostat that accurately reads the heat in your aquarium

Aqueon Pro Heater also comes with a power monitor light. This aquarium heater runs on 50-250 watts which give you variety in what you’re buying.


  • Easy installation
  • Comes with a manual that helps guide your installation process
  • ​This aquarium heater can be used for a fish tank that has a capacity of 25 gallons and above
  • Monitor light indicates whether the device is still heating or whether it reached the set temperature


  • The readings can fluctuate over time
  • Short return policy can be a disadvantage

#2 Hazie Submersible Aquarium Heater

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The first on our list is the Haze Submersible. This aquarium heater has a power of 50 watts and runs on 110-120 volts and 60 hertz.

This heater is waterproof and double-sealed. Mainly, it’s designed with a plastic coating that acts as a protective casing for scalds and punching.

The Hazie Submersible is easy to use and offers to handle a capacity of up to 16 gallons of water in your aquarium


  • Easy installation feature
  • Suction cups are included which helps handle aquariums up to 16 gallons
  • Easy and efficient use
  • The visible temperature setting is quick to set and easy to adjust with the utilization of the temperature adjustment knob
  • Maintains constant and stable temperatures as it operates a cycle around 5-10 minutes


  • The power cord might be a bit short
  • Doesn’t come with an instruction manual

#3 Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater

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The Tetra HT Submersible has three variations ranging from the 50-watts device to the 150-watts.

The design of this aquarium heater is small enough to effectively hide it behind rocks or any ornament in your aquarium. It’s fully submersible and can be installed horizontally or vertically.

With this device, you won’t need much adjusting because it’s programmed to meet 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Usually, this is ideal for most aquarium fishes.


  • Comes with indicator lights
  • Similar to the Aqueon, this lights up whenever the temperature in the tank is met or if the water is still heating.
  • Built-in electronic thermostat maintains a consistent reading of 78 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Ideal for aquariums with up to 10 gallons of water in capacity
  • Automatic shut-off feature helps with your safety
  • The Tetra HT has a detector for electrical shortages. It turns off automatically once detected


  • Heating mechanics can fluctuate when it gets old
  • Not ideal for larger tanks that use more gallons of water

#4 Finnex Electronic Controller Aquarium

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One of the finest features of the FInnex Electronic Controller is that it’s made with titanium tubes. These tubings make it virtually indestructible which avoids shattering and corrosion in either salt or freshwater tanks.

This product maintains stable and safe temperatures for your fish. However, it also does so with fast-heating features that come from the innovative tubes again. It’s compact in size which makes it easy to hide in your aquarium as well.


  • Comes with a precise electronic control with a hang on hook
  • ​Makes this device more easy to use because you won’t be putting your hand inside the tank for adjusting
  • ​Has LED indicator lights that work similarly with the Aqueon and Tetra HT
  • Optimal for large tanks that can reach over 60 gallons of water in capacity
  • Titanium tubes makes it one of most durable submersibles in the market


  • Voltage can be quite stray
  • Can have a few temperature swings

#5 Marineland Precision Heater

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The Marineland Precision Heater is the last on our list, but it also packs the highest wattage. You can get this heater starting at 50-watts until 400-watts, which makes it ideal for large aquariums.

Although it heats up your tank to the perfect temperature, you can still adjust it through the dial. The Marineland Precision Heater is also designed to have an advanced heating element.

This features a mica core surrounded by mesh heating elements which enable it to have efficient heat transfer.


  • Easy-to-view sliding scale lets you read the exact temperature setting
  • Automatic thermal switch gives you, and your fish added safety
  • This thermal switch shuts off the device when the expected temperature starts to exceed.
  • Advanced heating element gives you effective heat transfer along with long-lasting durability


  • The heater can stop even when temperatures don’t exceed from time to time
  • Quite pricey compared to other products reviewed

The Verdict

With all these products reviewed, it’s safe to say that the best aquarium heater is up for grabs. But if you’re looking for a cheap, safe, and efficient product, the Aqueon 50W Pro Heater should be for you.

The first product on our list doesn’t get many complaints from verified purchases. Its features are incredibly simple, but it gets the job done without much trouble. Truly, this is a simple yet highly efficient aquarium heater.

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About the Author


Hello, fishing world! My name is Bella. Yes, you got me right, I am a woman! But, I am a woman not only fond of cooking and shopping. I am a woman who shows interest in everything that covers topics regarding fishing. Don’t get me wrong! I believe that the world of fishing is not exclusively for men! In fact, I, myself enjoy fishing. That’s why I created this website.

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