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Read Our Review
Read Our Review
|Hidom HT-2050 Blastproof|
|XiLong Aquarium Heater Small|
|Hepo HP-605 Submersible|
|Interpet Deltatherm 100W|
Keeping tropical fish has long been a popular hobby. Some people find them therapeutic to watch as the glide serenely around the tank. Others choose to breed fish for resale or to pass on, while children appreciate the beautiful colours and benefit from the educational aspects of keeping exotic animals. These days, the tropical fish world is thoroughly established, and the many different species that are bred for keeping in home aquariums extends far beyond those available just ten or twenty years ago.
Keeping fish tends to be spilt into three main areas: cold water tank or pond fish, freshwater tropical fish, and marine aquariums. The latter, once a difficult area of fish-keeping to get to grips with, is now a mainstream hobby, although it should be noted that there is far more precision involved in creating a viable and sustainable marine aquarium than there is in a freshwater version, which is surprisingly simple.
The freshwater tropical aquarium is a great entry point into the hobby, and is where children and beginners should start if they want to get serious about things. It’s a rewarding experience, as you learn the different types of fish, which can be kept together, where they originate and how they fit into the ecosystem. You should not overlook the importance of plant life, which is essential to a well-stocked aquarium.
If you are looking at creating a marine environment, there is much more to consider including the levels of salt and other minerals in the water, plus the inclusion of corals and sea creatures other than fish. There are expert fishkeeping shops across the country, so you should consult with one of these experienced enthusiasts if you are to get the right advice.
One item of equipment that is essential – and there are a few you will need – is the best aquarium heater. Before we go on to tell you about the 10 best available, let’s talk a bit more about them, and why you need one.
Best Aquarium Heaters (Our recommendations)
You will find with most of those on our list that, although we have reviewed one power level, there are others in the range that can offer you more or less output. This one, then, is the 25Watt model from the Hepo 605 range, which included heaters offering all the way up to 300Watts, so there is something for you here. Again, it’s a simple, conventional aquarium heater that attaches to the side of the tank via suckers, and it does the job.
At 25W this specific model is suitable only for very small tanks – the makers recommend up to 25litres, which is a basic starter aquarium size. It is easy to set up and adjust and comes with the ability to heat to as much as 32-degrees, which is as warm as you will ever need an aquarium to be – and usually far too warm! It’s suitable for freshwater and marine, comes with a lengthy power cord and does the job at a very affordable price, so if you want a basic heater for a small tank, this is worth looking at.
This quality aquarium heater from the renowned Interpet brand is one that will serve you well in anything up to a 90litre tank. This is the 100W version – the range also includes lower and higher power outputs – so if you need bigger, check out the others (up to 300W). This is a very good heater with some neat features: it’s easy to set the temperature with a precise selection dial, and it is double-insulated for added protection – something you want when you have an electrical item submersed in water!
It has the usual on/off light indicator, can heat your tank up to 34C, and can maintain a regular temperature of around 26C in a heated home. In colder homes or rooms, you may need one of the more powerful models. The length of tank that can be heated is rated at 61cm by the manufacturers, or approximately 24inches which is the usual size of a standard aquarium, and it is suitable for freshwater and marine use.
Although the aquarium accessories market is populated by many different brands, there are a couple that stand out as market leaders: Fluval is one. This is a brand that offers a wide range of items, and this heater – one of a range as always – is an example of the quality you should expect from top brand names. This model is a 200W heater, so will be more than happy heating a larger tank of two to three feet in length.
It comes with special guards to protect the fish, and is designed with the care and attention you should expect from Fluval. It has a constant readout of the temperature, and it is easy to set up and has precise controls. You get a powerful heater – there is a 300W model and others with lower output – that is perfect for the purpose, is reliable, and which comes with many excellent customer recommendations, but be aware you will have to pay more than for some on here, although we don’t think it at all expensive for a quality item.
By now you will have realised that every one of these items does pretty much the same thing, and in the same way. Each uses a heating coil, encased in reinforced glass, with suitable insulation to keep the water out, and offers a varied power output. They are all submersible for use, and attach to the glass walls of the aquarium. That’s why there’s not an awful lot left to say about them as we near the end of our reviews!
This one, from Eheim, is a 300W model – that’s very much the highest you’re going to get with one of these, and there are lower outputs available in the range – and as such is good for the largest of domestic tanks. It can heat up to 34C so will happily handle any type of fish, is suitable for freshwater or marine, and customer comments indicate this one will easily heat a tank of as much as 1200L, although the recommended size is around 300L so we’re not so sure about that!
The penultimate model on our list is from another of the market leaders, Tetra, who are known for a wide range of quality yet affordable aquarium and fish-keeping accessories and equipment. This is a 100W heater that can also be found in lower and higher power outputs – up to the usual maximum of 300W – and it comes with easy to use temperature settings, and the standard suckers for attaching it to the glass wall of the tank.
This one is recommended by the makers as being suitable for a 150L tank, which is larger than a standard two-foot aquarium and perfectly suitable for the home, and has the usual safety cut off, indicator lights and insulation. It meets with largely favourable customer reviews, and as a known brand you have that guarantee, so is certainly worthy of inclusion on a shortlist if you want a well-priced heater for a larger aquarium.
This budget aquarium heater is a decent basic model that offers some excellent features at a sensible price. It’s from a known maker, so you have that assurance, and it is equally suitable for freshwater tropical or marine use. It comes with a very precise temperature control facility – some are a bit hit and miss so you need to use trial and error to get it right – and you also get a free thermometer as part of the package, which is another essential piece of aquarium equipment.
This Hidom heater is suitable for tanks of up to 40-litres – this is the 25w model and there are many more - which is enough to cope with most home installations. It has a 25watt element so can maintain a temperature of a regular 26c in a heated home; if you live in a cold house, you might want to look for a more powerful model (there are others in the range). It’s a good heater if you want a budget, simple device that does the job, and at the price may be unbeatable for those with smaller aquariums.
That’s our list of the 10 best aquarium heaters on the market today, and we reckon that as there are various power outputs for each one, there will certainly be one for you. However, which one is it? Before we give you our verdict, let’s have a quick look at some of the features you need to look for when choosing your the best aquarium heater.
How it Works
The beauty in setting up an aquarium, whether fresh or salt water, lies in creating a realistic and viable environment for the fish you want to put in it. Most people like to create what is known as a community tank, in which you can mix a selection of fish that are placid and sociable. Others like to keep more complex fish, perhaps cichlids or killifish, than need their own type of environment. All need the water to be heated, and to varying degrees.
This is why the best aquarium heater – along with a pump, filter, lights and various other items – is essential to your set up. There are many different types, makes and models around, and they range from the very simple to more complex models, and they are inexpensive and easy to use. The one you need will depend on many factors, including the types of fish you are intending to keep, and the size of the aquarium you are equipping. To get the right one, make sure you check out the manufacturers specifications, or talk to the experts at your local shop.
Setting up an aquarium is not the work of a moment, so talk to other enthusiasts and take all the advice you can, and you will get it right. So, without any further ado, let’s have a look at the top 10 best aquarium heaters on the market today, and see if we can find one that is right for you.
Important Features to Consider
The best aquarium heater you choose will depend on many factors, not least the size and type of aquarium you are setting up, so let’s check out some of the important issues:
- Freshwater or Marine – whether you are setting up a freshwater or a marine aquarium, most of the above models will do the job. We do, however, recommend that you choose a more powerful model if you are going for marine as they tend to use larger tanks.
- Power – this is perhaps your main consideration; most of the specific models reviewed above are one of a range. Hence, if we have reviewed – for example – a 100W output heater, the chances are there are lower and higher-powered models in the same range. So, don’t dismiss any item because of its power output, check to see if they do one for your requirements. Output tends to range from 25W – suitable for only the very smallest of beginner tanks – to 300W, which is enough for the biggest of home installations and sometimes more.
- Controls – in the past, aquarium heaters tended to be a bit hit and miss when it came to setting the temperature, and plenty of trial and error was required before you got it right. With some of the above budget models this may still be the case, but the better choices now have very precise and easy to use temperature controls with a constant readout so you know you have it exactly where you need it.
- Safety – this is an electrical item that is going in water so you need decent insulation and strong glass to protect against breakage, which all of the above offer.
That’s our quick list of features, so now all that we need to do is sum things up!
Let’s Sum It Up!
Which of the above is the best aquarium heater for you? First, as we said in the above section, don’t use the power output as a selection factor, as most of these are available with different powered heater elements.
If you want a budget heater, perhaps for a starter or a smaller tank, we can recommend either of the Hidom models. Cheap, simple and yet effective, they make the perfect choice if you don’t want to spend a great deal of money yet want results.
For a quality heater, one that would suit a more advanced aquarium, you might want to take a look at the Fluval mode, number 6 on our list. This is from the undoubted market leader, and offers you everything you need in terms of ability, ease of use and variety of power levels.
We hope we’ve helped you find the best aquarium heater that is right for you, and wish you all the best in enjoying your new aquarium.