If you have fish, then you have a need to make their habitat as comfortable for them as possible. Fish are fragile creatures, and a heater for their tank can go a long way in making them more comfortable.
The best way to evaluate a fish tank heater is by its responsiveness, how automated it is, and how versatile it is to the needs of various fish. That is why we reviewed the best 10-gallon fish tank heaters to see which ones did the most for your fish.
More features: comes electronic thermostat; has indicator lights
This is the Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater. You can identify it by its tall design and metallic center. It is one of the most reliable heaters on the market, providing the four things you need in a fish tank heater: Readability, versatility, safety, and ease of use.
The Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater has a highly sensitive aluminum oxide core, which both helps distribute its heat as well as to detect how much heat is needed. This is a big step up from other fish tank heaters, which mostly use costly and inefficient steel.
If you are looking for a fish tank heater that can provide heat to both a large fish tank as well as a smaller habitat while also being easy to operate and read, then we recommend the Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater.
An easy-to-read digital display and a variety of sizes separate the Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater from its competitors. Never before has there been a fish tank heater with such a range of sizes while still maintaining a simple design that helps you manage your fish with ease.
The FREESEA Aquarium Heater is easy to set up and uses a fish tank heater. It can be lowered in or laid down on the bottom of your fish tank and set to a huge variety of temperatures. Once it gets the water around it to that temperature, it will turn off to keep things from overheating.
What the FREESEA Aquarium Heater provides is warmth for a huge number of different fish. Many fish that people get is the colorful tropical kind that prefers water warmer than 80 degrees Fahrenheit. But there are just as many fish that prefer water closer to 40 degrees. This heater provides for both kinds.
If you need something that is easy to read, then the Uniclife Aquarium Heater is for you. This heater goes up to 74 degrees Fahrenheit and is sold at a variety of different power levels for differently sized fish tanks. It also comes with a thermometer to place on the outside of your tank for easy reading.
The Uniclife Aquarium Heater continues the manufacturer’s trend of developing wider and wider ranges of consumer fish tank heaters. That means upping the amount of power they both receive and output. They will always work on a normal power socket, but bigger tanks take more power to heat.
The Hitop Adjustable Aquarium Heater is a fish tank heater that sticks to the side of the inside of your fish tank by a pair of suction cups. Its temperature can be adjusted by the nob on top and red by a thermometer that is plugged into it and attached to the wall adjacent to the fish tank heater.
The great thing about the Hitop Adjustable Aquarium Heater is its ease of use. Fish tank heaters that use suction cups are great for attaching themselves to the wall of a fish tank and being easily accessed for cleaning later. This also keeps them from getting too dirty in the first place, lengthening their lives.
Responsiveness is incredibly important to a fish tank heater. You cannot be around the fish tank all the time, so the heater of the fish tank should usually pick up some of the slack. This is where the GMsound Aquarium Heater comes in, as it uses a unique construction to make a highly sensitive heater.
The GMsound Aquarium Heater is a low-power demanding heater that is designed to work with complete autonomy. You still have to set the desired temperature to that of your fish’s habitat, but apart from that, you can leave it totally alone. This makes it a first of its kind from the brand.
Tropical fish can be hard to take care of due to their unique environmental demands. That is what makes the SALUTE Aquarium Heater stand out: its temperature range can go as low as most other heaters, but it can go higher than almost all other heaters, making it ideal for demanding tropical fish.
The SALUTE Aquarium Heater is designed for comparatively smaller fish tanks sized 10 to 20 gallons. There are options that provide enough power for larger tanks, but the fish, the SALUTE Aquarium Heater, is geared towards usually do not need them. This speaks to the heater’s specialization.
Safety is often overlooked when it comes to fish tank heaters. People simply do not expect the devices to pose a risk to anyone or anything’s safety. That is an expectation that the BOEESPAT Small Aquarium Heater is designed around. It is built with safety, readability, and functionality in mind.
The BOEESPAT Small Aquarium Heater is unique from other fish tank heaters by the manufacturer, and in fact, unique from others on the market. This is because it specializes in small fish tanks, providing a low power heat that helps keep them warm without ever overheating them.
More than that, it also shuts off once it reaches its target heat in order to stop its environment from overheating. It also has safety features that turn it off automatically once it leaves the water to prevent it from hurting users.
The PERSUPER Aquarium Heater is a fish tank heater that is easy to keep clean and adjust. It uses a unique LED display that makes turning the temperature up or down easily. It can fit into most fish tanks and goes from the high 60s in temperature to the mid-90s, making it great for all fish.
What we found is that the PERSUPER Aquarium Heater is a complete redesign of its previous iterations. No more cylindrical design, no more suction cups, just free-floating plastic with heat emanated from the sides. It also comes in a greater range of power outputs than other models.
We have said much about the expectations of a fish tank heater’s design and how it interacts with the actual design of fish tank heaters. The Petbank Aquarium Heater is one such heater made to fill every expectation someone might have on getting their first fish tank heater.
The Petbank Aquarium Heater builds upon its predecessors in two big ways. The first is that it is more safety-oriented and better designed than others. It has a plastic casing that makes it safe to touch when it leaves the waters and temperature control so that it can turn itself automatically.
These features all pertain to a question you should ask yourself before buying the heater. For instance, the type of heater you buy will be determined by the type of fish that you have. Some questions are easier to answer than others, though.
The type of fish tank heater you get is entirely determined by the type of fish that you have. Generally, you can separate the type of fish that you have into “tropical” and “subtropical” fish, with tropical fish preferring water warmer than 80 degrees.
Subtropical fish prefer water under 80 degrees but above 60 degrees. Technically there are fish that live in water that is colder than this, but you will basically never own them as pets, especially in a fish tank.
But the type of fish tank heater that you get is not just a matter of the temperature. It impacts every aspect of the fish tank heater you use, from the heat to the safety measures the heater employs. A subtropical fish needs comparatively cooler water than a tropical fish, meaning that it cannot be left with a heater running overnight.
In short, the question of what kind of fish you are getting a fish tank water heater for is one of the biggest questions you have to answer before buying one. Keep this in mind as we go through each of the other features of the fish tank heaters.
This is because the device relies on distributing its heat evenly and raising the heat of the whole body of water. If you were to place one of these heaters in the ocean, then it would hardly cause the whole thing to heat up. The same goes for a fish tank that is too big—or rather, a heater that provides too little heat.
Fish tank heaters work by outputting an amount of power that is then turned into heat. That amount of power determines how high this heat can go, as well as how far it can go through the water before dissipating.
The size of the tank that the fish tank heater can heat will usually be indicated on the packaging, as it’s the case with PERSUPER Aquarium Heater. Whether this detail is included or not is determined by the heat it outputs and the amount of power it uses to output that heat. This can make it seem complicated, so you should definitely prioritize a heater that lists these things.
If you want to remember how much heat a fish tank heater provides, think of it like every 50 Watts of power heating up 5 gallons of water to its desired temperature. That means that if it uses 200 Watts of power, it can heat up a 20-gallon tank.
“Power” in this context refers to two things: The first is how much power the fish tank heater draws. This is not too much of a factor you need to worry about, as just about every fish tank heater will require no more power than that of a home outlet.
The only fish tank heaters that require more power than those provided by a normal wall socket are those that are designed for much bigger aquariums. These are not the kind of fish tank heaters you are going to buy unless you are looking for them.
To be specific, a fish tank heater, like SALUTE Aquarium Heater, will take 120 volts to power. For comparison, a food heating pad or clothing dryer will take 240 volts. That means that a fish tank heater’s power demands are no more than a normal household appliance.
Their power output is slightly different. You will want to keep an eye on the power output of your fish tank heater because not only does it determine the size of the space it is capable of heating (as detailed above) but also its risks.
Put simply, and a more powerful fish tank heater will be more dangerous to handle. “Dangerous” is a strong word—you are unlikely to get seriously hurt by a fish tank heater. But “unlikely” should not be misread as “never going to.” It is an electrical device submerged in water, so be careful with it.
Most fish tank heaters come with their own safety features that turn them off when they leave the water. This keeps them from hurting you when you clean them. Just be sure to handle them with care to avoid this in case they do not have this feature.
Size is the kind of feature in a fish tank heater that can very easily slip by your notice. The reason why size is important in a fish tank heater is that the heater needs to be completely submerged into the water in order to work. If it is not completely submerged into the water, then there is a good chance it will shut off.
These facts are highly material to the size of the fish tank heater, as a fish tank heater that is too big will easily pop right out of the surface of the water. You want your fish tank heater to either float vertically in the water or lie horizontally on the bottom of the tank. You can also get fish tank heaters that feature suction cups, like FREESEA Aquarium Heater, to attach them to the walls. In all cases, there has to be clearance above and below the fish tank heater to keep it safe.
Fish tank heater installation is generally easy, although the exact method differs from model to model. Most of the time, you start by submerging the fish tank heater in water completely, then plug it in and turn it on. Only then do you set your desired heat. Rarely will that order of operations change.
It is important that you submerge the fish tank heater before you turn it on, as turning it on first can cause it to shock your hand. It is meant to be submerged in order to function properly, so do that first.
Some fish tank heaters cannot turn on before being submerged anyways, so it is a good habit to make. Just be aware that some fish tank heaters will have you set the temperature before you turn them on.
Some fish tank heaters, like the Hitop Adjustable Aquarium Heater, have suction cups that attach them to the walls of fish tanks that you will need to use before turning them on. These are great for keeping the heater next to a water source.
In short, you should only even plug the fish tank heater in after you have gotten it into its correct position. Only once you are sure you do not need to touch it anymore should you plug it in, much less turn it on.
The temperature range of a fish tank heater is an important factor in which fish tank heater to buy, as some fish prefer wildly different temperatures than others. Keep a close eye on what kind of temperatures your fish want. Most fish tank heaters will be able to handle lower temperatures, as it is incredibly rare that a fish that can live in a fish tank will need its environment cooled rather than warmed.
But if a fish needs 94 degrees Fahrenheit water and your fish tank heater can only provide 91 degrees Fahrenheit, then it simply does not have the ability to sustain your fish. This might seem harsh, but it is the best mindset to adopt for the safety of your fish, as many of a fish’s chemical reactions rely on its body temperature.
This can best be exemplified in the SALUTE Aquarium Heater, which pushes its design to focus on generating the highest heat it can output. Research your fish to see if they have any particular temperature needs. There will certainly be a fish tank heater to accommodate every kind of fish out there.
But if the fish tank heater is not automated, then you will have to operate it manually. This means that you set it to the temperature you need and then turn it off when it gets there. Many will come with timers to help with that.
You only need to turn the fish tank heater off if your fish prefer a lower temperature. Otherwise, most fish will do fine at the higher temperatures that a fish tank heater can provide.
We looked at tons of fish tank heaters, and now we are ready to issue our decision. The best heater for its price is the FREESEA Aquarium Heater. This heater has incredible versatility and longevity, meaning you can get mileage out of it no matter how long you have it.
The best heater if you are willing to spend a little extra money is the Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater. Providing both salt water and fresh water means that it does more with advanced materials and easy readability.
But the Editor’s Choice has to go to the Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater. This heater provides safety and simplicity, making it ideal for beginners. At the same time, you have the reliability one expects from the best 10-gallon fish tank heater.