Catering to the health of your aquarium fish is integral in maintaining an ideal aquatic environment. So, how can you ensure your fish are living in a personal utopia? What can you do to ensure they can thrive in their environment? A good heater is the first step. There are a lot of options to choose from, and it can be tricky deciding which is the best heater for a 20-gallon tank. Ideally, it will be compatible with your specific tank in terms of size, design, and weight.
The amount of power transmitted and its temperature range are important too. Beyond that, you need to consider the cost of installation and any other adjustable settings the heater offers. In this guide, we reviewed the best heaters for a 20-gallon tank and ranked them from editor’s choice to best value and more. We’ve also included a helpful guide of everything you need to consider when choosing your aquarium heater.
The Orlushy submersible aquarium heater comes in five different sizes ranging from 100W-500W. The glass composition is 2mm thick and is virtually shatterproof, so it can withstand the weight of water in your aquarium. It can be used in salt or freshwater tanks and can easily be hidden out of sight on the floor or attached to the aquarium wall. This aquarium heater allows you to adjust the temperature between 68-89-degrees F.
Unlike other 20-gallon tank heaters like it, the Orlushy heater includes an accurate digital thermometer to ensure your tank won’t overheat. It also has an updated design from previous models to allow the heater to fit discreetly into your tank, regardless of the tank size. This is a major improvement from the previous design as it was more difficult to make sure the heater was completely submerged in the tank before.
The FREESEA tank heater offers a temperature range of 59 degrees F to 94 degrees F and is designed for tanks from 10-20 gallons. It comes with an automatic temperature function that will turn the heater on and off when the tank gets too cold or too warm, respectively. The heater will only work when it’s fully submerged, but there’s an external temperature controller to make temperature adjustment much easier.
This aquarium heater is superior to other heaters like it for a variety of reasons. First of all, the heater’s real-time digital temperature display is built right into the heater, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing and installing a separate thermometer. On top of that, the temperature adjustment controller is attached to a part of the cord that isn’t submerged. This makes adjusting the tank’s water temperature much safer and less messy.
The Hitop aquarium heater is built with 2mm of thick shatterproof glass, making it more durable and shatter-resistant than others like it. The temperature settings on this heater allow you to choose from 68-93 degrees Fahrenheit and a thermometer sticker is included to help ensure your tank is at the correct temperature. The heater is suitable for salt or freshwater tanks and has an automatic turn-off setting when the tank reaches the set temperature.
Unlike other aquarium heaters, this one is unique in that it will automatically turn off when the set temperature is reached. It’s also superior to other models because it’s easy to discreetly hide within the aquatic landscape of your tank. Its construction of 8-shot multi-branched wire ceramic heating makes the dissipation of heat throughout the tank much more even. This is ideal for ensuring the tank is evenly heated.
The Uniclife heater can be used in salt or freshwater tanks and can be used in tanks between 10-25 gallons. The glass exterior is 2mm thick and has a bottom clash-proof cover to further prevent any damage. The temperature is adjustable via a red knob at the top of the heater and has a range of 68-93 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature control is visible, and the package comes with a thermometer sticker to help keep track of the tank temperature.
This heater is set apart from others as it’s built for prolonged use. It also has automatic shut-off sensors, and the knob for temperature adjustment is easier to use than other models. The stick-on thermometer that comes with the heater is also easier to read than other similar models.
The Mylivell aquarium heater is made with shatterproof quartz glass, double seal material, and a guarantee for safe operation. It also comes with automatic temperature adjustment with an easy-to-read temperature display with a range of 65-93 degrees Fahrenheit. It can also effectively heat tanks up to 40 gallons. To ensure optimal safety, the plug is polarized to prevent electrical shocks to you and your fish.
Unlike other 20-gallon tank heaters, this one is easy to hide amongst your aquatic landscape. It also has a switch design for temperature adjustment to ensure accurate temperature settings. The heating component is also protected by a layer of glass, so you don’t need to worry about your fish getting curious and stuck between the coils.
When shopping around for an aquarium heater Trusted Source Water warming increases aggression in a tropical fish | Scientific Reports Our understanding of how projected climatic warming will influence the world’s biota remains largely speculative, owing to the many ways in which it can directly and indirectly affect individual phenotypes. Its impact is expected to be especially severe in the tropics, where organisms have evolved in more physically stable conditions relative to temperate ecosystems. Lake Tanganyika (eastern Africa) is one ecosystem experiencing rapid warming, yet our understanding of how its diverse assemblage of endemic species will respond is incomplete. www.nature.com , you need to pay close attention to the size of your tank and other important features. Different heaters will sit differently in a tank depending on the size and design of the tank itself. It’s also helpful to find heaters with longer cords. This will give you more flexibility in where your aquarium is placed than a shorter cord can offer.
You’re also going to need to pay close attention to the water composition of your tank (salt vs. freshwater) and the type of fish you own. Different fish species will require varying water temperatures to live comfortably. It’s important to ensure you have a heater that can accommodate their needs.
Trying to find the right heater for your 20-gallon tank can definitely be stressful. After all, the temperature of your aquarium can literally mean life or death for your aquatic flora and fauna. Because of a heater’s importance, it’s essential to keep in mind tank compatibility, the power and temperature range, the size and weight of the heater, its adjustability, and any added costs for installation that may accrue.
The size of the heater in relation to your tank, along with the amount of power the heater can provide, will determine whether or not the heater you’re looking at is compatible with your aquarium. Each of the important features listed below ties into the level of compatibility a specific heater will have with your 20-gallon aquarium tank.
Power is arguably the most important factor to keep in mind when shopping around. Without proper power, you risk uneven heating. For 20-gallon tanks, it’s important to get a heater that uses at least 50 watts. Any wattage less than 50 can result in an unevenly heated tank. If your heat is uneven, then your fish will become stressed, and they may die. Some heaters may come with varying models that accommodate different wattages. For example, our Editor’s Choice, the Orlushy Aquarium Heater, comes with five different models, each with different wattage allowances.
The temperature range an aquarium heater offers is also important because different fish and aquatic plant species need varying temperatures to survive and thrive. You’ll find that most heaters will accommodate at least 68-90 degrees Fahrenheit, but some will provide heating at temperatures with a greater range. Make sure to note your specific aquatic species before deciding on a heater.
You run the risk of the heater overheating and potentially exploding as a result. This becomes a fire hazard and can actually result in your dwelling catching fire. Even if you feel it will be fine to leave running outside of the water during tank water changes, leaving the heater running in dry air for even a minute can cause the glass to dry out and shatter completely. For this reason, we included the Mylivell aquarium heater as it’s more compact than most other 20-gallon tank heaters we’ve seen.
Depending on your setup, you should also take note of the weight of the heater. The heavier your heater, the more durable it usually is. Heavier aquarium heaters also generally mean they last much longer because of their durability.
A heavier heater may also mean it would suffice better to lay flat on the aquarium floor. This way, you don’t run the risk of the heater dislodging from the side suction and potentially breaking in the process.
Some aquarium heaters may have adjustable settings that allow them to become more compact or take up more space. They may also have adjustable settings in terms of temperature changing and automatic on/off settings. These are all important in making the heater more user-friendly and customizable to your specific fish tank. Adjustability is a big reason why we chose to include the FREESEA aquarium heater, as it’s easy to adjust the temperature settings with an external controller.
If you aren’t confident in installing Trusted Source The effects of interacting with fish in aquariums on human health and well-being: A systematic review Review findings suggest that interacting with fish in aquariums has the potential to benefit human well-being, although research on this topic is currently limited. Future research should aim to address gaps in the evidence, such as whether and how the type of human-fish interaction can influence well-being outcomes. Researchers should also aim to address the methodological concerns highlighted in this review. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov the heater on your own, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of professional installation. Our top three picks on our list all come with free over-the-phone support where someone will walk you through the installation process via phone call.
Once you have the heater in hand, follow these steps:
1. Double-check the heater. Before installing, look over the heater one more time to ensure there aren’t any noticeable defects. If you notice any missing pieces or cracks in the glass, it’s important to return them to the seller right away. Failing to do so can lead to your tank overheating and your fish are dying.
2. Place the heater in the tank. It’s very likely that the heater also came with strong suction cups to help keep it in place. Whether you install it on the aquarium wall or on the floor, use the suction cups to ensure it isn’t loosely floating in the water.
3. Let it settle, then turn it on. Don’t turn the heater on immediately after installing. Let it rest for around 20 minutes to acclimate to the water before starting it up.
4. Adjust the temperature and leave it to work. Some heaters will have an external controller, while others will have a dial you turn to make temperature adjustments.
Ensuring you find the best heater for 20-gallon tanks boils down to the type of tank you own and the species of flora and fauna you’re taking care of. From the temperature range to the adjustability of the heat temperature settings, finding the right heater for your needs is quite a task. If you’re looking for a heater that can easily be hidden on the aquarium floor, our Editor’s Pick of the Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater is perfect. If easy usability is more your speed, consider the FREESEA aquarium heater, our premium pick. For those on a budget, give the Hitop Adjustable Aquarium Heater a try. Whether you choose one of our awesome picks or go a different route entirely, we hope this detailed guide has been helpful for you.