Choosing the Best Heater for Large Aquariums

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choosing best large aquariums heater
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If you currently keep or plan to keep tropical fish, chances are you will need to heat your aquarium. Tropical fish prefer a tank with a temperature between 78 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which is typically above room temperature for most homes and offices. Without a tank heater, your fish may die prematurely or exhibit signs of illness.

Which Fish Require a Tank Heater?

Nearly all tropical fish species require their tanks to be heated in some way, usually by a tank heater if the tank cannot stay at an optimum temperature for a long period of time. Some common tropical fish that benefit from having a tank heater include the blue danio, angelfish, tetra and guppy. Other less common species may require a heated tank, too, so you should always check with the fish breeder where you purchased them to see what temperatures they prefer.

Where Do I Place a Tank Heater in a Fish Tank?

Most fish tank heaters are designed to be submerged directly into the water of the tank and they may lay vertically or horizontally in the water. The best place to position these heaters is by the tank's water pump or water filter so that the heat may be distributed throughout the tank evenly.

What Size of Tank Heater Should I Use for My Tank?

Tanks that are under 10 gallons in size may use a 50-watt heater while all tanks above 10 gallons should use a 100-watt heater. For tanks of 40 gallons, you should use two 100-watt heaters and for tanks of 75 gallons or more, you should use three 100-watt heaters.

How Much Does It Cost To Heat a Fish Tank?

While it is important that fish owners invest in a high-quality tank heater for their aquariums, it should also be noted that most tank heaters are inexpensive. In fact, some of the best fish tank heaters cost less than $60.

The Best Heaters for Aquariums

hygger Variable Frequency Titanium Heater

hygger fish tank heater

This is our number one choice for aquarium heaters for medium and large size tanks. Designed to heat tanks between 60 and 180 gallons, the hygger Variable Frequency Titanium Heater is a smart aquarium water heater that works to put out only as much heat as is needed.

This heater is available in 500 or 800 watts of power, and each version features an energy-saving mode to prevent excessive electricity use. Other features of this heater include an automatic power-off, a memory function, a misuse alert system, a dual sensor mode and an LED digital display.

This water heater uses variable frequency drive technology to reach the desired tank temperature quickly without expending too much energy. You can set the heater to any temperature between 59 and 93 degrees, and the heater will set off an alarm if the water ever becomes hotter 95 degrees, since this can be dangerous to all fish. And, while this is a submersible tank heater, it includes an external controller with easy-to-use buttons. You also can attach this heater to the walls of your tank with the included suction cups.

When comparing cost to quality, this heater is the best value for the price. With aquarium heaters, you typically get what you pay for. Lower cost options tend to have shorter life spans or don't perform as well. This heater is durable and makes it easy to maintain aquarium water temperature at the optimal range for your tropical fish.

Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater

orshi heater

The Orlushy Submersible water heater may come in power ratings of 25 watts, 50 watts, 100 watts, 150 watts, 200 watts, 300 watts, 500 watts or 800 watts, so you can get just the right size of heater for your tank. This heater can be used in either freshwater or saltwater aquariums, and it is explosion-proof for the safety of your fish. It also comes with a temperature dial that, although it can be touchy, turns easily to adjust the heater output.

Periha 300W Black Aquarium Heater


With a 300-watt power output, the Periha Black Heater is perfect for 80-gallon tanks. It is also a submersible heater that is made from waterproof materials so that its body doesn't break down over time while in your tank. The temperatures that this heater can achieve are between 71.6 and 93.2 degrees, and it always heats your tank's water within one degree of the temperature you set.

Marineland Precision Heater for Saltwater or Freshwater Aquariums


The Marineland Precision Heater may come in 50, 75, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300 or 400 watts of power, and it packs a lot of quality into a small price. Every model includes a clicking dial that allows you to set the heating temperature up or down one degree at a time, and the inside design uses mica surrounded by mesh for ultimate heat output. Perhaps what sets this heater apart most, though, is its glass-attaching brackets and three temperature-reading windows so that you can set up the heater securely in your tank and continue to monitor it from all angles.

Aquatop 500W Titanium Heater with Controller

For the largest of fish tanks, the Aquatop Titanium Heater does wonders. Not only does this heater work for tanks up to 150 gallons in size, but it includes two temperature sensors and a remote control that will tell you the exact temperature of your tank from more than one side or corner. This heater can also be mounted on the floor of your aquarium and may be set to any temperature between 68 and 92 degrees. Its titanium design makes it durable for long-time use and its external controller allows you to set the heater without getting your hands wet.

Final Thoughts

If you have any tropical fish in your aquarium, heating your tank is vital for the health of your fish. A lot of fish owners believe that heaters for aquariums are expensive and don't last very long; however, there are tons of heater models out there that are durable and won't break the bank. When your fish—particularly tropical fish—live in the right temperature, they will live longer, healthier lives and a tank heater can help make that happen.

About the Author

choosing best large aquariums heater

Dustin Williams

Dustin Williams is a seasoned author who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the world of pet literature. His expertise stems from a lifelong immersion in the fascinating world of animal companionship and care. As a third-generation aquarist, Mr. Williams boasts a deep understanding of aquatic life. His passion began in childhood and [...] Author Details

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