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Aquarium Heater: Views, Overview, Comparison! (Winter Is Coming!)

Just recently, groups in social networks and aquarium forums have been flooded with posts like: “Help, water in an aquarium 32 ° C” or “How to cool water in an aquarium using ice bottles”.

But a couple of months passed and questions began to arise about how and what to choose a heater for the aquarium. Below I want to share the experience of buying and operating models from different manufacturers, both well-known and manufacturers with Aliexpress. After all, a heater for an aquarium is no less important than a filter and light. And it should be not only functional, but also 100% safe to use, both for the inhabitants of the aquarium and for you and me. Indeed, most often, he is in the aquarium in a partially or completely submerged state.

Heater. What are they like.

There are several types of aquarium heaters. Everyone has one goal - to heat and maintain a certain temperature in the aquarium. The only difference is in the way how to achieve this goal.

External heaters.

External heaters are not located inside the aquarium, but outside. And their main advantage in saving space and appearance in the aquarium.

One of them is made in the form of a device mounted on a hose for an external filter. The idea is not bad, and a big plus is the uniform heating of the entire volume of the aquarium. But there are minuses too. Firstly, by installing such a heater, we increase the number of connections on the hose, and this is always an additional risk of leaks. The second minus is that if an external filter fails, the water flow will also disappear, and therefore the heater will stop working. And the aquarium at the same time will remain without a filter, and without heat. As an option, there are external filters with already built-in heaters.

The external heater for the aquarium is shown in this photo. External aquarium heater can be seen in this image.
Aquarium heater, external.

Another type of external heater is made in the form of a mat-substrate for the aquarium. Of the benefits, a uniform distribution of heat and a visual view of the aquarium. Of the minuses, there are big problems in case of failure and replacing such a heater (It will be necessary to completely drain the aquarium).

Heater-substrate under the aquarium can be seen in this picture.
Aquarium mat with heater.

A similar view would be the heater, which is buried in the ground. Often used in “Nano” aquariums, where every centimeter of space is worth its weight in gold. Made either in the form of an elastic cord, or in the form of a plastic plate. Of the minuses, all the same difficulties with access and maintenance.

The soil heater in the aquarium is visible in this image. Heater for aquarium gravel can be seen in this image.
Heater for soil.

But the most common and accessible view to date is “Immersion heater”. In terms of functionality and appearance, they will all be similar to each other and are usually made in the form of a tube or a rod. There are glass, plastic, titanium, with protection for fish and without, with protection from low water levels, with and without thermostat, for marine and freshwater aquariums.

Submersible heater. Review and experience of use.

Looking ahead to say that for all the time of use of heaters, none of them had any problems. I use German Tetra, Juwel, Jblpolish Aquael and Chinese.

Today, almost all heaters have built-in thermostat.

Thermostat-device with a sensor to maintain a constant temperature in the aquarium. That is, when the required temperature is reached, it will turn off and only turn on when it falls. Therefore, do not be afraid of large electricity bills and disconnect the heater from the outlet.
I do not do this even in summer.

But not all heaters have Temperature controller.

Thermostat - in simple words, a temperature switch. In my opinion, a very important thing. It is either built-in or external. Digital or analog.

There is one polish in my collection Aquael without thermostat. Sold in a complete aquarium kit. Set to 25 degrees. Virtually useless. With him, neither fish should be spawned for spawning, nor should eggs be separated in the incubator, nor quarantined.

Heater Aquael for the aquarium is visible in this picture. Heater for aquatory Aquael can be seen in this image.

Buying a full set of aquarium, it seems to you that you will save money. But this is often not the case. After all, all the equipment there is usually a basic level. And over time you will have to replace the filter, the light and the heater with more advanced ones. So be careful before buying.

But the following heaters from the company Tetra already meet many of my requirements. And they already have a temperature controller built into the case. Some of them have been working without interruption for more than a year and there have never been problems with them.

Aquarium heater company Tetra depicted in this image. Heater for aquarium can be seen in this image.

A more advanced heater can be considered a device from the company JBL. It has several advantages over the rest. Not only is it itself made of high-impact glass, it is also equipped with a plastic protective casing. The casing can protect against some aggressive and strong fish, which cost nothing to break a heating pad in the aquarium. And secondly, it can protect the fish themselves from burns. For example, various catfish suction cups. And another big plus is that it has protection against low water levels. That is, if you accidentally forget to turn it off, and start draining water from the aquarium, the heater will not burst.

Heater JBL ProTem is shown in this image. Jbl Heater can be seen in this image.

Company heater Juwel also meets all my requirements. It differs in that it is built into the body of the internal filter. Over the 2 year of operation, completely got out and wiped only a couple of times. Temperature keeps properly.

Juwel the heater is shown in this image.

Also, no complaints about the Chinese heater. The main advantage of him is the price. It costs 3 times cheaper than German.

Moments that need attention.

  • When choosing a heater, always compare its power with the volume of your aquarium. It seems that the more powerful, the better. But here it’s the opposite. And this is due to the safety of your fish. The fact is that the heater may have problems with the thermostat and it will not turn it off at the right time. And a powerful heater will make soup out of your aquarium. Such cases are full on the Internet. At that time, as a low-power one it will simply not be able to heat the aquarium to such a temperature. Therefore, it is better to choose a device with the minimum required power for your volume. And in a large aquarium, a few low-power ones are better than one powerful one. So the water will be more evenly heated, and safety will be higher.
  • Try to install heating near the filter. So, with the help of the current, the water will warm up completely, and there will be no places with different temperatures.
  • Do not forget to turn off the heaters when cleaning and replacing water in the aquarium.
  • Periodically wipe off to remove plaque from the heater body. After all, it affects the heat transfer and increases the load on the device.
  • And of course, do not believe in the 100% temperature regulator built into the heater and control the temperature using aquarium thermometers.

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