5 Best Turtle Tank Heaters In 2021 (Buying Guide & Review)


The next most important purchase after the turtle tank is the water heater. Reptiles are cold-blooded animals that respond to changes in their environment. When the water is too cold, they can get sickly, sluggish, and slip into hibernation in extreme cases. Therefore, you need a water heater like the Cobalt Aquatics Heater to create a suitable environment for your pet. Considering the markets flood with unreliable products, we have established the ultimate guide for you with your pet’s health in mind. 

In this article, we’re going to review the following turtle tank Heaters:

Turtle Tank Heaters

5 Best Turtle Tank Heaters Reviewed

The list of available heaters in the market is endless, making it time-consuming to select a befitting option. Therefore, we conducted research and asked veteran keepers for the heaters that work best for them. We have shortened the list down to the top five products that will likely work for you too. Read on as we give you the ultimate guide.

1. Finnexe Hang-On Titanium Tube Heater

This heater is quite different from other products in terms of functionality and ease of use. It works well for both fresh and ocean water because it can withstand corrosion in saltwater. Therefore, it is convenient for turtles regardless of their habitat. Besides, it has an LED lighting that indicates the accurate water temperature and shows when your gadget is fully functional. Finnexe heater offers fair heat distribution being a submersible gadget. Furthermore, it is long-lasting due to the tube covering that protects it from rusting and fortifies it from impact.

The heater also comes with a suction cup to secure it in place. This unbreakable turtle heater has high wattage that will suffice for a tank capacity ranging from 40-80 gallons to create a conducive environment for your pet. The ultra-heating titanium component on this equipment sustains the heat in the tank and counters any effect due to erratic temperatures. Another significant aspect is that it comes in various sizes and wattages; hence, it can comfortably heat a 100-gallons aquarium. 

Pros

  • It is corrosion-resistant
  • it can heat large tanks
  • It is convenient for newbies since it is easy to operate

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with an inbuilt thermostat
  • It isn’t easy to clean due to its plastic casing

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

2. Hydro In-line External Heater

If you are looking for an external heater, this option may work effectively for you, especially if you don’t want a gadget that interferes with your tank’s aesthetics. Similarly, it is a top choice if you have a small tank, and it helps you maximize space. The product is of high quality, and the unique design will blow you away. It is suitable for different tanks, and you can use it in multiple ways, either as an external heater or place it in the filter. The unique technology allows the water to heat up as it filters, and you will need a canister to use this system effectively. Instead of taking up space meant for the filter substance, the heater can connect to tubing, which returns water to the tank.

It may be pretty complex for new users, but it still does its job effectively. The hydro heater heats the water from the tank and returns it when heated. There are additional simple instructions to get you started if you have trouble running it. It is one exceptional heater that utilizes positive thermal coefficient principles to keep your pet safe from overheating and explosions, thanks to the safety indicator. It will accurately detect when the heat is excessive for the tank. Another great feature is the tank’s ability to blend well with different tanks with filters and stay hidden, not interfering with your tank view. 

Pros

  • It works well with tanks with canister filters
  • It has a reliable and accurate safety limiter
  • It stays hidden because it is external
  • It is effective for external use

Cons

  • It has a tiny display
  • You can only install it vertically

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

3. Fluval E Heater

Fluval is a well-known brand among most reptile keepers, from the beautiful aquariums to the powerful filters. They also have an incredible high-quality heaters line. This particular one is 300 watts, suitable for all your heating needs, but there are alternative 100 and 200-watt options if you have a tiny tank. One feature that we adore is the accurate green user-friendly LCD that notifies you of the temperature level. It tells the current status and turns red during temperature surges. The calibration is in Fahrenheit’s and degrees; hence, easy to read.

You can also set and detect the temperature level more accurately than other products, thanks to the precise thermal sensor. Moreover, it comes with an inbuilt shut-off when the liquid level is low. It has a guard that prevents your pet from directly contacting it and getting hurt in the process for added safety. This feature makes it more competitive among most heating options since it guarantees your pet’s safety. Since you can submerge it, you can set it up however you want, vertically or horizontally, depending on your tank.

Pros

  • It displays temperature in Fahrenheit and Celsius
  • It has a unique fish guard

Cons

  • It functions best with a strong water flow

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

4. Eheim Jager Thermostat Heater 

This brand is a common household name among many starters and veteran reptile and fish keepers. The Jager thermostat heater is a submersible gadget that effectively warms your water and comes in various wattages, all suitable depending on your tank’s size. It also has a fixed thermostat that lets you adjust the water temperatures to your desired level. You will also appreciate that this item is shock-resistant and enables you to use it comfortably without worrying about electrocution.

Besides, it is shatterproof glass that functions in marine and freshwater without being interference by heat. This heater stands out because it allows recalibrations; hence, ranks as one of the most accurate heat sources. It also has your pet’s safety in mind considering the Thermo safety feature that lets it turns off when water levels are low, or you remove it from water. It will only resume working when you put it back into the water. Similarly, it has an indicator that alerts you when the heater is on or off. 

Furthermore, it comes with a long cord for easy connecting to a power source, plus a suction cup and a mounting bracket to better fix the heater. One downside is that the heater’s temperature readings may start to lose accuracy over time and begin to fluctuate. Therefore, you can have an alternative thermometer to read these temperature changes. It is best to replace an overly used Eheim Jager heater to maintain the heater’s accuracy.

Pros

  • It allows for safe and straightforward recalibration
  • It turns off automatically when water levels are low

Cons

  • It becomes unreliable when overused

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

5. Cobalt Aquatics Heater

One of our favorite submersible heaters on our list is the cobalt aquatics, specially designed and accurate, perfect for your turtle. First, it is one of the safest options in the market, given its unique features and shatterproof casing, making it one of the most durable heaters we have. For maximum safety, it utilizes an auto-shut feature that detects increases in heat levels and turns off to prevent any accidents. It also comes with an in-built thermostat and LED technology. One light blinks when the heater is running while the other lights up when the heat is extreme. 

It is of resin, which is better than glass; hence, durable and excellent money value. We have to talk about the impressive design and miniature size. If you are skeptical about the heater peaking out through the tank, this product doesn’t ruin your tank’s aesthetics. The flat and black item blends well with any tank design and is barely noticeable. The outstanding features make it quite pricey, but you are sure to get a high-quality product. It is also easy to install thanks to the bracket that allows you to place it wherever you like. The accuracy is also worth noting, and you will be sure about the readings it displays. 

Pros

  • It doesn’t occupy a lot of space in the tank.
  • It has a bracket for easy installation and adjustment

Cons

  • It is quite pricey

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

How To Choose the Best Turtle Tank Heater

It can be tasking and overwhelming to look for the best heater for your turtle, especially as a first-time buyer. Although you have to pick the option that works best for your turtle, you need to know where to start. We have an overview of the crucial aspects to consider to help you narrow your options down. 

The Type of Heater

The first thing to look for is the tank’s design. You need a durable, practical, and high-quality heater that also blends well with your setup. Most owners go for metallic options or any type that offers thermal resistance because they are unbreakable, unlike glass. Turtles tend to rub their shell against the equipment in their enclosure, and their rigid bodies can shutter a brittle heater. For your pet’s safety, experts recommend using heaters with suction cups and clamps which stay secure during use. Luckily, there are various types of heaters to select depending on your preference.

The top choice among most buyers is the submersible heaters. They are compact, miniature, and convenient to use since they go underwater. They are also very efficient, easy to install, and generally affordable. Most are stick-shaped, and the heating element has a glass or plastic covering. You may prefer a thermostat heater with a shut on/ off for safety in case of any malfunctions because some electric heaters tend to overheat and cause electrocution. Ideally, it should be adjustable, and it is best to avoid the options with set temperatures.

We recommend the submersible options due to their adaptability, which is why they form the bulk of our top selections. Secondly, there are external heating alternatives for the owners that want to keep their pets safe and avert any hazards related to submersible heaters. They also work if you wish to avoid the visible options you can see through the glass. 

Substrate heaters are another ideal alternative if you want your heater to stay hidden. You place them under the substrate, and they work effectively and additionally promote plant growth. The only downside is that you may have to dig deeper into your pockets to purchase them. Lastly, we have the in-filter options which you place in the canister filter. They do not contact your pet, and you don’t need to worry about them breaking. The disadvantage is that they are pretty pricey, like the substrate heaters. 

Wattage

Turtles are cold-blooded animals meaning that their body temperatures depend on the environment. Hence, they need a good heater with the correct wattage. Notably, your aquarium’s size will significantly influence how effective your heating source will be. First, you need to consider the water capacity and how many turtles you have; otherwise, the system will not work. 

A 15-gallon enclosure will work better with a 50-Watt heater, while a 45-gallon one matches a 150-Watt source. Therefore, the bigger your tank, the higher the wattage you need for heat to distribute effectively. Going for a weak heater with a giant tank means that the heat will not distribute well throughout the tank.    

Safety

Above everything else, your pet’s safety comes first. It is crucial to protect it against all hazards associated with some heaters. Therefore, always select a heater that guarantees your turtle’s safety. For one, your heater failing will affect your pet’s health since the water will remain cold. Secondly, you will risk electrocution and death if the heater overheats. Thus, we highly recommend going for high-quality and durable products regardless of the concerns that they are pricey.

You will realize that the cheaper alternatives are prone to malfunctions in the long run, and you will replace them regularly, which is more expensive. Some products have an automatic turn-off feature that helps prevent accidents related to overheating. Other options are also shutter-resistant and shockproof for added safety. Therefore, you will be confident that nothing will happen to your pet.

Efficiency

The heat your appliance emits should be efficient and correspond to the tank’s size for quality performance. Therefore, entirely warming up the whole tank depends on the heater’s strength based on wattage and the enclosure size. For example, you can’t expect a 40-gallon tank to work efficiently with a 50-watt heat. A spoilt system will likely cause health hazards such as indigestion issues, weak bones, and fatal health conditions. 

Thus, consider a heater that provides enough warmth for the growth and development of your little buddy. Also, beware of unscrupulous dealers who will sell you low-quality products in the name of saving on costs. Experts advise the use of 2.5-5 watts per gallon to heat your turtle tank effectively.

Before You Use Your Turtle Tank Heater

 A heater is an electrical appliance, and having it immersed in the water together with your turtles is a gamble. There are concerns of electrocution and overheating when dealing with some products. Hence, it is essential to review some safety precautions to prevent the loss of your pet. First, consider buying a thermometer alongside your heater to monitor the heat levels. Various types in the market will work for you; try the conventional one or an LCD type to check in regularly. 

You also need a heater guard to keep your turtle safe. The reptiles tend to contact the objects in their tank, and they can easily bump into the heater. To stop them, consider encasing the heating element with glass or plastic to create a barrier for your turtle to stay protected from the heater’s hot region.

Lastly, installing two heaters in the tank may come in handy in case of any eventualities such as malfunctions. A broken appliance means that your turtle will remain in the cold, a disastrous situation in extreme cases like winter. Therefore, it is safe to have a standby heater. If you need 300 watts, you can purchase two 150 watt heaters instead, such that even if one breaks down, you will still have a backup until you find an alternative. 

To Wrap It Up

Heating your turtle’s tank goes a long way to make them comfortable and improve their health. The key is to look for quality when selecting a suitable gadget, regardless of its price tag. Of the products in our list, the Cobalt Aquatics Heater is our winner, and for all the right reasons. It has a unique, minimalistic design and competes with most new technology gadgets thanks to its updated features. With these and more advantages, it is worth every penny of your investment. Coming in second is the Fluval E Heater. It has the same technological features and guarantees your turtle’s safety. You will also appreciate its LCD and high accuracy level.

Harvey Wells

I am an intense cool pets lover. I have tortoises, tarantulas and a few other exotic pets. And I would love to share what I have learned.

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