Goldfish Swimming Inside Aquarium

Top 5 Best 100 Watt Aquarium Heaters (2020 Buyer’s Guide)

Owning fish who have a preference for warmer waters means you’ll need to invest in an aquarium heater. Finding the right one for you and your tank can seem a bit of a hassle, especially as there are so many different factors to consider.

I’ve reviewed an assortment of products to help you on your quest for the best 100-watt aquarium heater.

After considering all the options our top picks were…

Results Summary

Best All-Rounder

UPMCT Submersible Aquarium Heater

It’s an excellent choice for 15- to 25-gallon tanks and is made from thick quartz crystal that doesn’t shatter easily.

UPMCT Submersible Aquarium Heater

The best allrounder 100-watt aquarium heater is the one I believe suits most tank set-ups.

The UPMCT Submersible Aquarium Heater is a good choice for any 15- to 25-gallon tank. It’s made from thick quartz crystal and nickel wire to keep your tank a consistent temperature. The temperature setting spans from 69°F to 94°F. 

Best on a Budget

Mylivell Submersible Aquarium Heater

Mylivell’s 100-watt heater is an inexpensive option that doesn’t skimp on quality. It’s made from quartz crystal with double seal material to prevent leakage.

Mylivell Submersible Aquarium Heater

For fishkeepers who need a high-quality 100-watt heater that’s also affordable, this is my top pick.

Mylivell’s submersible aquarium heater works extremely well despite its low price. You can change the temperature setting from 65°F and 93°F, so it’s ideal for most tropical species. It’s made from quartz crystal with a double sealant material to help prevent leakages.

Editor’s Choice

Hygger Pinpoint Accurate Titanium Heater

For aquariums between 10 to 25 gallons. One of its most impressive features is the separate controller you get with it. This allows you to alter the temperature of your tank without removing the heater, which means a lot less hassle (and wet hands!).

Hygger Pinpoint Accurate Titanium Heater

My personal favorite out of all the aquarium heaters I’ve reviewed. This one boasts a huge range of features but is a little costlier as a result.

Made out of titanium, the Hygger 100-watt aquarium heater is completely shatter-proof. The adjustable temperature range of the heater is between 32°F to 104°F. 

When the heater reaches the desired temperature of the tank, it automatically switches off. You also get a separate controller to change the temperature of the heater without needing to get your hands wet!

Why Do You Need an Aquarium Heater?

Fish are unable to make their own body heat, so they rely on water temperature to prevent them from becoming too hot or cold. 

Fish are unable to make their own body heat, so they rely on water temperature to prevent them from becoming too hot or cold… 

A heater increases the temperature of your tank and keeps it consistent throughout the day. If you own tropical fish, a heater is mandatory as they are used to warmer climates. Around 78°F is suitable for the majority of tropical fish, but some species do prefer temperatures a little cooler or warmer.

Discus Fish Close Up Photo
Discus Fish Close Up Photo

Benefits of Using a Heater in Your Aquarium

Using a heater in your aquarium allows you to keep the temperature of your tank at an appropriate level for your fish. Keeping your fish at cooler temperatures can contribute to poor health and a reduced lifespan.

Tropical fish require a heater at all times to stay fit and healthy, but some coldwater species may also benefit from a heater at certain times of the year. 

TIP

During extremely cold weather, using a heater in your coldwater tank can help the temperature remain consistent and prevent it from dropping too low. 

Types of Aquarium Heaters

There are five different types of aquarium heaters you can use in your tank. Although there are some variations between them all, the one you select mostly boils down to the type of fish/aquarium you own and personal preference.

Hanging/Immersible Heater

A hanging heater does exactly what it sounds like: it goes over the top of your aquarium. The heating part of it is positioned in the water to raise the temperature of your tank. An opening in the hood of your aquarium is necessary so you can hang the heater over it.

You’ll mostly find this variety of heater in starter tanks or tropical aquariums listed for beginners. They aren’t as effective as other types of heater, but they work well in basic setups. Hanging heaters aren’t typically the best choice for saltwater tanks.

Substrate Heater

Substrate heaters are often paired with another heater. They consist of a long heating wire that is attached to the base of your tank.

These heaters are most effective in planted aquariums…

These heaters are most effective in planted aquariums as they increase water movement in the substrate and encourage plant growth.

However, substrate heaters are fairly difficult to come by and can be a bit pricey.

Submersible Heater

A submersible heater is placed directly into the water, ideally next to your filter. This type of heater is wrapped in a heavy-duty plastic or glass tube, with a coiled element inside. 

Submersible heaters made out of glass are more likely to shatter if they get too hot…

Submersible heaters made out of glass are more likely to shatter if they get too hot. This can happen if the heater is taken out of the water without being switched off first.

In-line Heater

An in-line heater is placed on the outflow line of your filter to allow it to heat the water that goes back into your tank. They are usually made out of plastic that is heatproof and work well for large aggressive species of fish.

In-line heaters are normally fairly expensive and can be more likely to leak as they require you to have a lot of components outside of your aquarium.

Filter Heater

Certain filters come with a heater already built-in. This means the heater can instantly warm up the water that goes through the filter. You’ll usually find filter heaters in canister and power filters.

Fish Tank Inside a Dimly Lit Room
Fish Tank Inside a Dimly Lit Room

How to Choose the Best Aquarium Heater for Your Tank

There are a few factors to consider to help you choose the best aquarium heater for your tank: size, cost, wattage, ease of maintenance, and personal preference.

The overall water volume of your aquarium will influence the size and wattage of your heater…

The overall water volume of your aquarium will influence the size and wattage of your heater. As a general rule, you need to use between 2.5 and 5 watts per gallon of water. For example, if you own a 20-gallon tank, you’ll need a 50-watt to 100-watt heater. 

If you’re planning on keeping fish who require especially warm water, then you may need a heater with more wattage. 

Some heaters can cost a hefty amount, such as in-line heaters and substrate heaters. If you’re looking for a heater that isn’t going to break the bank, then submersible and hanging heaters are your best option. 

Like with any aquarium equipment, proper maintenance is vital for increasing its effectiveness and longevity. Make sure you clean your heater regularly and wipe away any gunk or minerals that have built up.

TIP

During water changes, turn off your heater to prevent it from burning out or cracking. This is especially true for submersible heaters.

When installing your heater for the first time, carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you are setting it up correctly. Additionally, make sure you are always using your heater correctly. E.g., if you have a submersible heater, don’t position it out of the water. 

There are a number of aquarium heaters out there, but their basic functions are the same. The best one for you is mostly down to your personal preference and tank needs.

Aquarium Heater FAQs

Where Should I Place My Heater?

Where you place your heater depends on the type you own. For submersible heaters, place them near your filter, ideally horizontally. Substrate heaters go on the base of your tank, while hanging/immersible heaters go over the top. In-line filters should be positioned right next to the outflow line of your filter.

Do I Need Two Heaters?

For most tank set-ups, two heaters are not necessary. Some fishkeepers use two heaters in large aquariums (one on either side of the tank) to keep the water temperature more stable.

Do I Need to Check My Heater?

You should check your heater regularly to make sure it is working efficiently. Invest in a thermostat for your tank (if your heater didn’t come with one) so you can monitor the temperature of your tank.

How to Care For an Aquarium Heater: Tips for Aquarists 

  • Check your heater regularly to make sure it is working properly
  • Clean your heater frequently
  • Make sure the wattage of your heater is suitable for your tank size
  • Switch off your heater during water changes
  • Install and use your heater correctly
  • Use a thermostat to monitor the temperature of your tank

5 Best 100-Watt Aquarium Heaters

Best All-Rounder

UPMCT Submersible Aquarium Heater

It’s an excellent choice for 15- to 25-gallon tanks and is made from thick quartz crystal that doesn’t shatter easily.

UPMCT Submersible Aquarium Heater

My overall recommendation for the best 100-watt aquarium heater is from UPMCT. It’s an excellent choice for 15- to 25-gallon tanks and is made from thick quartz crystal that doesn’t shatter easily. 

The interior of the heater uses nickel wire instead of iron wire to increase its lifespan, as well as to maintain the warmth of your tank.

You can adjust the temperature of the heater from 69°F to 94°F to suit a variety of aquatic life…

You can adjust the temperature of the heater from 69°F to 94°F to suit a variety of aquatic life. The heater comes with suction cups that firmly attach to your tank’s glass (without slipping!), alongside a temperature sticker and heat guard. 

I think this heater is suited to most tanks as it’s affordable, effective, and simple to install.

Specs

  • Size: 1.1” x 10.5”
  • Power Cord Length: 4.9 ft
  • Material: Quartz crystal
  • Adjustable Temperature Range: 69°F-94°F

Pros

  • Keeps temperature of tank stable
  • Easy to install
  • Heats up water quickly
  • High-quality suction cups

Cons

  • Temperature might be a little imprecise after 80°F

Best on a Budget

Mylivell Submersible Aquarium Heater

Mylivell’s 100-watt heater is an inexpensive option that doesn’t skimp on quality. It’s made from quartz crystal with double seal material to prevent leakage.

Mylivell Submersible Aquarium Heater

Mylivell’s 100-watt heater is an inexpensive option that doesn’t skimp on quality. It’s made from quartz crystal with double seal material to prevent leakage.

The heater comes with two suction cups so you can attach it to the side of your tank. I’ve found that some less expensive aquariums heaters don’t come with an adjustable temperature setting, which isn’t the case with this one. 

The dial can be changed between 65°F and 93°F, providing you with a consistent temperature throughout your tank…

The dial can be changed between 65°F and 93°F, providing you with a consistent temperature throughout your tank. To check how warm your tank is, you can look at the easy-to-read temperature display on the heater. This is handy as you don’t need to go out and purchase a separate thermostat! 

The heater comes with a polarized plug and a heat guard for extra protection. It’s best used for aquariums around 20 to 45 gallons.

Despite being the least costly heater I’ve reviewed, I think this heater works effectively and is well-made. For aquarists on a budget, Mylivell’s heater is a great choice.

Specs

  • Size: 11.6”x 2.7” x 1.5”
  • Power Cord Length: 3.8 ft
  • Material: Quartz crystal (exterior)
  • Adjustable Temperature Range: 65°F-93°F

Pros

  • Keeps tank water a consistent temperature
  • High-quality suction cups
  • Accurate temperature readings

Cons

  • The temperature dial is a little stiff
  • Might not work as well when positioned vertically

Editor’s Choice

Hygger Pinpoint Accurate Titanium Heater

For aquariums between 10 to 25 gallons. One of its most impressive features is the separate controller you get with it. This allows you to alter the temperature of your tank without removing the heater, which means a lot less hassle (and wet hands!).

Hygger Pinpoint Accurate Titanium Heater

My personal favorite is the Hyyger Pinpoint Titanium Heater for aquariums between 10 to 25 gallons. One of its most impressive features is the separate controller you get with it. This allows you to alter the temperature of your tank without removing the heater, which means a lot less hassle (and wet hands!).

Instead of quartz crystal, the heater is made from heavy-duty titanium to eliminate any risk of it shattering or exploding…

Instead of quartz crystal, the heater is made from heavy-duty titanium to eliminate any risk of it shattering or exploding. A built-in external thermostat with a dual LCD screen is included with the heater to show you the exact temperature of your tank.

You can adjust the temperature on the heater from 32°F to 104°F, which is probably one of the largest ranges I’ve seen on an aquarium heater. Whether you own fish who prefer cool or warm waters, this heater is a great option.

The heater comes with two suction cups so you can attach it to your tank. However, it does need to be positioned horizontally to work to its full potential. 

Another feature I like about this heater is that it automatically switches off when the water reaches your desired temperature…

Another feature I like about this heater is that it automatically switches off when the water reaches your desired temperature. Over the summer during a heatwave, this would have been a lifesaver for my tank as I was constantly battling with temperature swings!

Hygger’s heater is a little more pricey compared to the other heaters in this review, but its quality makes up for it.

Specs

  • Size: 10.7”
  • Power Cord Length: 5.5ft
  • Material: Titanium
  • Adjustable Temperature Range: 32°F-104°F

Pros

  • Maintains tank temperature well
  • Durable and shatter/explosive-proof
  • Small size means it’s easy to hide
  • Automated shut-off system once desired temperature is met

Cons

  • Can be confusing to set up initially
  • Thermostat isn’t always accurate

Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater

Another good 100-watt heater is by Orlushy, which is suitable for 15- to 30-gallon aquariums. A feature I like about this heater is the length of its power cord. It’s 6ft-long, so it’s ideal for tanks that are positioned far away from a power outlet.

Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater

Another good 100-watt heater is by Orlushy, which is suitable for 15- to 30-gallon aquariums. A feature I like about this heater is the length of its power cord. It’s 6ft-long, so it’s ideal for tanks that are positioned far away from a power outlet. 

comes with an adjustable temperature dial with a range of 68°F to 89°F…

The heater is made from 2mm thickened quartz crystal and comes with an adjustable temperature dial with a range of 68°F to 89°F. Once the heater has reached the preferred temperature of the tank, it automatically turns itself off. A digital thermostat is included, as well as two suction cups.

Specs

  • Size: 9”
  • Power Cord Length: 6 ft
  • Material: Quartz crystal
  • Adjustable Temperature Range: 68°F-89°F

Pros

  • Ensures temperature remains consistent
  • Easy to use
  • Heats water up quickly

Cons

  • Temperature dial can be hard to turn
  • Thermostat isn’t always precise

HITOP Submersible Aquarium Heater

It’s made from 2mm thickened quartz crystal and is a great choice for tanks between 10 and 30 gallons. The heater is small in size to give your fish more space and to make it less noticeable.

HITOP Submersible Aquarium Heater

My last pick for the best 100-watt aquarium heater is from HITOP. It’s made from 2mm thickened quartz crystal and is a great choice for tanks between 10 and 30 gallons. The heater is small in size to give your fish more space and to make it less noticeable.

When the heater meets your pre-set temperature, it switches itself off automatically to make sure your tank doesn’t overheat… 

You can adjust the temperature dial from 68°F to 93°F. When the heater meets your pre-set temperature, it switches itself off automatically to make sure your tank doesn’t overheat. 

Three suction cups (one for spare!) are included with the heater, as well as a stick-on thermometer so you can keep an eye on the temperature of your tank. 

Specs

  • Size: 9.5” x 1” x 1X
  • Power Cord Length: 4.9 ft
  • Material: Quartz crystal
  • Adjustable Temperature Range: 68°F-93°F

Pros

  • Distributes heat evenly
  • Good value
  • Compact size

Cons

  • Thermostat isn’t too reliable
  • Temperature setting can be a little inaccurate

After considering all the options our top picks were…

Final Thoughts

Out of all the aquarium heaters I’ve reviewed, I think the Hygger Pinpoint Accurate Titanium Heater shines above the rest. Even though it’s a little more expensive than the other products, the number of features it comes with makes it a worthwhile investment.

The temperature range (32°F to 104°F of this heater makes it suitable for maintaining heat in both coldwater and tropical tanks, while the other heaters are only appropriate for the former. 

Made with Durable Material

Additionally, the material of the heater is titanium, so there’s no risk of it shattering or exploding. With glass heaters, there’s always a chance they can crack if the temperature gets too high.

The feature I like most about Hygger’s 100-watt aquarium heater is the controller it comes with. You can simply lower or increase the temperature of your tank without needing to get your hands wet like with other submersible heaters.

However, I understand that the Hygger heater has quite a few bells and whistles that you might not be too fussed about. In that case, I highly recommend any one of the other four heaters I’ve reviewed as they’re all high-quality, affordable, and effective at regulating your aquarium’s temperature.

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