Pet Turtle Inside Aquarium Edited

Top 5 Best Turtle Tank Heaters Review (2020 Buyer’s Guide)

Turtles require a heater in their aquarium to help regulate their body temperature. Without one, your turtle will not be able to survive for very long.

Finding a suitable heater for your turtle’s tank can be confusing as there are a lot of different types, each with varying levels of power.

To make your search simpler, I’ve reviewed some of the best turtle tank heaters and analyzed their positives and negatives.

After considering all the options our top picks were…

Review Summary

Best All-Rounder

Orlushy Submersible 100-watt Aquarium Heater

This 100-watt aquarium heater from Orlushy is a great option for your turtle tank. It’s made from 2mm thickened quartz crystal that is explosion-proof.

Orlushy Submersible 100-watt Aquarium Heater

My overall recommendation for most turtle tanks.

Orlushy’s submersible 100-watt heater is my top pick for a turtle tank. It’s affordable, compact, and features adjustable temperature controls. It also comes with a digital thermometer, which is a nice bonus.

Best on a Budget

DaToo Aquarium Fish Tank Heater

This 100-watt aquarium heater from DaToo is a great budget-friendly option for your turtle tank. It’s available in higher wattages, which are equally as affordable.

DaToo Aquarium Fish Tank Heater

This heater is the most affordable option I’ve reviewed. 

The DaToo 100-watt heater is an inexpensive but decent choice for your turtle tank. The temperature of it can be adjusted, which is handy. To provide your turtle with extra protection, the heater is housed in a plastic case.

Editor’s Choice

Hygger Submersible 100w Aquarium Heater

The heater is made from milky quartz that’s explosion-proof. The heating element uses white alundum sand for maximum heating efficiency.

Hygger Submersible 100w Aquarium Heater

My personal favorite turtle tank heater. It’s high-quality but a bit costly.

Hygger’s 100-watt submersible heater is an excellent pick for your turtle tank. It’s housed in plastic casing for added safety and includes adjustable temperature controls. You also get a digital external thermometer with it.

Turtle Peaking Head Out of Water
Turtle Peaking Head Out of Water

Why Do Turtles Need a Water Heater?

Turtles are coldblooded, so they lack the ability to control their body temperature. Your turtle requires an aquarium heater to keep their body warm. 

Turtles are coldblooded, so they lack the ability to control their body temperature…

If your turtle’s water is too cool, then it can make them sick. In contrast, if their water is too warm, then this discourages them from basking.

Turtles need to bask under sunlight or a UV light for a few hours each day to keep them healthy. UV-A light is needed for your turtle’s metabolism and moods, as well as for breeding. UV-B light provides your turtle with vitamin D, which is essential for their bones and organs.

Types of Heaters

How To Choose An Aquarium Heater

External/In-filter Heaters

This type of heater is put inside your filter (normally a canister filter) so it can quickly heat up the water that is pumped back into your turtle’s tank.

They provide your turtle with more swimming space as they aren’t placed directly in their aquarium. However, in-filter heaters can be a little on the pricey side.

Submersible Heaters

As their name suggests, submersible heaters need to be fully submerged in water to function. They bring consistent heat to your turtle’s tank and are normally fairly reliable.

Submersible heaters are typically inexpensive, so they’re a good choice if you’re on a budget.

Undergravel (Substrate) Heaters

An undergravel heater is positioned underneath your substrate. This type of heater works best in setups with lots of live plants.

Undergravel heaters can struggle with keeping your turtle tank at a stable temperature. They are also quite costly.

Heating Mats

Heating mats are targeted for reptile vivariums, such as tortoises and snakes. They are positioned underneath one half of the animal’s enclosure to provide them with a warm area.

NOTE

However, heating mats are unsuitable for turtle tanks and I do not recommend using them. Heating mats aren’t usually waterproof, which is problematic for a tank filled with water!

Heating Rocks

Similar to heating mats, heating rocks are designed for reptiles like tortoises and snakes. They consist of a rock-shaped shell with a heating element inside. Heating rocks aren’t waterproof and are not safe for turtle tanks.

Turtle On The Side of Aquarium Glass
Turtle On The Side of Aquarium Glass

Choosing the Correct Size/Power

Using an aquarium heater with the right amount of wattage is important for keeping your turtle tank at an appropriate temperature. If your heater is not powerful enough for the size of your turtle tank, then it won’t be able to keep the water warm enough.

Alternatively, if the heater you use is too powerful for your turtle aquarium, then it could make the water too warm. When this happens, your turtle is at risk of overheating.

NOTE

As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to use 2.5 watts to 5 watts per gallon of water. For example, if you own a 29-gallon turtle tank, then a 72.5-watt to 145-watt heater should be adequate.

Finding the Right Temperature

Keeping your turtle tank at a good temperature is vital for their health. If your turtle is sick or a hatchling, then opt for water that is between 80°F and 82°F.

TIP

For a healthy turtle, temperatures between 77°F and 80°F are normally sufficient. 

Thermometer

It’s a good idea to place an aquarium thermometer in your turtle tank so you can regularly check the water temperature. This allows you to act quickly in the possibility of the temperature dropping too low or rising too high.

Heating Guard

A heating guard slips over your aquarium heater and helps prevent your turtle from getting burned, Although not an essential requirement, they’re a good idea as a safety precaution. 

Do You Need Dual Heaters?

Using more than one heater in your turtle tank isn’t normally necessary. Just one will heat the water plenty. 

However, some turtle owners prefer to use two low-watt heaters in replace of a high-watt heater. Using two less powerful heaters can lessen the chances of the unit malfunctioning and overheating the water. 

Turtle Tank Heaters Reviews

Best All-Rounder

Orlushy Submersible 100-watt Aquarium Heater

This 100-watt aquarium heater from Orlushy is a great option for your turtle tank. It’s made from 2mm thickened quartz crystal that is explosion-proof.

Orlushy Submersible 100-watt Aquarium Heater

This 100-watt aquarium heater from Orlushy is a great option for your turtle tank. It’s made from 2mm thickened quartz crystal that is explosion-proof.

NOTE

You can adjust the temperature of the heater from 68°F to 89°F and can double-check the warmth of your tank using the included external thermostat.

My favorite aspect of this heater is its design, which is sleek and compact. This makes it simple to hide among plants, rocks, and decorations. 

One negative with the Orlushy heater is its temperature reliability. The adjustable controls are not that precise, and the external thermostat can often show the incorrect reading. It might be a good idea to use a separate thermostat on your turtle tank to be on the safe side.

Specs

  • Heater Type: Submersible
  • Material: Quartz glass
  • Size: 9” in length
  • Weight: 12.8 oz
  • Wattage: 100 w

Pros

  • Adjustable temperature controls
  • Compact design
  • Comes with an external thermostat

Cons

  • Adjustable temperature controls can be unreliable
  • Thermostat isn’t always precise

Best on a Budget

DaToo Aquarium Fish Tank Heater

This 100-watt aquarium heater from DaToo is a great budget-friendly option for your turtle tank. It’s available in higher wattages, which are equally as affordable.

DaToo Aquarium Fish Tank Heater

This 100-watt aquarium heater from DaToo is a great budget-friendly option for your turtle tank. It’s available in higher wattages, which are equally as affordable.

The material of this heater is microcrystalline glass, which is both shatterproof and corrosion resistant…

The material of this heater is microcrystalline glass, which is both shatterproof and corrosion resistant. The heating element is made out of nickel-chromium alloy to improve its efficiency.

The temperature can be adjusted from 68°F to 93°F, so it can provide your turtle with enough warmth in their tank. The design is slim and compact, so it shouldn’t be difficult to hide behind plants or decorations.

I like that the heater is housed in a plastic casing as this increases its safety and makes it less likely for your turtle to get hurt.

NOTE

However, this heater doesn’t always provide an accurate temperature reading, which is a flaw with its adjustable controls. Additionally, the heater has quite a short lifespan and is prone to breaking quite easily.

Specs

  • Heater Type: Submersible
  • Material: Microcrystalline glass
  • Size: 9.3” in length
  • Weight: 8 lbs
  • Wattage: 100 w

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Adjustable temperature controls
  • Housed in plastic casing for added safety

Cons

  • Unreliable temperature reading
  • Short lifespan

Editor’s Choice

Hygger Submersible 100w Aquarium Heater

The heater is made from milky quartz that’s explosion-proof. The heating element uses white alundum sand for maximum heating efficiency.

Hygger Submersible 100w Aquarium Heater

Hygger’s 100-watt submersible heater is my favorite choice for a turtle tank. It comes with adjustable temperature controls in 2°F increments, from 75°F to 91°F. These controls can be accessed via the external remote.

The heater is made from milky quartz that’s explosion-proof…

The heater is made from milky quartz that’s explosion-proof. The heating element uses white alundum sand for maximum heating efficiency. For the most part, the heater functions well and heats water up quickly.

I really like the plastic casing on this heater. Not only does it look great, but it also adds some extra safety to the heater by preventing your turtle from getting burned if they swim too close. 

I also like that the heater automatically turns off when the temperature of your tanks gets 2°F higher than the set temperature. If the water drops below your desired temperature, then the heater restarts. 

Additionally, in the possibility that your tanks gets hotter than 97°F, then the unit will switch off. There’s a built-in thermometer on the heater that allows you to keep an eye on how warm your turtle tank is for this reason.

NOTE

However, there are a couple of drawbacks with the 100-watt Hygger heater. The temperature reading on the thermometer can be slightly off, while the suction cups are a little weak. This might mean they need reattaching regularly.

Specs

Pros

  • In-built thermometer
  • Safety features
  • Adjustable temperature controls via external controller

Cons

  • Temperature reading can be slightly off
  • Weak suction cups

Zoo Med Turtletherm Automatic Preset Aquatic Turtle Heater

Zoo Med’s Turtleherm 300-watt heater is targeted for turtle tanks up to 100 gallons. The company also produce low-watt turtle heaters for smaller tanks.

Zoo Med Turtletherm Automatic Preset Aquatic Turtle Heater

Zoo Med’s Turtleherm 300-watt heater is targeted for turtle tanks up to 100 gallons. The company also produce low-watt turtle heaters for smaller tanks.

NOTE

The temperature of the heater is preset to 78°F so you’re unable to have full control of the warmth of your turtle tank. Turtles require a water temperature of between 77°F and 80°F, so this isn’t a big concern.

I like the circular design of the heater as it’s compact and not overly bulky. The plastic casing is a nice touch as it helps protect your turtle from getting burned.

I also appreciate that the heater features a digital temperature display, so you can conveniently monitor the warmth of your turtle tank. The only drawback with this thermostat is that it can sometimes give you the wrong reading.

Another point worth mentioning is that in general, the Zoo Med Turtleherm heater is not as long-lasting as some other heaters. 

Specs

Pros

  • Targeted for turtles
  • Appealing and compact design
  • Plastic cover for extra protection

Cons

  • Temperature reading is not very accurate
  • Not as long-lasting as other heaters

TetraFauna Aquatic Reptile Submersible Heater 100 Watt

The Tetra Fauna 100-watt submersible heater is designed specifically for newts, frogs, and turtles. It has a preset temperature of 78°F and comes with an automatic thermostat.

TetraFauna Aquatic Reptile Submersible Heater 100 Watt

The Tetra Fauna 100-watt submersible heater is designed specifically for newts, frogs, and turtles. It has a preset temperature of 78°F and comes with an automatic thermostat.

This heater is housed in a protective plastic cage, so you don’t need to worry about your turtle getting burned if they touch it…

This heater is housed in a protective plastic cage, so you don’t need to worry about your turtle getting burned if they touch it. It also includes two oversized suction cups to make it easy to attach to your turtle’s tank.

The size of the power cord is 8-feet in length. It can adapt to any direction, making it easy to position around your tank. This is also handy if your turtle tank is positioned far away from a plug socket.

NOTE

Unfortunately, this heater does have a couple of issues. It’s prone to breaking and malfunctioning prematurely, which means it needs to be replaced quite often. 

It can also struggle with maintaining temperature, particularly in larger turtle tanks. 

Specs

  • Heater Type: Submersible
  • Material: Unknown
  • Size: 3.5” x 2.2 x 9.3”
  • Weight: 12 oz (with packaging)
  • Wattage: 100 w

Pros

  • Designed with turtles in mind
  • Housed in plastic cover
  • Extra long power cup, large suction cups

Cons

  • Short lifespan
  • Can struggle with maintaining temperature

Conclusion

After considering all the options our top picks were…

Best All-Rounder

Out of all the heaters I’ve reviewed, I think the most ideal choice for a turtle tank is the Orlushy Submersible 100-watt Aquarium Heater. It’s affordable, high-quality, and features adjustable temperature controls.

I really like the design of the heater as it’s compact and slim, which makes it really easy to hide behind plants and rocks. I enjoy a natural look in my turtle tank, so this is a feature I appreciate in a heater.

Temperature

The only issue with the Orlushy heater is it can be a bit imprecise, especially regarding its adjustable temperature controls. The thermostat it comes with is also prone to showing the incorrect reading.

I don’t think this is a big concern as you can simply use a separate thermostat to double-check the temperature of your turtle tank.

If you’re looking for two other good options for your turtle tank, then I also recommend the DaToo Aquarium Fish Tank Heater and Hygger Submersible 100w Aquarium Heater. The former is very affordable, while the latter is a little more pricey. 

Best on a Budget

The DaToo heater comes with adjustable temperature controls and a plastic casing. It also features a small design, so it’s not overly big. However, two main problems with the heater are its inaccurate temperature reading and short lifespan.

Editor’s Choice

The Hygger heater also has adjustable temperature controls. It’s housed in a plastic cover to prevent your turtle from getting hurt.

I prefer this heater to the others I’ve reviewed simply because it can heat your turtle tank quickly and consistently. My only gripes are the weak suction cups it comes with and the occasionally imprecise temperature reading it gives.

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