Best turtle tank heater for beginners what to buyChoosing the best turtle tank heater for your aquarium can be challenging, especially if you are a beginner at maintaining this type of tank. And since turtles are cold-blooded species, a turtle tank always needs heating.

Your turtles can become restless or even sickly in cold water; if the temperature is very chilly, they could even go into hibernation. So a trustworthy heater is necessary instead of a device bought just because of great deals.

Comparison Table

Let us compare the best turtle tank heaters in the market:

Product Power Consumption (in watts) Suitable Tank Size (in gallons) Material
Fluval E300 Advanced Electronic Heater

100 300 30 100 Glass
ViaAqua 300-Watt Quartz Glass Submersible Heater

300 Up to 80 Quartz Glass
Aqueon Pro Adjustable Heater

100 Up to 55 Thermoplastic
Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater

25 300 160 264 Glass
Fluval M50 Submersible Heater

50 10 15 Glass

Best Turtle Tank Heaters: Product Reviews

We have done all the homework for you and compiled a list of the best turtle tank water heater:

1. Fluval E300 Advanced Electronic Heater

– Pros

  • Easy-to-use controls
  • Easy to install
  • LCD to monitor water temperature

– Cons

  • No dry sensor

The Fluval E300 Advanced Electronic Heater is the most tech electrical heater on the market. Along with maintaining a constant temperature, it also slows down the growth of bacteria and other microbes.

This aquarium heater features VueTech technology, which provides several useful functions. Since it is an electrical aquarium heater, it features a digital microprocessor monitoring program, providing the security and well-being of your turtles.

This water heater for turtle tank is preset to 78 F, but adjusting the temperature is simple and takes roughly two seconds only. The heater has a huge LCD on the front and a red slider that extends out of the top, allowing you to control the temperature. The LCD screen displays the current water temperature and serves as an indicator.

It is green in standby mode, blue in heating mode, and red when the tank temperature exceeds the preset value. Moreover, the indicator will flash to alert you if the temperature is 5.5 F hotter or colder than the preset setting.

This heater also features built-in heater protection, which is an excellent feature. One of the most prevalent problems with heater guards is their openings are large, which causes tiny turtles to get through. This heater, however, is not one of them.

On the other hand, the openings are relatively small and keep the turtles away from the heating source.

The best feature of this heater is that it comes ready to use with no assembly required. You do not even have to bother about suction cups. You can install this heater along with the back glass of a tank. However, if you choose to mount it to the sidewall, you will receive a bracket that will allow you to do just that.

It is simple to set up. Just stick it to the back wall and adjust by pressing the sides and sliding the heater’s body along the mounting bracket to lift it.

This heater, however, lacks an overheating or dry sensor, and this is our only serious complaint about this heater. As a result, be cautious and disconnect this heater before removing it from the water.

Additionally, the head of the heater must be above the surface. Always make sure that evaporation does not reduce the water level and expose the heater to drying. Otherwise, this could break, shatter or melt. A minimum waterline is specified on the outside of the heater to guide you with this.

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– Overview

The Fluval E300 Heater is a powerful device that comes in three power output types. The 300-watt model has two temperature sensors that provide precise and real-time water temperature readings. Apart from that, the Fluval E Electronic Heater has an LCD that shows temperatures ranging from 68 F to 93 F.

It also has additional features such as an LCD light that indicates temperature difference from the preset setting. To add to that, you can mount the Fluval E Electronic Heater at any angle, and there is a shield surrounding the glass heater base to protect your pets.

2. ViaAqua 300-Watt Quartz Glass Submersible Heater

– Pros

  • High-quality material
  • Sleek and modern looking
  • Affordable

– Cons

  • Temperature readings are not accurate

The ViaAqua Quartz Glass Heater is a completely submersible heater suitable for both turtle and fish aquariums. It is one of the most reasonably priced heaters on the market, which is surprising considering the quality.

It is a 300-watt heater ideal for tanks up to 80 gallons in capacity. Its temperature dial covers a temperature range of 68 F to 89 F and allows you to adjust the temperatures according to your requirements. The heater itself is sleek and stylish, and it comes with a six-feet power cord to provide you options in where you want to place your aquarium.

The build quality is excellent, and it seems like something you can keep for a long time. It is made of quartz glass, which is a long-lasting material. According to our research, we can confidently state that this submersible heater for turtle tank will not fall apart after a short time.

The heater also features a ceramic covering, which guarantees that tank water is heated uniformly. The heater also includes waterproof double insulation to keep it safe from accidents.

Furthermore, it includes a thermostat, saving you the cost of purchasing a separate thermometer. It does not have an auto-off option, but it will not overheat as long as the water level is high enough. It does, however, feature a water level line to guide you in avoiding overheating.

However, the thermostat’s temperature measurements are not particularly reliable. There are some tiny fluctuations, but nothing major to worry about. If you wish to add a precise thermometer, you can do so along the side of the tank.

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– Overview

Another extremely effective and high-quality turtle aquarium heater on this list is the ViaAqua 300 Watt Quartz Glass Submersible heater. It is also relatively reasonable in price, so if one of the more costly versions is beyond your price range, this is a good backup option.

Furthermore, this heater has many essential features that you would expect to see in a higher-priced model. You receive a long-lasting quartz body that is hot and shatterproof. There is also a thermometer to track how hot the water is.

3. Aqueon Pro Adjustable Heater

– Pros

  • Auto switch off
  • Adjustable temperature
  • Shatterproof

– Cons

  • Expensive

The Aqueon Pro adjustable heater is one of the most popular heaters among aquarists for numerous reasons. To begin with, this tank heater is made of thermoplastic, which means it is almost indestructible. Also, the sturdy plastic cover keeps the heat from burning your pets.

The heater’s base is built of corrosion-proof aluminum. It also makes the heater practically unbreakable and provides even heat distribution and durability. The heater features a stylish and slimline design. It will not take up much room in your tank and will not be an eyesore.

One of its most important characteristics is that it allows you to control the temperature. The temperature range starts from 68 F and goes up to 88 F. The thermostat is digitized and precise to within one degree, making it simple to use. Additionally, the heater’s temperature knob is easy to access, and the temperature dial is large enough to read.

The heater lacks a screen for displaying temperature readings, but it does include an LED light that signals whether or not the water has reached the maximum set limit. They indicate that it is active by turning red, and when the preset temperature has met, it goes green.

You can easily install this heater in your aquarium by following the directions in the setup guide. A set of suction cups makes it simple to place this heater horizontally or vertically. However, keep in mind that the heater’s 19-inch length takes plenty of tank space.

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– Overview

Aqueon is a well-known name for aquatic equipment, and this heater is one of its best. It is sleek and simple in style, making it easy to blend in the tank. This heater’s heating element is well-protected, posing no harm to your turtles, and the heater itself is almost indestructible.

Furthermore, the heater includes an automatic shutdown to turn it off if it overheats. It will automatically turn back on after it has cooled completely.

4. Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater

– Pros

  • High-quality
  • Value for money
  • Very accurate readings

– Cons

  • Quite big in size

The Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater comes in eight size variants according to their power consumption, allowing you to choose the best suitable variant for your turtle tank. The heater delivers constant and precise temperatures. It has a shatterproof glass jacket which is not only protective but also expands the heating surface of the device.

It features a TruTemp dial that provides consistent and accurate temperature control. This feature allows you to adjust the temperature from 65 F to 93 F by simply twisting the temperature dial. Low-cost heaters usually do not offer precise temperature readings, but the Eheim Jager gives you the best of both worlds. While it is an inexpensive option on this list, it also keeps the readings accurate to within 0.5 degrees.

It is a fully submersible heater, which provides increased heating efficiency over clip-on heaters. Additionally, this heater also shuts off when the water levels fall too low, preventing dry heating. You can simply adjust the water level to restart the device.

It comes with mounting brackets and suction cups for easy assembly. The suction cups keep the heater firmly in place while also allowing you to position it wherever and whenever in your aquarium.

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– Overview

The Eheim Jager Aquarium is a top-rated product among aquarists because of its effective performance and high quality. Since it is a cult favorite, you can be sure that you are getting an excellent product. It is an affordable device and performs very well while heating your tank.

It comes with a built-in thermostat that provides accurate readings, saving you from spending on another device. The heater also features an auto shut-off function, which prevents your turtles from scalding and the heater from dry heating.

5. Fluval M50 Submersible Heater

– Pros

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Easy to install
  • Compact

– Cons

  • Made of glass so it can break easily

The Fluval M50 submersible heater is an ideal choice if you have a small turtle tank with a capacity of up to 15 gallons. It is a small and sleek-looking heater that can fit anywhere without requiring too much space. Furthermore, the Fluval M50 features a mirrored surface that reflects the colors of your aquarium. It allows the heater to blend in with the rest of your decor.

The Fluval M50 Submersible Heater is shock and vibration proof, making the heater long-lasting and an excellent device for your turtle aquarium. It is also very simple to use. It comes with an adjustable temperature dial on the top that allows you to set your tank’s temperature between 66 F and 86 F.

It also includes an automatic shut-off security function that activates when the preset water temperature is reached. It keeps the heater from overheating the tank and drying out the device.

The heater features a led light that indicates whether or not it is in use. The heater is precisely calibrated, and it detects variations in water flow and adjusts to provide constant water temperatures ranging from 72 F to 86 F.

The heater has a high-density ceramic heatsink and a quiet power output, so it will not bother your turtles. Moreover, this heater has innovative features that make installation simple and beginner-friendly.

The heater also has suction cups installed beforehand, so you do not have to deal with them. All you have to do is attach it to your aquarium, and it will be all set to use. Just make sure the top of the heater sticks out of the tank. So the water level does not drop below the minimum water line on the heater.

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– Overview

The Fluval M50 heater is a perfect water heater for aquatic turtles for small aquariums. It is simple to install and use and allows you to set the tank water temperature between 66 F and 86 F. It can also seamlessly blend in with the decorations of your aquarium, so it will not be an eyesore.

If you are a beginner just starting with a tiny turtle aquarium, this should be just the right pick for you.

Buying Guide

Many new owners are confused about what to look for when buying the best turtle tank heater. That is because many of them appear to be highly similar. This section will help you out with that.

– Heating Efficiency

It is important to purchase a heater that can effectively heat the water in your turtle aquarium. You can assure this by comparing the wattage to the specified tank size. Although, a low-quality heater may not perform that well in some cases.

It is pointless to buy a heater if it cannot heat the tank water in the first place. So, make sure to do the calculations before you purchase and do not settle for a low-quality underwater heater for turtles. It will not only be a waste of money but will have adverse effects on your turtles.

– Thermometer

Regardless of how good your heater is, things might go wrong in terms of temperature. It will not harm to have an external source of evidence to confirm that the water is indeed at the desired temperature. You will only be ensuring your turtle’s safety if you keep an eye on the water temperature. However, always check that the water temperature is at the proper level before putting your turtle in the water.

While most heaters now have a thermometer, many of them are not accurate, and the accurate ones can cost a lot. It might be perplexing and lead to mistakes. So, either get a heater with a thermostat that can provide precise temperatures or buy a thermostat separately.

– Heater Guard

Heater guards are a protective cover for aquarium heaters to safeguard them from breaking. Even with aquarium heaters that are constructed with a cage around the heating element, a second plastic cage to avoid your turtle from actually contacting the heater is a wise safety precaution.

So, even if your heater may feature a heater guard, you need to get another. That is because turtles may become quite hefty and are natural diggers, which sometimes causes them to destroy the aquarium heaters. The heater guard will protect your turtle from being burned or electrocuted if the heating element gets exposed.

– Consider Using Two Heaters

Using two heaters is preferred among experienced turtle keepers, especially with big tanks. By dividing the required wattage between two water heaters, you double protect your tank from the risk range. For example, instead of one 100-watt heater, you get two 50-watt heaters.

If one of them fails, you’ll still have one source of heat until you can find another. While the remaining heater will not be enough, it is still preferable to nothing. It is also useful for preventing overheating in your tank.


There are some questions that frequently arise among beginners:

1. Is it possible for hot water to harm turtles?

Yes, hot water can kill turtles. While turtles do need warm water for their well-being, there is a limit to it too. If the temperature is between 95 F to 105 F and your turtle has been in the water for an extended period, it is very likely for your turtle to scald. Frequent changes in temperature are also dangerous to turtles because they shock their systems.

2. Can turtles survive in cold water?

Yes. Turtles can live in cold water as long as it is not below freezing since they can hibernate. When exposed to cold water, they stop feeding and receive the signal to hibernate. However, you do not want your turtles to hibernate, do you? They can also become lazy and drowsy at water temperatures ranging from 40 F to 50 F.

3. What temperature should a turtle tank be?

The ideal water temperature range for your turtle aquarium is 75 F to 85 F. Turtles can tolerate minor temperature variations. However, frequent changes are not good for their health. As a result, you must ensure that you keep them at a comfortable temperature.

4. Is it possible for a turtle to get shocked?

Yes. When turtles are cold-stunned, generally when water temperatures hit 50 F or below, they undergo a drop in heart rate and circulation, leading them to become sluggish. Since they cannot travel to warmer waters, cold surprises can cause shock, pneumonia, frostbite, or sometimes even death.

5. How many watts should my turtle tank heater be?

Since it is very important to maintain a temperature between 75 F to 85 F, your turtle tank heater should be appropriately powered. If you have a small aquarium, a 50-watt heater will be sufficient for your turtles. Whereas, for larger aquariums, look for a heater with 100 watts of power.


Best turtle tank heaterWhile you will be keeping your turtles away from their natural habitat, you want to make sure that you replicate it in the best possible way. And an adequately heated environment is one of the most necessary things out of all.

In a head-to-head comparison of the five heaters listed, Fluval E300 Advanced Electronic Heater stood as the overall winner. Fluval is one of the most well-known names in aquarium heating. They have been in the market for decades and are notable for producing high-quality, environmentally friendly items. We highly recommend Fluval’s heater.

5/5 - (17 votes)


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