You love them so much that you bring them out of their natural habitat to your artificially created tank. The perfect condition for a living is not only their right but also your duty. Turtles are funny, cute, and adorable creatures who can light up your world.
You do not just bring a turtle home, you have to create a little heaven for them so that they can grow just the way they want to. The way you see turtles you may think that all they need is water, a bit of land, and food. Apparently, that’s not all. Turtles need heat and UV rays as well.
Apparently, these two are so important to them, that you may find your turtle dead if they do get an ample amount of heat and rays. While bulbs are available for providing the necessary UV rays, heaters are responsible for providing ample heat to the turtles.
The poor creatures are cold-blooded and that is why they have no control over the heat of their body. Completely dependent on their environment, it is you the turtle trusts to give them what they need. They will only grow up and strong if they get the proper amount of heat.
This is why you need to find the best turtle tank heater and this is no easy task. You have considered a number of factors that you never thought you would have to. We will make the process easier for you with all our valuable tips.
10 Best Turtle Tank Heater
Want a heater that provides you with a number of features so you can use it easily? Then, this Aqueon Pro adjustable heater is what you are looking for. In fact, it lets you adjust the temperature between 68 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit.
It has a thin cylindrical long body so it won’t be very visible when you keep it in your tank. Apparently, it is a submersible heater. However, do not worry about the turtle breaking it because it is not easy to break. Unless of course, some kind of defect is there in its build- but such instances are rare but there.
Apparently, what may bother you is the inaccuracy of the temperature. You can set it to a certain temperature but the greatest risk is that the heater may overheat. In fact, it shows a red light when it’s heating and green when not. However, it may overheat- not shut down as per its safety feature and kill your turtle.
Therefore, you may have to check up on it more and moreover the years. Also, if it breaks and the inner toxins get out- it’s hazardous for your turtle again.
Otherwise, most units last longer and put up a good performance. Apparently, it is a great buy for the price as well.
Ignorance is not always bliss- especially when your turtle is concerned. Fluval knows that well and that is probably why it does not keep you in the dark regarding important factors. For example- the temperature. Apparently, the Fluval E Electronic series displays the temperature quite accurately on it when you turn it on.
No matter what range of temperature you are willing to achieve from this heater- there is a high chance that you will get exactly what you want. This is because this series is available in a number of wattage- 50, 100, 200, and also 400 watts. The price increases with the increase of power of course.
Apart from its user-friendly nature, this heater is quite easy to use as well. You just have to push a lever to adjust the temperature. Each push increases or decreases the temperature by 0.5 degrees. Also, this unit is well-made with quality materials that last long- so it won’t break if your turtle comes in contact with it.
Apparently, you can connect it with the tank filter as well. What you may not like is the lack of light signal when the heater is actually heating. There is not a green or red light to let you know. However, it does use flash in case of emergencies. But, does not turn off.
Lastly, it may seem a bit expensive but it actually has a reasonable price.
Worried that the saltwater may harm your heater despite everything saying that it is safe for saltwater? Worry no more! Because the Hydor external heater will stay with the filter! Well, yes, it will come in contact with the saltwater but it will still receive no harm!
This heater is usually easy to install if it fits your tank. However, you may find that it doesn’t and you will need to modify it yourself so that it fits. When it does fit, you will have a good experience as it is well capable of achieving its purpose.
In fact, it is quite accurate when it comes to temperature. Furthermore, you get to set the temperature very easily too. However, the control knob is so easy to adjust that you may misplace it when cleaning and change the required temperature-which could be dangerous.
Other than that, you better check for adapters and everything in the box when you receive it. You may find things missing and you won’t be able to return the heater if you pass water through it. It is an affordable heater for quality.
Eheim is a name you can completely trust when it comes to quality and reliability. The Eheim Jager heater is a heater that represents the Eheim reputation. While it is solid, strong, and built to last, it has features that are super helpful as well.
Firstly, it is a fully submersible heater and you have to keep it fully submerged- low water level will turn it off. Setting it up inside the turtle tank is no big deal as you can imagine. However, adjusting the temperature has been an issue with more than one customer.
You may find that the adjustment knob is too stiff. While the heater is usually accurate when it comes to temperature- the process to get it to the right temperature can be a hard one.
Other than that, it shows you when it's on with indicator light. You can also use it for both marine and freshwater. Lastly, even if you face problems with this heater, the price kind of minimizes the pain- because it is so affordable.
But, that is not a consolation and you won’t need any because once set- this heater does an excellent job and you will be happy using it.
If you are sure that your turtle needs a fixed temperature of 78-degree Fahrenheit. Then, this is a heater than you can take a look at. You do not get to adjust the temperature at all. All you have to do is set this unit up, turn it on- possibly connecting it to an electrical outlet and just keeping a check that it is not malfunctioning.
Since the temperature is fixed, you do not have much to worry about. Setting up this heater is as easy as setting up any other submersible heater. You can keep it both vertically and horizontally. Other than that, it uses green and red light to let you know that it is on or off.
It also has a small footprint so it won’t ruin the look of your turtle tank at all. As it does not come with a lot of features for adjustability- it does not cost much either. However, it does come with a thermostat and has a good capacity. It can deal with 2-10 gallons of water easily.
Lastly, while the case is not the same for every heater, this heater may not be the most durable option available.
If you are looking for a heater that does its job perfectly then this TetraFauna heater may just be the one that meets your standards. Apparently, this one also has a fixed temperature that it keeps the water at and that is 78-degree Fahrenheit. So, if this is the temperature your turtles are alright with then this is the heater you can consider.
Setting this heater up is no big issue at all. In fact, it comes with a long cord that you can set as per your wish. Furthermore, it comes with big cups that help you attach it firmly to the tank. So, your aggressive turtle cannot really knock it off.
It is easy to use and quite informative. But, many users seem to have a problem with the red light it emits. Apparently, you have to understand the manual well to know when the red light is off. Some people mistake the red light not appearing as the heater not heating- it is actually the other way around.
The heater is made of plastic and does not really last long. Apparently, the price it comes at will not hurt you for the short life either. It has a reasonable price with minor problems.
If you want to take a leap of faith then this Exo Terra Terrarium heater might be the one you would want to jump to. Apparently, this also has a fixed temperature at around 78-degree Fahrenheit. When it does its job- it does great.
In fact, it is built pretty well and has a build that is meant to last. There is nothing lacking in the quality of the exterior that can let the interior come to harm, unless, of course, you thrash it. However, the thermostat that comes with it may malfunction.
Firstly, you may experience two problems- a heat too low or a heat too high. A few customers claimed that it does not reach 78 degrees. On the other hand, a customer complained that his turtle almost died because the temperature got so high all of a sudden.
While the unit is easy to use and user-friendly, it does tend to malfunction which can get very risky for your little friend. Otherwise, it is quite durable for the price.
Want a heater that not only lets you adjust the temperature but also lets you know it very easily and clearly? Then, you can easily try out this Finnex heater that uses a number of modern ways to make things easier for you. Apparently, it has a sleek touchpad control that makes both controlling the heater and monitoring it super easy.
You can adjust the temperature quite easily as well. However, make sure that the thermostat is accurate. Because in most of the cases, the temperature is usually off by a few degrees- or even more to the point of detriment.
Other than that, you may find installing this unit a bit complex. Firstly, you can only mount this heater horizontally- and the problem is that it is not mentioned anywhere clearly. So, usually, customers find this out after buying and trying.
If you are looking for a vertical unit then this may just not be the one. When it comes to quality- this heater does not disappoint. In fact, it is built to last with a strong titanium shell. Even if you have an aggressive little friend- this heater will not experience much harm.
Lastly, this also comes with memory- so that you can reset it to the previous temperature and settings. How many turtle tank heaters come with memory? The unit is definitely costlier than other heaters because of the extra features for ease of use it offers.
Want a heater that has a good capacity for heating the water in your turtle tank? Then, you can find this Cobalt Heater in various powers to fit the size of your tank. However, that is not the only case it offers variety in.
In fact, this heater is quite adjustable. You can adjust the temperature from 66 to 96-degree Fahrenheit. However, it may not be the most accurate as a few customers said. But, the good thing is that it not only shows the current temperature of the water but the temperature you set for the water as well.
You can say that it has a user-friendly interface. In fact, you will find it easy to adjust the temperature as well. Other than that, the unit is quite durable. It is not made of petty plastic or weak material but it is kind of shatterproof and you usually will not face any trouble involving its breakage.
However, you may find that the heater suddenly stops working. While this may be a serious issue involving contacting the customer service- it may also be resolved easily. When you were little you could fix the computer by just restarting it. Apparently, you can try that method again on this heater and it seems to work at times.
Other than that, this is an easy unit to install and has quite a good capacity.
Want a heater that is incredibly easy to install? Then, this ViaAqua submersible heater may be the one you are looking for. Apparently, it has a number of user-friendly features that make this heater a good choice for people looking for simplicity.
It is fairly easy to turn on and off. You can easily set the temperature and the setting is very visible so you can rarely be wrong when setting it. However, the thermostat that comes with this unit may not be the most accurate.
Other than that, this heater is made of quartz glass and that does not make it very durable at all. In fact, you may have to replace the heater within a very few months. But, what can console you in this regard is the price that is not very high for the quality you get.The capacity of this heater is not bad. You can start with a ten-gallon tank and gradually raise the water level without facing many problems. Apparently, you can use this unit in both salt and freshwater.
Best Turtle Tank Heater: The Buying Guide
Here are a few factors that you must consider to manually find the perfect heater for yourself. Or else, you would have to leave it up to luck.
1. The Type of Heater You Want
There are quite a number of types of heater available (Just three). Each of them gives you an advantage on a specific factor and disadvantage on others. Let’s get to know them.
Submersible Tank Heaters: It is not rocket science but submarine science that submersible heaters are kept underwater. This is apparently the most common type of heaters available. Because, it’s obvious- something that will heat the water must be in full touch with the water, right?
These are cheap, easy to set, and very available. You can mount it both vertically and horizontally. The unit looks very much like a stick.
Apparently, the reason you may not want it is quite visible in the tank and you may not want it to ruin the beauty of the tank. Other than that, as it is fully exposed, if your turtle for some reason like to poke it- it may get damaged.
Substrate Heater: Most people love to hide the hard-working heavy-duty units from plain sight. It is as if acknowledging the things that bring balance is a sin. So, you do not want people to know that there is a heater in the turtle tank? Then, you can hide it.
Apparently, substrate heaters are the heaters that you place under the substrate of your turtle tank. It may be gravel, sand, etc. Whatever it is- the heater will do just fine. It is best if the layer of the substrate is thick as it will hide the heater well. Apart from that, these are less popular but more expensive than submersible tank heaters.
External Heaters: Is your turtle tank really small and just the addition of a heater will eat up a lot of space? Then, you need an external heater. A filter is a must in a turtle tank- whether it takes space or not. So, most external heaters just reside in the filter.
This is an example of hitting two birds with one stone. So, when the filter filters water, the heater heats the water it comes in contact with. It’s an efficient process. Furthermore, the heater stays protected form the ambush of aggressive turtles. This type of heater is expensive but it lasts a while and does a good job.
2. The Material Building The Heater
No matter how good the heater normally is or how expensive- it will be useless if broken. Turtles are strong creatures with a hard shell- if your heater is made of glass- a turtle can easily break it if it wants. On the other hand, the glass may harm the turtle as well.
Therefore, make sure that the heater you are buying is made of metal. Furthermore, it should be made of heat resistant material. It should not give off chemicals or radiations because of what it itself produces. Because that would be like a suicide mission.
3. The Size of The Heater
Talking about the physical attribute here. Heaters can arrive in various shapes and sizes. You have the flexibility to choose one that fits your needs. If you want a small one for your small tank then you will find one.
On the other hand, if space is not an issue, you can just focus on the other aspects of the heater
4. The Wattage of The Heater
You do not really need the heater to heat the water to a boiling temperature- that’s dangerous. In fact, all you need is to find the temperature that is neither too high nor too low for the turtle. The turtle should just be alright staying in the water.
It should neither feel too lazy in cold water nor too uncomfortable in hot water. This is something that the power of the heater will determine Higher the wattage, the hotter it can get. This is actually quite risky as when the heater malfunctions, it can suddenly heat up the water to the highest temperature and kill the turtle.
So, it is best to stick with lower watt- like 150-watt heaters or even less.
5. The Features and Range of Temperature
If it is winter in a cold country, then the requirement from the heater will be much higher. Again, if it is winter in a hot country, you do not really have a big range to worry about. So, you should check the range of temperature the heater is capable of heating the water too.
Apart from that, look for safety features and also the ability to control the temperature. You should be able to set a particular temperature for the water. Other than that, the heater may have an alarm system in it that goes off if the temperature crosses a certain limit.
These features may cost more but they may be the line between your turtle’s life and death.
6. Dual Heaters
It’s not always easy to understand if the heater is working properly. In fact, you will not always be around to check. Anything may happen in this short time.
This is why consider dual heaters. For example, you may actually need 300 watts of power. Instead of buying a heater of 300-watt power, why don’t you buy a dual heater that has two heaters operating separately at 150 watts?
It is highly unlikely that two heaters will malfunction at the same time. So, if one malfunction, the other still takes care of the temperature. Again, if the other overheats, it won’t reach a destructive temperature. Because the highest it can go it 150, not 300 watts.
Best Turtle Tank Heater: The Benefits of Buying
Why should you invest in a separate turtle tank heater when you can just leave them under the sun? Here’s why.
Provides The Necessary Amount of Heat
Leaving the water to heat up following the natural process can take time. And, when it does heat up, you have no control over the temperature of the water- that is why it is essential that you install a controllable heater in a turtle tank.
Provides Regardless of The Season
You do not get the same temperature of water in both summers, winter or even two consecutive days. A heater can keep the temperature of the water at a constant number. Your turtle won’t have to waste its energy adjusting with the temperature of the water every now and then.
The Perfect Temperature
Not all turtles require the same temperature to be perfectly healthy. So, your turtle’s needs may be different. There are so many types and variety of heaters available that you can find one suitable for your turtle along with its temperature range easily.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What are The Standard Powers For The Various Sizes of Tanks?
Answer: You may find yourself overwhelmed when choosing the right power for your tank. Apparently, it is an easy decision. Start with 20-gallon tanks requiring 75 watts of power. Similarly, a 40-gallon tank will require 150 watts of power (double the previous). A 65-gallon tank would require 250 and a 75 gallon one would require 300 and likewise.
You cannot be negligent about something that controls the health condition of your little turtle friend. Since you have taken up the responsibility to take care of the little living creature- you might as well take good care of it. Heat is a very important factor in a turtle’s life and its growth.
Therefore, make sure you put in all your efforts, knowledge and observation power when choosing the best turtle tank heater.
Last Updated on February 15, 2021 by John B. Nelson
Hi, This is John B. Nelson and the author of this website. As a cute pet, I love the turtle very much. Based on my experience with the turtle, I am sharing my opinion about the turtle care and habitat tips on this blog. I think these tips will be helpful to those peoples who have eager to turtle and want to start a journey with the turtle. Find me on Twitter. Happy reading!