Best Turtle Tank Heater 2022: Buying Guide and Reviews

Larry Mills
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Turtles are cold-blooded animals, so they depend on their environment to regulate their body heat.

In the wild, they move from sun to shade and the water in order to keep their body temperature balanced. This is a very reliable way to keep warm, but not an ideal option while we maintain them as pets.

Turtles and tortoises tend to be quite susceptive to changes in temperature, so it’s up to us to replicate their natural habitat in order to properly keep them.

Here we’ll go over some of the best turtle and tortoise aquarium heaters you should consider to keep your reptilian friend nice and warm during the cold winter months, and to cool them off during the hot summer months.

Fluval M Submersible HeaterBest OverallFluval M Submersible Heater
Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium HeaterBudget PickTetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater
Hydor In-Line External HeaterUpgrade PickHydor In-Line External Heater

1. Fluval M Submersible Heater

Our rating: 9 / 10

Fluval M Submersible Heater

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  • Moderate to high temperatures
  • Great heaters
  • Control of your heat level with the thermostat
  • Easy to install
  • Well-constructed and well-manufactured
  • Energy efficient

One of the problems with heating your turtle tank with a reptile basking light is that heat rises. This means that your turtle cannot bask at the surface of the water. The closer to the top of the tank you can place the basking light, the closer you can allow your turtle to it.

Another way to do this is to buy a turtle tank heater that floats on the water surface. This can be done with an aquarium heater known as the “M submersible heater” by Fluval.

These heaters have a stable, heavy, bottom disc and an aluminum top with a contoured edge. This makes it possible to float on the water surface. The product has a thermostat for temperature control. The unit has numerous other safety features for overheating protection.

2. Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater

Our rating: 8 / 10

Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater

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  • Easy to set-up and adjust
  • Can be fitted in a range of glass or acrylic tanks
  • Quite stable
  • Quite reliable
  • The water levels need to be checked regularly to ensure that they are as per the manufacturer’s instructions


  • Can overheat if the water is not checked regularly
  • Can cause a burning sensation if it falls out of the tank

The temperature of the water in the tank can be measured with this heater. It is essential to check the water level every day so that you can be sure it is not getting too warm and damaging the fish. It also helps to check it weekly so that you can check the filter and prevent any algae keeping the fish from getting enough sunlight.

3. Finnex Deluxe Titanium Tube Heater

Our rating: 8 / 10

Finnex Deluxe Titanium Tube Heater

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  • Heats tanks up to 75 gallons
  • Made with both low-grade technological processes as well as 9 ´type 2 titanium heating elements
  • Keeps the water at a level comfortable for your turtle
  • You can set the temperature with a control knob
  • Has an in-built protection in case the heater’s temperature is too high
  • Auto Shut Off feature in case any malfunctions occur

4. Cobalt Aquatics Flat Neo-Therm Heater

Our rating: 8 / 10

Cobalt Aquatics Flat Neo-Therm Heater

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  • Fully submersible and heat wraps around the glass for the best heat transfer
  • Adjustable from 25 watts to 300 watts per hour
  • Indicator light changes from blue to red to notify you when it is time to clean the heater
  • Comes with a 30-day money back guarantee
  • Heat tape to attach to the wall of your tank

Turtle tanks produce heat from the lighting inside the tank. The lights are generally of a relatively low wattage. If they are not working properly or you have a cracked light, the heating could be compromised. Another concern is that the heat is not evenly distributed across the tank.

You need the best turtle tank heater if you have heat-loving turtles, such as red-eared slider turtles. Placing a submersible heater inside the tank will help maintain the perfect temperature. There are different kinds of tank heaters.

Submersible Heater: The Cobalt Aquatics Flat Neo-Therm Heater is made up of glass fiber-based ceramic sandwiched between metal heat fins and can be submerged inside any water tank. However, it is not safe to submerge into an aquarium that the fish cannot get out of. You should always use heat tape to wrap the glass to ensure that the aquarium water does not get hot.

5. Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater

Our rating: 8 / 10

Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater

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If you are using terrariums or vivariums you will find heaters to be a very important part of your set-up. These are used to regulate the overall temperature of the cage to keep it somewhere that both man and animal can tolerate.

We have already recommended that you get yourself a thermometer so you can assess the temperature of your environment beforehand. This will tell you how hot or cold your tank needs to be, so you can then search through online sellers and picture galleries for the appropriate product for your tank size.

If you use a radiometer, you will have to turn this midway through the day to ensure that you are giving your pet the right temperatures.

6. Aqueon Pro Submersible 50W Heater

Our rating: 8 / 10

Aqueon Pro Submersible 50W Heater

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  • Cuts the risk of thermal shock to your turtle
  • Durable construction cuts the costs of frequent replacements
  • Thermostat help ensure that your turtle stays at the optimal temperature range
  • Submersible design fits in almost any container with ease
  • Splash guard to prevent splashing
  • Meets UL and CSA requirements, proving for a safe and reliable product


  • Some users have claimed it required replacement sooner than it should have
  • On the more expensive side

You have to make sure that the turtle tank heater you choose is going to be suitable for your turtle’s needs. The Aqueon Pro Submersible heater is a perfect choice for many reasons.

First of all, it has a durable, shatter-resistant construction that is going to be perfect for a turtle who has a tendency to be aggressive.

Plus, it is fully submersible, so it can be simply placed into the tank.

7. Hydor In-Line External Heater

Our rating: 5 / 10

Hydor In-Line External Heater

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  • Easy to assemble
  • Reliable and durable
  • Doesn't cause a rapid change in the tank's water temperature
  • Durable construction
  • Works well in large capacities of water
  • Low voltage
  • Removable cord for easy storage
  • It is ETL listed to show it has been tested for safety
  • Works to a maximum depth of 8 meters
  • This product is backed by a 1-year limited warranty

A turtle aquarium down submerged heaters that can be put in any housing. They are connected to a power source and immersed in the water. They work well in large-sized aquariums. You can distinguish different kinds of heaters depending on the size.

They are very suitable for aquariums which include large amounts of air. When these aquariums are used, the heaters become more effective. They are suitable for almost every kind of water tanks. The heaters are installed inside the water in various kinds of ceramic structures.

Although they don't consume much electricity, they are efficient. You will have no problem saving money from the heaters.

8. Marina Compact Heater

Our rating: 5 / 10

Marina Compact Heater

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  • Energy efficient heater
  • Versatile as it can be used in fresh water or salt water applications
  • Understated and unobtrusive design will look well in any aquatic environment
  • Can be used in many aquarium or terrarium applications


  • Some people feel that if you use this product in a large aquarium tank the durability of the product starts to reduce.

If you are looking for a good heater for your turtle tank, then this could be the one for you.

It is really versatile and can be used in fresh or salt water aquariums.

You can place it under the tank or you can attach it on the back of the heated terrarium. You can use it to keep terrariums or aquariums warm. Many people use it with their turtles as their natural habitat is in warmer areas.

9. IIVVERR Submersible Aquarium Heater 300W Quartz Glass Adjustable Fish Tank Heaters 110V Safety Guard Protect Pet from Heating Core Black

Our rating: 4 / 10

IIVVERR Submersible Aquarium Heater 300W Quartz Glass Adjustable Fish Tank Heaters 110V Safety Guard Protect Pet from Heating Core Black

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  • This heater comes with an adjustable temperature range
  • It is easy to install
  • It does away with the need for a large and heavy external paint
  • It comes with a great price tag


  • The thermostat isn’t very accurate
  • It is a high maintenance heater

You might not be able to experience the full effect of this heater if you are not using it for the right kind of fish tank. It is more suited for fish tanks where the water temperature is in the range of 77 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (25 to 30 degrees Celsius).

Extra consideration should be paid to the power supply when you use this type of heater in a tank that has a gravel in floor, because these heaters have a larger diameter and greater power requirements than heaters that sit on the tank’s bottom.

The above information brings you some of the finest cheap yet effective aquarium heaters you can find on the market today. Although this may look like a daunting task, picking the right heater will determine the success or failure of your fish tank.

10. Sukeen Aquarium Heater Auto Thermostat Fish Tank Heater

Our rating: 4 / 10

Sukeen Aquarium Heater Auto Thermostat Fish Tank Heater

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  • Small & Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Cheap
  • Simple design that is effortless to install and set up
  • More control over the temperatures at which your Betta will live
  • You can easily adjust the temperature setting on the apparatus
  • It is shatterproof and blast proof

This is the best betta heater for a ten-gallon tank. It gives you a lot of control over the temperature that your fish need to survive.

It is shatterproof and blast proof which means you do not have to worry about it breaking if there is an accident.

Overall, this product will give you complete control over the temperature and allow you to heat the water without risk of cracking your tank.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best heater for a turtle tank?

The best turtle tank heater is one that provides your turtle with a consistent, comfortable environment.

This might not be the same as your idea of the perfect temperature. Since their optimal temperature is different than yours, you should take the needs of the turtle into consideration.

If the turtle is too cold, they might not be able to digest their food properly. If they aren’t warm enough, they could grow lethargic, which can lead to continued weight loss and a lowered immune system.

Turtles are reluctant to change their environments and moving to a new one is stressful for them. Turtle tanks should follow these points for ideal temperature:

  • At Any Age
  • Optimally between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Older and Smaller Turtles
  • Optimally between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Baby Turtles (Under 6 Months)
  • Optimally between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit

What is the most reliable aquarium heater?

If you don't want to stick with the heater brand that comes with your aquarium, there are some awesome ones out there that we recommend based on number of features and feedback available.

In case you're not sure which aquarium heater is right for your situation, we're going to go over everything you need to know about them, what the pros and cons are, and also help you pick out the best one for you!

For our purpose in this review, we're going to assume that you're someone who is looking to buy an aquarium temperature controller, or "heater" for your fish tank. We aren't going to make an assumption about how much you know about this beginner hobby and won't be going into too much detail, but rather we'll be going over what features you can look out for.

Does a turtle tank need a heater?

Yes. Turtles live in climates that vary drastically over the course of a year.

Mud and musk turtles are capable of hibernating. The rest of the turtles, however, need a heated environment in their tanks.

The ideal temperature range for a turtle tank is 75-85F (24-30C).

The temperature should not drop below 70F (20C), however; your turtle needs to be able to handle hibernation of its own accord.

If your tank isn’t keeping your turtle warm enough, then you can use a variety of warming products. The best choice is an aquarium heater.

If you don’t use an aquarium heater, then your turtle is likely to end up with respiratory infections or other issues.

What temperature should I keep my turtle tank?

With proper care, water turtles can survive in much colder climates than you might imagine. However, if you want to keep a healthy turtle that will be around for a long time, then the optimal tank temperature is between 72 and 75 degrees F (22 and 24°C).

There are a few reasons why warmer water is better for your turtle, including the fact that they are cold-blooded. They rely on their environment to regulate their body temperature so the warmer the tank, the better they will be able to take care of themselves.

You can still keep a water turtle in a tank that is cooler, but there will be significant drawbacks including slower growth and inactivity. Keep your tank between 75 and 80 degrees F if you want your turtle to thrive.


Probably thousands of fish owners rely on home aquariums to bring a bit of nature into their homes. After all, they’re quite calming to look at. There are a number of people, however, who don’t live near the sea or in tropical areas with naturally warm climates. If you happen to live in a colder climate, you’ll need some sort of equipment to help keep your water at the correct temperature. And that equipment is a turtle tank heater.

Our Recommendation

Fluval M Submersible HeaterBest OverallFluval M Submersible Heater
Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium HeaterBudget PickTetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater
Hydor In-Line External HeaterUpgrade PickHydor In-Line External Heater