A turtle tank heater is a mandatory part of the turtle’s habitat in captivity. It helps the turtles stay warm and thus function effectively and remain warm.
A good heater allows temperature adjustments to facilitate a conducive environment for your pet turtle.
In this article, we get to cover some of the best turtle tank heaters you can get and a buyer’s guide to help you make an informed decision.
1. Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm Pro Aquarium Heater
Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm Pro Aquarium Heater (25 watt), Fully-Submersible Freshwater, Saltwater, Thermostat, Thermometer, Shatterproof
$47.01 in stock
We start with one of the most impressive submersible heaters in the market; the Cobalt Aquatics Neo-therm pro aquarium. The brand is also reliable and has been in the industry for a long time.
The heater occupies a small surface in the tank, making it great for even small aquariums. It also has an impressive output making it one of the strongest you can find today. Overall, the design is great, and it comes with a bracket, meaning that you can place it wherever you wish.
Another quality feature of the unit is that the turtle tank heater comes with an auto shut-off that regulates the temperatures preventing them from going higher above the set number. In addition, it has lights that show the heater’s status, whether the heating is ongoing or it has reached the set temperature.
Cobalt Aquatic flat submersible aquarium heater is pretty accurate. Its temperature calibration is high-quality, meaning that you can rely on the temperature level it displays. Further, it features a thermoplastic base and shatterproof exterior, making it a safe unit for your pet turtle. It is also durable, giving you value for the money.
- It has a small surface area
- Long-lasting and safe
- Pretty accurate
- It features a bracket to allow you to position it as you wish
- It is expensive
2. ViaAqua 300-Watt Quartz Submersible Heater
If you are in the market shopping for an affordable yet quality turtle tank heater, you should consider getting this. The price coupled with its sleek design makes it one of the best turtle tank heaters for the money.
It comes with a long-lasting quartz body that is shatterproof and resistant to heat. Both features ensure that your turtle remains safe in the habitat. Safety is enhanced further with waterproof double insulation. The heater also has an insulated heating element.
In addition, it has four power ratings of between 50 and 300 watts for you to choose from based on the needs of your turtle tank. 50W will be ideal for small tanks of around 30 gallons, while 300W is suitable for bigger ones. Whether you have fresh or saltwater, this unit will be compatible.
ViaAqua 300-watts water heater features a built-in thermostat to monitor the temperature in the tank. You can see the temperature settings thanks to the LED indicator in this unit. In terms of accuracy, the unit is accurate but not as perfect as some of the others in this review. Get an external thermometer to ensure that you get exact numbers on the tank temperature.
The unit is easy to set up with suction cups that facilitate this.
- It has quality construction
- Features a built-in thermometer and an LED indicator
- It is affordable
- Easy to set up
- Its accuracy is not very reliable.
3. Fluval E Advanced 300-Watt Electronic Heater
Fluval E300 Advanced Electronic Heater, 300-Watt Heater for Aquariums up to 100 Gal., A774
$50.62 in stock
6 used from $45.80
Our next best turtle tank water heater is this advanced electronic heater by Fluval. Fluval is a leading brand when it comes to quality aquarium products, and this unit does not disappoint.
Safety is optimal with this tank heater as it has several features that ensure that it does not overheat.
It also has a built-in auto-shut-off feature that prevents overheating of the water, thus protecting your turtle from unconducive water temperature. In addition, it has a barrier that prevents your pet turtle from coming into contact with it, thus further enhancing safety.
The wattage options are 100W, 200W, and 300W.
Fluval E advanced water heater features two temperature sensors that facilitate instant information and accuracy of the water temperature.
You can see the temperature reading on a top-notch LCD display that is pretty visible. The unit’s accuracy is perfect, so you don’t have to worry about erroneous temperature readings.
In terms of installation, Fluval E electronic heater has a mounting bracket making it easy to install. It also doesn’t take too much space in your turtle tank.
- It has dependable safety features
- It comes with a barrier
- Accurate readings
- Features an easy to read LCD display
- Wattage options are few
4. Aqueon Adjustable Pro Aquarium Heater
The size of a turtle tank heater plays a vital role in decision making. If you are looking for a small turtle tank heater that occupies minimal space, then this unit is ideal.
It facilitates temperature ranges of 68 – 88 degrees which is an impressive range. As such, you can use the heater for various functions, and it is also ideal for a fish aquarium.
Aqueon Pro heater’s accuracy is plus or minus one degree, which, although not perfect, is decent. It comes in five wattage options; 50W, 100W, 150W, 200W, and 300W. The variety allows you to choose a unit whose power output matches your turtle tank requirements.
Safety is not neglected in this unit as it features a sturdy glass make that is also shatterproof. An auto-shutoff feature further enhances its safety.
In terms of the quality of the unit, it comes with a warranty to give you peace of mind. The warranty is also proof that Aqueon has faith in the quality of this turtle tank heater.
On the downside, it comes with a temperature knob, unlike most modern turtle aquariums with an LED display.
- Compact unit
- It has a wide temperature range
- It has four wattage options
- It is durable and safe
- It heats slowly
5. Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater
Eheim is a reliable brand, and their Jager aquarium thermostat heater is a popular unit among most turtle and fish tank owners. It features high-quality lab-grade glass making it very durable.
The unit is quite powerful and heats the turtle tank well, even under low wattages. It features a shock resistance feature to protect your turtle, and you also don’t have to worry about the heater being destroyed by the turtle. Another safety feature is shatterproof glass to give you peace of mind.
Another impressive feature of the unit is a dry-run protection feature. It makes the unit go off automatically when the tank water levels get very low.
This prevents overheating or cracking. The wattage options of the unit are 25W, 50W, 75W, 125W, 150W, and 200W, giving you a wide range for most turtle tank needs.
It is also fully submersible, meaning that you always need to ensure that it is fully covered with water. The suction cups ease the heater’s installation. A mounting bracket allows you the flexibility to position the turtle heater in a spot of your preference.
Whether you have a marine or freshwater, this turtle tank heater will do the job. The on/off light indicator helps you know when the heater is working.
It also comes with a 5.6-foot cord and TruTemp dial temperature recalibration that enables you to adjust temperatures between 65 and 93 degrees Fahrenheit.
- It’s a powerful heater
- Features a mounting bracket and suction cups for easy, flexible installation
- It has a dry-run protection feature
- It is shock-resistant and shatterproof
- It is not very accurate
6. Hydro In-Line External Heater
Unlike other turtle tank filters that are put on the turtle tank’s wall, this one requires you to place it on the water outflow tube of an item such as a water pump, canister filter, or sump tank.
It can be set outside the aquarium to allow more space and reduce clutter. You get a clear view of the turtle in its habitat with no obstructions.
Hydro In-line external heater is unique in that it uses Positive Thermal Coefficient Tech. The technology means that the tank’s heating element increases the electrical resistance with an increase in heat.
As such, the heater will not overheat the aquarium. A simple dial makes it easy for you to set the temperature.
Its slim design doesn’t take a lot of space in the tank. This particular unit comes in 300W 5/8″, but you can also get it in either 200W 5/8″ or 200W ½”.
Its slim design doesn’t take a lot of space in the tank and fits in all canister filters. In addition, the design is compact as you only need to connect the heater to the return tube, putting water back into the turtle tank. On the negative side, it is not very accurate, and it has a small display.
- Durable and high quality
- Eliminates clutter in the tank
- Very safe and features a simplistic temperature dial
- It is available in several sizes
- Not ideal for tank wall mounting
7. Finnex Hang-On Electronic Aquarium Heater
If you need a durable titanium turtle tank heater, then Finnex Hang-on electronic aquarium heater is worth considering. It is also a good option if you prefer metallic to the plastic casing.
The unit’s titanium tubes are corrosion resistant; therefore, you can use them without worrying about rust. It is suitable with both fresh and salty water. However, this tube tends to get very hot, so you might need another heat guard.
The compact size of the heater makes it suitable for all aquarium sizes. It, however, has a high heating capacity making it suitable even for big tanks. In addition, the heater features hang-on hooks for set-up and an LED heating indicator.
An impressive feature of this electronic tank heater is that the temperature control is outside, meaning that you don’t need to put your hand in the water to adjust the settings.
The control setting has a plus or minus 2 degrees Fahrenheit accuracy, which is decent for the price. Its temperature adjustments range between 70 and 92 degrees Fahrenheit.
In terms of wattage, it has 50W, 100W, 150W, 200W, 300W, and 500W options. In terms of installation, the unit allows flexibility for diagonal, vertical, and horizontal installation. On the downside, it lacks a thermostat; you would need to pay for this separately.
- Features corrosion-free Titanium tubes
- Ideal for small and large aquariums
- Compact size with flexible installation
- Its temperature control is outside the tank
- You may need another heater guard
8. Hygger Submersible Titanium Aquarium Heater
hygger 100W Titanium Aquarium Heater for Salt Water and Fresh Water, Digital Submersible Heater with External IC Thermostat Controller and Thermometer, for Fish Tank 10-25 Gallon
Hygger titanium aquarium heater is a fully submersible model meaning that it needs full submersion to keep it safe from breaking. The aquarium heater has big suction cups that hold it in place inside the tank. On the other hand, the auto-shut feature facilitates optimal safety.
Thanks to the milky quartz glass construction, this turtle aquarium heater is durable. Further, it is explosion-proof, making it quite safe for your pet turtle.
Its heating element has white alundum sand that provides optimal heating efficiency. A plastic case gives it a decent look while keeping the turtle safe from burning if it gets too close.
It is available in 100W, suitable for 30 gallons aquarium, but you can also get it in the 300W if you have a bigger aquarium. In terms of temperature, it is adjustable with an external control from 75 to 91 degrees Fahrenheit, which is decent.
The water temperature needs of most turtle species fall within this range. You can make these adjustments in increments or decrements of 2 degrees Fahrenheit.
Further, the unit features an auto feature that turns off the heater when temperatures go to a degrees above the set temperature and restarts when the heater falls below this temperature. A built-in thermometer helps you monitor the warmth levels in the tank.
- It has a decent temperature adjustment range
- Space-saving unit
- Durable construction
- The temperature reading is not very accurate
9. Zoo Med Turtletherm Aquatic Turtle Heater
Zoo Med makes some of the best turtle products, from food to substrates. They also make turtle heaters, and their Turtletherm aquatic turtle heater is one of the best in the market. Its design is specially meant for use in turtle aquariums.
The unit comes with a preset thermometer that makes the unit suitable for use with tanks of a capacity of up to 30 gallons. The thermometer supports temperatures of up to 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
While this makes it a great turtle tank heater for red-eared sliders, it is limiting for other species. Check the water temperature requirements of your turtle species before purchasing this unit.
Further, the unit has a digital temperature display that is easy to read. A suction cup allows you to mount the unit onto the aquarium walls, and it is a fully submersible model.
It features a hard plastic that protects your turtle from the heating element. The hard plastic also protects the element from being broken by the turtles. Further, it has an automatic shut-off feature for enhanced safety.
You can get the unit in either 150W or 300W.
- Ideal for red-eared sliders
- It features a digital temperature display
- Available in two wattage options
- It has a hard plastic that protects the heating element
- It might not be ideal for some turtle species
10. Tetra 26445 Aquatic Heater
If you are looking for a tank heater that can also be used in a terrarium, consider getting this 26445 aquatic reptile heater by Tetra. It is easy to install, thanks to the heavy-duty suction cups.
The cups also allow you the flexibility of mounting the unit in whichever position you wish. Since they are heavy-duty, the heater will remain in place as your pet turtle cant knock it down.
It comes in a 100W option and has an automatic thermostat that maintains the temperature at 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Sadly, this makes the unit limiting as there is not much flexibility on the power output and temperature. The heater is suitable for heating up to 30 gallons of water.
Tetra 26445 has a black 8-foot power cord and a big plastic cage with openings that allow you to face it in either direction. It, thus, allows you to use a socket that is far from the turtle tank, and you can also easily position the heater in the tank.
The plastic cage also prevents breakage. It comes in a green color that will camouflage in the turtle aquarium if you keep live plants. Besides turtles, you can also use the heater for newts and frogs.
- Features heavy-duty suction cups
- It doesn’t require adjustments
- It has an automatic thermostat
- It has a fixed temperature
Buyers Guide: How to Choose the Best Turtle Tank Heater
Turtles need the right temperature for healthy growth and activity. Without one, your turtle may suffer bad health and be unable to survive for very long. If you consider all the heating options right there, you might have difficulty deciding what to pick.
Some filters work better than others, depending on the aquarium setup. Let us discuss the types heater for large turtle tank to choose and what to avoid.
Types of Turtle Tank heaters
These are arguably the popular heaters when it comes to fish keeping. They look like sticks with a heating element encased in a protective layer of glass or plastic. The cheaper options have a set temperature, but they may not be ideal for adjusting the temperature.
A submersible thermostat heater is much better as long as it has safety features to prevent frying the tank for when the water level gets too low or in case of heater malfunction.
If you choose to use a submersible heater, always double-check to see whether the entire tank is evenly heated, as some of the water may sometimes fail to reach the lower parts of the flow. However, this may not be an issue in a turtle tank because of the powerful filter.
If you prefer to have a heater outside to keep the view clearer, the external heater becomes a more convenient option. However, these are less popular than submersible heaters because you need to use a canister filter much larger and more powerful than normal filters.
If you are insecure about connecting a heater to the filter tubing and don’t want to use a submersible heater inside the aquarium, you could go for the in-filter heater.
You can readily find canister filters on the market that provide room for a heater to hide this crucial equipment so you can enjoy the most transparent view of your turtle. Besides, these don’t take up space inside the aquarium, maximizing the room while preventing susceptible damage caused by the turtles.
Seasoned aquarium hobbyists will know the concept of an undergravel heater. As the name suggests, this one is positioned underneath the substrate.
However, while they keep the water warm, undergravel heaters have been designed to aid plant growth in the aquarium. These are quite costly and less popular for turtle tanks.
These are specifically designed for snakes and tortoises. The mats are positioned underneath half of the pet’s enclosure to ensure a warm area. These are not suitable for turtle tanks because they are not waterproof, which can be a problem if the tank is filled with water.
What To Look for In Heater for Turtle Tank?
Many new turtle owners are unsure of what to look for when picking the right turtle tank filter because they look like the same thing. While we have already provided the best models, this section will help you decide without an ounce of doubt.
An important consideration when purchasing your turtle tank heater is wattage. It’s how the output of the heater is measured. You obviously want more watts to provide more heat to your turtle. Using the formula below, Figuring the wattage you need is quite simple.
For every 10 gallons in the tank, have 25 watts per 10-degree temperature difference
Let’s say you have a 50-gallon tank
- Divide that by 10 = 5
- 5 times by 25-gallon tank should have at 125 watts minimum
Following this formula, if your room is 620F and you intend to raise it in your 50-gallon tank to be 72 degrees, you need to use a 125-water heater.
If your room is 52 degrees and you intend to raise it to 72 degrees, you will need double the watts, so you need a heater with at least 275 watts. The bottom line is that the more watts in a heater, the better.
One of the primary considerations when choosing a turtle tank is its safety. If the turtle gets too cold, they might go into hibernation, which affects their health and metabolism. A water heater prevents this as well as other additional issues.
Owners sometimes give horror stories about buying low-quality heaters that shatter or overheat. This can seriously harm your turtle, which could be prevented if they spent additional twenty bucks on a better heater.
Some of the safety features to look in a tank heater include auto-shutoff, shockproof designs, shatterproof materials and more.
It’s also vital that you buy a heater that can heat water enough. The most efficient heater will match the wattage for the recommended tanks size.
Many low-quality heaters will underheat, but we have ensured the choices in our list can handle the corresponding dimensions of the tank for the wattage they provide. There’s no point buying a heater that can’t keep things warm.
Design And Type
We have talked about the types of water heaters above. The submersible is the most popular type, even on our best turtle tank heater list.
Still, other types, such as external heaters, work if you have canister filters. Although they are more expensive, in-filter or external heaters stay out of the tank, offering a clear view and making it easier to clean.
All our choices above are high-quality, reliable and efficient. However, we can add a couple of extra recommendations for using tank heaters that you might want to consider.
Get a Thermometer
Adding a thermometer is worth its target temperature is worth all of it. It adds an element of redundancy to your safety by being an external source of data where you can easily verify that water is within the target temperature. You’ll sleep easier knowing your turtle is comfortable and safe.
Well, it’s a common practice for seasoned turtle owners to get two heaters. Well, this might seem like overdoing initially, but there’s a good reason for it.
Splitting the required wattage is crucial for protecting the tank on both ends of the danger spectrum. If one of the heaters develops a hitch, at least there’s a source of heat until you get another.
Surprisingly, having two heaters protects the tank from overheating because each heater does not have the necessary wattage to wreck in the tank.
Frequently asked questions
Do I Need A Heater In The Turtle Tank?
Absolutely! Turtles do need a heater because they are cold-blooded reptiles. Keeping them warm boosts their wellbeing significantly by heating the organs to function correctly. Everything from the heart, liver and lungs depend on external heat sources. Also, the metabolism of the turtle is dependent on body temperature.
What Temperature Should I Maintain In The Turtle Tank?
Most aquatic turtles thrive in a water temperature between 78 and 82 degrees. Some heaters have a steady temperature of 780C, which works for most aquatic turtles. Turtles living below 500F will start to brumate and go to hibernation. Indoor turtles living as pets should not undergo this energy-wasting process.
Do Red-Eared Sliders Require A Water Heater?
Yes, if the ambient temperature in the enclosure goes below 75 degrees. The juveniles will need more temperature of up to 80 degrees to thrive. This species is known for being hardy and able to stay in a wide temperature range, but you should maintain a proper temperature range for the RES.
What Kind Of Underwater Heater Does A Turtle Need?
Most turtle owners prefer to use a submersible water heater because it is cheap, easy to set up and clean, and has an accurate internal thermometer. Before you choose a submersible heater, though, ensure it can provide the wattage you need.
A great way to determine if the number of watts suffices is to have 25 watts for every 10 gallons of water for each 10-degree difference. Let’s say you have a 55-gallon tank, so you divide by ten and multiply by 25.
Can I Use a Heating Pad Under My Turtle Enclosure?
Heating pads are ideal for dry reptile enclosures. A submersible or external heater works best for a turtle tank to achieve the ideal temperatures.
A heating pad may not provide enough heat and require more energy to penetrate the glass material of a turtle tank. The most important thing to keep in mind is to have a water heater with more watts, especially if you live in colder climates.
Can Hot Water Kill Turtles?
Yes, hot water above 950F is hazardous for a turtle, especially if the turtle spends a long time (over 5 minutes) inside. Too much temperature is fatal for cold-blooded creatures because it speeds the metabolism to extreme levels and shocks their system.
Can Turtles Die from Cold Water?
Turtles can survive in cold water as long as they don’t freeze. They can hibernate, a process where they go into an inactive state for months. In cold water below 500F, they become sluggish and lethargic.