Best Heaters for Your Betta Fish to Create The Optimal Tropical Environment

Blue marbled betta fish swimming in a heated aquarium

A tank heater is one of the most important pieces of equipment you need to keep your betta fish healthy.


Bettas are adapted to tropical waters, which are typically quite a bit warmer than room temperature in your house.


You see, the temperature in your house isn’t as stable as the temperature in betta’s natural environments – it fluctuates up and down depending on how hot or cold it is outside.


A tank heater can make up for those differences by keeping your aquarium at a warm, steady temperature.


But choosing the right heater for your betta fish can be challenging, especially since so many cheap heaters on the market don’t work as well as advertised. Today, we’ll take a look at the features you need to consider in a betta fish heater and review five of the best heaters for your betta.

What Temperature Should a Betta’s Tank Be?

The ideal temperature for a betta fish is between 74 and 82 degrees. While they can survive at colder or warmer temperatures for brief periods of time, temperatures outside this range will stress out your betta and potentially shorten its lifespan.


By comparison, the room temperature in most homes is between 66 and 72 degrees – too cold for betta fish. That’s why getting a heater for your aquarium is so important.


The other thing to keep in mind is that the temperature of your water needs to be kept relatively constant. Repeatedly changing the temperature between 74 and 82 degrees can stress out your betta just as much as having a tank that’s too hot or too cold.

How to Choose Your Heater

When it comes to choosing a heater for your betta tank, there are a few important things to consider:

Watts to Tank Size

Your heater needs to put out enough wattage to thoroughly and consistently heat all of the water in your tank.


Ideally, your heater will provide 3 to 5 watts for every gallon of water. So if you have a 10-gallon tank, you would need a heater that provides between 30 and 50 watts of power.


Alternatively, you can use two small heaters instead of one large heater. In many cases, this is actually preferable since you can put them on opposite sides of the tank and make your water heat more evenly. For the same 10-gallon tank, you could use two 20-watt tank heaters.


You might be surprised to learn that not all betta tank heaters are adjustable. Instead, many inexpensive heaters simply heat the water to a preset temperature and then stop.


Having an adjustable heater gives you a lot more flexibility to keep your tank’s temperature consistent. That’s because with an adjustable heater, you can turn up the heater on really cold days and turn down the heater on really warm days.


The best betta fish heaters come with a temperature scale that is easily readable.


Being able to read the temperature scale makes it easier to set your heater to the right level, as well as to tell when the water has reached the proper temperature.


However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t always trust the temperature reading on your heater. It may not be accurate, or the water directly around the heater may be somewhat warmer than water on the far end of the tank.


Always keep a thermometer in your betta tank so you can double-check the water temperature.

Ease of Use

Another thing to consider when choosing a betta tank heater is how easy it is to use, especially when fully submerged.


Look for heaters with a large control knob that’s easy to grab, and not so sensitive that you have to constantly fiddle with it to get it to the right setting.


In addition, your betta heater should be easy to set up in your tank, with suction cups or a simple hanging mechanism to get it below the water level.

Safety Features

Most tank heaters are designed to be safe both for you and for your betta fish, but it’s always good to be sure.


First and foremost, double-check that whatever tank heater you are looking at is rated for full submergence – if it can’t be submerged, you run the risk of electrocuting yourself or your fish if the water level changes.


Along the same lines, you should look for a heater that has an automatic safety shut-off to turn the heater off if the water level drops below the heater.


Your tank heater should also be designed to last. Many models are constructed to be shatterproof and shockproof, so that dropping them to the bottom of your tank or to the floor won’t damage the heater.


Finally, look for heaters with a safety guard or protective casing to prevent your betta fish from coming into direct contact with the heating elements, which can be dangerously hot for your fish.

Best Heaters For A Betta Fish Reviewed

Now you’re aware of how to choose a heater for your betta fish, you can now use the following reviews to make an informed buying decision.

1. Fluval E Electronic Heater

  • Watts Available: 100, 200, 300
  • Tank Size Rating: Up to 100 gallons
  • Temperature Range: 68-93 degrees
  • Auto Shut-off: Yes

​This tank heater from Fluval is designed to make heating your aquarium simple and effortless. The heater has a small LCD screen that displays the current water temperature in your aquarium.


In addition, the screen changes color from blue to green to red depending on whether the water temperature is below, at, or above the temperature that you set.


The heater is adjustable between 68 and 93 degrees, which gives you plenty of leeway in adjusting the temperature for warmer and colder days. In addition, the temperature can be set in 0.5-degree increments for even more control over your tank.


Another nice feature of this heater is that it is simple and straightforward to mount.


The included mounting bracket can go nearly anywhere in your tank, and you can remove the heater from the tank without having to take out the mounting bracket. Even better, the heater can go on the mounting bracket in any direction so you can easily read the temperature screen.


The heater is fully protected so that your betta cannot come in contact with the heating elements, as well as shockproof to prevent damage in the case of drops or larger fish hitting it.


While the 300-watt heater is rated for tanks up to 100 gallons, Fluval makes multiple versions of this heater down to 50 watts (suitable for aquariums up to 15 gallons).

2. EHEIM Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater (2nd Pick)

  • Watts Available: 25-300
  • Tank Size Rating: Up to 100 gallons
  • Temperature Range: 65-93 degrees
  • Auto Shut-off: Yes

​The Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater from EHEIM offers much the same versatility as the Fluval E heater, with a few key differences.


Most notable, this heater is capable of colder temperatures down to 65 degrees, which is ideal if you live in a hotter area where the goal of the heater is primarily to keep the water temperature consistent.


Like the Fluval E, the 300-watt version of this heater is rated for tanks up to 100 gallons.


Keep in mind that this heater is significantly longer, at 20 inches, so your tank will need to be shaped so that the heater can remain fully submerged. EHEIM also makes smaller versions of this tank heater down to 25 watts, which is suitable for small 5-gallon tanks.


The temperature dial on this heater is easy to read and turn since it’s situated on the top of the unit. The temperature can be changed in increments of 0.5 degrees at a time for fine control over the temperature.


The heater has a simple light to indicate whether the heater is operating or not. But unlike the Fluval E heater, there is no digital display of the current temperature in the tank. Because of that, you’ll need to keep a thermometer in the tank to check the temperature and monitor the tank for excursions from the set temperature.


When it comes to safety, though, this heater stands out. The heater automatically shuts off when the tank water drops too low and a safety control prevents the heater from running itself dry.


In addition, the heater is constructed to be shockproof and shatterproof. An included mounting bracket and set of suction cups makes it easy to put this heater anywhere in your aquarium.


3. Hygger Submersible Fish Tank Heater (Best Compact Option)

  • Watts Available: 50-300
  • Tank Size Rating: 10-60 gallons
  • Temperature Range: 75-91 degrees
  • Auto Shut-off: No

​This compact and relatively inexpensive heater from Hygger is the perfect choice for smaller tanks up to 10 gallons in size. If you need a larger heater, Hygger also offers 100-watt and 300-watt versions of this heater for tanks up to 25 and 100 gallons, respectively.


There are advantages and disadvantages to the design of this heater. To start, the control knob is located on the power cord rather than on the heater itself. That’s a major advantage when it comes to ease of use, since you don’t have to submerge your hand to adjust the temperature.


That said, the knob is relatively small and you can only adjust the temperature in increments of two degrees at a time – which makes it hard to finely control the temperature for your betta.


More important, the lowest heat setting is 75 degrees, which is already above the lowest acceptable temperature for your betta fish. That means that you’ll need to be careful not to overheat your betta on hot days with this tank heater.


In addition, there is no temperature readout on the heater itself, so you’ll need to install a thermometer in your tank alongside the heater. The heating unit does have an LED light to indicate whether or not it is heating.


While this heater can be fully submerged, it does not feature an automatic shutoff to power it down if the water level drops. So, you’ll need to be careful to monitor where this heater is with respect to your water line.


Thankfully, a set of suction cups makes it easy to put the heater anywhere in your tank. The design is also shockproof and a mesh screen keeps your betta away from the heating element.


4. Fluval M Submersible Heater

  • Watts Available: 50-200
  • Tank Size Rating: 15-65 gallons
  • Temperature Range: 66-86 degrees
  • Auto Shut-off: Yes

​This fully submersible heater from Fluval is a less expensive alternative to the E heater, although it does lose many of the advanced features of the E heater such as the LCD temperature display.


The heater has a limited temperature range between 66 and 86 degrees, so you may need to opt for a more powerful heater if your home is frequently cold. The temperature can be easily changed in 1-degree increments using the dial at the top of the heater.


The heater is relatively easy to install. The heater comes with a simple mounting bracket that allows you to place the heater anywhere, and you can take the heater out of the tank without removing the bracket.


Better yet, Fluval designed the heater to be fully shockproof, and while there is little protection from the hot center your betta cannot come fully into contact with the heating elements.


Keep in mind that while this heater is relatively small, it is still 11 inches long. That means it won’t actually fit in many of Fluval’s own tanks under 15 gallons, such as the EVO Reef 13.5 or the Flex 9.5-gallon tank. So, you will need to have a relatively tall tank to use this heater and keep it fully submerged.


Note that Fluval also makes larger versions of this heater, up to 200 watts.


5. Aqueon Pro Heaters (Best Budget Option)

  • Watts Available: 50-300
  • Tank Size Rating: 5-90 gallons
  • Temperature Range: 68-88 degrees
  • Auto Shut-off: Yes

​This sleek and effective heater from Aqueon is designed for simplicity. The knob on the top of the heater is extremely easy to access and the temperature dial is large enough to read.


While you can only change the temperature in 1-degree increments from 68-88 degrees, that should be more than enough versatility for most betta tanks. The heater does not have a temperature readout, but there is an LED light to indicate when the heater is turned on.


The heating element in this heater is well-protected so that it poses no danger to your betta fish, and the heater itself is designed to be nearly indestructible. The heater also has an automatic shutoff to power it down in case it overheats, and it will automatically turn back on after it cools down.


A set of suction cups makes it easy to install this heater either horizontally or vertically, although note that the 19-inch length of the heater requires that you have plenty of tank space for it.


The Winner

Although any of these five heaters can keep your betta fish warm and healthy, the Fluval E Electronic Heater is the overall best betta fish heater on the market today.


The heater offers a wide temperature range from 68-93 degrees and the ability to change the temperature in 0.5-degree increments.


Better yet, the built-in LED screen displays the water temperature and uses a color-coding system to alert you when the water is colder or warmer than your set temperature. Plus, the Fluval E is six inches shorter than the comparable heater from EHEIM, which doesn’t offer a temperature reading.

If it’s out of your price range, the next best one for me is the EHEIM Jager.

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A heater is a vital piece equipment to keep your betta healthy. In this guide, you'll get my reviews for the 5 best safe and reliable heaters for your betta #modestfish #fishtank #betta

Christopher Adams

Hey there, my name is Christopher and I'm the creator and editor of this site. I've owned successful aquariums for the past 23 years. My mission is to educate, inform, and entertain on everything that's fish.

Last update on 2019-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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