Fluval E Series Heater Unboxed, Tested & Reviewed (Best In Class 2021?)

There is a lot to get excited about when looking at the Fluval E series aquarium heaters.

But, being one of the more expensive heaters available, does it live up to the price? And how does it compare to other aquarium heaters?

To find out, I bought and test 5 different aquarium heaters, to measure just how good the Fluval E series really is.

Let’s get started.

TLDR – Fluval E Series Review

After doing a head-to-head comparison of five different models of heaters, the Fluval E200 was the clear winner.

I highly, highly recommend this heater. 

It’s easy to install, easy to calibrate, very consistent and has a load of optional features that blow the competition out of the water.

I’ve used A LOT of heaters over the years, but I have never been as impressed as I am with this one.

All of the testing that I did was on 200 watt heaters in a 55 gallon (208 liter) tank. But, there are several different sizes of Fluval E series heaters that would work great for other sizes of tanks.

Fluval E200 Advanced Electronic Heater, 100-Watt Heater for Aquariums up to 65 Gal., A773
Fluval E200 Advanced Electronic Heater, 100-Watt Heater for Aquariums up to 65 Gal., A773

    Last update on 2021-09-29 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    How I Tested The Fluval E200 Aquarium Heater

    I bought five different 200 watt heaters. 

    1. Fluval E200
    2. Hygger 200 Digital Quartz Heater
    3. Fluval M200
    4. Eheim Jager Thermostat Aquarium Heater
    5. HITOP Adjustable PTC Aquarium Heater

    I set up each one in the 55 gallon cichlid tank in my living room and let it run for a week.

    I did my best to make the testing fair. Each heater was placed in the same place along the back wall of my tank where there’s lots of water movement so the heat is distributed evenly in the tank.

    I placed five thermometers along the front glass of my tank so that I could easily monitor the temperature throughout the day. 

    If you’re looking for a reliable thermometer, check out this article.

    I wrote down my observations, and took a bunch of pictures, so I could document the whole thing.

    I was looking for some very specific things:

    • Installation – how difficult was it to get the heater installed in my tank?
    • Calibration – how hard was it to get the tank to hold the water at the correct temp?
    • Consistency – did the heater maintain a steady temperature, or were there fluctuations throughout the day?
    • Features – I looked at several different features that I think are important in a heater.
      • Easy to read temperature settings – I prefer for a heater to have easy to read temperature controls. You’d think that’d be a given for any aquarium heater, but there are some heaters that have horrible, impossible to read markings. Some even don’t have markings at all!
      • Durability – heaters can be made of glass, ceramic, titanium or plastic. Glass and ceramic are vulnerable to cracks and shatters, so I prefer the outside of the heater be made of more durable materials.
      • Indicator light – heaters may have no indicator light, a single indicator light for active heating mode or two indicator lights: one for heating mode and one for standby. I prefer a heater to have two indicator lights.
      • Overheat/dry sensor – an overheat sensor performs an emergency shutdown once the water temperature reaches a certain level. A dry sensor detects when the heater is running out of the water and will shut the heater down and then turn it back on once it’s back in the water. These are handy safety features to have. Heaters with no sensors can melt when they run dry, cause severe burns or even cause fires.
      • Heater guard – a heater guard is basically just a tough plastic cage that goes around the outside of the heater and keeps fish from being able to touch the heating element. I greatly prefer a heater guard. I’ve lost fish from heater burns, so this one really hits home.

    What’s in the Box?

    fluval e200 aquarium heater unboxed

    The contents of the box are pretty simple:

    • E200 heater
    • Bracket for side glass mounting
    • Instruction guide

    I really liked that this heater came ready to go, no assembly required. I didn’t even have to mess with attaching suction cups. 

    Yes, I am lazy and spoiled. Yes, I am OK with this. I am enlightened.

    This heater is meant to be installed along the back glass of a tank, but you also get a bracket that will let you attach it to the sidewall, if you need it.

    Easy to read temperature settings – there is a large LCD display on the front of the heater and a red lever that sticks out of the top that you press left or right to set the temperature. It’s super easy! The display will show the current water temperature most of the time. Pressing the lever left or right will cause the display to blink and will show what temperature the heater is currently set for. You don’t even have to squint to see the numbers.

    Durability – the heating element is encased in glass, so it’s possible to crack or shatter it. But, at least the heater guard should protect it from minor bumps.

    Indicator light – the LCD display that shows the current water temperature and also functions as an indicator light. It will be green during standby, blue for active heating mode and red if the tank temperature rises above the set temp. If the temperature is 5.5°F hotter or colder than the set temp, the display will flash to alert you of the problem.

    Overheat/dry sensor – unfortunately, this heater does not have an overheat or dry sensor. This is my only real gripe with this heater. So, be especially careful to make sure that you unplug this heater (and any other aquarium heater for that matter) before it’s removed from the water. Otherwise, it can crack, shatter, melt and/or generally cause very unpleasant mayhem. Be careful!

    Heater guard – the E series heaters all have really nice built-in heater guards. The holes are smaller than other models on the market, which can help keep smaller fish from swimming through them.

    Fluval E200 Advanced Electronic Heater, 100-Watt Heater for Aquariums up to 65 Gal., A773
    Fluval E200 Advanced Electronic Heater, 100-Watt Heater for Aquariums up to 65 Gal., A773

      Last update on 2021-09-29 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

      Fluval E200 Review & Test Results

      fluval e200 aquarium heater in fish tank

      I bought and tested out five different heaters for my head-to-head challenge, and this one was the clear winner.

      It’s super easy to install. You just stick it to the back wall and adjust the height by squeezing the sides and sliding the body of the heater along the mounting bracket to raise or lower it. 

      The very top of the heater needs to stick out of the water. Just make sure that evaporation doesn’t lower the water too much and expose the heater to running dry. There’s a minimum water line clearly marked on the outside of the heater.

      Setting the temperature is a breeze. There is a red lever that sticks up from the top. You just push it right or left to increase or decrease the temperature. 

      This heater is factory set for 78°F, but changing the temp only takes about 2 seconds.

      There is a large LCD screen on the front of the heater that displays the current water temperature. I really like this feature and the display also makes it easy to set the temperature you want.

      I especially like that the display will flash if the temperature is outside of the normal range. Any extra alert I can get to help protect my fish is a bonus in my book.

      The heater guard on the E200 is really great. I also reviewed a HITOP heater that has a heater guard, but the holes on that one are way too big because small fish can fit through them. But on this heater, the holes are smaller and should keep most fish from coming in contact with the heating element. 

      I do wish that this heater came with an overheat and/or dry sensor. This is my only complaint about this heater. You do need to be extra careful and make sure that this heater is unplugged and has had time to cool before you remove it or drain the water from your tank.

      It was so much easier to calibrate this heater than all the others. I set it up in the tank, set the heater to 75°F, and that was it. No fuss, no muss, perfect temperature right from the start.

      And the temperature was consistent throughout the entire time it was in the tank, I did not observe any fluctuations or have to mess with it to get it at the right temp.

      Pros: 

      • Easy to use controls
      • Multiple indicator lights
      • Easy to install
      • Set it and forget it calibration
      • Displays current water temperature

      Cons: 

      • No overheat/dry sensor

      How The Fluval E Series Compares Other Heaters

      I bought and tested out five different heaters for my head-to-head challenge, and this one was the clear winner.

      It’s super easy to install. You just stick it to the back wall and adjust the height by squeezing the sides and sliding the body of the heater along the mounting bracket to raise or lower it. The other Fluval heater was also easy to install, but it does not have the nifty sliding bracket that the E200 has.

      The very top of the heater needs to stick out of the water. Just make sure that evaporation doesn’t lower the water too much and expose the heater to running dry. There’s a minimum water line clearly marked on the outside of the heater.

      Setting the temperature is a breeze. There is a red lever that sticks up from the top. You just push it right or left to increase or decrease the temperature. 

      This heater is factory set for 78°F, but changing the temp only takes about 2 seconds.

      By far, this heater has the best temperature controls. They’re simple to use and there’s no guesswork since you can see everything on the LCD screen.

      The LCD screen shows the current water temperature while the heater is on standby, something none of the other heaters have.

      I especially like that the display will flash if the temperature is outside of the normal range. Any extra alert I can get to help protect my fish is a bonus in my book. Again, this is a feature that none of the other heaters have.

      The heater guard on the E200 is really great. I also reviewed a HITOP heater that has a built-in heater guard, but the holes on that one are way too big because small fish can fit through them. But, on this heater, the holes are smaller and should keep most fish from coming in contact with the heating element. 

      I do wish that this heater came with an overheat and/or dry sensor. This is my only complaint about this heater. You do need to be extra careful and make sure that this heater is unplugged and has had time to cool before you remove it or drain the water from your tank.

      Otherwise, the heater will continue to run once it’s been removed from the water and could crack, shatter, melt or cause burns.

      The E200 was so much easier to calibrate this heater than all the others. I set it up in the tank, set the temperature to 75°F, and that was it. No fuss, no muss, perfect temperature right from the start. Set it and forget it.

      And the temperature was consistent throughout the entire time it was in the tank, I did not observe any fluctuations or have to mess with it to get it at the right temp like I did will all the other heaters.

      Fluval E200 Advanced Electronic Heater, 100-Watt Heater for Aquariums up to 65 Gal., A773
      Fluval E200 Advanced Electronic Heater, 100-Watt Heater for Aquariums up to 65 Gal., A773

        Last update on 2021-09-29 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

        Do I Recommend The Fluval E Series Heaters?

        I would recommend the Fluval E series heaters for any tank 20 gallons or larger (Fluval also makes nano haters, just not E series ones).

        I can’t say enough about how much I like this heater. I loved how easy it was to install it and all I had to do was set it and walk away to get it calibrated.

        This thing is so easy to use. I like how the indicator lights on the LCD work, especially that it will flash if the temperature has really gotten out of whack.

        Compared to every other heater I tried for this experiment, plus every other heater I’ve ever tried in the last 20 years, this is the coolest. It is, in my opinion, the best, plain and simple.

        I hope you find this article helpful.

        I wish you and your fish the very best!

        Fluval E200 Advanced Electronic Heater, 100-Watt Heater for Aquariums up to 65 Gal., A773
        Fluval E200 Advanced Electronic Heater, 100-Watt Heater for Aquariums up to 65 Gal., A773

          Last update on 2021-09-29 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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          Katherine Morgan
          Hey, there! I'm Katherine from Northwest Florida. A nunchuck specialist, I've kept aquariums for over two decades, enjoy experimenting with low-tech planted setups and an avid South American cichlid enthusiast. If You'd like to see more of my tanks, check out my Instagram

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