Top 4 Types of Aquarium Heaters

What’s happening Salt-Nation! Jeff Here with another article for your salty thumbs. I recently received an email from a MHR follower, by the name of Hank. The email is as follows.

Hi Jeff, Thanks for all your hard work in providing reefing support and information. I have a question about heaters. Can you recommend a type of aquarium heater that won’t fry your tank and will stay at a constant setting. Or are there alternatives to aquarium heaters?

Thank you for your support,

First of all Hank, thank you for your question. Aquarium heaters are the most volatile, yet important pieces of equipment in the hobby. 9 times out of 10 when something goes wrong it involves the heater. Even with the leaps and bounds that aquarium equipment has made over the past few years heaters continue to be a hobbyist’s Achilles’ heel. To answer your questions we’ll first look at the different types of aquarium heaters available on the market today.

The Four Main Types of Aquarium Heaters

The Glass Tube Aquarium Heaters

One of the most popular types of heaters. Glass tube heaters encase the heating element and thermostat inside the glass to protect the electronics from getting wet. These heaters can be made out of a variety of glass types including quartz, Pyrex and other break-resistant materials. Glass tube heaters are also one of the most failed heaters available on the market. Higher quality glass is always recommended to prevent cracking.

The Inline Aquarium Heaters

As the name implies, this type of heater is used “inline” with the water flowing from a sump return pump or canister filter back into the main tank. The return line tubing is spliced and the inline heater will be secured in place. Since inline aquarium heaters are placed outside your aquarium, there is no risk of the heater being damaged by something going wrong inside the aquarium.

The Titanium Aquarium Heaters

Titanium heaters are a popular choice for heating reef aquariums and is what I use on most of my saltwater aquarium builds. Most titanium heaters come with a controller and temperature probe to sense the aquarium’s water temperature and turn on the titanium heating element to warm the water.

Once it has reached the desired temperature, the controller will turn off the power going to the heating element. Titanium heaters are not known for breaking unlike their glass tube heaters counterparts.

The Electronic Aquarium Heaters

These types of heaters are relatively new to the hobby.These heaters use an electronic thermostat that allows for a more accurate temperature setting. I have heard of hobbyist having trouble with electronic aquarium heaters when the first came out, but it has seemed to have subsided.

The concept behind these heaters, is they continuously displaying real time water temperature and most of them are equipped with an advanced digital microprocessor monitoring system that uses a dual temperature sensors. Most of them continuously monitors and displays aquarium water temperature which gives you a more consistent heating, within the aquarium.

Aquarium Heaters Final Thoughts

There’s no magic heater that can guarantee the safety of your aquarium’s inhabitants. The only thing you cam do is take as many precautions as you can by implementing redundancy when it come to aquarium heaters. Use of GFI outlets in with the aquarium controllers available on the market today, you can have a better chance of keeping  you critters safer than years past.

I use two titanium heaters that are hooked up to my Neptune Systems Apex. One heater is set to a temperature range of 81° to 78°. My backup heater is set to a range of 80° to 79° so if my first heater fails the second heat will kick on. Implementing redundancy in your saltwater aquariums such as that will save you a lot of heartache.

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I Appreciate You!

To wrap things up I wanted to say, that I’m here for you. I want you to succeed as you begin with your saltwater aquarium efforts. Feel free to contact me. I will do my best to respond to your emails and answer any questions you my have about getting started with your saltwater aquarium. Thank you so much for your support and I would love for you to drop me a line on my Facebook Page. I look forward to meeting you. P.S. If you found this page helpful, please hit the like button below.

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