Best Turtle Water Heater to Keep Him Healthy

Many people keep aquatic turtles as pets, and they are quite beautiful creatures. But of course, they need special care, just like you would treat your other pets.

Turtles are incredible and can live for decades, but that depends on how well you treat them, including keeping them warm. To keep turtle pets warm, people do different things like install UV lights in their tank, use a water heater, and the like.

However, if you are going for a heating product, you had better use the best turtle water heater when choosing one for your tank. But you may wonder if your turtle needs a water heater and what type to get.

Well, you don’t have to wonder about that any longer; your answers are in this article. Read on to know!

Why Do Turtles Need A Water Heater? 

Turtles are cold-blooded animals and can’t stay warm by themselves, so they need external support. Based on their nature, they need a water heater to;

1. To increase body temperature.

The temperature of the surroundings affects turtles, so when it gets cold or hot, your turtle feels the same way. However, your turtle should stay warm rather than cold.

When it gets cold, your turtle will turn to look for a heat source in the surroundings to keep warm, and a water heater can be that. It will help to increase its body temperature.

2. Maintain body metabolism

It would be best to use a water heater in your turtle’s tank to help maintain its normal body metabolism. Turtles have slow body metabolism, making them use up their energy slowly, and extreme weather can tamper with that.

Moreover, with the appropriate heat source to help increase your turtle’s temperature, it can use its energy as it should.

3. Prevent turtle from getting sick

When there is a sudden drop in water temperature in your turtle’s tank, it can make it sick, so you need to keep the tank warm and monitor it. It could even make your turtle hibernate for an extended period. 

This is because your pet is away from its natural habitat and needs to keep warm when the weather is cold to prevent it from hibernating for too long. With the best turtle water heater and regulation, you can ensure your turtle stays healthy for decades.

Types of Turtle Water Heater

There are many water heater options for your turtle. Some heaters can stay in the glass tank or hang outside it. Your turtle species and the size of the tank will determine the type you would go for.

But before going ahead to buy a heater, you should know the options available. They are:

1. Submersible tank heater

Submersible aquarium heaters are some of the common types available in the market. They usually stay in the water, and you can hardly see them from outside the glass tank.

Most submersible aquarium heaters have the shape of a stick with a glass or plastic covering the heating elements in the device. You can adjust the temperature of some of the models of these types of tank heaters. 

Just ensure that the temperature circulates and is not too hot for your turtle.

2. External Inline tank heaters

You can also try external tank heaters for your turtle aquarium. This heater type is large, so you would need to hang it outside the tank, and from there, it would regulate the temperature in the water.

These tank heaters are not as popular as the submersible aquarium heaters, and because they’re pretty technical to set up, some people prefer not to use them. 

3. Under gravel

Another thing you can use in your turtle tank is the under gravel heater. These types usually stay beneath the gravel substrate in the tank to heat plants and jumpstart their growth.

However, under gravel heaters are not without problems, so turtle tanks are not safe.

4. Heating mats

Heating mats are similar to gravel heaters because they go beneath the tank but not inside. Since they are outside the tank, they can’t do much in heating the water as your turtle needs, so they’re almost useless. However, you can use them if you have a reptile tank.

5. Heating rocks 

Heating rocks are rock-shaped devices used to keep a tank warm and serve as decorations. They’re primarily used in reptile tanks, so they may not do well in water. They’re probably not waterproof and may electrocute your turtle.

What To Consider When Choosing An Aquarium Heater

Many things go into play in ensuring that the heater is perfect for the tank and your turtle. You need to consider the heater’s features, like controller or thermostat, timer, energy monitoring, etc.

However, features aside, you need to consider the following when choosing an aquarium heater:

1. Safety

When buying an aquarium heater for your turtle, one major thing you should consider is safety. You should go for heaters with internal thermostats and auto shut-off to easily regulate the device.

High-quality heaters won’t overheat, blow up or roast your turtle in the tank. Therefore, be sure the heater is safe and perfect for your turtle.

2. Design and type

Another thing you should consider is the design and type of your tank and the heater you want to go for. Your tank’s setup will determine whether you need a submersible or external heater.

For example, an external inline heater will go well with the turtle tank if you have a canister or sump filter. Then, the tank’s layout will also influence the heater you choose.

Submersible aquarium heaters work well with most tank setups, and many hobbyists use this. However, more advanced hobbyists prefer unique and more sophisticated heaters.

3. Heating efficiency

The heater’s heating efficiency should match your tank. Ensure the heating wattage matches your tank’s capacity so it can work well; otherwise, your money will be a waste.

Some recommended compatibilities are:

  • 15 gallons – 50 Watts
  • 20 gallons – 75 Watts
  • 30 gallons – 100 Watts
  • 45 gallons – 150 Watts
  • 65 gallons – 200 Watts
  • 75 gallons – 300 Watts

You could also consider using two heaters with your tank. While that may seem ridiculous or look like it’ll fry your turtle, that isn’t the case. Two heaters will help ensure that the tank’s heat is consistent.

Then, one can serve as a backup if one breaks down or stops working. In addition, using two heaters can help to crosscheck the water temperature.

Best Turtle Water Heater — Top Picks

Once you have decided which type of aquarium heater your turtle needs and considered other essential factors like your tank size, you can shop for the one you want. 

But here are a few recommended turtle water heaters for your aquarium:

1. Aqueon Pro Water Heater For Turtles

Aqueon heater is a submersible type and is one popular water heater among aquarium hobbyists. It has a shatterproof construction and won’t break into your tank or harm your turtle.

In addition, it has auto shut-off features that regulate the temperature in the tank, so your turtle is not at risk of roasting to death. It also has a temperature knob you can use to control the device’s wattage.

The temperature is usually accurate and comes well-calibrated from the manufacturer. Overall, it has the most features you need in a water heater, so it makes the list of best turtle water heaters.

However, one of the issues with this product is its limited wattage, between 50 to 100. It also has a temperature knob compared to more modern features like an LCD screen, making it difficult to read at higher temperatures or prone to error.

2. Finnex hangs on Turtle Water Heater.

Finnex Electronic Aquarium Best Turtle Water Heater

Finnex Electronic Aquarium Heater

  • Maintains water temperature within +/-2ºF of the set value providing a safe, healthy and stable temperature
  • The titanium tubes are corrosion resistant
  • LED Heating indicator to let users know when the heater is functioning.

This turtle water heater is an external hang-on device you can use to warm up the water in your tank. It is sturdy and can last for a long time without falling apart.

This is because of its titanium nature which makes it solid and durable. It also has a beautiful design and hangs pretty on the tank for aesthetic appeal.

It has a minimal display feature to check the temperature, but you can also use a thermometer to double-check. The tube is corrosive-resistant, powerful, and provides adequate wattage to your tank.

One major issue with this device is the minimal display, so you should use a thermometer to examine the water temperature. Also, setting up this device can be tasking, but if you follow instructions, you should get it right.

3. HITOP Turtle Tank Heater

HITOP Adjustable Aquarium Heater

HITOP Adjustable Aquarium Heater

  • Suitable for medium and large fish tanks of 50-90gallon, sea water and fresh water.
  • The Adjustable rang of this fish tank heater is 63-90°F. 
  • Built-in sensitive temperature detection device to adjust temperature.

HITOP turtle tank heater is a high-quality device. It is a submerging water heater that stays in the tank, and it is super safe for your turtle.

This is due to its PTC element, oxide ceramic, so it can’t break like other plastic types. It’s sturdy and has a control knob you can use to regulate the temperature. 

In addition, it is corrosion-resistant, shatterproof, and power-saving. It works well in fresh and saltwater. Lastly, it features an indicator light that goes on when the water is heating and off when it is at the appropriate temperature.

4. Fluval E Electronic heater

Fluval Finnex Electronic Aquarium Best Turtle Water Heater

Fluval Advanced Electronic Heater

  • Dual temperature sensors provide accurate and real-time water temperatures.
  • LCD temperature display available in both Fahrenheit and Celsius.
  • Equipped with a slim profile mounting bracket and colored display alert system.

Fluval E is also popular among turtle owners, and it works well with many aquarium tanks. One prominent feature of this product is its double temperature sensor which enables you to ensure temperature accuracy in the tank.

It displays the water temperature through its high-quality LCD, making it visible to the eyes. In addition, it doesn’t overheat, so you can be sure of your turtle’s safety because the temperature is usually accurate.

However, it has only three wattage options to choose from, which should be fantastic for you if you don’t have a large tank.

5. Eheim Jager Thermostat heater

Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater

Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater

  • Fully submersible, will automatically turn off when water level dips too low.
  • Thermo safey control protects against running dry.
  • Made of shock resistant and shatter proof glass for fresh or marine water.
  • On/Off indicator light for at-a-glance monitoring.

Eheim water heater is another popular aquarium heating that has been famous for years. Many aquarium hobbyists have used this to warm their fish and turtle.

It stays in the tank as a submersible aquarium heater and works effectively. Since it’s an Eheim product, you would expect it to live up to the brand’s name.

It has shatterproof glass and is shock-resistant, so you know it is safe for your turtle. It also comes with safety control buttons to regulate the temperature, but you should get a thermometer to double-check.

However, this heater has some issues like overheating or inaccurate temperature as it ages, and some of its plastic components can come apart quickly.

6. ViaAqua Quartz Glass Submersible Heater

Quartz Glass Submersible Heater

Quartz Glass Submersible Heater

  • High Quality, Break Resistant Quartz Glass Construction
  • Suction Cups For Securing To The Aquarium.
  • Visible Temperature Settings.
  • For Use In Fresh And Saltwater.

ViaAqua submersible heater is also one of the best turtle water heaters you can use with your aquarium. The device goes into the water and is shatterproof and heat resistant.

Also, it has a temperature gauge you can use to monitor the water heat. However, since you can never be so sure, you should get a thermometer for that purpose.

Lastly, it is durable and of high quality. However, it doesn’t have an auto shut-off feature, so you have to ensure you keep an eye on the tank to avoid overheating. Also, the temperature accuracy could fluctuate.

How To Set Up Turtle Water Heater

Setting up your turtle water heater is easy if you follow available instructions. Sometimes, another thing that determines that is the type of heater. 

Usually, submersible ones are easier to set up than the external type. However, if you need a little bit of help, follow these steps:

  1. First, you need to read the manufacturer’s manual and ensure you note their precautions, especially as regards connecting it to a power source.
  2. Then test the water heater in clean water. Do that in a small container to confirm how quickly it heats up the water, and use a thermometer to confirm the device’s accuracy.
  3. Place your submersible heater in the tank where it is inaccessible to your turtle.
  4. Set it up with the water pump or canister filter for an external heater. Then test the water flow before turning the device on.
  5. When you are sure the temperature is safe, you can then put your turtle in the tank.

How Safe Is A Turtle Heater?

Overall, turtle water heaters are safe if you regulate them properly and check the water temperature at intervals. However, you should read the device’s manual before setting it up.

Also, be sure that the device’s wattage matches your tank size and that your turtle cannot come in contact with it. You should also have a thermometer at home to check the water temperature every day. 

The temperature should not go beyond 94°F. Anything between 95° to 105°F can kill your turtle, and you also need to be careful with sudden temperature drops as that can harm them.

Then, it would help if you took some precautions. Ensure that you finish setting up before turning the heater on and that the water is safe before adding your turtle to the tank. 

Then ensure you check the electrical outlet and ensure it is safe and waterproof. You don’t have much to worry about with the best turtle water heater, but you still need to be very careful if your pet needs to live long.


Turtles are cold-blooded animals, so they need an external heat source to stay warm when the weather is cold, or they hibernate. You can prevent your turtle from that with the best turtle water heater.

When getting a water heater, ensure its wattage matches your tank capacity. Then, make sure you test the water for safety before adding your turtle to the aquarium. Whichever type of product you go for depends on your preference but don’t forget to get a thermometer.

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