|Ehiem Jager||Aquatop Quartz||Fluval E Electronic Heater||Aqueon Pro Heater|
|Price: $$||Price: $||Price: $$$||Price: $$|
|3 Year Warranty||6 Month Warranty||5 Year Warranty||Lifetime Warranty|
|View Price On Amazon||View Price On Amazon||View Price On Amazon||View Price On Amazon|
Finding the right 30 gallon aquarium heater is essential for our tanks well being. Oversized heaters can quickly fry fish while small heaters will stress fish until they get sick. Likewise unreliable heaters or those with short lifetimes can crash our tanks leaving us with only heartbreak. For this reason I’ve compiled a short list of the best 30 gallon aquarium heaters.
Ehiem Jager 100 Watt
This is my absolute favorite aquarium heater and is still made by the original manufacturers. If you don’t want to read a whole lot about heaters you will be fine with this guy in your tank.
- Indestructible Design
- High Efficiency Heating Element
- Precise control
- Multiple Safety Features
- Long/Reliable Lifetime
- 3 Year Warranty
- Older Look
- Above Average Size
The safety features include shatter resistant glass made from special laboratory glass. The special glass prevents any fissures or cracks in the heater, increases heating efficiency to lower power costs and creates a heat shield. Even when on at full power the Ehiem Jager cannot harm livestock nor will large fluctuations in temperature damage the glass.
I’m not even done with the glass. It is beyond shatter resistant. I have actually had large rocks knocked down by my inverts onto the heater. The heater had no scratches, dents or visible damage and has continued to work for 3 years after the event.
The heater has an auto shut off feature that prevents it from turning on when dry. this is handy during water changes when you move the heater between the tank and bucket or simply when too much water evaporates from the tank.
Setting the heat is done by adjusting the blue wheel. The temperature is printed on the wheel and a red arrow points to the current setting. When the light turns on and off the orange indicator lamp clicks on and off.
Keep in mind this heater measures 12.56″ x 1.4″ making it one of the longer aquarium heaters out there. It can be mounted sideways, which often gives the heater more even distribution, allowing it to fit more easily into our tanks.
Lifetime & Warranty
The Ehiem Jager 100 watt heater has been sitting in my tank for over 5 years. In fact many have reported the tank lasting for 7-20 years with ease! Combining this with the 3 year warranty means your heater will last over 3 years at the minimum. If you register your heater you can even get some special deals straight from Eheim
The failure rate on the Ehiem is exceedingly low, making this the absolute safest 30 gallon aquarium heater. This is largely due to the amazing safety features Ehiem has implemented.
Aquatop Quartz 150 Watt
The Aquatop 100 watt is the go to low cost 30 gallon aquarium heater.
- Low Cost
- Easy To Read
- Fully Submersible
- Runs 2 degrees hot
- Not Exact Settings
- Difficult To Turn Knob
Essentially the Aquatop aquarium heater is an introductory heater that measures 10.5″ x 1.5″ x 1.5″. The heater typically runs 2 degrees warm but is fairly constant. Adjust the heat from the lower settings upwards until the desired heat is maintained for perfect use. You can use any thermometer to do this but I always use a stick on thermometer. Take note of what the displayed temperature is incase you ever need to reset the heat. The light on the front of the heater turns on and off when the heater starts and stops heating the water.
To ensure the water is not heater too quickly the Aquatop only heats for one minute at a time. Due to this heating new water before a water change will take a bit longer than usual.
The knob is fairly difficult to turn, ensuring it never changes. However this makes it difficult to turn when wet, which is all the time. As the knob is turned a solid red line moves across the thermometer to display the temperature. Additionally the temperature is displayed above the red bar to help you confirm the setting.
The heating element requires a higher output than other brands of aquarium heaters, which increases the power draw from the tank. Here is some quick math on the increase wattage use:
50 watts x 6-10 hours a day x 365 days a year x $.00012 per hour on average = $13.14-$21.90 extra each year.
Keep this in mind, as the cost will add up over time.
Lifetime & Warranty
The Aquatop quartz 150 watt typically lasts between 1-3 years, a fair lifetime considering it costs half as much as other low cost aquarium heaters. The heater is fairly fragile and cannot be allowed to touch the substrate. Doing so will make the heater prone to cracking and shutting off.
The warranty on the Aquatop Quartz lasts 180 days/6 months. This gives you plenty of time to find any defects with your heater, such as rusting coils on the inside or slowly splitting glass. Be sure to contact the manufacturer as soon as you spot any defects.
Fluval E Electronic Heater 100 Watt
The Fluval E Electronic Heater features a different look than most aquariums, along with a slew of features to help make maintaining the tank easier.
- Digital Display
- Temperature Warnings
- Highly Precise
- Built In Memory Settings
- Dual Temperature Sensors
- Protective Case
- Higher Cost
- Bulky Design
The main draw to the Fluval E is its digital display and built in features, making the heater into a command center for your tank.
The display will be either green for the correct temperature, red when the temperature is too high and blue when the water is too cool. If the display starts flashing the water temperature is changing too fast. Typically the blue display will solve itself, but the heater cannot cool hot water. If the display stays red for a long time it means the room is too hot or something is heating the water too much. Common culprits include circulation and return pumps.
Additionally if the heater is in a low flow area the screen will display LF. This means you should either direct more flow to the heater or move the heater so that it can dispense heat more evenly
The heat is set by the lever on top of the heater, adjusting the heat in .5 degree increments. If the power should happen to go out this setting will be saved and resumed when the heater regains power. Combine this with the dual heat sensors, which measure the waters temperature rather than internal air temperature, and you have a precise and reliable aquarium heater that holds the perfect temperature.
The casing on the Fluval E heater protects the fish from the heating element while allowing the glass tube full contact with the water. This allows for highly efficient heating while keeping your fish and inverts safe. If you have ever had snails with a glass tube heater you will know just how bothersome they can be. My snails frequently climb on to the warm glass tube, only to let go to avoid burns. This often left them on their backs, killing them if I did not save them.
The heater measures 11.75″ x 1.125″ x 2″ and is mounted by a triple suction cup bracket that can be removed from the heater. This allows for easy cleaning without displacing the suction cups. The suction cups are stronger than the average model and are resistant to warping, but should still be kept clean for maximum staying power.
Lifetime & Warranty
The Fluval E Electronic Heater 100 Watt comes with a massive 5 year warranty, ensuring the heater gives you enough bang for your buck. When combined with this warranty the Fluval should last you between 6-8 years with ease.
Aqueon Pro Heater 100 Watt
View On Amazon
The Aqueon Pro Heater strikes a nice balance between modern design, reliability and low costs for the most balanced 30 gallon aquarium heater.
- Lifetime Warranty
- Hardened Plastic, No Glass Components
- Aluminum Core For Increased Durability and Heating
- Setting Is Black On Black And Hard To Read
- Temperature Calibration Is Often Off A Few Degrees
The most notable feature here is the hardened plastic casing that makes up the tube. This is much more durable then even tempered glass, making the Aqueon one of the most durable heaters out there. This however does not enhance the heating element like the Ehiem of Fluval models do, keeping the power consumption normal rather than below average.
The light has two settings of green for off/right setting and red when the heater is on. When removed from water the Aqueon pro knows to shut off automatically and resumes once resubmerged. The temperature is set by turning the large knob on top of the heater. You may need a flashlight as the numbers are black on black, creating a difficult to read surface.
For this heater I would say a second thermometer is mandatory. Unfortunately a fair amount of these heaters ship out with bad settings and will run several degrees off from what is shown. Once the heat is set properly the heat stays on target. Just be sure to let others know your heater is off and not to adjust it themselves.
Lifetime & Warranty
Aqueon features an amazing lifetime warranty on all of their heaters, putting them a step above the rest when it comes to customer satisfaction. simply contact them via the phone number or form shown here. The heaters themselves are also reliable and should last an average of 3 years. You can put to bed the worries of sending for a replacement each month.
After this guide on finding the best 30 gallon aquarium heater you should be more than prepared to make the right choice. Because of the similar size these choices also make great 29 gallon fish tank heaters. If your tank can fit it I cannot recommend Ehiem highly enough, but the other options are still worth considering. If you need a few more options feel free to read my more general Best Aquarium Heater guide.