We all know that aquariums are not the easiest thing in the world to take care of. Between the tank setup, pH, water hardness, filtration, and temperature, there is a lot to deal with when it comes to any home aquarium.
When it comes to your fish and your plants, one of the most important things is to maintain the proper water temperature at a steady level that is ideal for all of your tank inhabitants.
Well, sure, an aquarium heater is a start, but they most often don’t come with thermostats or great controls. However, there are some good tools out there to help you with this, so today we are here to help you find the best aquarium heat controller and cover some of the essentials to help you.
Table of contents
- What Is An Aquarium Heat Controller?
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- 5 Best Heater Controllers For Aquariums
- Benefits Of Using A Heater Controller
What Is An Aquarium Heat Controller?
An aquarium heat controller is actually a simple device. First off, it features a temperature probe which gets put in the aquarium water. This temperature probe reads the water temperature and will show it to you on a built in display.
Next, the aquarium heater controller then comes with its own electrical outlets. This is where you plug your aquarium heater into. Now, the aquarium heat controller then allows you to set a specific water temperature.
Depending on your set temperature and what the probe is reading the water temperature as, the heater controller will then turn the aquarium heater on or off to achieve the desired temperature. It’s definitely a nifty and convenient tool to have in your aquarium arsenal.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Century Digital Controller||
|WILLHI WH1436A Temperature Controller||
|bayite Temperature Controller||
|Inkbird ITC-306T Controller||
|Finnex Temperature Controller||
5 Best Heater Controllers For Aquariums
1. Century Digital Controller
Now, what you need to know about the Century Digital Controller is that it is specially designed for heating mats, and it is compatible with many other heating mats too. This makes it a good option if you want to heat your aquarium from the bottom up, as you can just place the heating mat right under the substrate in you aquarium.
What is also nice about this controller is that the heating temperature is extremely easy to set. You just have to press the “set” button, then select the temperature you wish to heat the aquarium to.
The Century Digital Controller has a range of 40 to 108 degrees Fahrenheit, which is definitely enough for any aquarium. This product does also support Celsius, just in case imperial measurements are not your strong suit.
Yes, this item also comes with a digital thermostat, which you just place right in the water. It reads the temperature very accurately, displays the current water temperature on the nifty little display, then automatically turns on or off depending on the current water temperature.
When it comes down to it, this is a simple but quite effective controller to consider.
2. WILLHI WH1436A Temperature Controller
Here we have another basic yet useful aquarium heat controller to go with. Now, it’s not specifically designed for aquarium heaters per say, as it has a wide variety of possible applications, but aquarium heaters are definitely one of them.
Now, one thing we do want to mention right off the bat is that it’s not very durable and you definitely shouldn’t get it wet. However, on the other hand, it is a very simple to use model.
All you have to do is plug this thing into the wall, and then plug your aquarium heater into it. Once you have done this, this thing will constantly take water temperature measurements, which are displayed on the little digital display.
Depending on the water temperature, and the desired temperature which you have this thing set to, it will then turn the aquarium heater on or off to reach that desired temperature.
Moreover, this item is very easy to set, as you just have to press the “set” button, choose the desired temperature, and then hit that same button again.
This aquarium heater does also have a very wide temperature range, more than wide enough for any home aquarium, and it is very accurate too, to within 0.5 Fahrenheit, which is quite impressive no doubt. The product itself is also quite small, so it won’t take up too much room either.
3. bayite Temperature Controller
Here we have a more advanced, functional, and durable temperature controller to go with. This thing is made with very high quality components.
Although you should definitely not submerge this thing, it can probably withstand being splashed with just a little bit of water. Now, something we really like about the bayite Temperature Controller is that it comes with a dual display.
In other words, it has one little screen which tells you what you have set the temperature to and another screen which informs you of the current water temperature.
In terms of the current temperature, this product is very accurate in its readings, up to 0.5 Fahrenheit, which is also true for the heating.
When this item notices the water is too cold, it will automatically turn the aquarium heater on, and vice versa when the water has achieved the set temperature. And yes, the bayite Temperature Controller is very easy to set to the desired temperature using the intuitive onboard controls.
What can also be said here is that this aquarium heat controller is very reliable and accurate, both for heating and measuring the temperature. It also has an extremely wide temperature range, both for heating and taking measurements, which is another big bonus indeed.
4. Inkbird ITC-306T Controller
Yet another simple and basic aquarium heat controller to go with, the Inkbird ITC-306T provides you with everything you need to keep your fish tank at the proper temperature.
It’s a very simple device because all you have to do to use it is plug it into the wall and put the temperature probe in the water.
After that, plug in your aquarium heater to the power outlet included on this thing, and you are good to go. Simply use the “set” button to decide which temperature you want the controller to allow your heater to heat to.
Once you have set the desired water temperature, the Inkbird Controller will measure the water temperature and turn your aquarium heater on or off accordingly. It could really not by any easier than that.
What’s also nice is that this aquarium heater controller comes with dual displays, one of which displays the current temperature of the water and the other of which displays the temperature you have set.
This aquarium heater controller does also feature a fairly wide temperature range, so there should be no issues in that regard. However, as seems to be the case with many aquarium heater controllers, it’s really not the most durable item around and should definitely never get wet at all.
5. Finnex Temperature Controller
Here we have a higher quality aquarium temperature controller to go with, a very accurate and durable option indeed. Now, the temperature range for the Finnex Temperature Controller is not awesome, but more than good enough for any aquarium.
The temperature range on this item is 67 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit which is not much, but any saltwater or freshwater aquarium needs to be within this range anyway, so you should have no issues there.
Moreover, when it comes to both heating and measuring the temperature, this product is extremely accurate, to within a fraction of a degree, which is quite important for your fish and aquarium plants.
The Finnex Temperature Controller does not have the highest quality display, but it works well enough to take temperature readings and to set the desired heat level. Just like all of the other heat controllers here today, this thing is exceedingly simple to use.
You can switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius, then just use the “set” button to choose the desired temperature. What we do also really like about the Finnex Temperature Controller is that it is absolutely one of the most durable and long lasting options that you could go with.
Benefits Of Using A Heater Controller
The fact of the matter is that using a heater controller for your aquarium comes with more benefits than just one. So, what are the benefits of using an aquarium heater controller?
One of the biggest benefits that you get from using an aquarium heater controller is the fact that you can control the water temperature much more accurately with them.
A normal aquarium heater may be able to control itself to a certain degree, in terms of turning on or off, but they usually are not all that accurate when it comes to achieving a very specific temperature.
However, most aquarium heater controllers have extremely accurate temperature reading probes, which thus allows you to maintain a much steadier temperature in your aquarium.
Another benefit to keep in mind when it comes to aquarium heater controllers is the fact that everything is automated. With a normal aquarium heater, some of them don’t even come with temperature controls.
This therefore means that you constantly have to check the thermometer to see where the water temperature is at, and then turn the aquarium heater on or off based on the readouts. It’s just a pain in the neck.
An aquarium heater controller allows you to set a specific temperature and then walk away, with the controller doing all of the work for you in terms of taking readings and controlling the actual heater.
3. Walk Away
The other benefit that you get here is that you can leave for a couple of days without having to worry about the temperature.
If you just have a basic aquarium heater, you can’t really leave for a couple of days, or even for a few hours really, because you never know what’s going on. With a nice aquarium heater controller, you can simply set it and walk away.
When it comes down to it, having a temperature controller for your aquarium is very useful indeed. It’s a useful accessory because you can rest assured that your aquarium will always be heated to the proper temperature, and it has other benefits too.
It’s one of those pieces of modern tech that helps make like a whole lot easier. In terms of making a decision on which of these aquarium heater controllers you want to purchase, it really comes down to a matter of personal preference. At the end of the day, all of them are fairly similar with minor differences, so the choice is yours.
- Related Read: How To Keep An Aquarium Cool: 7 Surefire Methods
Image Credit: Flups, Shutterstock