Are Aquarium Heaters Expensive to Run? – Examining the Price

In any home, aquariums are beautiful and tranquil additions, but it can be challenging to maintain a perfect and sustainable environment for aquatic life. 

One of the best ways to ensure your fish are healthy and happy is by regulating the water temperature perfectly. To do this successfully, aquarium heaters are your go-to product. However, the cost of aquarium heaters can be a significant concern for many owners. So the question remains: Are aquarium heaters expensive to run? Let’s take a look!

Aquarium Heaters Running Cost: All You Need To Know

In this article, we will throw light on the cost of running an aquarium heater and provide various tips on what you can do to keep the cost minimal. So let’s get started. 

Understanding The Cost Of Running An Aquarium Heater 

To understand the cost of running an aquarium heater, we must first understand various contributing factors. For instance, you’ll need to consider the size of your aquarium, the time of the year, and the temperature. 

The lighting system, air pumps, and other accessories influence the aquarium heater’s cost. We suggest you choose energy-efficient options to minimize your electricity bills. 

How Much Electricity Does An Aquarium Use?

Running a 150-watt heater for 24 hours in a 30 to the 50-gallon aquarium during winter can cost you 20 cents to slightly more than half a dollar, depending on your local supply rates. It will increase the cost of using big heaters like 300 watts. 

However, these are rough estimates, and your electricity usage can vary depending on your specific setup.

Pro Tip: During winter, keep your aquarium in your house’s warmest room, which will help keep the water temperature naturally warm. 

What To Do If You Feel That Your Aquarium Heater Is Too Expensive

If your aquarium heater is expensive, you can use different DIY methods to keep your aquarium at normal temperature. Some of the ways you can do it are as follows:

1. Use warm water for water changes 

Mix room-temperature water with boiling water and add it to your tank. It is an easy method and very effective for small fish tanks. 

2. Insulate the glass walls of the fish tanks  

After you’ve got the water temperature in your fish tank exactly suited for your aquatic friends, insulating glass walls can be helpful. 

3. Put insulation to best use

Insulation film or foil is a more aesthetically pleasing alternative than covering the sides and back walls of the tank with styrofoam, which serves the same purpose. You may still need to conduct warm-water changes, but this strategy will help to maintain the temperature.

Benefits Of A Quality Aquarium Heater

Is investing in a quality aquarium heater a good idea? Here are some benefits of a quality aquarium temperature heater that you should consider. 

1. Helps in maintaining stable water temperature 

2. It promotes fish health and helps them to thrive

3. Reduces stress and risk of deadly diseases 

4. Helps in expanding the lifespan of your fish 

5. Provides specific temperature which promotes successful breeding for certain types of fish

A good quality aquarium heater can help you provide a healthy environment for fish to grow and keep your aquatic animals happy. Not just for animals but even for aquatic plants, it is necessary that a certain aquarium temperature is maintained. 

Considerations When Choosing The Right Heater For Your Tank Size

Here is the reference chart which will help you in choosing the right aquarium heater as per the size of your tank – 

Tank Size Watts KwH (Annual) (USD) Yearly Cost UK (EUR) Yearly Cost
5 Gallons/20 Liter 25 219 30.66 48.18
10 Gallons/40 Liter 50 438 61.32 96.36
20 Gallons/75 Liter 50 438 61.32 96.36
40 Gallons/150 Liter 100 876 122.64 192.72
65 Gallons/250 Liter 200 1752 245.28 385.44

Keeping Your Electricity Bill Low With An Energy-Efficient Aquarium Heater 

It can be hard to find the right energy saver aquarium heater. But if you do thorough research, you can easily get something that will not burn a hole in your pocket. 

Some high-end brands like Eheim, Fluval Electronic Heater, and Hygger 200W produce heaters with longer and fatter coils, resulting in lower wattage consumption for even big fish tanks. 

These heaters have control functions like intelligent circuit boards that allow users to set precise temperature sensing. This will ensure that the heater turns on and off as per the preset time, which reduces unnecessary wastage of energy. 

Making Sure The Thermostat Is Optimized For Temperature Control

Tanks with thermostats can keep the water at a consistent temperature. Start by determining the ideal water temperature for your fish before adjusting the thermostat.  

Keep a thermometer in the tank, and ensure it reads the same as the thermostat regularly. Problems with the thermostat can cause the tank temperature to fluctuate, which is bad for fish health.

Note: Different fish require different water temperatures, so thoroughly research the ideal temperature range for your particular fish. 

Also, don’t forget to keep the thermostat’s surroundings clean and free from debris or dust. Dust accumulated can harm the accuracy of the thermostat. It might lead to wrong temperature readings and harm aquatic animals and plants. 

Maintenance Tips To Keep Your Aquarium Heater In Good Condition And Running Smoothly 

Some of the tips which will help you in keeping your electric aquarium heater in check are:

  • Inspect the heating unit for any signs of damage
  • Protect the heater from dirt and debris with a guard
  • To avoid the water heater from overheating, maintain a steady water level in the tank


We already know how essential aquarium heaters are to maintaining a healthy environment in your aquariums. By now, you know the aquarium heater’s expense depends on size, temperature, and electricity consumption. However, follow the tips mentioned above. You will easily be able to run your aquarium heater at minimum costs as well as maintain an ideal home for your aquatic friends.

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