One of the most important things about an aquarium is its temperature, as it directly and severely affects the survival of your fishes and aquatic life.
Even a sudden change in temperature can be really dangerous for the lives of your aquarium’s inhabitants. You need to monitor the aquarium temperature properly, and this is when heater controllers come into action.
For many days I have been thinking about buying an aquarium heater controller for my aquarium as it turns the heater on and off based on the setting you dial into the controller and compares it to your desired temperature.
This would be such a life saviour for my cute fishes and a relief for me as I don’t have to check the aquarium temperature every now and then.
So I have been through a list of so many products from different brands and companies and read tons of comments and reviews searching for the best aquarium heater controller.
As you read ahead, I was able to list down the seven best aquarium heater controllers with their genuine reviews with proper research. You can go through this list of options and find the best aquarium heater controller for your aquarium.
- 1 7 Best Aquarium Heater Controller
- 2 4. Inkbird ITC-308 Digital Temperature Controller
- 3 7. Inkbird C929A Smart Digital WiFi Temperature Controller for Aquarium
- 4 Aquarium Heater Controller Buying Guide
- 5 Types of Aquarium Temperature Controllers
- 6 Conclusion
7 Best Aquarium Heater Controller
1. bayite Aquarium Temperature Controller
You can definitely go with this heater controller if you want an ideal temperature range for your aquarium. It uses independent heating and cooling toggling points that help you maintain a proper required temperature.
It is easy to set and very simple to program and controls both a heating and cooling refrigeration device at the same time. You can also use this controller to maintain a single heating or cooling device easily.
It comes with a waterproof sensor that has a high and low-temperature alarm and automatic power-on delay to protect compressors. The read-out is in Celsius or Fahrenheit.
It is not only limited to aquarium heaters, but it also has a wide range of uses like it is used in seedling heat mat, home brewing, beer brewing, pet breeding, accelerating germination, electric radiator, electric oven, heat mat, etc.
The only drawback of this heater controller is that it has the wrong description as it comes with 14 amps fuse even if it is stated that it has 15 amps one, so if you want a heater controller with 15 amps, this one is not for you.
- Wide range of uses
- Controls both a heating and cooling
- Good at maintaining temperature level
- Inaccurate description
2. Finnex Temperature Controller Digital Heater
This Finnex heater controller offers a precision digital control that maintains water temperatures at a constant level, protecting your fish from temperature fluctuations, and has an LED digital display.
You can easily adjust high or low-temperature settings with an audio alert, separating this aquarium heater controller from many available controllers. It is suitable for all heating elements up to 800 Watts.
It is really easy to set and maintain and features a dual relay inter-work that results in doubling the protection by disabling heating in case of overheating. This heater controller fits right into your aquarium and has memory equipped to resume preset settings.
This advanced controller carries three-prong power receptacles that work well with all this brand’s titanium aquarium heaters and other brands’ heating elements as well.
The only problem for many people, as commented, is that it barely lasted a year, and for some people, it didn’t even last for ten months. This means that the heater controller is not much durable.
- Easily adjustable high or low-temperature settings
- Maintains constant water temperature
- Comes with equipped memory to resume preset settings
- Not much durable
3. Inkbird ITC-306T Pre-Wired Electronic Heating Thermostat Temperature Controller
Suppose you want an aquarium for breeding and planting. In that case, this heater controller unit will be great for you due to its pre-wired heating output temperature controller with time function specifically for such purpose.
You can set it to different temperatures with its function of dual time cycle setting during 24 hours according to the day and night, which can be more suitable for the needs of both animals and plants.
It can be widely used in overheat protection and automatic temperature control systems of all sorts of electrical equipment for aquariums, pets breeding, hatching, fungus fermenting, and seed germination accelerating, etc.
It comes with a convenient design and is easy to use. It supports reading with Centigrade or Fahrenheit. With its dual display window, you will be able to see the measured temperature and set temperature simultaneously.
The only disadvantage of this heater controller is that it works well for a few months, but after that, it shows a high-temperature fluctuation making it dangerous for fish.
- Easy to use
- Dual display window
- Wide range of uses
- Shows temperature fluctuations after a few months of use
4. Inkbird ITC-308 Digital Temperature Controller
This aquarium heater controller is very easy to use and control and supports both Celcius and Farahenite temperature scales.
The controller supports a dual relay able which is able to sustain power refrigeration and heating equipment as conditions change. It also comes with a dual-display window that displays measured temperature and sets the temperature simultaneously.
It also has a buzzer alarm. High and low-temperature alarms are available, and they start to make a sound when the temperature is over the set digits or the sensor experiences a malfunction.
It has a customise temperature and compressor delay that protects your refrigeration and heating equipment.
As commented and reviewed by many users, this aquarium heater controller works great for a few months, but after that, it starts to malfunction and starts overheating, putting the aquarium lives in danger.
- Easy to use and control
- It comes with a dual-display window
- Has high and low-temperature alarms
- It starts to overheat after a few months of use
5. bayite Temperature Controller BTC201
This aquarium heater controller uses independent heating and cooling toggling points to keep your aquarium environment in the ideal temperature range. It controls both heating and cooling and refrigeration device at the same time.
You can also use this controller to control a single heating or cooling device easily. Its waterproof sensor has a high and low-temperature alarm system and automatic power-on delay to protect compressors.
It is extremely easy to set up and use with readings showing in Celsius or Fahrenheit, whichever you prefer. And can connect with cooling and heating equipment simultaneously and has a wide range of uses.
It comes with a one year warranty for replacement, or a full refund without return. With its dual display window, you will be able to view real-time temperature and set temperature both at the same point.
The only thing that could become a problem for you is that after a few weeks of use, it starts showing inaccurate readings, and sometimes even the temperature might get over fluctuated than the required temperature.
- Controls both heating and cooling
- Wide range of uses
- Dual display window
- Malfunction after a few weeks of use
6. Inkbird Heating Thermostat Aquarium Temperature Controller
This controller is a pre-wired heating output temperature controller with a function of dual time cycle setting during 24 hours according to the day and night. You can set it to two different temperatures, which can be more suitable for the animals and plants.
It can be widely used in over-heat protection and automatic temperature control system of all sorts of electrical equipment for aquarium, pets breeding, hatching, fungus fermenting, and seed germination accelerating, etc.
This controller is designed with a dual LCD display and offers the optional display of Centigrade or Fahrenheit, making it easier for temperature control. With its double display window, you can together display the measured temperature and set the temperature.
You can control the temperature more accurately with its function of temperature calibration and temperature hysteresis. It also comes with an alarm system for over-temperature and sensor fault.
It works great, but many people’s only drawback is that it is quite tricky to set up, mostly because of the unclear and complicated instructions.
- Dual cycle setting
- Accurate temperature control
- You can widely use it to control other systems
- Tricky to set up
7. Inkbird C929A Smart Digital WiFi Temperature Controller for Aquarium
This smart digital WiFi temperature controller is equipped with two probes that measure the temperature and help to keep it in check. It also provides double protection from over-rising temperature.
Modern-day technology helped to put many exciting and efficient features. This heater controller’s best and most unique feature is its WiFi and APP remote monitor and control. Now, you can just keep an eye on your tank through your phones.
You also get alarms of high or low-temperature or errors from APP and device. It also has built-in dual relays that enable the controller to power off when one of the relays is defective and overheated is prevented.
It is extremely easy to set up; all you have got to do is just plug and play. The alarms start to beep when the temperature difference is over 5℉, or continuous heating time exceeds expectations.
The only drawback of this tank is that the thermometer did not do both heating and cooling. It only does heating.
- Comes with WiFi and APP remote monitor and control
- Get alarms on the app
- Easy to set up
- Does only heating
Aquarium Heater Controller Buying Guide
Your aquarium is incomplete without a heater controller in it. Making a perfect choice according to the needs of your aquarium is not as easy as it looks. Especially with so many options available, it is easy to get lost and confused during the purchase.
Aquatic heater controllers come in different varieties, features, prices, companies, etc. There are a few things you should know before choosing the best aquarium heater controller for your tank and your aquatic pets.
Power Or Wattage
Always see that your aquarium heat controller comes with enough wattage to power your heaters or chillers. Going with a higher capacity controller is always better than the heater rather than pushing the controller to the limit.
For example, if you have a heater of 1000 watts, then buying a 1200 watts controller would be a much better choice than going with a 1000 watts one.
You can use a wattage buffer to prevent issues with power spikes and others. Generally, all heating and refrigeration units have wattage printed on the package or in the manual. If you don’t, then prevent using it or just return it.
Heaters may malfunction or fail at any point and to prevent your fish from any harm. When the aquarium’s temperature is too high or low, some controllers have an alarm feature that warns you to take immediate action.
Good aquarium temperature controllers come with audible temperature alarms that turn on if the water gets too cold or hot, making the water temperature dangerous enough for your aquarium lives.
These days, aquarium heater controller units also come with advanced digital features like WiFi and APP remote monitor and control.
You can keep getting updates on your phone, and if anything goes wrong, the alarm will start to ring on your phone, so you don’t have to be near your aquarium all the time. This can save the lives of your fish and aquatic plants.
The safety of your fish is your first priority. Therefore, having an alarm in your aquarium heater controller is a must-have feature for any aquarium.
Proper adjustment and regulation of temperature
The first thing you should do while setting up the controller adjusts your temperature sensor. Many heater controllers have an automatic digital calibration function. If not, on the other hand, this responsibility falls on the buyer.
Your controller may come with a manual so follow the directions provided in it while adjusting the temperatures. Before trusting the heater and controller blindly, check the aquarium temperature with an accurate thermometer.
You can adjust your setpoints according to the situation if you cannot digitally calibrate your aquarium heater controller.
For example, if your controller unit consistently indicates 1or 2 degrees higher than the actual temperature, you can set your desired temperature 1 or 2 degrees high on the controller to settle the account.
You can call a controller unit the brain of your whole heating system because it reads the water temperature and keeps it in a certain safe and tolerable range for your aquarium environment.
The large LCD screens and various buttons are used to control and program the unit’s operations. Even though you might come across multiple variations of controller units depending on the different models and companies, but generally, they all do the same work.
The common differences are stages, degrees, temperature alarms, sometimes design and most looked upon is the price.
Mounting Your Control Unit
Before setting up any temperature controller unit, always be careful and considerate about the place wherever you are placing it.
Always make sure that it is not mounted directly above the top of your aquarium or anywhere near it. This is because it is best suggested that you must mount the control unit away from water or humidity.
This is where using an aquarium heater controller comes in benefits as its thermostat is not located in the moisture and water containing part of the aquarium making it less prone to failure and causing short-circuits.
Also, don’t compromise with the mounting area due to humidity instructions. Be careful with mounting, so place it in a comfortable space where it will not drop down and get enough space.
Temperature Probe and Its Placement
A temperature probe is a component that reads the temperature of the water in your aquarium. Its placement is very important to get the most accurate possible reading. Its one end is plugged into the control unit, and the sensor end is placed in the water.
All heater controllers are not meant to be used underwater, so always make sure you pick a controller unit used in an aquarium with waterproof probes. Most probably, metal probe units tend to fail after a year.
This is because the metal tip can rust, and water will get into it if it isn’t sealed properly. This can happen in both freshwater as well as saltwater aquariums, but it is more prone to occur in marine or saltwater aquariums.
It is always suggested to place the probe far away from the heater where it gets some water flow. Do not put it near the heater as it will read a higher temp than it should. Such drawbacks follow up the most common point of failure with any aquarium heater controller.
This may result in errors in the readings of the aquarium heater controller, and you may get incorrect temperature readings. This could become a serious problem as not knowing accurate temperature readings can overheat or underheat your aquarium.
Throwing the whole unit out isn’t the best solution for such problems, as you can replace the probe. A better option to prevent such issues is to go with a corrosion-resistant probe. As it has fewer chances of corrosion improves your chances of getting better readings.
Why do you need a heater controller for your aquarium?
Using a heater controller is always a benefit for any aquarium. First and most importantly, they can prevent hazards like overheating and frying your fish. Generally, most aquarium heaters come with built-in thermostats or temp controllers.
But you can’t just simply rely on heaters to do their job of keeping the aquarium at the perfect temperature. Where many of these cheap aquarium heaters go wrong, even the finest and costly aquarium heaters can fail, resulting in dead fish.
This is where the aquarium heater controller comes to your rescue. If there is a fault with the heater and the water gets too hot or goes above the set value, it automatically will shut the heater off.
You will get much more precise and consistent control of your water temperature. Many fish need a very constant temperature for surviving and staying healthy.
Your water temperature may swing as much as 2 or 3 degrees with an aquarium heater, whereas a heater controller will keep it within a much closer range that is fine for your aquatic environment.
Types of Aquarium Temperature Controllers
There are basically two types of aquarium temperature controllers:
A single-stage controller performs only a single general function of heating your aquarium water to a set temperature. Once the set temperature is reached, then it turns the heater off. For most people and aquarium setups, a single-stage controller is enough.
You may want to take every precaution for keeping your aquatic pets healthy and safe, and a dual-stage controller would be a great choice. In this type of temperature controller, you will get both the factors of heating and chilling.
You can set not only the maximum temperature but also a minimum temperature for your aquarium water.
If the tank water drops below your minimum set temperature, the heater gets turned on, and if the temperature goes above your maximum set temperature, it activates your water chiller.
Maintaining your aquarium’s temperature in control is not an easy job, and aquarium heater controllers just help you simplify it. I hope that the reviewed list of products and the buying guide provided helped you choose the best aquarium heater controller from among the wide variety of options available.
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