5 Best Heater for African Cichlids

When looking for a heater, it is best to get one that is capable of maintaining the ideal temperature for your African Cichlids.

Setting a precise temperature is important when it comes to the health of your precious pets. A good heater has safety features and allows you to monitor the temperature throughout the day.

In fish keeping, the rule of thumb is to recreate the natural environment of the particular fish species you keep at home.

African Cichlids, for example, need the water to be warmer than room temperature. In case it is colder, they are going to be vulnerable to diseases.

In this article, we are going to help you find the best aquarium heater for your community aquarium.

Best Aquarium Heater for African Cichlids

There are so many brands and models to choose from that it can easily be a confusing task to find out which one is the best heater.

Fortunately, we are here to show you which are the best ones currently in the market. Instead of getting lost while doing a broad research, you can just read our reviews about our list of heaters that are truly worth your money.

Although they more or less differ from each other, these are all decent for an African Cichlid aquarium. It is going to depend on your own preferences which one you are going to choose.

Each of them comes with different extras. Just make sure that you read our reviews in detail and then you are going to be able to choose the one that fits your needs the most.

1. Fluval E Submersible Electronic Heater

The Fluval E Electronic heater is available in various wattages depending on the size of your aquarium.

Since it is fully submersible, you can just leave it in the water and it will keep it on the set temperature. The great thing is that the temperature can be set precisely according to your fish’s needs.

At Fluval, they know that in the fish-keeping world, sometimes that 0.5 temperature increment matters a lot. It doesn’t even have to be in a straight vertical position.

You can set it to the angle that allows you to check the front screen whenever you want to.

Its small LCD display constantly keeps you updated about the current water temperature thanks to the precise sensor. There is no need to calculate.

The Fluval E heater will alert you whenever the temperature differs more than 2 Fahrenheits from the ideal value.


  • Numerical display with an in-built colored alert function
  • Allows you to monitor the temperature in real-time
  • Your fish can go near it without hurting themselves
  • Easy to set the temperature while in the tank and with 0.5 increments


  • It works better with stronger water flow
  • Slight temperature fluctuations might occur


2. Hygger Titanium Submersible Aquarium Heater

This model from Hygger is rather small compared to how much water it can actually heat up in a short amount of time.

It is quite simple as well which makes it a great option for those who are looking for a simple product that does the job.

When it comes to the design, it is nothing particularly fancy but still looks great in any aquarium. The temperature can be adjusted quite precisely.

This heater comes with an external temperature display and controller, so you don’t need to get wet in order to adjust the water temperature.

Once you set it, it won’t deviate more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit. If the water becomes 2 degrees warmer than the set value, the heater simply shuts off.

Then, as the water cools down, it sets itself on again at the right moment. It is easy to install this heater from Hygger with the help of its suction cups that will hold it in place.

Attaching it to the side of the tank takes little to no time and effort. Depending on the size of your aquarium, you can choose from three different wattages including 50W, 100W, 200W and 500W.


  • Simple and highly effective heater for African Cichlids
  • Precisely keeps the set temperature at bay throughout the day
  • Can be attached firmly to the side of your aquarium
  • A reliable heater that won’t let you down in the long run
  • External temperature display and controller


  • Not as decorative and has fewer features than many other heaters
  • It is designed strictly for glass tanks


3. Boxtech Submersible Heater

This Boxtech submersible gives you three different options. You can choose from the 50 W, 100 W and the 300 W version for your home aquarium.

It can heat the water up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, although it is not going to be necessary if you keep African Cichlids at home.

It is the type of heater that turns on and off depending on the current water temperature.

All you need to do is to set the temperature once and this model by Boxtech is going to keep it constant every day. This heater is made of one of the safest materials, which is milky quartz.

They have designed it so that you can only use this heater by placing it horizontally in the tank.

Placing it where the water flow is the strongest in the aquarium is going to greatly accelerate the heating process.

The Boxtech has literally made it impossible to overheat the water with its automatic function.


  • You can set the desired temperature externally
  • The milky quartz protects from any electrical malfunction
  • Made of durable and high-quality material
  • Easy to install and maintain


  • It is not designed to run dry at all
  • Requires some water flow in order to work effectively


4. ViaAqua Submersible Heater

This submersible heater by ViaAqua became widely popular thanks to its outstanding technology and the material it is made of.

Every single part of it is made to function for years. The heater is covered with quartz glass which makes sure that the water can’t get to the electronics.

It is what allows this model from ViaAqua to be fully submersible. This simple solution is also quite cheap, which is why glass tube heaters became so popular in the market.

Since the protective layer on this one is made of quartz glass, it is almost impossible for this material to crack.

Of course, it also comes with a built-in thermostat that keeps the temperature constant.

Whether you need this heater for a 50-gallon or a 150-gallon tank, you just need to pick the wattage accordingly.

Within the quartz glass, there is a ceramic core that ensures the even distribution of heat in the water.

All in all, what you get is a simple yet highly effective heater for your African Cichlid tank.


  • A heater made of cheap yet high-quality material
  • You can use it for saltwater and freshwater aquariums
  • Available in different wattages depending on the size of your tank
  • It allows you to set or change the water temperature in seconds


  • You can only adjust the temperature manually
  • It might turn off right before reaching the set temperature


5. UPMCT Submersible Heater

The UPMCT is a well-designed heater that comes with an outer grid that will keep your fish away from the heat.

There is literally no chance that your fish will get burned if you use this heater. The temperature display allows you to monitor it throughout the day.

On the top of it, you can easily set the temperature to a value that will be kept constant until you change it.

Thanks to the suction cups, you can install the UPMCT heater in a couple of minutes. You even have the option to place it horizontally on the side of the tank if you want to.

They did a great job creating a heater that works for most aquarium setups.

What makes it reliable is the durable quartz crystal it is made of and the nickel wire that will stabilize the temperature in your aquarium. This model allows you to set the temperature to up to 94 degrees Fahrenheit if you want to.

However, this won’t be necessary for sure if you have an African Cichlid tank at home. This heater by UPMCT is fully submersible and you can choose from three versions including the 50 W, 100 W and the 300 W one.


  • The outer grid layer will keep your fish safe
  • You can place it horizontally and vertically in the tank
  • It doesn’t make any noise
  • Allows you to control the temperature precisely


  • Juvenile fish can be small enough to get to the hot rod
  • Has to be turned off manually during water changes


How to Pick a Heater for Your Fish Tank?

It can be confusing that there are so many different heaters available online. Some of them are stronger while some of them should be used for smaller tanks.

Not to mention that there is an abundance of useful features to choose from that make you contemplate even more.

Fortunately, there is a simple rule that can help you a lot in choosing the perfect heater.

As long as you calculate the effectiveness of a heater with the 5 W per gallon rule, you simply can’t go wrong. For a 50-gallon tank, for example, you are going to need a heater with about 250 watts.

In that case, you can just go for a 300W heater as it can surely handle that 50 gallons of water.

Can You Use Multiple Heaters in a Large Aquarium?

The larger the aquarium, the worse it becomes to use only one heater. After all, a heater can only heat up a certain area in the water.

Then it depends on the water flow how long it takes for the rest of the water to reach the same temperature. For a single heater, it can be quite a struggle to raise the temperature in the whole aquarium.

That is why we recommend you to use two or more heaters in a large aquarium. Of course, it depends on the exact size of the aquarium and how many of them you are going to need.

Just to give you an idea, a 75-gallon tank is better off with two 300 W heaters than with a single 600 W heater.

Do African Cichlids Need a Heater?

African Cichlids are all tropical fish, which is why they need a heater to be installed in a home aquarium.

Colder water is not only unusual for them but it can potentially make them sick in the long run. Therefore, it is very important to mimic the temperature of the waters they live in out in the wild.

Installing a heater will play a huge role in keeping your precious fish healthy in the aquarium. It will also make them feel at home, especially if the substrate, plants and overall decoration resemble their natural environment.

What is the Best Temperature for African Cichlids?

The best temperature for African Cichlids is around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. As long as you keep it between the 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit range, it is going to be fine.

Just make sure that the temperature doesn’t fluctuate too much. It is always better to keep it constant and allow only 2 degrees of fluctuation.

The ideal temperature might vary from species to species. However, you can always hit that sweet point that is healthy for all of them even if you have a community aquarium with much different fish.


Picking an aquarium heater is all about guaranteeing the well-being of your little pets. We hope that this article helped in your search for the very best aquarium heater in the market.

We have also provided some tips on the details and features that matter the most when choosing a heater.

Aquarium heaters differ but there is a reason why they do so. It is because everyone’s needs are different.

That is why we have shown you 5 different heaters in our list so that you can decide which features are important for you.

In this article, we have provided every information you need so that you can make an informed decision.

The heaters we have talked about are the favorites of many fish keepers out there that use them day by day. Have you found the perfect one?

avatar Noah
I’m Noah, chief editor at VIVO Pets and the proud owner of a playful, energetic husky (Max). I’ve been a volunteer at Rex Animal Rescue for over 2 years. I love learning and writing about different animals that can be kept as pets. read more...

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