So, you want to find out if the Aqueon Pro aquarium heater is actually any good?
Well, you came to the right place! Today, I will be reviewing this heater to answer just that.
Already decided you want this heater? Buy it here…
With that out of the way, it’s time to jump into my review.
Don’t have much room in your aquarium to spare? Use the following table to determine if the Aqueon Pro will fit inside your aquarium.
|Size||Tank (up to)||Length||Width||Height|
Note: All measurements of the Aqueon Pro heater are taken at longest point when resting in the mounting brackets.
If you have a larger aquarium you will need to buy multiple Aqueon Pro heaters.
The following specifications remained constant across all models.
|Country of manufacture||Italy|
|Power cord length||6 foot|
|Temperature range||68 – 88°F|
What’s in the box?
Inside your Aqueon Pro box, you will find…
- 1 x Aqueon Pro heater
- 2 x Mounting clips
- 2 x Suction cups
Oh, and an instruction manual. Make sure you read it before setting the heater up in your tank!
Straight up, I am a fan of the all-plastic design of the Aqueon Pro.
A shatter-proof design and not having to deal with condensation on the inside of the glass? What’s not to love!
For what is essentially little more than a black plastic rod, the heater is quite stylish.
Now remember, heaters are not supposed to attract any attention. The ideal heater blends into your aquarium’s background so that you can enjoy your fish without distractions. So, in my opinion, an aquarium heater should look plain.
I am happy to say that the Aqueon Pro checks that box. If it wasn’t for the LED light, I would hardly notice it at all.
At the top of the Aqueon Pro, you find the temperature control knob. Simply twist this to set the temperature for your aquarium, ranging from 68 – 88°F in increments of four.
I discuss this in more detail in the next section…
To hold the heater in place, two mounting clips are included in the box. Attaching the suction cups to the clips takes a little effort, but once they go on, they stay on.
These clips easily attach to the narrow section of the heater and can be spaced as you see fit.
Aqueon seems confident in their design and offers a limited life-time warranty on the heater – the longest of all the heaters I tested.
And that’s really all there is to it. Now, let’s take it for a test drive.
I could place the Aqueon Pro anywhere in my tank, vertically or horizontally, and the suction cups held strong.
As long as the heating element portion of the Aqueon Pro is placed underwater, you won’t have any problems. To help with this, there is a minimum water level indicator on the rear of the heater.
The Aqueon Pro instantly turns on the moment you plug it into your power strip. So, have it in position before you turn the power on. This thing gets hot quickly.
If the water temperature in your tank is lower than the temperature setting on the heater, a red LED light indicates that the Aqueon Pro is heating.
Once the set temperature is reached, the indicator turns green and remains green as long as the water temperature in your aquarium doesn’t drop.
It’s simple, but effective. The LED light is clearly visible when you glance through the front of your aquarium, allowing you to quickly determine what the Aqueon Pro is doing.
All in all, the heater is great…
That is until you use the temperature dial.
I honestly found it difficult to determine what temperature I had selected. Sure, if the temperature was listed, it was easy. But say I wanted to select 77°F… I wasn’t sure that I had twisted the knob to the right setting.
What should be a simple task is made even more difficult by the fact that the temperature markings are unevenly spread around the dial.
I reviewed over 15 different brands of aquarium heaters. And not once did I have any doubts that I had adjusted the heater to the right temperature… Until I tested the Aqueon Pro.
Even the cheap and nasty aquarium heaters with nothing else going for them got this right. With no shortage of inspiration, I just don’t understand why Aqueon decided to display the temperature scale like this.
Don’t get me wrong… I love every other aspect of this heater. And even with this minor flaw, I still highly recommended it. It’s just that this was in the running to be the best aquarium heater I tested, but it was disappointing that this was the issue that let the heater down.
I don’t need to tell you that if an aquarium heater isn’t accurate, then it’s as good as useless. You are essentially trusting this thing with the lives of your fish.
So to test the Aqueon Pro’s accuracy, I brought in the big guns…
I wanted to be confident in my review, so I tested using the following equipment…
- Flir Thermal Imaging Camera
- Fluke Digital Thermometer and Thermocouple Probe
- SP Scienceware Liquid Thermometer
All calibrated with NIST certification.
Aqueon claims that the adjustable heat setting is accurate to ± 1°F. That is to say that if I adjusted the thermostat to 78°F, then the water temperature could actually be 77°F, 79°F or anywhere in between.
The crude temperature printings on the adjustable dial made testing this accuracy somewhat difficult. I mean, if I can’t determine what temperature I set the thermostat to, then how can I measure its accuracy?
For the purpose of testing, I pointed the dial to the midpoint of the 76°F marker.
So, the heater should heat my aquarium to 76°F. This was the expected result, and I calculated the margin of error against this.
Across the entire range of heaters, I found that no heater was out by more than 0.8°F. This falls in line with Aqueon’s claims. So the heater is accurate, as long as you select the correct temperature.
Should you buy it?
That wraps up my experience with the Aqueon Pro. And you know what? It proved to be a great aquarium heater.
It hides in your tank, quietly and precisely heating your aquarium, everything an aquarium heater should do.
While I honestly hated the temperature control knob, it’s something that you will set once and then never touch again. And besides, you should double-check the temperature of your aquarium with a thermometer anyway.
For the price, you will do no better.
I give it 4.4 / 5 starfish.
What do you think of the Aqueon Pro aquarium heater? Let me know in the comments below!