Review: Superfish 'Ultra-Safe' 400W Heater

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Nathan Hill checks out this huge heater for the larger aquarium.

It’s good…

Good god, this is a bruiser of a thing. Opening the box, I thought I had a weapon rather than an aquarium accessory and I was immediately struck at how rugged, almost warlike, the thing feels.

Rated for tanks between 400 and 600 l/88 and 132 gal, this impressive beast negates the older need for multiple heaters in a tank.

I’d feel safe sticking this in with a tank of unruly cichlids or catfish, knowing they couldn’t break it.

But…

It’s huge! When I’m looking in the tank, I want to see livestock not 15 miles of heater leering at me.

I’m also wary of extra features such as cut offs and the potential risk they present. Basically, the more parts there are, the more parts there are to potentially go wrong. Sometimes simplicity is good!

The verdict

About time, too. I love this heater and requiring just the one plug to warm a larger tank is more of a luxury than it first might appear.

I love the auto cut off, I love that it feels like it was made for the Russian army and I love how if it ever goes off on one, it’ll not reduce your aquarium to the fires of Mordor. Give me the option of a 30°C/86°F auto cut off and it’d be my favourite in-tank heater available. Which I think it is anyway.

Good:

  • The shut-off facility if water temperatures reach 35°C/95°F, which is better than having no shut off, though I can’t help to think 30 or 31°C/86 or 88°F might have been a safer number.
  • The dry cut off; if the heater isn’t submerged then it simply shuts itself down.
  • There are no dials to twist, so instead it’s set through the use of buttons, which eliminates the risk of accidental knocking to an extent and means controllability is more precise.
  • The protective plastic shell that stops damage from unruly fish. Seeing as this is aimed at big tanks, and by logical continuation big fish, this comes across as very sensible.
  • If it’s not quite big enough for you, Superfish also makes a 500w version too. Yowza.

Bad:

  • If the plastic shell comes off then I couldn’t figure out how, so if you don’t like the case, you may well be stuck with it.
  • The heater will take a bit of hiding, as it is as cumbersome as a broadsword.

Reader review

One of these heaters was also sent to reader Paul Jones of Wrexham, Wales, who says: "This is the best heater I have used. It has a really strong case that’s protecting the heater, and it’s not leaked.

"It produces a temperature true to its setting, although sometimes it’ll allow a drop of 1°C or slightly less in the tank before it turns back on.

"It’s easily visible, courtesy of the bright red screen, and I like the blue and red lighting that indicates whether the heater is running or not. I would greatly recommend it to all fishkeepers."

Price: £39.99. More info from aquadistri.com