The EHEIM Thermocontrol+ e appears to be a new Wifi Heater with new innovative features but which hasn’t yet been announced by the German company. Following the article about their new Climacontrol+ wifi controlled chillers we spied an interesting graphic among their landing page for their big push into digital.
Among their new line of digitally enhanced products like the Professionel 5e canister filter, AutoFeeder+, and LEDControl+ is just a small inset with some tantalizing details clearly showing something we’ve never seen before. The image shows an
Ebo-Jager Eheim heater with the words ‘aquarium-e-heater’ and a wifi icon next to the EHEIM logo and bolstering our suspicion the head of the heater is completely devoid of any kind of dial for adjusting temperature.
In place of the usual control dial there is only a single big red button and we can faintly make out what appears to be a pair of status LEDs to communicate the current state of the heater like we would expect when trying to establish a wireless local area network or WLAN. There doesn’t appear to be any mention of the EHEIM Thermocontrol+ e specifically, but a cursory search revealed a nearly identical model under the Top Fin brand which explicitly states ‘Engineered by EHEIM’ on the box and the heater itself.
For aquarists outside of North America Top Fin is a brand owned by United Pet Group and sold exclusively at Petsmart consisting mostly of private labeled products by other well known aquarium brands. While we don’t have any specific from Eheim themselves we can see the Top Fin labeled version priced at $69 for the 150 watt version, $79 for the 200 watt version and $89 for the 300 watt version which seems like a reasonable premium over their classic counterparts.
It appears that the Top Fin wifi heater has been available for several months and unfortunately for Eheim and Top Fin the reviews are universally scathing, mostly to the barely-there wireless feature which we were already skeptical of working while submerged. ‘Do not buy’, ‘Expensive Garbage’, ‘Nightmare Install’ and another ‘DO NOT BUY’ this time in all caps are just some of the headlines of the reviews which average to a rating of 1.6 out of 5 – ouch!
We are are purely speculating but suspect that EHEIM might have lowered the performance for the Top Fin brand and/or are using the private labeled units to beta test and iron out the bugs. If the Top Fin ProSeries is identical to the German wifi heater it sounds like the EHEIM Thermocontrol+ e heater could have a steep hill to climb to becoming an acceptable aquarium heater so most of us will probably be sticking to the analog versions for the time being.