I recently decided to see how Petco's Online Interactive Rep Chat was and I quickly began talking to an online Petco representative named "Abby" whom I asked "aside from appearances, what is the difference between the Aqueon Pro and the regular Aqueon aquarium heater?". The response I ultimately got from her was based on the customer reviews she had read, and so Abby's response was that the Pro series supposedly lasts longer. Seriously, that's all that she could tell me...well, that and how they currently are having a sale on the item (like duh, its Black Friday week, heh).
Overall, this Petco Chat help line was not really anymore helpful to me than what I could have learned on my own and both of these items have a lifetime warranty. So, her response really tells me that aside from looks... they are the same. Was this the response I was looking for...not really, I was desiring more since both the items according to her are basically the same since I know they both have a lifetime warranty, and yet the Pro costs more, and... for what reason? Well, we already know Abby can't really help us so... that's where I come in.
Actually, I already knew the answer as to what the difference was between the two heaters (or at least one) from my own personal knowledge. The difference is that the Pro heater is fully submersible underwater which allows it to be added anywhere inside the aquarium and positioned in any direction; the regular heater can only be positioned vertically as the top part of the device is marked showing a waterline, this waterline means that you are not suppose to fully submerse this heater underwater. Although they both say on the label they are "submersible" this does not mean they are fully submersible however, you may not realize this until you open the package and read the directions/warnings inside. Although, one way to know if it is or not is to look at the device itself and if it shows a marked waterline on it, then it's more than likely NOT fully submersible.
So, based on this Petco experience, I really doubt I'll be asking them for advice online anytime soon. Of course if they start getting more knowledgeable people working for them I might ask for advice, but even then I'll probably still be a bit skeptic.
*Aside from other things on Petco I came across their fish forum online and I could not agree more with THIS article on fish rights which, I think all us fish fanatics and lovers can agree with, thanks TacoLuv for posting.