Best Heater For Small Fish Tanks

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When your small tank needs a heater, but there isn’t really room for it. Instead of getting a bigger aquarium, you  should rather select the Best Heater For Small Fish Tanks instead.

Luckily, there are heaters designed for small aquariums that will not take up too much space and ensure the right water temperature for your fish so that you don’t have to upgrade to a bigger aquarium unless you really need to.

If you have tropical fish that require warmer water that what your average room temperature, then a heater is indeed needed.

A heater is even more so of a requirement in a small aquarium, which is more exposed to temperature variations due to the small water volume.

These variations in temperature are stressful to your fish and can cause diseases and even death.

An aquarium heater will help keep the water temperature stable and your fish healthy.

Using A Submersible Heater For Small Aquariums

These heaters are completely submergible within the tank, which eliminates the need for the extra exterior room. A submersible design for smaller tanks must, therefore, be compact in design so they do not take up too much room.

Many fish keepers feel that these units are more efficient at maintaining temperatures evenly within the tank.

Another consideration when using these heaters in smaller tanks is wattage levels. There are many submersible products available that offer the lower wattage range required for smaller aquariums.

In aquariums that are between 5 and 10-gallons you will want heaters with a level of 50-watts. In aquariums of 2 and 5 gallons you should look towards a 25-watt heater.

To select the best heater for small fish tanks in the market, read through our review below.


                                (REVIEW & GUIDE)

1. Marina Submersible Heater 25 Watt

The Marina Submersible heater is made from impact resistant glass and has a waterproof seal. It uses suction cups for installation and they appear to provide a secure hold on the tank surface.

A bumper guard is provided that adds a layer of security between the heating element and your fish.

The temperature adjustment dial is easy to access and use, but it does not indicate specific temperature degrees which will require you to monitor the water temperature independently.

While this heater is more compact than many others, it is actually seven and a half inches in length, not the six inches advertised.

The lower wattage may prove beneficial to you with a tank that is five gallons or less.

2. Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm Heater, 25 watt

This 25 watt heater offered by Cobalt Aquatics is designed with a shatterproof outer casing that should provide you with a unit that is durable. The modern design is very thin, which is a great feature when used with a smaller tank.

The Neo-Therm is able to supply a temperature range from 66 to 96 degrees Fahrenheit.

A one-touch control system allows you to make adjustments more easily than other heater designs. Thermal protection circuitry adds a nice safety feature that can shut down the heater before it overheats.

You may find this compact unit working overtime with tanks that approach or exceed ten-gallons in water volume.

The LED display offers the temperature setting as well as water temperature readings.

3. FREESEA Submersible Aquarium Heater


This submersible heater is a space-saver designed for warming the water in tiny aquariums. It features a LED temperature display and it’s available in different power sizes (50-300Watts). Also, it is one of the Best Heater For Small Fish Tanks

The Freesea Aquarium heater must be submerged in water (heating rods must stay under water) and should not be left to run dry. When cleaning the tank or when changing the water, you should unplug the heater to prevent it from overheating.

You can set the desired temperature 59°F~94°F(15°C~34°C). The system’s automatic constant temperature function acts as a built-in thermostat turning off the heater when the desired temperature is reached and turns the heater back on if the temperature drops below the predefined value.

The LED display is illuminated for greater visibility, allowing you to monitor its operation more easily. The heater comes with a 12-month warranty.

4. Aqueon Flat Submersible Heater


Another small heater to consider for your tiny aquarium, the Aqueon Flat, is a submersible heater with a flat design that’s available in two sizes for aquariums up to 10 gallons.

The heater is fully submersible, shatterproof and it can be installed vertically or horizontally with the suction cups that are included in the heater kit. It’s ideal for glass or acrylic Desktop-style fish tanks.

If you’re keeping small tropical fish in an aquarium that’s under 10 gallons, this submersible heater can be the space-saving solution to heat your tank.

Like with many submersible aquarium heaters, this too should not be left to run dry. Always turn it off when cleaning the aquarium or performing water changes.

Now this may not be a fancy piece of equipment (no LED display or indicator), but it’s also extremely affordable.

5. Hygger Submersible Quartz Glass Aquarium Heater

Hygger’s heater is a mid-ranged sized submersible unit. Is built with quartz glass that should prove adequate for light handling. The product comes with a protective sleeve designed to protect the glass as well as your fish.

This heater can be adjusted to temperature settings between 61 and 89 degrees Fahrenheit.

The temperature is adjusted with a turn knob located on the top of the unit and is easy to turn, which is a bonus feature for those who may struggle with turning some controls. The unit may register slightly off with larger volumes of water, but it does provide a consistent level once set.

The quartz glass element shield may prove brittle if not handled with care.

The fresh and saltwater design should help to prevent corrosion over time.

6. Hydor Submersible Glass Aquarium Heater

The Hydor glass heater uses PTC design technology which can offer you a glass heater that is resistant to shocks and is more durable than other glass submersible heater designs.

The scale on the adjustable controls is graduated in a scale of two degrees, allowing you the ability to adjust temperatures with a minimal amount of effort.

The Hydor will not be damaged if ran dry on accident.

The Hydor is equipped with a cord that is approximately 73-inches in length, which offers more set-up possibilities than some of the other products in this wattage.

This heater would benefit from a reduction in the current length of 10-inches, also it is one of the Best Heater For Small Fish Tanks

This heater offers a stable temperature, supplying the tank with even heating throughout the water column.


7. Marina Compact Heater

This heater was designed to reach and maintain the set temperature of 26ºC (78ºF), provided that the maximum difference between the ambient and set temperature is less than 5ºC (9ºF).
Variables such as lower room temperature, wide temperature fluctuations, lack of an aquarium cover, presence of pumps and filters or aquarium placement in proximity to cooling sources may require a higher wattage for proper control for the given tank size.
If the set temperature is not reached in all conditions, it will probably be necessary to increase the heating power. We recommend monitoring aquarium temperature on a regular basis with a reliable aquarium thermometer.

8. Aqueon Preset Heater

Aqueon Preset Aquarium Heaters require no adjusting! The preset temperature has been calibrated to 78°, appropriate for most tropical fish.

This 50W unit, ideal for aquariums up to 20G,  is fully submersible, constructed of shatter-resistant quartz glass and features an automatic safety shut-off to avoid overheating.

The heaters include suction cups and can be placed vertically or horizontally within the aquarium.  An LED indicator light displays red when actively heating.

9. NICREW Submersible Mini Aquarium Heater, Aquatic Turtle Heater with Intelligent LED Temperature Display

This heater has a Precise temperature adjustment from 68℉ to 94℉

Its Convenient and secure design will automatically shut off if heater is no longer properly submerged, preventing damage

The LED temperature display allows easy visual confirmation of heater operation

Also, the External controller allows easy and safe temperature adjustment outside and Fully submersible heaters for aquariums up to 5G

 10. Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater Suitable for Marine Saltwater and Freshwater

This 200W aquarium heater is suitable for 40 to 60 gallons aquariums,Length – 11″,voltage 110-120V, power cord is 6ft, please choose the right wattage aquarium heater according to our size chart.

It shows an area to adjust the temperature. It’s not exactly accurate but it turns easy and can be adjusted at small intervals.

It can be used in fresh water and salt water aquariums,easy to hide in the tank and for Precise temperature dial from 68 to 89 째F allows for complete control of aquatic climate within a 1-degree difference.

Also, it has Adjustable Aquarium Fish Tank Water Heater Sensitive and reliable thermostat maintains uniform temperature. Automatic shut off when the temperature is reached.




Image result for fish tank heater

Do You Need a Heater for Your Fish Tank?

If you have tropical fish that require warmer water that what your average room temperature, then a heater is indeed needed.

A heater is even more so of a requirement in a small aquarium, which is more exposed to temperature variations due to the small water volume.

These variations in temperature are stressful to your fish and can cause diseases and even death.

An aquarium heater will help keep the water temperature stable and your fish healthy.

How to Choose The Best Heater For Small Fish Tanks?

When choosing a small aquarium heater, there are a few things to consider, namely:

  • The size of your aquarium (water volume);
  • The temperature in your room;
  • The temperature that’s required in your aquarium.

The power of small aquarium heaters is measured in watts and the higher the wattage, the more powerful the heater. For example, a 50 W heater is enough for a 10-gallon aquarium.

Therefore, when looking for a heater for your small aquarium, check that it’s rated for the tank size you have.

Another thing to consider is temperature adjustability. If you get a preset heater, which has a preset temperature (it doesn’t allow you to adjust the temperature), make sure you also get a temperature controller.

Alternatively, you can get a heater with adjustable temperature or a built-in thermostat, which allows you to select the temperature within a predefined range.

These heaters have an automatic shut-off system that switches off the heater once the preset temperature is reached and starts again once the temperature drops.

Types Of Heaters And Their Compatibility With Small Freshwater Aquariums

A heater used for smaller tanks is designed similarly to those used with larger aquariums. A thermostat is set to the desired temperature range and a sensor will monitor the water conditions continually.

When needed, a heating element will be activated to help maintain the temperature in the aquarium.

There are several types of aquarium heaters, most of which will not work well with smaller tanks.

Immersible Heaters

These are also referred to as hanging heaters. They may be found in 10-gallon starter kits, but are considered less effective than submersible heaters. With aquariums smaller than 10-gallons, these systems are often too bulky for use.

In-Line Heaters

These types of heaters are located outside of the tank between it and the filtering system. This feature is a negative when space is a consideration (which is often the case for owners with a smaller tank).

These heaters also come with a wattage power that is too high for small tanks and would exceed the temperature range quickly.

In-Sump Heaters

This type of heater is also located inside the filter/pump system itself. Size becomes an issue as most filtration systems for a tank under 10-gallons would be too small to house them. Higher wattages are also an issue with these units for the same reasons as with in-line heaters.

Your best option to use will be a submersible heater.


After our reviews, we feel that the list of the Best Heater For Small Fish Tanks as listed above is the best small aquarium heater. The durable design offers longevity and safety in your tank. The controls are easy to use, and the heat supplied is distributed evenly.

As you’ve noticed, some of these heaters offer very good value for money, but they lack some of the bells and whistles featured by more expensive products.

All in all, I advise you to always set up a heater in your aquarium if your fish are sensitive to changing temperatures or require warmer water.

Even if you choose an affordable heater, do make sure to also get a temperature controller to avoid overheating the water.

This heater can fit a variety of tanks and tank set-up designs. It provides quality at a reasonable price point. Consider it when you next shop for a heater to use in your small freshwater tank!


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