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nano aquarium heaters

Best Heaters For Nano Aquariums 1-10 Gallons

Best Heaters For Nano Aquariums was a project we undertook recently. When it comes to choosing the best heaters for nano aquariums the choice isn’t always clear. You see, small aquariums not only require lower heat outputs but can also need a small or compact design. This is due to many smaller aquariums coming in weird but wonderful shapes. Shapes that your normal every day heater just won’t fit.

With this in mind we have reviewed a wide range of nano aquarium heaters so you don’t have to, and here for your perusal are the best 5 heaters for nano aquariums we could find.

aquarium heater
Nano aquariums requirer a smaller wattage heater

Quick Peek at the Top 5 Nano Aquarium Heaters

  • Hydor Submersible Glass Aquarium Heater
  • FREESEA Aquarium Fish Tank Submersible Heater
  • NICREW Mini Preset Aquarium Heater
  • Aqueon Mini Heater
  • Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater

What’s Different About A Nano Aquarium Heater?

The first and most major difference between small aquarium heaters and standard aquarium size heater is that they are designed specifically to fit into the small and awkward spaces of a nano tank. They are also sometimes of a lot lower wattage, starting at around five, and constructed of plastic rather than glass.

What To Consider When Choosing A Heater For A Nano Aquarium

There are several things to take into consideration when choosing the best heaters for nano aquariums such as:

  • How much space do you have in the aquarium for the heater?
  • Do you want a submersible or external heater?
  • Do you need a heater with temperature control and thermostat?
  • Do you want plastic or glass?
tropical fish
Tropical fish need temperatures between 75 and 80 °F (24 to 27 °C) 

Top 5 Nano Aquarium Heaters

5. Hydor Submersible Glass Aquarium Heater

Hydor 25W Submersible Glass Aquarium Heater - Original Theo

$20.99  in stock
6 new from $19.95
4 used from $12.12
Free shipping
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Best Heaters For Nano Aquariums 1-10 Gallons 1 Amazon.com
as of December 6, 2019 4:26 pm

Features

  • High resistance - the first shatter proof heater
  • Shock resistant
  • Position vertical, horizontal and completely submerged
  • Graduated scale for precise maintenance of set temperature
  • No damage in case of running dry
Pros
  • Various wattages available from 25w
  • 25w suitable for 5 Gallon or less
  • Shatter proof heater
  • Low water level safe
  • Small in size
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Not pretty

Our thoughts…

Suitable for aquariums of 5 gallons or less the Hydor submersible is a reliable and shatterproof choice. It is small in size, which a 5-gallon nano tank needs. If you can’t hide it, it doesn’t look very attractive. It is also a little on the pricey side but worth it for the reliability.

4. FREESEA Aquarium Fish Tank Submersible Heater

FREESEA 50 Watt Small Aquarium Betta Submersible Heater with LED Temperature Display

$24.89
$18.99  in stock
1 new from $18.99
Free shipping
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Best Heaters For Nano Aquariums 1-10 Gallons 1 Amazon.com
as of December 6, 2019 4:26 pm

Features

  • ★ Temperature range: 59°F~94°F, display Fahrenheit °F, this heater is designed for1~10 gallons tank.
  • ★ Automatic constant temperature function, when water temperature reaches to specified temperature value, heater will automatically stop heating, when water temperature is lower than the set temperature, heater will automatically start heating.
  • ★ Touch button, cyclic adjust temperature , easy to use and Safety.
  • ★【Note】:this heater is 100% submersible use only, during its heating time, heater must be 100% submerged into the water.
  • ★ 12 Month Warranty and 24 Hour Professional After-sales Service.
Pros
  • Suitable for 1-10 Gallons
  • Temperature range: 59°F~94°F
  • Easy to use
  • One button temp setting
  • Easy temperature display
  • Nice style
Cons
  • Cannot be taken out of the water without damaging
  • Coil exposed at the back which could harm fish

Our thoughts…

Suitable for up to 10 gallons, the FREESEA submersible heater is ideal for most small aquariums. It can be easily adjusted in temperature using one button. Furthermore, due to its size and shape can be hidden easily by decor. It cannot, however, be taken out of the water whilst switched on without damaging it. There is an exposed coil at the back that could harm fish if they can swim to it.

3. NICREW Mini Preset Aquarium Heater

NICREW Mini Preset Aquarium Heater, 15W Submersible Betta Fish Tank Heater with Electronic Thermostat

 out of stock

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Best Heaters For Nano Aquariums 1-10 Gallons 1 Amazon.com
as of December 6, 2019 4:26 pm

Features

  • Heater is preset to 78°F, requires no adjustments
  • LED indicator light displays red when actively heating
  • Can be placed vertically or horizontally in aquarium completely
  • 15-watt submersible heater helps create the ideal water conditions in bowls or betta fish tanks
  • Heater shuts itself off if removed from water
Pros
  • Easy to use pre-setup out of the box
  • LED light tells you when it’s on
  • Shuts off if removed from the aquarium
  • Can be placed vertically or horizontally
  • Looks stylish
  • Quick setup
Cons
  • Set at 78F with no adjustment
  • Only species that like 78F can live with this heater
  • Reports of going faulty after a few months (We have not seen this)

Our thoughts…

Despite hearing reports that this heater had gone faulty after a few months I really liked it. It was easy to set up, had an indicator light to tell you when it was on, and looked fairly stylish in my aquarium. It was, however, limiting as I could only keep species that thrive at 78F, but for me, this wasn’t a problem as I used it for a Betta.

2. Aqueon Mini Heater

Aqueon Mini Heater for Aquariums, 5W, Under 2.5 Gallon

$11.13
$8.40  in stock
15 new from $8.40
2 used from $7.98
Free shipping
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Best Heaters For Nano Aquariums 1-10 Gallons 1 Amazon.com
as of December 6, 2019 4:26 pm

Features

  • Ideal for small glass or acrylic desktop aquariums up to 2.5 Gallons
  • Fully submersible
  • Quick and easy installation, vertical or horizontal placement using Suction cups
  • Shatterproof construction
  • Note: Do not operate or leave product plugged in when it is outside of water
Pros
  • 2 Sizes available
  • Compact design
  • Easy to setup
  • Vertical or horizontal placement
  • Suction cups hold it in place
  • Inexpensive
Cons
  • Not safe if taken out of the aquarium
  • Limited for a 2.5 Gallon or less fish tank

Our thoughts…

As I do not keep fish in anything smaller than 3 gallons I tested this heater in a simple vase with 2 gallons of water. It fit nicely, didn’t look too obtrusive and certainly did the job. I had trouble, however, getting the suction cups to hold this heater on the side of the vase, but that could have been the shape, so ended up leaving it just dangling.

We would never recommend ever keeping fish in such a small aquarium/bowl which this aquarium heater is aimed at. However, it did work as a small aquarium heater as per the instructions and description.

1. Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater

Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater With Electronic Thermostat

$19.99
$14.94  in stock
1 new from $14.94
8 used from $10.39
Free shipping
Buy Now
Best Heaters For Nano Aquariums 1-10 Gallons 1 Amazon.com
as of December 6, 2019 4:26 pm

Features

  • All Tetra HT heaters have indicator lights to let you know when the heater is on. It will be red when heating and green when the proper temperature has been reached.
  • The HT10 uses a built in electronic theromstat to automatically maintain water at 78° F which is ideal for most tropical fish. No adjustment is requried.
  • Ideal for aquariums between 2 to 10 gallons with hoods or glass canopies
  • The HT heater is fully submersbile and can be installed vertically or horizontally. It's small footprint makes it easy to conceal behind plants or other décor.
  • Please read all label information upon delivery. DO NOT plug heater into an electrical outlet until it is placed inside the aquarium.
Pros
  • Classic tested design
  • Built-in electronic thermostat
  • Perfect for 1-10 Gallons
  • Proven track record for reliability
  • Auto shut off
  • Small design
  • Good quality product
  • Heated the water quickly and maintained temp
Cons
  • None

Our thoughts…

I absolutely loved this heater and when my own need replacing will certainly be purchasing this brand. Not only did it perform well, but it looked good and fit into my aquariums with ease. It heated the water quickly and maintained the set temperature with accuracy and ease. This was definitely the top performer in our quest to find the best heaters for nano aquariums in the range of 1 to 10 gallon tanks.

Tips For Choosing A Small Aquarium Heater

  1. Follow the basic rule of thumb on the heater size (wattage) needed.
  2. Ensure that the heater you choose can be set at the correct temperature for the fish you are keeping.
  3. Only select glass if you are sure it won’t get broken.
  4. Be sure that the heater will fit inside your tank.
  5. Consider an external heater for really small tanks.
  6. Avoid heaters with no thermostat.

Unusually Shaped Aquariums

Best Heaters For Nano Aquariums 1-10 Gallons 6
Nano aquarium heaters are physically smaller in size

Although unusually shaped aquariums come in many sizes it is fairly easy to fit a heater into the larger ones. The small ones, however, are a different story and the task of selecting a heater can become a difficult one. This is why in recent years many heater manufacturers have started to create a ‘mini’ range. Specially sized heaters, usually very compact and designed to fit into even the smallest and most awkward of spaces.

Do Nano & Small Aquarium Heaters Have A Thermostat?

Most do, but there are also some that don’t. Check before you buy really is the best advice here if you don’t want a boiled fish! If you do choose to use a heater with no thermostat ensure you have a thermometer to hand. Check on the temperature of your aquarium regularly!

cleaning a fish tank makes fish happy
When cleaning your aquarium ensure the heater is switched off and has had time to cool down before lowering the water level.

Submersible VS External Heaters

Hands down, a submersible heater is the best option providing you have the room for one. This is due to the simple fact that external ones are very rarely efficient enough and do not provide adequate heat.

What Size Heater Will You Need?

The size of the heater you will need is based on the water volume of your aquarium. As a general rule of thumb, 5 watts per gallon is recommended with the heater set to the temperature you want.

Tank SizeHeater Wattage
1.0 Gallons 5W
2.5 Gallons10W
3-3.5 Gallons15W
4 Gallons20W
5 Gallons25W
5-10 Gallons50W

F.A.Q

  1. What is the smallest aquarium heater? The smallest are usually designed to fit and heat aquariums of 1 to 5 gallons.
  2. Do I need a heater for a 1-gallon tank? Yes, if you are keeping a tropical fish in it. However, we do not recommend aquariums under 3 gallons for keeping live fish.
  3. Can I use a big heater in a small tank? Yes, as long as it has a thermostat that will turn it off when the desired temperature is reached.
  4. Can fish die if the water is too cold? Absolutely. They will become lethargic, stop eating, contract diseases, and more than likely die.
  5. Are aquarium heaters safe? Yes, if you take the correct precautions. Heaters should be turned off during maintenance and water changes, and always fully submerged.

Recap: Best Nano Aquarium Heaters Tested

$20.99
in stock
6 new from $19.95
4 used from $12.12
Best Heaters For Nano Aquariums 1-10 Gallons 1 Amazon.com
Free shipping
$18.99
$24.89
in stock
1 new from $18.99
Best Heaters For Nano Aquariums 1-10 Gallons 1 Amazon.com
Free shipping
$8.40
$11.13
in stock
15 new from $8.40
2 used from $7.98
Best Heaters For Nano Aquariums 1-10 Gallons 1 Amazon.com
Free shipping
$14.94
$19.99
in stock
1 new from $14.94
8 used from $10.39
Best Heaters For Nano Aquariums 1-10 Gallons 1 Amazon.com
Free shipping
Last updated on December 6, 2019 4:26 pm

Conclusion: Best Heaters For Small or Nano Aquariums

Best Heaters For Nano Aquariums 1-10 Gallons 12

It should come as no surprise that the winner of our best heaters for nano aquariums is the Tetra HT submersible heater. This is due to its efficiency, looks, accuracy, and price. I trusted this heater and could leave it to its own devices knowing that it wouldn’t let me down.