Fish, just like all the other kinds of animals, cannot withstand too low temperatures for a long period of time. Maybe you do not know, but the water in the fish tank corresponds very actively with the air temperature. If the weather gets too cold, the water temperature drops too, hence put your beloved fish in unideal conditions. The longer the status remains, the more harm that your fish is in. Many people have tried to make the surrounding of the tank thicker, so that the water inside would be less affected by the weather outside. However, the trick does not go very well. To solve this problem, people have come up with heaters that can spice things up a little bit for the fish, so it can survive the deadly cold weather. In today’s article, we are going to look at a few best heaters for 5-gallon fish tanks.
Best Heaters for 5-gallon Fish Tanks
1. Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater
The Tetra HT Submersible heater has an indicator light which turns on whenever the heater is on. This means that you will never mistake this heater for being on or off when the opposite is the case. The light is red when heating and turns green when the ideal temperature has been achieved.
There is a built-in thermostat that automatically adjust the water so that the temperature would level off at 78 degrees. Some people don’t like how you cannot adjust this heater, but others like it for this very reason. Simply put it in the water, turn it on, and it is good to go. Any aquarium with the volume ranging from 2 to 10 gallons can absolutely make the best out of this specific heater. When the tank has a good lid or hood, the effectiveness and efficiency is even enhanced to the next level.
It’s a cool heater because it can be put in an aquarium both vertically and horizontally. It is very easy to install, plus it is fairly small, so it does not take up very much room inside of the tank. The suction cup can be used to attach to the interior of the aquarium and you don’t have to worry about the endurance of it. Be sure to place the heater inside of the water before plugging it in. This is a very simple and basic heater. Although the aquarium heater is not equipped with great features, it can finish its task at a point that we cannot feel more satisfied.
The heater runs completely fine out of the box, so not adjustments or settings are required for this thing to operate. Installation is a piece of cake, since the device is designed so that even those who do not have any previous experience or knowledge about installing a heater in an aquarium can get things together. It has an internal thermometer, a component that once thought to be only available on premium devices. No matter what kind of aquarium you are using, the heater can be installed either vertically or horizontally. As long as it fits the tank, the heater can operate that way. A weakness of the device is that the temperature cannot be changed from the ideal condition, which is 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Pen Plax Aquarium Heater
Aquariums with the volume of up to 5 gallons would go really well with this 25-watt heater. That being said, this heater does also come in several other versions, each of which is ideal for larger aquariums. Pen Plax Aquarium Heater have been regarded as the most accurate device on the market by many people. It can heat the water and maintain the temperature within 1 degree, give or take. This is especially important for the fish because submarine creatures tend to be really sensitive when it comes to water, so a stable heat level would prolong the lifespan of all creatures inside the fish tank.
The default degree of the Penn Plax heater is 76 degrees, and as a matter of fact, that number can be changed. If 76 degrees is not what you truly want or need, then you can make the water colder or hotter to the point that you feel you fish can be really comfortable and stress-free. A programmable heater is always a home-run for those who seek for the coolest and most premium feature of a fish tank. in addition, you will have the ability to switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius to your own liking. Whether you are familiar with the temperature unit or not, you can absolutely switch back and forth to make the best out of the tank. on other devices, these two features seem to be normal, but in fact they are luxuries in the aquarium heater market.
The Penn Plax heater has a preset temperature of 76 degrees, and if you want to adjust the heat level, you can absolutely do so. Being customizing your own device is pretty satisfying and comfortable because every region has its own climatic traits. Programming this aquarium is very quick and easy Designed to operate in complicated environment, the heater is submersible. This trait is far better than waterproof, because being waterproof means you only have a limited amount of time and a fixed depth before your device get completely broken. On the other hand, being submersible means that you can place the device in the water for as long as you want. It is a fairly simple water heater in the sense that you just plug it in and it is good to go. Just be sure that it is fully submerged underwater before plugging it in. We do like how this model is very easy to install.
You can use the suction cup that comes with the kit to place it on an interior wall of the fish tank. it does not take up too much space and can be installed in the tank either vertically or horizontally. It is also a good option because it can be used for both saltwater and fresh water aquariums.
On the bright side, the heater is an actual space saver. If you have a small or medium-sized fish tank, this heater is the right treat for you. It is also very easy to use, since it does not even take you too much time to actually learn how to get started with it. Although the temperature is adjustable, the heater comes with the plug-and-play mechanism, which means you don’t have to adjust or change anything about the default configurations for this thing out of the box. It can also be programmed, like increasing or decreasing, or even turn itself off at a certain point of the day. After all, this is a heater with temperature unit of both F and C, which is comfortable for people from different regions. Having to convert from F to C when you are in Asia must be very tiring. The whole kit includes a suction cup for easy installation. The accuracy of the heater is top-notch, since all the sensors inside the device are of top quality. Another plus-point of the heater is that it is available for both salt and freshwater. The only drawback of the product is that it is not very durable. You will have to replace the device with a new one quite frequently to enjoy the best service provided by it.
3. Fluval Marina Submersible Heater for Aquarium
This next water heater is classified as a mini heater, which based on its size is definitely true. Lots of people really like the Fluval Marina due to its very small size. Small aquariums are already tightly pressed for space, so having a heater that preserves as much prime real estate as possible is always handy.
The Fluval Marina heater is fully submersible and has a totally waterproof seal to make sure that the internal components do not suffer from any kind of water damage. It also has an impact resistant design. This is important in case you drop the thing by accident or if some rowdy fish happen to bump into it. For safety concerns, the heater has a bumper that keep the fish and itself safe and sound.
The Fluval Marina heater comes with easy to use brackets and suction cups, so it only takes a few seconds to mount on the interior of your aquarium. This model can only be mounted vertically, but that is not a big deal seeing as it is so small to begin with. When it comes to getting started, the heater itself only needs to be plugged in and it is good to go.
The product is equipped with a temperature adjusting dial and you can pick a level among many others as well. It is perfect for small or medium-sized aquariums, especially in tropical regions where the temperature changes significantly throughout the year. It does come with a light to let you know when it is running. Also, it can be used in both saltwater and freshwater, something which many people will appreciate.
In short, the heater from Fluval is very easy to set temperature dial. Setting it up is not too big of a problem as well. Better than most saltwater-freshwater heaters, the Fluval product has a remarkably greater durability. It also comes with suction cups to help holding the heater inside the tank. it can be used in both saltwater and freshwater environments, so you should not be worry about what type of fish you are having. Coming in a small size, this is an actual space saver, which you will find very useful if you do not have a spacious aquarium. Small as it looks, the effectiveness of the product is undebatable. However, when the surrounding environment is too unstable, the product would be a little messed up.
4. Hydor Slim Heater
This is definitely one of the more unique water heaters for betta tanks out there right now. Unlike traditional heaters which are long and tubular in shape, this one is like a flat oval that sits on the side of the aquarium. It may not look futuristic or modern or anything near that, but the shape is surely convenient enough because it does not take up too much space inside your fish tank. Even though the Hydor Slim Heater comes in a compact shape, it is a beast when it comes to performance, especially when working in 5-gallon tanks. The machine operates effectively and rest assured because it will heat up your aquarium in no time. The device has all the high-quality components that can get the job done very quickly. It can make your tank or terrarium to around 10 degrees warmer than the room temperature, making things ideal and comfortable for your fish. That being said, it is a simple plug in and go water heater. In other words, it has a set temperature that cannot be adjusted. This is something that some people don’t mind, just as long as the required temperature matches the heater’s setting.
A sweet point about the heater is that there are no glass components, thus your fish will stay unscratched for as long as it stays in the tank. The exterior material is hard rubber, which has an incredible durability. It is common sense that many companies use rubber as a waterproof solution, and the Hydor Slim Heater is no exception. The heater will not do any harm to your fish or go faulty anyhow.
Maybe one of the coolest parts here that we liked is that you can hang it on the side of your aquarium or you can out it under the gravel too. If you are looking for a versatile heating device for your beloved fish, the Hydor Heater is definitely an option to be considered picking.
Summing up time! On the bright side, the heater runs perfectly out of the box. No adjustments are required for it to operate correctly. In another word, this is a plug-and-play device that can be put under gravel without worrying about anything like durability or safety. Your fish will stay safe and sound as long as it is under the same roof with the Hydor Slim Heater. However, the device cannot be adjusted and it may look funny to some people. If you have a premium tank and you need everything to look decent, this device may not be for you.
5. Cobalt Aquatics Mini-Therm Heater
Unlike the previous heater which was made of rubber, this one is made of glass. This does make some people worry due to durability issues, but the Cobalt Aquatics Heater is made with a shatter proof design that makes it difficult to break. The internal components will not be exposed to water, your fish won’t get electrocuted, and this little guy is proven to have a long life. The compact and small size of the heater is what makes this heater so special. You will fall in love about how effectively Cobalt designs the product. It is around and tubular, just like most other fish tank heaters on the markets. Small as it looks, the solid build of the product ensures that your tank will be in the best conditions while you still have a lot of space to do many other things.
This heater can be used for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums though it cannot be adjusted in terms of the temperature. It is able to raise the water temperature to around 10 degrees in comparison with the temperature of the surroundings. There is no need for time-consuming configuration process or setting up the device inside the tank, because it is a plug-and-play device. It really does not get any easier than that.
Using the heater is very simple, due to the fact that the company does not want you to spend a lot of time making the machine work. All you really have to do is just to plug the device in, leave it there and let it do its job. With a compact yet solid design, the heater is really a space saver, especially in tanks that do not have too much space for interior decorations. It is also good for salt and freshwater fish, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not the type of the water in the tank will do any harm to your device or the other way around. A plus point when talking about this product is that it is shatterproof, so it will surely bring you a lot of comfort when you use it.
6. Aqueon Mini Heater
The heater comes with two mini suction cups that can be attached without taking any effort from you. The installation was simple enough – all you have to do is to put it in the tank, slightly push to engage suction cups, then plug the device in one of the power outlets in your house. After several hours, the temperature of the water increased from about 74 degrees to about 78 degrees where it maintained most of the time. I installed the heater on the side close to where the bowl with the Betta was and touched the side of the bowl to the side of the tank. The Betta hung out there as he could obviously feel the warmth from the heater through the glass.
Had it not been for one slight issue, this would have been the heater of my own choice. Although everything else was very sweet treats, it indicated in the manual that if the ambient temperature reached 78 degrees, to unplug the heater. Since we were still cycling without the fish, we could test what happened when the room temperature increased. Here in Florida, it’s not unusual during the winters for us to have outdoor temperatures in the 40s in the morning and 80 in the afternoon. What we found was on the warmer days, the tank’s temperature was increasing up to 86 and at night was dropping to about 76-78. The room temperature was about 78 and 69 respectively.
To sum up, the Aqueon Mini Heater is fully submersible, so you would not find any problem keeping it underwater for too long. It is also shatterproof, which is going to bring you a lot of pleasures at the end of the day. There is a safety mechanism inside the heater, which allows it to shut itself down when there happens to be any thermal issue. The default temperature of the device is 78 degrees Fahrenheit, and it only consumes 10-watt. The small size of the heater (about 8 inches in length) makes it really easy for it get inside those tiny tanks like 5-gallon ones. The fact that it does not take up too much space is really a game changer for budgeted aquarists.
7. Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater
Another great heater for 5-gallon tanks is the Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater. It’s a heater that isn’t going to set you back too much and has a LOT of great features.
One of the features that I really like about this aquarium heater is the light that lets you know if it’s heating your tank or not. This makes monitoring your aquarium a lot easier.
And if you were concerned about the lack of control in the Cobalt heater then this one more than makes up for it. In fact, you can set the temperature in 0.5°C (about 0.4°F) increments, which is a lot more finely tuned.
The glass is also shatterproof. And while shatterproof glass isn’t completely necessary, it’s still better to have it. The chances of glass shattering in a tank are slim, but still there. So why not just cut that risk altogether. And the glass that surrounds the heater also causes a larger radiation space. Meaning heat will be distributed more evenly.
However, one downside to this heater is the way that it looks. It’s very large and will take up a lot of space in any tank smaller than 5 gallons. And on the subject of the way it looks the blue ring and the other colors draws a lot of attention to it, making your tank look a lot more unnatural.
8. Freesea 50W Aquarium Heater
The Freesea 50W Aquarium Heater another great heater with a lot of cool features. And if you like the look of it then you should definitely add it to your betta tank.
If you’re looking for a heater with a wide variety of temperature settings then this is going to be the ideal choice. You can set the temperature from anywhere between 59-94°F, which is an extremely wide range. If you don’t want to use this heater in your bettas tank then it also makes a great quarantine tank heater!
Another great feature of this heater is that you don’t have to change the temperature on the heater itself. The dial you need to use is on the cord outside. This is great for two reasons. First of all, there’s less risk of you contaminating your fish tank and secondly, you don’t have to get tank water all over your hands.
And this is another heater that is set and forget. Once you’ve set your ideal temperature you can just leave the heater to do its thing. The only downside is that it doesn’t look too great and the big red number on the heater is kind of distracting. Also, if you’re using this heater you have to make sure you NEVER take it out of the tank when it’s still on or it could overheat and break. The other heaters on this tank aren’t as fragile as this one and that’s really what causes it to end up near the bottom of the list.
9. Tips for using Aquarium Heaters
In larger tanks, or in situations where the room temperature is significantly below the desired water temperature, two heaters may be required. Heaters are required to be placed at the other end of the aquarium to ensure even heatwave throughout the tank.
It is best to use multiple units with hang-on and submersible heaters. This provides more even heat distribution and puts less strain on the heaters. Also, if one of the heaters goes out, the temperature may not plummet too dangerously until you can get a new unit. It’s also smart to buy an extra heater to keep on hand as a backup.
The heater tube length is very crucial because it helps raise the heat in your fish tank. If it is made of low-quality materials, or it does not have a decent durability, the efficiency of the device would not be at its most. As a general rule, the heater tube needs to be at the same height with your aquarium, because that is the optimized length for all heater tubes.
Check for heat sources and fluctuations. Your tank may be located under a vent or next to intermittent heat sources that can make the temperature rise and fall. Always unplug the heater when you are draining the tank to prevent the heater from overheating when it is no longer submerged.