Many people wrongly think that it’s easier to maintain a 10-gallon tank than a bigger tank. The fact is that it’s much harder to maintain a smaller tank because of the need to do the more regular water change. Once you want to set up a 10-gallon tank, you need to know the best fish for your tank first.

A 10 Gallon Aquarium

In fact, this tank is among the smallest. So, it’s not suitable for beginner aquarists. Indeed, it’s hard to maintain in term of the right water change, filtration, as well as keeping everything in a good shape.

Do Your Research

For a 10 gallon tank, many people make a big mistake when choosing the right fish to keep. So, it’s important to do some research on your favorite fish. You can easily do this with the global internet.

Things to Pay Attention to

There are three important things you need to consider when it comes to choosing the right fish for your tank. They include fish care requirements, fish temperament, and space for fish. Actually, we can’t keep species with different water conditions with an aggressive one. Also, we cannot keep too big fish in a 10-gallon tank such as Gourami, Angelfish, Bela Shark, and African Cichlid.

Core Principles for Your Tank

First, make sure all fish can be capable of living in the same types of environment (same temperature, light, aquascape, water chemistry, and diet). Avoid choosing fish that can eat your other fish. Instead, choose ones with a similar peaceful demeanor. It’s great to choose fish with different swimming and different feeding preferences.

Dangers of Overcrowding a Tank

Overcrowding a tank can decline more rapidly. This issue can also make your fish more stressful. It also causes your fish to be more vulnerable to diseases as well as premature death. Thus, if you don’t know surely the number of fish you can keep in your tank, it’s best to err on the side of less fish instead of more.

How many fish to keep in A 10 gallon Tank

Keep in mind, it’s ideal to keep fish according to the principle one inch of fish per gallon. Therefore, you only should keep no more than 10 inches of fish for your 10-gallon tank. This rule is essential for everyone. If you want, you can add a single species a week in your tank.

Best fish for a 10 gallon aquarium

Tetra Fish

It’s a good idea to start with some Tetra fish in your tanks such as Glowlight, Cardinal tetra, or Neon tetra. These fish are good choices for a 10-gallon tank because of their sizes and space requirement. These fish are inactive fish, so they don’t need much space. Also, they are small and peaceful fish. It’s best to keep Neon fish at a temperature of 68-78F.

Dwarf Corydoras

You should also think about the Dwarf Corydoras. They are interesting bottom-feeding fish. They are peaceful. You can keep them in schools of six or more. They can also help to clean your tank because they collect everything falling down to the bottom of the tank. In addition, it’s important to offer them some sinking pellets for the essential nutrients.

Sparkling Gourami

The next option you should consider for your 10-gallon tank is the Sparkling Gourami. This small fish only can grow up to 1.5 inches in length. It makes them suitable for small planted tanks. Because of their colorful look, these fish can be a perfect addition to your aquarium. These fish sometimes may be shy.


This fish is another small fish from the rank of livebearers. There is a wide range of color alternatives when it comes to the Guppy. These fish are active fish in the top third of the aquarium.


The Betta is one of the best choices for a 10-gallon tank. However, you only should keep these fish with peaceful species such as Ember tetra, White Cloud Mountain Minnows, Harlequin Rasboras.

Zebra Danio

This is a peaceful fish. They can be able to grow up to 3 inches in length. They are highly active fish. It’s best to keep them in a small school of 5-6 fish. They come with a torpedo-shaped body. You should feed them with a varied diet of frozen foods.


This fish is one of the new species on the tropical fish. It can be able to produce fluorescent coloured scales. There are some of the colors as green, blue, bright red, purple, and orange-yellow.


The fish has a variety of colors as well as patterns. It’s a peaceful fish. It’s a good choice for beginners. It’s best to keep two females for every male. In fact, males normally can chase females. This fish can be able to grow up to 2 inches in length. You need to feed them with a varied diet of frozen, flakes, freeze dried food, as well as live foods.

Red Cherry Shrimp

Many people choose the Red Cherry Shrimp because of their cool looks. Also, they are good choices for cleaning up any excess debris as well as food left from the tank-mates. They prefer to be kept in a heavily planted aquarium. The fish can do best in a small group of 3-5 shrimp. It can be able to grow up to 1.5 inches in length.

Nerite Snails

This snail is seen in three colours, including green, black, and tan. They can be able to help to clean the algae from the sides of the fish tank. However, you even have to give them algae as a food source if there are no algae in your fish tank. It’s best to keep these snails in a populated tank with plenty of live plants as well as hiding places. They can be capable of growing up to 1 inch.

Kuhli loach

Consider keeping Kuhli loach in a small group of 3-6 fish. They are peaceful fish. For this option, we recommend you to keep them in aquariums with a fine sand. In addition, provide them with plenty of dense vegetation like Cryptocoryne species. You need to feed them at night with a wide variety of freeze-dried foods.

Butterfly fish

For this fish, you can keep only them in your aquarium because they’re known as a carnivorous hunter. In fact, they can swallow any other smaller species in your tank with a large mouth. Once again, it’s best to keep them alone in the tank.

Red Claw Crab

They are brackish water. They are also better off alone. Actually, keeping your fish with other crabs can lead to territorial disputes. They even can eat your fish as a food source.


They are actually one of the most intelligent fish. You can train them to do tricks. If you choose this fish, you only should keep them in a species only tank. In fact, these fish can be able to grow very quickly. For these fish, you need to give them more maintenance than others because of their carnivorous nature. They do best in a group of 5 individuals.


This is a small and peaceful fish. They can be able to grow up to 3-4 inches in length. They also can be able to thrive in a lot of water conditions. You need to give them a diet of both plant and animal food. It’s easy to take care of these fish.

Cherry Barb

You can see these fish in silver and black color with a golden lateral line. Like the fish above, they are also peaceful. They can grow around 2 inches in length. They require most types of foods to eat such as fresh, live, flake, and frozen foods. They are also easy to take care of. It’s a good idea to keep them in a tank with planted areas for hiding spaces.


Its shape is similar to guppy and platy fish. They come in many different color variations. They are great choices for beginner aquarist. These fish are peaceful. It’s best to keep them in loosely grouped schools. Keep in mind you need to keep them away from their parents when breeding them.


There is a wide range of bright color when it comes to Killifish. They are available in more than 700 species. So, it’s easy to choose this fish for almost every tank condition. You can keep them with other small fish. It’s easy to breed these fish. You should give them a diet of insect larvae, crustaceans, and worms.


They come with heavy armored plates on their bodies. They are keen on eating wafers, algae, and flakes. Some of them require meaty foods like frozen brine shrimp. It’s not easy to breed them. These fish can be able to live for 20 years or even longer as long as you care for them properly.


They are from Australia and Southeast Asia. These fish are peaceful. They can be able to grow up to 6 inches in length. Moreover, they can get along well with others such as bards, danios, and larger tetras.


There is a lot of freshwater fish available. They come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. Most of them are easy to care for. The thing you need to do is doing some research on the species you want to purchase. This article gave you some of the examples of the best freshwater fish you can choose. Hopefully, you can choose fish that suit your 10-gallon tank easily.

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