Updated: September 14, 2022 - By: - Categories: Equipment

A ten-gallon aquarium is an affordable choice for anyone who wants to keep a small community tank, single species tank, or shrimp tank. Though a ten-gallon tank may be small, it is still vital to stay on top of maintenance as the smaller the water volume in the tank means it is more susceptible to fluctuations in water parameters.

Best 10-gallon fish tanks for sale

Model Our rating Aquarium tank Dimensions Hood & lighting Filtration Heater & thermometer Others
Aqueon 10 Gal LED Aquarium Kit editor's ratingAqueon 10 Gal LED Aquarium Kit #ad 10-gallon glass, high form 20.25″ x 10.5″ x 12.6″ Hood with LED lighting QuietFlow 10 LED PRO power filter with medium cartridge 50W preset heater at 78 degrees, stick-on thermometer fish food, water conditioner, fish net
Marina LED Aquarium Kit 10-gallon editor's ratingMarina LED Aquarium Kit 10-gallon #ad 10-gallon glass, best for starters 20″ L x 10″ W x 12.5″ H Hood with LED lighting Marina Slim S15 clip-on filter with cartridges stick-on thermometer fish food, water conditioner, biological supplement, fish net
GloFish Aquarium Kit editor's ratingGloFish Aquarium Kit #ad 10-gallon tank kit for Glofish 18.5 “L x 10.5″W x 13” H Hood with white and blue LED lighting Tetra Whisper HOB filter with cartridge Tetra mini UL preset heater 50W and thermometer fluorescent plant decorations, fish food, water conditioner
Aqueon 10 Gal Black Aquarium editor's ratingAqueon 10 Gal Black Aquarium #ad 10-gallon glass, blank 20.25″ L x 10.5″ W x 12.6″ H
Hagen Fluval Flex 9 GAL Aquarium editor's ratingHagen Fluval Flex 9 GAL Aquarium #ad 9 gallon curved-front glass 16″ W X 13″ D X 13″ H (34 X 33 X 33 cm) Hood with 7500K LED lamp for plants back-panel filtration with foam, carbon, and Biomax media 61 GPH water pump, remote control for the light
Aqueon Starter Kits LED NeoGlow editor's ratingAqueon Starter Kits LED NeoGlow #ad 10 Gallon glass tank with orange fluorescent silicone 20.25″ L x 10.5″ W x 12.6″ H Low-profile hood with LED light Aqueon Quietflow LED Pro power filter with medium cartridge 50W preset heater preset at 78°F black background, gravel, plastic plants, fish food, and conditioner
Penn Plax Curved Corner Glass Aquarium Kit editor's ratingPenn Plax Curved Corner Glass Aquarium Kit #ad 10 Gallon curved-front glass 17.75″ L X 11.75″ W X 12.63″ H plastic lid, clip-on LED light Cascade 300 internal filter mat
Lifegard Aquatics Crystal Aquarium editor's ratingLifegard Aquatics Crystal Aquarium #ad 9.98 gallons glass with invisible joints, ideal for reef setup 17.72″ L X 11.81″ W X 11.02″ H back-panel filtration with a quiet pump and filter sponge bottom drain/plug, and directional jet return nozzle
Landen 45P 9.6 Gallon Rimless Low Iron Aquarium editor's ratingLanden 45P 9.6 Gallon Rimless Low Iron Aquarium #ad 9.6 gallon rimless glass, 5mm thickness 17.7″ L × 10.6″ W × 11.8″ H (45cm x 27cm x 30cm) mat included
Penn-Plax Water-Word Vertex Desktop Aquarium Kit editor's ratingPenn-Plax Water-Word Vertex Desktop Aquarium Kit #ad 10 Gallon high tank with bent glass corners 13.75″ L × 13.75″ W × 13.75″ H clear hinged plastic lid without lighting Cascade power Hang-On filter stick-on thermometer fish net
Fluval Edge 12 gallon Aquarium Kit editor's ratingFluval Edge 12 gallon Aquarium Kit #ad 12-gallon glass tank, special design 17″ L X 14.3″ W X 22.2″ H black hood with hidden LED lighting AquaClear power filter plastic base, water conditioner, biological enhancer

10-gallon aquarium reviews

Aqueon LED aquarium kit 10-gallon

This 10-gallon tank is perfectly suited for anyone that wants to buy a full set-up. Within this set-up, you’ll find most items needed to keep freshwater tropical fish.

The full set includes a glass tank sealed with silicon, a QuietFlow 10 LED PRO power filter with a cartridge, 50W heater, fish food, water conditioner, net, and a thermometer.

The tank is a standard shape and comes with black trim and lid. The black hood consists of LED lighting and a hatch for easy-feeding.

Aqueon QuietFlow power filterAqueon QuietFlow power filter #ad

The filter is a Hang-On-Back one with a red indicator light that will let you know when it is the time to change the cartridge within.

The preset heater will hold the tank at a steady temperature (78 degrees) for tropical and can’t be adjusted. It features an auto-safety shut-off and is shatter resistant for a longer service time.

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Marina LED Aquarium Kit 10-gallon

This Marina LED aquarium kit is ideal if you’re looking for a complete set-up for cold-water fish. To change to tropical then simply add an appropriate heater, ideally around 50 watts.

Marina LED aquarium kitMarina LED aquarium kit #ad

It is a perfect tank for any beginner that has an interest in starting their first aquarium. Within the box, you’ll find the tank, a Marina Slim S15 clip-on filter, LED lighting (housed within the hood), fish food, water conditioner, biological supplement (to boost the nitrogen cycle), fish net, and a care guide.

The filter that this comes with includes a quick-change cartridge, which is able to perform a three-stage filtration with mechanical, chemical, and biological to keep the tank clean and clear.

The LED lighting is designed to be energy efficient so that the running cost is kept low; this lighting is also suited for live plants if you intend on adding any.

Overall, it is a perfect starter set for beginners or for aquarists looking for a small additional tank.

[acheck asin=”B0173I55JM” title=”Check on Amazon.com”]

Aqueon 10-gallon blank aquarium without equipment

This glass aquarium is a blank tank only without equipment and an ideal choice for experienced hobbyists who want to choose their own accessories. It offers a sold enclosure, sealed with high-strength silicone.

You should consider this tank as an option if you want to start out with the basics, you can add equipment to it; filter, lighting, heater, as needed. You can keep coldwater, tropical, or saltwater fish within this, as long as you have the correct equipment added for their care.

If you’re looking for a blank tank then you can’t go wrong with this one.

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GloFish 10-gallon aquarium kit

This is another tank designed for those looking to keep Glofish fish within their aquarium. It is 10-gallons and comes with almost everything needed to start a tropical freshwater tank with/without Glofish.

Within the box, you’ll find the tank, a hood with white & blue LED lighting, a 50W Heater, Tetra Whisper 20 filter, thermometer, fish food, water conditioner sample, and an easy-to-use setup guide. This offers amazing value; simply add substrate and livestock and you’re good to go!

The blue LED lighting makes the tank look astonishing if you have brightly colored Glofish. It also offers a white mode if you have other tropical fish and plants.

Certainly, with several fluorescent plants included, it is not enough to decorate the tank. You will need some GloFish accessories to add a little more ‘extra’ to your aquarium!

Overall, this set-up is one of our top options if you intend on keeping Glofish!

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Aqueon fish aquarium starter kit LED NeoGlow

This tank makes a perfect pick for any beginner fish-keeper that is searching for a colorful tank. It is 10-gallons and comes with most extras needed to start a tropical freshwater set-up.

Included in this set-up are a glass tank with orange fluorescent silicone around the edges, a hood with blue LED lighting, Quietflow LED PRO filter (with cartridge), 50W preset heater, multi-colored gravel bag, three plastic plants, fish food, black background, and water conditioner. This is one of the best all-in buys for a 10-gallon tank!

The blue LED lighting that this tank provides is designed to bring the color out of all accessories within the tank and the fish themselves. This is definitely the tank we’d advise you to buy if you plan to have small, colorful Glofish.

The light doesn’t include white light, so I will recommend another kit in this article if you want to have a tropical fish tank with some live plants to care for.

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Hagen 15004HG Fluval Flex aquarium 9-gallon

The Fluval Flex is a lovely little aquarium that makes for an ideal starter tank. The shape is designed to give a curve at the front, which allows for an amazing viewing window to watch your fish within and also gives the appearance of a larger tank.

The LED lamp hidden under the lid includes 36 white and 3 RGB LEDs and is adjustable with the remote control. The lighting itself features numerous settings and is suited for livestock and plants.

Back panel filtration systemBack panel filtration system #ad

The filtration system is tucked away at the back in order not to spoil the view of the main tank. The back filtration panel comes with 3 compartments for housing a return pump and filter media, which are also included. This is also a great place for a nano skimmer (not included) if you want to set up the tank as a nano reef.

Overall; this is definitely high up on our list for a 10-gallon tank, especially if being bought by/for a beginner. You will only need to buy a 50W heater and you can keep tropical fish in the tank. Some people set it as a nano reef and the complete tanks look stunning through the curved-front glass.

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Penn Plax curved corner glass aquarium kit

This 10-gallon aquarium is a little different than the others on our list, it is both frameless and curved. The benefit of this is you gain a larger viewing area from any around angles and it creates the illusion of a much larger tank.

Cascade 300 internal filterCascade 300 internal filter #ad

The kit comes with a Cascade 300 internal filter, LED light, mat, and hinged plastic lid. This is ready to go if you intend on keeping cold-water fish, or you can add a small heater and change this to tropical.

It’s incredibly easy to set up so this is highly recommended for those that lack confidence in setting an aquarium up.

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Penn Plax Water World Vertex desktop aquarium kit

The Vertex tank is specially designed to fit in small spaces, so this makes the perfect choice if you’re looking for a desktop tank. It is frameless and has curved corners at the front, making for a smooth finish.

This set-up includes a glass tank with a hinged lid, a Cascade power hang-on filter, stick-on thermometer, protective surface pad, and fish net. This makes it ready to go for cold-water fish and if you prefer tropical simply add a heating source.

It doesn’t come with a light rail, however, thanks to its transparent lid, you can easily use a clip-on LED light on the tank. You can also choose a light fixture with extendable brackets from 12-16 inches to fit the length of the tank.

If you’re looking for a tank that’s differently shaped than most then this is definitely one to consider!

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Landen 9.6-gallon rimless low iron aquarium tank

This 9.6-gallon tank is constructed from heavy-duty 6mm glass. This glass is low-iron and offers a beautiful viewing area from all sides. Included with this tank is a 5mm nanofoam leveling mat.

If you prefer a basic tank that you can change and adapt as you need; with heating, lighting, etc. then this should be high up on your wish list. This tank is strong and tough and gives you unlimited options in how to set it up, a perfect blank canvas.

This can be used as a cold-water or tropical tank, as long as you plan to keep smaller fish within. You can build a nano planted or reef setup if you are an experienced aquarist and know which equipment to go with. The rimless makes it ideal for setting up in any way.

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Lifegard Aquatics crystal aquarium for a nano reef

This 9.98-gallon aquarium is a lovely little set-up with everything needed to set up a cold-water tank (simply add a heater to make it tropical). However, it is intended to be a great nano reef with its back overflow system.

The Crystal tank line is a feature of this tank, which is an invisible glue joint. The tank itself is rimless and made from low-iron glass which offers a clear view within.

Back-panel filtration with 3 compartmentsBack-panel filtration with 3 compartments #ad

Behind the tank, you will see a filtration system with three compartments for placing filter components. It also comes included with a sponge mechanical filter, quiet one pump, bottom drain/plug, and a directional jet return nozzle. That is all ready for setting up.

The filtration system makes it ideal to set up a nano reef with the tank because it provides a great place to hide many necessary accessories. As you know, reef setups need more equipment than freshwater ones. You certainly need a specific LED light if you want to keep corals in the tank.

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Fluval Edge 12-gallon aquarium kit

The last aquarium on our list is a little larger at 12-gallons but is such a striking one that you should definitely consider this. It is an incredible shape and has a hidden LED lighting system that offers tremendous lighting for a small tank.

It features 6-sides of sealed glass, with bold architectural lines; a clear ceiling/roof for viewing your tank from above; and a unique recessed base that makes it appear to be floating.

Replacement power filterReplacement power filter #ad

It comes with an AquaClear power filter stylishly hidden in the back black column. This is one of the best and popular power filters on the market today. It offers a very large filter chamber to accommodate a large amount of filter media for better filtration and water quality.

Within this kit, you’ll receive the tank, a plastic base, multi-stage filter, Fluval water conditioner, Fluval biological enhancer, and a user guide. This is in our top 3 for a small tank with a difference!

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Accessories and replacements


H2Pro 20-inch glass canopy, 19.33 x 9.65 x 0.16 inH2Pro 20-inch glass canopy, 19.33 x 9.65 x 0.16 in #ad

A lid is necessary to decrease the evaporation of the aquarium water, keep the temperature stable, and prevent some fish from jumping out of the water. If your tank does not include a lid, ensure you measure up your tank correctly and check against the dimensions of the lid you intend to buy.


The majority of 10-gallon aquariums will not come with a stand and it is always best to use a stand that is designed for aquariums, as these are made to be able to take the weight of a filled tank. It may not be as vital with a 10-gallon tank, you may have a sturdy unit or bench you can hold this on but it is usually better to be safe.

To select a stand that will fit your new aquarium simply check that the length and width of the tank itself match the stand and that it can bear the total weight of the tank filled with water.

Find a stand here: https://portlandaquarium.net/fish-tank-stand/


Aquariums usually come with their own form of lighting but if yours does not, or you wish to use a different type or strength of lighting unit then it’s not usually a difficult thing to change.

For a 10-gallon tank, you can choose a clip-on LED light or a 20-inch fixture. Always remember to ensure that the light is suitable for the length of your tank and whether it is suited to the plants/ livestock kept within.

Most LED lights from aquarium kits are white light, some include blue moonlight. They are usually just enough for viewing fish and support some low light plants such as Marimo moss balls, Anubias, ferns, and moss. If you intend for a high demanding planted tank, change to a more suitable light.

Choose an LED light here: https://portlandaquarium.net/20-inch-led-light/


AquaClear 20 power filter for 5-20 gallonsAquaClear 20 power filter for 5-20 gallons #ad

Filtration is vital to get correct within any aquarium! A good filtration system will keep your water in tip-top condition and reduce the chance of death and illness within your tank.

When searching for a new filter, you should opt for one that is capable of turning over the volume of water in your tank 4 times per hour. That means in a 10-gallon aquarium you need one that turns over 40 GPH (gallons per hour).

Choose your filter heater: https://portlandaquarium.net/aquarium-filter/


Orlushy Mini Aquarium Heater 50WOrlushy Mini Aquarium Heater 50W #ad

A heater is needed if keeping tropical fish, this isn’t always an item that comes as standard when purchasing a tank. If you’d like to add one to your aquarium then you need to select one that is matched to your tank size and can hold the temperature required, based on the fish you keep.

As a general rule 1W (Watt) is required per liter of water, so for a 10-gallon tank, we’d advise a heater that is at least 40 Watts. Because there is no 40-watt heater being manufactured, a 50-watt heater perfectly suits the tank.

Choose a heater here: https://portlandaquarium.net/fish-tank-heater/


Spectrastone Shallow Creek RegularSpectrastone Shallow Creek Regular #ad

A pound per gallon is a good rule-of-thumb to have a 1-inch substrate. This means you will need at least 10 pounds of substrate for a 10-gallon tank.

For fish-only tanks, the substrate thickness depends on your preferences but ensure it is not too thin. Just go with medium-sized gravels for easy cleaning.

You will need a planted aquarium substrate if you intend to have live plants within the tank. Planted tanks will need a 2-3 inch substrate for plant roots to develop, too.


Vepotek aquarium background, double sides for choiceVepotek aquarium background, double sides for choice #ad

An aquarium background is certainly an optional accessory but this can be a fun way to snazz up your tank or to make it more natural for the fish/animals kept within.

When choosing a background simply measure the total length and height of the tank and match it to the background you’d like. If you’re not certain of the exact size required then buy a little larger as you can usually trim them to size very easily.

Air Pump

Tetra Whisper Air Pump for up to 10 gallonsTetra Whisper Air Pump for up to 10 gallons #ad

An air pump is an optional extra in any tank, but one we would recommend having as it provides a few benefits. It creates agitation of the water surface and provides extra oxygen to the water, which is needed by everything living within. It is also used to power some kinds of filters and decorations as well.

For a 10-Gallon aquarium, you need one that has a minimum output of 0.330 liters/min. This number varies based on how much equipment being powered with the air pump and how deep your tank is.

If you keep a saltwater/marine aquarium then you will need to locate a slightly stronger one, as saltwater has less oxygen solubility than freshwater.

Water Pump

A water pump is of great benefit to an aquarium if you wish to create a natural flow of water within the aquarium. This helps to keep water fresh and provides fish with a current, which some prefer to play/swim in. The extra benefit is that a water pump can also be used to assist with water changes.

When picking a water pump, you should get one that rotates the volume of water in your tank 5 times per hour. This means for a 10-gallon tank you’d need a minimum rate of 50 GPH to ensure the best efficiency.


The options are endless when it comes to an aquarium. You can have ornamental décor; from skulls, ships, chests, etc. to plants, wood, caves. The only restriction is size, due to 10-gallon tanks having limited space. You should also try to ensure your décor matches your fish’s needs, in terms of cover, hiding spots, etc.

For setting up the tank, check our guide for setting up a freshwater aquarium.

How many fish can I keep in 10 gallons?


The amount of fish you can keep, in any aquarium, comes down to the volume of water the tank holds and the size of the fish when fully grown. Follow the rule ‘1 inch of fish per gallon of water’, you can keep a total of 10 inches of fish in a 10-gallon tank. For example, you can keep 10 fish that maxes at 1 inch when fully grown.

When choosing fish for an aquarium, ensure you choose species that have similar living conditions so that you can set up an aquarium with the best water parameters (temperature, pH, hardness, e.g.) for all of them.

70+ freshwater species for 10-gallon aquariums

Family Scientific name Common name Max length Special notes Temperature pH Water hardness (dGH)
Catfish Corydoras habrosus Salt and Pepper Cory, Dainty Cory 1.2 – 1.4″ bottom dwellers 68.0 – 78.8°F 5.5 – 7.5 2 – 10
Catfish Corydoras hastatus Dwarf corydoras, Tail spot pygmy catfish 1.2″ bottom dwellers 71.6 – 78.8°F 6 – 7 1 – 15
Catfish Corydoras pygmaeus Pygmy Cory 1.0 – 1.4″ bottom dwellers 69.8 – 78.8°F 6.4 – 7.4 2 – 15
Catfish Hara jerdoni Asian Stone Catfish 1.2 – 1.4″ 64.4 – 75.2°F 5.6 – 7.6 8 – 15
Catfish Otocinclus affinis Oto 1.6″ algae eater 71.6 – 77.0°F 6 – 7.2 5.6 – 11.2
Catfish Otocinclus cocama Zebra Oto 1.6 – 1.8″ algae eater 69.8 – 77.0°F 6 – 7.5 2 – 12
Characins Hyphessobrycon amandae Ember Tetra 0.8 – 1.0″ 68.0 – 82.4°F 5 – 7 1 – 10
Characins Hyphessobrycon haraldschultzi Crystal Red Tetra 1.0″ 68.0 – 82.4°F 5 – 7 1 – 10
Characins Nannostomus espei Barred Pencilfish, Espe’s Pencilfish 1.2 – 1.6″ males might nip each other’s fins 71.6 – 82.4°F 4 – 6.5 1 – 5
Characins Nannostomus unifasciatus One-lined Pencilfish 1.4 – 1.6″ 73.4 – 82.4°F 4 – 7 1 – 12
Characins Paracheirodon simulans False Neon Tetra, Green Neon Tetra 1.0 – 1.2″ 73.4 – 80.6°F 4 – 6.5 0 – 8
Characins Poecilocharax weitzmani Black Darter Tetra, Black morpho tetra 1.6″ males can be territorial to each other 69.8 – 82.4°F 3 – 6.5 0 – 5
Cichlids Neolamprologus multifasciatus Many Banded Shell-Dweller 1.6″(the smallest known cichlid) nano cichlid for a species-only tank 77.0 – 78.8°F 7.5 – 9 8 – 25
Cyprinids Barbus hulstaerti African Butterfly Barb 1.2 – 1.4″ 62.6 – 75.2°F 5 – 6.5 1 – 5
Cyprinids Boraras brigittae Mosquito Rasbora 0.8 – 1.0″ 68.0 – 82.4°F 4.0 – 7.0 1 – 10
Cyprinids Boraras urophthalmoides Least Rasbora 0.4 – 1,6″ 75.2 – 82.4°F 6 – 7 1 – 10
Cyprinids Brachydanio nigrofasciata Dwarf Spotted Danio 1.2 – 1.6″ 64.4 – 78.8°F 6.5 – 7 5 – 12
Cyprinids Brachydanio tinwini Gold Ring Danio 0.8 – 1.2″ 68.0 – 78.8°F 6.5 – 7.5 1 – 5
Cyprinids Celestichthys choprae Glowlight Danio 1.2 – 1.4″ 71.6 – 78.8°F 6 – 7 2 – 10
Cyprinids Celestichthys erythromicron Emerald Dwarf Rasbora 0.8″ 68.0 – 75.2°F 7 – 8 8 – 12
Cyprinids Danio margaritatus Celestial Pearl Danio 0.8″ 68.0 – 78.8°F 6.5 – 7.5 5 – 15
Cyprinids Danio rerio Zebra danio 2.0″ 71.6 – 80.6°F 6.5 – 7.5 12 – 14
Cyprinids Danio rerio var. frankei Leopard danio 2.0″ 73.4 – 80.6°F 6.8 – 7.2 5.6 – 11.2
Cyprinids Enteromius jae Jae Barb 1.4 – 1.6″ 62.6 – 75.2°F 5.0 – 6.5 1 – 5
Cyprinids Microdevario kubotai Neon yellow rasbora 0.6 – 0.8″ 68.0 – 80.6°F 6 – 7 1 – 10
Cyprinids Pethia gelius Golden barb, Canine barb 1.6″ 64.4 – 71.6°F 6 – 7 5 – 8
Cyprinids Puntius titteya Cherry barb 1.8″ 75.2 – 78.8°F 6.6 – 7 5.6 – 8.4
Cyprinids Sawbwa resplendens Rummy nose rasbora, Sawbwa barb 1.6″ 69.8 – 77.0°F 6.8 – 7.2 8.4 – 11.2
Cyprinids Tanichthys albonubes White cloud, Mountain minnow 1.6 – 2.0″ 75.2 – 82.4°F 6 – 8 2.8 – 8.4
Cyprinids Tanichthys micagemmae Vietnamese Minnow 0.8 – 1.2″ 64.4 – 73.4°F 6.5 – 7.5 2 – 8
Cyprinids Trigonostigma hengeli Hengel Rasbora, Glowlight rasbora 1.0 – 1.2″ 73.4 – 82.4°F 5 – 7 1 – 10
Invertebrates Geosesarma dennerle Purple Vampire Crab 0.8 – 1.2″ single-species terrarium, territorial 71.6 – 82.4°F 6.0 – 7.0 7 – 20
Invertebrates Neritina pulligera Military Helmet snail 1.2 – 1.4″ 71.6 – 82.4°F 7.0 – 8.5 5 – 25
Invertebrates Vittina waigiensis Red racer Nerite snail 0.8 – 1.2″ 71.6 – 87.8°F 6.5 – 8.0 10 – 25
Invertebrates Cambarellus patzcuarensis Orange Dwarf Crayfish 1.6″ only a little territorial crayfish 59.0 – 77.0°F 6.5 – 8 12 – 18
Invertebrates Caridina gracilirostris Red Nose Shrimp, Rhino Shrimp, Mosquito Shrimp 1.4 – 1.6″ 68.0 – 82.4°F 6.5 – 7.5 8 – 15
Invertebrates Macrobrachium lanchesteri Glass shrimp, Ghost shrimp male: 2.4 – 3.1″, female: 2.0 – 2.4″ aggressive shrimp, not suitable for community tanks 64.4 – 86.0°F 6.5 – 7.5 4 – 30
Invertebrates Perisesarma bidens Red Claw Crab, Red Crab, Thai Crab 2.0″ males can be territorial with each other 75.2 – 80.6°F 7.5 – 8.5 8 – 12
Killifish Aphyosemion australe Lyretail, Orange lyretail, Cape Lopez Lyretail 2.0″ 64.4 – 71.6°F 6.8 – 7 2.6 – 5.6
Killifish Aphyosemion bivittatum Twostripe lyretail 1.8 – 2.0″ 71.6 – 75.2°F 6 – 6.5 1 – 6
Killifish Aphyosemion striatum Red-Striped Killifish, Five-Banded Killifish 2.0 – 2.4″ 68.0 – 73.4°F 5.5 – 7 3 – 12
Killifish Austrolebias nigripinnis Blackfin Pearl Killifish, Dwarf Argentine Pearl 2.0 – 2.4″ aggressive males 60.8 – 71.6°F 5.5 – 6.7 1 – 8
Killifish Epiplatys annulatus Clown Killifish, Rocket Panchax, Banded panchax 1.6″ 75.2 – 78.8°F 5 – 7 2 – 12
Killifish Fundulopanchax gardneri Steel-blue Aphyosemion, Gardneri Killifish 2.0 – 2.4″ relatively aggressive 68.0 – 78.8°F 6 – 7 5 – 8
Killifish Fundulopanchax walkeri Walker’s Killifish 2.4″ species-only tank 68.0 – 73.4°F 6.0 – 7.0 5 – 12
Killifish Nothobranchius rachovii Bluefin Nothobranch 2.0 – 2.4″ species-only tank, males are aggressive toward each other 68.0 – 75.2°F 6 – 7.5 3 – 10
Labyrinth Betta brownorum Brown’s betta 1.2 – 2.0″ species-only tank 71.6 – 78.8°F 3.5 – 6 0 – 8
Labyrinth Betta channoides Snakehead betta 2.0 – 2.2″ species-only tank 75.2 – 82.4°F 5 – 6.5 0 – 5
Labyrinth Betta foerschi 2.0 – 2.8″ species-only tank 71.6 – 82.4°F 4 – 6 0 – 5
Labyrinth Betta imbellis Peaceful betta 2.0″ species-only tank, males are aggressive towards one another 77.0 – 86.0°F 6.8 – 7 7 – 10
Labyrinth Betta persephone Black dwarf betta 0.8 – 1.2″ aggressive Betta, species-only tank 73.4 – 82.4°F 4 – 6 0 – 10
Labyrinth Betta rubra Toba betta 1.2 – 2.0″ species-only tank 71.6 – 80.6°F 5 – 6.5 0 – 5
Labyrinth Parosphromenus nagyi Nagy’s Gourami 1.2 – 1.4″ 71.6 – 82.4°F 3 – 6.5 0 – 4
Labyrinth Trichogaster chuna Honey gourami 1.6″ males become aggressive at spawning times 75.2 – 78.8°F 6.5 – 7.2 5.6 – 8.4
Labyrinth Trichopsis pumila Sparkling Gourami 1.4 – 1.6″ males can be aggressive with each other 71.6 – 82.4°F 5 – 7.5 1 – 12
Livebearers Brachyrhaphis roseni Cardinal Brachy, Olomina male: 1.6″, female: 2.4″ species tank, aggressive 71.6 – 86.0°F 7.2 – 8 5 – 20
Livebearers Gambusia affinis Mosquitofish male: 1.4″, female: 2.4″ species tank, aggressive 69.8 – 78.8°F 6 – 8 4 – 19
Livebearers Girardinus falcatus Goldbelly topminnow male: 1.6″, female: 2.4 – 2.8″ 75.2 – 86.0°F 7 – 7.5 12 – 16
Livebearers Girardinus metallicus Metallic livebearer male: 1.2 – 1.6″, female: 2.8″ 73.4 – 80.6°F 6 – 8 8 – 20
Livebearers Phalloceros caudimaculatus Dusky millions fish, Leopardfish, One-spot Livebearer male: 1.0 – 1.2″, female: 2.0 – 2.4″ peaceful, may nip fins 68.0 – 75.2°F 7 – 8 10 – 20
Livebearers Poecilia parae Para molly male: 1.2″, female: 2.0″ surface dwellers 75.2 – 82.4°F 7 – 7.5 5 – 10
Livebearers Poecilia picta Swamp Guppy male: 1.2″, female: 2.0″ peaceful, agrressive males 78.8 – 82.4°F 7.5 – 8.2 20 – 40
Livebearers Poecilia reticulata Guppy, Millions fish male: 0.8 – 1.6″, female: 2.0 – 2.8″ 68.0 – 80.6°F 7 – 8.5 10 – 20
Livebearers Poecilia wingei Endler’s Livebearer, Endler male: 1.0″, female: 1.8″ 75.2 – 86.0°F 7.5 – 8 15 – 35
Livebearers Xiphophorus maculatus Platy, Topsail or Rainbow platy, Moonfish male: 1.2 – 2.0″, female: 1.6 – 2.4″ 75.2 – 82.4°F 7 – 8 10 – 20
Livebearers Xiphophorus pygmaeus Pygmy swordtail 1.6″ 75.2 – 82.4°F 7.2 – 7.8 5 – 18
Loaches Micronemacheilus cruciatus Vietnamese Multi Banded Zebra Loach, Hovering Zebra Loach 1.4″ 77.0 – 82.4°F 6 – 7 1 – 12
Loaches Pangio cuneovirgata 1.6 – 2.4″ 73.4 – 84.2°F 3.5 – 7 0 – 8
Other Dario dario Bengal dario, Scarlet badis male: 0.8″, female 1,3″ males can be aggressive with each other 64.4 – 78.8°F 6.5 – 8.5 3 – 15
Other Elassoma evergladei Everglades pigmy sunfish, Florida pigmy sunfish 1.2 – 1.4″ territorial 64.4 – 73.4°F 7 – 7.5 8 – 12
Other Carinotetraodon lorteti Redeye Puffer, Red Eye Puffer 2.4″ very aggressive and territorial 75.2 – 82.4°F 6 – 7.5 3 – 10
Other Carinotetraodon travancoricus Dwarf Puffer, Malabar puffer 1.0 – 1.2″ fin snipping, males can be very aggressive and territorial to each other 71.6 – 82.4°F 6.8 – 8 5 – 25
Other Chlamydogobius eremius Desert Goby 2.2 – 2.4″ species tank, males can be aggressive during spawning 50.0 – 95.0°F 7 – 8 9 – 19
Other Oryzias woworae Daisy’s Ricefish 1.0 – 1.2″ 73.4 – 80.6°F 6 – 7.5 5 – 15
Rainbowfish Pseudomugil gertrudae Spotted Blue-eye, Gertrude’s Blue-Eye 1.2″ 73.4 – 86.0°F 5.2 – 7.5 5 – 12
Rainbowfish Pseudomugil mellis Honey Blue-eye 1.2 – 1.6″ 75.2 – 82.4°F 6 – 7.5 5 – 12

Setup ideas for a 10-gallon aquarium

There are numerous options when it comes to setting up your tank and it is best to think about the outcome you’d like for your tank before starting to move things around.

Aquascaping is the art of using items within your aquariums, such as rocks, stones, wood, and plants, to create a landscape. There are a few common styles and we’ll cover some options for you.

Planted aquarium


If you have a planted aquarium then it is best to use the plants within and sculpt a natural aquascape. You can add rocks and wood, that you can plant on, and moss, etc. to create a stunning all-natural feeling within the tank.

How many plants can you keep in your 10-gallon tank? It’s nice and simple – you can keep as many plants as you can get in there as long as you leave some room for fish to swim around and have the correct lighting to care for the plants. Plants do require care, so too many can eat into your time and maintenance.

Fish-only aquarium


If you really don’t want greenery in your tank then you can create a scape using rock and wood. You can stack, build, and bury to create depth and texture. If you have ornamental decorations then use these also, tie everything in to create a visual work of art.

The key is matching your aquascaping to the fish you hold within. If you keep livebearers, provide lots of plants and cover for newborn babies to hide in to give them a chance of survival. If you keep loaches, they prefer caves and rocks.

Species-only tank


This kind of aquariums is for some species that are not suitable for community aquariums. They could be very timid or aggressive to keep with other species. They include Bettas, Gourami, Puffers, Dwarf Cichlids, Killies, Crabs, and Crayfish.

Shrimp tank


You can keep up to 50 shrimp in a 10-gallon tank. Shrimp do require space for them to hide in so the best option for aquascaping a shrimp tank will include natural or decorative caves, wood, and plants that allow for cover for the shrimp. Use the materials you have to hand to create natural caves, nooks, and crannies for them which then appear to be part of the landscape for a striking look.

Find the detailed page for shrimp here: https://portlandaquarium.net/freshwater-shrimp/

Coldwater tank (unheated)

There are so many species that you can choose for a 10-gallon coldwater tank. Following are some options:

To aquascape a cold-water tank you will need to use materials like wood, stone, ornaments as plants do not tend to do well without warmth. You can build up monuments and structures, bridges, and caves to create scenery that looks natural and realistic. Use different colors and textures to create the best scape.

Saltwater fish-only with live rock (FOWLR)


If you prefer to keep saltwater fish then there are several species you could keep in the nano saltwater tank. You can use live rock or decorations to make structures and natural-forming cave systems for your fish. Live rock is relatively easy to move around and to stack, making it an ideal choice to scape with.

Reef aquarium


You have so many options with a reef aquarium! Think of how a reef appears out in the oceans and try to recreate it in an aesthetically pleasing way. Use colors and shapes to make a natural-looking reef formation. Scatter things and make it look random, as it would in the wild.

Some hardy soft and LPS corals can thrive in such a nano reef tank. A small LED reef light unit perfectly fits the needs of a small reef. SPS corals are not suitable for small tanks as they are harder to care for and require stable aquarium conditions to survive.

We enjoy keeping fish, and have for many years. We are trying to promote the hobby as much as possible. We want to see many others succeed in their fish keeping efforts and are committed to sharing our knowledge when we can.

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