Most beginner aquarists start their journey with a 10-gallon tank. As one of the most popular tank sizes, it’s ideal if you are looking for a budget-friendly tank or have limited space in your home or office.
While the size is small, there are plenty of stocking options for your 10-gallon aquarium. If you are unsure about which type of fish to go for, this list will guide you on the fish species that are small enough to live happily in this tank.
Commonly known as fancy guppies, these fish species come in various colors and breeds that make them fun to watch. They don’t grow above 2.5 inches on average, making them ideal for a 10-gallon tank. You can keep about 5-10 guppies in this tank size.
However, you need to know that they reproduce rapidly, so separating the males and females might be advisable to prevent overstocking your tank. Guppies are generally peaceful; therefore, you should be careful when choosing tank mates. If you can, it’s better to stock them with fellow guppies.
The other alternative for your 10-gallon tank is the Betta fish species. Bettas are known for their aesthetically pleasing patterns and colors. Although they are easy to care for, they should be kept singularly in the tank due to their semi-aggressive nature.
Additionally, you should not stock your Betta fish with other species that look like them. For instance, fancy guppies have flowing fins like male bettas; therefore, the bettas might become aggressive. Female Bettas can be kept in community tanks, but they need to be watched closely for any aggressive behaviors.
Ember Tetras are also ideal for a small tank because they grow to a maximum length of about 0.8 inches. These Tetras have an attractive red-orange color that will light up your fish tank.
Like other Tetras, they are schooling fish, so you should keep about 6 of them in a 10-gallon tank. They survive well with other community fish like platys and guppies. If you are going to keep Ember Tetras, they prefer to be in densely planted tanks with lots of driftwood to mimic their natural environment.
Mollies share multiple characteristics with Guppies. They prefer to be in a group and breed very quickly, so you need to take precautions to prevent overstocking. However, they are different from guppies because they grow bigger. Because of this, a 10-gallon tank can only take 2-3 mollies.
These schooling fish are active swimmers; therefore, they might need more space than a 10-gallon tank after a while. If you want to add more mollies, you’ll need to upgrade to a 20-30 gallon tank.
Neon Tetras are a popular freshwater fish perfect for a 10-gallon tank. Known for their vibrant white, blue, and red coloration, Neon Tetras, are active and peaceful. They prefer to live in a tank with many plants, driftwood, and rocks, just like their natural environment.
These fish species don’t grow past 1.5 inches, so you won’t have problems stocking them in a small aquarium. Since they are peaceful, they make great tankmates and thrive best in schools.
Golden Dwarf Barbs
The Golden Dwarf Barb is a good choice for your 10-gallon tank because it grows to about 1.5 inches. This fish species lives in groups; therefore, you should keep them in a minimum group of five and a maximum of 10.
This fish is a good addition to your aquarium thanks to the beautiful golden-yellow color and black markings. Ensure that you keep them in a tank that’s well planted with a mixture of driftwood.
Another good option for your 10-gallon tank is the Dwarf Gourami. As the smallest gourami type, these brightly-colored aquarium fish are ideal for a small tank. Dwarf Gouramis are kept in pairs or small groups of three.
They are considered semi-aggressive, so it’s possible to have issues if one decides to pick on the other. Ensure that you include lots of decorations and hiding spots in your tank just in case one of them becomes dominant.
Chili Rasboras are tiny, brightly colored fish species that grow to about 0.5 inches. Because of their size, they do well in a 10-gallon tank. You can either stock them on their own or with other community fish.
Additionally, they are schooling fish and peaceful, which means you can keep as many as 15-20 in a tank this small. However, you need to ensure that the tank has great filtration. Chili Rasboras are easy to find, making them quite popular.
Celestial Pearl Danios
Another good nano fish for a 10-gallon aquarium is the Celestial Pearl Danio. This fish species only grows to one inch, so you don’t have to worry about stocking it with other varieties.
You can keep a minimum of six and a maximum of 10 Celestial Pearl Danios in one tank. If you decide to keep 10, they should all be the same species. However, if they are fewer, you could add another peaceful species like Cherry Shrimp.
These tropical fish grow to a maximum size of 1.2 inches. They have a metallic silver color and a horizontal black line that runs from their snout to their tail. Since they are passive, you can keep them in groups of at least 6.
Pygmy Corydoras can survive with other tiny tankmates such as Tetras and Rasboras. Ensure their aquarium has a lot of plants and hiding spots. You can also effect partial water changes because they are sensitive to high nitrate levels.
If you have a 10-gallon tank, you can keep different fish species. Before stocking different varieties together, do proper research to determine whether they can co-exist. In addition, keep in mind that for some of the species, you can only have about two of them in a tank this size, while others can be as many as 10, depending on their size and behavior.