10 gallon fish tanks are small, compact fish tanks that are ideal for aquarists who want to raise small fish or invertebrates, and for homes with limited available space.
Different types of 10 gallon fish tanks include customizable empty tanks and starter kit tanks containing filters, heaters, and decorations. The typical dimensions of a 10 gallon fish tank are 20 x 10 x 12 inches.
Many 10 gallon fish tanks are good for beginners because they’re often sold as starter kits that include the necessary items to maintain the tank and keep the fish and other tank mates healthy.
Best 10 Gallon Fish Tanks Reviewed
|GloFish Aquarium Fish Kit Tank||GloFish||10-gallon glass tank, blue and white LED lights, fluorescent plants, heater and thermometer, power filter||Check Price|
|Tetra Glass Aquarium 10 Gallons||Customizing||10-gallon glass tank||Check Price|
|Aqueon Aquarium Fish Tank Starter Kit with LED Lighting 10 Gallon Fish Tank||Beginners||10-gallon glass tank, LED lighting, filter, submersible preset heater, water conditioner sample, fish food sample, thermometer, fishnet, setup guide||Check Price|
|Aqua Culture 10 Gallon Aquarium Starter Kit with LED||Small Budgets||10-gallon glass tank, low-profile hood, LED lighting, internal filter, integrated cutouts for feeding, tetra food and water care samples||Check Price|
|Aqueon NeoGlow LED Aquarium Kit Orange 10||Children||10-gallon glass tank, an LED hood, a heater and thermometer, a power filter and filter cartridge, water conditioner and fish food samples, a fish net, a setup guide, decorative plants, multi-colored gravel, black backing||Check Price|
|Marina LED Aquarium Kit, 10 gallon||Planted aquariums||10-gallon glass tank, clip-on filter with quick-change filter cartridges, long-lasting LED lights, fish food, water conditioner, biological supplement samples, fishnet, care guide||Check Price|
This tank is best for fish that have been genetically engineered to glow in LED lighting, like GloFish danios and GloFish tiger barbs.
Maintaining the tank is fairly easy — just replace the filter once a month, do regular 25% water changes, and use a water siphon to clean the decor.
- Easy to set up
- Quiet pump
- Affordable price
- Tank lid is flimsy
- Doesn’t include a thermometer, air pump, or decorations
This 20 x 10 x 12-inch tank is easy to maintain and clean, with no built-in or non-removable parts.
The Tetra Glass Aquarium is intended for tetras, but it can house any small or nano fish species that are suitably sized for a 10-gallon tank.
- Comes with no add-ons, so you can choose your own
- Affordable price
- Easy to clean
- Often more expensive to buy separate equipment than buying an all-in-one kit
- Doesn’t come with a lid
Substrate, plants, and decorations aren’t included.
The filter and heater in the kit ensure the tank’s water remains clean and consistently at 78°F, ideal conditions for most small tropical fish.
Maintenance is simple thanks to the powerful filter, which has a flashing LED light that indicates when it’s time to change the cartridge.
- Good filter flow
- Saves money with an all-in-one package
- Food and water conditioner samples are useful extras
- Heater is preset and not adjustable
- Tank lights aren’t waterproof
This kit costs less than $50 and comes with almost everything needed to get started with a home aquarium (you just need to buy decorations, plants, and substrate).
The tank dimensions are 20 x 10 x 12 inches.
This 10-gallon aquarium kit has a quiet, powerful filter and bright tank lighting. Maintenance and cleaning are easy due to the tank’s compact size and a good filter.
- Bright tank lighting
- Ideal low-cost kit for beginners
- Quiet, powerful filter
- Some customers experienced a leaking seal
- Doesn’t include a heater
The Marina LED Aquarium Kit features a bright LED daylight-effect light incorporated into the aquarium canopy, making it ideal for people who want to set up a planted aquarium.
The dimensions of this 10-gallon tank are 12.91 x 10.24 x 20.2 inches.
This kit includes a clip-on filter with quick-change filter cartridges, samples of fish food, a water conditioner, biological supplements, a fish net, and a care guide.
Fishkeepers will need to purchase their own water heater, substrate, and decorations alongside this kit. Cleaning the Marina LED Aquarium Kit is easy, but the filters are small and need to be replaced frequently.
- Powerful LED light ideal for growing aquatic plants
- Easy to assemble
- A good starter kit for beginners
- Doesn’t include a water heater
- Filters need replacing regularly
The green LED lighting in the tank causes albino fish and pale-colored fish to glow and brings out the neon coloration of GloFish.
The kit includes everything required to get started straight away, including a 10-gallon glass tank, an LED hood, a heater and thermometer, a power filter and filter cartridge, a water conditioner, fish food samples, a fish net, a setup guide, decorative plants, multi-colored gravel, and black backing.
Cleaning the tank is easy — just conduct regular water changes and replace the filter every few months.
- Easy to maintain
- Colorful and exciting to look at
- Includes artificial plants and gravel
- Heater is poor-quality
- Not enough gravel to cover the bottom of the tank
Best Fish to Keep in a 10 Gallon Tank (& How Many)
Great fish for 10 gallon fish tanks include:
- Celestial pearl danios: Up to 10 males and females
- Neon tetras: Up to 10 males and females
- Guppies: 5–10 males and females with a ratio of one male to two females
- Dwarf gouramis: Up to three males and females
- Betta fish: A single male or up to five females
- Pygmy corydoras: 8–12 males and females
- Golden dwarf barbs: Up to 10 males and females
- White cloud minnows: Up to six males and females
Standout fish species for 10-gallon tanks are neon tetras because they’re affordable, peaceful, and widely available. The Betta fish is also a popular choice because of their unique look and flowing fins.
Good non-aquatic species for 10-gallon fish tanks include:
- Cleaner shrimp: Two males or females
- Sexy anemone shrimp: 6–10 males and females
- Peppermint shrimp: Two males or females
- Hermit crabs: Up to two males or females
- Nerite snails: Up to two males or females
- Clams: One mid-sized clam
Equipment Needed to Set up a 10 Gallon Aquarium
To maintain a 10-gallon tank and keep the aquatic species in the tank healthy, you need good lighting, filtration and heating, substrate and decorations, plants, stands, and lids.
Plants & Decorations
Plants and decorations are important for fish tanks because they replicate the fish’s habitat in the wild, providing places for fish to hide, explore, and claim their own territories.
Plants and decorations improve the tank’s appearance. Live plants produce oxygen and absorb some of the unwanted nitrates, ammonia, and carbon dioxide in the water.
Good plants for a 10-gallon fish tank are Anubis, java fern, and java moss. Artificial plants are a low-hassle alternative to live plants, and also help to replicate the fish’s natural habitat — but unlike live plants, they don’t oxygenate the water or absorb carbon dioxide or ammonia.
Good decorations for a fish tank are caves, rocks, driftwood, and novelty decorations like miniature shipwrecks.
Lighting is necessary for any fish tank to mimic the day-to-night cycle that fish experience in nature.
Fish should receive at least 10 hours of daylight and at least 10 hours of complete darkness in the tank. Switching off the lights overnight reduces stress and helps the fish sleep.
Special tank lighting isn’t essential if your fish tank is located in a room that gets plenty of natural light. However, if your aquarium contains plants, a standard fluorescent bulb on the underside of the lid will allow for healthier, quicker plant growth than natural light from a window.
Ensure the tank isn’t placed in direct sunlight, which will heat up the water and encourage algae growth.
Sandy or pebbly substrate mimics the riverbed in the wild and offers a place for bottom-dwelling fish to dig, forage for food, and sleep.
Substrate also improves the appearance of the aquarium and reduces reflections in the tank, preventing the fish from becoming stressed.
The best type of substrate for a fish tank is a non-abrasive, lightweight, natural-looking substrate, like gravel. Gravel is available in a variety of finishes and colors and suits multiple types of tank setups.
Filtration and Heating
Most 10-gallon fish tank kits include filters and heaters, but if not, you’ll need to buy a filter and heater before setting up your tank.
Filters and heaters are essential for maintaining clean, temperature-regulated tank conditions.
Without a filter and heater, the water temperature and parameters won’t be stable, increasing the risk of stress and disease in your fish.
Good filter types for a 10-gallon fish tank are sponge filters and power filters.
Stands and Lids
Aquarium stands aren’t essential, but they’re useful.
Stands offer built-in space beneath the tank to store accessory items and conceal equipment, and they’re built to withstand the weight of a tank, so there’s no risk of collapse.
Lids are necessary for all fish tanks because they prevent dust and debris in the air from getting into the water and stop fish from jumping out of the tank.
A 20-inch lid fits most 10-gallon aquarium tanks. Many starter tanks come with an included lid, and some tanks are built onto a stand, helping you save money with an all-in-one purchase.
How to Choose a 10 Gallon Fish Tank
To choose a 10-gallon fish tank, consider your budget, the tank’s construction materials and quality, and your available space.
Construction Materials & Quality
Glass and acrylic (a clear plastic) are the two most common materials for fish tanks.
Glass is cheaper, sturdier, and easier to maintain than acrylic, which is more prone to scratching. However, glass is heavier than acrylic, comes in limited shapes, and is less resistant to impact than acrylic.
There are several factors affecting the price of a 10-gallon tank, including the tank’s design materials and whether the tank features built-in equipment, like heaters, stands, lids, and filters.
If your budget is small, glass fish tanks are the best choice for you. Buying cheap filters and heaters isn’t recommended because this equipment is essential to keeping your fish alive, and needs to be high-quality.
The space you have in your home will determine the shape of the tank you buy and the size of the tank stand.
Your home or apartment should have space to house your tank away from direct sunlight, radiators, doors, or fireplaces.
If space in your home is limited, look for a tall tank with more vertical than horizontal space.
The shape of your fish tank affects the water’s depth and surface area. Tall, slim tanks have greater depth, but short, wide tanks have more surface area, which improves gas exchange and keeps the water oxygenated.
If you have plenty of space available, consider the type of tank your fish would prefer. Fish that dwell in a single section of the tank, such as bottom-dwelling fish, prefer more horizontal space than fish that swim in all sections of the tank.
Is a 10 Gallon Fish Tank the Right Size for Your Aquarium?
A 10-gallon tank suits you better than a 5-gallon tank if you’re planning to buy a school of 5 to 10 small fish.
A 10-gallon tank is a better choice than a 15-gallon tank if you plan to buy nano fish and you want to invest in a small, compact starter tank.
Don’t get a 10-gallon tank if you want to buy large or territorial fish that need lots of available swimming space.
10-gallon fish tanks are affordable, varied in size and shape, and easy to clean, making them ideal tanks for beginner aquarists who want to get started in fishkeeping with a school of small fish.
10 Gallon Fish Tank FAQs
How Many Fish Can you Keep in a 10 Gallon Tank?
You can keep up to 10 fish in a 10-gallon tank, depending on the size of the fish and how much waste they produce.
Nano fish species, like neon tetras and celestial pearl danios, can be housed in groups of up to 10. Fast-swimming, territorial, or medium-sized fish, like betta fish and dwarf gouramis, can be housed in groups of two to five.
How Much Does a 10 Gallon Fish Tank Weigh?
A glass 10-gallon fish tank weighs between 90 and 110 pounds? with water alone, and up to 120 pounds? with water and gravel substrate.
Factors affecting the weight of a 10-gallon fish tank include the thickness of the glass, the lid material, and the weight of added decorations, filters, and other tank equipment.
What Big Fish Can Live in a 10 Gallon Tank?
The biggest fish that can be housed in a 10-gallon tank is single dwarf gourami. Big fish species can’t live in 10-gallon tanks because these tanks don’t offer enough swimming space for large fish species, creating a stressful environment and increasing the risk of conflict amongst tank mates.
If you want to house big fish, you need at least a 40-gallon tank. A good rule is to use one gallon of water for every inch of each fish.
How to Clean a 10 Gallon Fish Tank?
To clean a 10-gallon fish tank, scrub the inside tank walls and surfaces with an algae pad, change 25%–50% of the water each week, change the filter as recommended by the manufacturer, and use a gravel vacuum to suck up fish waste and leftover food.
Aim to clean the tank about once every two weeks, or more frequently if your fish produce a lot of waste. To reduce the need to clean algae, buy algae-eating fish or invertebrates, such as guppies and nerite snails.
Do you Need a Filter for a 10 Gallon Fish Tank?
Yes, a 10-gallon fish tank requires a filter with a flow rate of at least 40 GPH (gallons per hour). Filters are essential for cleaning and oxygenating water in fish tanks of all sizes.
Without a proper filtration system, debris, leftover food, waste, and toxic ammonia and nitrates will build up in the water, increasing the risk of health issues with your fish.
When buying a fish, ask the seller to recommend a filter based on your fish’s size and waste production.
Does a 10 Gallon Tank Need an Air Pump?
No, an air pump isn’t usually necessary for a 10-gallon tank, as long as the tank contains a powerful filter.
Filters provide enough aeration without the need for an additional air pump, and air pumps can aggravate fish species that prefer still water, such as bettas.
However, adding an air pump to the tank provides additional oxygen for the fish to breathe, so it’ll only have positive effects on your fish should you choose to add one.