6 Best 10 Gallon Fish Tanks & Aquariums

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
GloFish10-gallon glass tank, blue and white LED lights, fluorescent plants, heater and thermometer, power filterCheck Price
Tetra Glass Aquarium 10 Gallons
Customizing10-gallon glass tankCheck Price
Aqueon Aquarium Fish Tank Starter Kit with LED Lighting 10 Gallon Fish Tank
Beginners10-gallon glass tank, LED lighting, filter, submersible preset heater, water conditioner sample, fish food sample, thermometer, fishnet, setup guideCheck Price
Aqua Culture 10 Gallon Aquarium Starter Kit with LED
Small Budgets10-gallon glass tank, low-profile hood, LED lighting, internal filter, integrated cutouts for feeding, tetra food and water care samplesCheck Price
Aqueon NeoGlow LED Aquarium Kit Orange 10
Children10-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 backingCheck Price
Marina LED Aquarium Kit, 10 gallon
Planted aquariums10-gallon glass tank, clip-on filter with quick-change filter cartridges, long-lasting LED lights, fish food, water conditioner, biological supplement samples, fishnet, care guideCheck Price

GloFish Aquarium Kit Fish Tank: Best For Keeping GloFish

The GloFish Aquarium Fish Kit Tank measures 23.69 x 13.44 x 19.88 inches and includes blue and white LED lights, fluorescent plants, a power filter, an aquarium heater and thermometer, fish food, and a water conditioner sample.

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.

PROS

  • Easy to set up
  • Quiet pump
  • Affordable price

CONS

  • Tank lid is flimsy
  • Doesn’t include a thermometer, air pump, or decorations

Tetra Glass Aquarium 10 Gallons: Best For Customizing

If you prefer to customize your 10-gallon fish tank with separate filters, heating, and decorations of your choice, the Tetra Glass Aquarium 10 Gallons is a good choice.

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.

PROS

  • Comes with no add-ons, so you can choose your own
  • Affordable price
  • Easy to clean

CONS

  • Often more expensive to buy separate equipment than buying an all-in-one kit
  • Doesn’t come with a lid

Aqueon Aquarium Fish Tank Starter Kit with LED Lighting 10 Gallon Fish Tank: Best for Beginners

The Aqueon Aquarium 10 Gallon Fish Tank is the ideal complete starter kit for beginner aquarists. This tank measures 20.25 x 10.5 x 13.31 inches and comes with almost everything needed for a tropical home aquarium, including a filter, a preset water heater, a net, and food and water conditioner samples.

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.

PROS

  • Good filter flow
  • Saves money with an all-in-one package
  • Food and water conditioner samples are useful extras

CONS

  • Heater is preset and not adjustable
  • Tank lights aren’t waterproof

Aqua Culture 10 Gallon Aquarium Starter Kit with LED: Best 10 Gallon Kit for Small Budgets

The Aqua Culture 10 Gallon Aquarium Starter Kit is an affordable aquarium starter kit that’s ideal for small budgets.

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.

PROS

  • Bright tank lighting
  • Ideal low-cost kit for beginners
  • Quiet, powerful filter

CONS

  • Some customers experienced a leaking seal
  • Doesn’t include a heater

Marina LED Aquarium Kit, 10 Gallon: Best for Planted Aquariums


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.

PROS

  • Powerful LED light ideal for growing aquatic plants
  • Easy to assemble
  • A good starter kit for beginners

CONS

  • Doesn’t include a water heater
  • Filters need replacing regularly

Aqueon NeoGlow LED Aquarium Kit: Best for Children

Children will love the bright neon colors of the Aqueon NeoGlow LED Aquarium Kit. This aquarium measures 19.75 x 12.25 x 16.75 inches and is easy for children to maintain with adult supervision.

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.

PROS

  • Easy to maintain
  • Colorful and exciting to look at
  • Includes artificial plants and gravel

CONS

  • 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)

 

Neon Tetra

Great fish for 10 gallon fish tanks include:

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

10 Gallon Tank

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

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.

Substrate

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.

Price

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.

Space Available

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.

Tank Shape

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.

About Robert 468 Articles
Robert Woods is the creator of FishKeeping World, a third-generation fish keeper, and a graduate in animal welfare and behavior. He is also a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Marine Aquarium Societies of North America, and the Nature Conservancy.

16 Comments

  1. Paul Walter says:

    I am re-entering the hobby, and started with a 10 gal “starter” kit. Its been cycling for 4 weeks now. My wife is new to the hobby, and I got over anxious and put 3 guppies and a mystery snail in before I should have, and we lost one of the guppies. I have many years of experience, just not real recent, and I knew better, but wanted to impress her. Things are doing better now, the fish seem healthy and happy, and I’m looking forward to stocking my new tank.

  2. Brittany says:

    I am concerned about properly cycling the used 20 gallon I’ll be getting. I am also getting used equipment (filter, heater, thermometer, lights, gravel). What steps should I take to ensure I am adding fish to a safe environment? I am considering one of two stocking options:
    1- Albino Bristlenose Pleco, a male Betta, and a handful of Neon Tetras
    2-Albino Bristlenose Pleco, Goldfish

    • Fishkeeping World says:

      Hi Brittany, you can clean the used tank with distilled vinegar and rinse it off with hot water. I’d rinse all the equipment under boiling water and it will be fine. A 20 gallon tank is the bare minimum tank size for a goldfish so you might just get away with option two. Thanks, Robert

    • Shelley says:

      Brittany,
      We tried 3 neon tetras and a pleco with our male betta and the betta killed all of the other fish. Goodluck! Hopefully the betta you pick doesn’t eat his friends.

    • Alicia says:

      Hey Brittany! The betta option might work out better for you. Be careful with the betta however, it can potentially kill the other fish. I have a betta with an albino bristle nose and other than some attempted intimidation, they get along just fine. Add some plants and caves for the bristle nose and the tetras to provide them with some hiding places in case the betta picks on them. Also, if you can’t do life plants use silk ones to avoid tearing your bettas fins ☺️

    • Susan says:

      Hi there, I got a bunch of used stuff with a 20 gallon tank also. I read every fishkeeping article I could find and then followed the instructions. I cycled my tank for 6 weeks and tested weekly. Then I added 1 whitecloud and watched him for a week. All was well so I slowly added 2 more, a drawf plec, neon tetras, 2 peppered cory cats, and some black skirts. I have lots of plastic and live plants.
      I do 10% water changes every week or two.
      Goldfish have a lot more waste and different water than tropical fish do and I would prefer your 1 choice! You will do great, enjoy!

  3. Christina S. says:

    I started the hobby recently with a 10 gallon. Everything was great until i changed the water too fast and killed all of my fish overnight. I waited a few days, did a ton of research and restocked the tank. I currently have a 10 gallon planted tank with one half moon betta , 6 pygmy cortadoras , 4 gold neon tetras and 3 harlequin rasboras. I also have 1 mystery snail and 1 ghost shrimp. Everyone is happy. Have done successful water changes as well. Im also currently cycling another 10 gallon and i think i mill move the neon tetras to that one. Not sure what else I will stock it with 🙂 It is probably less work to have a bigger tank, but this has kept me busy during my seasonal depression and im really quite enjoying getting to learn all of the new things. Also, Brittany, I did do quite a bit of research regarding bettas and read that it is important to introduce the betta to an already established community. If you got the betta first, he might have just gone on defence mode. ( im not claiming this as a fact, im no expert)

  4. Amanda says:

    I’m currently in the process of cycling my 10g tank and am pondering which fish to put in it. I’ve ready so many different thing about how many fish you can put into a 10g tank. Snt recommendations would be awesome. Were i live we only have a petland so kind of limited to what I have available to me.

  5. Dan LaPine says:

    I’m experiencing cloudy water right after I change the water in my 10 gallon tank.I have three 1.5″ goldfish and five white clouds, all less than 1″, and one 8″ live plant and a medium lava rock. Any advice?

    • Fishkeeping World says:

      Hi Dan, this tank is much too small for all those fish. For now, they’ll need to be in at least a 20 gallon tank, and eventually they’ll need a minimum 50 gallon tank. How long does the water stay cloudy after a change? Thanks, Robert

  6. Parker says:

    Hi there, I currently have a betta in a one gallon bowl, but I feel very strongly that my poor boy is bored, so I’m thinking of upgrading to the 10 gallon and adding some tetras. Any advice on the best way to introduce my betta into a community? I could also use some info on live plants in the aquarium because I would really rather have live plants than fill the whole tank with fake ones. Thanks.

  7. Amy p says:

    My first tank was a 6.5 gallon I added two many fish and didn’t know what cycling was so I added three danios a cory two tetras and an algae eater the next day after set up and about a week later a Betta. 8 months later I still have one tetra a danio the beta and the Cory and they’re doing fine. I moved them to a ten gallon and the other tetra died soon after the move. just did my first serious water change yesterday and they’ve adjusted well. Every fish I’ve added since the beginning has died including a loach and another Cory. I’m hoping to add another fish today and plan to do better about my maintenance in the future. I feel really bad about the ones that died because it was my fault for not doing the research and I’m lucky any of my fish made it. I’m really attached now especially to the tetra and beta and I learned alot even if it was the hard way. I started another tank in the 6.5 gallon, a planted one and let it cycle for about a month before adding fish. Then I added two guppies a Betta and an amano shrimp and stopped while I was ahead. I’m thinking about another guppy because the two I have aggravate each other. Otherwise they’re all doing great because I know alot more about what im doing and I’m proud of my little community tanks. They really aren’t easy and if I knew what I know now I definitely would have started with a 20 gallon and maybe I’d still have most of those poor fish. The live plants make a difference too the Betta and shrimp love them and I do too I’m just confused on the co2 requirements. I’m glad I didn’t give up and plan to start a 15 gallon tank soon and can’t wait.

  8. Devaansh Bahrani says:

    Any Ideas for a nice decor?

  9. Devaansh Bahrani says:

    Any Ideas for a nice decor in a aquarium?

  10. Kerey fuller says:

    Hi Robert, I am wondering if 78 ° is too warm for a cold water 10 gallon fish tank? I bought a tank 3 weeks ago, let it sit for 1 week and then got 2 black-skirted tetras(?), This week i got 4 neons and 2 tiny angel fish. The guy at Petco said they all would get along. Is that true? Tonight i found 2 dead neons and one is missing. I’m depressed. I have water conditioner and living plants (2). Have i done something wrong? There were 2 dead tetras in the fish tank at the store . Thank you

  11. Bella Smith says:

    Hi there. I’m looking for a lovely fish tank for my little girl and I’m going to stock betta only. What kind of fish tank should I buy?

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