10 Gallon Fish Tank (Best Fish, Setup Ideas, Equipment and More)

One of one of the most popular aquarium tanks for folks to purchase is actually a 10-gallon aquarium.

The tiny dimension creates it suited for tons of houses, whether you perform a budget plan, or even searching for a tiny tank as an overview to fish maintaining.

These are actually frequently industried as novice storage tanks due to the fact that they are actually low-cost and frequently included an assortment of various other equipment you need to have to receive the fish tank up and managing.

This quick guide will definitely stroll you with whatever you need to have to learn about 10-gallon storage tanks, coming from determining whether to receive one, to establishing it up, to choosing your fish.

Get Your Exclusive Bonus: Download the 10 Gallon Fish Tank Guide which speaks you with whatever there is actually to learn about this tank dimension.

All About the 10 Gallon Fish Tank

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1. AQUEON 100527379 Ascent Frameless Led Aquarium Kit

  • Low account slim bonnet.
  • Complete established for a cool water tank.
  • Powerful however peaceful heating unit.
  • Good premium tank.
  • Cut-outs permit quick and easy eating and filter ink cartridge adjustments.
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2. Penn-Plax Curved Corner Aquarium Kit

  • Beautiful fish tank along with a straightforward however smooth layout.
  • It includes a floor covering to lessen anxiety on jagged areas.
  • Great premium filter along with pair of adjustable enclosures.
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3. Aqueon Desktop Jukebox Kit

  • Aqueon Desktop Jukebox Kit, 5 gallon
  • Unique 5 gallon glass fish tank participates in view and noise
  • Connect and listen closely to your ipod or even smart device
  • QuietFlow Power purification are going to maintain your fish healthy and balanced
  • With fee water hair conditioner and fish food items example
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4. Boutique Betta Rimless Low Iron Glass Aquarium Tank

  • twenty x twenty x twenty centimeters dice tank
  • Glass fullness 5mm
  • Standard 90° jointed joints
  • Low iron visual level glass
  • 2.1 Gal. Capacity Rimless Aquarium
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When considering what is actually readily available on the market place, 10 gallon storage tanks are actually instead tiny.

Tanks of this particular dimension will definitely differ in measurements depending upon the design of the tank yet usually anticipate around twenty†x 10†x 12â€.

While around 11 extra pounds when unfilled, they can easily rise to 110 extra pounds when water is actually included. This variety will definitely raise even more depending upon the designs and fish you pick to always keep.

10 gallon storage tanks been available in pair of popular ranges, glass or even acrylic (much more on this later).

These storage tanks are actually typically industried at amateurs given that they frequently happen as portion of a package that consists of whatever you need to have to put together a tank, including filters and illuminations.

They are actually additionally used at a reduced cost. This permits newbies to attempt their palm at fishkeeping without investing tons of amount of money.

While this is actually a wonderfully authentic explanation for obtaining a tank this dimension, be actually advised that the low tide quantities create it hard to keep water premium with time, contrasted to much larger storage tanks.

Consequently, tiny storage tanks need to have to become kept an eye on and washed much more often, thus paradoxically ‘beginner tanks’ are actually certainly not consistently finest fit for amateurs.

The Best 10 Gallon Tanks

Most Affordable Starter Kit: Aqua Culture 10-Gallon Aquarium

Best 10 Gallon Aquarium Starter Kit
Best 10 Gallon Aquarium Starter Kit

This aquarium is actually perfect for those that are actually brand-new to the leisure activity and prefer a full starter package.

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This 10-gallon aquarium is perfect for beginners who want to start keeping fish. It is ideal for either a child’s first tank or a first-time hobby tank.

If you are looking for a complete kit, this set is great. It includes an internal Tetra filter, a low profile hood, and energy-efficient LEDs to mimic the natural sunlight for your fish.

This kit also comes with a TetraCare guidance booklet, where you’ll find plenty of advice to ensure you are doing everything correctly with your fish tank.

  • Low profile slim hood.
  • Complete set up for a cold water tank.
  • Powerful yet quiet heater.
  • Good quality tank.
  • Cut-outs allow easy feeding and filter cartridge changes.
  • Lighting can be quite bright.
  • You will need a heater if you want a tropical setup.
  • Lid isn’t hinged, so you have to remove it to clean the tank.

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Premium Starter Kit: Penn Plax Curved Corner Aquarium

Quality and Unique 10 Gallon Aquarium Kit
Quality and Unique 10 Gallon Aquarium Kit

This smooth layout is actually ideal to suit the modern-day house and permits you to observe the fish coming from all slants.

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This package is actually a great high quality fee established that is actually produced along with the greatest quality glass to make sure toughness and life expectancy.

It happens comprehensive along with a waterfall interior filter, LED illumination, floor covering and a pivoted plastic top. The LED lighting fixtures could be installed anywhere along the rear of the tank to brighten the fish tank.

This one-of-a-kind fish tank is actually frameless and smooth, and that mixed along with the design of the glass indicates that you can easily see the fish totally unblocked, consisting of from scratch.

This fish tank evaluates 12.5 x 11.5 x 17.75 ins and is actually ideal for a huge range of fish.

  • Beautiful fish tank along with a straightforward however smooth layout.
  • It includes a floor covering to lessen anxiety on jagged areas.
  • Great premium filter along with pair of adjustable enclosures.
  • The light includes one more 4 ins to the elevation.
  • No on/off change for the illumination, you must switch it off at the connect.
  • You can’t open up the top without relocating the illumination.

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Most Affordable: Aqua Culture 10 Gallon Aquarium

Quality Starter 10 Gallon Aquarium
Quality Starter 10 Gallon Aquarium

This is actually the perfect 10 gallon tank to include your personal equipment also, appropriate for each amateurs and specialists identical.

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This 10 gallon tank is an ideal tank for those who are looking to add their own equipment and design a setup from scratch.

Perhaps you are an experienced fish keeper who knows exactly which heater and filter you want to use.

This quality tank is made with a high-quality sealant which creates a watertight seal to avoid any leaks.

This tank is 20 x 12 x 10 inches which makes it an ideal size and is a quality durable tank.

  • Solid and sturdy tank.
  • Completely adaptable so you can add your own equipment.
  • Excellent affordable tank.
  • It can be used for fish keeping and other things such as keeping reptiles.
  • The seal can be a little messy.
  • It doesn’t get posted with much packaging or protection.
  • You will need to find a hood that fits this tank.

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Best Tank Only: All Glass Aquarium

There is actually a range of different filters. If you only intend to keep a few fish then a plastic, the in-tank filter will be sufficient.

If you want to fill the tank to its biological capacity, then a small power filter would be more suitable.

Each brand will offer a range of these power filters, look out for which one is recommended for the tank size.

Though they are more expensive than other equipment (you can expect to pay $20-$30 for a reasonable filter) if there is any component worth investing in, it is the filter.


Heaters are less likely to be included in a starter set since they are only required for tropical or marine setups.

If these are the setups that you desire, then you will have to purchase a heater separately.

There is less of a variety in heater design compared to filters; they all tend to work in the same way, setting temperature by turning a dial.

The only thing to look out for is the size of the heater; the larger the tank, the larger the heater.

The recommended tank size for each heater should be indicated on the packaging.

We recommend buying a thermometer if one is not provided. Placing a thermometer at the opposite side to your heater allows you to check that the whole tank is being kept at the desired temperature.


As always when setting up an aquarium, you should already have decided which fish and plants you are going to add to it before you set it up.

This is important because different fish and plants will prefer different light intensities.

Many tanks will come with a light source in the hood of the aquarium, but you need to check that it is of a suitable intensity for your fish. If it is not, then you may have to buy an additional bulb to swap it out with.

Other Equipment

One factor that is often overlooked when setting up a new tank is where to place it.

While a stand designed specifically for your tank is not a necessity, you need to ensure that the surface you plan to place your tank on can comfortably support its weight.

People often decide to add an air pump to the tank to oxygenate the water for the fish. This keeps your tank healthier, but there are other ways to achieve this.

Adding plants to your tank will release oxygen into the water as they photosynthesize.

An aquarium gravel vacuum is also an important tool. Its purpose is to clear up debris from the substrate when cleaning the tank. Some also remove water so that you can do partial water changes with ease.

Other, smaller accessories that you might consider include a pad to scrub the walls of the tank, and a net to move fish (and remove dead ones).

The last things to consider are substrate and decorations.

This should be given a fair amount of thought because you need to consider the preferences of your future fish as well as the limited available space.

What Fish Can You Keep in a 10 Gallon Tank (Stocking Ideas)

Neon Tetra

A 10-gallon tank does not provide an abundance of space, but if the tank is kept healthy then there are a variety of fish that can flourish.

Here are a few examples of popular freshwater fish you could keep:

  • Danios and Barbs: These both make excellent starter fish as they are hardy and more tolerant to changing water conditions. This is a rare trait for fish so small.
  • Tetras: These are some of the most popular fish in the industry. Their vibrant colors and shoaling nature makes them an attractive addition to the tank.
  • Dwarf Corydoras: These are easy to care for and liven up the lower levels of the tank.
  • Guppies: Their broad, colorful tail brightens the tank as it moves.
  • Ghost shrimp: A crustacean that helps lighten the load when cleaning the tank. Its transparent body captivates you while watching its insides as it works.

Generally, you can keep any peaceful fish within a 1-2 inch size range. Avoid species with a reputation for harassing others.

Make sure that you know the adult size of any fish you buy to prevent them from growing too big for your tank. Research this yourself as pet store staff do not always give reliable advice.

You could consider adding plants to your aquarium. Some (such as hornwort) have been shown to reduce algae levels while also oxygenating the tank.

10 Gallon Fish Tank Ideas

One of the most enjoyable things about starting a new aquarium is designing your new setup. There are many different ways to do this, but it ultimately comes down to your personal preference.

Freshwater tanks are often filled with decorations that can be bought from most pet stores. These could be anything from an atmospheric shipwreck to more comical TV show themes.

Others opt for a well-planted tank to oxygenate the tank via photosynthesis. The plants are often accompanied by rocks or bogwood to give a natural look to the setup.

Saltwater tanks tend to be less varied. The most common design is to incorporate corals since they are the natural home to many of the marine fish available.

Corals can be quite expensive, so you could buy cheaper decorations that are designed to look like corals. You could then add live corals once you have more experience.

If you’re using the tank as a breeder tank, you need to look into the specific requirements for the species of fish you want to breed.

Some require a bare bottom and no decorations, others require fine substrate and some plants to protect the fry.

Buying Your Fish Tank

10 Gallon Tank

When looking for a 10 gallon tank you will find that some shops stock glass versions while others offer acrylic. Glass aquariums are usually better quality.

Glass is much more durable than acrylic; it’s much harder to scratch. When cleaning the sides of acrylic tanks, you need to be careful that your products are acrylic-safe to avoid scratches.

You also need to ensure that no substrate gets between the scrubber and the acrylic.

The glass will also retain its clarity over longer time periods whereas acrylic can develop a yellow tinge, particularly when exposed to direct sunlight.

If you plan to use the tank for a long time, then the glass will be better value for money.

Acrylic isn’t all bad though; it weighs less than its glass alternative. If you are worried about the strength of your aquarium stand then an acrylic tank is a safer option.

Due to the popularity of glassfish tanks, they are cheaper than acrylic, even though acrylic is a cheaper material to produce and transport.

A glass tank will cost roughly $20-$40, varying between retailers and the type of set being offered. Since 10 gallons is relatively small, the difference between glass and acrylic prices will be minimal, at about a $5-$10 difference.

How to Set Up a Fish Tank

Setting up 10 Gallon Tank Photo

Setting up the Tank

The first thing to add to your aquarium is the gravel, but it needs to be thoroughly cleaned first. Place it in a bucket and run water through it while agitating it with your hand.

Once the water runs clear, most of the dust from storage and transport will have been removed. Gently add a thin, smooth layer of the gravel to the tank (0.5-1 inch) to avoid scratching the bottom.

Next up is decorations. Again you need to rinse your decorations first. Now add them to your tank and add the water.

Make sure to add the decorations first so that you are not surprised by the height of the water’s surface once the decorations displace the water.

Treat the water with a de-chlorinator/water conditioner. This will remove the harmful chlorine in the water for your fish. 1ml per 10-gallons should suffice but check the recommended dose on the bottle.

If you are setting up a marine tank you will need to prepare artificial saltwater. This can be done with purified water and sea salt bought from a pet store. Let the water rest for a day as it may take a while for the salt to dissolve.

Once you’ve added your water, the last step is to add your filter and heater (optional).

Rinse the internal material of the filter before adding it to your setup, some assembly may be required to follow the instructions provided with your filter.

Though the tank is physically set up, it is not yet ready for fish. The tank still needs to be cycled.

Cycling the Tank

Fish waste releases ammonia into the water. This is harmful to fish if you don’t have enough bacteria in the tank to break it down. Therefore you need to cycle your tank before you add fish.

Cycling is based upon the nitrogen cycle. This is done through two processes, one is converting ammonia to nitrite, the other is converting nitrite to nitrate.

Of these three compounds (ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate), nitrate is the only one that isn’t toxic to fish if kept at low quantities.

The two processes are carried out by bacteria. Therefore, you need time to produce the bacteria before adding the fish.

Luckily most of the process is automated and all you will need is a water testing kit and some ammonia supplements.

At the start of cycling, add 2-4ppm (parts per million) of ammonia; from then on add 1ppm every few days. The bacteria will feed on this ammonia and multiply.

Cycling can take anywhere from 2-8 weeks. Every week check the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. If you do not have a kit to test the water, most pet stores will do it for you if you bring them a sample.

At around two weeks, the nitrite levels should spike. After this, bacteria will start converting the nitrite to nitrate.

Once ammonia and nitrite levels reach 0ppm the cycle has ended, and you will be able to slowly add fish to your aquarium.

The process that has been described is an example of fishless cycling. Cycling with fish is often considered unethical since the ammonia spikes are harmful to the fish.

Adding Fish

You’re now ready to add fish to your tank; it is important that you only add a few at a time so that they do not produce too much waste for the bacteria to handle.

Before you add them you need to ensure that the water is at the temperature you desire (if heated).

Place a thermometer as far from the heater as possible and leave it for a while. When you return the thermometer should show the temperature you set on the heater.

Once you have bought your fish, turn off the aquarium light and float the plastic bag containing the fish on the surface of the water for 15 minutes. This will acclimate the fish to the temperature of your tank.

Open the top of the bag and add half a cup of your tank’s water to it every 15 minutes for 1 hour.

Now they are acclimated to your water parameters, use a net to lift the fish out of the bag and release them into your tank.

Remove the bag without introducing any of its water to your tank as it might contain pollutants or diseases.

Leave the tank’s light off for a few hours to allow the fish to get used to their new surroundings.

How to Maintain a 10 Gallon Fish Tank

Removing algae coming from the Aquariumchange in water temperature can cause stress and disease.

Any equipment you use for the water change (e.g. the bucket) needs to be reserved for fish keeping. This prevents chemicals or pollutants from being added to the aquarium with the new water.

In addition to the water cycling, you need to scrape off any algae that settle on the walls of your tank.

The walls will have to be cleaned in this way every few days, whenever you see algae settling. If not done regularly the algae can quickly build up.

Cloudy Water

Cloudy water can mean a number of things. If it occurs in a newly set up tank, then it is likely that a mini-cycle has been triggered.

This could be due to an excessively large water change or adding too many fish too quickly.

In this case, the cloudy water is formed by a rapid bacterial bloom that should pass on its own anywhere from 1 day to 2 weeks.

The cloudy water could simply be due to the introduction of dust to the aquarium, normally caused by added decorations or substrates that have not been thoroughly rinsed.

This problem will clear up on its own over time.

If the water is slightly green, then algae may be blooming in the water. To counter this try increasing the frequency of water changes until the problem subsides.

Also, make sure you keep the tank out of direct sunlight.


So, is a 10-gallon fish tank right for you? If you are on a budget, you will not find a better deal than a tank of this size, especially since many come with a set containing most of the things you need.

If you are a beginner who is picking this size because it seems easier, then you may want to consider looking for a larger tank. Bigger tanks are more stable and can survive beginner mistakes more easily.

That being said, if you have the dedication to regularly maintain the tank then it is suitable for anyone, beginner or expert.

Did you start fish keeping with a 10-gallon tank? Let us know in the comments below…



Lucky author of gillsfish.com (waited years for the domain). I've always kept a few tanks going. I keep a few African cichlids around in my 50 gallons but primarily focus on our 100 gallon which changes nearly every month depending on what my kids may have in mind.

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