Last updated on August 29th, 2022 at 12:22 am
Probably the most common aquariums for folks to purchase is really a 10 gallon fish tank.
The little sizing makes it ideal for lots of homes, whether you are on a tight budget, or trying to find a modest aquarium as an introduction to fish keeping.
These are commonly promoted as newbie tanks since they are cheap and sometimes include a selection of other gear you need to get the aquarium working perfectly.
This article will take you step-by-step through all that you should learn about 10 gallon fish tanks, from figuring out if to buy one, to setting it up, to deciding on your type of fish.
When contemplating on what is available on the market, 10 gallon fish tanks are rather modest. Tanks with this size differ in dimension and measurements based on the form of the tank but typically measure around 20” x 10” x 12”. They are around 11 pounds when unfilled, but may get up to 110 pounds when water is added. This amount improves furthermore based on the decor and fish you decide to keep.
10 gallon fish tanks can be found in two popular versions, glass or acrylic (much more about this later).
These tanks are generally advertised at novices simply because they often appear within a system that includes everything you need to set up a tank, for example, filter systems and lightings. They are also supplied at a lower price. This enables newbies to try out fishkeeping without having to spend lots of money.
While this is a perfectly valid reason for buying a tank this dimension, be aware that the low water quantities make it challenging to keep water quality with time, when compared with larger tanks.
Therefore, small tanks have to be monitored and cleaned out regularly, so ironically ‘beginner tanks’ are not generally suitable for newbies.
Stocking a 10 Gallon Fish Tank
A 10 gallon fish tank provides a wide array of opportunities for stocking pretty, vivid fish. If you purchase and choose smartly, your aquarium will end up as a healthy ecosystem and your fish will enjoy an extended and delighted life.
Regrettably, using an aquarium this small, there is also the chance of making some significant mistakes. In the event, you don’t completely understand the needs and temperaments of your fish you might end up with some aquarium inhabitants who are not welcomed inside your 10 gallon fish tank. This will result in an untimely death for your fish, and heartache for you.
Don’t depend on the staff at your neighborhood pet store to help you make your correct choices here. Some are really knowledgeable, but other folks do not know anything they are speaking about. Even worse, sometimes the little cards on the front side of the display tanks that are supposed to give you information about a fish can be fat-out incorrectly.
Now how do you know which type of fish to buy for your 10 gallon fish tank? You have to do your personal research.
Reading through this post is an excellent start! In this article, you will come across some good info on pretty fish to keep, and some you have to stay away from. But that is not all. Research all you are able to regard your fish and the care for your aquarium. It requires a little job, but it makes the hobby more enjoyable in the long run.
Also, take into consideration that even though some fish are ideal for a 10 gallon fish tank doesn’t really mean they are easy to take care. If fishkeeping is new to you, you really should read the write-up about the best tropical fish for beginners.
Best 10 Fish for a 10 Gallon Fish Tank
This is my list of the 10 greatest fish for a 10 gallon fish tank:
- Cory Catfish
- Neon Tetra
- Dwarf Gourami
- Fancy Guppy
- Betta Fish
- Zebra Danio
- Otocinclus catfish
- Ghost Shrimp
Continue reading to learn more about the best five recommendations, as well as five fish you must avoid. Of course, be sure you thoroughly research the requirements of a fish prior to buying it.
How Many Fish for a 10 Gallon Fish Tank? The “One Inch per Gallon” Rule
There is no easy answer when it comes to determining the amount of fish you should keep in a tank. So how do you decide the number? Research the fish you want to buy, and learn as much about them the best way you can. In this way, you will be aware of their proper care needs, space demands, and temperaments. It takes just a little work on your part, but there seems to be no better way.
The One Inch of Fish per Gallon Rule Debunked
Maybe you have heard a “rule of thumb” that indicates 1 inch of mature fish per gallon of water. For that reason, if you would like to keep an adult fish that have attained a grown-up length of one inch, you might have ten of this in your tank.
That creates enough sense, but what if you choose a set of five-inch fish for your 10 gallon fish tank? Then why not 1 nine-inch fish plus a 1-inch fish? Or, a single ten-inch fish?
Those are absurd examples, but the point I am trying to make is that “rule of thumb” isn’t worth a great deal of thought. It’s far better to do your homework and understand the fish you plan to keep as opposed to depending upon a simplified approach that doesn’t take requirements into consideration.
Sometimes it is wise to consider the fish you are considering to keep before buying your tank. Thereafter, you can choose the right aquarium based upon the information.
Fish for your 10 Gallon Fish Tank
These fishes are perfect options for your 10 gallon fish tank. Remember, when determining how many to keep be sure you consider the other fish you intend to keep inside the tank.
Under normal circumstances, the majority of these fishes ought to live peacefully with each other, but bear in mind that no circumstance is typical. If you overstock your tank, or maybe it appears two fishes aren’t friendly to each other, you might need a backup plan.
Also, hopefully, it’s clear that I’m not indicating all of these fishes ought to be in your Tank together simultaneously. Find out about the fish and determine the best way to mix and match your fish keeping.
Corydoras (Cory Catfish)
Cories are spunky little bottom-feeding catfish that only grow to about 2-3 inches in length. They are very peaceful, entertaining, and furthermore they act as the “clean-up staff” for your aquarium.
Cories subsist on meals that fall to the base of the tank. You may wish to provide them with sinking pellets to ensure they are getting the required nutrients, but typically, they will scavenge on anything that falls into their territory.
They are schooling fish, so they’re most happy when there are actually at least six of those together.
Neons are tiny, radiant fish along with a school of which really make an aquarium pop. Like cories they prefer to be with more of their kind, so plan for a little school. Nevertheless, if you are planning to go for a neon-only aquarium, it is possible to keep up to 10 or more within a 10 gallon fish tank.
Ensure your water conditions are perfect and they are not overcrowded. Even when they are docile to other fish types, they can get nippy, when they are stressed, at each other, and this leads to loss of life within their ranks.
These mini-gouramis have already been bred to show some pretty colors, and you could find some incredible blues, reds, and oranges if you choose smartly. A couple of these inside a planted 10 gallon fish tank makes for the remarkable set-up.
Nevertheless, remember that they are considered a semi-hostile fish kinds, and there can be difficulty if anyone chooses to pick in the other. Make sure to include hiding areas and a lot of decor inside your aquarium in case one of them becomes superior.
A guppy tank is vibrant, multi-colored, and a lot of exciting to look at, and like neons, you can have a lot of them in 10 gallon fish tank. Fancy guppies appear in a number of hues and you may really get creative when selecting your stock. They are lively swimmers in the top third of the water column, hence they don’t require very much in the form of hiding spots and decorations, especially if they are in the species-only aquarium.
Be careful if keeping them with other fish species, because they can easily become lunch for bigger tankmates!
Contrary to their reputation as being the kung-fu wrecking tools in the aquarium community, Betta can live in a neighborhood tank along with other fish in particular scenarios. The secret is understanding betta actions, trying to keep close eyes on issues, and having a backup strategy if things don’t go nicely.
Having said that, I actually do not consider a 10 gallon fish tank to be the correct surroundings to keep Betta with other fishes. Nonetheless, they may live well with a number of critters like Apple Snails or Ghost Shrimp.
Just one Betta in a planted 10 gallon fish tank is a great set-up, for him and you. Naturally, it ought to go without saying that you should by no means, actually, placed two male Betta fish inside the same aquarium together.
If you want to learn more about keeping Betta along with other fish and critters read this post on Betta inside a Group tank.
Baby angelfish are adorable, and it will be tempting to add a couple of them to your tank. However, these types of fish grow over a foot large, in addition, their grown-up size is a lot too big for the 10 gallon fish tank. Furthermore, these are competitive, new-planet cichlids finest located with similar sizeable varieties, or in species-only tanks. If you need angelfish, consider a 55 gallons tank or even bigger.
Next to the betta fish, the Bala shark is probably the most abused aquarium fish around. They begin out as cute small three-inch fish and wind up in some kid’s 10 gallon fish tank because they are so cool.
But Bala sharks grow a foot long and must be held in schools. They can be fast-moving, potent fish that are very easily startled, and there is even gossip of spooked adult Bala sharks cracking aquarium windows.
Unless of course, you have a truly enormous tank, these guys should not be kept in your home aquarium.
Dwarf gourami can do great in a small tank, but their larger relatives should be avoided except when you have the space to care for them properly. Gourami is huge, aggressive fish with complex behaviors, and a pair should be stored in no tank that is smaller than 55 gallons. They may be colorful and desirable, but when you add those to your tiny tank you’ll acquire more than you bargained for.
In relation to plecos, you will need to determine what you’re getting yourself into. This is actually the fish commonly regarded as the “suckerfish”. Most types grow large, around many ft – far too huge for most aquariums. They might require driftwood to rasp on and definitely will demolish any live plants.
In addition, they don’t do nearly as good a job of cleaning algae as typically considered. Should you prefer a far more tank-pleasant algae eater, bypass the pleco and think about a small school of Otocinclus catfish as an alternative.
African Cichlids are definitely the nearest thing you can get for the lively shades of saltwater fish in the freshwater surroundings. Some aquarium users concentrate on cichlids, and they also result in some beautiful tanks. However, they are extremely aggressive, quite intricate fish and, besides several kinds, will not belong within a tank smaller than 55 gallons. Even then you have to know what you’re doing so as to prevent them from hurting each other.
Don’t let their pretty colors bait you into popping a few to your 10 gallon fish tank. They are certainly not appropriate, and so they can potentially devastate any tropical fish you already have.
Typical Mistakes When Stocking a 10 Gallon Fish Tank
Just as you can make some excellent choices when stocking your aquarium, you may make some dumb ones too. Try not to feel bad if you do. We’ve all made stocking errors, and it’s generally a chance to learn.
Some fish unsuitable for a 10 gallon fish tank end up in this case while they are purchased by aquarium owners who either didn’t know any much better or have been misled by pet-store employees.
At times, parents in an attempt to please their kid, purchase inappropriate fish. Possibly, as an alternative to giving in to the little ones, this should actually be seen as an opportunity to instruct them on regard for animals and proper care.
Enjoying Your Aquarium!
When I was around seven or eight years of age, my family got our first 10 gallon fish tank.
We took guidance from the owner of the pet shop when stocking it, and, pondering back again, the guy was either nuts, mindless or simply trying to sell a variety of fish.
Our stock was something like this:
- 2 angelfish
- 6 neons
- 2 cories
- 1 pleco
- 2 black mollies
- 2 swordtails.
I realize now this was actually a very poorly stocked tank. But my parents didn’t know any better and they respected this man to guide them.
The point is, don’t rely on the staff on the fish store to inform you exactly what is right. Do your very own investigation and discover what’s best for your aquarium.
In those days there was clearly no internet, these days you have all you need at your fingertips to learn about any fish varieties you have in mind.
10 Gallon Fish Tank Equipment
A lot of 10 gallon fish tanks can be purchased as a set up that can consist of some of the things needed to start an aquarium however certain other accessories will also have to be bought.
Some individuals advise against these packages so you can purchase better quality gear, but it all depends on your financial budget and stocking plans.
Below is a few important pieces of equipment you will require:
A filter is arguably the main addition to a fish tank since it helps to keep the water clean and healthy. This can be even more essential in little tanks because it is easier for nitrate levels to build up when there’s less water.
There is a selection of various filtration system. In the event you only mean to have a few fish then the plastic, in-tank filtration system will be sufficient.
If you wish to complete the tank to its biological capability, a little power filter could be considerably better.
Every single brand will offer an array of these power filters, consider what type is recommended to the tank sizing. Even though they may be more expensive than other equipment (you will definitely pay around $20-$30 for a reasonable filter) if you have any component worth investing in, it is basically the filtering system.
Heaters are significantly less likely to be included in a basic set up considering they are only required for tropical or marine setups.
If these are the basic setups that you want, then you will have to invest in a heating unit separately.
There may be a smaller assortment in heating unit style compared to filtration systems all of them have a tendency to work in the same manner, setting temperatures by turning a dial.
The one thing to be aware of is the actual size of the heater the bigger the aquarium, the larger the heaters.
The suggested tank size for each heater should be pointed out in the packaging.
We recommend getting a temperature gauge (thermometer) if not provided. Placing a thermometer on the opposite part to your heaters lets helps you to monitor the aquarium temperature and make sure it’s kept at a desired quantity.
Remember when setting up an aquarium, you should already have made a decision which fish and plant you are likely to add to it before you set it up.
This is important because different fish and vegetation will prefer different light intensities.
Several tanks include a light source from the hood of your aquarium, but you should examine that it is of perfect intensity for the fish. Should it be not, then you might have to purchase additional light to exchange it with.
One component that is often disregarded when setting up a new tank is where to place it.
While a stand created specifically for your tank is not absolutely essential, you must ensure that the surface you intend to put your tank on can comfortably support the weight. Folks often decide to add an air-water pump to the tank to oxygenate the water for the fish. This helps to keep your aquarium far healthier, but there are other techniques to make this happen.
An aquarium gravel vacuum is also an important instrument. Its goal would be to clean up debris through the substrate when cleaning the aquarium. Some also get rid of water to enable you to do partial water changes with ease.
Other, more compact accessories that you could take into account include a pad to scrub the wall surfaces of your tank, as well as a net to move fish (and take away dead ones).
The very last things to consider are substrate and decorations.
This should be given a decent level of thought because you should look at the preferences of your respective future fish plus the minimal readily available space.
Buying Your Fish Tank
When searching for a 10 gallon fish tank you will find that some outlets stock glass types while some offer acrylic. Glass aquariums tend to be of higher quality.
Glass is far more durable than acrylic it’s more difficult to scratch. When washing the ends of acrylic tanks, you need to be careful that your particular product is acrylic-safe to avoid scratches.
You also have to ensure that no substrate gets between your scrubber and the acrylic.
The glass will even preserve its quality over longer periods whereas acrylic can get a yellow tinge, particularly when exposed to sunlight. If you are planning to work with the tank for many years, then the glass is going to be a better value for your money.
Acrylic isn’t all bad though it weighs less than its glass alternative. When you are concerned about the potency of your aquarium stand then an acrylic tank is actually a less dangerous alternative.
Due to the demand for glassfish tanks, they are less expensive compared to acrylic, even though acrylic is a less expensive material to produce and transport.
A glass tank costs roughly $20-$40, varying between the stores and the sort of set offered. Considering that 10 gallon fish tank is pretty modest, the real difference between glass and acrylic price ranges is going to be small, at about a $5-$10 difference.
How to Set up a Fish Tank
Setting up the Tank
One thing to put in your aquarium first is the gravel, but it needs to be thoroughly washed first. Place it in a pail and run water through it, agitating it with your hands.
As soon as the water is clear, a lot of the dirt from storage and transport could have been taken out. Gently add a lean, smooth level of your gravel on the aquarium (0.5-1 inch) to avoid itching the bottom.
Next up is the decoration. Once more you have to rinse off your decorations first. Now put these into your tank and add water.
Make sure you include the decoration first so that you usually are not amazed at the level in the water’s surface area when the decorations displace the liquid.
Take care of the water using a de-chlorinator/water conditioner. This will eliminate the damaging chlorine in the water for your fish. 1ml per 10 gallon fish tank should be adequate but check the recommended dose on the bottle.
Should you be starting a marine tank you have got to prepare artificial saltwater. This can be achieved with purified normal water and sea salt bought from a pet shop. Let the water rest for a day as it may take time for the salt to dissolve.
As soon as you’ve added your water, the final move would be to put your filter and heating unit (optional).
Rinse the inner substance of your filtration system before incorporating it in your installation, some setup may be needed to follow the instructions supplied with your filtering.
Though the tank is physically set up, it is really not yet ready for fish. The aquarium still needs to be cycled.
Cycling the tank
Fish waste releases ammonia to the water. This can be damaging to fish should you not have sufficient microorganisms (bacteria) in the tank to get rid of it. Therefore you have to cycle your aquarium before you decide to put fish.
Cycling is based upon the nitrogen cycle. This is achieved through two procedures, the initial one is converting ammonia to nitrite, another is converting nitrite to nitrate.
Of those three materials (ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate), nitrate is the only one that isn’t poisonous to fish if stored at lower levels.
The two procedures are done by germs. As a result, you need some time to produce the bacteria well before including the fish.
The good news is many of the approaches is automated and all of you will need is just a water tests kit plus some ammonia supplements.
At the beginning of cycling, include 2-4ppm (pieces per million) of ammonia from then on add 1ppm each day. The bacteria will feast on this ammonia and flourish, thereby multiplying.
Cycling can take from 2-8 weeks. Every week check the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. Should you not have a kit to examine your water, most family pet shops is going to do it for you in the event you give them a sample.
At around fourteen days, the nitrite amounts should increase. Following this, bacteria begin converting the nitrite to nitrate. As soon as ammonia and nitrite ranges reach 0ppm the period has ended, and you will be able to slowly put fish in your aquarium.
The procedure that has been described is an illustration of fishless cycling. Cycling with fish is normally regarded as fraudulent considering that the ammonia spikes are harmful to the fish.
You’re now ready to add more fish in your tank it is essential that you only put in a few at the same time in order that do not produce a lot of waste for the bacteria to deal with.
Before you include them, you have to be sure that the water is at the temperature you want (if warmed).
Place a thermometer as far away from the heaters as you possibly can and leave it for some time.
When you’re back, the thermometer should have displayed the temperature you set in the water heater.
When you have purchased your fish, turn off the aquarium light and float the plastic material bag that contains the fish on the outside from the normal water for fifteen minutes. This will acclimate the fish to the temperatures of your aquarium.
Open up the top of the handbag and add half a cup of your tank’s water to it every 15 minutes for one hour.
By now they may be acclimated to your normal water parameters, use a net to lift up the fish out from the bag and launch them to your tank.
Take away the bag without introducing some of its normal water to your aquarium as it could contain contaminants or diseases.
Leave the tank’s off for a couple of hrs allowing the fish to get used to their new environment.
How to Maintain a 10 Gallon Fish Tank
Surprisingly it can be more challenging to maintain smaller sized tanks than larger sized tanks this is because it is much simpler for pollutants to develop in the water.
That is why, water changes ought to be done weekly.
Although, water changes should be carried out frequently, the small size of the tank ensures that they will just take a short time to do.
Using a small aquarium vacuum and begin siphoning out some of the water into a container. Once you have purged 30 percent (3 gallons) of your tank, it is ideal to stop the water flow and empty the bucket.
Fill your container with 3 gallons of water, ensuring to treat it with water conditioner, and slowly pour it in to your tank.
The water you add should be of the same temperature to the water inside your tank. As fish are cold-blooded, a change in water temperature could cause anxiety and disease.
Any equipment you utilize for the water change (e.g. the bucket) should be reserved for fish keeping. This prevents substances or pollutants from simply being added to the aquarium with the new water.
Further to the normal water cycling, you need to scrape off any algae that settle on the wall of your own aquarium.
The walls will have to be washed by doing this every week, any time you see algae settling. Or else the algae can rapidly develop if not done regularly.
Cloudy water can mean various things. If this happens in a newly create aquarium, then it is possible that the mini-cycle is triggered.
This could be on account of an excessively large water change or including too many fish too quickly.
In such a case, the cloudy water is formed by a speedy microbial bloom that will pass on its own between a day and 2 weeks.
The cloudy water could simply be as a result of the release of dust to the aquarium, usually caused due to the added decorations or substrate which may have not been thoroughly rinsed.
This will clear off by itself over time.
In the event the water is slightly green, then algae could be blooming in the water. To fight this, increase the water change frequency until the problem subsides.
Also, make sure you keep the aquarium out f direct sunshine.
So, is a 10 gallon fish tank ideal for you? In case you are on a tight budget, you may not find a better deal than a tank of this size, particularly because so many include a set up that contains the majority of the things requires.
If you, however, are a newbie who may be selecting this size mainly because it appears simpler, then you might like to consider purchasing a larger sized tank. Larger tanks tend to be more dependable and stable and can endure beginner’s mistakes more easily.
That being aid, if you have the commitment to regularly maintain the tank then its suitable for any individual, newbie or expert.
Did you start off fish keeping using a 10 gallon fish tank? Tell us in the comment below…