25 Best Fish for 10 Gallon Tank – Stocking Ideas for Beginners

   
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Got a new 10 Gallon tank for your fish? Make sure you select the right fish for keeping in the 10 gallon tank. After all, not all fishes bear the ability and characteristics to grow and survive in a 10-gallon tank.

To help you select the best fish for 10 gallon tank, we are here with all suggestions you need to consider. Just go through this article and you will get a complete idea to make the perfect decision. Let’s go!

 

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How Many Fish Can You Keep in a 10 Gallon Tank?

We know that before choosing the types of fish, you would want to know how many fishes you can keep in the 10 gallon tank. Well, unfortunately, the answer to this question is not that simple.

Because the number of fish you should keep in a 10 gallon tank depends on several factors and considerations. You need to study the nature, characteristics, and other requirements of the fish you want to pet before deciding how many of them you can keep in the 10 gallon tank.

It is said, to start safe, you can keep a small fish of 1 inch approximately per gallon. That way, you can keep up to 10 small fishes of neon-tetra size in your 10 gallon tank. However, this is a tentative amount for beginners.

When you will learn more about the habitat of fish appropriate for 10 gallon tank, you will be able to add more by yourself.

 

25 Best Fish for 10 Gallon Aquarium

Now, for your convenience, we are listing below the 25 best fish you can stock in your 10 gallon tank. Make your choice from the following.

 

1. Tetras

  • Origins: Africa, Central America, and South America
  • Behavior: Peaceful and elegant
  • Compatibility/Temperament: Social, however, some species are aggressive towards long-finned mates like betta fish.
  • Size: 1 to 2 and a half inches
  • Lifespan: 10 years approximately
  • Temperature: 75 to 80 degrees of Fahrenheit
  • pH: 6.8 to 7.8
Neon Tetra
Neon Tetra

1.1 Neon Tetra

The neon tetra is the most vibrant and colorful species of tetra fish. They have these shiny blue bodies with bright red stripes that start from the midway of the body and go straight down. If you want your tank to pop and grab attention, these are the fishes you should stock.

You can keep up to 10 together in a 10 gallon tank. You must not overcrowd them. They enjoy it more when they’re with their kind. Though they are quite docile, they might get nippy during stress.

 

1.2 Ember Tetra

Ember tetra is one of the smallest varieties of tetra fish. They are mostly smaller than 1 inch with a bright and popping orange color skin. These fishes are usually shy at first, especially when kept in a small shoal.

But as the shoal gets larger, ember tetras get more active. Tanks that are densely planted best suit them as it mimics their native underwater environment.

 

1.3 Cardinal Tetra

While Neon and Ember Tetra are the best varieties of Tetra for beginners. However, once you get some experience, you can have Cardinal Tetras as well. They have a similar color combination of skin as the Neon Tetra. However, unlike Neon Tetra, the bright red stripes run horizontally through the length of their body.

Cardinal Tetras are comparatively more sensitive than most other Tetra varieties. They usually can’t tolerate poor water quality. They prefer black water conditions with a pH of less than 7. A pH of more than 7 might cause disease in them, such as ich.

 

1.4 Glow Light Tetra

If you want to get a Tetra that has a unique and intriguing color pattern of the body, this is it. Glowlight Tetra has this shiny silvery peach body with a thin iridescent red-gold stripe running through the middle, cutting the body into two halves.

They are well associated with their own kind within the tank. However, they are also friendly with other varieties of Tetras. They prefer darkened tanks with plenty of plants and vegetation. They are quite adaptive to the water quality of the tank.

 

1.5 Black Skirt Tetra

If you’re not a fan of colors, and fond of fishes with shades of dark, there is a Tetra variety for that as well. They have a shade of black and silver with bluish-gray stripes. They are comparatively larger than the above varieties of Tetra.

Black skirt Tetras are one of the easiest to manage and please in the tank. They are friendly and soft. They prefer plants and vegetation inside the tank.

 

2. Gouramis

  • Origins: Eastern Asia (India, Pakistan, Korea, and Indonesia)
  • Behavior: Peaceful and bottom-dwelling
  • Compatibility/Temperament: Male Gouramis are aggressive towards each other sometimes while females are more tolerant. They are more compatible with fishes of different species that are not aggressive.
  • Size: 5 to 6 inches
  • Lifespan: 4 to 6 years approximately or even longer if cared for properly
  • Temperature: 74 to 79 degrees of Fahrenheit
  • pH: 6.8 to 7.8

 

2.1 Dwarf Gourami

While Dwarf Gourami is comparatively larger than that of Tetras, it is the smallest within the Gourami family. The male Gouramis have a more colorful body than the female. However, it’s better to stock males and females together to get more vibrant offspring.

Males have an orangey-red body with blue vertical stripes whereas the females have a shiny bluish-gray body with faint yellow vertical stripes. They live happily together with their kind and other peaceful fish. However, they might get bullied if combined with other larger Gourami varieties.

 

2.2 Licorice Gourami

Licorice Gourami is comparatively unpopular but a very unique variety of the Gourami family. Their bodies are thin and tiny with a very attractive and vibrant dark black and yellow stripling pattern that makes them stand out.

They do not grow more than 1 and a half inches. They are best when paired with their kinds or other peaceful small fishes in a small and intimate group.

 

2.3 Honey Gourami

It’s another beautiful Gourami that can be distinguished as male or female due to the color differences. The male honey Gouramis have a red-orange color which is typically called sunset or robin red, whereas the females have a silvery-blue color.

Gouramis are labyrinth fish and can survive in oxygen-depleted water. However, they are prone to Velvet’s disease if the water isn’t well-maintained. They are very shy but the males might sometimes get hostile with other males of their kind.

 

2.4 Sparkling Gourami

Sparkling Gourami is a variety of Gourami with magical color patterns of golden chocolate brown and shiny bright cobalt blue spots that make it sparkle in the tank. It is comparatively tinier than other Gourami types.

That is why they are more comfortable living with other tiny and small varieties of fish. Moreover, they don’t require too much care. Just make sure you maintain a good quality of water.

 

2.5 Thick-lipped Gourami

Thick-lipped Gouramis are one of the slowest and calmest varieties of Gourami. They look different from other small fishes because of their thick dark blue lips. Their bodies are chocolate brown with metallic blue stripes.

The colors of the male bodies are more vibrant than the females. The male color gradually changes to almost black in breeding conditions. They swim with their ventral tins pointed to sense the elements inside the water.

 

3. Rasboras

  • Origins: Cameroon, Africa
  • Behavior: Peaceful, prefers a lush environment
  • Compatibility/Temperament: Social with both its kinds and other species
  • Size: 1 to 4 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 to 8 years approximately
  • Temperature: 75 to 80 degrees of Fahrenheit
  • pH: 6.8 to 7.8

 

3.1 Chili Rasbora

They are the tiniest species of fish you can keep in a 10 gallon tank. They don’t grow more than half an inch. They have a combination of red, silver, golden, and black on their body without any definite pattern.

They are shoaling fish, so you must keep them in a large group of their kind. They are also called Mosquito Rasboras for being so tiny and always remaining in groups.

 

3.2 Green Neon Rasbora

Also called Kubotai Rasbora are almost similar in features to Chili Rasboras. However, they may get nearly 1 inch in size. And they especially feature a bright eye-catching neon green color.

They are extremely peaceful and timid. They are very comfortable and active in large shoals. However, they also live peacefully with other small fishes. It is important to change the water weekly as they require comparatively higher maintenance than other small fish.

 

3.3 Harlequin Rasbora

Among Rasboras, Harlequin is the least demanding. They are larger than other rasboras and can grow up to 2 inches. They have an attractive appearance with a combination of bright orange and silver color along with a triangular patch on the tail side of the body.

They prefer a well-planted tank with adequate swimming space. And like all other Rasboras, they are also shoaling fish. They are quite hardy as well. They are adaptable and comparatively live longer than most other small aquarium fishes.

 

4. Mollies

  • Origins: Central America and Southern USA
  • Behavior: Easy-going, peaceful, and shoaling fish
  • Compatibility/Temperament: Social with both its type and other non-aggressive species
  • Size: 3 to 5 inches
  • Lifespan: 2 to 5 years approximately
  • Temperature: 75 to 80 degrees of Fahrenheit
  • pH: 6.7 to 8.5
black molly
black molly

4.1 Common Molly

Common Mollies are a bit larger with up to 4 and a half inches. They have a body designed with shiny orange dotted lines on silver skin. They are easier to take care of and less demanding.

However, they require hard water. Moreover, they are live-bearing fish, that is, they give birth to their offspring instead of laying eggs. They are perfect for keeping both solos or in groups.

 

4.2 Sailfin Molly

The Sailfin Molly is almost similar in characteristics to the Common Molly. However, it is smaller in size than the Common Molly and is usually silver in color with several rows of spots along the back and the dorsal fin.

Sometimes the male Sailfin Molly has a greenish-blue color. And like all other Mollies, they are also live-bearing fish. They can live both solo and in groups of various other kinds.

 

4.3 Balloon Molly Fish

Also called Pot Belly Molly. Its name came from its compelling appearance of having a round balloon-like belly. Balloon Mollies come in a wide variety of colors starting from black to yellow and white.

They are also not very demanding and live-bearing fish. They prefer enough space to move around in the tank. Over-crowded tanks make them uncomfortable. So, it is better to either keep them alone or to keep them in a very small group.

 

5. Pencilfish

  • Origins: Near Santa Elena, in the river Rio Tigre and Peru river of Rio Nanay
  • Behavior: Active swimmer, top-dwelling, tries to jump off the tank, consumes their own eggs
  • Compatibility/Temperament: Some pencil fish like Beckford’s are extremely aggressive feeders and might exploit the shy fishes for food
  • Size: 1 to 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 years approximately
  • Temperature: 72 to 80 degrees of Fahrenheit
  • pH: 6 to 7.4

 

5.1 Beckford’s Pencilfish

Pencilfishes are named as such because of their thin pencil-like shape. Beckford’s Pencilfish is one of the most attractive Pencilfish varieties for aquariums. They bear a vibrant red color with black and golden stripes down the body and reach max up to 2 inches. The color of the fish depends on the amount of space they get in the tank.

They are shoaling fish. They prefer tanks that are densely planted with lots of places to hide. However, since they are surface feeders, it is better to avoid plants that float on the surface of the tank water.

 

5.2 Brown Pencilfish

Brown Pencilfishes have a very attractive and adorable shape with pointed snouts. They are named for their dark brown-colored body with a light, shiny golden-brown stripe running from the middle cutting them into halves.

They are shoaling fish as well. But what sets them apart is that they are nocturnal. They seem to hide in the daytime and in the night time they get more active, especially when they’re in large groups. Thus, it is better to have a large group of them together and provide enough plantation for them to hide during the day.

 

6. Corydoras

  • Origins: South America (from the east of the Andes to the Atlantic coast, Trinidad to the Río de la Plata drainage in northern Argentina)
  • Behavior: Calm, peaceful, active, and curious bottom dweller
  • Compatibility/Temperament: Non-aggressive, timid, and shy
  • Size: 1 to 2 and a half inches
  • Lifespan: 5 years approximately
  • Temperature: 74 to 80 degrees of Fahrenheit
  • pH: 7.0 to 8.0
Corydoras Catfish
Corydoras Catfish

6.1 Pygmy Corydoras

Pygmy Corydoras are small fish of only 1 inch. They are perfect for schooling. They grow up to 3 inches. So, you can keep a group of about 10 easily in your 10 gallon tank. They have an iridescent body with a horizontal black line running from the snout to the tail.

They prefer densely planted tanks to hide. Since they are sensitive to nitrite levels, they require weekly partial water changes. Other than that, they are friendly to other peaceful species of fish.

 

6.2 Dwarf Corydoras

Dwarf Corydoras has almost the same requirements and characteristics as the Pygmy Corydoras. However, they are a bit larger compared to Pygmy, maybe half an inch more. Though they might not be as pretty and shiny as Pygmys, their bodies have rounded stouts and may come in a variety of designs and colors.

Dwarf Cories are more popular and available than the Pygmys. They are shoaling fish as well. They prefer groups rather than being alone. And they usually reproduce in a low-stress environment with high water quality.

 

7. Danios

  • Origins: Eastern India and Bangladesh
  • Behavior: Active, moves fast back and forth, shoaling fish
  • Compatibility/Temperament: Social but keeps chasing each other
  • Size: 1 to 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 3 and a half to 5 and a half years approximately
  • Temperature: 70 to 78 degrees of Fahrenheit
  • pH: 7.0 to 7.8
Danios
Danios

7.1 Zebra Danio

Zebra Danios are considered to be one of the best fishes for beginners. They are named for their fascinating zebra pattern of the body. And they come in a variety of colors including red, yellow, blue, purple, and many more.

They are community fish that love schooling. So, it is better to keep a group of them together. You can also combine them with other peaceful fishes. They prefer densely planted tanks for hiding.

 

7.2 Celestial Pearl Danio

You will be amazed to know that this mesmerizing species of Danio fish has been discovered very recently in 2006. However, it is rapidly gaining popularity due to its beauty and ease of petting.

They usually have a navy blue and orange color combination with a distorted ball-like pattern all over the body. They are quite shy and timid and feel more comfortable in a group.

 

8. Barbs

  • Origins: Europe, Africa, and Asia
  • Behavior: Robust and peaceful
  • Compatibility/Temperament: Semi-aggressive, will push around smaller vulnerable fish, fin-nippers, and might fight for dominance within the group
  • Size: 2 to 4 inches
  • Lifespan: 3 to 4 years approximately
  • Temperature: 75 to 80 degrees of Fahrenheit
  • pH: 6.0 to 8.0
Small Barb
Small Barb

8.1 Golden Dwarf Barb

Golden Dwarf Barbs aren’t quite popular as aquarium fish. But they are ideal freshwater fish. And they perfectly fit in the 10 gallon tank. You can keep up to 10 Golden Dwarf Barbs together.

They are very small and can grow up to 1 and a half inches. They have either a greenish silver or an orangish silver skin color with black marks and spots. They highly prefer a well-planted tank with driftwoods and floating plants.

 

8.2 Cherry Barb

Cherry barbs are one of the most peaceful species of Barb fishes. They are very shy and curious. They are very rarely seen to nip fins. They have a beautiful fiery shade of orange or red.

Usually, the mail Cherry Barbs adopt an attractive ruby red color to attract their female mates. Thus, it is best to keep them in a group of their kinds with a mixture of both males and females.

 

9. Loaches

  • Origins: Central and Southern Asia, Europe, and Northern Africa
  • Behavior: Peaceful and slow
  • Compatibility/Temperament: Social and soft
  • Size: 2 to 5 inches
  • Lifespan: 10 years approximately
  • Temperature: 59 to 77 degrees of Fahrenheit
  • pH: 6.0 to 8.0
Kuhli loach
Kuhli loach

9.1 Kuhli Loach

When you get a bit experienced in managing fish, you can have Kuhli Loaches as an interesting addition to your tank. Their 4-inch long snake-like appearance, color, and movement as well as being extremely shy to come out for days make them so intriguing.

They are usually nocturnal. They don’t come out from shades or hiding places for days, but you might see them scavenging at night. They are less timid in a group. They are also comfortable living alone in a tank.

 

9.2 Clown Loach

They are also called Tiger Botia for having thick back stripes like tigers on bright yellow skin. If you want to include a single fish of more than 5 inches in your 10 gallon tank with other small fishes, then it would be the best option.

Because Clown Loaches are pretty friendly to the smaller fish groups. They don’t usually fight or bully. However, if you want you can also add one more for them to have a partner and be more active and happier.

 

10. Betta Fish

  • Origins: Southeast Asia
  • Behavior: Highly territorial, happy, and active
  • Compatibility/Temperament: Semi-aggressive, males tend to attack each other while females are comparatively tolerant
  • Size: 2 to 5 and a half inches
  • Lifespan: 2 to 5 years approximately
  • Temperature: 75 to 80 degrees of Fahrenheit
  • pH: 6.5 to 8.0

healthy and colorful betta fish

Betta fishes are one of the most popular choices of singular fish to be kept in a 10 gallon tank. They are one of the prettiest fishes you can keep in a 10 gallon tank. With varieties of color combinations, they come with ravishingly beautiful long artistic fins.

If you want you can also keep them in a community, but you need to research a bit to make sure they aren’t aggressive to their fellow tank mates. However, not all Bettas have the same nature.

If your Betta is a female or comparatively peaceful, you can combine it up with other species of fish inside the tank as well. Moreover, Bettas are labyrinth fish, they can survive in extremely lower oxygen levels.

           

11. Fancy Guppy

  • Origins: Northeast South America
  • Behavior: Highly adaptable, peaceful, and active swimmers
  • Compatibility/Temperament: Males can get aggressive with other males and they often seem to chase the females for courtship
  • Size: 1 to 2 and a half inches
  • Lifespan: 2 years approximately
  • Temperature: 74 to 82 degrees of Fahrenheit
  • pH: 6.8 to 7.6
Guppies
Guppy

After Betta fish, Fancy Guppy is another fancy option you can go for adding beauty to your tank.  They are lively and colorful with dense and large tails. They come in varieties of colors to choose from.

They are quite an active swimmer and like to remain on the top-third parts of the tank. Thus, there is no requirement for adding any hiding spots or decorations for them. Especially, when they are sharing the tank with their own kind.

Some Fancy Guppies might be sensitive and require cycled and matured tanks. Moreover, you need to choose their tank mates wisely. The male Guppies might get aggressive towards other male species of their size or they can become a victim to the aggression of fishes larger in size than them as well.

 

12. Platy Fish

  • Origins: East coast of Central America and southern Mexico.
  • Behavior: Peaceful and happy
  • Compatibility/Temperament: Friendly and social but not shy
  • Size: 1 to 2 and a half inches
  • Lifespan: 3 to 4 years approximately
  • Temperature: 70 to 82 degrees of Fahrenheit
  • pH: 6.8 to 8.5
Platies
Platies

If you have hard water in your tank, then Platy is the best option to go for. They are great for beginners as they do not require much maintenance. They are available in a vast range of colors starting from darkest shades to lightest as well as ombres.

Platies are live-bearing fish and they are super adaptable. You can keep up to 5 platies in your 10 gallon tank. Or else, you can also keep 2 to 3 with other peaceful small fishes. Platies are non-violent. So, you don’t have to worry much while combining them with other species.

 

13. Swordtail

  • Origins: Mexico and northern Central America
  • Behavior: Peaceful
  • Compatibility/Temperament: Social but timid
  • Size: 5 to 6 inches
  • Lifespan: 3 to 5 years approximately
  • Temperature: 64 to 82 degrees of Fahrenheit
  • pH: 7.0 to 8.5
swordtails
swordtails

 

Swordtails are one of the most popular freshwater species. They are comparatively bigger for a 10 gallon tank. But you can keep up to 2 to 3 of them together. Their absolutely amazing tail that has a thin extending edge that finishes like a sword makes them stand out from the crowd. They usually have a dark orange body.

Swordtails are very peaceful and perfect for community and stocking. However, male Swordtails can turn aggressive towards each other when they reach sexual maturity. Therefore, it is better to have one male with several females in the tank.

 

14. Otocinclus Catfish

  • Origins: South America
  • Behavior: Peaceful, prefers to stay out of the way, fast movers
  • Compatibility/Temperament: Skittish and timid
  • Size: 1 and a half to 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 3 to 5 years approximately
  • Temperature: 72 to 82 degrees of Fahrenheit
  • pH: 6.0 to 7.5

 

Otocinclus catfishes are one of the most preferred aquarium fishes for their least maintenance requirement and the ability to clean up algae buildup in the tank water. They eat algae and other plants with delicate leaves. They have a gray body with dense back dots running all over them.

They can be kept in a group or alone as well. They enjoy more in a group of their own kind. You can keep about 4 to 5 Otos together in a 10 gallon tank. However, you can combine them with other species as well since they’re extremely peaceful.

 

15. Least Killifish

  • Origins: Southern Pine Hills and Coastal Lowlands of Alabama, USA
  • Behavior: Peaceful and unfussy
  • Compatibility/Temperament: Shy but sometimes aggressive
  • Size: Not more than 1 and a half inches
  • Lifespan: More than 3 years
  • Temperature: 66 to 75 degrees of Fahrenheit
  • pH: around 7.0

 

If you are planning to build a community of micro fishes in your 10 gallon tank, add Least Killifish to it. They are usually less than 1 inch in size. And they can’t compete when combined with bigger fishes in the tank. They have a tiny silvery-green body with dark bands running behind the eye to the tail base.

Least Killifishes, unlike other Killifishes, are live-bearers. They are quite hardy. They are peaceful and a bit more on the timid side. Thus, it is better to keep them in shoals and keep the tank densely planted to make them feel safe.

 

16. Endler’s Livebearer

  • Origins: Paria Peninsula in Venezuela
  • Behavior: Active and curious
  • Compatibility/Temperament: Friendly, however, the females can get aggressive sometimes
  • Size: Almost 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 2 to 3 years approximately
  • Temperature: 78 to 80 degrees of Fahrenheit
  • pH: 5.5 to 8.0

 

Their name already tells that they are live-bearing fish. What it doesn’t tell is how beautiful and tiny they are. They have a vibrant color pallet on their skin and have a wide range of color combinations. They are usually less than 1 inch in size.

Though they are not shoaling fish, they can be kept in a community of their own or a mixed community of other peaceful and active fishes as well. Since they reproduce very rapidly, their number may double up quickly. To resist this, you can keep a single-sex of them in the tank.

 

17. Apistogramma

  • Origins: The Amazon basin in Peru and Brazil, South America
  • Behavior: Extremely curious, bottom-dweller, and comes to the glass of the tank if you try to interact
  • Compatibility/Temperament: Social but semi-aggressive
  • Size: 1 to 3 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 to 10 years approximately
  • Temperature: 75 to 81 degrees of Fahrenheit
  • pH: 5.5 to 7.0

 

Apistogramma is quite a fancy fish that is very low maintenance and inexpensive. They have a shiny body with a variety of color options. The most attractive part of their appearance is their fins that are smooth and colorful hair-like in structure.

You can keep them both alone or in a community of their kind or other kinds of fish. In a 10 gallon tank, it is better to keep a maximum of 2 of them as they might be small in size but they require a lot of space for movement at the bottom of the tank.

 

18. Dwarf Lamprologus

  • Origins: Lake Tanganyika, East Africa
  • Behavior: Peaceful, shy at the beginning but gradually becomes active
  • Compatibility/Temperament: Social but more than one male might nip fins
  • Size: 1 to 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 3 to 5 years approximately
  • Temperature: 75 to 80 degrees of Fahrenheit
  • pH: 7.5 to 9.0

 

Dwarf Laprologus can be a unique addition to your hard water tank. The most common and prettiest color combination of Dwarf Lamprologus is a silver body with dark black bars and indigo fins.

Though they are territorial, they usually ignore fishes that dwell in the middle and upper levels of the tank. The males can get a maximum of 1 and a half inches in size while the females are even smaller than that. It is better to keep more females than males as each male tends to have more than one mate.

 

19. White Cloud Mountain Minnow

  • Origins: White Cloud Mountain (Baiyun Shan), Guangdong province, China
  • Behavior: Peaceful and shoaling fish
  • Compatibility/Temperament: Comfortable in groups and happier to coexist
  • Size: Up to 4 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 years approximately
  • Temperature: 60 to 72 degrees of Fahrenheit
  • pH: 6.0 to 7.0
White Cloud Mountain Minnow
White Cloud Mountain Minnow

White Cloud Mountain Minnows are cool-water fish. You need to keep your water cool and pair them with fishes that are cool dwellers too. They are loved for their iridescent green and pink scales. They can grow up to 1 and a half inches.

They are shoaling fish. They get more active in a larger group. In a smaller group, they are usually timid. They are hardy. They prefer tanks that are well-planted to scatter eggs.

 

20. Goldfish

  • Origins: China
  • Behavior: Active at day and sleeps at night
  • Compatibility/Temperament: Social with other goldfishes but might eat or bully other small fishes
  • Size: 1 to 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 10 to 15 years approximately
  • Temperature: 68 to 74 degrees of Fahrenheit
  • pH: 7.0 to 8.4
Best Biological Filter Media
Goldfish

 

Goldfishes are probably the most popular and highly-demanded aquarium fishes in the world. Who doesn’t love goldfish? Their beautiful golden bodies with vibrant orange fins make us fall in love with them.

They are very energetic, playful, and friendly. However, it is better to combine them with other Goldfishes rather than other small fish kinds as they tend to eat or threaten other small fishes.

 

21. Dwarf Puffer Fish

  • Origins: Kerala and southern Karnataka in Southwest India
  • Behavior: Peaceful and territorial
  • Compatibility/Temperament: Males are aggressive towards each other and other species as well
  • Size: Up to 1 and a half inches
  • Lifespan: 4 to 5 years approximately
  • Temperature: 77 to 79 degrees of Fahrenheit
  • pH: 7.0 to 8.0

 

If you want to take a risk and have an aggressive fish in your 10 gallon tank, you can have pufferfishes. They have a very unique body with reptile patterns on their skin. This is to let you know, keeping a Pufferfish simply means you’re petting one of the most poisonous living beings on earth. That is something you can brag about.

However, if you plan to keep a dwarf pufferfish, it is better to opt for the females rather than the males since the males are usually more aggressive.

 

22. Bluefin Notho

  • Origins: Mozambique, Africa
  • Behavior: Peaceful
  • Compatibility/Temperament: Males are semi-aggressive
  • Size: Up to 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 and a half years approximately
  • Temperature: 72 to 75 degrees of Fahrenheit
  • pH: 6.0 to 7.5

 

Bluefin Nothos have a very short lifespan. One of the main reasons behind it is that they tend to kill their adults and keep the eggs only. The background behind this weird practice is that they come from tiny water bodies of Mozambique where water dries every year. So, they keep the eggs for their generation to continue.

However, they are a very pretty nano fish with bodies having a color combination of greenish-blue and light orange. The males are sometimes aggressive towards each other and other species of similar size.

 

23. GloFish

  • Origins: Singapore
  • Behavior: Peaceful and active
  • Compatibility/Temperament: Social with occasional fighting and chasing among groups
  • Size: Up to 2 inches
  • Lifespan: Up to 3 years approximately
  • Temperature: 72 to 82 degrees of Fahrenheit
  • pH: 6.0 to 7.5

 

These fishes are biologically modified which makes them glow in the dark. They can be your greatest obsession to look at if you add them to your tank. Glofishes look great when combined with their kinds of different colors such as orange, red, purple, green, blue, and so on.

They are very easy to take care of and require the least effort and management. They look like magic in the darkness of night.

 

Carnivorous Fish:

If you’re willing to keep carnivorous fishes that are required to be kept alone in the tank, the following can be great options.

 

24. Oscar

  • Origins: South America
  • Behavior: Extremely territorial and moody
  • Compatibility/Temperament: Very aggressive and antisocial
  • Size: 1 to 3 inches (Juvenile)
  • Lifespan: 10 to 20 years approximately
  • Temperature: 71 to 84 degrees of Fahrenheit
  • pH: 6.0 to 8.0

 

Oscar is a fish that can learn tricks. If you’re experienced and are looking for a fish that you can train to entertain you, Oscar is a great choice. However, Oscars usually have an aggressive look that mimics their super aggressive nature.

Oscars should not be paired or combined with other fishes of both their kind and other kinds.

 

25. Butterflyfish

  • Origins: Indo-Pacific oceanic region
  • Behavior: Peaceful and shoaling fish
  • Compatibility/Temperament: Shy and antisocial
  • Size: 4 and a half to 8 and a half inches
  • Lifespan: 5 to 10 years approximately
  • Temperature: 73 to 86 degrees of Fahrenheit
  • pH: 6.9 to 7.1

 

Butterflyfishes are too pretty to deny. They have such a unique triangular-shaped body with sharply pointed lips that make them a living art. Their body looks like thick vibrant yellow stripes painted over matte white with an additional black dot on their upper fin.

However, the bad news is they are comparatively aggressive and not appropriate for combining with other species of fish. Also, while some Butterflyfishes are hardy and adapt well in the tank, others are too hard to manage.

 

What Types of Fish Can Live in a 10 Gallon Tank?

Size isn’t the only factor you should consider while buying fish for a 10 gallon tank. Many fishes are very tiny but they live in large schools and move rapidly with their group. 

Such fishes aren’t adequate for a 10 gallon tank. Whereas, many fishes might be comparatively larger, about 5 to six inches, but can be kept alone or as a pair in a 10 gallon tank. What matters the most is the activity and the temperament of the fish. 

Fishes that require too much space for movement aren’t appropriate for 10 gallon tanks. Again, fishes that are medium-sized but prefer large schools aren’t adequate for living in a 10 gallon tank as well. While choosing the fish, it is safer to opt for mild-tempered, mellow, and peaceful community fishes that are neither too active, nor too lazy and timid. 

And while selecting the fish to remain in a community, it is most important to maintain a balance of surface or mild-level swimmers and bottom feeders. Aggressive fishes and timid fishes should never be kept in the same community.

 

Why Does Size Matter?

Well, it is obvious that if you’re buying fish for a tank as small as 10 gallons, the size of the fish will be one of the most significant factors to consider. However, the size of the fish matters doesn’t mean you can go for any fish that small or medium in size.

By size, you need to especially focus on the size the fish will grow up to rather than the current size of the fish while buying. Many fishes might look bigger, but they might not grow more than that. And if they are peaceful, they are a perfect choice for a 10 gallon tank too.

 

 

Factors to Consider While Selecting Fish for 10 Gallon Tank

Below are some of the most essential factors to consider while selecting fish for a 10 gallon tank apart from their size. Have a look for a better idea.

Care Requirements

Care requirements are a very important factor to consider while buying fish for a 10 gallon tank to avoid troubles later. Many small and medium-sized peaceful fishes might be very sensitive and require extra attention and care. They won’t be a good option to incorporate in your tank as maintaining them can be a challenge and a hassle for you.

Fish Temperament

By now, it must have been clear to you that the temperament of the fish is one of the most prioritizing factors while choosing the fish, especially for a community. Because while many fishes are fin-nippers that cannot stay with other fishes with large fins, many are aggressive towards timid and peaceful fishes or fishes of the same sex. 

Growth Rate of the Fish

As we have already said, instead of making decisions judging the current size of the fish, know about their growth rate. Many fishes that are pretty small after birth might grow up to 6 inches or more within a year. You don’t want to get into trouble dealing with a big fish in a small tank of 10 gallons.

Tidiness

You might think how dirty a small fish can get. Trust us when we say that many small fishes can get really dirty and make their surroundings untidy, making it uncomfortable for other fishes to live. Many fishes might have a very cluttered lifestyle. They might not be able to live with other well-organized fishes.

Fish Space Requirement

You should never underestimate the space requirement of a small fish. Many small fishes that are too active might prefer larger space that a 10 gallon tank does not provide. Therefore, it would be a really bad idea to get such a fish in your tank as it might ruin the peaceful environment of your tank community.

 

Other Aquatic Pets You Can Add in a 10 Gallon Tank

If you want your tank community to have other species rather than only fishes to add some variety, you can go with the following:

Shrimps

Shrimps are great little aquatic insects and are a nice addition to your 10 gallon tank. Also, most of the peaceful 10 gallon tank fish species are friendly to shrimps. However, not all shrimps are suitable for a 10 gallon tank. The shrimps to add in a 10 gallon tank community are:

  • Amano Shrimp
  • Ghost Shrimp
  • Red Cherry Shrimp

 

Nerite Snail 

Nerite snails are one of the most popular aquatic species for a 10 gallon tank. They are great tank cleaners and require effortless care. They are hardy and can survive in several water conditions and pH.

Though they prefer slightly alkaline water with a pH of 7.5. There are several beautiful and colorful species of nerite snails such as Zebra Nerite Snail, Olive Nerite Snail, Tiger Nerite Snail, and many more.

 

African Dwarf Frog

African Dwarf frogs are a unique species to have for a variation in your tank environment. They are calm and easy to take care of. They grow up to 3 inches max. However, there is a possibility that they might eat the tiniest fishes in the community when they are too hungry. So, they must be fed well.

 

Best Stocking Ideas for 10 Gallon Tank

If you’re planning to stock fish in your 10 gallon tank, you don’t need to research any further after this article. Just select one option that seems the best to you from the following stocking ideas.

  • 1 male Betta, 3-5 Danios
  • 3 female Bettas & an African Dwarf Frog
  • 4 male Guppies, 6 Black Skirt Tetras, 2 Clown Loaches
  • 5-10 Neon Tetra
  • 2 Dwarf Gourami
  • 3 Dwarf Puffers
  • 7-9 White Cloud Minnows
  • 4 Swordtail
  • 6 Platy
  • 6 Molly

 

Best Combos for 10 Gallon Fish Tanks

For your better convenience, we are also providing some of the best combos of species to have in your 10 gallon tank below.

Combo-One:

3 Platies

5 Neon Tetras

1 Nerite Snail

 

Combo-Two:

1 Dwarf Gourami

4 Rasbora

4 Corydoras

 

Combo-Three:

4 Cardinal Tetras

3 Corydoras

 

Wrong Choices of Fish for 10 Gallon Tanks

We don’t want you to end up with the wrong fish in your 10 gallon tank even after going through this article. So, to save you from the common mistakes people make while choosing fish for a 10 gallon tank, we are listing below some fishes you shouldn’t opt for a 10 gallon tank.

 

Angelfish

Don’t let the name and the appearance of Angelfish deceive you as they are an aggressive species to other peaceful ones. Though they won’t bother much if kept in a “species only” tank. 

However, the problem is while baby Angelfishes are small and adorable, they get really large once they are an adult. The perfect tank size for them would be 55 gallons.

 

Bala Shark

Getting Bala Sharks into the 10 gallon tank is one of the common and worst mistakes people make. They might be about only 3 inches in size when they’re an infant, but they may get up to a foot large when they’re adults. 

Moreover, they prefer to live in schools. Hence, they are a very bad option for your 10 gallon tank as they are active and powerful and can even break your tank glass.

 

Plecostomus

Plecos are called suckerfish. They might seem small initially, but most species grow up to several feet. They are the worst choice for a 10 gallon tank. If you get one of them, you will get yourself into some real trouble. They are also not much of a tidy species.

 

African Cichlids

African Cichlids can be a very colorful and attractive fish that is small when it’s an infant. However, they get very large, aggressive, and complex with age. These fishes are aggressive towards both other species and themselves. 

Moreover, they require extra care to survive. And above all, they can’t live in a 10 gallon tank for too long. They need at least a 55 gallon tank.

 

Large Gouramis

While Dwarf Gouramis are some of the best species of fish to have in a 10 gallon tank, its larger cousins are not appropriate to live in a 10 gallon tank at all. The larger species of Gouramis are not only inadequate to live in a 10 gallon tank for their size, but they’re also quite aggressive and complex in behavior.

 

Dos and Don’ts for Taking Care of Fishes in a 10 Gallon Tank

Maintaining your tank community properly and smartly is important for the healthy living of the species. Thus, let’s take a look at some quick dos and don’ts you need to follow while taking care of your tank aquatic community.

Dos:

  • Create a good and appropriate community where every species can live peacefully.
  • Clean the tank routinely to avoid fish getting ill.
  • Cycle the tank to maintain a healthy ecosystem.
  • Change the water for balancing the pH and the quality.
  • Check the water parameters.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t overstock.
  • Never overfeed the fishes.

 

Final Words

So, these were the best fish for 10 gallon tank we could find. Now, it’s your time to make your choice wisely. Good luck. If you have any questions, feel to ask us in the comment section below.

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