Ideas For Stocking a 10 Gallon Fish Tank [Best List & Guide]

Estimated read time 12 min read

What You Need To Know When Stocking A 10 Gallon Tank

If you’re going to be setting up and stocking a 10 gallon tank you may be asking a few of the following questions:

  1. How many fish can be in a 10-gallon tank?
  2. What types of fish can live in a 10-gallon tank?
  3. What are good fish for a 10 gallon tank?
  4. 10-gallon fish tank stocking ideas?
  5. 10-gallon tank fish combos?
  6. How many Betta Fish can I put in a 10-gallon tank?
  7. How many betta fish can I put in a 10-gallon tank?
  8. How many male guppies can I put in a 10-gallon tank?
  9. How many goldfish can fit in a 10-gallon tank?

Overall a 10-gallon tank is still on the small side so you’ll want to be careful with how many and the types of fish you keep.

If you’re still wondering what you should do?

Good news!

Below we will answer all these questions and even show you some other tiny things that you can fit comfortably in your 10-gallon tank.

Let’s begin.

Further Reading: Best freshwater aquarium fish


Equipment For A 10 Gallon Fish Tank

Question #1:
How many fish can be in a 10-gallon tank?

Ah, the classic question!

And it deserves a classic answer: It depends!

Seriously though, how many fish can you put in a 10-gallon tank?

Try to aim for one small fish per gallon of water and by “small” fish I mean like a Neon Tetra sized fish.

Basically, it equates to approximately 1 inch of fish per gallon.

But it’s not always that easy, you can see my thoughts on that here to see what I really think.

That said, you should be able to fit about 5-10 small fish in your tank at first and as the tank matures and you get better at fish keeping. You can maybe keep 10-20 if you don’t mind some work.

However, this is what most beginners do, they buy a 10-gallon tank and fill it with a few fish without doing a little bit of research.

But you’re not like most people and you at least asked the question, so good on you.

The problem most beginners don’t realize is that you need to consider a few things like;

  • The growth rate for your fish
  • Their temperament, how aggressive are they?
  • How dirty are they

For example, a small goldfish can grow up to 6″ in size in less than a year.

Can you see a huge 6″ goldfish living comfortably in a 10-gallon tank?

I can’t.

That said what if you could find a few examples of what you could put in your 10-gallon tank?

Well, you’re in luck, that’s what I’ve prepared below.

Question #2
What types of fish can live in a 10-gallon tank?

There are so many peaceful fish you can keep in your tank it just really depends on your skill.

If you’re here I’m going to assume you’re somewhat new to fishkeeping and looking for some guidance.

So, a few ideal choices for a 10-gallon aquarium would be:

Some great Tetras would be the Neon, Cardinal or the Glowlight.

Dwarf and Panda Corydoras would be a fun addition.

Sparkling Gourami.
These guys are small but beautiful.

Try not to get males and females, these guys will breed like crazy and quickly overtake your 10 gallons.

Seriously only one of these guys, its not fight club.

But as you’ll see below we throw a few unexpected fish into the mix, so keep reading.

Question #3:
What are good fish for a 10 gallon tank?

Here are a few more popular Fish for a 10 Gallon Fish Tank?

Check Them Out!

As I mentioned above small tanks are easily contaminated due to the small amount of water, so you need to pay close attention to the bioload and water parameters.

If none of the above peaceful fish species are what you’re looking for in terms of fish, then you should explore a larger tank.

A larger tank is not only ideal and easier to maintain but will provide you with the opportunity to keep a wider selection of fish.

Question #4:
10-gallon fish tank stocking ideas?

This is a great video from Aquarium Co-Op where they show you some popular ideas for your tank and walk you through the process of selecting some awesome fish to create something absolutely stunning.

In the video, they explain how to select a centerpiece fish along with some schooling fish, bottom dwellers as well as some plants.

Stocking a ten gallon tank Ideas

Here are a few more peaceful options for a 10-gallon tank:

  •  3 female bettas & an African Dwarf Frog
  • 4 male guppies, 6 black skirt tetras, 2 clown loaches
  • 1 male betta, 3-5 danios
  • 3 Dwarf Puffers
  • 7-9 white cloud minnows
  • 5-10 neon tetra would be fine in a 10-gallon tank.
  • 2 dwarf gourami (3 in)
  • 6 platy (2 in)
  • 6 molly (2-4 in)
  • 4 swordtail (up to 5 in)

Question #5:
How many Betta fish can I put in a 10-gallon tank?

Unless you plan on splitting your tank with a divider like this one you should never keep more than one male Betta in one tank.

Question #6:
How many female Bettas can you put in a 10-gallon tank?

However, female Bettas are not nearly as aggressive as males and you can have what’s called a sorority tank.

The trick with keeping the drama to a minimum between the sisters is to keep odd numbers when stocking your tank.

Try to keep 3 or 5 betta fish in a 10-gallon tank.

Question #7:
How many male Guppies can I put in a 10-gallon tank?

Guppies are great peaceful little fish especially the fancy varieties available in so many different colors and combos.

You could fit about 4-6 guppies in a 10-gallon tank. But like I said earlier keep with one sex to avoid any unwanted babies.

Read my article on How many guppies can be kept in a 1o gallon tank for more information.

Question #8:
How many Goldfish can fit in a 10-gallon tank?

So, in this case, a lot of sites like this one will say you can keep 2-4 “Small” goldfish in a 10-gallon tank.

I completely disagree with this!

Although the rule of thumb may be 1 inch of fish per gallon. Goldfish grow far too large and are very dirty fish that will pollute a 10-gallon tank very quickly.

You can read my article on How many goldfish can fit into a 10-gallon tank to see some better recommendations.

Question #9:
The Best 10-gallon tank fish combos

In most cases ten gallons isn’t suitable for a large community tank but here are a few options you can try:



  • 1 Dwarf Gouramis
  • 4 Rasbora
  • 4 Corydoras


  • 4 Cardinal Tetras
  • 3 Corydoras

Creating a Thriving Small Tank Ecosystem: A Guide for College Students and Beginners

The aquarium hobby has always held a unique allure, drawing enthusiasts into a mesmerizing underwater world. However, for college students and beginners, managing a small tank presents both exciting possibilities and unique challenges. In this guide, we’ll explore the key aspects of creating a thriving small tank ecosystem, emphasizing the importance of choosing the right fish and setup.

Small Tank Advantages

A. Exploring the benefits of smaller tanks

Small tanks offer a range of advantages, making them a good option for those with limited space or resources. They easily fit in small spaces, making them a practical choice for dorm rooms or apartments. Their easier maintenance and reduced costs make them ideal for beginners and busy college students.

B. Highlighting the good idea for college students and beginners

For college students, a small tank can be the perfect addition to a dorm room. It not only adds a touch of nature to your living space but also provides a sense of tranquility during hectic study sessions. Likewise, beginners will find smaller tanks more forgiving as they learn the ropes of aquarium keeping.

C. The importance of maintaining good water quality in smaller tanks

One challenge with small tanks is the potential for poor water quality due to limited water volume. Thus, maintaining proper filtration and regular water changes is crucial to ensure a healthy environment for your aquatic inhabitants.

Choosing the Right Fish

A. Emphasizing the significance of fish selection

Selecting the right fish is paramount to your tank’s success. Consider factors such as fish compatibilitymaximum size, and activity level to create a harmonious community.

B. Highlighting suitable options for small tanks

  1. Celestial Pearl Danio: These small, peaceful fish with bright colors are an excellent choice for smaller tanks.
  2. Ember Tetras: Their small size and vibrant red hues make them a striking addition to any aquarium.
  3. Harlequin Rasboras: These peaceful community fish add beauty and serenity to your tank.
  4. Honey Gourami: Known for their gentle nature and beautiful colors, they thrive in small environments.
  5. Dwarf Rasbora: With their diminutive size, these fish are a perfect fit for small aquariums.
  6. Kuhli Loaches: These slender, active fish are a delightful addition to any tank.

C. Discussing the popularity of Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta Splendens)

  1. Betta Splendens, also known as Siamese Fighting Fish, are renowned for their bright colors and unique personalities.
  2. However, due to their territorial nature, they require special care to ensure a peaceful community.

Creating the Right Environment

A. Replicating a natural habitat in a small aquarium

  1. Provide plenty of plants to offer shelter and mimic a natural environment.
  2. Create a peaceful community by selecting fish that coexist naturally.
  3. Imitate your fish’s natural habitat to keep them comfortable and stress-free.

B. Providing hiding places for fish

Including hiding places like caves and plant clusters ensures that your fish have safe retreats.

C. The role of mystery snails and ghost shrimp in a balanced ecosystem

Mystery snails and ghost shrimp serve as valuable members of your aquarium’s cleanup crew, contributing to water quality and overall balance.

Maintenance and Care

A. Water changes in small tanks

  1. Frequent water changes are essential to combat the challenges of limited water volume.
  2. Regular monitoring of water parameters is crucial for maintaining a stable environment.

B. Live foods and feeding schedules

Incorporating live foods and establishing a consistent feeding schedule helps keep your fish healthy and vibrant.

C. Brevis Shell Dwellers and Dwarf Otocinclus as algae eaters

Consider adding Brevis Shell Dwellers and Dwarf Otocinclus to your tank to help control algae and maintain a clean environment.

D. Dealing with aggressive fish in small spaces

Managing aggressive fish requires careful observation and possibly separating them from more peaceful community fish.

Variety and Aesthetics

A. The appeal of bright colors in the aquarium

Bright colors add vibrancy to your tank, creating a visually stunning underwater landscape.

B. Mixing different fish species in smaller tanks

  1. Mixing different fish species in smaller tanks can be challenging but rewarding.
  2. Consider the specific needs of each species to ensure compatibility.

C. Enhancing the beauty of your aquarium with Golden Dwarf Barbs and Sexy Shrimp

Golden Dwarf Barbs and Sexy Shrimp are exquisite choices to introduce captivating colors and intriguing behavior to your tank.


A small tank can be a captivating addition to your life, whether you’re a college student or a beginner. We’ve explored the advantages of small tanks, the importance of choosing the right fish, creating a suitable environment, and proper maintenance. With the knowledge gained from this guide, we wish you good luck and success in creating a thriving small tank ecosystem that brings the wonders of the aquatic world to your space.

At the end of the day, a 10-gallon tank is not for beginners so make sure you know what you are getting into.

It’s important to understand the nitrogen cycle and how to maintain healthy water conditions for your fish.

Need more ideas for a bigger or smaller tank? Try these articles:

Stocking Ideas For A 10 Gallon Tank

Photo credits:
Neon Tetra Via Geek2Nurse 
Cherry Barb Via Beer_Powered 
Zebra Danio Via Ruaraidh Gillies 
Killifish Via Chantal Wagner Kornin 
Rasboras Via Chantal Wagner Kornin 

More Info About 10-Gallon Tanks

  1. Guide to Setting up Your 10-Gallon Planted Tank
  2. 12 Hungry Algae Eaters For Small Tanks 10 Gallons & Under
  3. Stocking A 10 Gallon Tank
  4. Best Small Catfish for a 10-Gallon Tank Setup
  5. Bottom Feeder Fish for a 10-Gallon Tank
  6. How Much Gravel For A 10 Gallon Tank
  7. How Many Neon Tetras In A 10 Gallon Tank
  8. How Many Guppies in a 10-Gallon Tank
  9. How Many Goldfish in a 10-Gallon Tank
  10. Easy 10-gallon Cichlid Tank Ideas
  11. Best Powerhead for a 10 Gallon Tank
  12. What Is The Best Canister Filter For A 10 Gallon Fish Tank?
  13. Gravel Vacuum For 10 Gallon Tank & Smaller
  14. Best Stands For 10 Gallon Fish Tanks

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