10 Gallon Tank: 15 Things You Should Know (For Beginners)

10-gallon tanks are next in line to the smallest tanks you can find, which are 5-gallon tanks. These are perfect for beginners who are just getting into the hobby of collecting fish or other kinds of pets.

This article is about to show you exactly what can fit in 10-gallon tanks.


What Fish Can Be Kept In A 10 Gallon Tank?

The following species of fish below are the ones that you can keep in a 10-gallon tank:

  • Celestial Pearl Danios
  • Golden Dwarf Barbs
  • Neon Tetras
  • Pygmy Corydoras
  • Guppies
  • Betta Fish
  • Dwarf Gourami

Celestial Pearl Danios need to be kept in schools, so the minimum number of this species of fish you can keep in a 10-gallon tank is six, while the maximum would be 10 (for a species-only tank).

Golden Dwarf Barbs should also be kept in schools, a minimum of five and a maximum of 10. Neon Tetras must also live with a group, so the maximum you can have in a 10-gallon tank is 10.

Pygmy Corydoras must only be kept in a 10-gallon species-only tank and you can keep as much as eight to 10 of these fish inside a tank.

Guppies can thrive in a 10-gallon tank in schools of five to 10. If you have no plans of breeding them, then you must either keep an all-male or all-female Guppies in a 10-gallon tank.

Bettas would be a situational case since some Bettas are okay with being kept in a tank with other fish. If you want to play it safe, it’s best to keep them alone in a 10-gallon tank.

Lastly, you can keep three Dwarf Gourami fish in a 10-gallon tank, or you can also keep one Dwarf Gourami fish with several other peaceful tankmates (e.g. Neon Tetras, Mollies, Swordtails, Platies, etc.).

Is A 10 Gallon Tank Too Big For One Betta?

No, a 10-gallon tank isn’t too big for one Betta, rather, it’s better, since Bettas need a lot of room to swim around and the smaller a tank is the more quickly the water quality would deteriorate and be filled with high nitrate levels.

Betta fish are active swimmers and the minimum tank size that would sustain their level of activeness is five to 10 gallons. If you wish to add more fish inside a 10-gallon tank, you may do so, just remember that each additional fish equates to one gallon.

With the extra space that a 10-gallon tank has, you can choose to add a few tank mates for your Betta. You should be cautious about adding tank mates though since Bettas are known for being territorial.

  • Apple snails
  • African Dwarf Frogs
  • Ghost Shrimp

Since a 10-gallon tank would be too small to add other species of fish as tankmates for your Betta, then the critters aforementioned would be the next best thing.

Your Betta would most likely attack Apple Snails, luckily, these snails can simply retreat inside their shells for defense. The Bettas would get along well with the other two critters since they won’t see them as food.

What Is The Biggest Fish You Can Put In A 10 Gallon Tank?

A Dwarf Gourami would be the biggest fish you can put in a 10-gallon tank.

Take note that the biggest fish we mentioned, the Dwarf Gourami, is a completely different fish compared to a regular Gourami. The regular Gourami measures up to 24 inches and that kind of fish would need to live in at least a 250-gallon tank or a much larger one.

The Dwarf Gourami on the other hand only measures up to 4 to 4.4 inches, so they can perfectly live in a 10-gallon tank alone.

There are different types of Dwarf Gourami fish that you can choose from:

  • Blue Dwarf Gourami
  • Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami
  • Flame Dwarf Gourami
  • Neon Blue Dwarf Gourami
  • Honey Dwarf Gourami

Aside from the Dwarf Gourami, you can also put a Betta fish in a 10-gallon tank. This would be the second biggest fish you can keep in a 10-gallon tank.

You must be mindful of keeping either a Dwarf Gourami or a Betta in a 10-gallon tank because you can only keep one fish in these tanks. You can’t keep two Bettas in a 10-gallon tank and neither can you keep two Dwarf Gouramis in a 10-gallon tank.

What Kind Of Snake Can Live In A 10 Gallon Tank?

Male Kenyan Sand Boa is the kind of snake that can live in a 10-gallon tank. Males are recommended since they are much smaller than females.

The Kenyan Sand Boas are a popular species of snake for beginner snake enthusiasts because they can comfortably live in a 10-gallon tank, and as we all know, 10-gallon tanks are the recommended size for those who are just starting.

You can only keep one male Kenyan Sand Boa in a 10-gallon tank. If you have plans on getting two Kenyan Sand Boas, then make sure to keep one male and one female or two females in a single tank. Never keep two males in one tank because there’s a possibility that they will bite each other.

There are other kinds of snakes that you can keep in 10-gallon tanks, however, you can only keep them in these tanks during their hatchling and juvenile stages.

  • Scarlet Kingsnake (20 gallons for adults)
  • Rosy Boa (20 – 30 gallons for adults)
  • Western and Eastern Hognose (20 – 30 gallons for adults)

How Many Male Endlers Can Live In A 10 Gallon Tank?

Five male Endlers can live in a 10-gallon tank.

Despite Endlers being small fish (1.5 to 2 inches), you can’t just stuff a bunch of them inside a 10-gallon tank. The maximum number of Endlers that can live in a 10-gallon tank is five, if you want to double the number of Endlers you have, then you must get a much larger tank, specifically, 20 gallons.

On a side note, do be careful when purchasing Endlers because they’re completely identical to Common Guppies. Of course, there are factors that differentiate them from one another such as size, tail, color intensity, main coloration, body marks, body shape, and gonopodium.

You may refer to this link to see a more detailed explanation.

How Many Angelfish Can I Put In A 10 Gallon Tank?

None. You can’t even put a single Angelfish in a 10-gallon tank because that’ll be too small for them. Angelfish are active swimmers and are quite large in size, therefore they need to be kept in a minimum of 55-gallon tanks.

It’s a common mistake for people to keep a baby Angelfish in a 10-gallon tank. They’re probably unaware of the fact that these fish would grow up to one foot during adulthood.

Baby Angelfish may be small so you might be tempted to keep them in 10-gallon tanks. Whatever you do, don’t make this mistake!

How Many Blue Rams Can Live In A 10 Gallon Tank?

Only one Blue Ram can live in a 10-gallon tank. An additional Blue Ram would need another 10 gallons.

Blue Rams are fairly small fish, measuring from two to three inches, so 10-gallon tanks are a great choice for them. If you wish to have more than one Blue Ram, then you must upgrade your tank to at least a 20-gallon one.

Another important note, do include plants in your Blue Ram’s 10-gallon tank. These fish need plants to hide in, if there aren’t any plants in your tank they will feel unprotected. Once they feel unprotected, their stress level will spike up.

Some recommended plants to add are hornwort and water wisteria. Make sure to leave some space inside the tank for the Blue Ram to swim in. Avoid overcrowding a 10-gallon tank.

How Many Convict Cichlids Can Live In A 10 Gallon Tank?

None. Even a single Convict Cichlid can’t live in a 10-gallon tank because it’s too small. A small tank would further trigger their aggression as well.

Convict Cichlids are medium-sized aggressive fish, so a 10-gallon tank is inappropriate for them. These fish need a minimum of 30 gallons to live happily and remain healthy.

Most territorial fish are prone to exhibit aggression, the Convict Cichlid is no excuse for this. A small tank would only worsen their already aggressive nature, so it’s best to get a larger tank on the get-go to not upset your fish.

In terms of tankmates, it’s often best to just keep a Convict Cichlid all by itself due to their territorial and aggressive temperament.

However, if you wish to have a community tank, then a 55-gallon tank would be a decent size. Adding two male Convict Cichlids is not the best choice since they will be aggressive towards each other.

You can instead keep an all-female tank or a female and male tank. Be prepared though because the latter would result in them breeding, and when Convict Cichlids breed, their aggression becomes worse.

Lastly, you can keep other species of fish with Convict Cichlids, but you must proceed with caution. Remember that the nature of Convict Cichlids is dangerous to other fish. Below are some tankmates that are compatible with Convict Cichlids:

  • Giant Danio
  • Firemouth Cichlid
  • Jack Dempsey
  • Pictus Catfish
  • Plecostomus
  • Clown Loach
  • Tricolor Cichlid
  • Tiger Barb
  • Mbuna
  • Red Eye Tetra

All these fish are very much capable of protecting themselves from Convict Cichlids, so you have nothing to worry about.

How Many Cichlids Can I Put In A 10 Gallon Tank?

It depends on what type of Cichlid you have. Four to eight Shell Dweller Cichlids can be kept in 10-gallon tanks.

Keep in mind that there are other Cichlids that can’t be kept in 10-gallon tanks. Here’s a list of Cichlids that you must avoid putting in a 10-gallon tank:

  • African Cichlids (excluding Shell Dwellers)
  • Wolf Cichlid
  • Peacock Cichlid
  • Jack Dempsey
  • Firemouth Cichlid
  • Convict Cichlids
  • And other large and aggressive Cichlid species

Can You Keep An Apistogramma In A 10 Gallon Tank?

No, you can’t keep an Apistogramma in a 10-gallon tank. These fish prefer to live with groups so you need a bigger tank, a minimum of 20 gallons.

If you want to provide Apistos with perfect comfort, then a 30-gallon tank would be the best choice. The ideal Apistogramma group would include one male and two females. An all-male tank set-up would only result in trouble.

Moreover, you must be cautious when it comes to tank space. Apistogramma doesn’t do well in small tanks and tanks that are too big. A tank that’s too spacious would overwhelm these fish, so avoid that at all cost.

Can Two Betta Fish Live In A 10 Gallon Tank?

Two Betta fish can’t live in a 10-gallon tank. This applies to a pair of males and a pair of females. One Betta from the pair will always dominate the other and that would most likely result in the death of the inferior Betta.

It’s never safe to keep two to three Bettas in a 10-gallon tank because the superior Bettas will always bully, attack, and possibly kill the inferior Betta.

A 10-gallon tank is able to accommodate a community of six Bettas; the higher the number of Bettas the less chance there is of bullying inferior Bettas.

Also, make sure that your 10-gallon tank has a lid over it. Female Bettas are known to be good at jumping and this isn’t something to be happy about. What happens to a fish after it jumps out of a tank is common sense. So ensure that there’s a lid that covers your tank.

Can A Black Moor Goldfish Live In A 10 Gallon Tank?

No. A Black Moor Goldfish can’t live in a 10-gallon tank. The same goes for other species of fancy goldfish. Most goldfish can’t live in 10-gallon tanks because they produce a lot of waste. Too much waste would raise nitrate levels and make water quality deteriorate.

This fancy fish needs at least 20 gallons to live comfortably, anything below this size would be unhealthy for them. Also, based on their physical anatomy, their fins are long, so they would need more tank space to accommodate their fins.

Also, only one Black Moor can fit inside a 20-gallon tank, if you want to add an additional Black Moor, you need 10 more gallons.

If you want to keep a goldfish in a 10-gallon tank you can opt for the Bubble Eye Goldfish. This fish can thrive in a 10-gallon tank, if you plan on getting more than one then you’ll need an extra 10 gallons per Bubble Eye Goldfish.

Can Ribbon Snakes Live In A 10 Gallon Tank?

No, Ribbon Snakes can’t live in a 10-gallon tank. These are too small for them so they won’t have enough space to move around.

Aside from avoiding small tanks, you also need to avoid tanks that are too big as this would frighten the snake, causing it to feel exposed and stressed.

Ribbon Snakes must have proper exercise, so the size of their tank has to be longer than the snake. The ideal tank for a Ribbon Snake would be 15 to 25 gallons.

A 15-gallon tank would suffice for adult Ribbon Snakes but the tank requirement will change when it comes to a pair of breeding Ribbon Snakes. This is where the 25-gallon tank comes in, this would make an ideal tank for breeding Ribbon Snakes.

How Long Can A Baby Bearded Dragon Live In A 10 Gallon Tank?

Baby Bearded Dragons can’t stay in 10-gallon tanks because they need a minimum of 20 gallons. They need to stay in 20-gallon tanks for six months, and by the time they’re six months of age, they need to be transferred to a much larger tank.

The size of a baby Bearded Dragon is around three inches and during their hatchling stage (first two months), they grow as much as 1 – 1.5 inches per week.

This size can only be accommodated in a 20-gallon tank since this provides more space for a baby Bearded Dragon compared to 10-gallon tanks. Moreover, this gives baby Bearded Dragons a lot more space to catch their food.

How Often Should I Change The Water In My 10 Gallon Tank?

You should change 10 to 15% of an average tank’s water weekly, weekly change 20% of water for heavily stocked tanks, and bi-weekly change 10 to 15% of water for lightly stocked tanks.

Of course, other factors would also come into play when it comes to the frequency of changing the water in your 10-gallon tanks. Said factors would include the species of fish that you have and how much waste it produces, the size of the tank, the number of fish inside the tank, and the type of filter being used for the tank.

The more waste the fish produces, the more frequent you have to clean the tank. High nitrate levels decrease the quality of water inside a tank, so you must be mindful of this and regularly check your tank.

The more fish you have the more waste there’s going to be inside the tank, and when a tank isn’t that big at all, then nitrate levels will increase a lot quicker compared to bigger tanks.

There are several signs you can spot that would help you determine if your tank needs cleaning already. Here are a few signs:

  • The water appears to be cloudy.
  • The water has changed its color.
  • Abnormal behavior is being exhibited by the fish inside the tank.

Do 10 Gallon Fish Tanks Need A Heater?

Yes, 10-gallon tanks need a heater because this regulates the temperature inside the tank. Ultimately, this would prevent unfortunate circumstances such as fishes being afflicted with disease and death.

There are several species of fish that have to have their temperature needs met and this can only be done with the help of heaters.

Let’s say you have a tropical fish, these fish need a warmer temperature than your room has to offer; this is where the heater comes into play. It helps with warming up the tank so that the tropical fish doesn’t get stressed out and possibly die.

Of course, when you’re about to purchase a heater for your 10-gallon tank you’ll have to know the temperature of your room (where the tank is located) and the temperature that your tank needs (based on the temperature requirements of your fish). A 50W heater would often suffice for a 10-gallon tank.

Aqueon Aquarium Starter Kit, Marina LED Aquarium Kit, and GloFish Aquarium Kit are the most popular 10-gallon tanks in the market.

The three tanks we’ve mentioned are great for beginners due to its price and the features that it offers. On the plus side, all three of these tanks come in kits, so you won’t have to buy a lot of additional accessories such as heaters, LEDs, and filters.

Check them out here:

Aqueon Aquarium Starter Kit

Marina LED Aquarium Kit

GloFish Aquarium Kit




75 Gallon Tank: 22 Things You Should Know (For Beginners)