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:

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  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 fish are best 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.

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 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 reasonable choices for a 10-gallon aquarium would be:

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

Corydoras.
Dwarf and Panda Corydoras would be a fun addition.

Sparkling Gourami.
These guys are small but beautiful.

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

Betta.
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 fish are best for a 10-gallon tank?

Here are a few of the Best Fish for a 10 Gallon Fish Tank?

Check Them Out!

  • Neon Tetras
  • Cardinal Tetras
  • Kuhli Loach
  • Cherry Barb
  • White Cloud Minnow
  • Rasboras
  • Zebra Danios
  • Dwarf Gouramis
  • Guppies
  • Red Cherry Shrimp
  • Nerite Snails
  • Dwarf Corydoras
  • Brown Pencil Fish
  • Apistogramma
  • Killifish
  • Tea Cup Platy

Stocking a 10-Gallon Tank Top Fish

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 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 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 great 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 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 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:

Combo-One:

Combo-Two:

  • 1 Dwarf Gouramis
  • 4 Rasbora
  • 4 Corydoras

Combo-Three:

  • 4 Cardinal Tetras
  • 3 Corydoras

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