🐠 Best Freshwater Fish for a 10 Gallon Tank

Best Freshwater Fish for a 10 Gallon Tank ? If you’re looking for a pet that needs little care and will not take up much space in your home, consider a freshwater fish. Freshwater fish are one of the most popular types of pets because they come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. They can thrive under just about any conditions as long as you make sure to provide them with enough food and clean water on a regular basis. In this post Mem Fish will talk about some of the best freshwater fish for 10 gallon tanks.

Best Freshwater Fish for a 10 Gallon Tank

Celestial Pearl Danios

The Celestial Pearl Danio ( ikan karmada ikan gurame ) is a great fish for the freshwater aquarium. It is especially well suited to a 10 Gallon Tank Setup. These are highly active, peaceful and beautiful fish that spend most of their time in the middle areas of the tank. They are a schooling fish and should be kept in groups of no less than six. These fish are relatively inexpensive, readily available and do well with most community tank setups. The only problem is that they can be very sensitive to changes in the water chemistry so it’s important to make gradual changes rather than sudden ones. It’s also important to keep in mind that these fish are very sensitive to temperature changes so it’s best to maintain the tank water at the same temperature all of the time.

Golden Dwarf Barbs

The Golden Dwarf Barb (Puntius semifasciolatus) ia an excellent choice for a 10 Gallon Tank Setup. They have a golden yellow coloration with black stripes running down their sides like all barbs do and they grow up to five inches in length, not including their tail fin which can be another inch and a half long on some specimens! These little guys are highly energetic so you’ll want to make sure there is room for them to swim back and forth in your tank and that it has fine-grained substrate or they’ll damage their barbels. They are however, a very hardy fish right out of the bag, so the substrate is really only an issue if you’re not going to add any more fish than these guys in your tank.

It’s best to keep groups of at least five of these guys together as they are community fish that will tolerate most other types of small schooling fish with no problems but remember that there should be more females than males or there could be some reproduction issues.

In addition to being easy to care for and beautiful, this fish is one of the best for new aquarists just getting started with their first tank. Check out our guide on how to setup a 10 Gallon Tank for tips before you get started too!

Neon Tetras

The Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi) ia an excellent choice for any freshwater aquarium less than 20 gallons, although they will work nicely in larger tanks too as long as there are plenty of places to school. In other words, they like lots of nooks and crannies where they can hide out when they feel threatened by predators or simply want some peace and quiet! These fish have a very intense racing stripe pattern on their body and they grow up to three inches in length. These fish are very active and should be kept in groups of at least six because they are schooling fish.

They prefer a neutral pH but will grow fine in a tank that is slightly more acidic (5.8 – 6.4) or if the KH is lower than four degrees, making them a good choice for those using undergravel filters even though this type of filtration isn’t the best for these guys. They also like the water cool, ranging from seventy-eight to eighty degrees so if you like a cooler tank then these are the fish for you!

Pygmy Corydoras

The Pygmy Cory (Corydoras pygmaeus) is a great fish for your 10 Gallon Tank, but remember that they are very small and grow no bigger than two inches. Because of this, you will need to be careful not to overcrowd your tank with them otherwise the extra stress on their little bodies may cause illness or death. These little guys do best in schools of twelve or more so plan on getting at least twenty of them for your tank.

Pygmy Corys are very peaceful and can be kept with just about any other fish you want, but remember that as long as they’re in schools of at least twelve there should not be a problem keeping them with more aggressive species. As for coloration, these little guys will have much brighter colors when their water is well-maintained, so make sure you have a filter and an efficient way to cycle your tank if you don’t want dead corys floating around all the time!

Apistogramma Dwarf Gourami

The Dwarf Gourami (Apistogramma dwarf gourami or Dwarf Cichlid) is also a great choice for the 10 gallon tank. These fish grow up to three inches in length and do best if kept in groups of five or more because they are schooling fish. When not in a school, these fish will quickly become shy and stressed out which means you should avoid getting only one unless it is the last thing you can fit into your tank!

Dwarf Gouramis like somewhat cooler water than other tropical aquarium fish while still remaining comfortable for humans (they don’t actually mind temperatures down to sixty-eight degrees!) so if you like a cooler tank then this is the fish for you!

Pygmy Crayfish

The Pygmy Crayfish ( Procambarus douglasii or Red River Crayfish) are great for a 10 Gallon Tank because they are easy to care for and also very hardy, allowing them to survive in water that is not as clean or well-maintained as it should be.

This species of crayfish will grow up to two inches in length and have bright blue banding all over their bodies with red eyes. In fact, its name comes from the coloring of its face which resembles Abraham Lincoln’s face! These crayfish can live for up to five years but remember that they are freshwater crayfish so they can easily be spooked by fish and other creatures.

Betta Fish

Betta Fish (pronounced “bett-uh”) are one of the few species with no alternative common name, but they need no other moniker because their looks alone are enough to make a person melt! These fish have brightly trimmed fins that range in color from electric blue to deep red, making them some of the most beautiful freshwater fish on the market today. Although they may be hardy fish, bettas’ lives are short as these guys will succumb to any stress in the tank within a matter of weeks; make sure that you have the most well-maintained tank possible if you plan on keeping a Betta Fish for long!

Dwarf Gourami:

Dwarf gouramis are very colorful and active platy fish that can grow to roughly three inches long. Although their fins are longer and more elaborate than most tetra species, that is the only real difference between them and their smaller bretheren; despite this fact these little guys are still peaceful enough to be kept in a tank with other fish!

Dwarfs will need plenty of room to swim around as well as at least ten gallons of water so if you plan on getting one for your 10 gallon tank you’ll want to make sure it has a lot of space! These fish can grow to be more than two inches long so you’ll want to make sure to get one that is at least three-fourths of an inch in length. That being said, if you buy a Dwarf Gourami it will quickly become your favorite fish as they are colorful, active and energetic little creatures!


Platies are fish that were originally found in southeast Asia. These fish can grow to be around three inches in length, but this is a rough estimate since the exact size of these fish varies from one species to another. Although Platy Fish have sharp teeth like most other fish, it is generally recommended that you avoid getting them with more than three other finned creatures; they are known to get aggressive when paired up with more than four other species at once!

These types of fish prefer warmer temperatures and will not fare well if placed in cold water so make sure you choose a tank that is at least seventy degrees if you plan on keeping a platy. Platies like to be kept in at least five gallons of water and will flourish when given decorations such as plants, slate or a cave-like object for them to swim around inside.


Swordtails are a relatively new breed of fish that has come onto the freshwater market in just the last few years. These fish can grow up to four inches long but generally only reach two inches and they typically have bright blue bands on their tails (hence their name) which run parallel with their dorsal fins. These little guys prefer water between 60 and eighty degrees, so if you’re planning on keeping one check the temperature of the tank before you buy.

Swordtails are energetic and fast swimmers, often darting around the tank like a goldfish would; this makes them great fun to watch but not so good at withstanding high temperatures so you’ll need to keep their tanks cold if you plan on putting more than four of these fish in your 10 gallon aquarium!

Ghost Shrimp

If you have ever seen shrimp that are less than an inch wide then they were probably ghost shrimps; these guys only grow up to three quarters of an inch long which is why they can be kept in even 5 gallon tanks with other fish if you want!

These shrimps are hundreds of years old; in fact they have been found in fossils that date back to the Jurassic period. Though interesting, their history isn’t what makes them a great addition to any tank. These creatures are crustaceans and therefore need salt water if you want them to live for long periods of time; however this doesn’t mean you can’t keep one or two in your freshwater tank as long as you provide it with at least ten gallons of water (or more). Ghost Shrimp also like hiding under objects and decorations so make sure there is plenty of this in your tank if you plan on keeping one!

How to choose Best Fish for a 10 Gallon Tank Freshwater

A difficult choice

You don’t know which fish to put in your aquarium ? How many ? What budget to allocate? Several species make you want? Can’t choose? This article is made for you !

While choosing the population of the aquarium is almost an art! But there is no secret … you will need to respect a few rules as well as the requirements of your fish: size of the aquarium , lifestyle , incompatibility of species , maintenance parameters , water quality , … Overall, have fun! But with respect for living beings !

There are thousands of species . For beginners, it is rather advisable to move towards species that are easy to maintain in an aquarium , inexpensive and compatible with each other . To explore the choice of possibilities, the flora and fauna encyclopedia available on the site is an excellent way to find its population and discover new species.

It’s very simple, for that, you just need, once on the encyclopedia’s search engine, on a desktop computer, to select the criteria of your choice in the right column (volume, parameters, …). On mobile, you must use the icon “”to display the filters.

This will allow you, for example, to visualize the possible fish according to a volume, according to a pH, a maintenance difficulty, … Once you have spotted a fish , you can use the “Is this fish compatible with my aquarium?” feature directly on the file.

Note that you will probably have to look first and foremost on the type of aquarium you want (sea water, fresh water, cold water, biotope, community, specific, …). It will obviously be decisive in your decision making.

Warm water fish are very interesting in terms of their variety of colors and the diversity of species. The varieties of cold water species are less important but still offer a wide choice.

Volume and dimensions of the aquarium

The size of the aquarium is one of the first discriminating criteria for choosing the right population. In fact, the dimensions (both width, length, and height) as well as the net volume constitute the swimming space of your future fish.

In order to fully respect this criterion, nothing could be simpler! Just look at the sheet of the fish you have selected from the encyclopedia of flora and fauna in the aquarium. The recommended minimum volumes are perfectly indicated there. Note that it will also be necessary to take care to limit the number of fish so as not to end up in overpopulation.

In short, size matters! But it’s not just the size that matters …;)

Way of life

Each fish has different needs and lifestyles. For example, some fish are solitary, others can be gregarious, some live in pairs, sometimes only during the breeding season, others in harems, … It is important to understand your fish well in order to make the right choice. Once again, the sheet of the fish concerned that you will find in the encyclopedia will allow you to answer these different questions.

  • Solitary : the fish lives alone. This will necessarily limit your choice (example: betta splendes, …)
  • Gregarious : the fish live in shoals, in groups, often from 6 (example: tetras, cardinalis, …)
  • In Couple : the fish lives in couple, a dominant male, a dominated female. Often together, they will not chase each other (example: gouramis, …)
  • In Harem : one male and at least two females (example: apistogramma cacatuoides, …)
  • Incompatibility of species

It is essential to check the compatibility of the different species that you introduce into your aquarium. I grant you, it is not that simple, especially since for certain species, opinions differ. To help you, you can refer to the compatibility tables which can be the object of a first base and thereafter, in case of doubt, do not hesitate to ask the question to the community in order to feed you feedback from everyone. It would be a shame to try it alone for the good of your fish.

Also be sure to exclude any predation from the aquarium during breeding where some usually peaceful species can become very aggressive. Here, it is probably not necessary to forbid a species for this reason insofar as you can control reproduction, isolate, … and / or avoid it with the help of dense flora. Indeed, a planted aquarium can make it possible to optimize the spaces of each one, to delimit the territories and to offer to the fry hiding places to avoid ending up in meal.

In general, it is rather advisable not to mix large species with small species. Even if there is no risk of predation and both species are known to be peaceful, the smaller fish will tend to stress, if only by the swimming movements of the larger ones and the water. Indeed, this can generate diseases, the smallest fish will tend to hide and only come out to feed. It will then become difficult to observe them.

In addition, it should be noted that many species are the subject of selections and have reached atypical morphologies: long fins, imposing veils, growths on the body, large eyes, … These characteristics can cause aggression or curiosity from other fish.


Food can indeed be a discriminating criterion in the choice of your population. Indeed, although most common fish are rather omnivorous or vegetarian, some feed exclusively on live food and this can quickly become a constraint, especially during periods of leave or prolonged absence. A mixture of species with different diets will necessarily result in different food intake.

You will also need to be careful to limit food competition so that you can easily feed the entire aquarium. For example, if you choose rather lively fish on the surface that feed in the same way as ground fish, you will experience difficulties in feeding your ground fish which will in fact require a dedicated and specialized feed.

Water quality and water parameters

Obviously, the last criterion of choice and not the least, lies in the parameters of the water. Water acidity? Temperature? … Indeed, the quality of your water and your parameters will also restrict you in the choice of possibilities. Once again, the sheet of the fish concerned that you will find in the encyclopedia will allow you to answer these different questions.

Do not hesitate to share and react!


How many fish can you put in a 10 gallon tank?

Having a fish tank at home can be both fun and relaxing. The next question is how many small fish you should add to your 10-gallon aquarium? Initially, aim for around one small fish per gallon of water by adding them in groups every couple weeks. Once the aquarium has matured (with skills honed), it will hold two neon tetra size fishes per gallon!

What is the biggest fish you can put in a 10 gallon tank?

You would think that a Betta fish is the only thing you can put in a 10 gallon tank, but with some creativity and research, there are actually many other options. For example: Dwarf Puffer Fish, Cherry or Ghost Shrimp (in small numbers), Snails etc.

What can live in a 10 gallon tank forever?

House Gecko.
Pygmy Chameleon.
Green Anole.
Madagascar Day Gecko.
Rosy Boa.
Kenyan Sand Boa.
Crested Gecko.
Leopard Gecko.

What is a 10 gallon tank good for?

One of the most popular tank sizes is a 10-gallon rectangle. It’s pretty easy to find, and it comes in at 20″ long x 10″ wide x 12″. If you have freshwater fish for your aquarium, this size will be perfect! Freshwater invertebrates like frogs or lizards might also do well with space that big.

How Many Neon Tetras in a 10-Gallon Tank?

Knowing how many fish to put in a tank can be tricky. However, with the correct math and number of gallons per neon tetra you will always find what size aquarium is suitable for your desired population!

– Using this simple mathematical formula: 10 Gallons/1.75 inches = 5.7 which equals 6 Neon Tetras; it would require around 2 gallons of water (8 cups)

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