14 Of The Best Fish For A 10 Gallon Tank! (Beginner-Friendly)

Choosing the right fish for a 10-gallon tank can be a daunting task for beginners due to the variety of options available.

This guide aims to help you by highlighting 15 beginner-friendly fish that are perfect for a 10-gallon setup.

From the vibrant Betta to the active Zebra Danios, each fish has unique characteristics that make it suitable for smaller aquariums.

Betta Fish

A Betta Fish
A Betta Fish

Pros

  • Beautiful Fish
  • Plenty Of Color Options
  • Various Tail Shape Options
  • Interesting Behaviour

Cons

  • Can Be Aggressive
  • AAA Bettas Are Expensive
  • Can Have Genetic Defects
  • Can Jump Out Of Tanks

Betta fish are an excellent choice for 10-gallon tanks due to their beautiful colors, different tail shapes, unique personalities, and adaptability to small environments.

A single betta fish can thrive in a 10-gallon tank, which provides ample space for swimming and reduces stress compared to smaller tanks.

Betta fish are solitary creatures and its usually best to keep a single betta in a 10-gallon tank allowing them to display their natural behaviors.

Feeding betta fish is straightforward; they thrive on a diet of high-quality betta pellets, which should be their staple food. Supplement their diet with live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms to provide essential nutrients and stimulate natural hunting behaviors.

Feed them once or twice a day, but be cautious not to overfeed as bettas are prone to obesity and water quality issues.

Setting up a 10-gallon tank for a betta involves creating a comfortable environment with hiding spots and resting places. Use live or silk plants, caves, and driftwood to mimic their natural habitat and provide security.

Betta fish prefer calm waters, so opt for a gentle filtration system, like a sponge filter, to maintain water quality without creating strong currents.

Lastly, cover the tank with a lid to prevent your betta from jumping out, ensuring a safe and secure environment for your vibrant aquatic companion.

Water Temperature72-86°F (22 – 30°C)
Water FlowLow
pH6-8
Ammonia0
Nitrite0
Nitrate<20
Betta Fish Water Parameters

Guppies

A Male Guppy
A Male Guppy

Pros

  • Highly Active Fish
  • Plenty Of Color
  • Cheap
  • Easy To Find

Cons

  • Can Have Poor Genetics
  • AAA Guppies Are Expensive
  • They Breed Very Quickly
  • Some Males Are Aggressive

Guppies are ideal for 10-gallon tanks due to their wide range of colors, lively behavior, and ease of care, making them perfect for both beginners and experienced aquarists.

In a 10-gallon tank, you can comfortably house 6-10 guppies, with a ratio of one male to two females if you plan to breed them. This prevents overbreeding and minimizes aggression among males.

You can keep an all male guppy tank to prevent breeding and population issues.

Guppies are omnivores and thrive on a varied diet. Provide them with high-quality flake food as a staple, supplemented with live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms to ensure they receive essential nutrients.

Additionally, offering vegetable matter, such as blanched spinach or spirulina flakes, helps maintain their health and vibrant colors. Feed them small amounts twice a day to prevent overfeeding and maintain water quality.

Setting up a 10-gallon tank for guppies involves creating a well-planted environment with plenty of swimming space and hiding spots. Use live plants like Java fern, Anubias, and Rotala, which not only enhance the tank’s aesthetics but also provide shelter and breeding sites for guppies.

A gentle filtration system, such as a sponge filter, is ideal for maintaining water quality without creating strong currents. Regular water changes and monitoring of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels are essential to keep the tank environment healthy and conducive to guppy care.

With their stunning appearance and dynamic behavior, guppies bring color and excitement to a 10-gallon tank, making them a delightful addition to any home aquarium.

Water Temperature63-82°F (17 – 28 °C)
Water FlowStill-Low
pH7-8.5
GH8-12 dGH
KH4-8 dKH
Ammonia0
Nitrite0
Nitrate<10ppm
Guppy Water Parameters

Honey Gourami

A Honey Gourami
A Honey Gourami

Pros

  • Peaceful Fish
  • Bright Yellow Color
  • Cheap And Easy To Find

Cons

  • Likes To Hide
  • Limited Colors
  • Can Jump Out Of Tanks

Honey gouramis are excellent choices for 10-gallon tanks due to their peaceful nature, manageable size, and unique behaviors. Their gentle demeanor makes them ideal for community tanks or species-specific setups.

In a 10-gallon tank, you can comfortably house 2-5 honey gouramis. If you choose to keep more than one, ensure you have at least one female for every male to minimize territorial disputes.

These fish are omnivores and have straightforward dietary needs. Feed them high-quality flake or pellet food designed for small tropical fish, supplemented with live or frozen foods such as daphnia or bloodworms.

This varied diet ensures they receive all necessary nutrients, enhancing their health and coloration. Feeding them twice a day in small amounts helps maintain water quality and prevents overfeeding.

A 10-gallon tank setup for honey gouramis should include plenty of hiding spots and gentle filtration. Live plants, driftwood, and rocks create a natural and comfortable environment, mimicking their natural habitat.

With their bright yellow color, peaceful behavior, and ease of care, honey gouramis are a delightful addition to any 10-gallon tank, providing both visual appeal and a tranquil atmosphere.

Water Temperature72–81°F (22–27 °C)
Water FlowLow
pH6.0-7.5
Ammonia0
Nitrite0
Nitrate<30
Honey Gourami Water Parameters

Neon Tetras

Neon Tetras In A 10 Gallon Tank
Neon Tetras In A 10 Gallon Tank

Pros

  • Cheap And Easy To Find
  • Colorful
  • Active Fish

Cons

  • Can Have Genetic Problems
  • Needs Plenty Of Swim Space
  • Will Max Out Your Stocking

Neon tetras are ideal fish for 10-gallon tanks due to their small size, beautiful colors, and peaceful nature. These fish are perfect for beginners and experienced aquarists alike.

In a 10-gallon tank, you can comfortably house a school of 6-10 neon tetras. Their natural shoaling behavior makes them feel secure and helps them display their stunning blue and red colors.

Neon tetras are omnivores and have simple dietary needs. Feed them high-quality flake or pellet food designed for small tropical fish with live or frozen foods used as treats once or twice per week.

A 10-gallon tank setup for neon tetras should include plenty of live plants, such as Java fern, Amazon swords, and Cryptocoryne, which provide hiding spots and mimic their natural habitat.

Dark substrate enhances their colors, making the tank more visually appealing. Low to moderate water flow helps keep neon tetras calm and relaxed making a sponge filter or HOB the perfect filtration option.

Neon tetras are active and peaceful fish that get along well with other small, non-aggressive species, making them excellent choices for community tanks.

Water Temperature70–77°F (21–25°C)
Water FlowLow To Moderate
pH4.0-7.5
Ammonia0
Nitrite0
Nitrate<20
Neon Tetra Water Parameters

Celestial Pearl Danios

A Celestial Pearl Danio In A Planted 10 Gallon Tank
A Celestial Pearl Danio In A Planted 10 Gallon Tank

Pros

  • Thrives In 10 Gallon Tanks
  • Very Active Fish
  • Can Be Colorful
  • Easy To Breed

Cons

  • Hard To Find
  • Usually Expensive
  • Can Be Timid In New Tanks
  • Can Be Picky Eaters

Celestial Pearl Danios are fantastic fish for 10-gallon tanks due to their small size, striking appearance, and active nature.

These vibrant fish, also known as Galaxy Rasboras, display a stunning array of colors with their bright blue bodies adorned with pearl-like spots and orange fins.

In a 10-gallon tank, you can comfortably house a school of 6-15 Celestial Pearl Danios, allowing them to exhibit their natural shoaling behavior, which reduces stress and enhances their overall well-being.

Feeding Celestial Pearl Danios is straightforward as they are omnivores. They thrive on a varied diet of high-quality crushed flake or micro pellet food supplemented with live or frozen foods like daphnia, cyclops, and micro worms.

This ensures they receive the essential nutrients for maintaining their vibrant colors and good health. Feed them small amounts two to three times a day to prevent overfeeding and maintain water quality.

Setting up a 10-gallon tank for Celestial Pearl Danios involves creating a well-planted environment that mimics their natural habitat. Include a variety of live plants with some driftwood and rock to provide hiding spots and areas for exploration.

A gentle filtration system with low to moderate water flow is ideal, as these fish prefer calm waters.

Celestial Pearl Danios are peaceful and get along well with other small, non-aggressive species, making them excellent candidates for community tanks. Their hardy nature, ease of care, and stunning visual appeal make them a perfect choice for a 10-gallon aquarium.

Water Temperature68–79°F (20–26°C)
Water FlowLow To Moderate
pH6.5 – 7.5
Ammonia0
Nitrite0
Nitrate<10
Celestial Pearl Danio Water Parameter

Dwarf Gourami

A Dwarf Gourami
A Dwarf Gourami

Pros

  • Bright Colors
  • Cheap And Easy To Find
  • Usually A Hardy Fish

Cons

  • Can Be Aggressive
  • Can Be A Picky Eater
  • Limited Color Options

Dwarf Gourami are great fish for 10-gallon tanks due to their unique pattern, manageable size, and engaging behavior. These small fish, typically reaching about 2-3 inches in length, are known for their vibrant hues, with popular varieties displaying brilliant blues and reds.

A single Dwarf Gourami or breeding pair can thrive in a 10 gallon tank, adding a splash of color and activity to your aquarium.

They do well on high-quality flake or pellet food, supplemented with live or frozen foods such as bloodworms and daphnia. This variety ensures they receive all the necessary nutrients to maintain their health and vibrant coloration.

Setting up a 10-gallon tank for Dwarf Gourami involves creating an environment that mimics their natural habitat. Include plenty of live plants like Java fern, Anubias, and Vallisneria to provide hiding spots and create a sense of security. Adding some floating plants can help diffuse light and offer additional cover.

Dwarf Gourami are relatively peaceful but can show territorial behavior, especially males. Therefore, it’s often best to keep them with other non-aggressive tank mates or alone.

Water Temperature72–82°F (22–27°C)
Water FlowLow
pH6.0–7.5
Ammonia0
Nitrite0
Nitrate<20
Dwarf Gourami Water Parameters

Black Neon Tetras

Black Neon Tetras
Black Neon Tetras

Pros

  • Very Hardy
  • Cheap

Cons

  • Limited Colors
  • Difficult To See In Some Lights

Black Neon Tetras are an good choice for 10-gallon tanks due to their hardiness, peaceful nature, and striking appearance.

These small fish, typically reaching about 1.5 inches in length, are known for their distinctive black and white horizontal stripes, which stand out beautifully in a well-planted tank.

In a 10-gallon tank, you can comfortably keep a school of 6-8 Black Neon Tetras, which helps them feel secure and display their natural schooling behavior.

A balanced diet of high-quality flake or pellet food, supplemented with occasional live or frozen foods, will keep them healthy and vibrant. Feed them small amounts twice a day, ensuring they consume all the food within a few minutes to prevent overfeeding and maintain good water quality.

A well-planted tank with live plants such as Java moss, Anubias, and Cryptocoryne provides hiding spots and enhances their sense of security. Adding some driftwood and rocks can create additional shelter and contribute to a more natural look.

Water Temperature68-83°F (20–28°C)
Water FlowLow To Moderate
pH5.0 – 7.5
Ammonia0
Nitrite0
Nitrate<30
Black Neon Tetra Water Parameters

White Cloud Mountain Minnows

White Cloud Mountian Minnows
White Cloud Mountian Minnows

Pros

  • Fine At Lower Temperatures
  • Easy To Feed
  • Hardy Fish

Cons

  • Can Have Genetic Defects
  • Limited Color Options
  • Does Better In High Numbers

White Cloud Mountain Minnows are an ideal choice for 10-gallon tanks due to their hardiness, peaceful nature, and adaptability to various water conditions.

These small fish, typically growing to about 1.5 inches in length, are known for their vibrant coloration and active behavior, making them an attractive addition to any aquarium.

In a 10-gallon tank, you can comfortably house a school of 6-8 White Cloud Mountain Minnows, which will thrive in a group setting, displaying their natural schooling behavior.

A balanced diet of high-quality flake food, micro-pellets, and small amounts of live or frozen foods will keep them healthy and vibrant.

Setting up a 10-gallon tank for White Cloud Mountain Minnows involves creating an environment that mimics their natural habitat. These fish prefer cooler water temperatures, ranging from 57-72°F (14-22°C), making them suitable for unheated tanks in many home environments. A well-planted tank with rocks and driftwood provides ample hiding spots and enhances their sense of security.

White Cloud Mountain Minnows are peaceful and compatible with other small, non-aggressive fish, making them a great addition to community tanks. Their resilience, ease of care, and attractive appearance make White Cloud Mountain Minnows a perfect choice for beginners and experienced aquarists alike in a 10-gallon setup.

Water Temperature57–72°F (14–22°C)
Water FlowLow To Moderate
pH6.0 – 8.5
Ammonia0
Nitrite0
Nitrate<20
White Cloud Mountian Minnow Water Parameters

Chili Rasboras

A Chili Rasbora
A Chili Rasbora

Pros

  • Thrive In 10 Gallon Tanks
  • Shoal Around Tightly
  • Look Great Once Colored

Cons

  • Can Be Expensive
  • Take Time To Color Up
  • Picky Eaters

Chili Rasboras are an excellent choice for 10-gallon tanks due to their small size, deep red colors, and peaceful nature.

These tiny fish, typically growing to about 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) in length, display stunning red and orange hues that add a splash of color to any aquarium.

In a 10-gallon tank, you can comfortably house a school of 8-15 Chili Rasboras, allowing them to exhibit their natural shoaling behavior, which helps reduce stress and enhances their visual appeal.

They will eat a varied diet of high-quality micro-pellets, crushed flake food, and occasional live or frozen foods such as micro worms.

These fish prefer a well-planted tank with plenty of hiding spots, using plants like Java moss, Anubias, and Cryptocoryne. Adding some driftwood and leaf litter can further enhance the natural feel of the tank. Chili Rasboras thrive in soft, acidic water, with a temperature range of 68-82°F (20-28°C) and a pH of 4.0-7.0.

A gentle filtration system is recommended to maintain water quality without creating strong currents, as these small fish prefer calm waters. Additionally, subdued lighting helps bring out their colors and makes them feel more secure.

Chili Rasboras are peaceful and can coexist with other small, non-aggressive fish, making them an excellent addition to a 10-gallon community tank. Their striking appearance, ease of care, and captivating behavior make Chili Rasboras a perfect choice for both beginners and experienced aquarists.

Water Temperature68–82°F (20–28°C)
Water FlowLow
pH4.0–7.0
Ammonia0
Nitrite0
Nitrate<20
Chili Rasbora Water Parameters

Endler’s Livebearers

Three Endler's Livebearers
Three Endler’s Livebearers

Pros

  • Cheap And Easy To Find
  • Hardy
  • Colorful
  • Interesting Behaviours

Cons

  • Can Be Picky Eaters
  • Small And Difficult To See
  • Can Hide In Some Setups
  • Breeds At A Rapid Pace

Endler’s Livebearers are an excellent choice for 10-gallon tanks due to their wide range of colors, unique patters, hardy nature, and active behavior.

These small fish, typically growing to about 1-1.5 inches (2.5-4 cm) in length, are closely related to guppies and display a wide variety of striking colors and patterns.

In a 10-gallon tank, you can comfortably house 6-15 Endler’s Livebearers, creating a lively and colorful environment.

They thrive on a varied diet that includes high-quality crushed flake food, micro-pellets, and small live or frozen foods. Additionally, they benefit from occasional vegetable matter like blanched spinach or spirulina flakes.

Setting up a 10-gallon tank for Endler’s Livebearers involves creating a habitat that provides plenty of swimming space and hiding spots. These fish appreciate a well-planted tank with live plants like Java fern, Anubias, and stem plants, which offer hiding places and help maintain water quality.

A gentle filtration system is recommended to keep the water clean without creating strong currents, as Endler’s Livebearers prefer calm waters.

Water Temperature75–86°F (24–30°C)
Water FlowLow
pH7.0–8.5
Ammonia0
Nitrite0
Nitrate<20
Endler’s Livebearers Water Parameters

Platy Fish

Platy Fish In An Aquarium
Platy Fish In An Aquarium

Pros

  • Cheap And Easy To Find
  • Plenty of Color Options
  • Eats Lots Of Different Food

Cons

  • Large Fish
  • Breeds Quickly
  • Can Have Genetic Problems

Platy fish are a great option for 10-gallon tanks due to their bright colors, easy care, and peaceful nature.

These hardy fish are ideal for beginners and experienced aquarists alike. In a 10-gallon tank, you can comfortably house 3-5 platies. Stocking male fish will prevent breeding and remove the risk of problems with overpopulation.

Feeding platies is straightforward as they are omnivores. They thrive on a varied diet that includes high-quality flake food, pellets, and occasional live or frozen foods and also appreciate vegetable matter.

Setting up a 10-gallon tank for platies involves creating a well-planted environment with plenty of hiding spots. Live plants like Java fern, Anubias, and Rotala not only enhance the tank’s aesthetics but also provide the platies with places to hide and explore.

Water Temperature68-79°F (20-26°C)
Water FlowLow – Moderate
pH7.0-8.2
Ammonia0
Nitrite0
Nitrate<30
Platy Water Parameters

Pea Puffers

A Pea Puffer In A 10 Gallon Tank
A Pea Puffer In A 10 Gallon Tank

Pros

  • Unique Look
  • Interesting Behaviours
  • Small

Cons

  • Difficult To Find
  • Can Be Expensive
  • Picky Eaters

Pea Puffers, also known as Dwarf Puffers, are an excellent choice for 10-gallon tanks due to their unique appearance, engaging behavior, and suitability for smaller aquariums.

These tiny, vibrant fish grow to just about 1 inch in length, making them perfect for a 10-gallon setup. You can comfortably house 1-3 pea puffers in a 10-gallon tank, provided there are plenty of hiding spots and territories to reduce aggression.

They are carnivores and thrive on a diet of live or frozen foods such as bloodworms, and small snails. Pea puffers may also accept high-quality, protein-rich pellets, but live or frozen food is preferred to meet their nutritional needs and stimulate their natural hunting behavior.

Setting up a tank for pea puffers involves creating a well-planted environment with lots of hiding places. Use live plants, driftwood and rocks to mimic their natural habitat and provide ample cover. These elements help reduce stress and territorial disputes among the fish.

A gentle filtration system is recommended to maintain water quality without creating strong currents, as pea puffers prefer calm waters. Regular water changes are crucial to keep the tank clean and the puffers healthy.

Pea puffers are best kept in species-specific tanks due to their tendency to nip at the fins of other fish. Their captivating personalities, manageable size, and striking appearance make pea puffers a delightful addition to a 10-gallon aquarium.

Water Temperature72–82°F (22–28°C)
Water FlowLow
pH6.8 – 8.0
Ammonia0
Nitrite0
Nitrate<20
Pea Puffer Water Parameters

Zebra Danios

Zebra Danios In A Planted 10 Gallon Tank
Zebra Danios In A Planted 10 Gallon Tank

Pros

  • Hardy Fish
  • Very Active

Cons

  • Can Have Genetic Problems
  • Limited Color Options

Zebra Danios are an excellent choice for 10-gallon tanks due to their hardiness, active behavior, and ease of care. These small, energetic fish are perfect for both beginner and experienced aquarists.

In a 10-gallon tank, you can comfortably keep a school of 6-8 Zebra Danios. They are social fish that thrive in groups, exhibiting natural schooling behavior that adds lively movement to the aquarium.

Feeding Zebra Danios is simple as they are omnivores and not picky eaters. They readily accept a variety of foods, including high-quality flake or pellet food, live or frozen foods like brine shrimp and daphnia, and vegetable matter such as blanched spinach or zucchini.

A well-planted tank with open swimming spaces and gentle water flow is ideal. Adding plants like Java fern, Anubias, and Hornwort along with rocks and driftwood creates hiding spots and reduces stress.

Water Temperature65–77°F(18–25°C)
Water FlowLow
pH6.0 – 8.0
Ammonia0
Nitrite0
Nitrate<20
Zebra Danio Water Parameters

Cherry Shrimp

A Cherry Shrimp
A Cherry Shrimp

Pros

  • Lots Of Color Options
  • Cheap And Easy To Find
  • Easy To Care For

Cons

  • Not Fish
  • May Be Eaten By Tank Mates
  • Some Colors Are Expensive

Cherry shrimp are an underrated option for 10-gallon tanks due to their vibrant colors, low maintenance requirements, and fascinating behaviors.

These shrimp are perfect for both beginners and experienced aquarists. In a 10-gallon tank, you can comfortably start with 10-50 cherry shrimp, and their population will naturally grow as they breed.

Feeding cherry shrimp is straightforward. They are omnivores and will thrive on a diet of high-quality shrimp pellets, algae wafers, and blanched vegetables like spinach or zucchini.

Additionally, they will consume biofilm, soft algae, and detritus in the tank, helping to keep the aquarium clean. Supplementing their diet with occasional protein-rich treats like bloodworms or brine shrimp ensures they receive all necessary nutrients for optimal health and vibrant coloration.

Setting up a tank for cherry shrimp involves creating a well-planted environment with plenty of hiding spots and surfaces for them to graze on.

Live plants such as moss, floating plants, and stemplants are excellent choices, providing both shelter and additional grazing surfaces. Ensure the tank has gentle filtration to avoid sucking in the tiny shrimp; sponge filters are ideal for this purpose.

Their breeding is straightforward, and they reproduce readily in well-maintained tanks, making them a delightful and dynamic addition to any 10-gallon aquarium. Their vibrant colors, such as red, yellow, blue, and orange, add a beautiful touch to any tank setup.

Water Temperature65-80°F (18.5-27°C)
Water FlowStill-Low
pH6.7-8
GH6-10 dGH
KH3-10 dKH
Ammonia0 ppm
Nitrite0 ppm
Nitrate<20ppm
Red Cherry Shrimp Water Parameters