A 10-gallon fish tank is one of the most popular choices among new aquarium owners. It has an ideal capacity to house sufficient fish and is convenient to maintain.
Many people consider fish to be low-maintenance pets, not as demanding as dogs or cats. However, this is a misconception, and a lot of responsibility emerges when buying an aquarium.
Unlike rivers, seas, or oceans, an aquarium is artificial and does not regulate itself. Therefore, the aquarium owner needs to manage all factors that keep the fish alive, like light, temperature, waste management, hygiene, etc.
Consequently, one must cultivate a comprehensive understanding of all the needs of their chosen fish and the technicalities of the aquarium to suit its needs.
What To Look For When Choosing Your 10 Gallon Fish Tank
Layout & Style
Fundamentally, one would want their aquarium to be designed to provide a comfortable habitat for the fish and look beautiful in their home. Different fish require different types of tanks.
Fish that live in shallow waters, like the Betta fish, can survive in tanks that are longer than deeper, it gives them more space to swim, and they can easily come up to the surface to gulp air. Fish that live in deeper waters may prefer a deeper tank to a broader one.
Spherical tanks have an aesthetic appeal, but they are not advisable to house fish because their surface-to-air ratio is unsuitable. Less water surface is exposed to the air, consequently reducing the amount of dissolved oxygen. One must decide the type of fish they want before choosing the style or layout of their aquarium.
Filtration is one of the most crucial things for a tank. Unlike natural ecosystems, fish tanks cannot clean themselves. Fish excrement tends to build up ammonia and other nitrate waste in the tank.
Nitrates concentrate faster in smaller tanks; therefore, a ten-gallon tank would imperatively need a filter. The intensity of this filter depends upon the number of fish one wants to keep and their type.
Light is the primary energy source for all living beings, including fish. It can also transform the look of one’s fish tank and add dramatic appeal to the beautiful fish.
Before deciding on the lighting, one should have selected the fish they want to keep and the plants they would like in the fish tank. These factors determine the tank’s lighting as different fish require different light intensities for different periods. Improper lighting can cause diseases and premature death of the fish.
The price of a ten-gallon fish tank depends upon a variety of factors. Generally, glass tanks are costlier than acrylic ones, but the latter is prone to scratches and may not be suitable for the long term.
However, acrylic is not as fragile as glass and could be ideal for homes with active kids or pets like dogs or cats. The price also depends on the tank elements like the filter, heater, or decorations. With more pre-installed components, the cost of the tank would also rise.
The Best 10 Gallon Aquariums
Editor’s Choice: Marina LED Aquarium Kit
Our Editor’s Choice Aquarium, The Marina LED Aquarium Kit, is designed specifically for the beginning aquarist. It includes everything needed to make the novice fish hobbyist’s first foray into the wonderful world of fish keeping.
It features a long-lasting, natural daylight effect LED lighting module embedded into the aquarium canopy. This 10 gallon all glass aquarium comes complete with everything you need to start! It includes an Aqua Plus Water Conditioner, making tap water harmless for your fish.
The kit comes with Cycle Biological Supplement to help maintain a biologically balanced and healthy aquarium environment for your fish. The package also contains an aquarium care book, which provides instructions on installing and maintaining your aquarium. Now, it’s your turn to choose a fish.
- It is perfect for a 10-gallon glass aquarium
- The kit also includes a Marina Slim S15 clip-on filter for cleaning.
- Buyers also receive quick-change filter cartridges included in the price.
- You won’t be able to establish a diverse community in the tank.
Runner-up: Penn-Plax Water-World Radius Desktop Nano Aquarium Kit
Penn-Plax Water-World Radius Desktop Nano Aquarium Kit includes a Cascade 300 Fully Submersible Internal Filter ideal for saltwater aquariums. A refillable Carbon Cartridge and an internal Bio-Sponge are included in the filter, which can cycle water at 70 gallons per hour.
Other benefits of this filter include trapping floating particulate matter, removing hazardous chemicals and poisons from the water, clearing up discolorations, and decreasing the presence of sour aromas in your aquarium’s water, among other things.
Apart from a powerful filter, the aquarium kit also comes with clear mounting clips, silver LED lights, and a thick, high-quality mat.
- It is highly beginner-friendly.
- This kit is appropriate for both adults and children.
- It optimizes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the tank.
- Due to the size restrictions, you are restricted to having fewer and smaller fish.
- The filter can be noisy.
Best Value for Money: Aqueon Aquarium Starter Kit with LED Lighting
This value-for-money aquarium tank with brilliant LED lighting from Aqueon is available in various sizes and shapes to suit any size aquarium. The energy-saving low-profile hood is outfitted with cool white LEDs for complete illumination, a handy feeding door in the front, and breakout portions in the back for popular accessories, which help save energy costs.
It contains the high-quality components necessary for maintaining a healthy aquatic environment, including a heater, QuietFlow LED PRO power filter, fish food and conditioner, a fishing net, and a stick-on thermometer. Additionally, a comprehensive guide is supplied that will help you through the process of properly setting up your aquarium.
The Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO filter is easy to maintain, and the patent-pending LED on the top of the filter will tell you when to change the cartridge. Additionally, the upgraded five-stage filtration and integrated ammonia specialty filter pad will assist you in keeping your aquarium water clean.
- A red LED light communicates the time to change the cartridge in the filter.
- A superb bright white LED illumination gives your aquatic habitat a perfect makeup.
- The heater keeps the water warm and toasty for tropical fish.
- It is easy to set up and maintain.
- Plants and fish will not be able to grow to the same size as they would in a larger tank.
- The filter can suck up smaller fish.
Best High-End: Innovative Marine Nuvo Fusion Pro 2
Innovative Marine Nuvo Fusion Pro 2 has low Iron Glass beveled and polished edges. The glass thickness is 6 mm. It comes with a pre-assembled safe screen lid and a pre-installed rubber leveling mat.
Moreover, it includes a micromagnetic glass cleaner to make cleaning easy. The built-in acrylic overflow wall makes it one of the high-end options among many. It has a removable 200 Micron Filter sock.
Finally, it includes a MightyJet 15W/24V 326 GPH DC return pump with a controller. The pump has a flexible hose, return elbow, and directional flow nozzle for ultimate control over the water flow.
- It gives you complete control over the filter.
- It is perfect for both beginners and experts.
- The filter is quieter than most other pumps.
- The back compartments remain open because of the mesh lid, causing condensation.
Best Budget Pick: Aqueon 10 Gal Black Aquarium
Every aspect of the Aqueon 10 Gal Black Aquarium has been meticulously designed to ensure that it can withstand practically any application. These aquariums are available in various sizes and feature a black trim design.
Large aquariums have one-piece center-braced frames that prevent the glass from bowing in the water. Please make sure that the aquarium is mounted on a stand that can support its weight when it is fully stocked. When connecting aquarium appliances to an electrical outlet, add a drip loop.
- The high-quality glass is used in the building of the aquarium, ensuring durability.
- Silicone edges are free of debris
- For use in freshwater and marine environments
- Each unit comes with center-braced frames to prevent the glass from bowing.
- Small tanks are not conducive to the growth of aggressive fish.
Alternative Choices: Fluval Flex Aquarium Kit
Fluval Flex Aquarium Kit has a distinctive curved front that adds to its modern appearance. It has powerful multi-stage filtration and spectacular LED illumination that can be controlled remotely, allowing users to select any settings.
The back filter chamber is concealed by a beautiful honeycomb cover, which hides the rear compartment’s waterline and edges. The 7500K LED lamp encourages plant development and enhances fish colors with completely adjustable White + RGB LEDs for unlimited color blends. An LED remote may also manage exciting special effects like fading cloud cover, lightning bolts, etc.
The aquarium’s powerful 3-stage filtration ensures excellent water quality. An extra-large mechanical (foam), chemical (carbon), and biological (Biomax) media are included with the system to maintain the purity of the aquatic environment.
- With multi-directional dual outputs, you can customize the water flow.
- It is a freshwater aquarium kit with a striking curved front design.
- It provides maximum cleaning with three-stage filtration.
- The glass seems to be fragile.
- Maintenance charges can be incredibly high.
Alternative Choices: GloFish Aquarium Kit Fish Tank
GloFish aquarium tank, lighting, and décor combine to create an underwater neon fantasy that appeals to everyone. With a complete line of dazzling accessories, each specifically designed to work with GloFish LED lighting, you can instantly change any aquarium into a GloFish environment with the flick of a switch.
In addition to a 10-gallon glass aquarium, the kit includes a low-profile hood with LED energy-efficient lighting and a unique combination of white and blue LED lights. It gives both GloFish and tropical fish a vibrant appearance. Also included are a Tetra Whisper power filter with cartridge, a 50-watt aquarium heater, a thermometer, a sample of fish food, a water conditioner, and a setup guide.
We recommend this aquarium if you wish to transform your regular aquarium into an aquatic fantasy bursting with beautiful colors. Watch as your GloFish, and GloFish decor burst into brilliant color when they float beneath the water’s surface.
- A 50-watt aquarium heater and a thermometer are added to maintain and monitor the water temperature.
- A combination of blue and white LED illumination provides a colorful appearance.
- Color Booster supports a healthy water environment for GloFish(R) while also bringing out their vivid coloration.
- The filter can suck up your fish.
- The plastic heater that comes with the kit is of subpar quality.
Alternative Choices: Serene 13 Gallon Aquarium Starter Kit
A modern- rimless- ultra-clear 13-gallon glass tank, a background LED lighting system, and a few aquascaping elements make up the Serene 13G. The product can be used in smaller spaces, such as desktops or countertops in offices or rooms.
It is simple to build and comes with a new SereneSun LED aquarium lighting system. It includes a bright background, sounds, and wireless remote control. Moreover, it is shipped nearly assembled. With an easy infrared remote, you can manage your lighting and audio 24 hours a day.
The background lighting system with frosted glass background film creates a serene atmosphere. Lastly, the aquascaping elements are made of Dragon Stone.
- The included white leveling pad protects furniture and cabinetry.
- You can create a daily lighting cycle and modify brightness.
- You can customize the color and the lighting cycle.
- It does not include a lid.
Alternate Choices: Aqueon NeoGlow LED Aquarium Kit
NeoGlow LED aquarium kits give out a splash of color and excitement! These kits include a glass tank filled with brightly colored silicone that fluoresces when illuminated by blue LEDs. Each kit contains a variety of beautiful plants in complementary colors and multicolored pebbles.
Power filtration, low-profile hood with blue LED illumination, black backing, filter cartridge, fish food, water care samples, and a setup guide are included in the kit.
Aqueon goods provide a diverse selection of products to assist you in creating and maintaining a healthy aquatic environment, including everything from fish tanks to filters to lighting to food to care for any other items that your pet fish may require.
Those who have been in the hobby for a while know that Aqueon is committed to aquarium product innovation.
- Aquariums with vibrant hues that stand out are a plus.
- The vibrant hues are highlighted by a low-profile hood with blue-colored LED lights.
- A water conditioner, fish food, a thermometer, a fishnet, and a setup guide are all included in the kit, making it a perfect setting for everyone.
- Additionally, an Aqueon 50W preset heater is included, tuned to keep your fish tank at 78°.
- This unit comes equipped with an Aqueon QuietFlow LED Pro Filter and a medium cartridge.
- Accidents are a possibility.
How to Setup a 10 Gallon Fish Tank?
The first step of setting up a ten-gallon fish tank is spreading a 1 to 1.5-inch thick gravel that has been thoroughly cleaned.
One can put aside a bucket to clean the gravel so that no other impurities are introduced into the tank. After that, clean decorations can be placed in the tank in the desired layout, and you can add the water.
You may not be able to estimate the water level correctly if one puts decorations after filling the water as the water will rise. You need to remove harmful chlorine using a dechlorinator or water conditioner.
According to the fish, one can alter other water properties like salinity or temperature at this stage. After installing the filter, you can add the fish, followed by a gradual introduction to their new environment.
What Else Do You Need for a 10 Gallon Fish Tank?
The substrate is the material spread at the bottom of a tank. It is a significant part of a tank’s ecosystem. The choice of substrate depends upon the type of fish.
Gravel is one of the most common substrates as it is easy to clean with a gravel vacuum which sucks out the dirt and debris without sucking the gravel. However, delicate fish may need a finer substrate that doesn’t hurt their fins, like sand.
Sand is ideal for delicate fish, but it is harder to clean as it is challenging to vacuum. The plants one wants in their tank also determine the substrate.
Gravel and flourite are popular options for tanks with live plants. If the width of the gravel particles is greater than five or six millimeters, the plants may not anchor appropriately.
Plants & Decoration
Adding plants to the fish tank enhances its visual appeal and helps regulate the tank environment. Plants help maintain the tank’s oxygen and carbon dioxide balance, absorb toxins, and keep the water cleaner for longer durations.
Similarly, tank decoration does not simply make the appearance more fanciful but also serves a crucial purpose as many fish like to hide in nooks and crannies from time to time.
However, some fish require their habitat to be bare-bottomed. In that case, you should not add decorations to provide a secure home for the fish.
Whether a tank requires a heater or not depends upon the type of fish. Heaters are mainly needed for tropical or marine fish accustomed to living in a higher temperature and would not survive in alternate circumstances.
The size of the heater must be in proportion to that of the tank. Most heaters come with a dial to change the temperature. One should also buy a thermometer and check the temperature farthest from the heater at the end.
It is crucial to have a sturdy stand to support a fish tank. It is a heavy setup and requires a robust framework to support its weight. It would be unfortunate to lose one’s fish in an accident and let go of the hard work invested in the tank.
Moreover, many insurance claims are refused if one does not place the fish tank on a sturdy stand. One would want to avoid particle board stands as they are not very strong.
How many fish can a 10-Gallon Tank Support?
You can start by adding one fish for every gallon of water and proceed with adding them in small groups once every couple of weeks. After the aquarium and your skills mature, you can keep two neon-tetra-sized fish for every gallon of water.
Suppose you intend to go by the numbers. You should be able to add at least eight to ten fish to a 10-gallon aquarium. However, refrain from putting ten fish altogether as it can overload the tank, although it depends on their sizes.
For instance, if the fish are small and, as such, don’t generate too much waste, then you may as well keep ten fish in a 10-gallon tank. Otherwise, it would be best to keep about six to eight of them, especially if the fish are big or get bigger as time passes.
What Fish Should You Put in a 10-Gallon Tank?
You can put different kinds of fish in a 10-gallon tank, including:
- Cory Catfish
- Neon Tetra
- Fancy Guppy
- Betta Fish
- Zebra Danio
- Otocinclus catfish
- Swordtail Fish
- Ghost Shrimp
So, these are nine fish that you can put in a 10-gallon tank. Remember that while most of these fish should be able to live in harmony if you offer them the right conditions, you should still consider the possibility that the conditions may not always be ideal. Y
ou can put eight to ten different Fish in a 10-gallon fish tank. However, don’t overload the tank with too many fish, as it can become difficult for them to live peacefully.
Also, know the types of fish you can put together in a tank so that they can live in peace. So, learn about fish before putting them together in the aquarium.
How Often Should You Clean Your 10-Gallon Fish Tank?
You should clean your fish tank every week, especially if it is 5- to 10-gallons. However, when considering cleaning your fish tank, you should also note how to clean it and not just how often.
So, when you get down to it, partially change the water, and discard the gravel and algae that may have formed near the walls. You can use a sponge or scraper to remove the stone and algae and let your fish breathe easily.
Similarly, consider counting your fish every week, especially when cleaning the tank. Remember that if fish such as Tetras die by sinking into the bottom of the tank, it can reek of ammonia that the body tends to generate.
So, it is also good to check the ammonia levels in your fish tank when you clean it to know if your fish are healthy or if a few have died. Test the water to see if ammonia levels have spiked, and be sure to record your tests.
Conduct the tests every month and record the results to keep ammonia levels under control and your fish healthy. If you are using filter media, be sure to rinse them thoroughly every time you change the water in the tank.
However, don’t use tap water or any other such source, and make sure that you are using a bio media filter or cartridge. Also, don’t forget to replace the bio media filter or cartridge every month when you clean the tank and change the water.
Also, while you may clean your fish tank by changing the water and bio-media filter once every month, six months, or annually, you should not forget to perform a deep clean.
Deep cleaning your fish tank ensures that you remove and replace everything present in it, including the fish, the water, the media filter, the plants, and the ornaments.
However, do remember that deep cleaning your tank can cause a lot of stress to the fish and kill the healthy bacteria they rely on so much. So, when deep cleaning your fish tank, make sure that you are as gentle as possible.
More importantly, it would help if you were extremely careful when replacing everything in the tank, including the bio media filter, fish, water, plants, and anything else that you may have had there.
Remember to replace the colonies of fish you took out when cleaning the tank to function correctly. Also, when cleaning your fish semi-annually or once every six months, be sure to keep an eye on the equipment and clean them before cleaning the tank itself or replacing the water or bio media filter.
Which is the Best 10-Gallon Fish Tank?
There are different types of 10-gallon fish tanks that you can get.
So, when buying a fish tank, you should consider the type and price. Here are the different kinds of fish tanks out there.
Rimless aquariums are among the best fish tanks that everyone is trying to get. Why? Simple. These are straightforward and highly affordable tanks, given the size.
If simple is not what you are looking for, you can also go for a three-stage filtration system or those all-in-one tanks. When it comes to all-in-one tanks, you must ensure that you get an aquarium kit, preferably a glass one, with a good starter filter that doesn’t fall apart or outgrow.
However, if you are looking for something more basic, you must also make sure that it is of the correct dimensions and allows you to set up multiple filters at once.
Lighting is another factor to consider when buying a 10-gallon fish tank, and some aquariums come with low-lighting systems explicitly designed for freshwater tanks.
However, if you don’t find freshwater tanks to your liking, you may as well get a saltwater one, in which case, you ought to look for soft corals.
Price is always an essential factor, no matter what fish tank or aquarium you want to buy. There are all kinds of aquariums, from basic models to high-end and fancy stuff. So, although the price is a crucial deciding factor, it all depends on the type of aquarium or fish tank you want to get.
For instance, some of the most premium aquariums may come with features like rim lessness or good lighting. However, if you want a low-priced one, you might want to ensure that it lasts longer than usual.