Top 7 Colorful Fish for a 10-Gallon Aquarium
10-gallon aquariums are so popular because of their small footprint and low cost, so what kind of fish can you put in them? We’ve added more ideas to the article about the 7 best fish tanks ideas for a 10-gallon tank.
1. The Killifish Aquarium
Killifish is a colorful and underrated fish. They can survive in an aquarium that’s not heated, at temperatures below 80F (26C). There are many species to choose from. However, a 10-gallon tank can only accommodate a few fish. For example, a steel-blue killifish (Fundulopanchax Gardneri), an orange lyretail killer (Aphyosemion australe), or a red-striped killifish. To prevent them from jumping, keep the tank covered. Also, some killifish are semi-aggressive and have large mouths that can swallow smaller fish, so try keeping a species-only tank with a breeding pair (or trio of one male and two females) that has lots of cover and live plants to minimize aggression. Killifish enjoy meaty foods of all types and will readily take bloodworms, brine shrimp, and krill flakes.
Red-striped killifish (Aphyosemion striatum)
2. The Betta Fish Tank
What about upgrading your betta fish’s tank from a small bowl to a 10-gallon paradise. Betta splendens are not territorial and can be housed in a communal aquarium, provided there is enough space and the right tankmates. To contrast your red Betta with a peaceful, schooling fish, such as a green neon tetra, or to compliment a blue betta with orange-colored, ember tetras, you can choose one of two options: go with a smaller, more calm, gentler fish, such as a green neon tetra, or with a larger, more active fish, such as a green neon tetra. Snails, smaller corydoras, kuhli pooches, and other bottom dwellers can be helpful in cleaning up any food that passes by your betta fish. While your betta may enjoy floating, protein-rich foods like blood worms and brine shrimp, use micro pellets for the schooling fish and sinking wafers for the bottom dwellers.
A red betta fish stands out more when placed among green aquarium plants and complementary-colored tank mates.
3. The Nano Rainbowfish Aquarium
Naturally, rainbowfish rank as one of the most colorful fish in the freshwater hobby, but most of them are too big for a 10-gallon aquarium. Pseudomugil rainbowfish are usually less than 2 inches (5 cm) long. Check with your local fish shop to find out if they stock P. luminatus, P. furcata (forktail-blue-eye rainbowfish), and P. gertrudae. Although they do prefer pH above 7.7 and harder water with mineral, they are very hardy and can be found in all water conditions.
Due to their high energy, a 10-gallon tank can accommodate 3-5 rainbowfish (of a single species), along with some bottom dwellers like corydoras or smaller kuhli loaches. You can feed these tiny fish tiny foods such cyclops, daphnia, easy fry and small fish food. They have a very short life span of about 2 years. However, they are easy to breed. So that males can display their best breeding colors, and dance behavior, make sure you get more females than men. Provide plenty of dense aquarium plants and spawning mops to the females for them to lay their eggs. For more details, read our forktail rainbowfish care guide.
Forktail rainbowfish (Pseudomugil furcata)
4. The Apistogramma Breeding Tank
These South American dwarf cichlids are known for their vivid coloration and interesting breeding behavior. The Apistogramma agassizii is the easiest to breed, while A. cacatuoides is more difficult. Both species are available in a variety of stunning colors. Create a warm environment with a pH of 6.5 to 7.2 and temperatures between 82-84degF (28-30degC). You can add a boy or a girl to your apisto cave, or coconut hut. The male will barely be able to fit in the small hole. You should feed an omnivore well-balanced diet of frozen bloodworms. After the male fertilizes eggs, the female takes parental care of the eggs and protects the fry after they hatch. Our full care guide contains more information on apistogrammas.
Cockatoo dwarf cichlid (Apistogramma cacatuoides)
5. The Fancy Guppy Aquarium
Poecilia Reticulata is an energetic, beautiful livebearer. They come in every color of rainbow. If you’re a beginner, start with a trio of one male and two female, and they will quickly make more babies. Guppies prefer high GH or harder water, so if you have soft tap water, use crushed coral, Wonder Shell, or Seachem Equilibrium to boost the aquarium’s mineral content. Fancy Guppy pellets or flakes are all acceptable. For friends and local fish shops, make sure you have plenty of shelter or live plants. If you are overrun with fry, simply remove some of the cover and hiding spots in the aquarium, and the adults will help with population control. Read our complete care on guppies for more information.
Male fancy guppy (Poecilia reticulata)
6. The Cherry Shrimp Tank
Neocaridina davidi, an ornamental shrimp that is extremely rewarding to breed, is another great choice. It reproduces easily and seems to always be in high demand. You can find them in amazing colors like fire red, orange, yellow golden back and green jade. You can easily start with 10-20 shrimp, and they will quickly grow into a colony of 100-200 shrimp in a matter of months. Although adult cherry shrimp don’t predate on their offspring (but they can survive in large numbers), it is best to not add other species to your tank. To keep baby shrimp healthy, you can add powdered foods, algae and catappa leaves to the water. When you stop seeing as many new babies being produced, reduce the population by selling some to your local fish store and use the money to fund your newfound shrimp addiction. Read this article to learn more about freshwater seafood.
7. The Dwarf-Platy Aquarium
Most platy fish grow to 2-3 inches (5-7 cm) in size, but the dwarf platy only reaches a little over 1 inch (2.5 cm) and can live in a smaller tank. Although red wag and solid red are the most common varieties, there will be more in the future. A trio of teacup platys, one male and two girls, is recommended for a 10 gallon aquarium. The males will be eager to breed so it is a good idea to have more females and cover. Platies are always hungry and will eat any crumbs of fish food or tufts of algae they find, so no need to get any clean-up crew members for them. These livebearers also are capable of eating their own offspring, so provide tof dense aquarium plants like water sprite and moss for the babies to hide in. See our platy fish care guide for more details on their care requirements.
Dwarf red coral platy fish
If you enjoyed this article, and want to find more stocking ideas, read our blog post on 7 Best Fish Tank Ideas For A 10-Gallon Aquarium. Best of luck with your fish tank, and enjoy nature daily.