10 Gallons Fish Tank – How to Set Up a Small Aquarium?

By Garrison Hickles Updated

Keeping a 10 gallons fish tank is always a good idea for a small house, apartment or an office. It is easy to maintain and the little fish breeds are also timid and passive. So, why don’t you bring a 10-gallon aquarium if fishkeeping is your favorite hobby? These types of tanks are always budget-friendly and easy to set.

The dimension of 10 gallons fish tank is around 20” x 10” x 12”. It is square and the dimensions of the tank are the same from every angle. There are two types of 10-gallon tank – glass tank and acrylic tank. Usually, beginners like to set the tank in simple steps, and 10 gallons of the aquarium is affordable and simple, so it is also known as the beginner-friendly tank.

Best 10 Gallons Tank in Budget

You will get many budget-friendly 10-gallon aquarium at a reasonable price in the market. Go through a few popular tanks and choose the best among them for your home or office.

1. Aqua Culture 10 Gallon Aquarium Starter Kit

Aqua Culture 10 Gallon Aquarium Starter Kit is a10-gallon tank for the aquarists who are starting the hobby of fish keeping. It is a complete kit that includes a low-profile hood, tetra filter, LED light, and a Tetra Care guide book. You don’t need to buy other equipment for your tank because the equipment will be provided with this aquarium.

Key Specifications:

  • Best Set Up for a Cold-Water Tank
  • Quiet and Powerful Heater
  • Low Profile Slim Hood
  • Filter Cartridges Provided
  • Cut Outs are Given for Easy Feeding
  • Good Quality Glass Tank

2. All Glass Aquarium

Are you finding a quality 10-gallon tank? All Glass Aquarium is one of the best choices. This aquarium is made up of durable glass and eco-hood. However, the hood does not come with a light, but the fittings are made so that you can set the lights on your own. The measurement of the tank is 20 x 10 x 12 inches.

Key Specifications:

  • Long-Lasting and Durable
  • Available in Affordable Price
  • Neat Seals are Provided with the Tank

3. Penn Plax Curved Corner Aquarium

The kit of Penn Plax Curved Corner Aquarium is a premium set that is made up of high-quality glass and ensures both longevity and durability. You will get an internal cascade filter, LED light, hinged plastic lid and a mat with this aquarium.

Moreover, the LED light can be positioned anywhere. This tank is both seamless and frameless. The measurement of this aquarium is 12.5 x 11.5 x 17.75 inches.

 Key Specifications:

  • High-Quality Filter is available with this Aquarium
  • Comes with Uneven Surfaces
  • Designed in Sleek and Simple Way

4. Aqueon Aquarium Fish Tank Kit

If you are a beginner fishkeeper, then Aqueon Aquarium Fish Tank Kit is the perfect choice for you. This aquarium is designed, and it does not have any complicated parts. The measurement of the tank is 20-1/4″ x 10-1/2″ x 12-9/16″ inches. This tank can be used for both freshwater and saltwater tank. It is made up of sturdy materials, so it would never crack with little disturbance.     

Key Specifications:

  • Durable Glass
  • Simple Design

5. Marina LED Aquarium Kit

If you have a small house and lack of space to set an aquarium, then Marina LED Aquarium Kit is an ideal 10-gallon tank for the less-spaced area. The measurement of the tank is 20″ L x 10″ W x 12.5″ H. You don’t need to purchase light and filter for the tank because LED lighted hood, Fluval fish food, water conditioner, fishnet and a filter are already provided with the fish tank.

Cartridges are also given with the filter so that you can easily clean the water of the tank. You may also receive Fluval samples with this tank. Moreover, the pump of the tank is soundproof, and it will never disturb you while sleeping or doing other works.

Key Specifications:

  • Easy to Install and Maintain
  • All-in-One-Kit

Equipment Needed to Set a 10 Gallon Tank

Some 10 gallons tanks are sold with a kit, but others are sold empty. Now, you cannot set a tank without the essentials needed for an aquarium. Take a look at some equipment you will need:

1. Light

Some tanks have lights on their hoods, so you don’t need to buy light in that case. But some aquariums are sold empty. Therefore, you need to purchase LED light for such a tank. Now, whether you need a harsh light or a moderate light that depends entirely on the fish breed. Some breeds are diurnal which like high LED light and others are nocturnal, so they need moderate lighting. After deciding the exact fish, install lighting in your tank.

2. Filter

A filter is needed to flush out the waste elements from the tank. Filters are necessary for small tanks because nitrate is quickly built-in small aquariums. You can install a power filter or sponge filter to maintain the quality of the water.

3. Heater

Heaters are needed in the winter season when the water becomes colder. Some fish cannot tolerate such water temperature. Experts recommend buying a thermometer also which will help you check the water temperature for the specific species.

4. Tank Decoration

Usually, a 10-gallon tank doesn’t need much decoration, but a little ornamentation can delight the mood of your pet fish. So, you need to add freshwater plants, fine gravels, rich substrate and small caves in the tank. Also, a gravel vacuum will be required to clean the substrate of the tank.

How to Set up 10 Gallons Tank?

If you are planning to set 10 gallons tank, then there are some ideas that you need to follow. We have provided some tips for setting your small tank. This will also help you by decorating a nano tank.

1. Decide the Place of the Tank

Before starting the hobby of fishkeeping, first, check the place or position in your house where you can keep the aquarium. If you buy the tank without deciding the place, then it will be messy and confusion will be created in such a situation.

2. Select the Tank of Your Choice

We have mentioned about some 10 gallons tank above with their features. We hope you will like one of them. So, after deciding the position, buy a tank. You can select a rectangular or square tank, depending on the space of the home or office.

3. Purchase a Stand for the Tank

If you have a table or other furniture, then you can keep the tank on it. But if you have no place to keep the aquarium, then buy an aquarium stand to set the tank on it.

4. Add Substrate in the Tank

Substrate plays a crucial role in an aquarium because it is the base of the tank setting. Add fine gravels, sand, small rocks, or another substrate at the bottom of the tank, so that you can keep caves in the tank. Moreover, the fish will take rest at the bottom of the tank. The substrate is also required for the aquatic plants.    

5. Install a Filter

A filter is needed to be installed in a tank so that it can flush out the excreted elements and other wastes from the tank. Just clean the filter weekly so that it functions properly.

6. Set Lighting

It is necessary to fix lights on the hood of the tank, so after keeping the tank in the right place, if the lighting is nor provided, then install standard lighting on the topmost part of the tank.

7. Set Up the Ornaments

Arrange some adornments such as fresh aquatic plants, small caves, fine gravel, sand substrate, driftwood and other decorations for delighting the mood of the fish in the tank.

8. Fill Up the Tank with Water by Checking the Parameter

After all the settings, add water in the tank. However, you need to decide which fish breeds and species you are keeping in the tank. According to that, use heater and thermometer to regulate the water temperature, hardness and pH level of the water while keeping it in the tank.  

9. Add Your Chosen Fish in the Tank

Finally, add small fish breeds in your 10 gallons tank, according to the tank condition. You can also add a feeder at the side of the tank, to feed your pet fish.


Cycle the water of the tank every week, and clean the tank with mild liquid and a padded brush. After scrubbing and washing, wipe the walls, decorations, and corners of the tank with a dry cotton cloth. You can clean the gravels of the tank with a small aquarium vacuum or a siphon.

Which Fish Breeds can be Kept in a 10 Gallon Tank?

No, you don’t have to ignore the hobby of fishkeeping if you have a small house and less space. You can continue your hobby by setting a small 10 gallons tank with various small freshwater fish, saltwater fish and other aquatic species. Know which fish and aquatic species you can keep in the 10-gallon aquarium.

1. Ember Tetra

The 1” (2.54 cm) Ember Tetra is a bright-red peaceful fish that is suitable to keep in a 10-gallon tank. Moreover, it is a beginner-friendly fish that prefer living in an eco-friendly tank surrounded with small floating plants like Java Fern, caves and rocks.

2. Pygmy Corydoras

This 1.3” (3.30 cm) silver-colored fish is passive and social. It is easy to breed and you can keep it in 10 gallons aquariums. Avoid keeping fin nippers with this fish which can bully Corydoras.

3. Hara Jerdoni

Hara Jerdoni is a bottom-dwelling fish of 1.2” (3 cm). It is a slow-moving fish, and it looks like a stone at the bottom of the tank. You can keep it in a 10-gallon tank.

4. Neon Tetra

The size of this metallic bicolored fish is 1.5” (4 cm), and it is suitable to keep in a 10-gallon aquarium.

5. Clownfish

You will require 8-10 gallons aquarium for this 4.3” (10.92 cm) saltwater fish. This famous character of ‘Finding Nemo’ is quite an exotic species because it can change its sex from male to female.

6. Guppy Fish

Guppies grow up to 0.6–1.4” (5–3.5 cm), so it is suitable to keep in a 5-10-gallon tank. This beautifully finned fish is passive. Thus, novice aquarists prefer keeping this fish in their aquariums.

7. Ghost Shrimp

Not only fish, many aquarists like keeping invertebrates in their tank. Ghost Shrimps are of several sizes, but beginners like petting 1½” (3.81 cm) Shrimp, which is perfect for a 10-gallon aquarium.

8. Neon Goby

Neon Goby is a 2” (5.08 cm) fish that can comfortably live in a 10-gallon tank. Its electrifying shade brings glow in the fish tank.

9. Celestial Pearl Danio

You can keep this 1” (2.54 cm) pearly fish in a 5-10 gallons tank. Its pearl-like pattern and vibrant colors will adorn the beauty of your fish tank.

10. Betta Fish

No, it is neither a passive fish nor a beginner-friendly species, but this 3” (7.62 cm) fish can be kept in a 5-10 gallons fish tank. However, if you are am intermediate fishkeeper, then this fish is natural to pet.

Whether you are setting 10 gallons fish tank or 20 gallons aquarium, you have to give some effort in starting that process. However, following our guidelines will help you set the tank quickly and enjoy the hobby of fishkeeping.

Know about Other Necessities in Setting a Fish Tank

Not only a 10-gallon tank setting, but you also need to know the other ways to set big aquariums, decorate and clean them. Reading these articles may help you in setting, ornamenting and maintaining an aquarium.