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’re following up on our article about the 7 best fish tanks ideas for a 10-gallon tank. Here are more ideas to help you choose the most colorful fish to brighten your 10-gallon aquarium.
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. You should keep your tank closed as they are known to jump. Some killifish can be aggressive and will swallow small fish. To minimize aggression, keep a tank that is species-only and has a breeding pair or trio of males and females. Killifish like meaty foods of any kind and will happily eat brine shrimps, bloodworms, and krillflakes.
Red-striped killifish (Aphyosemion striatum)
2. The Betta Fish Tank
You might consider upgrading your betta fish tank from a small one to a 10 gallon paradise. Despite their territorial personalities, Betta splendens can live in a community aquarium if given enough space and the right kind of tank mates. Choose a small, peaceful schooling fish like green neon tetras to contrast with your red betta, or go with orange-colored ember tetras to complement a blue betta. You can use bottom dwellers such a snail, corydoras smaller than your betta fish and kuhli locaches to clean up any excess food. Although your betta may love floating protein-rich foods, such as brine shrimp and bloodworms, micro pellets can be used for the schooling fish. Sinking wafers can be used for 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
Rainbowfish are one of the most colorful freshwater fish. However, they are too large for a 10-gallon tank. Pseudomugil Rainbowfish can grow to less than two inches (5cm) in length. Go to your local fish store to see if they have P. luminatus (red neon rainbowfish), P. furcata (forktail blue-eye rainbowfish), or P. gertrudae (Gertrude’s spotted blue-eye rainbowfish). They prefer pH above 7.7 and hard water with minerals. However, they can survive in any water condition.
A 10-gallon fish tank with 3-5 rainbowfish can house a group of them (of the same species) as some bottom dwellers such as corydoras and kuhli loaches. These tiny fish should be fed small foods like Easy Fry, Cyclops, and Daphnia. They have a very short lifespan, lasting only about 2 years. However, they are easy to breed. You should get more males than females to ensure that they show their best dancing and breeding colors. For the females to lay eggs, you should provide plenty of dense aquarium plants. For more details, read our forktail rainbowfish care guide.
Forktail rainbowfish (Pseudomugil furcata)
4. The Apistogramma Breeding Tank
These South American dwarf cichlids have a reputation for being vibrant in color and engaging breeding behaviors. A. agassizii (the Apistogramma agassizii) and A. cacatuoides (the easiest to breed) are both beautiful and easy species. Create a warm environment with a pH of 6.5 to 7.2 and temperatures between 82-84degF (28-30degC). If you have a boy and girl, create an apisto cave (or coconut hut) with a small hole so that the male can barely fit within. A balanced omnivore diet includes frozen bloodworms and brine shrimps, Repashy gel foods, sinking pellets, and Repashy food. Once the male has fertilized the eggs, it is the female’s responsibility to guard the eggs and protect the fry when they hatch. Read our complete care guide to learn more about apistogrammas.
Cockatoo dwarf cichlid (Apistogramma cacatuoides)
5. The Fancy Guppy Aquarium
Poecilia redicolora is a lively, beautiful livebearer. It comes in nearly every color of the rainbow. If you’re a beginner, start with a trio of one male and two female, and they will quickly make more babies. Guppies love hard water and high GH. To increase the aquarium’s minerals, you can use Wonder Shell, crushed coral, or Seachem Equilibrium. Fancy Guppy pellets or flakes are all acceptable. You can make a lot of guppies to sell at your local fish shop or friends. To do this, you will need shelter or plants such as dwarf water lettuce, java moss and Pogostemon. stellatus “octopus” If the fry are too numerous, remove some of the cover from the aquarium. For more information, please refer to our complete care for guppies.
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 incredible colors like fire red, orange, yellow golden back and green jade. Their 1-inch (2.5 cm), small size and low waste load allow you to start with 10-20 shrimp and grow a colony up to 100 to 200 in just a few months. Cherry shrimp are not predated on their offspring. However, for the best survival rate, you should not add any other species to your tank. Baby shrimp will grow well if you add minerals, powdered foods and algae to the water. If you don’t see as many babies being born, sell some of them to your local fish shop and make the money go towards your new shrimp obsession. Read this article to learn more about freshwater seafood.
Cherry shrimp (Neocaridina davidi)
7. The Dwarf Plate Aquarium
Platyphis grow to 2-5cm (3-5cm) in size. However, the dwarf platy can only reach a little over 1 in (2.5cm) and can live in a smaller aquarium. While red wag or solid red are the most popular, more colors will likely to be available in the future. If you have a 10-gallon aquarium we recommend a trio with three teacup platys, each one with one male. Males are very eager to reproduce so you should have plenty of females and cover. Platies will eat whatever fish food or algae they find. There is no need for any extra crew to clean up after them. These livebearers are also capable of eating their own offspring. Provide water sprite, moss and dense aquarium plants for them to hide under. Check out our platyfish care guide to learn more about their care needs.
Dwarf red coral platy fish
If you enjoyed this article and are looking for even more stocking suggestions, check out our blog post on the 7 Best Fish Tank Ideas for a 10-Gallon Aquarium. Enjoy your fish tank and the beauty of nature every day.