Best 10 Gallon Fish Tank Picks: Equipment Guide Included

Starting a new tank or small community? Our guide to choosing the best 10 gallon fish tank will help you select the perfect aquarium for you and your fish!

By Matt Thomas
Last updated on

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. We may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking them, at no extra cost to you.

best 10 gallon fish tank

A 10 gallon fish tank can be the perfect choice if you are limited by space and want to start a small community. It’s also great as you can often pick up all-in-one kits with most equipment you need. But how do you find the best 10 gallon fish tank?

We’ve researched and tested a huge range of high-quality 10 gallon fish tanks from some of the best manufacturers and narrowed it down to our top choices. Overall, we found the Marina LED Aquarium Kit to be the best 10 gallon fish tank for you and your fish.

But everyone’s circumstances (and fish!) are different. That’s why we’ve covered a range of premium, budget, and starter kits suitable for different types of fish keeping – from freshwater to saltwater. That way all the best picks are covered! 

So let’s get started…

  1. Best Overall: Marina LED Aquarium Kit
  2. Best For Value: Aqueon Aquarium Starter Kit
  3. Premium Pick: Fluval Edge
  4. Best For Bettas: Fluval FLEX Aquarium Kit
  5. Best For Saltwater: Fluval Evo
  6. Best Alternative Starter: Aqueon NeoGlow LED Aquarium Kit
  7. Best Curved Glass Tank: Penn Plax Radius Curved Corner Aquarium Kit
  8. Best For GloFish: GloFish 10 Gallon Aquarium Kit

Best 10 Gallon Fish Tank Picks Reviewed

We reviewed a wide range of freshwater and saltwater 10-gallon aquariums to compile this list of our best 10 gallon fish tank picks. Dimensions, filtration, lighting, and equipment were all included as criteria along with suitability for your home or office.

1. Marina LED Aquarium Kit

Photo: Amazon.com

  • Shape and Capacity: Rectangular, 10 US gallons
  • Dimensions and Weight: 20.2 (l) x 10.24 (d) x 12.91 (h) inches, 17.19 pounds
  • Material: Glass
  • Equipment Included: Slim S15 HOB power filter with cartridges, hood with integrated daylight effect LED lighting, LCD thermometer, 4 inch fish net, Fluval Max fish food, Fluval Aqua Plus water conditioner, Fluval Cycle biological supplement, Aquarium care guide
  • Best for: Overall

Marina’s 10 gallon LED aquarium kit is a fantastic starter tank and our top pick overall. The Slim S15 HOB filter has a flow rate of 71 GPH, powerful enough to cycle even a 10 gallon tank up to 7 times an hour. As it’s a HOB filter it doesn’t take up valuable tank space inside. And it’s slimline design means it only protrudes 2 inches from the back so you can have your tank against the wall.

The daylight effect LEDs have a simple on/ off function and will comfortably support a range of beginner plants as well as your fish.

It comes with all the extras you need, including Fluval’s Aqua Plus water conditioner, Fluval Cycle biological supplement, and an aquarium care guide to help you set up. Some people note that the filter can be noisy at its highest setting. But overall a perfect all-round 10 gallon tank.

2. Aqueon Aquarium Starter Kit

Aqueon 10 gallon fish tank

Photo: Chewy.com

  • Shape and Capacity: Rectangular, 10 US gallons
  • Dimensions and Weight: 20.25 (l) x 10.5 (d) x 13.3 (h) inches, 17.5 pounds
  • Material: Glass
  • Equipment Included: QuietFlow HOB filter, preset (78°F) submersible heater, hood with cool white integrated LEDs, thermometer, aquarium set up guide, fish net, water conditioner and fish flakes sample packs
  • Best for: Value

The Aqueon represents excellent value for money given the price and what it includes. It has all the equipment of the Marina but also includes a 50 watt heater preset to 78°F. This is a perfect temperature for many nano fish and bettas but can of course be replaced later if needed.

Its 3-stage QuietFlow HOB filter has easy to replace cartridges and a handy light that shows red when it needs changing, making cleaning super easy. It can filter up to 100 GPH – more than enough for a 10 gallon tank.

The slimline LEDs integrated into the hood are powerful, but their low-profile means they don’t obscure your view. This is an incredibly comprehensive 10 gallon kit which is well-built and will look great in your room too!

3. Fluval Edge Aquarium Kit

Fluval edge 12 gallon fish tank

Photo: Chewy.com

  • Shape and Capacity: Portrait rectangle, 12 US gallons
  • Dimensions and Weight: 17.5 (l) x 10.25 (d) x 22.9 (h) inches, 34.5 pounds
  • Material: Glass
  • Equipment Included: 6 sided sealed glass aquarium, rear column and base with ventilated hood, 7600k integrated LED day and deep blue night illumination, 3-stage adjustable hang-on-back (HOB) filter with media, water conditioner, and biological enhancer
  • Best for: Premium Pick

At 12 gallons, the stunning Fluval Edge has slightly more capacity than the 10 gallon tanks featured. However, as a slightly tall, elongated cube shape with a 17.5 x 10.25 inch base it will still fit in smaller areas.

The sealed top makes the tank look stylish for any room and is still fully accessible via the hinged central column hood. The 7600k daytime and blue night time LEDs add to the premium look, whilst also allowing you to easily support your fish’s natural day and night cycle.

Overall a premium tank at this size, with a powerful and effective filter. This aquarium attracts deservedly high reviews for its aesthetics and beautiful design.

4. Fluval Flex Aquarium Kit

Photo: Amazon.com

  • Shape and Capacity: Cube bow front, 9 US gallons
  • Dimensions and Weight: 13.19 (l) x 13.78 (d) x 12.8 (h) inches, 11.11 pounds
  • Material: Glass
  • Equipment Included: 7500k white and RGB integrated lighting with remote control, 3-stage integrated filtration with multi-directional outputs, hood with easy feed opening
  • Best for: Bettas

We feature the 9 gallon Fluval Flex here, which is a great size for a single betta and one or two tankmates. You also have the option of the 15 gallon version which would be able to support a small community.

Not only does this tank have a square footprint of 13.19 x 13.78 inches, but the bowfront gives additional space as well as adding to the modern style. And the RGB remote control lighting features dynamic effects such as lightning, to really add the wow factor to your room!

The 3 stage filter is powerful but quiet, and the pump’s directional twin output nozzle means you have full control over the flow and can adjust it for sensitive fish. Like all Fluval tanks, this is a stunning aquarium praised for its design, effective filtration, and easy-to-set LED lighting.

5. Fluval Sea Evo

Photo: Amazon.com

  • Shape and Capacity: Rectangular, 13.5 US gallons
  • Dimensions and Weight: 22.0 (l) x 15.0 (d) x 11.0 (h) inches, 28 pounds
  • Material: Glass
  • Equipment Included: 14000k LED day and night lighting, 3-stage filtration with media included,132 GPH pump, hood with easy feed door
  • Best for: Saltwater

If you are looking to start a small saltwater aquarium, then the Fluval Sea Evo 13.5-gallon tank is a fantastic choice. Marine fish should not be housed as densely as freshwater, and so the 13.5 gallons of the Sea Evo gives that bit of extra space. And with a base of 22.0 x 11.5 inches, it’s small enough for a sturdy cabinet or 10-gallon tank stand.

The powerful 14000k LEDs are capable of supporting corals, and the touch-start day and blue night settings add to the stunning looks as well as supporting your fish’s day and night cycles.

Fluval’s integrated 3 stage mechanical, chemical, and biological filter does a great job at keeping the water crystal clear. And there is room in the hidden filter chamber for Fluval’s M Series 50 watt heater and PS2 MINI Protein Skimmer (sold separately).

6. Aqueon NeoGlow LED Aquarium Kit

Photo: Amazon.com

  • Shape and Capacity: Rectangular, 10 US gallons
  • Dimensions and Weight: 20.25 (l) x 10.5 (d) x 13.13 (h) inches, 17.5 pounds
  • Material: Glass
  • Equipment Included: Low-profile hood with cool blue integrated LEDs, QuietFlow HOB filter with cartridge, preset (78°F) submersible heater, thermometer, aquarium set up guide, 3 bright artificial plants, multi-color gravel, fish net, water conditioner and fish flakes sample packs
  • Best for: Alternative Starter

Aqueon’s NeoGlow 10 gallon fish tank is an awesome alternative to their standard 10 gallon tank if you are looking for a bright, cool design. It comes in either orange or pink sealant, and Aqueon includes 3 bright artificial plants which really make the colors stand out!

The blue LED lights integrated into the low-profile hood make the colors in the tank fluoresce, and would look amazing in a child’s bedroom or den. And the 78°F preset 50 watt heater is a great addition to the kit and in the right range for many tropical fish. 

The 3 stage QuietFlow HOB filter has a flow rate of 100 GPH and easy to replace media cartridges, which will easily keep your water clean and your parameters in check. If you are after a cool and striking 10 gallon tank this is an awesome option!

7. Penn Plax Radius Curved Corner Aquarium Kit

Photo: Amazon.com

  • Shape and Capacity: Curved rectangular, 10 US gallons
  • Dimensions and Weight: 17.75 (l) x 11.75 (d) x 12.5 (h) inches, 19.25 pounds
  • Material: Glass
  • Equipment Included: Cascade 300 internal filter, LED clip-on light, surface protector mat, hinge style plastic lid
  • Best for: Curved Glass Tank

Penn Plax’s curved glass corner Radius is a beautiful 10 gallon fish tank. It’s seamless design, rimless top edge, and clear plastic top give you an unobstructed view of your fish from any direction. The plastic lid is actually hinged giving you easy access at feeding time. Although if you want to fully open the lid, say for cleaning, you do have to unclip the light. 

The LED lamp lights the tank nicely but is not overly bright, so if you want to grow several plants you may need to replace it. Also, note you have to unplug the light at the wall to turn on and off as there is no switch which can be a pain.

The 2 stage internal filter is quiet and small enough to hide at the back of the tank. And at 70 GPH is perfect for keeping your water clean. Overall the tank is so attractive and of good quality that it’s worth the kit alone. And with decent accessories that you can upgrade over time.

8. GloFish 10 Gallon Aquarium Kit

Photo: Amazon.com

  • Shape and Capacity: Rectangular, 10 US gallons
  • Dimensions and Weight: 23.69 (l) x 13.44 (d) x 19.88 (h) inches, 16.0 pounds
  • Material: Glass
  • Equipment Included: Tetra Whisper power filter with cartridge, 50-watt aquarium heater and thermometer, low profile hood with blue and white LEDs, fish food and water conditioner sample, aquarium set-up guide, GloFish fluorescent plants
  • Best for: GloFish

If you plan to keep a decent size GloFish community of 6 or 7 fish, then the GloFish 10 gallon aquarium kit is a must! The blue LEDs integrated into the tank’s hood are specifically designed to emphasize the fluorescent colors these fish are bred for.

It’s a really comprehensive kit for a 10 gallon fish tank, and even comes with a 50 watt heater and thermometer which will support a wide range of tropical fish. And all the extras, like GloFIsh artificial plants, food and water conditioner, mean you can get started straight away!

The 3 stage Tetra Whisper filter is quiet and powerful with a flow rate of 90 GPH, so can cycle all your tank water 9 times per hour – more than the recommended 6 times. Combined with the easy to change Bio-Bag cartridges it will keep your water in perfect condition.

How To Choose The Best 10 Gallon Fish Tank

10 gallon fish tanks are really the last of the nano aquariums before you get to larger tanks. But what should you consider before getting one? Let’s find out!

fish in 10 gallon fish tank

Type, Shape And Dimensions

The best 10 gallon fish tank shapes should be based not only on looks, but also on the environment they offer for your fish. Many nano fish species suitable for a 10 gallon fish tank prefer horizontal swimming space. 

Rectangular, large cylinders, half-cylinders, and cubes can all offer this space while at the same time being stylish and modern. Whilst the volume may be 10 gallons, overall dimensions can vary due to elevated bases and heights of the hood. So do check these as well as capacity.

Material And Weight

Unlike a smaller nano aquarium, 10 gallons is about the limit where weight starts to become even more important. 

An empty 10 gallon glass fish tank will weigh around 10 lbs, and you may need to fill it with about 10 to 15 lbs of substrate. Given that the weight of 1 US gallon of water is 8.34 lbs [1], that’s another 83 lbs. With the rest of your equipment, the final weight could be around 120 lbs.

Plastic tanks are generally lighter than glass, and whilst they can scratch more easily they can also be buffed out. Chip a glass tank and it’ll be much more difficult to repair.

Price: Tank Only Vs. Starter Kit?

When considering the best 10 gallon fish tank, one of the main factors that can affect price is whether you buy your tank and equipment separately or go for a kit. For beginners, I’d definitely recommend starter kits as they are generally cheaper than buying separate supplies.

Be aware though, at this size many starter kits don’t come with a heater so this is often something you need to buy separately, although they are often not expensive. All the kits featured above also offer a range of different styles without breaking the bank.

Equipment You’ll Need For A 10 Gallon Fish Tank

Although our best 10 gallon fish tank picks include most things needed as part of the kit, there are some additional key pieces of equipment you should consider.

10 Gallon Fish Tank Stand

Given that your 10 gallon tank is likely to weigh around 120 lbs, it’s essential that it’s properly supported. You may be able to support this weight if you have a sturdy desk or cabinet, but the safest option is to use a dedicated 10 gallon aquarium stand.

These stands often have other advantages, such as dual shelves to support more than one tank or a raised edge to prevent your aquarium from being knocked off by pets.They also raise the tank to the right level, away from children’s hands but at the perfect height for viewing.

Filtration Unit

10 gallon fish tanks often come as a kit with filtration included. But it’s still important to know what you need from your filter. Firstly, you’ll want it to filter all the water at least 5 or 6 times per hour. So a 50 to 60 gallon per hour (GPH) flow rate or higher is ideal.

You’ll also want a small filter as a 10 gallon tank doesn’t have a lot of space and you may want to allow for a secondary sponge filter or airstone too. If you don’t have a built-in filter, hang on back (HOB) or internal filters are good options and will save space. Go for 3 stage filters which include mechanical, chemical, and biological media to keep your water crystal clear.

Lights

Having the ability to consistently control the lighting in your tank is very important. Fish, like us, have a natural rhythm of rest, and need periods of light and dark each day [2]. Consistent lighting also provides the conditions your live plants need to grow.

By using aquarium lights you’ll have control over this, rather than relying on the light in the room. You’ll generally find 3 types of lighting. Simple fluorescent, LED, or MCR (Multi-Colored Remote) LED. The latter two offer much more flexibility in terms of being able to dim and program your lights. 

Heater For A 10 Gallon Tank

Whilst you can sometimes keep your 10 gallon tank without a heater it depends on many factors, including your room temperature and the fish you want to keep. Most tropical fish will tend to need a temperature higher than general room temperature of 72°F [3].

The other important consideration is that using a heater allows you to keep the water temperature stable and consistent. Your heater should be the right size to fit your 10 gallon tank, and be the correct wattage to maintain 75 to 80°F. A 50 watt heater is a good choice.

Substrate

Often substrate comes down to personal choice and the look you want to achieve. But you should also consider the fish in your tank. I find guppies, for example, do better with sand as it doesn’t cause issues if swallowed. Some plants also prefer sand whereas others prefer gravel.

There are even some instances where a bare bottom tank may be preferable. For example, in a breeder tank. Whatever your final choice, make sure that it’s easy to clean too as you don’t have a lot of room in a 10 gallon tank.

Plants And Decor

Decorating your tank and adding plants will again be a balance between aesthetics and the needs of your fish. Many species prefer a well-planted tank with plenty of areas to hide. For a 10 gallon aquarium consider beginner plants like Anubias, Java Moss, or Cabomba.

Aquarium driftwood, tunnels, and even themed decorations can give extra places for your fish to mark out their territory, as well as adding interest to your tank. For a 10 gallon saltwater aquarium, you could use a small 7 or 8 lbs live rock as the focal point.

ghost shrimp in fish tank

Pros and Cons of a 10 Gallon Fish Tank

Like other tank sizes there are some specific pros and cons associated with owning a 10 gallon fish tank.

Pros

  • Size and capacity: A 10 gallon fish tank is one of larger nano aquariums but it’s size provides a good balance between being able to fit comfortably in a small room, and providing enough capacity for a small community of fish.
  • Maintenance: Whilst cleaning and water changes need to be carried out weekly, they are quicker to do than larger tanks as you will only be changing 1.5 gallons (15%).
  • Flexibility: 10 gallons tanks make a very good size to use as hospital, quarantine, or breeding tanks. For raising guppy fry for example.
  • Price: There are a range of premium, budget, and starter 10 gallons tanks available making it relatively easy to find the best 10 gallon fish tank and accessories.

Cons

  • Water parameter spikes: Whilst 10 gallon fish tanks are easier to maintain than smaller nano aquariums, they are still more susceptible to ammonia spikes than larger tanks. So keeping your eye on your water parameters is a must.
  • Stocking: Relative to a slightly larger 20 gallon, or 30 gallon tank, your ability to stock a 10 gallon is still quite limited. You could keep a male betta with a very small school of suitable tankmates, or a small school of other nano fish. But if you want to keep more you’d need to get a bigger tank.

Our Verdict

A 10 gallon fish tank is the biggest of the nano aquariums before you start to move on to more sizable tanks. And the advantage of a 10 gallon for beginners is you can keep a small but decently sized community in a nice compact tank. 

Overall we chose the Marina LED Aquarium Kit as the best 10 gallon fish tank as it achieves this perfectly, whilst being equipped with the extras needed as a first time starter kit.

But whichever 10 gallon fish tank you choose from those above, you can be confident they will balance the right environment for your fish along with stunning aesthetics for your home!

FAQs On 10 Gallon Fish Tanks

Here are the answers to some of the most popular FAQs when it comes to 10 gallon tanks.

What Is The Best 10 Gallon Fish Tank?

After extensive research and testing we found that the best 10 gallon fish tank overall is the Marina LED Aquarium Kit. But check the article above for alternatives for any situation!

How Many Fish Should You Keep In A 10 Gallon Fish Tank?

The general rule is you should allow 1 gallon for every 1 inch of fish, but more room is best. So, for example, you could keep around 6 to 7 guppies based on their average size of 1.6 inches.

What Fish Should I Add To My 10 Gallon Fish Tank?

Freshwater nano fish such as Chili rasboras, guppies, mollies, danios, cory catfish or a single male betta are all great choices. Ghost or Cherry shrimp work well too. For saltwater, 3 to 5 damselfish or 2 clownfish are good options.

How Often Should I Clean My 10 Gallon Fish Tank? 

Whilst a 10 gallon tank is easier to maintain than a 5 gallon nano aquarium, a fully stocked tank will still need weekly cleaning. Depending on your water parameters you may also need to do around a 15% water change weekly.

Photo of author
AUTHOR
Matt Thomas
Matt has been keeping fish since junior high when he used to look after his parent's tank. He loves guppies, cichlids, and his crowntail betta named Bobby.

Save 35% On Your First Autoship Order!

We have partnered with Chewy.com to offer the best deal on high-quality aquarium supplies to our readers. Click on the button below to visit their exclusive discount page.