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? In continuation to our article about 7 fish tank ideas that will fit into a 10-gallon aquarium, we have more suggestions for you to choose the most colorful fish to brighten your 10-gallon set-up.
1. The Killifish Aquarium
Killifish are an underrated, colorful fish that can be kept at temperatures below 78°F (26°C) in unheated tanks. There are hundreds to choose from. To fit into a 10-gallon aquarium, pick a fish that is 3-4 inches or less in length. They are notorious jumpers, so keep a tight lid on the tank to prevent escape. 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. 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. Bottom dwellers like snails, smaller corydoras, and kuhli loaches would be useful for cleaning up excess food that slips past your betta fish. Your betta may like floating, protein-rich foods such as blood worms or brine shrimps, but micro pellets are best for schooling fish, and sinking wafers to feed 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
Rainbowfish are a very colorful species of fish, and they can be difficult to keep in a 10 gallon aquarium. Pseudomugil Rainbowfish can grow to less than two inches (5cm) in length. 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.
Because of their high energy level, a 10-gallon fish tank can hold a group of 3-5 rainbowfish (of the same species), as well as some bottom dwellers like smaller corydoras or kuhli loaches. These nano fish can be fed tiny foods like daphnia and cyclops as well as Easy Fry and Small Fish Feed. They have a very short life span of about 2 years. However, they are easy to breed. Make sure to get more females than males so that the males show off their best breeding colors and dancing behavior. 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. Apistogramma agassizii and Apistogramma cacatuoides are the easiest species to breed. Both species have stunning color options. Set up a cozy environment with a pH of 6.5-7.2 and warmer temperature between 82-84degF (28-29degC). Add a boy and a girl, and provide an apisto cave or coconut hut with a small hole that the male can barely fit inside. A balanced omnivore diet includes frozen bloodworms and brine shrimps, Repashy gel foods, sinking pellets, and Repashy food. The female guards eggs and protects fry after the male fertilizes them. You can read the full care guide for more information on apistogrammas.
Cockatoo dwarf cichlid (Apistogramma cacatuoides)
5. The Fancy Guppy Aquarium
Poecilia reticulata is a beautiful, energetic livebearer that comes in almost every color of the rainbow. For beginners, you can start with one male and two women. They will soon produce more babies. Guppies like hard water with high GH. If you have soft tap water, add crushed coral, Wonder Shell or Seachem Equilibrium for an increase in the aquarium’s mineral content. Fancy Guppy pellets or flakes are all acceptable. If you wish to produce lots of guppies for your friends or local fish store, add plenty of shelter or live plants, such as guppy grass, java moss, dwarf water lettuce, and Pogostemon stellatus ‘octopus’. 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. 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 amazing 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 100-200 in just a few 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. This detailed article will explain more about freshwater shrimp.
7. The Dwarf-Platy Aquarium
The majority of platy fish can grow to 2-3 inches (5-5-7 cm) in length, while the dwarf platy is a little more than 1 inch (2-5 cm) in height and can be kept in a smaller tank. The most commonly available varieties are solid red or red wag, but more colors will likely be produced in the future. We recommend three teacup plates with one male and two women for a 10-gallon aquarium. Males are eager to breed, so having more females and lots of cover will help divert his attention. Platies will eat whatever fish food or algae they find. There is no need for any extra crew to clean up after them. This livebearer is also capable of eating their own offspring. Therefore, provide dense aquarium plants such as water sprite & moss for them to hide in. You can find more information about platy fish care in our guide.
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. Good luck with your fish tank. Enjoy nature everyday.