10 Gallon Aquarium Dimensions, Weight, Kit, Setup Tips

A 10 gallon aquarium has many uses. This aquarium size is usually the first choice for a beginner fish keeper. 10-gallon aquariums are perfect to set up a freshwater tropical fish community tank. Here’s everything you need to know about a 10 gallon aquarium setup, kits, uses, and more.

Things To Consider

10 Gallon Fish Tank Size

Standard 10 gallon aquarium dimensions are 20x10x12 (L x W x H). It’s a small tank by those measurements so to ensure that your aquatic life thrives you need to consider a few things:

  • Changes in water temperature.
  • pH level changes.
  • Overfeeding.
  • Overstocking.
  • Nitrate levels.
  • Filtration.

Water Temperature

Changes in water temperate can affect fish; it can stress them or make them sick. So when doing water changes, you must make sure that the water temperature remains the same.


Overstocking means that there are too many fish or other aquatic life in the aquarium. These fish create lots of waste and thus affect water quality. Poor quality, in turn, affects the fish in the tank.


Overfeeding fish leads to the same issue. If the tank is dirty with food particles amass, then it affects the water quality. These things can happen in any tank no matter the size but are more typical in small tanks like a 10-gallon aquarium.

Nitrate Levels

After performing a nitrogen cycle on a 10-gallon tank, nitrate levels build up quickly, due to the low water volume. High nitrate levels make the water unstable and the pH level becomes more acidic. You can offset this – you can perform partial water changes weekly. Avoid overstocking at all costs and be sure to house fish that can live in a 10-gallon tank.


It may seem that a 10-gallon fish tank has lots of issues, but they are easy to maintain. All you need to do is take proper precautions. A suitable filtration system is one such way to preserve the quality of the tank. In small tanks, a filter is absolutely essential. As said, nitrate builds up faster in smaller tanks so adding a filter helps keep the water clean and healthy.

10-gallon aquarium starter kits usually have an in-tank filter or hang-on-back filter. Small in-tank filters can keep the aquarium clean if there aren’t too many fish. A hang-on-back filter is more powerful and can filter more and faster, thus keeping the water cleaner. You can shop online fish supply stores or in pet stores for an affordable filter.

Starter Kit Basics

10-gallon fish tank kits are easy to set up but you need to keep an eye on the water conditions due to their small size. You can buy the following items, but a decent 10-gallon aquarium starter kit should include the following:

  • 10 Gallon Glass Aquarium.
  • A tank cover with lighting.
  • An aquarium heater.
  • An aquarium thermometer.
  • An aquarium filter.
  • Air hose.
  • Air pump.
  • Substrate (gravel, sand).
  • Fish food.
  • Declorinator/Water conditioner.
  • Fish net.


You can use a 10-gallon tank to set up a species-specific habitat. For example, the following freshwater shrimp can thrive in a 10 gallon tank:

The following freshwater snails can live in a 10-gallon aquarium:

You can also use 10-gallon fish tanks to house sick fish, whereby the aquarium acts as a hospital or quarantine station. Or, you can use it to keep fish fry, until they are big enough to be in the community tank. You can also use it as a breeder tank and place the female fish in it to give birth and then remove her so that the fry can grow.

Ten-gallon tanks are small fish tanks. Thus, you ought not to overstock them with fish, shrimp, other animals, or plants. For instance, keeping goldfish in a ten gallon-sized is not suitable for them in the long term. Improperly maintained small tanks that lead to water quality issues are harmful or even fatal to fish. Goldfish have high bio-loads and thus need a bigger tank to thrive.

Lastly, you can plant and grow live plants in 10-gallon aquariums. Plants like Anubias Barteri, Anacharis, Java Moss, and Moss Balls are excellent choices for beginners.


Best 10 Gallon Aquarium Kits

Aqua Culture 10-Gallon Aquarium

Aqua Culture 10-gallon Aquarium Starter Kit


  • It has a filter system (a device which has the pump as part of the device, charcoal filter & filter).
  • Has a pump.
  • A cover with LED light.
  • Sample food.
  • A direction/guideline booklet.


Penn Plax Curved Corner Aquarium


  • It has an LED Light.
  • An internal Filtration System.
  • A Lid.


  • You can’t open the lid without moving the light.
  • The light only turns off when unplugged.

All Glass 10 Gallon Aquarium


  • Simple design.
  • Easy to customize.


  • No filter.
  • No heater.
  • No pump.

Tetra PLAYMOBIL 10 Gallon Kit


  • LED lights.
  • Filtration System.
  • A submersible heater.
  • Water condition.
  • Free tank decor.
  • Activity book/setup and care guide.

Marina LED Aquarium Kit 10 Gallon


  • Clip-on filter.
  • LED lights.
  • Fish food.
  • Water conditioner.
  • Fish net.
  • Care guide/Setup manual.


  • No heater.