best fish tanks

You just bought a fish, now it’s time to buy one of the best fish tanks for your aquatic friend.

There is a large selection of fish tanks to choose from. Depending on the fish you have is how you know which tank suits them the best.

For example: if you have only one fish, a small tank of less than five gallons should be fine in most cases.

If you are going to have several fish, purchase a larger fish tank. A size between ten and twenty gallons would be more ideal for multiple fish. Don’t forget that there are many accessories, such as a heater, to choose from as well.

Best Fish Tanks That are Five Gallons and Smaller

A five gallon fish tank is perfect for the counter top or desktop. You can set the aquarium up in a small corner of the bedroom or on a nightstand.

These small ecosystems include everything needed to have a thriving fish tank.

Having a small fish tank is great for those who would like to have a fish tank, but don’t want to take up space. They are also the easiest to maintain due to the smaller size.

The Best Fish for a Five Gallon Tank

If you have a five gallon tank you likely will have small fish in it. The most common fish for these small tanks are Guppies, Bettas, Cyprinids, Tetras, and Platy.

Tetra Fish

Black Neon Tetras and Cardinal Tetras are ideal fish for a small tank. They remain small and are wonderful schooling fish. They don’t grow to any more than an inch and are non-aggressive.

Zebra Danio

The Zebrafish has five stripes extending from the head to the tail. they are very attractive and friendly fish, making them perfect for a small aquarium.


Betta are great fish for a small tank, however they are very territorial and will fight other Bettas to the death. If you would like several Bettas, you will need to place a divider in the tank.

Peaceful Betta

This Betta is similar in appearance to the Zebra Danio. It is a friendly fish and doesn’t grow too large. But be careful when choosing a Betta because there are many different types and some will grow up to four inches.

White Cloud Mountain Fish

The White Cloud Mountain fish is actually a minnow. It is similar in size to the Black Neon Tetras and has a colorful red face with a silver body.


The classic Goldfish are also a good choice for a small fish tank. They do not require much care and are very hardy fish.

Goldfish do grow to be very large, however, so keep this in mind if you choose one for your tank.

One or two goldfish would be fine for a small tank, but you have to move them to a larger aquarium as they grow.

Best Fish Tanks That are Ten Gallons

Ten gallon tanks are among the smallest, however it’s not recommended to beginner aquarists. This is because it is not east to maintain in terms of proper filtration, water change, and generally keeping everything in good shape.

One reason why a ten gallon tank is not recommended for beginners is that they often make mistakes when deciding what fish to stock into such a small aquarium.

There are three main things you should be aware of when it comes to fish you choose:

  • fish care requirements
  • space they need
  • fish temperament

With that being said, do not keep two species which need significantly different water conditions in the same tank. Do not keep highly peaceful fish with aggressive or territorial fish in the same tank either.

best fish tanks 3

The Best Fish for a Ten Gallon Tank

Tetra Fish

A good start would definitely be stocking some Tetra fish, such as Cardinal tetra, Glowlight, or Neon tetra.

As far as sizes and space requirement of these fish go , they are great ten-gallon tank mates.

They are all rather inactive swimmers, so they don’t require a lot space.

They are also small and peaceful fish so they should all get along quite well most of the time.

The only thing they don’t quite agree about is water temperature.

Neon prefer 68° to 78°Fahrenheit, glowlight, and cardinals, prefer for the water to be slightly warmer (74° to 80°F).

They are tolerant towards other species of fish, but can get nippy toward each other when stressed, so keep them in a larger school.

Dwarf Corydoras

Dwarf Corydoras, or catfish, are a bottom-feeding species that get along with all peaceful tank mates, but should be kept in schools of six or more of its own.

They are also very useful as tank bottom cleaners because they will pick up nearly everything that falls down to the bottom of the tank.

You should occasionally provide them with some sinking pellets to be sure they get all the nutrients they need.

Sparkling Gourami

Sparkling Gourami is a small fish  that grows to 1.5 inches in length.

They are suitable for small densely planted tanks with lots of hiding places.

Due to their colorful look, they can be a great addition for a creatively set aquarium.

Although they are quite shy sometimes, if kept away from aggressive fish they can be very sociable.


Another small vividly colored fish from the rank of livebearers that can be fun to watch in your aquarium is the Guppy.

They come in an assortment of different color alternatives, so there is much space for you to be creative when choosing from these fish.

Unlike Neon Tetras and similar, guppies are very active swimmers in the top third of the aquarium, so that segment of the tank should not be heavily planted.


Angelfish are beautiful fish that live and reproduce admirably in the Amazon River. This means that acidic water and rather warm temperatures are their friend.

Angelfish care is also amongst the easiest of of tasks for fish owners.


If kept with proper tank mates, this aggressive fish species known as the Siamese Fighting fish, or Betta, can do very well in your ten-gallon tank.

However, this will only work if kept with peaceful species such as White Cloud Mountain Minnows, Corydoras, Ember Tetra, and Harlequin Rasboras. This brightly colored fish, with magestic looking fins can be rather entertaining and a trouble-free option.

Whichever fish or species you choose, do thorough research on the fish or species you think is best for your tank.

The main reason to research is because even if your fish can fit a gallon of such volume, it may not be compatible with some other fish/species you wish to add in terms of aquarium setup, water conditions, and behavior.

Best Fish Tanks that are Twenty Gallons

Twenty gallon tanks are a nice middle of the road selection for those that want a decent sized tank, but not one that takes up too much space.

A twenty gallon tank places some exciting possibilities on the table. A tank this size lets you include live or artificial plants to complement the wide array of beautiful freshwater fish and interesting critters, all without taking up a huge amount of space.

Choosing Fish for your Twenty Gallon Tank

Choosing the best fish for your twenty gallon tank is about more than just knowing which fish grow to an appropriate size. It’s also important to take into consideration the temperament and needs of any fish you stock and to make sure they are compatible with each other.

The aim is to create a small ecosystem that requires minimal human interaction to keep it going. There are many reasons aquarium fish die too soon, and proper stocking, along with solid tank maintenance practices, can help you avoid most of them.

best fish tanks 2


The Best Fish for a Twenty Gallon or Larger Tank


Platies are energetic fish that are a lot of fun to watch. They come in some attractive varieties, including the Mickey Mouse platy that looks like it has the iconic mouse ears on its tail.

It is recommended to have a ratio of at least two females per male. You can tell males from females by looking at the fin under their bellies. If it is wide and flat the fish is female, where on males it is pointy.


Swordtails are similar to platies in both appearance and behavior, though a bit slimmer and they have a more polished look about them.

Like platies, you will want only one male for every two females. This reduces the stress on the females when the males get a little erotic and start pestering them. Male swords are easy to spot by their sword-like tails.


There is a large collection of Molly fish available, such as the sailfin molly, lyretail molly, marble molly, and the black molly.

As with the platies and swords, you want a minimum of two females to each male. You can tell the difference the same way you do with platies.

These fish are livebearers, meaning they don’t lay eggs. So you may wake up to baby fish swimming around your tank one morning.


Cory catfish are bottom feeders, and a nice inclusion to any 10 gallon or larger tank.

These fish will help keep the tank clean. They will eat leftover fish food that falls to the bottom of the tank. You should include some sinking pellets to be sure they get enough to eat.

They are shoaling (also known as schooling) fish, and should be kept in groups of at least six.

Dwarf Gourami

Dwarf gouramis are the only fish on this list that are considered to be somewhat aggressive at times. They are elegant, mostly peaceful, and can be excellent community fish.

However, if you have a pair they may fight, or one may bully the other. To lower the chances of this happening avoid having two males in the same tank.

If one of the fish are being bullied it is a good idea to include some hiding spots for them. You can create a hiding space by adding a decorative cave to the aquarium.

Neons and Other Tetras

Most tetras, like neons, are tiny, calm fish that need to be kept with others of their kind. A school of a dozen or more neons in a well-planted tank looks amazing.

There are more types of tetras you might consider as well. Some are similar in size and attitude to neons, such as black neons and cardinal tetras. Others are a little larger, like black-skirt tetras.

Zebra Danio

Zebrafish are small striped fish. These fish look similar to tetras, but they are actually minnows.

They are very easy to care for, and so they are one of the best tropical fish for beginners. They are also very active little fish, and a lot of fun to have in a tank.

As with tetras, they are schooling fish who should be kept in groups of at least six. This social environment helps reduce stress and keep fish healthy when they feel threatened.

Fancy Guppies

These are some of the most beautiful and glissful fish you can stock in your 20-gallon tank.

They are livebearers so you should have two females for each male.

These little fish are going to be all over your tank. They are too small to get into too much trouble, and whilst being quite active they are also very peaceful.


Otos are cute little schooling fish, and among the best algae eaters for all tanks. They look like little plecos, and they stick to the glass and decorations in a similar way.

However, unlike plecos they stay small and you can have group of a dozen or so in a twenty gallon tank. That being said, it is suggested to keep their numbers down around six to eight to be sure they all have something to eat. Along those lines, you will want to supplement their diet with algae wafers.

Harlequin Rasbora

These are beautiful, colourful fish that should be kept in schools of at least six. They are a peaceful community fish, and their vibrant orange/red colors look amazing blended with their black sides.

A well-planted twenty gallon tank with ten neons and ten harlequin rasboras would looks amazing.

It should be noted that it is recommended for all of these little fish to be kept with other small, docile fish.

Best Fish Tanks that are Thirty Gallons

If you are interested in an aquarium that can easily fit in to any room yet create a focal point at the same time, a thirty gallon fish tank is perfect.

This size is almost perfect for the majority of fish keepers. It gives enough space for lots of pretty fish and does not take up too much of your personal space.

Tanks of this size allows for a great combination of species and plants. They can host a huge selection of different fish.

As for other aquatic animals, crabs, shrimps and snails can all live there without fighting for territory.

Best Fish Tanks that are Forty Gallons

A forty gallon tank is a great choice for both experienced and beginner aquarists.

This size allows you to keep lots of amazing fish, plants and decorations. It is a well-rounded aquarium that is durable and offers great value.

It is quite easy to maintain as long as you invest in quality equipment. There are plenty of great setups that you can choose from with a tank of this size.

One great thing about these tanks is that they come in so many different shapes, whether it’s a panoramic hexagon or a normal rectangular tank.

Each shape has it’s own original and beautiful look. They will let you look at your fish from every possible angle.

Some shapes are easier to maintain than others. For this reason, a classic rectangular tank is the recommended choice for many aquarists because they are much easier to clean.