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What Fish Can be Bred in a 10-Gallon Tank? (Top Ten)

A 10-gallon fish tank is a popular choice for many beginner aquarium hobbyists. Relatively inexpensive to purchase and fairly easy to maintain, this tank is great for variety of smaller species including guppies, tetras, and danios. But can you breed aquarium fish in such a tiny tank and if so, which ones?

The ‘top 10’ best fish to breed in a 10-gallon tank include barbs, bettas, cories, danios, gouramis, guppies, minnows, mollies, rams, and tetras – depending on the species, of course. Since a 10-gallon tank is quite small, you shouldn’t breed fish larger than 2 inches, with the exception of betta fish, that is.

Now that you know the 10-best fish for a breeder tank, let’s take a closer look at each species and what you need to improve your chances of both reproduction and offspring survival. I’ll also mention what the largest fish that can be bread in a 10-gallon tank is and how to set it up properly.

Okay, if you’re ready to ‘dive deeper’ into the subject, then let’s get to it!

Can I Breed Barbs in a 10-Gallon Tank?

Golden dwarf barbs are a great choice for a 10-gallon aquarium. Because of their small size (they only grow to an inch or two in length), they can also be bred in a 10-gallon tank. Keeping them in a school of 5 for a 10-gallon tank is recommended to prevent overcrowding. A well-planted is necessary for breeding golden dwarf barbs as they’re carnivorous and may be tempted to eat their own eggs and/or offspring.

Can I Breed Bettas in a 10-Gallon Tank?

Though betta fish are often found in small bowls in pet shops, these fish need a bigger aquatic environment to thrive in captivity. A 10-gallon planted aquarium with a filter and no other fish is the minimum for 2 bettas – one male and one female. A 10-gallon tank will also work for breeding as well if they have the proper instincts and conditioning. Those that don’t, may end up eating their own offspring.

Can I Breed Cories in a 10-Gallon Tank?

Pygmy cory catfish are ideal for a 10-gallon tank due to their small size and peaceful temperament. A densely planted 10-gallon tank with a filter, lots of hiding places and soft, sandy substrate would also work well for breeding this species. A school of 6 to 8 with a ratio of 2 males to every female is best if you’re looking to breed this species in a 10-gallon aquarium.

Can I Breed Danios in a 10-Gallon Tank?

One of the best species of danio for a 10-gallon tank is the celestial pearl. Easy to care for, docile in nature, and small in stature, these fish are ideal for beginner hobbyists looking to stock a smaller aquarium. A planted, species-only 10-gallon tank with rocks, caves, and driftwood added for cover will encourage breeding, especially if you keep them in a school of 5 or 6 with more females than males.

Can I Breed Gouramis in a 10-Gallon Tank?

Dwarf gouramis are small, peaceful fish that can be easily kept in a 10-gallon aquarium. Great for beginner hobbyists, they’re low-maintenance and can live with other fish of like size and temperament (neon tetras, for example) in a community tank environment. To breed this species successfully in a 10-gallon tank, you need 3 fish (one male and two females) and heavily planted species-only environment.


Can I Breed Guppies in a 10-Gallon Tank?

Guppies are great for smaller tanks and can be easily kept and bred in a 10-gallon aquarium. In fact, they can often breed successfully in a 10-gallon tank without any extra measures! A school of 6 guppies in a ratio of one male to two females is perfect for breeding. Be aware, however, that once the eggs hatch, you must move the fry to another tank as the parents will often eat their own offspring.

Can I Breed Minnows in a 10-Gallon Tank?

White cloud minnows are perfect for a small aquarium. You’ll need 2 gallons of water for each minnow so by that calculation, you can keep up to 5 fish in a 10-gallon tank. These attractive little fish are excellent for beginner hobbyists since they’re easy to care for, not too messy, and peaceful in nature. To breed this species in a 10-gallon tank, feed them live foods such as brine shrimp and use a spawning mop.

Can I Breed Mollies in a 10-Gallon Tank?

Mollies, depending on the species, can be kept in a 10-gallon aquarium. Since each molly requires between 2 and 3 gallons of water per fish, you can have up to 4 in a 10-gallon tank. For the purposes of breeding, the male to female ratio should be 1:3 since male mollies are aggressive breeders. Having more females helps divert his attention and reduce mating hostility.

Can I Breed Rams in a 10-Gallon Tank?

German blue rams can be kept and bred in a 10-gallon aquarium. It’s best to have just a single mated pair in a 10-gallon tank as this type of cichlid fish is territorial in nature. Since blue rams are sensitive to aquatic conditions and fluctuations, you can improve the chances of reproduction by ensuring the water is soft and acidic with a temperature of at least 80-degrees Fahrenheit and a pH level between 5 and 6.

Can I Breed Tetras in a 10-Gallon Tank?

Neon tetras are a great choice for 10-gallon aquariums, especially if you’re a beginner hobbyist. They’re colorful, small, peaceful and easy to maintain. Replicating their natural habitat as closely as possible will improve the chances of successful breeding. Ensuring the 10-gallon tank is densely planted with driftwood and rocks added for extra cover is recommended.

What is the Biggest Fish You Can Breed in a 10-Gallon Tank?

The biggest fish you can breed in a 10-gallon tank are bettas. Generally, it’s not recommended to keep fish larger than a few inches in such a small tank, however, a mated pair of bettas can survive and breed in a 10-gallon tank.

Creating the right conditions for breeding is imperative. Since bettas prefer privacy when breeding, it’s best to set-up the 10-gallon tank somewhere quiet. The water should be heated to a temperature of 80-degrees or slightly warmer with a pH level somewhere between 7.0 and 7.5.

Feeding your mated pair a nutritious diet will also help promote successful breeding. Frozen or live brine and mysis shrimp are recommended since bettas are carnivorous and like to eat meat-based foods. As well, offering bloodworms occasionally will help the females produce more eggs.

Offspring can be kept in the same tank as their betta parents since males tend to and guard the eggs while females patrol the area to ward off potential predators – just like that in the wild. Once betta fry are free-swimming, you’ll must remove the male as he’ll see them as a threat and become aggressive.

What Can You Breed in a 10-Gallon Tank Other than Fish?

On a related note, you may want to breed crustaceans in your 10-gallon tank along with or instead of fish. Cherry shrimp, for example, can be kept and bred in a 10-gallon tank. This species is extremely hardy and can tolerate a wider range of tank fluctuations that other types of shrimp, making them an ideal choice for beginner hobbyists.

To breed cherry shrimp successfully, raise the temperature in the tank from 78-degrees to 82-degrees Fahrenheit. Slightly harder water (around 200 ppm) will also encourage mating and help eggs mature faster. A planted tank with a filter is recommended as well. Start with 10 shrimp to increase your chances of getting both males and females in the colony.


To conclude, the best fish to breed in a 10-gallon tank are small (including barbs, cories, danios, gouramis, guppies, minnows, mollies, rams, and tetras) and reach full-grown lengths of no more than 2 inches. There is one exception, however, and that’s the betta fish which can grow to just over 3 inches.

I hope this article has been of help to you. Thanks for reading and good luck!

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