When it comes to choosing the ideal tank for a betta fish, 10-gallon is often given as the recommended size. It offers your fish enough space to swim around and is compact enough to fit neatly on your desk or counter.
Quick Summary: Best 10-gallon Betta Tank
|Fluval Flex Aquarium Kit, 9 Gallon Tank
|Aqueon Aquarium Starter Kit with LED Lighting
|Penn-Plax Water-World Radius Desktop Nano Aquarium Kits
After trawling the market, we’ve narrowed it down to a selection of five of the best 10-gallon tanks available. Here is our review of the best 10-gallon tanks for bettas that you can easily buy online.
Our Top 10 Best Pick
Fluval Flex Aquarium Kit, 9 Gallon Tank
This Fluval flex aquarium isn’t strictly speaking a 10-gallon tank – but it’s a 9, so pretty close! 9-gallons still give your betta plenty of room to swim around, and it’s a really excellent aquarium for a betta in several ways.
The setup has a 3-stage filtration system with foam, carbon, and biological media for superior water quality.
You can also customize the water flow with the multi-directional dual outputs – super handy for betta fish, who hate to swim against strong currents.
This tank also features a very impressive lighting unit. The fully adjustable LED lamp has white and red-green-blue LEDs for a blend of light that can be customized with the accompanying remote control.
This is an aquarium with a unique, contemporary design. The curved front is eye-catching and helps draw you in to look inside. You can find this tank with either white or black banding.
Things We Like:
- Funky, curvy design. Makes a statement.
- Robust build from Fluval, a stalwart in the aquarium world.
- Ideal multi-stage filtration system for bettas that’s discreetly tucked away.
- Customizable lighting with remote control!
Things We Don’t Like:
- Comes without a heater, thermometer, or accessories.
- The lid is lightweight, with a feeding hole that you can’t close.
- The filter might be a little too noisy to situate this tank in a bedroom.
Marina 10G LED Aquarium Kit
This is a great startup kit from Marina, a tried and trusted name in aquaculture. It features a Marina Slim S15 clip-on filter with quick-change filter cartridges.
The kit also includes Fluval Aqua Plus Water Conditioner to make tap water safe and Fluval Cycle Biological Supplement to get a beneficial bacteria culture in your tank from the outset.
The kit description states that it contains everything to get started, but this would only be true for a goldfish in an empty tank!
The kit lacks a heater and thermometer, so you’ll need to buy these yourself, along with the substrate, plants, and décor, before your betta fish can move in!
Things We Like:
- A well-built aquarium from a name you can trust.
- Good value for money. Well within reach of those on a smaller budget.
- Well thought-out design, with openings in the hood for heater cord and air tubes.
Things We Don’t Like:
- Not a complete startup kit for bettas because it lacks a heater, thermometer, and substrate.
- The filter vibrates loudly, which can easily cause the lid to chatter. (See faqs for notes on how to fix this!)
- No hinge on the hood for those looking to open and close the aquarium frequently, for betta training, and so on.
Aqueon Aquarium Starter Kit with LED Lighting
The Aqueon Aquarium Starter Kit is a complete 10-gallon glass tank setup for those looking for a tank that can be made ready straight out of the box.
The kit includes a low-profile LED hood, QuietFlow power filter, filter cartridge, submersible preset heater, premium fish food sample, water conditioner sample, fish net, thermometer, and setup guide.
This means the kit includes everything you need to start asides from the substrate, plants, and décor.
The heater thermostat can’t be adjusted but is preset to 78 Fahrenheit, which is the ideal temperature for betta fish. The disposable cartridge filter features red LED lights that tell you when the cartridge needs changing.
Things We Like:
- Very low price, meaning this aquarium is affordable for everyone – even kids with a big piggy bank!
- Complete tank setup straight out of the box makes it beginner-friendly. Just add a substrate, plants, and some water!
- Very easy to set up and maintain, and it comes with instructions.
Things We Don’t Like:
- These tanks are somewhat fragile, and many buyers have reported cracks in the glass during transit.
- The lighting can be unreliable and may need replacing.
- The filter uses a disposable cartridge system which is quite expensive in the long run, besides being wasteful.
Penn-Plax Water-World Radius Desktop Nano Aquarium Kits – 10 Gallons
This is a trendy-looking frameless aquarium, with front and sides constructed from 1/8” thick bent glass. This allows you to look into the tank without obstructions from various angles.
This curved screen is joined to the rear and bottom glass plates with solid silicone caulking.
This is the largest in the range of the Penn-Plax Water-World Radius Desktop Nano Aquarium Kits, which are also available in 5 or 7.5-gallon sizes. This compact range is designed to sit neatly on a desk, dresser, or filing cabinet.
The kit comes with a Cascade 300 Fully Submersible Internal Filter, which cycles water at 70 Gallons per Hour.
Also included are a glass lid, clear mounting clips, a silver LED light, and a large rubber mat to ease pressure and reduce vibration at the bottom of the tank.
Things We Like:
- Innovative and modern-looking aquarium with bent-glass front and sides. It would look nice in a cafe or bookstore.
- Clean, simple, lightweight design and well-constructed.
- The rubber mat is a nice bonus that improves stability and reduces noise.
Things We Don’t Like:
- The filter is rather noisy and cycles too fast for betta fish, meaning you’ll need to baffle the flow.
- The light has no on-off switch, so you’ll need to unplug it at night or use a timer, and it may not be bright enough to grow plants.
- The price is quite high compared to other brands.
Glofish 10 Gallon Aquarium Fish Tank Kits, Including LED Lighting and Décor
A new brand with a specific concept – this Glofish aquarium is all about creating other-worldly colors through the built-in blue LED lights.
While the psychedelic colors may not be to the taste of all fishkeepers, it certainly makes a bold impression if you want your tank to stand out or look futuristic!
Glofish also sells colored gravel, plastic plants, and decorations that will ‘glow’ under this lighting system (although not in the dark!)
The kit also contains a low profile hood to contain the lights, a Tetra Whisper power filter with a cartridge, a 50-watt aquarium heater and thermometer,
a fish food and water conditioner sample, and a set-up guide. Almost everything you need to get started!
Things We Like:
- An eye-catching lighting experience that is bound to draw attention.
- It can be coupled with Glofish accessories to enhance the effect.
- The glass is strongly built and sealed.
Things We Don’t Like:
- Lighting may appear artificial to those preferring a natural look.
- Accessories such as the Tetra whisper filter and heater are liable to break after a short time.
- Several customers report missing items in their kit.
Everything You Need To Know About Buying a 10-Gallon Betta Tank
First, is 10 gallons really the right size for your betta fish?
10-gallon tanks are a very popular size for betta fish, offering a compact, easy-to-maintain aquarium that is also large enough for your betta to have plenty of swimming space.
You can keep some live plants and a few other fish or invertebrates alongside your betta in a 10-gallon tank (more on that later!)
While it has been known that people keep bettas in tiny vases or fish bowls, this is very cruel, and you won’t see your betta living very long.
Five gallons is the absolute minimum size tank a betta should ever be kept in, but they’ll really appreciate the extra space if you give them ten.
Some betta owners like to go even bigger and get a 20 or 30-gallon tank. This opens up more options regarding tankmates and aquascaping, and 20 gallons is a much better size for a female sorority.
A lone male may appear distant and dwarfed swimming amidst the vast expanse of larger tanks, so there’s a good reason that 10 gallons are the most popular size for a single male betta.
What Equipment Does a 10-Gallon Tank Need?
A good Filter
Whether or not your 10-gallon tank comes with a filter, you will need one. Like all fish, bettas produce waste, and if it isn’t filtered, it will release ammonia into the water, which could poison your fish.
The most common type of filter with 10-gallon tanks is a sponge filter. Sponge filters act as a biological medium for beneficial bacteria that break ammonia into nitrites and, eventually, nitrates.
Some filters also include activated carbon that absorbs several other potential contaminants such as chloramine, chlorine, and phenols.
While betta fish need a filter, they also hate strong currents, so try to choose a filter that has an adjustable flow or at least a nozzle that allows you to direct flow down toward the substrate.
This way, the main current will aim away from your betta, who’ll mostly inhabit the tank’s upper layers.
A Heater That You Can Set to 78F.
Betta fish are warmth-loving tropical fish and like temperatures at the upper end of the tropical tank spectrum. 78F is often regarded as the ideal temperature for betta fish.
So try to find a heater with an adjustable thermostat. If the heater has a fixed temperature, make sure this is between 78-80 Fahrenheit to keep your betta happy.
The Right Lighting
Bettas don’t like to be exposed to sunlight but must be given a tank light switched during and off at night. This helps keep their body clock properly oriented, so consider also buying a timer to turn the tank lights on and off at the right time.
These days, aquariums normally use LED bulbs, which come in various colors. Warm white light is the best if you want to create a natural-looking tank. But red, green, and blue lights are popular and can boost your betta’s colors.
While bettas don’t need very bright light, if you plan on keeping live plants with your betta, they will need moderate – strong lighting to grow well.
Some modern tanks feature lights of various colors and strengths that you can adjust with remote control, which is a smooth touch if you like to change things around occasionally.
A sturdy Lid
A lid is an essential component of any betta tank. You might be surprised that bettas like to jump, and you could easily come home to find your betta on the floor without a tight-fitting lid!
Lids vary enormously in their quality. The cheapest lids are made of thin, flimsy plastic, prone to breaking, and don’t look good for long.
Look for a tank with a lid that’s been well designed, with openings for cables and air tubes to go into the tank.
A lid with a hinge is a bonus, as it allows you to open and close your tank easily. This is especially useful if you’d like to train your betta fish! LINK
A reliable thermometer is one of the most important accessories you can have, as you should never rely on your heater’s thermostat to monitor the tank’s temperature alone.
The flat, stick-on thermometers that sometimes come with cheap aquarium kits are not worth having as they’re notoriously inaccurate!
Check out this guide to choosing the best aquarium thermometer here.
A small net is also an essential accessory since you may need to catch your betta at some point to move him or treat a malady.
Some tank kits have nets, but ensure the mesh isn’t too rough. Betta fins are delicate and should never be touched with bare hands of rough material.
Aside from all this equipment, you will need to add substrate, décor, and possibly some live plants and tankmates for your betta!
The Best Substrate for a Betta Tank
Most aquarists will opt for a gravel substrate for a small betta tank. It’s better than sand if you want to keep a few live plants and is easy to clean. Check out this excellent guide for choosing the best substrate for your betta fish here!
The Best Kind of Décor for a 10-Gallon Betta Tank
10 gallons will offer you enough space to introduce some rocks and even small pieces of driftwood to your tank.
Bettas are not avid cave-dwellers, but they may enjoy the presence of rocks to hide among when they’re feeling vulnerable or stressed.
Driftwood can give your tank a lush, wild feeling and can even promote the growth of healthy bacteria.
Best Plants for a 10-Gallon Betta Tank
A 10-gallon tank is typically only around 12 inches high, meaning taller plants like Amazon Swords may become cramped very quickly and need constant pruning.
A better choice would be smaller plants suitable for a nano tank, such as Anubias nana, Cryptocoryne Parva, or Samolus valerandi.
You can find more fantastic plants for a freshwater nano tank here.
The Best Types of Fish You Can Keep With Your Betta in a 10-Gallon Tank
You may have heard of people keeping bettas with platies, swordtails, and plecos, but 10 gallons is a little small. If you want to keep some larger species with your betta, you’d better consider a 20-gallon at least.
A 10-gallon tank does offer you some options, though. Guppies, Corydoras, and White Cloud Mountain Minnows would make good choices for a male betta.
Best Invertebrate Tank Mates for a 10-Gallon Betta Tank
Ghost shrimps and Red Cherry Shrimps are excellent companions for a betta fish and will do just fine in a 10-gallon tank. Shrimp are great because they’re interesting to watch and keep the tank’s algae levels in check.
However, be careful if you have more than one shrimp because they like to breed!
Snails are also a good choice and provide the same stellar cleaning service! Just think twice before getting a cute little apple snail from the store, as their name refers to their eventual size – an apple!
They’ll obviously stand out in a 10-gallon tank, but you might enjoy having them as a feature! Smaller snails like Nerite Snails and Mystery Snails will make excellent companions for your betta in a 10-gallon tank.
How Many Fish Can I Keep in a 10-Gallon Tank?
10 gallons is enough to keep a single male betta alongside a handful of other small fish or invertebrates. Just don’t overdo it! A shoal of five white cloud mountain minnows and a couple of mystery snails would make a good fit.
How Long Should I Wait Before Adding My Betta to a New Tank?
A new tank with fresh water needs a period of ‘cycling’ before it’s fit for any fish to be introduced. This is beneficial because bacteria have time to stabilize a culture that will turn toxic ammonia into (relatively) harmless nitrates.
This can take anywhere from 10 days – several weeks but can be sped up with the addition of biological starters. Be safe by buying yourself an ammonia testing kit to ensure water conditions are safe before adding your betta.
What Are Water Conditioners and Biological Starters?
You may see some kits come complete with a water conditioner and biological starter. Water conditioners treat tap water to neutralize chlorine and make the water safe for fish and beneficial bacteria.
Biological starters are beneficial bacteria cultures that help convert ammonia to nitrates and maintain a healthy tank environment.
What Do I Do if My Aquarium Starts Leaking?
Sadly, there are many reports of cheaper fish tanks leaking from joins that have been poorly sealed. This is not a disaster as long as you haven’t yet added your fish!
Always fill a new tank with water all the way to the top before you add any substrate or décor to check it for leaks.
If you find a leak, send the tank back to the supplier or fix it yourself with aquarium-safe silicone. You can find more information on finding good silicone for aquariums here.
What Can I Do About a Noisy Filter?
If you’re planning to have your betta tank in your bedroom or a room where you like to keep quiet, be sure to choose a quiet filter! Some cheap filters vibrate so much you’ll even hear them in the next room!
If you’ve just set up a new aquarium and found that the filter sounds like an agitated bee hive, don’t despair!
Luckily there is a cheap and often effective solution: silicone coasters! These satisfyingly spongy mats are brilliant for sucking up vibration.
If you place one between your filter and the tank’s glass or between the tank’s glass and your counter, the noise can be reduced dramatically! They only cost around a dollar each and can be a real God-send!
You can check out some other neat ways to reduce aquarium noise in this video here.
Our Final Word on the Best 10-Gallon Tanks
After checking out the best 10-gallon tanks on the market, we reckon that the Fluval Flex Aquarium Kit is the best all-rounder.
Ok, it’s not really 10 gallons – only 9, but it makes up for its lower volume with an array of great features.
Its stylish curved front panel and remote-controlled adjustable lighting make it a clear winner. It also has a strong build, made by one of the most reputable brands on the market.
It’s not even the most expensive tank, offering great value for money.
If you still want the full 10-gallon tank, we’d recommend the Marina LED 10-gallon kit. It’s made by another trusted brand and is a solidly built aquarium that you can expect to last.
When it comes to fish tanks, it’s best to stick to a reputable brand. Your tank will be the home of your beloved fish, so it’s well worth giving them the best home that money can buy.
If you’re ready to own a tank that will look great, function, and last well, you can buy the Fluval Flex 9 Gallon Aquarium here.
For the Marina LED 10-gallon kit, click here.