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the ultimate guide to 10 gallon saltwater tank

10 gallon saltwater tank is a great choice for beginners and for others who want to have a simple aquarium.
There are many ideas to set up a 10-gallon tank that can include many species such as Amano shrimp, Red cherry shrimp, Ghost shrimp, Nerite snails, and Ivory snails. the tank may also be planted with live plants like Anubias barteri and Moss balls. the tank could be a great choice for a temporary tank or a solution to treat sick fish.
The small size of this tank makes it suitable for lots of households, whether you are on a budget, or looking for a small tank as an introduction to fish keeping.

Table of Contents

10 gallon saltwater aquarium specifications:

Let us now take a close look at the specification of this tank:

10 gallon saltwater tank size:

  • A 10-gallon saltwater aquarium is a popular sized tank that many saltwater hobbyists keep. They are small but there are many options available when it comes to livestock.
    The standard 10-gallon tank has the dimensions of 20 x 10 x 12.

10 gallon saltwater tank weight:

  • To calculate the weight of the tank you should pair in mind the weight of the glass, the weight of the tank with gravel and plants, sand, rocks, lighting, and filtration.
  • For example, a typical glass tank measuring 20 by 10 by 12 weighs 11 pounds without water in it. with salt water in it, it will weigh around 90 – 100 pounds, this tells you how heavy the tank could be.
  • If you want to add gravel the recommended amount for a 10 gallon tank is 15 pounds, and if you want to add plants it will not make a difference as they are light so the weight of the tank filled with saltwater, some gravel, and plants will be around 105 – 115 pounds. 
  • Most saltwater tanks use a substrate of sand or crushed coral. This will add to the overall weight. so the recommended weight for a 10-gallon tank is about 10 pounds of sand.
  • As rocks are an important factor for your saltwater tank most saltwater tanks use a substrate of sand or crushed coral. This will add to the overall weight. so the recommended weight is 10 or 15 pounds depending on the space you have in the tank. According to lightning filtration and other equipment, the weight depends on the type of each component.
  • Here is a link to calculate the weight of your tank.

the best fish for a 10-gallon saltwater tank:

1. Clownfish: is one of the most common fish in saltwater tanks, as there are 28 kinds of it.

Besides its beautiful color, These fish are active in the tank and you will love watching them moving inside the tank. The recommended number of these fish to be in a 10 gallon saltwater tank is just one. If you plan on having a pair you should consider a larger tank of 20 gallons or more.

These are the most popular types of clownfish:

  • Common fish are also known as the False Percula

Like all kinds of clownfish, the female is larger and can reach up to 4 inches but according to the male reaches 3 inches.

Found in shallow reefs in the Eastern Indian and Western Pacific Oceans, the Common Clownfish has a distinctive wobbling style of swimming that makes them a darling of the pet world.

Common clownn fish False Percula
Common clownfish
  • true Percula.

It is the smallest kind of clownfish, it’s also known as orange percula. It can be found in a relatively small range in nature, around New Guinea and Northeastern Australia. Their rowing pectoral fin motions are adorable and give them a lovely appearance as they swim.

True percula clownfish are sensitive to low water quality compared to other kinds of clownfish

Water changes should be regular and testing is done frequently to keep them in optimal health. If ammonia and nitrites are allowed to spike, their immune systems will suffer, opening them to infections from Clownfish Disease (Brooklynellosis) and Marine Ich.

true Percula clown
true Percula fish
  • Cinnamon clownfish.

also known as the fire clownfish, these fish are one of the largest kinds of clownfish. its size could be 5 inches.

When they are kept in a small aquarium they tend to claim the whole tank as their territory, causing problems for other residents in the tank.

Cinnamon Clownfish are aggressive towards other Clownfish and should not be kept with other types. a pair or single individual is best.

Cinnamon clownfish most popular
Cinnamon clownfish
  • tomato clownfish.

Also is one of the largest kinds of clownfish is a rough kind of clownfish that you should give a lot of attention to.
They are found in the Western Pacific Ocean from Japan down to Indonesia.
It is a recommended type of clownfish as it is sort of cheap and suitable for a semi-aggressive environment tank. there are different kinds of fish that could be kept with a full-grown tomato fish such as Triggerfish, Tangs, Damselfish, and Angelfish.
As large, eager eaters, they tend to intimidate shy tankmates. Like all types of Clownfish, they happily accept a mixture of flakes and meaty live and frozen items such as Brine Shrimp and chopped clams.

Tomato Clownfish
Tomato Clownfish
  • Maroon clownfish.

These are the largest type of clownfish, with females reaching up to 7 inches.

They are found in the Western Pacific Ocean, from Indonesia down to Northern Australia. these kinds tend to be aggressive when they get mature even among each other. Sometimes females kill male fish just because they are in a bad mood.

They are a clever kind who can differentiate the guest from their owner although they are large and aggressive they also look adorable besides easy to care for. pair in mind this kind can be kept in a tank at least 55 gallons.

Maroon clownfish
Maroon fish
  • clarkii clownfish.

They are one of the widespread kinds of clownfish both in aquariums and nature, Found throughout the Indian and Western Pacific Oceans.
They are non-aggressive kinds that give space to their mates in the tank but they could be aggressive in small tanks.
Inexpensive, hardy, and an excellent first Clownfish for the saltwater aquarist with a medium-sized tank.

clarkii fish
clarkii fish


2. Gobby fish:

also known as yellow coral goby, it’s a great choice for a small tank saltwater aquarium. these fish is peaceful and have many different colors. They can easily get along with other mates inside the tank but in small spaces can be aggressive among each other. They are active fish and can be seen jumping around the rocks or perched on a coral in plain sight.

It is affordable as it costs just around 12-15$ and available in local fish stores and online

Gobby fish
Gobby fish

3. purple firefish:

also known as Dartfish it is a small fish with a lot of different colors and it is recommended for small tanks. They are very peaceful fish and shouldn’t bother other tank mates. They are carnivores and prefer a mixed diet of seafood, frozen foods, vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, and Mysis shrimp. To maintain their vibrant colors, they require this diet or the colors will fade. If you decide that the purple firefish is the best choice for you then make sure you have a tight-fitting lid or canopy on your tank. They have known jumpers and do a great job of finding the smallest space to jump out of.

purple firefish
purple firefish

4. Neon blue goby:

It’s a small kind of saltwater fish with electric blue stripes. It is a peaceful fish and won’t bother other tankmates unless it’s another Blue Goby. if they are a pair in this case they won’t fight. These fish are great for beginners because they are very hardy fish and can handle low quality water than other fish. These fish are carnivores and should be fed a variety of live and frozen brine shrimp, frozen Mysis shrimp, and table shrimp. They are considered reef safe and shouldn’t bother any corals in the tank.

Neon blue goby
Neon blue goby

5. Royal gramma basslet:

it is a colorful fish mostly yellow and purple. It is a small fish which makes it a good choice for small tanks besides it is recommended for beginners.
other tank mates but they tend to fight each other unless they are a mated pair.
They prefer to have plenty of rocks in the tank and provide caves for them to hide in.
They eat crustaceans, zooplankton, the typical brine shrimp, and Mysis shrimp.
You can find it in local fish stores or online.

Royal gramma basslet
Royal gramma basslet

How many fish can you put in a 10 gallon saltwater tank?

This depends on the type of fish you want to have in your 10 gallon saltwater tank. You should know the maximum length and size for this kind of fish and their behavior. Are they active?Which spot of the tank do they prefer? Generally, 10 gallon tanks are suitable for one single species, in a small tank, it’s hard to mix species. Another popular set up for 10 gallons, especially single species is to make it a planted take. This helps the tank look more visually appealing and interesting even if there’s only one species of fish or a few individual fish in the tank.

If your filtration is good and you are going to change the water every week, the ratio is one inch of fish per gallon of water. If you keep your tank heavily planted with live plants, you could theoretically have more inches of fish, but it’s not recommended to push it beyond 15 inches of fish in a gallon tank. it is much more difficult to keep a smaller tank healthy than a larger tank.

How to clean a 10-gallon saltwater tank

There are three goals for cleaning up your fish tanks:

  • Regulate the nitrogen cycle: in this process, ammonia is converted by bacteria to nitrite and then to nitrate and both of them (ammonia and nitrate) are toxic to it’s important to have bacteria as it converts harmful compounds to nitrate therefore we can remove the nitrates which are less harmful to fish by changing the water.
  • Remove dissolved organic compounds: organic compounds consist of carbon and hydrogen. There are two types of organic, first, one is dissolved organic which is any organic material that can pass through 0.2 0 1.0 um filters and the second one is particulate organic (food waste) which will not pass through your filter.If you have plants in your tank it will use some organics and the rest can be removed by regular water changes. 
  • Refill the essential minerals: after cleaning the tank you should use a product to add these essential minerals into the aquarium.

✔⏩⏩⏩Now let us see the steps you should make to clean your tank.

  • Prepare all the supplies you need while cleaning (A siphon gravel vacuum – Algae scraper/pad – Used clean towel – Water testing kit – Powerhead and heater – A salinity probe)
  • Use a siphon gravel vacuum, with an attached hose to clean the gravel and remove the water.You should suck up small amounts of gravel using the siphon, the waste will then be sucked through the tube into the bucket along with some of the water, and the gravel will fall back into place.
  • Use the magnetic algae cleaner to clean the glass of the tank
  • Clean up the tank filter. This step depends on the filter type. The most common type of filter is a sponge filter. To clean this, you should remove it and rinse it out in the bucket of water that you have removed from the tank. Never put your filter under tap water, because it removes the beneficial bacteria which is necessary for your tank.If your filter contains carbon, ammonia absorbers, or, ion-exchange resins it will need replacing every couple of weeks because it will no longer be able to absorb materials. You should also clean the rest of the filter, including the tubing; use a filter brush for this.
  • Refill the tank with saltwater but you should consider the salinity and the temperature of the water. Check the water again after a couple of hours and also check that the water is not cloudy.

 a video that will show you how to clean a fish tank.


The best 10-gallon fish tanks:



Buy Now



  • Marina LED Aquarium Kit

    Marina LED Aquarium Kit
    Marina LED
  1. Suitable for beginners as it contain everything beginners need







  • Penn Plax Curved Corner Glass Aquarium Kit

    Curved Corner Glass Aquarium Kit
    Aquarium Kit
Consists of frameless glass that allows viewing from all sides.


  BUY NOW ( 119 $ )



  • Aqueon Ascent Frameless
    LED Aquarium Kit

    Aqueon Ascent Frameless LED Aquarium Kit
    Aqueon Ascent Frameless Kit
    1. Angled top minimizes visible water line
    2. Its design makes it easy to access the filter for maintenance

BUY NOW ( 95 $ )



  • Dennerle Scapers Tank 10 Gallon Aquarium Kit with LED Light Fixture

    an 10 Gallon Aquarium Kit
    Aquarium Kit
Lower and deeper tank than standard tanks
the curved front corners gives unobstructed viewing


  • Penn Plax Betta Fish Tank Aquarium Kit with LED Light & Internal Filter Desktop Size

    Penn Plax Betta Fish Tank
    Penn Plax Betta Fish Tank
  1. Beautiful design
  2. Comes with a good quality filter with 2 customizable chambers

BUY NOW ( 27 $ )



The best 10-gallon fish tank kits:




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  • Flourite Black Sand

    Flourite Black Sand
    Flourite Black Sand

easy to use


  • Lee’s 40/55 Premium Undergravel Filter

    Premium Undergravel Filter
    Premium Undergravel Filter



  • Have a larger number of plate sizes which reduce the number of plates required
  • suitable for saltwater tanks









  • Kessil A160WE Controllable LED Aquarium Light

    Controllable LED Aquarium Light
    Controllable LED Aquarium Light


External controllability









10 Gallon Saltwater Fish Tank FAQs:

How often should I clean my fish tank?

  • For a saltwater tank, you should change 10% of the water every week for the first year of keeping the aquarium.
  • The more fish you have, the faster the water needs changing.
  • During the first few months of keeping fish, you should watch the water conditions of the tank regularly.
  • Also will come to your mind a great idea on how often your tank should be cleaned.
  • The parameters depend entirely on the species which you are keeping.

How many clownfish can I put in a 10 gallon tank?

Only one or if you plan on having a pair then you should use a 20-gallon tank, otherwise That should probably be the only fish in a 10-gallon aquarium. One or two small gobies with the clown would work. You could get a cleaner shrimp too.

How to eliminate ammonia in saltwater tanks?

  1. Change water regularly
  2. Control waste that comes from fish food, Therefore, avoid overfeeding your fish and remove any leftover food and dead plants.
  3. Pick the right filter. Use the filter that enhances bacteria growth to eliminate ammonia from the water.
  4. temperature. Eliminate ammonia by slowly dropping the temperature in the tank if your fish are okay with it.

What is the most aggressive saltwater fish?

  • Lionfish
  • Snowflake Eel
  • Maroon clownfish
  • Striped damselfish
  • Hawkfish

Can a black Moor live in a 10-gallon tank?

Black Moors need at least 20 gallons or would work, 20 is usually best but since the fish would be alone and you have two filters to ensure cleanliness, it should be fine

Is a 10-gallon tank big enough for a turtle?

No, The minimum size a tank should be to house a turtle is a 40-gallon and even that would only work temporarily for a smaller species, such as mud or musk turtle.


So that is all the information about a 10-gallon tank. We have mentioned its specifications ( size – weight ) when it has plants and gravel. We mentioned the best saltwater fish for a tank and we have seen how clownfish are one of the most popular fish that suits this tank. we mentioned how many fish you should put in a tank, why we clean the tank, how we clean it, and where to buy the best saltwater tank kit and the best 10 gallon tank. Finally using Q & A we’ve explained more information about, how often you should clean your tank, how many fish you can put in a  gallon saltwater tank, how to eliminate ammonia in a saltwater tank, what is the most aggressive saltwater fish, and finally is a tank big enough for a turtle. So we think now you are ready to start your 10-gallon saltwater tank.

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