How to Set Up a 10 Gallon Aquarium

This is how to set up a ten gallon aquarium. Ten gallon aquariums are perfect for small(er) rooms because the tank is small!


  1. Image titled Set Up a 10 Gallon Aquarium Step 1
    Purchase the aquarium if you haven't already. Talk to the sales assistants. Lots of the staff usually have an aquarium or experience with one. They can provide you with some great advice!
  2. Image titled Set Up a 10 Gallon Aquarium Step 2
    Set up the tank. This means placing the tank on a table or an aquarium stand. Place the filter/bubbler in, as shown in the manual. This varies by product. Make sure it is set up properly.
  3. Image titled Set Up a 10 Gallon Aquarium Step 3
    Rinse the purchased stones/sand/gravel before pouring into the empty tank. Some aquariums come with stones/gravel already included.
  4. Image titled Set Up a 10 Gallon Aquarium Step 4
    Place the scenery and decorations in the aquarium. This may include real plants, fake plants, rocks, or other decorative items. Remember to rinse the (fake) plants and hiding spots for the fish. Never put rocks that you found outside in your tank. These may cause illness to the fish.
  5. Image titled Set Up a 10 Gallon Aquarium Step 5
    Fill the 10 gallon (37.9 L) aquarium with water. Make sure the heater, filter and/or bubbler works properly. Make sure the temperature is perfect. Different fish like different temperatures.
  6. 6
    Wait. Once everything is set up, you have to wait a week or two before you can buy any fish. This establishes the tank making sure it is safe for the fish. [Image:Set Up a 10 Gallon Aquarium Step 6.jpg|center]]
  7. Image titled Set Up a 10 Gallon Aquarium Step 7
    Consider Bio-support and freshwater salt. These are always a good thing to have available for the cleaning of the tank. Fish, like black Mollies, need to have freshwater salt or else they will not live as long.
  8. Image titled Set Up a 10 Gallon Aquarium Step 8
    Control the pH level of the tank. The pH of the tank is important, as the water being to acidic or basic may kill your fish. Pet stores sell pH tests, along with many solutions to adjust the pH of your tank. Some fish may flourish under certain pH levels as well, while some may suffer.
  9. Image titled Set Up a 10 Gallon Aquarium Step 9
    When you purchase fish, make sure you don't put too many fish in at once. They may get crowded and scared. Remember, you should have no more than 10, 1-2 inch fish in the tank. Putting in too many fish at once can cause overcrowding!
    • Recommended fish are guppies, platies, small tetras, hasbrosus corydoras (or other small cories), mollies, and small barbs. The store workers can help answer your questions and help you choose appropriate fish for beginners or experts!


  • Clean the tank every week.
  • Be careful when transporting the fish back home.
  • When bringing the fish home don't leave them in a cup holder in your car or on a seat because the water will splash around and stress out your fish. Stress can cause your fish to die and that obviously is not good. Try to hold them steady or put them in a safe place when transporting them.
  • When you go to buy your fish, they may ask if your aquarium has been established and for how long. Make sure that you have waited the week (or more) before adding fish.


  • Don't buy too many fish at once. A distressed fish may become a dead fish.
  • Clean your tank once a week to prevent illness of the fish. A 2/3 water change is good.

Article Info

Categories: Aquariums