ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Choose Fish That Will Fit Your Tank

Updated on May 26, 2010

One of the most common mistakes new fish keepers make is stuffing fish that are too big into tanks that are too small and then wondering why their fish always seem to be sick, are always fighting or are dead.

1 – 5 Gallons

These tanks are technically nano tanks and are best suited either as individual fighter tanks or as planted nano-tanks with a few small neons in them. Please don't buy a small tank and think you're going to get away with putting goldfish in it. Goldfish do best in ponds, and if they're not available, the best sized tank for a handful of goldfish is 55 gallons. Yes, you read that right. I cannot tell you how much waste goldfish produce and how quickly small tanks will foul if you try to keep them there. I know pet stores sell these little tanks as goldfish bowls, but that's largely because pet stores don't particularly care if your fish die in two weeks time. In fact, they're quite happy if that happens because there's a decent chance you'll be back to buy more.

5 – 10 Gallons

A better sized tank for the beginner, a 10 gallon is perfect for a few guppies or other similarly sized fish. It is not suitable for Angelfish or other cichlids, which grow beyond an inch or two in length. Be aware that if you do choose live bearers like guppies, they may quickly overbreed and fill the tank with babies if males and females are mixed.

20 Gallons

The 20 gallon tank is the tank stuck in between worlds. It's too small to really keep cichlids and larger fish, but it seems too large for guppies, mollies and the like. My advice? A 20 gallon can make a lovely planted tank with lots of little fish like the aforementioned guppies, mollies and sword-tails.. If you want a bright tank with plenty of small fish and movement, then a 20 gallon is an excellent size.

55 Gallons

Though a 55 gallon might seem like a large tank, if you're planning on keeping fish bigger than guppies, its actually a good size for a first tank. 55 gallon tanks can hold several medium sized chichlids and other compatible fish and their size means that there is the capacity. A 55 gallon is also the smallest sized tank you'd want for keeping solitary big fish, like a single Oscar or a single Jack Dempsey.

70+ Gallons

Once you start getting into the 70+ gallons range you can start keeping larger fish, like Oscars in greater numbers. A 70 gallon can comfortably house a breeding pair of Oscars, for instance.

200 Gallons

These are monster tanks for monster fish like Arowana, or for keeping multiple large fish like Oscars, Jags, Green Terrors and the like. Obviously cost and space restrictions prohibit these from being tanks for the beginner, however they are often the inevitable result for keepers who fall in love with larger fish.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)