9 Best Small Fish for 1 Gallon Tank

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Fish make excellent pets, particularly for those who live in small spaces and are searching for aquarium species that require less maintenance. They are great pets for your kids to learn how to properly take care of animals and keep their habitats clean and healthy.

Fish are peaceful pets that don’t require walking or cleaning up after themselves. Most fish species can also identify their masters and learn fun tricks. Fish tanks are also a stunning addition to your house or workplace.

Small Fish for 1 Gallon Tank

This guide will assist you in selecting the best freshwater fish for your little tank. However, the fact that these species may thrive in a miniature tank does not imply that they do not require any care. We have listed the best 9 fish that can fit into your 1-gallon tank.

Should You Choose a One-Gallon Tank?

You must guarantee that your pet is thriving in the optimal water tank conditions so that it can be at ease and comfortable. Among the most common mistakes that fishkeepers do is keeping a fish in an extremely small tank.

Fish are aquatic animals. They have evolved to dwell in bodies of water like seas, deep oceans, lakes, and canals that do not have boundaries stopping them from traveling freely. The majority of them like dwelling and swimming in groups called schools or shoals since they are social creatures.

So, maintaining a single fish in a tiny tank will make it anxious. Stressed fish have a weak immunological system, making them vulnerable to microbial and parasitic diseases, and they might have tiredness and bad dietary habits.

The next explanation of why a one-gallon water container does not make the best option for your pet is because if any obstacles appear in the container, they get out of hand very fast, resulting in the death of fish within a few hours.

Since there is a smaller amount of freshwater in a tiny tank, a little modification in the water’s temperature or solvent makeup might occur quickly—within seconds or hours.

As a result, you must thoroughly monitor a tiny tank to make sure the water conditions are optimal.

What Fish Species Can Thrive in A One-Gallon Tank?

1. Guppies


Guppies are a type of aquatic animal that could be housed in a tiny aquarium. As you can see, the majority of the species in this guide are both incredibly small and quite strong.

Guppies are a fantastic option since they are tiny creatures that have shown throughout the time their ability to tolerate difficult situations.

However, that doesn’t imply that you can house several guppies together in a small aquarium as it will stress them out.

Fortunately, guppies adapt well since they usually don’t consume that much and can only grow around 1.5 inches. It’s important to keep in mind that a 1-gallon aquarium can only maintain 3–4 guppies.

You should not keep guppies more than the advised number as your aquarium will become overstacked with stressed-out fish. Since a tiny tank becomes polluted with waste material much faster than a bigger tank, maintaining it would take more time and energy.

Having a good water filtration system is strongly advised. It should be noted that these fish prefer tanks with a lot of vegetation, so you should include different types of plants.

2. Bettas

betta fish

Bettas are among the most adaptable freshwater fish. Betts often only need minimal maintenance, making them suitable for both amateurs and professionals.

A 1-gallon tank is big enough to house a Betta. Since Bettas thrive in smaller habitats, many enthusiasts who have many Bettas prefer to maintain them in smaller tanks. Read on to understand the reason behind this.

Bettas are among a family of fish with an entirely unique respiratory system known as the labyrinth system. This unique organ allows them to receive oxygen from above the water’s surface.

They developed these organs as a natural outcome of their native place, where the majority of the waterbodies are often stationary and lack sufficient oxygen.

Nevertheless, despite the fact that they can survive, they always need a certain amount of attention and must not be left in poor environmental settings.

But, because they are very aggressive fish, bettas shouldn’t be kept in the same aquarium. They are also known as “fighting fish.” They got their name from the fact that when threatened by fellow males, they would die fighting.

Additionally, they are completely immune to illness and may tolerate a variety of water conditions, but this does not prevent you from following your cleaning regimen. The Betta is an excellent fish to maintain and has a lot of character, provided you provide it with the best care.

3. Neon Tetras

Neon Tetra

Neon Tetras are a tiny freshwater species native to South America. Tetras are also a great choice for your 1-gallon aquarium. These fish fare well in small schools and are extremely adaptable in wild. They are small species that can grow 1 inch long and do not need extensive care.

However, due to their hypersensitivity to different parameters, they are difficult to keep. But if you install a strong water filter and maintain a periodic cleaning plan, they’ll be good to go. Since neon tetras are social species, they don’t need any unique care; they must be kept in schools of three or more.

Ensure sure there are at least 3 other species in the aquarium if you plan on maintaining neon tetras inside a 1-gallon aquarium. Additionally, they are comparatively quiet and easygoing species that hardly ever engage in conflicts regarding territory or bullying with their own kind or other species.

4. Endlers Livebearers

Endlers Livebearers
Source: @fox_aquariums

The Endlers Livebearers resemble a lot with guppies as they have a sleek body and small size just like them.

These small species are quite strong and appealing to look at. You would be happy to know that this small species can only reach about 1.2 inches in length, which is ideal for those people having small home tanks or inexperienced fishkeepers.

The female livebearers are significantly bigger than the males and you can easily house them together without facing any territorial issues.

In order to avoid overpopulation, we advise maintaining no more than three of these species inside a 1-gallon tank. Despite the fact that they are usually friendly animals, grouping them in a confined place may stress them out and increase the bioload.

Additionally, they do not have any specialized dietary needs and will consume any fish pellet you feed.

5. Zebra Danios

Zebra Danios
Source: @ns.fishtanksaquascaping

The Zebra Danio seems to be smaller species that resembles a zebra. They seem to be another excellent option for a species to house inside a tiny tank, despite the fact that they feature black and white stripes.

The Zebra Danio, which may reach 1.2 inches in length, is an excellent option since it is both resilient and effortless to maintain. They are energetic species that are very simple to maintain; any common fish feed will suffice.

It’s best to nourish your pet carefully in a contained environment since overfeeding can quickly lead to an accumulation of extra nutrition, which might harm your animal.

It should be noted that Zebra Danios are extremely active animals. While this is rare to take place in a smaller tank, it is possible, therefore maintain them in aquariums of different genders. Overall, the Zebra Danio is quite simple to maintain and can grow with regular care.

6. White Cloud Minnows

White Cloud Minnows
Source: @waner_aquascaping

White Cloud Minnows are historically been regarded as excellent starter fish for amateurs. They are among the greatest beginner fishes because of their durability and length.

When compared to the majority of tiny schooling species, White Cloud Minnows are hardier than Neon Tetra but can also handle water parameter fluctuations effectively. They are resilient enough to handle most beginner common mistakes except for their intolerance to iron medications.

They are small species that can only reach a height of 1.5 inches, making them ideal for aquariums with lower capacities. As a result, they are a great option for a 1-gallon aquarium.

But, you should not maintain more than three of such species inside a 1-gallon aquarium since overpopulation would increase the bio load and produce large variations in water quality parameters.

7. Dwarf Spotted Danios

Dwarf Spotted Danios
Source: @aquafish_tank

Because of their strong connection, the Dwarf Spotted Danio, as well as Zebra Danio, need practically similar attention. Their sizes vary the most from each other.

The Dwarf Spotted Danio, which may reach a full size of 1 inch, seems to be a strong and easygoing animal. You’ll notice that the majority of the species on this list only reach a total length of 1.5 inches.

Keeping tiny animals in a small aquarium can significantly enhance their likelihood of survival since small species have a smaller bioload than bigger animals.

The Dwarf Spotted Danio must be kept with some other animals of its own type since they are herding animals. But, we advise keeping just 3 of them inside a 1-gallon tank because of the small aquarium volume.

8. Shrimp

Source: @aquaphonixvn

Although ghost squid, cherry prawns, Amano crawfish, and black velvet shellfish aren’t technically fish, they adapt to micro aquariums very well. Similar to betta species, you are going to require a compact radiator for the 1-gallon aquarium because they are sensitive to temperature changes.

You should keep their water temperature between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (21-24 degrees C). Other than that, all prawns do not create a lot of waste and are less sensitive to changes in ammonium and nitrogen compounds than other species. Shrimp might be an excellent choice if you’re looking for a powerful dweller.

Just the vegetation you might choose to oxygenate the 1-gallon aquarium should be taken into consideration. Any omnivorous shrimp might choose to skip the grain meal you offer them in place of the greenery, particularly if the aquatic meal is of poor grade.

9. Goldfish

Small Goldfish
Okay, so we’re not fans of the concept of keeping goldfish in bowls as many folks are doing at home, but keeping them in 1-gallon tanks is absolutely fine.

These species come in small as well as large sizes, but you can’t house large ones in your home water tank. A whole gallon can accommodate 1 small goldfish quite well because the majority of folk’s bowls are somewhat larger than 0.5 gallons.

They are incredibly strong and energetic, and they also don’t demand specific water maintenance; they perform great in a regular room-temperature tank, and these species are also very effortless to keep and care for.

An aquarium cannot hold more than one small goldfish, yet only one goldfish can thrive in a 1-gallon aquarium.


What Number of Guppies Can You House Inside Your 1-Gallon Aquarium?

Given that a grownup guppy requires almost 1 gallon of water, you may maintain 2-3 in an aquarium that holds one gallon.

What Number of Neon Tetras Can You House Inside Your 1-Gallon Aquarium?

Due to their moderate size and hardiness, 3-4 tetras may be kept in tanks up to one gallon.

What Number of Goldfish Can You House Inside Your 1-Gallon Aquarium?

One. Given their size, goldfish really aren’t advised for tanks less than one gallon.

Is a 1-Gallon Aquarium Good Enough to Maintain a Betta?

Bettas are tiny and resilient fish. It also enjoys living by itself and is territorial. So long as it’s maintained clean, Bettas may live in a one-gallon aquarium.

Can You Keep a Cherry Shrimp in Your Small Tank?

Cherry shrimp will thrive in a one-gallon aquarium.


It may be complicated and exciting to maintain a basic one-gallon aquarium. Although it is not advised for newbies, we are aware of several caretakers who are experienced at maintaining small aquariums like this and succeed in the field.

The most important thing to learn from this guide is that there are more fluctuations in the tank with the low water level. Temperature, acidity, excessive food, or perhaps even air pressure may vary as a result.

However, many fish, including goldfish, shrimp, and tetras could live peacefully in small aquariums. Now that you have plenty of understanding about suitable fish species and their requirements, you can easily choose your perfect kind.

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