5 Best Fish For A 5 Gallon Tank


These fish are not the only best fish for a 5 gallon tank. There are more, but these are some possible fish for a 5 gallon tank. A five gallon tank is a small tank, but it can still hold a small handful of fish. Don’t be fooled, a 5 gallon isn’t an extremely tiny tank that can’t hold anything other than a betta fish.

Now, a 5 gallon isn’t massive either. A 5 gallon can’t hold some of the larger types of fish such as a oscar or full-grown goldfish, but you can expect to keep smaller fish though.

These freshwater fish for a 5 gallon tank are small and some are schooling fish, while others aren’t. Surprisingly, most of these fish can actually live for years, despite their size. Hopefully, you’ll find out what fish you’re going to buy for your 5 gallon tank in this article!

Best fish for a 5 gallon tank (in my opinion)

Dwarf Rasbora

best fish for a 5 gallon tank
By Atulbhats – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=73849486

The Dwarf Rasbora is a nano fish that only gets about 1 inch or smaller. They do best in heavily planted tanks and a low lighting setup. They can live up to 5 years if they’re cared for properly. Dwarf Rasboras need 72-78 degrees (Fahrenheit) water and need a pH of 5.0-6.5. Because of their size, they need small sized fish food such as smaller live foods.

Pea Puffer

best fish for a 5 gallon tank

The Pea Puffer or Dwarf Pea Puffer only gets about an 1-1.5 inches in length. They can live up to 5 years and need a pH of 6.5-7.8. They are small fish and only need about a 5 gallon aquarium. Some foods for pea puffers are brine shrimp and small snails.

Chili Rasbora

The Chili Rasbora is a small fish that can easily live in a 5 gallon aquarium. These fish get less than an inch long, which means that you could keep up to 10 Chili Rasboras in a 5 gallon tank.

These fish are egg-layers and live for up to 8 years! The recommended hardness is 1-10 dKH. The recommended pH for these fish is 4.0-7.0 and their recommended water temperature is 68-83 Fahrenheit. These fish would probably be the best fish for a 5 gallon tank (in my opinion) when it comes to size. These fish are very small and should be able to have plenty of room for a 5 gallon tank.

Neon Green Tetras

best fish for a 5 gallon tank
By Sascha Biedermann – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=731888

Neon Green Tetras only get about 1 inch in length. The Neon Green Tetra is a peaceful fish that can live for about 3 years. Neon Green Tetras need to be in water with a temperature of 75-85 Fahrenheit. Pellets, flake food and live foods are some possible food options for these fish. The recommended pH for these fish is 5.0-6.5.

Sparkling Gourami

The Sparkling Gourami gets about as large as a Betta fish (2 inches). Tankmates for these fish include guppies, rainbowfish, rasboras, tetras, cory catfish and danios. The recommended hardness for these fish is 5-16 dKH and and should live in water with a temperature of 70-80 Fahrenheit.

These fish are all pretty small, so they should be able to live in a 5 gallon. Some think Neon Green Tetras should live in a 10 gallon. A 10 gallon is fine for these fish, but because of their size, they should be able to live in a 5 gallon as well. Aquarium-Co-Op also recommends these fish. Feel free to check out his video.

How many fish can I have in a 5 gallon?

It really depends. If you’re getting a betta, you should only have one. This is mainly because bettas will attack each other, at least if they’re males. If you’re getting Chili Rasboras, you should be able to get 10 for a 5 gallon saying how small they are. If you’re getting schooling fish for your 5 gallon (such as Chili Rasboras), always get a school and never just one. If you’re getting a fish like the Pea Puffer, only get one for your 5 gallon.


These were some of the best fish for a small tank, or more specifically, a 5 gallon (in my opinion). Although it may be harder to keep fish in a 5 gallon, it can be done and fish keeping can still be enjoyable even if you just have a small tank. These fish have some similar recommended parameters, but always still do more research.

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