How Many Glowlight Tetras Can I Put in a 10 Gallon Tank?

Written By Lewis German  |  Tropical Fish  |  0 Comments

Glowloght Tetra

Glowlight Tetras are an amazing small tropical fish, suitable for all different types of aquariums, they are easy to keep, widely available, are peaceful and are very forgiving to beginners.

But can you keep Glowlight Tetras in your 10 gallon tank? How many Glowlight Tetras should you keep? What other fish can live with Glowlight Tetras? And what goes into maintaining a 10 gallon Glowlight Tetra tank?

This and more we will answer below:

How many Glowlight Tetras should be kept together?

Glowlight Tetras are highly social schooling fish, and need to be kept together in groups if they are to live comfortably in your aquarium.

Ideally, you want to keep as many as you can, in order to form a proper school, but this isn’t always ideal due to the limitations of tank sizes.

As a general rule, we would recommend keeping no less than 4 Glowlight Tetras in a tank.

When kept in fewer numbers, these fish will be stressed, skittish and are unlikely to thrive long term.

What happens if you add too many Glowlight Tetras to a 10 gallon tank?

Although Glowlights want to live in huge schools, it is very easy to go over the limit and house too many of them in your tank, overloading the filtration with fish waste.

A 10 gallon tank can become overstocked quickly due to its small dimensions, so choosing the right number of fish will save you a lot of maintenance and trouble later on.

It is best to stock a 10 gallon tank lightly, as the small volume of water becomes foul quickly. 

However, you also want to bear in mind the social requirements of your Glowlight Tetras, who need to be housed in groups if they are to do their best.

Housing too many Glowlight Tetras in your 10 gallon will create an abundance of fish waste, which will release toxic ammonia.

Unless the filter can convert this ammonia into less harmful nitrates, which can then be removed via water changes, then the water will become toxic and the Tetras will die.

How many Glowlight Tetras can I put in a 10 gallon tank?

A 10 gallon tank is very limited in terms of how many fish it can house, and the small space only allows you to keep a small group of fish.

With this, it can be difficult to balance the Tetras social needs within the limitations of the tank. You need to have enough fish to form a school, but not so many that the tank becomes overstocked.

We suggest keeping around 6 Glowlights in a 10 gallon tank for the best results. It is enough for them to form a small school, but not too many for the tank to handle.

How many male Glowlight Tetras can I put in a 10 gallon tank?

Male Glowlights can be territorial when it comes to mating, but most of the time, you don’t have much to worry about when it comes to disputes among males, as they will live harmoniously in their school for the majority of their lives.

They will occasionally spar with each other, however, these battles are usually not very damaging and so long as there is enough cover in the tank for them to avoid each other, they will usually be fine.

When it comes to breeding Glowlight Tetras however, it is best to have more females than males, so that the competition over mating rights is reduced, and the males are less compelled to fight.

How many female Glowlight Tetras can I put in a 10 gallon tank?

Female Glowlight Tetras are also peaceful in nature and you don’t have to worry about disputes, fighting or aggression occurring in your tank.

Glowlight Tetras are schooling fish, and live together in very close knit communities, they do not occupy and defend caves or territories like Cichlids or Plecos, and they do not protect their young.

For these reasons, they have little cause to be aggressive towards each other. 

If you plan to breed your Glowlight Tetras however, as mentioned, it is best to have more females than males, in a 10 gallon, a good ratio would be 2 males and 4 females.

Can I breed Glowlight Tetras in a 10 gallon tank?

You can certainly breed Glowlight Tetras in a 10 gallon tank, but you may need 2 separate aquariums to be able to do this, as Glowlights will eat their own eggs and young.

Using 2 different aquariums is the best method to breed Glowlights, as it allows you to raise the young in safety, without the threat of being eaten by their parents.

Two tanks are to be set up, one for the adults to live their normal lives in, and another setup as a breeding tank, for the eggs to be raised.

There are two main methods you can use to separate the parents from the eggs; one is to use a spawning mop, and transfer the eggs from one tank to the other without moving the adult fish.

And the other method is to catch and move the adults into the breeding tank, condition them and allow them to spawn, then move them back to their “Bench Tank”.

What is the best filter for a 10 gallon Glowlight Tetra tank? 

Any filter will work well with Glowlight Tetras, so long as it is suited for the right tank size, and is able to deal with the bioload effectively.

Glowlight Tetras are fish of the river, and are used to living in an environment with a good amount of water movement.

This means that in their natural habitat, they live in oxygen rich waters, – this needs to be replicated in the home aquarium if you want your Tetras to do well.

To provide high oxygen, select filters which break the surface tension of the water, and create a good level of movement.

You may use internal and external pumps, hang on back filters, air powered sponge or box filters, -anything that disturbs the surface of the water while providing good filtration will be great for your Glowlight Tetra tank.

10 gallon Glowlight Tetra tank maintenance

Glowlight Tetras are low maintenance fish, which is why they are considered a great beginner species.

They are easy to care for, small, produce a low bioload, are hardy, tolerate a wide range of water parameters, eat most fish foods and are peaceful.

Aside from your typical aquarium maintenance, Glowlight Tetras do not require any specialist maintenance or care, which is what makes them so great.

Can I keep other fish with Glowlight Tetras in a 10 gallon tank?

Glowlight Tetras are often labelled as a staple peaceful community fish due to their small size, passive nature, adaptability and ease of care.

But does this mean you can still house other fish with them in a tank as small as 10 gallons?

Typically we would recommend community tanks to be reserved for larger setups, 20 gallons and up, as the space allows you to keep multiple groups of different fish species.

In a 10 gallon, you are very limited, as a small group of Tetras will take up most of the available space, and it can be hard to find other fish to squeeze in.

But it is still possible to have a 10 gallon community tank with Glowlight Tetras, you just have to choose your fish wisely, and be willing to perform the right level of maintenance. 

Here are some other peaceful nano fish that we like to keep with Glowlights:

  • Cherry Barbs
  • Endlers 
  • Chili Rasboras
  • Guppies
  • Green Neon Tetras
  • White Cloud Mountain Minnows
  • Kuhli Loach

Can I keep invertebrates with Glowlight Tetras in a 10 gallon tank?

Yes, Glowlights pair well with a lot of aquatic invertebrates due to their small size and non predatory nature.

They are safe with a lot of small shrimp and snail species, which is why they are such a good fish for small planted tanks.


Cherry Shrimps

Glowlights make great tankmates for Cherry Shrimp as their small size makes them a very low threat to the adults. If kept in a planted tank with lots of cover, you may even breed Cherry Shrimp in the same tank as Glowlights, just be sure to keep them well fed.

Amano Shrimp and Bamboo Shrimp also do well to be kept with Glowlights, just be sure to acclimate them properly, as these shrimp originate from brackish waters, and the move to freshwater needs to be done slowly.



Snails work even better with Glowlight Tetras, their hard shells prevent them from being eaten, and their bottom feeding, detrivore lifestyle means they are superb cleanup crew, especially for Tetras who tend to leave food once it touches the bottom of the tank.

Any species of aquarium snail will work well, just be sure to provide the tank with calcium in the form of a KH buffer, to keep their shells healthy.

Crabs and Crayfish

Because they are so small and nimble, Glowlight Tetras may also be kept with Crabs or Crayfish, however, we would suggest this in a larger tank than 10 gallons, as in a tank this small, their territories will cross and your Tetras will become and easy meal for a hungry armoured crustacean.