How many fish can fit in a 5 gallon tank?

General guidelines

One inch per gallon is the standard rule of thumb for keeping any tank. A five-gallon aquarium can house 2-4 fish no larger than an inch; five fish would be too crowded. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can put a five-inch fish in the tank; such a species requires a larger tank.

How Do You Set Up A 5-Gallon Fish Tank?


We must select a high-quality tank; typically, I propose a frameless tank so that you can see what is going on inside.


Once you’ve decided on a tank, you’ll need a filter. The majority of the fish in the five-gallon tank will be more vulnerable; if they become ill, the disease will swiftly spread and produce a disaster.


If you are feeding plants and fish in a tank, you will require illumination. If your tank lacks natural light, seek for a low-cost lighting or an external light.

What Kinds of Things Can You Keep in a 5 Gallon Tank?

The 5-gallon tank is ideal for fish up to 2 inches in length, and I recommend three fish species for beginners.

The Betta Fish

Bettas are ideal for a five-gallon aquarium. They are territorial and prefer to have their own place so that they do not feel lonely or bored alone. When housed with other fish, though, it requires a larger aquarium.

Endlers Livebearer

Because of their modest size, these fish can fit nicely in a 5-gallon tank, but they are prolific, so you will need to replace them with a larger tank when the time comes.

Pea Puffer

The pea puffer is a carnivore, yet its small size leads you to believe you could keep a lot of them in a five-gallon tank. They are also territorial fish, so you can only maintain two at a time.

Popular 5-Gallon Tank Stocking Combos

However, it is more crucial that all of the species in a fish tank get along. In general, you should seek out species that can coexist peacefully.

Here are some possible combinations for you to consider:

Combo #1: 

1 Betta and 2 Cherry Shrimp.

Combo #2 

consists of 5 cherry prawns and 2 Thai micro crabs.

Combo #3

consists of 4 Celestial Pearl Danios (3 ladies and 1 male) and 2 Cherry Shrimp.

What Are the Best Live Plants for a 5 Gallon Tank?

Adding plants is another wonderful approach to improve water quality while also providing fish habitat.

For a 5-gallon tank, your options are limited, but I can also recommend a few for you to consider,

 Java Fern;

 Brazilian Micro Sword;


 Java Moss;

 Marimo Moss Balls.

These plants do not require fertiliser, special lighting, or professional maintenance, making them ideal for beginners!

Final thoughts

Your selections are relatively limited given the five-gallon size, but I have presented you with some harmonious combinations that you simply need to take care of to harvest a thriving tank.

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