This is honestly a very subjective question, which is harder to answer than simply providing you with a specific number. Strictly speaking, the amount of fish you can have in a 1-gallon tank depends on the type of fish. More than the type of fish, the size of the fish in question should be seriously considered.
Actually, a 5-gallon tank isn’t really that big, and it’s actually as small as getting for an aquarium for beginners. Yes, there are smaller options without a doubt, but they are usually too small for anything over 1 or 2 very small fish.
So how many fish can be in a 5-gallon tank?
A general rule that most people would follow is that every inch of the fish you have in the tank requires a whole gallon of water. Now, once again, this is a kind of subjective as different fish have different spatial requirements, but it is true in most circumstances. So, if you have a Betta fish that is 2 inches long, you need a 2-liter tank for it. This means you can add 2 Betta fish to a 5-gallon tank (with a divider because they are aggressive).
If you have fish like white Fish from Cloud Mountain, each grows about 1 inch in length, you could add up to 5 of them. This is a very difficult question to answer and really depends on the specific fish in question. For more information, you should look for the exact spatial requirements of the fish you are looking to obtain. We take into account that many people like to include a seaweed-like a snail or some kind of shrimp, but those tend to be very small, so as long as you don’t have more than 1 or 2, it will be fine.
Good fish for a 5-gallon aquarium
Naturally, there are quite a few different fish that can be added in a 5-gallon tank without a problem. What are some of the best options to go?
- 1 betta fish (or 2 if you have a divider).
- 4 guppies.
- 5 white cloud mountain minnows.
- 4 tetra fish.
- 2 – 3 goldfish (depending on size).
Is it worth considering getting a bigger tank?
Well, once again, subjectivity is the word of the day here. It all depends on the type of aquarium and the kind of fish you want. Of course, if the tank is for your kids, for a small office, or just means a small Visual piece, a 5-gallon tank will do you good.
However, if you plan to get lots of fish, plants, and plan to expand at some point in the future, getting a bigger tank is definitely an option to consider. The real take here is that a 5-gallon tank is fairly limiting, so if you want more inhabitants you will definitely need a larger tank (we have reviewed some good 10-gallon fish tanks in this post here).
At the end of the day, you just have to consider what kind of fish you want in your tank and how many of them you plan to get. Just keep in mind that a 5-gallon tank is completely limiting, so be sure to do your calculations before you get one.