Whether you are a hobbyist or diehard fish lover, having an aquarium full of brightly colored fish and plants is a dream. No wonder so many people want to add the aesthetically-pleasing glofish to their tanks. After all, nothing is more exciting than to watch a rainbow-bright school of fish flash from one end of the aquarium to the other as their bodies glow throughout the night.

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But if you find yourself wondering about how many glofish per gallon or how many glofish in a 10 gallon tank, you are not alone. Many people have been confused by this in the past, which is why we wrote this article!

Keep reading to get answers to your questions about how many glofish to keep in a 10 gallon tank and why.

Although bioluminescence is a naturally occurring phenomenon in many living organisms, it was, for a long time, not something you saw in aquarium fish. The ability for animals to produce a natural light is more than cosmetic, of course. 

In the wild, vampire squids can eject luminescent mucus to frighten off predators, and there are even species of worms, plankton, and coral that can emit light to either attract prey or scare off anything hunting them.

Singaporean scientists were the first to genetically modify common fish to make them fluoresce. The idea was using the bioluminescence as a way to detect whether certain types of toxins were present in waterways so that communities could be advised.

Once that was a success, a Texas-based company called Yorktown Technologies purchased rights to the research and later introduced the first aquarium glofish—the Starfire Red Danio—to the market in 2003.

These days, there are multiple types of glofish, including glowing tetras, danio, barbs, and zebrafish, in a number of colors, including pink, blue, and green. Though the fish do not appear to be glowing all the time, they will brightly fluoresce in the presence of blue light or black light.

For those who are concerned or who have heard myths about how glofish are created, it should be known that these fish are bred to glow. They are not injected with neon or with color after birth. 

The gene is injected into each fish embryo, one at a time, allowing for the fluorescence to eventually be passed down through the generations. That is why you should purchase glofish from reputable sellers, because you know for sure they have been bred—not dyed—and are healthy.

As Mentioned Earlier, There Are Different Kinds Of Glofish. Because Of This, Not All Glofish Are Going To Mix Well With Other Fish. To Understand The Various Species And How Well They Mingle, Here Is A List Of Common Glofish Species:


Glofish Tetras

Peaceful Schooling Fish That Can Have Numerous Tank Mates And Do Not Require Much Swimming Space. Tetras Grow To About 6.35 Cm (2.5 In) Maximum. Ideal Tank Mates Include Angelfish, Barbs, Betta, Danio, Other Tetras, Minnows, Guppies, Rasbora, Cory Cats, Killifish, And Swordtails.


Glofish Danio

The most common species of glofish available, the danio is small and grows to about 6.35 cm (2.5 in). Sociable and compatible with the great variety of fish, they are ideal for tanks with plenty of swimming space for darting around. Ideal tank mates are similar to tetras and include angelfish, platy, pleco, rasbora, swordtail, loach, molly, hatchet, discus fish, barb, betta, tetras, and minnows.


Glofish Tiger Barbs

Known to be slightly aggressive, tiger barbs enjoy schooling among themselves but will become feisty when it comes to other tank mates. In fact, they may nip at smaller fish, even though they only grow to about 7.6 cm (3 inches) in length. The best tank mates for tiger barbs are barbs, cory cats, danio, gourami, guppies, loach, molly, minnows, pleco, rainbowfish, rasbora, and tetras.


Glofish Rainbow Sharks

One of the newer additions of glofish, the rainbow shark is also semi-aggressive. They are bottom feeders who spend most of their time amid the substrate. Since rainbow sharks can grow to about 24 cm (6 in) in length, they are not recommended for 10 gallon tanks or smaller. These fish are also not very compatible with other tank mates but will tolerate barbs, danio, minnows, rainbow fish, and gourami. Exercise extreme caution when introducing other sharks.

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Taking care of glofish is like taking care of their non-glowing counterparts. This means that temperature preferences, life expectancy, and growth rates remain the same. On average, the lifespan of a glofish is anywhere from 3.5-5 years.

Depending on the species of glofish you have, the conditions of the tank may be different, but the following is considered ideal for most breeds: