10 Gallon Tank

10 Gallon Tank
10 Gallon Tank

Hobby aquarists use the “I-Split-You-Choose” and drafting mechanisms to gather fish cards, creating a colorful and diverse aquarium in their 10 Gallon Tank. Meet a shared aquarium goal or snag the treasure chest to earn important bonuses and help propel you to victory.

10 Gallon Tank is for fish enthusiasts ages 8+ and plays in approximately 15 minutes. The game accommodates 2-5 players.


To start, separate the three goal cards from the fish cards and randomly choose one for all players to work toward throughout the game.

Then, shuffle the fish cards used for the player count and form a grid in the center of the table. The size of the grid also varies by number of players. For example, for our three-player games we set up a 4×4 grid and for our two-player game we set up a 3×3 grid.

10 Gallon Tank set up for 3 players
Setup for a 3 player game. Splits must be along a straight line, horizontally or vertically.


The start player splits the grid of cards into two smaller groups. The next player chooses one of those two groups and splits it. Play continues around the table until each player has split a group once. For two and three player games, after all players have split once, players will split again in reverse rotation, allowing the player who split the group last to take an immediate next turn.

Splitting rules: The group can be split horizontally or vertically but must always be along a straight row or column.


Once the groups have been split, beginning with the start player, each person chooses one group and adds it to their hand, keeping their accumulating cards secret from other players. In two and three player games, after all players have chosen once players will choose again in reverse rotation, allowing the player who chose last to take another group immediately.

Extra cards are discarded.


The number of rounds varies by player count, and rounds are repeated until the game ends and scoring occurs.

There are six fish types in the game, but not all will be used depending on the player count. Each fish scores differently:

  • the Molly has points shown on each card,
  • each Guarami is five points but you must discard one card when you take it,
  • the player with the most Discus fish earns ten points (and second-most earns five points),
  • the Guppy earns points based on having an even or odd number,
  • sets of three Angelfish are worth three points, and
  • Neon Tetras earn more points as your collection increases.
10 Gallon Tank - types of cards
Each variety of fish scores differently. Neon Tetras are only used at 3+ players.

The treasure chest provides seven points, and there is only one in the deck. Completed goals earn five points and each player can earn this reward.

The player with the most points wins the game.


10 Gallon Tank is a simple and fun drafting game. “I-Split-You-Choose” is a mechanism that’s often overlooked in games, but works well here.

What We Liked

The game requires less than five minutes to learn and fifteen minutes to play, making it very accessible for a variety of board gamers.

The cards are colorful, with illustrations that feel almost like ones taken from a science textbook.

“I-Split-You-Choose” – we need more of this mechanism in board games. It’s so fun for decision making!

The scoring is quick, and with so many cards selected during the game and hidden from players, it’s hard to keep track of who will be going for what when the end game comes.

10 Gallon Tank Goal cards
Don’t forget to choose an Aquarium Goal to work towards during your game!

What We Didn’t Like

While it’s common in board games to remove sets of cards based on player count, we missed the Neon Tetras when playing 10 Gallon Tank at two players. Collecting as many Neon Tetras as possible in our three player games was rewarding.

With only three aquarium goal cards in the game, they get stale quickly. Having additional goal cards to choose from, or each player working towards a secret goal card, would have added a bit of needed variety.

The treasure chest is very powerful at seven points. With no negative cards in the game, whoever can snag the treasure chest first will, even if it’s by itself.

We aren’t fans of take-that games, but including a few cards that are a bit harmful would greatly improve decision-making in this game. These low stakes affect overall enjoyment of the game for more experienced players, but it is helpful for playing with young children.

Final Thoughts

Set collection, drafting, and “I-Split-You-Choose” are board game buzz words that pique our attention, so the adults had fun in our first few plays of this quick game. The 8-year-old, who plays many card games with us, quickly lost interest even though she beat us in her plays.

It’s hard to find games with the “I-Split-You-Choose” mechanism that families can play together, so 10 Gallon Tank might be worth seeking out.

If you’re ready to assemble a fish tank, you can purchase your own copy of 10 Gallon Tank for $15 from Winsmith Games.

The Family Gamers received a copy of 10 Gallon Tank from Winsmith Games for this review.

10 Gallon Tank
  • 8/10
    Art - 8/10
  • 6.5/10
    Mechanics - 6.5/10
  • 6.5/10
    Family Fun - 6.5/10


Age Range: 8+
Number of Players: 2-5
Playtime: 15 minutes