5 Best Fish Tank Ideas for A 29-Gallon Freshwater Aquarium


5 Best Fish Tank Ideas for a 29-Gallon Aquarium

Most people start with smaller aquariums to keep nano fish like guppies and bettas. But have you ever thought of moving up to the next weight class? 29- and 30-gallon (110-114 liters) aquariums are some of the first sizes that allow you to start getting medium-sized species. You can also create elaborate aquascapes with these tanks. These tanks are a popular choice for fish stocking. Here are our top five ideas.


1. The South American Aquarium

Amazon rainforest is home many amazing species. So why not make an environment that showcases this biodiversity? In this setup, aim for softer water with low GH, pH from 6.8-7.4, and warmer temperatures around 80-82degF (27-28degC). For the bottom level of the tank, pick your favorite species of Apistogramma dwarf cichlids (or apistos) and get a male-female pair that will hopefully breed for you. Because they can be a bit shy at first, you may want to provide aquarium plants for cover, catappa leaves to tint the water, and apisto caves for egg laying.

The apistos will feel more relaxed and ready for spawn when a school cardinal tetras acts as dither fish. These stunning tetras are brightly colored with red and blue stripes and can swim in the middle of your tank. To fill the top layer of the aquarium, add hatchetfish to your tank as long as the lid is tight enough to prevent them from jumping. This arrangement of three layers is best suited for tall aquariums such as a 29-gallon tank measuring 18 inches (46cm) in height.

Left to right: cockatoo dwarf cichlid (Apistogramma cacatuoides), cardinal tetras (Paracheirodon axelrodi), and common hatchetfish (Gasteropelecus sternicla)

2. The Angelfish Breeding Project

Breeding fish is always exciting in the aquarium hobby, and a 29-gallon tank can open up many new possibilities to try. Angelfish can be easily bred. Get a male and a female that are attractive to make this species-only set up. They like to lay their eggs on vertical services, like a piece of slate leaning against the wall, the filter pipe, or a large Amazon sword leaf. It may take the angelfish a few tries to figure out that they should not eat their own eggs, but over time, they usually learn to raise up their own offspring. It can be very satisfying for your family to watch the parents carefully manage a bunch of babies. Feed the fry a variety of foods like baby brine shrimp and Hikari First Bites, and be prepared to buy additional aquariums to house the growing brood. Read our complete care guide for angelfish.

Gold an angelfish (Pterophyllum Scalare) to protect a clutch of eggs

3. The Unheated Aquatic Aquarium

Cold water fish are cool because they can live in lower temperatures, whether it’s in a chilly office building, basement, or living room tank with no aquarium heater. Our favorite longfin rosy barbs is because they are peaceful and can even eat algae in your tank. The males tend to be reddish in color, while the females have a golden sheen. Get a school of four to six fish because they are a very active species and will eventually grow to 3.5-4 inches (9-10 cm) long. You can also use a group of salt-and pepper cory catfish for the bottom. These Corydoras species are able to live in cooler temperatures. This simple, but stunning work of art can be complemented by live aquatic plants. Find out more about coldwater species by visiting our top 10 list.

Longfin rose barb (Pethia contonius) and salt-and-pepper cory catfish Corydoras palatus

4. The GloFish Tank

GloFish are a staple in pet shops due to their bright neon colors that glow under the blue lighting. GloFish tetras are black skirt tetras. GloFish barbars are tiger barbs. If you’re looking for a wide range of activities, choose GloFish barbs or GloFish Tetras. They both grow to 2.5-3 inches (6-8 cm) in size, so start with a group of six to 10 fish of the same species. For a 30-gallon aquarium with a longer, 3-foot (91 cm) footprint, you may be able to add one GloFish shark (rainbow shark) as well. You can also get normal-colored versions of these species if GloFish is not for you. These fish are often semi-aggressive so make sure to add tall decorations to hide the line of sight and protect weaker ones. Read the entire article to learn more about GloFish, including where they got their fluorescent colors.

GloFish tetra (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi) and GloFish barb (Puntius tetrazona)

5. The Fancy Goldfish Aquarium

Many beginners are surprised to learn that their pet goldfish can grow up to 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) long, which is why they should skip the small glass bowl and upgrade to a 30-gallon aquarium. Because of the fish’s larger size, we recommend choosing only one fancy goldfish for this setup. Their egg-shaped bodies and flowy double tails tend to make them slow swimmers, so use gentle filtration like sponge filters. Their heavy waste load can cause water quality problems. If you are looking to increase your tank’s size to 40 to 55 gallons, don’t add too many tank mates. They are known for eating aquatic plants and removing them. If you want to beautify your aquarium with goldfish-safe plants, then make sure the water is purified. For optimal health, keep the water at 50-70 degrees F (10-21 degC). You can find more information about their care in our care guide.

Fancy goldfish (Carassius auratus)

Check out our article 7 Popular Fishes You Should Try In A 20-Gallon Aquarium for more ideas and inspiration.