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. You might be interested in moving up to the next class of fish. These aquariums, which are 29- to 30-gallon (110 to 114 liters), allow you access to medium-sized species. These tanks also allow you to create more elaborate aquascapes and biotopes. These tanks are a popular choice for fish stocking. Here are our top five ideas.


1. The South American Aquarium

Amazon rainforest is home of many wonderful species. Why not make it a place that celebrates this biodiversity? You will want to use softer water that has a pH of 6.8-7.4 and higher temperatures between 80-82degF (27-30 degC) in this setup. Pick your preferred Apistogramma dwarf and cichlid species (or apistos), for the bottom tank. The male-female pair will hopefully breed. They can be shy so you might want to add aquarium plants to cover them, catappa leaves to color the water, and apisto caves to allow 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 have bright blue and red stripes running horizontally down their sides. They will swim back and forth in the middle 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 are not very hard to breed, so get a nice-looking male and female to pair up in this species-only setup. 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. Although it may take an angelfish some time to realize that their eggs are not for them, eventually they will be able to rear their own children. It can be very satisfying for your family to watch the parents carefully manage a bunch of babies. You can feed the fry various foods such as Hikari First Bite and baby brine shrimp. Be prepared to purchase additional aquariums for the growing family. Our angelfish care guide provides more information.

Gold Angelfish (Pterophyllum Scalare) protecting eggs

3. The Unheated Aquatic Aquarium

Cold water fish can be kept cool in low temperatures. The Longfin Rosy Barbs are a favorite because they are calm and won’t harm your fish tank. The males tend to be reddish in color, while the females have a golden sheen. A school of four to six fish is a good idea as they are very active and can grow to about 3.5-4inches (9-10 cm). For the bottom of the tank, try a group of salt and pepper cory catfish, which is a Corydoras species that can live in cooler waters. Enjoy this beautiful work of art by adding live aquatic plants to the tank. For more ideas on coldwater species, read our top 10 list.

Longfin rosy barb (Pethia conchonius) and salt and pepper cory catfish (Corydoras paleatus)

4. The GloFish tank

GloFish are an eye-catching staple at pet stores because of their shocking neon colors that glow under blue lighting. GloFish tetras, or GloFish barbs, are the best schooling fish for you. 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. You may be able add one GloFish shark (rainbow) to a 30-gallon aquarium that has a longer footprint of 3 feet (91 cm). (Of course, if GloFish are not your cup of tea, you can always get the normal-colored versions of these species instead.) 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 tro (Gymnocorymbus Tenetzi) & GloFish barb(Puntius Terzona).

5. The Fancy Goldfish Aquarium

Many beginners are surprised when they learn that goldfish can grow upto 6-8 inches (15-20cm). This is why it’s a good idea to 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. This hungry hippos are well-known for eating or removing aquatic plants. Therefore, it is important to choose goldfish-safe plants that will purify the aquarium and add beauty to the tank. For optimal health, keep the water at 50-70 degrees F (10-21 degC). Read our care guide for more info on their husbandry.

Fancy goldfish (Carassius auratus)

For more fish stocking ideas and inspiration, check out our article on 7 Popular Fish You Should Try in a 20-Gallon Aquarium.