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? These aquariums, which are 29- to 30-gallon (110 to 114 liters), allow you access to 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 of many wonderful species. Why not make it a place that celebrates this biodiversity? This setup should have soft water, low GH, pH between 6.8-7.4, and warm temperatures of 80-82degF (27 to 28 degC). The bottom level is where you can pick your favourite Apistogramma dwarf or apisto species and find a male-female pair to hopefully breed for yourself. You may need to give them cover and catappa leaves for shading the water.

To help the apistos feel more at ease and ready to spawn, a school of cardinal Tetras can be used as a 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 triple-layered arrangement is well-suited for taller aquariums, like a 29-gallon tank that stands 18 inches (46 cm) tall.

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 prefer to lay their eggs vertically, such as on a piece of slate against the wall or the filter pipe. 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. 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. Read our complete care guide for angelfish.

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

3. The Unheated 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. Longfin rosy barbs are one of our favorites because they are relatively peaceful for a barb and will even nibble on algae in your fish tank. The males tend to be reddish in color, while the females have a golden sheen. They are an active species that can grow to approximately 3.5-4 inches (9-10cm) in length. A group of salt and pepper cory catsfish can be used to fill the tank’s bottom. This Corydoras species is capable of living in cooler water. Fill in the scenery with live aquatic plants, and enjoy this simple but show-stopping work of art. For more ideas on coldwater species, read our top 10 list.

Longfin longfin rosy barb, (Pethiaconchonius), and salt and pepper cory fish (Corydoras paleatus).

4. The GloFish Tank

GloFish, which glow under blue light and are bright neon colors, are a popular pet store staple. If you want a kaleidoscope of activity, pick either GloFish tetras (black skirt tetras) or GloFish barbs (tiger barbs) as your schooling fish. 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. One GloFish shark (rainbow shark), can be added to a 30-gallon aquarium. It has a 3-foot (91cm) longer footprint. If GloFish don’t appeal to you, there are always the regular-colored versions. Most of these fish are semi-aggressive. Make sure you have plenty of tall decorations to obscure line of sight, and cover weaker fish. 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 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. Due to the larger fish, we recommend only having one fancy goldfish in this aquarium. Their egg-shaped bodies and flowy double tails tend to make them slow swimmers, so use gentle filtration like sponge filters. Also, water quality issues can arise from their heavy waste load, so do not add too many tank mates unless you plan to upgrade to a 40- to 55-gallon tank. 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)

Our article on 7 Fish That You Should Stock in a 20-Gallon Aquarium contains more inspiration and ideas.