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? You can get medium-sized species in 29- and 30-gallon (110-112 liters) aquariums. They also give you the extra space to design more elaborate aquascapes or biotopes. Learn about our top 5 fish stocking ideas that fit in this popular category of tanks.


1. The South American Aquarium

Amazon rainforest is home many amazing species. So why not make an environment that showcases 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. 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. You may need to give them cover and catappa leaves for shading the water.

A school of cardinal tetras can act as dither fish to help the apistos feel more comfortable and ready to spawn. These stunning tetras feature bright blue and red stripes that run horizontally down their sides and will actively swim back and forth in the middle of the tank. A tight-fitting lid is necessary to stop the fish jumping. Finally, a school hatchetfish can be added to the top of your aquarium. 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 prefer to lay their eggs vertically, such as on a piece of slate against the wall or the filter pipe. 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. Watching the parents carefully corral a cloud of babies can be a very rewarding experience for you and your family to enjoy. 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. For more details on angelfish, read our full care guide.

Gold angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare) protecting 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. While the males tend to have a reddish color, the females are golden in appearance. 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. Enjoy this beautiful work of art by adding live aquatic plants to the tank. 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 an eye-catching staple at pet stores because of their shocking neon colors that glow under blue lighting. If you want a kaleidoscope of activity, pick either GloFish tetras (black skirt tetras) or GloFish barbs (tiger barbs) as your schooling fish. They grow to 2.5-3 inches (6-8cm) so it is a good idea to start with six to ten 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. If GloFish don’t appeal to you, there are always the regular-colored versions. Since most of these fish are semi-aggressive, add plenty of tall decorations to block line of sight and provide cover for weaker individuals. The full article explains GloFish and the source of their fluorescent hues.

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. Due to the larger fish, we recommend only having one fancy goldfish in this aquarium. They are slow swimmers due to their egg-shaped bodies and flowing double tails. Therefore, we recommend gentle filtration such as 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. Keep the water temperature at 50-70degF (10-21degC), for optimal health. For more information on the care of your pets, please refer to our Care Guide.

Fancy goldfish (Carassius autus)

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