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. Have you ever considered moving up to the next size? 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

The Amazon rainforest is home to many beautiful species, so why not create an environment that highlights this biologically diverse corner of the world? This setup should have soft water, low GH, pH between 6.8-7.4, and warm temperatures of 80-82degF (27 to 28 degC). 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. 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.

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. 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 triple-layered arrangement works well for tall aquariums like a 29-gallon tank with 18 inches (46 cm), height.

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

2. The Angelfish Breeding Project

The aquarium hobby is full of exciting things, including the possibility to breed fish. A 29-gallon tank could open up many new opportunities. Angelfish can be easily bred. Get a male and a female that are attractive to make this species-only set up. 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. It can be very satisfying for your family to watch the parents carefully manage a bunch of babies. The fry can be fed a variety foods, including Hikari First Bites and baby brine shrimp. You may also need to purchase additional aquariums to accommodate the growing brood. For more details on angelfish, read our full care guide.

Gold Angelfish (Pterophyllum Scalare) protecting eggs

3. The Unheated Aquarium

Cold water fish can be kept cool in low temperatures. 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. 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. This simple, but stunning work of art can be complemented by live aquatic plants. For more ideas on coldwater species, read our top 10 list.

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

4. The GloFish Tank

GloFish, which glow under blue light and are bright neon colors, are a popular pet store staple. 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. Both can grow to 2.5-3inches (6-8cm) in length, so you should start with six to 10 fish from the same species. One GloFish shark (rainbow shark), can be added to a 30-gallon aquarium. It has a 3-foot (91cm) longer footprint. (Of course, if GloFish are not your cup of tea, you can always get the normal-colored versions of these species instead.) 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 people are shocked to discover that pet goldfish can grow to 6-8 inches (15-20cm) in length. This is why many beginners skip the small glass aquarium and opt for a larger, 30-gallon tank. 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. These hungry hippos are notorious for nibbling on or uprooting aquatic plants, so look for goldfish-safe plants to help purify the water and beautify your aquarium. Keep the water temperature at 50-70degF (10-21degC), for optimal health. You can find more information about their care in our care guide.

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.