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

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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. 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. 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? 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. 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 are brightly colored with red and blue stripes and can swim in the middle of your tank. Finally, as long as you have a tight-fitting lid to prevent jumping, you can add a school of hatchetfish to fill in the top stratum of the 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

Fish breeding is always exciting in aquarium hobby. A 29-gallon tank opens up new possibilities. Angelfish can be bred easily, so make sure to get a good-looking male or female for this species-only arrangement. 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. Our angelfish care guide provides more information.

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. The Longfin Rosy Barbs are a favorite because they are calm and won’t harm your fish tank. While the males tend to have a reddish color, the females are golden in appearance. 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. 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. Find out more about coldwater species by visiting our top 10 list.

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


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. 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. Since most of these fish are semi-aggressive, add plenty of tall decorations to block line of sight and provide cover for weaker individuals. 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 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. Due to the larger fish, we recommend only having one fancy goldfish in this aquarium. Because of their large bodies and long tails, they are slow swimmers. So we recommend using gentle filtering 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. Finally, keep the water cooler at 50-70degF (10-21degC) for optimal health. You can find more information about their care in our care guide.

Fancy goldfish (Carassius auratus)

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