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? 29- and 30-gallon (110-114 liters) aquariums are some of the first sizes that allow you to start getting medium-sized species. You can also create elaborate aquascapes with these tanks. 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? In this setup, aim for softer water with low GH, pH from 6.8-7.4, and warmer temperatures around 80-82degF (27-28degC). Pick your preferred Apistogramma dwarf and cichlid species (or apistos), for the bottom tank. The male-female pair will hopefully breed. 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 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 is well-suited for taller aquariums, like a 29-gallon tank that stands 18 inches (46 cm) tall.
Left to right: Apistogramma cucatuoides, cockatoo dwarf Cichlid (Apistogramma capituoides), and Paracheirodon axelrodi cardinal Tetras (Paracheirodon alfeti) common hatchetfishes (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 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 might take some time for the angelfish to learn that eggs should not be eaten, they eventually become capable of raising their own offspring. You and your family can enjoy watching the parents carefully raise a cloud of baby fish. 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 cooler because they can survive in lower temperatures. Our favorite longfin rosy barbs is because they are peaceful and can even eat algae in your tank. Reddish-colored males are more common than their female counterparts, with 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. 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 longfin rosy barb, (Pethiaconchonius), and salt and pepper cory fish (Corydoras paleatus).
4. The GloFish Tank
GloFish are a staple in pet shops due to their bright neon colors that glow under the blue lighting. 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 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. 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 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. Because of the fish’s larger size, we recommend choosing only one fancy goldfish for this setup. Because of their large bodies and long tails, they are slow swimmers. So we recommend using gentle filtering 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. 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)
Check out our article 7 Popular Fishes You Should Try In A 20-Gallon Aquarium for more ideas and inspiration.