Aquariums & Fish Bowls

Helpful Guide To Set Up A 30-Gallon Fish Tank

Do you want to learn fish-keeping and plan to buy a fish tank for that purpose? 

Great! You have arrived at the right place. 

In this article I am going to tell you everything about 30-gallon aquariums, from its setup procedure, to the right types of fish you can keep in it and also about its maintenance.

With a tank size not so small as a 20-gallon aquarium and not so large as a 125-gallon aquarium, it is a perfect fit for all those who want to shift from a smaller one to a comparatively larger tank.

For beginners, it could be a challenge to start with a 30-gallon tank as the tanks do not come with all-in-one kits. It means that you are expected to do a detailed research before buying a perfect tank.

STEP 1: PICK YOUR IDEAL FISH TANK

Since the first step in the set up procedure is buying the perfect tank from the right brand, here I have mentioned my top picks in 30-gallon aquariums and all the know-how of set-up and maintenance tips. 

Every tank is unique and has some fantastic features.

If you are confused about what to choose so that your fish could get the most comfortable, happy, and safe environment, check out our useful buying guide. 


SEACLEAR ACRYLIC AQUARIUM COMBO SET- SPACIOUS


SeaClear 30 gal Show Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set, 36 by 12 by 16", Clear
  • Combo includes aquarium, reflector and electrical 24" light fixture
  • Acrylic aquariums are clearer than glass, 17 times stronger, and only half the weight!
  • More impact resistant and less prone to chipping or cracking than glass, making it safer around children and pets
  • Safe for Salt or Freshwater
  • You won't believe how your fish and decorations will pop when viewing this beautiful SeaClear aquarium

Last update on 2020-07-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you want to keep your fish in a spacious environment, then this is the best pick for you. This acrylic aquarium is a reliable with an elegant style.

The outer body is extremely durable and can tolerate multiple bumps without breaking. 

The filter has a 3-stage filtration process which keeps the water clean at all times. Thanks to its rigorous filtration system, the water is clear from any unwanted particles, dirt, impurities, harsh chemicals, which could turn the water uninhabitable for your fish. 

Another great feature is its light fixture which illuminates all the contents of the tank.

Features: 

  • Product Dimensions: 36*12*16 inches
  • Comes in 3 amazing shapes: hexagon,rectangle, bowfront, 
  • Excellent filter
  • 24-inch light fixture
  • Comes with a reflector
  • Lightweight Acrylic body 
  • Not prone to chipping or cracking
  • Safe for both saltwater and freshwater base

You can buy this amazing tank on Amazon at a reasonable price. 


CORALIFE LED BIOCUBE AQUARIUM- FULLY-AUTOMATED


Sale
Coralife LED BioCube Aquarium Kit, 32 Gallon
  • Sleek modern hood with vibrant LED lighting; Hinge-top canopy design (also compatible with BioCube 14 and 29). Average output at 12-inches
  • Integrated 24-hour timer with three independent channels: bright white, sparkling blue and color enhancing LEDs for maximum beauty
  • Automatic 30 minute sunrise/sunset and 60 minute moonrise/moonset functions to replicate natural day cycle
  • Compact and customizable built-in filtration – easy to setup and maintain. Clear glass back panel for easy refugium set-up
  • Quiet submersible pump, dual intakes and adjustable return nozzle

Last update on 2020-07-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you are looking for automatic fish tanks and are not hesitant to spend some more for your 30-gallon aquarium, then Coralife LED Biocube is the best choice for you. 

One of the many striking features of this fish tank is its phenomenal design. The sleek design with curved edges offers beauty, safety and comfort.

To make your fish feel at home and reorient their senses for proper growth, this fully-automated tank has LED lights which imitate sunrise and sunset.

The LED light comes with a hood to prevent your fish from absconding. 

Features:

  • Product Dimensions: 20.2*21.9*21.5 inches
  • Fully submersible silent filter
  • Hinge-top canopy design
  • LED light with hood
  • Different lights for daytime and nighttime
  • Compact and customizable built-in filters
  • Durable body
  • Quiet submersible pump
  • Easy to setup and clean

You can buy this fantastic product on Amazon at low prices. 


AQUA CULTURE AQUARIUM STARTER KIT- BEST FOR BEGINNERS


Last update on 2020-07-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

As it is difficult to find a 30-gallon aquarium with a full kit, this could be the best choice for beginners.

It comes with a starter kit which includes all the necessary equipment. It is easy to setup and clean and made up of strong glass that can withstand multiple bumps without cracking. 

The filter is fully submersible and runs quietly without any sudden noises and keeps the water crystal clear at all times. The LED hood provides great comfort and safety for the fish. 

Features:

  • Strong glass material
  • Comes with a kit 
  • Free fish food available 
  • LED lighting with durable hood
  • Silent, submersible filter

Get it on Amazon at a reasonable cost. 


SEACLEAR 30-GALLON RECTANGULAR ACRYLIC FISH TANK- BEST QUALITY MATERIAL


SeaClear 30 gal Show Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set, 36 by 12 by 16", Clear
  • Combo includes aquarium, reflector and electrical 24" light fixture
  • Acrylic aquariums are clearer than glass, 17 times stronger, and only half the weight!
  • More impact resistant and less prone to chipping or cracking than glass, making it safer around children and pets
  • Safe for Salt or Freshwater
  • You won't believe how your fish and decorations will pop when viewing this beautiful SeaClear aquarium

Last update on 2020-07-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This acrylic fish tank from Sea Clear is a best seller. It is rectangular in shape and you can add Blue/Black/Clear back panel door, light fixtures, and acrylic lids in it according to your personal choice. 

It is lightweight and has an exceptional clarity enabling unobstructed views of the underwater world. The aquarium allows you to create freshwater, marine and reef environment.

Features:

  • Product Dimensions: 36*12*16 inches
  • Shape: Rectangle
  • Body material: 3/16 inches
  • Top: ¼ inches
  • Access Opening:28*5
  • Lightweight
  • Crystal clear view

Get the product from Amazon at comparable reduced prices.


CLEAR-FOR-LIFE 30S RECTANGLE UNIQUARIUM- BEST FILTRATION SYSTEM


Clear-For-Life 30S Rectangle UniQuarium - Light Blue Back
  • Dimensions - 36"(L)x12"(W)x16"(H)
  • Built-In Filtration - Ready-To-Run
  • Light Blue Back Panel - Round Front Corners
  • Made in the USA
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty Against Leakage

Last update on 2020-07-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Clear-For-Life is one of the most reputable aquarium brands in the market. This fish tank is ideal for both novice and professional aquarium hobbyist.

One of the best things about this product is that it is very easy to install and use. 

It has a 3-in-1 filtration system which includes chemical, mechanical, and biological filtration for a comfortable underwater environment for the fish.

You can also turn it into a saltwater or freshwater aquarium, thanks to the larger biological area,and high flow powerhead. 

Separate chamber for a heater is available. The product comes with an optional Clear-For-Life Venturi skimmer.

Features: 

  • Product Dimensions: 36*12*16 inches
  • Shape: Rectangle
  • Self-contained aquarium
  • Acrylic body
  • Lifetime warranty available
  • No leakage
  • No drilling or plumbing required 

You can purchase it from Amazon at a great price. 


STEP 2: CHOOSE THE RIGHT STAND

A fish tank stand is fundamental to aquarium shopping. It provides support, safety to the tank and gives it a beautiful, elegant look.

There are a lot of choices available while looking for a 30-gallon aquarium tank, here I have listed 3 of the most stunning and durable stands. 


AQUATIC FUNDAMENTALS 30/38/45 GALLON UPRIGHT AQUARIUM STAND


Aquatic Fundamentals 30-45 Gallon Upright Aquarium Stand
  • Tank size holding Capacity: 30/38/45
  • Product Dimensions: 37.37" L x 13.2"W x 28.25"H
  • Hinged from door giving easy access to ample storage for pumps, filters and food
  • The back of the stand is open except for a single support brace; this lets you conveniently route chords or tubes from the aquarium inside the stand without cutting away panels
  • Made in the USA

Last update on 2020-07-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This stand is moisture-resistant and hold upto 30/38/45 gallons of aquarium tanks. It has a strong metal-to-metal locking cam. 

The stand is made of long-lasting fiberboard that is extremely sturdy, hard-wearing. It comes with a hinged door giving easy access and ample storage for pumps, filter, and food.

The back of the stand is open to allow easy connection of route chords and tubes inside the aquarium. 

Features: 

  • Product Dimensions: 37.37*13.2*28.25 inches
  • Basic design with black coating
  • Single support brace at the back
  • Manufactured in the United States
  • Ideal for supporting rectangular aquariums

Get this amazing stand on Amazon at the right price. 


TITANEZE 30-GALLON TANK STAND


Caitec Bird Toys TitanEzeDouble Aquarium Stand, Two Stands in One, Upper & Lower Levels, Birds, Fish, Small Animals, 29 Gallons, 38-1/2"L x 29"H x 13"W
  • Save Floor Space with our 29-Gallon TitanEze Double Aquarium Stand; it can hold any combination of two Aquariums, Birdcages, or Other Pet Habitats; Overall Dimensions: 38-1/2" L x 29" H x 13" W; Dimensions of Interior Opening: 34-3/4" x 11-1/4"
  • This Sturdy Stand is a Stylish Way to Showcase Your Pet, whether it’s a Bird, Fish, Reptile, Amphibian, or Small Animal; the Decorative Swirl on the front adds a nice touch and Fits in with Many Kinds of Décor
  • Our customers love how Easy It Is to Assemble; No Tools Are Required and it Only Takes a Few Minutes to Put It Together; it’s the Only Fully Knock-Down Aquarium Stand in the pet industry
  • Perfect for Classrooms, Medical Offices, Home Offices, libraries, labs, business offices, living rooms, basements, family rooms, sunrooms, screened-in porches, and more; it’s Powder Coated and Resistant to Rust and Water Damage
  • Both Top and Bottom Shelves can holdone Tank Each; Put Your Much-Loved Pets on Display; Makes a Great Gift for the Fish, Bird, or Animal Lovers in Your Life

Last update on 2020-07-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It is a fully knock-down aquarium stand available in the market. The tank comes with a powder coating making it rust-resistant and immune to water-damage. 

It can be placed in several places like home, workplace, classroom, or even lab. The tank stand can hold 30-gallon aquarium with fish, reptiles, amphibians, or small creatures. 

No special tools are required to assemble this product.

Features:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Covers very less space
  • Available at low cost online
  • Rust-resistant
  • Resistant to water damage

You can get your hands on this stand at a reasonable price on Amazon.  


STEP 3: 30-GALLON AQUARIUM EQUIPMENT

Heaters, filters, and hoods are among the must-haves of aquarium equipment. They provide sufficient nutrients, run cycling process, and maintain a constant temperature in the tank. 


HEATER


To create and regulate a constant water temperature in your aquarium is totally up to you. This can be achieved by using a water heater. 

With a 30-gallon aquarium, it is not necessary to use an extremely power heater or two heaters at a time.

Thanks to its comparatively smaller size, you can get a handy, automatic, adjustable heater. 

My top picks are:

Sale
Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater With Electronic Thermostat, 50-Watt
  • All Tetra HT heaters have indicator lights to let you know when the heater is on. It will be red when heating and green when the proper temperature has been reached.
  • The HT10 uses a built in electronic theromstat to automatically maintain water at 78° F which is ideal for most tropical fish. No adjustment is requried.
  • Ideal for aquariums between 2 to 10 gallons with hoods or glass canopies
  • The HT heater is fully submersbile and can be installed vertically or horizontally. It's small footprint makes it easy to conceal behind plants or other décor.
  • Please read all label information upon delivery. DO NOT plug heater into an electrical outlet until it is placed inside the aquarium.

Last update on 2020-06-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Cascade Heat 10" Aquarium Heater 150 Watt for 30 Gallon Tanks
  • Accurately maintains the desired temperature in your tank
  • Fully submersible and can be placed horizontally or vertically in your tank
  • Easy to set and accurate to 1° Fahrenheit.
  • Shock resistent glass with superior insulation.
  • Perfect for fresh and salt water environments.

Last update on 2020-07-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sale
EHEIM Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater 125W
  • Fully submersible
  • Thermo safey control protects against running dry
  • Will automatically turn off when water level dips too low
  • TruTemp dial recalibrates the heater for precise temperature regulation
  • Made of shock resistant and shatter proof glass for fresh or marine water

Last update on 2020-07-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


FILTER


Aquatic animals need nutrients for proper growth and comfortable environment. A filter helps keep the water aerated and clear of all impurities and harmful substances.

There are different types of filters available for different aquariums like external, internal, or substrate filters.

Here are my personal favorites in 30-gallon water filters:

Tetra Whisper EX 45 Filter For 30 To 45 Gallon aquariums, Silent Multi-Stage Filtration, Blacks/Grays
  • WHISPER QUIET The Tetra Whisper EX Power Filter provides silent multi-stage filtration for clear clean water
  • FAST SETUP Sets up easily right out of the box – no priming required
  • CONTINUOUS FLOW Moves water continuously to prevent debris buildup
  • NO-MESS FILTER CARTRIDGE CHANGES Design minimizes dripping to make cartridge changes easy
  • SIZE This filter fits 30 to 45 gallon aquariums

Last update on 2020-07-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filter 30
  • Provides mechanical, chemical, biological filtration plus additional assistance with the Aqueon specialty filter pads
  • Self-priming – starts up automatically after cleaning or power interruptions.
  • Certified flow rates that assure proper water circulation for improved fish health
  • LED indicator light flashes when it’s time to replace clogged cartridges by monitoring actual water levels.
  • Internal pump design helps dampen noise and eliminate leaks

Last update on 2020-07-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sale
Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter 220 GPH For aquariums, Easy Maintenance
  • 3-STAGE FILTRATION: Water flows through media layers to filter water and ensure a clean aquatic environment.
  • FAST SETUP: Water-tight canister lid lifts up for easy removal.
  • THREE SIZES AVAILABLE: Comes in 220 GPH, 360 GPH and 360 GPH sizes.
  • MARINELAND FILTRATION PRODUCTS: Count on Marineland brand for the most reliable, technically advanced aquariums and accessories on the market.

Last update on 2020-07-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

AQUA-TECH Power Aquarium Filter, 20 to 40-Gallon Aquariums
  • For 20 to 40 gallon aquariums
  • Two year warranty
  • Advanced 3 step filtration
  • Comes with one AQUA-Tech EZ-Change #3 Filter Cartridge
  • Traps dirt, removes impurities and offers maximum water to carbon contact

Last update on 2020-07-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


LIGHTS


Lights play an important role in the world of aquarium. It affects the behavior and health of fish in many ways.

Enough amount of sunlight is necessary for aquatic animals to grow. It also lightens up your aquarium, thus improving the aesthetics. 

COODIA Aquarium Hood Lighting Color Changing Remote Controlled Dimmable RGBW LED Light for Aquarium/Fish Tank, Extendable Upto 28 inches (for Fresh and Salt Water)
  • Multiple colors and multiple lighting modes.This light is also beneficial to grow plants.
  • With extendable bracket to adjust the length to fit your fish tank,fits tank 19 inch--28inch in length
  • Dedicated and professional power supply design, more energy-efficient,over 10000 hours lifespan
  • 2.4G remote technology is updated on July 15, no longer requests point the remote straight to the receiver. You can even control the light through a wall. High bright LEDs and dimmable with remote control
  • Easy to use, just put it on the top of fish tank and plug into the power. Ideal for freshwater and seawater

Last update on 2020-07-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sale
NICREW SkyLED Aquarium Light for Planted Tanks, Full Spectrum Freshwater Fish Tank Light, 30 to 36-Inch, 24-Watt
  • 6500K white LEDs and full spectrum RGB LEDs promote and support low-to-mid light level plant growth
  • Improved in-line switch to reduce light damage by preventing moisture
  • Extendable mounting brackets allow easy installation on a variety of aquarium widths
  • LED strip light with independent White and RGB LED control
  • A glass or acrylic canopy is highly recommended to extend the life of the unit by preventing moisture from affecting it

Last update on 2020-07-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

NICREW RGB Plus Aquarium Light, Freshwater Aquarium LED Light with Remote Controller, 24/7 Automated Aquarium Light, 48-60 Inch, 30 Watts
  • Gradually mimics the effect of a slow sunrise, bright daylight and gentle sunset, providing your animals with a natural lighting cycle
  • Multiple weather effects including cloud cover and lightning storms
  • Adjustable full spectrum of this light is perfect for strong plant growth while producing vivid colors
  • 4 separate memory slots allowing users to save and access their custom colors and intensities
  • The infrared equipped remotes easily allows the fixture to enter a hands free 24/7 mode, activate weather modes and customize your own colors mode

Last update on 2020-07-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


HOOD, PUMP, GRAVEL VACUUM


Other equipment like aquarium hood or a simple lid are important to protect the tank from any damage.

A gravel vacuum is useful in cleaning the substrate easily. Moreover, an aquarium pump helps in mixing up the water and enhancing the overall performance of filter. 


STEP 4: SETTING UP THE AQUARIUM- ADDING WATER

Clean your 30 gallon tank with warm water and then add dechlorinated water to it. Since it is not a big size, it will take a few minutes to clean.

Do not forget to cycle the tank every now and then, as it helps in building up necessary nutrients in the water and keeping the water clean. 

STEP 5: INTRODUCE THE FISH

In this step, you need to add the fish to the aquarium tank. To know the detailed process about adding the fish into the tank, visit our website. 

You can create different types of aquarium environment like-community aquarium, species-only aquarium and Paludarium.

A community aquarium is a perfect fit for this tank size. Here you can create a beautiful community of a variety of fish, plants, and decorations. 

  • Fish to be kept in a community tank: 6 Cherry Barbs, 1 Pearl Gourami, Bristlenose Pleco
  • Fish to be kept in a species only tank: Scarlet Badis fish and others.
  • You can also create a Paludarium – it is a half aquarium, half terrarium that combines both terrestrial and aquatic plants or animals. 

Check out the list of fish species that you can put in a 30-gallon aquarium tank-

  • Cichlids(Dwarf, South African, and South American)
  • Tetras
  • Catfish species(Corys, Plecos, Otos)
  • Rainbowfish
  • Guppies
  • Gouramis
  • Rasboras
  • Mollies
  • Angelfish
  • Platies

Other creatures like shrimps, crabs, and snails could also be kept in the fish tank. 

Fish species should be chosen carefully as aggressive species put together could kill one another.

Therefore, you can keep small and peaceful fish. Semi-aggressive fish species are also a go-for in 30-gallon tank. 

STEP 6: FISH TANK MAINTENANCE TIPS

Even though it is the end – you have successfully set up the tank, added water and fish into it, your responsibility doesn’t end here.

Tank maintenance is as important as any other steps. You must keep a vigilant eye on the behavior of your fish, if it is showing any disturbing signs.

That would tell you a lot and helps you maintain the tank for longer time without any issues. 

Clean the tank, cycle it, and feed the fish at regular intervals. Spend some quality time with your water buddies. 

If you have any questions regarding our buying guide, set up or maintenance, contact us. 

FAQs

What is the typical size of a 30-gallon tank?

The typical size of a 30-gallon tank is 36 ¼* 12 ⅝* 16 ¾ 

Can I put Rasboras or Gouramis in a 30-gallon aquarium?

Yes you can; since the size of the aquarium is big enough to house the above-mentioned species. 

What is the weight of the fish tank in general?

The typical weight of a 30 gallon fish tank weighs 43 lbs when empty and can go up to 343 lbs when filled with water. 

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[Revised and Updated for July, 2019]
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Written by Debra Hutchinson, founder of FishXperts

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