7 Best Fish for 30-Gallon Tank (A Beginner’s Guide)

A 30-gallon tank is big enough to keep a variety of fish but small enough that it’s not too difficult to care for. When choosing fish for your 30-gallon aquarium, there are a few things to consider, such as the size of the fish, the water conditions, and whether or not the fish are compatible with each other.

The best fish for a 30-gallon tank are those that stay relatively small and are not aggressive toward other fish. The maximum number of fish in a 30-gallon aquarium is another important factor to consider. Otherwise, the tank can become overcrowded and stressful for the fish.

In this article, I’ll give you a list of the best fish for a 30-gallon tank, as well as the fish stocking density and a care guide.

How Many Fish Can I Keep in a 30-Gallon Tank?

The “1-inch per gallon rule” is a common guideline used by fishkeepers when stocking a new fish tank. This rule suggests that for every 1 inch of fish length, there should be at least 1 gallon of water available. For example, a 5-inch fish would need a minimum of 5 gallons of water.

This rule is a good starting point for stocking a fish tank, but it is not set in stone. The actual number of fish that can be safely kept in a tank depends on the size and type of fish, as well as the filtration system.

Here’s a general guide to help you determine how many fish your 30-gallon tank can accommodate:

For small peaceful fish like guppies and neon tetras, you can usually keep 10-15 fish in a 30-gallon tank. If you want to include larger fish like goldfish or angelfish, you’ll need to reduce the number of smaller fish accordingly. For example, a 30-gallon tank could comfortably house four goldfish or three angelfish.

7 Best Fish for a 30-Gallon Tank

Here are some of the best fish for a 30-gallon aquarium:

1. Bristlenose Plecos

  • Size: 5 inches
  • Care: Easy
  • Number of Fish in a 30-Gallon Tank: 6

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance addition to your 30-gallon freshwater tank, the Bristlenose Pleco (Ancistrus cirrhosus) is a great option. These little guys are native to South America and come in a variety of colors, including brown, tan, and green. They’re peaceful fish that are easy to care for and make great algae eaters.

Bristlenose Plecos are bottom-dwellers and do best in tanks with plenty of hiding places. They’re not fussy eaters and will consume most types of algae. In the wild, they also feed on detritus, so it’s a good idea to include some sinking pellets or wafers in their diet.

They prefer water temperatures between 73-80 degrees Fahrenheit and have a lifespan of 10-15 years with proper care.

2. Cherry Barbs

If you’re looking for a pop of color in your 30-gallon tank, cherry barbs (Puntius titteya) are a great option. These little fish are native to Sri Lanka and get their name from their bright red bodies. Cherry barbs are relatively easy to care for, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, when stocking your tank, aim for one cherry barb for every two gallons. These fish prefer to school, so they’ll be happiest if they have some buddies to swim around with. In terms of diet, cherry barbs are omnivores and will do well on a variety of foods, including pellets, flakes, and live/frozen foods.

Cherry barbs prefer water temperatures between 73-81 degrees Fahrenheit and are considered to be very hardy fish. They can live up to 4-7 years with proper care.

3. Angelfish

  • Size: 5 to 6 inches
  • Care: Moderate
  • Number of Fish in a 30-Gallon Tank: 3

Angelfish are a type of freshwater ray-finned fish from the family Cichlidae. They are native to the Amazon River Basin in South America. Angelfish are characterized by their long fins and elegant shape. They come in a variety of colors, but the most common are silver and gold.

In the wild, they feed on small insects, crustaceans, and plants. In captivity, they should be fed a diet of high-quality dry food, frozen food, and live food.

They’re aggressive and quite territorial, so it’s important to have plenty of space for them to swim around and establish their own territory. When stocking a 30-gallon tank with angelfish, a good rule of thumb is 1 fish per 10 gallons of water. So, in this case, 3 fish would be a good number.

They prefer warm water between 78-84 degrees Fahrenheit. Angelfish are considered intermediate fish when it comes to caring. They require a bit more attention than some other species but are also not as high maintenance as a few others.

4. Goldfish

  • Size: 4 to 6 inches
  • Care: Easy
  • Number of Fish in a 30-Gallon Tank: 3-4

Goldfish are a popular choice for aquariums. They come in a variety of colors, and many people enjoy watching them swim. Goldfish are native to China, and their diet consists of vegetables and small insects.

They prefer water that is between 68 and 74 degrees Fahrenheit. They should also have access to plenty of hiding places and some plants to help them feel comfortable in their new home. Goldfish can live for 10-15 years with proper care.

5. Killifish

  • Size: 2 inches
  • Care: Easy
  • Number of Fish in a 30-Gallon Tank: 10

Killifish are small, freshwater fish that make a great addition to any 30-gallon tank. These little fish come in a variety of colors, including blue, green, red, and yellow. They are relatively easy to care for and make an excellent addition to any community tank.

Killifish are not picky eaters and will do well on most standard fish foods. However, they do prefer live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp or bloodworms.

A 30-gallon tank can comfortably house 10 killifish. They prefer a temperature range of 68-75 degrees Fahrenheit. With proper care, killifish can live 2 to 5 years.

6. Rainbowfish

  • Size: 4.7 inches
  • Care: Difficult
  • Number of Fish in a 30-Gallon Tank: 5-7

These colorful fish are native to Australia and New Guinea. They are relatively long-lived fish, with an average lifespan of 5-8 years. When it comes to diet, rainbowfish are omnivores and will eat both plant and animal matter. But they can also be picky eaters sometimes.

They require a water temperature of 74-78 degrees Fahrenheit and a pH of 7.0-8.0. While rainbowfish are an attractive addition to any aquarium, they can be difficult to care for. So it is important to do your research before adding them to your tank. For a 30-gallon tank, the recommended number of rainbowfish is 5-7.

7. Platies

  • Size: 2 to 3 inches
  • Care: Easy
  • Number of Fish in a 30-Gallon Tank: 10

If you’re looking for a fun and easy-to-care-for fish for your 30-gallon tank, platies are a great option! These cheerful little fish originate from Central America and come in a variety of colors. They are omnivorous, so their diet consists of both plant and animal matter.

Platies prefer water that is on the warmer side, around 70-82 degrees Fahrenheit. As far as care level goes, platies are pretty low-maintenance – just be sure to keep an eye on their diet and water quality and they should do well for 3 to 5 years.