The Best 30 Gallon Fish Tank: Equipment, Stocking And More

Finding the best 30 gallon fish tank for your needs can be tough. Let us take out the guesswork by finding the right choice for you!

By Julie Millis
Last updated on

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best 30 gallon fish tank

Whether you are new to fishkeeping or a seasoned aquarist, a 30 gallon fish tank is a perfect size if you want to start a community. But choosing the best 30 gallon fish tank to suit your needs can be tough, as often all-in-one kits can be limited.

I’ve worked in aquatics for several years and know that the right 30 gallon aquarium can be hard to find. That’s why the team and I carried out weeks of validation to bring you the best 30 gallon fish tank. And overall we chose the Landen Rimless Low Iron Aquarium as our top choice.

But we’ve also included several other tanks, from the best saltwater to acrylic options, so that whatever you’re looking for you’ll find them here.

Note that 30 gallon tanks can weigh 350+ lbs when filled, so we always recommend you use a dedicated 30 gallon tank stand.

Now, let’s go ahead and dive straight in!

  1. Best Glass Tank: Landen Rimless Low Iron Aquarium
  2. Best For Saltwater: Coralife Biocube 32 Gallon Kit
  3. Premium Pick: biOrb 28 Gallon Classic Aquarium
  4. Best Acrylic: SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set: Rectangular Show Tank
  5. Best Design: SeaClear Acrylic Combo Set: Flat Back Hexagon

Best 30 Gallon Fish Tank Picks Reviewed

Choosing a 30 gallon aquarium can be overwhelming, particularly as you often need to find your own additional equipment such as heaters and filters. Our reviews cover all this and more to help take the guesswork out of finding the best 30 gallon fish tank for you.

1. Landen Rimless Low Iron Aquarium

Photo: Amazon.com

  • Shape and Capacity: Rectangular, 30 US gallons
  • Dimensions and Weight: 23.6 (l) x 17.7 (d) x 17.7 (h) inches, 51.0 pounds
  • Material: Glass
  • Equipment Included: EVA material fish tank cushioning pad
  • Best for: Glass Tank

Landen rimless glass tanks are exceptional quality and available in a range of sizes. The size we feature here is actually 32 gallons to the brim, but 30 gallons of usable volume. It’s 8mm heavy duty glass is rimless and has 91% transparency giving you a perfect view of your fish.

Whilst you’ll need to find your own equipment, this tank is highly customizable and does come with a useful leveling mat to stop any movement, especially if you have anyone moving past the tank like kids or pets.

The glass itself is also scratch resistant, and with the perfectly sealed edges the whole thing is exceptionally clear. In fact, this is one of the most crystal clear tanks we’ve seen!

2. Coralife Biocube 32 Gallon Kit

Photo: Amazon.com

  • Shape and Capacity: Cube, 32 US gallons
  • Dimensions and Weight: 27.5 (l) x 25.5 (d) x 27.0 (h) inches, 62.0 pounds
  • Material: Glass
  • Equipment Included: Programmable hinged hood with bright white, blue and color enhancing LEDs, 24-hour timer, 30-minute gradual sunrise/ sunset and moonrise/ moonset timer, hidden filtration chamber to hold biological, mechanical and chemical media, submersible pump with dual intakes and adjustable return nozzles
  • Best for: Saltwater

The Coralife Biocube 32 is a fantastic saltwater or reef starter tank, although it can be used as a freshwater tank too. At 27.5 x 25.5 x 27 inches it has plenty of room inside for corals and marine fish, without being too huge for your room.

One of the most versatile features is the LED lighting system built into the hood. The 11,000k bright white LEDs are perfect for beginner corals, although if you do grow more advanced Large Polyp Stony or Small Polyp Stony corals in the future you may need to upgrade.

The 24-hour programmable timer and sunset/ moonset timers for the 3 lighting channels make it really easy to mimic the natural day and night cycles your fish needs [1]. And the large hidden filtration chamber is fully customizable while keeping the inside of your tank clear.

3. biOrb 28 Gallon Classic Aquarium

Photo: Amazon.com

  • Shape and Capacity: Fishbowl/ sphere, 28 US gallons
  • Dimensions and Weight: 24.8 (diameter) x 25.98 (height) inches, 24.65 pounds
  • Material: Acrylic
  • Equipment Included: 5 stage filtration system (biological, mechanical, chemical, water stabilization and oxygenation), lid with integrated multi-color remote-controlled (MCR) LED lighting
  • Best for: Premium Pick

If your space is limited to an area where a rectangular 30 gallon aquarium may not fit, for example the corner of a room, then the biOrb 28 Gallon Classic Aquarium could be a perfect alternative. As a 24.8 inch diameter sphere it’s certainly a stand out feature for your room!

The integrated remote LEDs feature 16 different colors and you can adjust the brightness, making it simple to mimic day and night conditions for your fish. The biOrb also has integrated 5 stage filtration, supported by ceramic media to keep your water crystal clear.

Note as it’s a sphere there’s a little less room for planting, but still plenty of swimming space for your fish. Overall this is a premium tank, and the price tag reflects it, but if you’re looking for a tank with the wow factor this is certainly it!

4. SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set: Rectangular Show Tank

Photo: Amazon.com

  • Shape and Capacity: Rectangular, 30 US gallons
  • Dimensions and Weight: 36.0 (l) x 12.0 (d) x 16.0 (h) inches, 20.0 pounds
  • Material: Acrylic
  • Equipment Included: Hood with fluorescent light fixture (bulb not included), aquarium reflector
  • Best for: Acrylic

SeaClear’s 30 gallon aquarium combo set is constructed of acrylic and is 17 times stronger than glass. If you’re concerned about knocks from children or pets, this high-quality tank will definitely set your mind at rest! 

The seamless polished edges and ultra-clear acrylic walls give you a perfect view of your fish from nearly every angle. And the hood features cutouts for you to easily add a filter and other equipment, as well helping with oxygenation of the tank.

Whilst this tank only carries space in the hood for a fluorescent light (bulb not included), it would be simple to upgrade to an LED fixture. Overall an incredibly high-quality 30 gallon fish tank suitable for freshwater and saltwater setups.

5. SeaClear Acrylic Combo Set: Flat Back Hexagon

Photo: Amazon.com

  • Shape and Capacity: Flat back hexagon, 26 US gallons
  • Dimensions and Weight: 36.0 (l) x 12.0 (d) x 16.0 (h) inches, 20.0 pounds
  • Material: Acrylic
  • Equipment Included: Hood with fluorescent light fixture (bulb not included), aquarium reflector
  • Best for: Design

An alternative to SeaClear’s 30 gallon aquarium combo set is the 26 gallon flat back hexagon design. At 26 gallons, whilst a little under 30, it’s a great option if you are looking for an unusual design in acrylic, or you want an ultra-clear 3 sided viewing angle for your fish.

It comes with a similar hood with an integrated fluorescent light fixture. Again, something which I would swap out for LEDs to give greater flexibility.

Overall a great alternative acrylic tank whether you are looking to start a freshwater or saltwater aquarium.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best 30 Gallon Fish Tank For You

There are a number of things to think about if you want to choose the best 30 gallon fish tank for your fish. 

man feeding fish in 30 gallon fish tank

Why Should You Choose A 30 Gallon Aquarium?

Whether you are thinking of buying your very first fish tank, or you are seasoned aquarist looking to add a new tank to your collection, a 30 gallon fish tank is a great choice. The volume of water gives much more leeway when trying to keep your water parameters balanced.

Not only this, but 30 gallons allows you to keep a larger community without overcrowding. You can also keep a wider range of fish that are not suitable for smaller tanks. Certain species of cichlid are a good example.

Space And Placement

While 30 gallons is not the biggest home aquarium, it’s still a fairly significant size. Let’s say you go for a 30 gallon tank with dimensions around 23 x 17 x 18 inches. That’s about the size of an old 20 inch TV (in the days before flat screen TVs, if you remember them!).

Don’t forget you’ll also need space around your tank for wires and equipment, such as a hang-on-back filter. So you’ll need somewhere in your room for all this plus it needs to be a position that looks good, is out of the sun, and is away from people walking past.

Your Budget

When it comes to choosing the best 30 gallon fish tank you need to think carefully about budget. Good all-in-one kits can still be found for 30 gallon fish tanks, but they are more expensive than smaller capacity aquariums.

Often it’s more cost effective to buy a good quality 30 gallon stand-alone tank, and purchase your other equipment separately. Just make sure you invest in a good quality filter and lighting system as these become more essential in larger tanks as we’ll explain below.

Size And Shape

Nowadays there are many different shapes and sizes available for 30 gallon fish tanks, especially due to the robustness of materials like acrylic. You can find 30 gallon aquariums in the standard rectangle shape, but also bow front, hexagonal and even fish bowl shapes!

A standard rectangular prism is always a good shape as it gives ample room for planting, and for your fish to establish territory. But as a 30 gallon rectangular tank is often wider than it is deep, you’ll need to ensure you have space. If not, a fish bowl shape may be a cool alternative!

Material And Weight

Weight plays a big part in 30 gallon aquariums. An empty, standard rectangular 30 gallon fish tank made of glass weighs around 51 lbs. When filled with water it can weigh over 300 lbs [2] – and that’s before substrate, equipment, and decorations take it to around 350 lbs.

Whilst glass is often clearer and less prone to scratches, acrylic is the lighter alternative. Acrylic is also a stronger material and less prone to shattering. But while acrylic tanks are available in a wider range of shapes and designs, they do tend to be more expensive.

What Are The Best Fish For A 30 Gallon Aquarium?

Whether you plan to start a freshwater or saltwater aquarium, your 30 gallon fish tank offers a good amount of space for a range of fish species.

Freshwater Species For A 30 Gallon Fish Tank

There are plenty of cool freshwater fish you can choose from for a 30 gallon fish tank. Firstly, you should decide whether you want to keep aggressive fish, or a peaceful community tank. Aggressive tanks are no more difficult to manage, but you’ll generally need to keep less fish.

Some good examples of aggressive fish for a 30 gallon tank are dwarf puffers or cockatoo dwarf cichlids. Or for a peaceful community tank some easy species are odessa barbs, mollies, or cory catfish. Whichever you choose, be sure to research compatibility first.

Saltwater Species For A 30 Gallon Fish Tank

If you plan to start a 30 gallon saltwater fish tank, careful stocking is a must. Saltwater tanks cannot be stocked as densely as freshwater ones, often because these fish tend to be more aggressive and territorial overall.

Clownfish, gobies, or cardinal fish are good options for a 30 gallon saltwater aquarium. But make sure you research each species and pay attention to their fully grown size. If you intend to keep a reef, you also need to ensure your fish are reef safe and won’t damage your corals.

clownfish in 30 gallon fish tank

Essential Equipment For A 30 Gallon Fish Tank

Whilst some 30 gallon tanks come with the equipment needed to run them, it’s more likely that you’ll need to find your own or that you’ll want to upgrade. But what additional equipment do you need to maintain the best 30 gallon fish tank?

The Best 30 Gallon Fish Tank Stand

A fully laden 30 gallon fish tank can weigh around 350 lbs, so it’s really important that you support it with the correct aquarium stand. A standard TV cabinet or other piece of furniture may seem sturdy, but could lead to increased pressure on the tank as it’s not designed to support it.

The best way to support your tank properly is a 30 gallon fish tank stand or cabinet. If you go for a cabinet it has the added benefit of having a place to store equipment. Many saltwater cabinets, for example, have space to hide a sump below the main tank.

Heating A 30 Gallon Fish Tank

30 gallon fish tank kits often come with minimal equipment, and most of the time this means no heater. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as kits often contain preset heaters, so by purchasing one separately you can find one that’s adjustable and has more features.

You need around 2.5 to 5 watts per gallon of water to heat it properly [3]. So to heat a 30 gallon fish tank you’ll need a heater that’s between 75 to 150 watts. You can find many heaters that are adjustable and have built-in thermostats to keep an accurate eye on temperature.

Filtration For A 30 Gallon Aquarium

Whilst some 30 gallon fish tanks come with built-in filtration, often you’ll need to find a separate filter. Internal filters are often a good choice for 30 gallon aquariums as they can still cope well with the water volume, and have easy to replace cartridges.

A hang-on-back (HOB) filter can be more expensive to run as you’ll tend to change out more of the filter media each time, but they do run for longer. Look for a flow rate of around 120 to 180 gallons per hour (GPH). That’s enough to cycle all your water 4 to 6 times per hour.

Lighting A 30 Gallon Fish Tank

Getting the lighting right in a 30 gallon fish tank is important. Particularly when it comes to saltwater aquariums. Corals and live rock have high energy requirements [4],and you should look for LED lighting that is in the range of 10,000 to 11,000k or higher.

That said, if you buy an all-in-one kit to use as a freshwater tank the LED lighting provided is often adequate for low-light plants. Just look out for LED setups that have daytime and moonlight settings, or are programmable so you can set periods of day and night for your fish.

Our Verdict

If you’re looking to find the best 30 gallon fish tank it can feel like a daunting task. Their size starts to feel on the large side and yet they are often the perfect size for new fish keepers.

We chose the Landen Rimless Low Iron Aquarium as the stand-alone best 30 gallon fish tank due to its exceptional build quality and ultra-clear walls. But as a first saltwater aquarium the Coralife Biocube 32 Gallon Kit is the perfect choice.

But overall if you are looking to start a 30 gallon aquarium you can be confident any of the tanks shared today are some of the best on the market for your fishy friends!

FAQs

Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about choosing the best 30 gallon fish tank.

How Much Does A 30 Gallon Fish Tank Weigh?

A standard rectangular glass 30 gallon fish tank weighs around 51 lbs when empty. This increases to around 320 to 350 lbs once water, equipment, and decor are added [5].

How Many Fish Should I Keep In A 30 Gallon Fish Tank?

It very much depends on the species. But for a freshwater tank we recommend around 15 1 ½ to 2 inch fish. For saltwater this would be a lot less, around 5 or 6 fish depending on the type.

How Much Does It Cost To Run A 30 Gallon Fish Tank?

Monthly running costs for a 30 gallon aquarium can be roughly $10 to $15 including electricity costs and maintenance [6]. This excludes initial purchase and equipment.

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AUTHOR
Julie Millis
Julie has worked in aquatics for over 15 years. She is passionate about freshwater and saltwater tanks. Julie loves helping with all your fish-keeping questions!

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