How To Make Aquarium Decorations Safe

How to Make Aquarium Decorations Safe?

Aquarium decorations are not required for the majority of tanks, but why would you want to leave your tank empty when each store has a plethora of decorating options that would make it more vivid and visually appealing? Not to mention that aquarium decorations for certain fish species are frequently required if you want to make their new surroundings more natural for them. When it comes to selecting the decorations for your tank, there are numerous factors to consider. Because of the large range of entertaining structures and things offered in fish stores, people tend to forget about the little details of the situation.

What most aquarium sellers neglect to inform you is what you should and should not put in your aquarium.

Furthermore, there are certain materials that should not be placed in water or should only be used in specified situations.

This post will cover how to pick all sorts of decorations, what materials you should avoid using, and how to clean your decorations afterward.

How to Choose the Perfect Substrate?

In most situations, the substrate for your tank is the first item you purchase for your tank. You’ll need some sort of foundation, especially if you’re planning on adding other embellishments later on. Substrates are available in a wide range of sizes, colors, and forms, but not all of them will be suitable for your fish. When selecting a substrate, it is always important to consider your fish. A variety of species prefer different types of substrates. Some want sand, some prefer gravel, and some require soft surfaces in order to avoid injury.

  • On the contrary, in the majority of circumstances, they would be filthy and quite harmful for the occupants of your tank.
  • If you are forced to choose between several varieties of gravel, medium or small-sized gravel should be considered.
  • Sand is yet another excellent alternative for giving your aquarium a more natural appearance.
  • If you intend to have a variety of similar species in your tank, try providing them with a sandy substrate.
  • The substrate will need to be cleaned on an as-needed basis if you want to maintain the health of your aquarium.
  • Sand gets everywhere, no matter how hard you try to clean it up or how simple it is to just shift things about in the tank.

Remember to carefully clean and rinse your new substrate before placing it in your tank in any of these situations. Take your time, since you want it to be entirely free of debris. Also see: How to Clean Aquarium Sand: A Complete Guide (in English).

Plants: Real or Fake?

In most situations, the substrate for your tank is the first item you purchase for it. You’ll need some sort of foundation, especially if you’re planning on adding more embellishments later on. However, not all substrates will be suitable for your fish because to their differing sizes, colors, and forms. When selecting a substrate, it is important to keep your fish in mind. A variety of species prefer different substrates, some like sand, some prefer gravel, and some require soft surfaces in order to avoid injury.

  • As a matter of fact, in the majority of circumstances, they would be filthy and quite hazardous to the occupants of your tank.
  • You should select medium or small-sized gravel if you are forced to choose amongst the many varieties of gravel.
  • Another excellent alternative for making your aquarium appear more natural is sand.
  • Give your tank a sandy bottom if you intend to keep species that are similar in their appearance.
  • In order to take appropriate care of your tank, you will need to clean the substrate on a regular basis.
  • Sand gets everywhere, regardless of whether you are attempting to clean it or simply moving things around in the tank.
  • Remember to carefully clean and rinse your new substrate before placing it in your tank in any of these scenarios.
  • Check out this article: How to Clean Aquarium Sand: A Comprehensive Guide.

Which Materials are Safe for Aquariums?

It may come as a surprise to you, but not all aquarium decorations available at pet stores are appropriate and safe for use in aquariums. According to our previous discussion, it is customary for merchants to ignore subtleties while conversing with clients.


Some aquarium decorations, it may come as a surprise to you, are not appropriate or safe for use in aquariums. As previously said, it is usual for merchants to interact with customers in a way that is devoid of nuance.


In the same way that some plastics are suitable for aquariums, certain materials are not, and will most certainly jeopardize your plants and fish. The premise is the same — if you can eat the ceramics, they are safe to use in your aquarium.

In each scenario, you should ensure that the decorations are free of lead by asking the appropriate questions. Make every effort to obtain sufficient information from your dealers, but if you are still unsure, you may acquire a test kit to check for lead and other potentially hazardous compounds.


Driftwood is quite popular among aquarium enthusiasts, and it is generally good to the majority of the fish species. Always double-check to see if your fish has any specific requirements. – When it comes to wood, be sure that all of your ornaments and decorations are purchased from trusted retailers and manufacturers. Wood must be treated in a precise way in order to be aquarium safe. Untreated wood will expose your family and guests to potentially hazardous pollutants.

What is the Best Way to Clean Aquarium Decorations?

In the end, no matter how long you put it off, you will have to remove all of the decorations from the tank in order to thoroughly clean them and disinfect them. That is, of course, if you want to ensure that your aquarium is clean and safe. It is not enough to just wash the ornaments with water. We do, however, recommend it as a starting point. After that, you can either soak them in hot water or immediately start washing them with the appropriate equipment. All of the algae that has become plastered to your decorations is what you want to get rid of.

If you use soap or any other type of cleaning agents, be sure that the decorations are properly cleaned before placing them back in the tank.

In addition, if you haven’t cleaned the substrate in a while, you should do it now.

Also see: How to Clean a Betta Fish Tank for more information (Easy Guide)

Additional Questions:

Generally speaking, you can paint your aquarium decorations, although we do not advise doing so. There are more than enough brightly colored decorations available in every store, all of which have been properly sealed and handled. If, on the other hand, you choose to do it yourself, you will need to coat them twice and allow them to completely dry before proceeding. After that, you’ll need to coat the paint with a sealer. In aquariums, it is not recommended to use decorations that have not been properly sealed.

How To Create Fantastic DIY Aquarium Decor

When it comes to adding decorations to your freshwater aquarium, there is no shortage of options at the pet shop. A figure or hidden cave to fit any personality is available, ranging from the fantastical to the downright practical. Is there a difference? Instead of purchasing ready-made aquarium décor, consider making your own aquarium decor out of materials found around your home. Even if there are certain constraints, you may set together a secure and distinctive living environment for your fishy companions by following our rules and using your common sense.

What are the dangers of making my own aquarium decorations?

When it comes to freshwater aquarium decorations, there is certainly no shortage of options available at your local pet shop. There’s a figure or hiding cave to fit any personality, whether they’re fanciful or useful. It’s possible, but not likely.

Instead of purchasing pre-made aquarium décor, consider making your own aquarium decor out of materials found around the house. There are certain limits, but with our guidelines and a little common sense, you can create a secure and distinctive living environment for your fishy buddies to call home.

What materials are safe to use in my aquarium?

Now that we’ve got your attention, you may sit back and rest. Despite this, there are still lots of stuff you may use to decorate the underwater abode of your fishes. Making informed decisions regarding the ramifications is essential, as is selecting appropriate pieces.

  • Ceramics. Ceramic pots and other tableware made of terra cotta clay or other natural materials are generally acceptable to use in an aquarium
  • However, those containing lead or copper glazing should be avoided. When used properly, decorative ceramic mugs and plates may serve as entertaining hiding spots for your most fearful fish
  • Nevertheless, they must fulfill all safety regulations.
  • Plastic. Pieces that are labeled as food-safe are typically appropriate as ornamental items, but use caution while using them. It is not recommended to use single-use plastic objects such as water bottles or unsealed, painted plastic toys since they may contain hazardous chemicals.
  • Glass. It’s possible that Grandma has some lovely glass goblets in her collection that will give color and nostalgia to your fishes’ environment, but be cautious. Make a thorough inspection for any evidence of cracks or sharp edges that might cause more damage than good.

What materials should I avoid using in my decorations?

Of course, there are some things that should not be kept in your aquarium. When in question, use your best judgment and, if in doubt, just say no. To assist you in making informed judgments, here are a few useful rules of thumb to remember:

  • Metal. As you are well aware, water and metal do not interact well at all. In the long run, metal items will corrode and emit poisonous oxides into the water, causing your fish to become unwell.
  • Wood. The majority of the treated wood decorations available at pet stores, as well as driftwood, are OK
  • Nevertheless, all other wooden objects should be avoided at all costs. The chemistry of the water in your tank can be altered by using untreated wood. In addition, if you want to utilize a piece of driftwood that you found on a beach, boil it for one to two hours to eliminate any algae or spores that may be present before using it.
  • Sand from the beach. Adding sand to your aquarium is best accomplished by purchasing it from a pet store where it has been properly created for use in freshwater aquariums, rather than from home. It is possible that regular beach sand contains pesticides and other germs that are harmful to your freshwater habitat.
  • Shells, coral, and rocks are among the items found. However, while these objects are aesthetically pleasing and likely serve as a cherished recall of a memorable vacation or trek, they contain calcium and other minerals that can cause the pH of the water in your freshwater tank to fluctuate.
  • Shells, coral, and rocks are some of the most common types of rocks. However, while these artifacts are aesthetically pleasing and likely serve as a nice recall of a memorable vacation or trek, they contain calcium and other minerals that might cause the pH of the water in your freshwater tank to be altered.

Can I add my own live plants?

Shells, coral, and rocks are among the materials found. However, while these objects are aesthetically pleasing and likely serve as a nice recall of a memorable vacation or trek, they contain calcium and other minerals that might affect the pH of the water in your freshwater tank.

  • A favorite of shrimp, Java Moss thrives in low light and is a good source of protein.
  • Because of its resilience and inexpensive cost, Amazon Sword is a fantastic plant for novices to try out.
  • Because of its resilience and inexpensive cost, Amazon Swordis an excellent plant for novices.
  • Pygmy chain sword is a low-maintenance plant that is suitable for both beginners and experienced gardeners.
  • Water wisteria is a low-maintenance plant with lace-like leaves that stretch out like a carpet
  • It is also known as water lily.

Fun DIY aquarium decor ideas to try

Now that you’ve learned the fundamentals, feel free to experiment:

  • Prepare your home for the holidays. Is it fair that only human dwellings get to enjoy fun? Shoppers may find aquarium-friendly tiny decorations in the Christmas department of their favorite retail establishment. Add a backdrop to make it more interesting. Using the measurements from your tank, create a scenario that will be printed and laminated. Then, attach it to the outside of your tank, at the back. Recreate a scene from one of your favorite Hollywood films. Everyone has a favorite movie that they like watching. Isn’t it fun to have your favorite fish star in the lead roles? Despite the fact that you won’t be able to outfit them in costumes, you may make a little underwater movie set for them to investigate. Who knows what will happen? Perhaps their antics will inspire you to create a sequel to your novel. Create an ancient underwater metropolis with your friends. Make use of your creativity to re-create Pavlopetri, Atlantis, or Heracleion, the lost metropolis of Cleopatra’s time. Make use of your Legos. There’s no one who will appreciate your scale model of the Golden Gate Bridge quite like your aquatic companion, who will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with it. Furthermore, because Legos are designed with children in mind, they adhere to extremely high safety regulations when it comes to the plastic they use and do not leach any chemicals into the environment. Utilize your imagination when it comes to lighting. The health of algae, corals, and even the fish in your aquarium is extremely dependent on the amount of light they receive. One simple solution is to use colored lighting around the tank, as well as to drape decorative Christmas lights around the tank
  • Flowerpots also provide excellent hiding places. Clay and ceramic flowerpots are composed of tank-safe materials, and when placed on a table or shelf, they provide a great small cave for your fish to explore and conceal themselves in. If you want to make your decor a bit more vibrant, there are fish-safe paints available for purchase online. However, make sure to conduct preliminary research first. Transform your tank into a work of art. It is sufficient to have a set of Sharpies or other permanent, glass-staining markers on hand for this project. Take out your pens and start scribbling! That is correct, right on the glass! If you aren’t a natural Michelangelo, stencils are always an option, so don’t be concerned about being flawless
  • Instead, be creative. Create the scenery of your (fish’s) dreams in this game. The creation of your own aquarium landscape out of silicone and insulating foam is a more demanding — but ultimately satisfying — project to do for the somewhat more serious enthusiast who has a whole weekend to spend. Make use of pebbles and adhesive that is safe for fish. Bring out your inner sculptor by creating caverns, arches, and other rock art for your fish with simple materials. Make certain that your invention is properly stabilized so that it does not topple over or threaten your fish in any way! Sanitizing any rocks you plan on using in the aquarium is also a good idea
  • Make your own vinyl decals by printing them on your own printer. A vinyl sticker on your aquarium may make a big difference, whether you use a couple to offer some depth or a complete backdrop of glue to cover the entire surface. Home crafters who have access to a craft machine such as the Cricut may design and print their own vinyl at their leisure, however custom-cut vinyl images are frequently inexpensive and easy to purchase online. Because it will be on the outside of the tank, you will not have to be concerned about the material’s safety in relation to your fish.
See also:  Why Does Hobby Lobby Not Have Halloween Decorations

In other words, have a good time! And don’t be concerned. With a little mirth and a lot of thought, you may realize your aquarium decoration ideas. A smart technique to keep your fish interested and entertained is to move the scenery (carefully) on periodically. While exercising caution and keeping an eye out for symptoms of discomfort in your fish when introducing new decorations to your aquarium, you may construct (or recreate) a limitless number of underwater scenes for your fish (and human) family to enjoy.

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How To Make Aquarium Decorations Safe In Easy Steps

Affiliate links are used to promote the products mentioned in this post. If you make a purchase after seeing something on our site, we may get a commission at no additional cost to you. Please see our entire disclaimer here. The area in your room that had previously been mainly vacant now has a charming water tank in which you have housed your new pet fish. The moment has come to get started on decorating your home if you have been contemplating alternative options. It is clear that individuals like having aquariums in their homes or offices.

Once you have gathered all of the necessary components for your aquarium, you can begin setting it up.

You could experience a surge of enthusiasm, which might result in overcrowding of the aquarium, which can make it seem shabby and unhealthy for your aquatic babies.

So, before you get started, take a brief look at some of the numerous ways to construct aquarium decorations that are both safe and attractive.

DIY Decorations for Aquarium

Begin by looking around your immediate vicinity. You may come across tiny rocks that may be used in the aquarium once they have been well cleaned and scuffed.

Keep in mind not to overcrowd the tank with rocks and to provide your fish adequate space to move about freely. Also, before adding new decorations to an aquarium, make sure you understand how to make the decorations aquarium-safe before proceeding.

2. Decorate with the Flair of Different Festivals

With Christmas just around the horizon, add some toys to your aquarium to create a stunning décor that will give your tank a festive atmosphere. Snowflakes, reindeer, gifts, and even Santa Claus might keep your fish comfortable and entertained during these winter season! You may also use little Christman lights to adorn the tank from the outside, or you can use the lights to decorate the tank’s stand from the inside. The step that should be completed to assist you in determining how to make aquarium decorations safe should not prevent you from decorating the aquarium from the outside.

Only for the purpose of making your home appear really inviting when you invite visitors around for a celebration.

  • Made of high-quality PVC material that is both waterproof and flexible
  • It can be adjusted to create a variety of atmospheres to suit different moods on different occasions.

3. Legos

As long as you have enough space in your tank, you may express yourself as freely as you desire. Because Legos are non-toxic, they may be utilized to build a completely distinct underwater ecosystem, and they can be a very simple answer to your problem as well. In order to make the tank appear more appealing, a miniature home or even a teeny-tiny automobile might be added. You can also purchase other famous Lego figures and set them inside the tank to add a personal touch. Hey! No one would object to a FRIENDS reunion taking place underwater!

4. China Mugs or Tea Pots/Cups

If you have old tea sets or mugs that you don’t use anymore, you may submerge them in the water if the fish tank has enough space for them. Small kettles, cups, and saucers are some of the objects that may be utilized as aquarium decorations, among other things. One of the most fish-friendly items you can use to adorn your aquarium in a safe manner is this ornament.

5. Toys

You could still have a box full of little toys from your childhood that you can use to decorate the aquarium in a safe and secure manner. It’s past time for you to bring them to life once and for all. Put your little Batman in the water and watch how he manages to preserve the peace in the region. Remember that the sky is the limit when it comes to your imagination!

6. Plants

You may use either artificial or real plants, and each has its own set of advantages. Fake plants can offer an aquarium a natural appearance, exactly like genuine plants, but they will not be able to enhance the water quality. In a similar vein, actual plants may die prematurely, increasing the quantity of nitrogen in the water and, as a result, altering the dynamics of an aquarium. As a result, if you decide to use actual plants, make sure to check on them on a frequent basis to ensure they are healthy.

7. Doodle Your Heart Out

Your imagination should not be restricted to the confines of the box (fish tank in this case). Draw on the glass surface with some brightly colored markers with strong points.

The nicest part about this process is that it is quite simple to do and extremely simple to clean; all you need is a cotton towel and a glass cleaner and you are done. Additionally, it is really safe for your fish. Colors that are vibrant and beautiful – highly recommended

  • Great for fine letteringwriting
  • Dries rapidly and does not smear
  • These erasable chalk markers are water based, wet wipe, dustless, odorless, and non-toxic
  • Great for detailed letteringwriting

8. Posters

It is possible to attach a poster to the back of the fish tank, but it must first be laminated. Give your fish the impression that it is swimming beneath the stars, or even on the shore. You may also use little laminated cutouts of the cartoon to decorate the backdrop, which will make it appear more humorous while remaining extremely basic. What If I Told You? Fish use plants for a variety of reasons, including comfort, food, and safety.

How to Make Sure that these Decorations are Safe?

It is possible to attach a poster to the back of the fish tank, but this must first be laminated. Give your fish the impression that it is swimming beneath the stars, or even on the shoreline. You may also use little laminated cutouts of the cartoon to decorate the backdrop, which will make it appear more humorous while yet remaining very minimalistic in its appearance. What If I Told You. Comfort, nourishment, and protection are all provided by plants for fishes.

  • If you have a tiny tank, don’t attempt to cram everything into it all at the same time. You may want to experiment with different concepts at different times. This will assist you in keeping it beautifully adorned throughout the year! Make an effort to make the decorating as simple as possible in order to provide your fish with adequate swimming room. Keep an eye out for the type of material that has been utilized in the decorating. Material that may be hazardous to your fish should be removed from the aquarium as soon as possible. This is a vital stage in determining whether or not aquarium decorations are safe to use. Additionally, it is critical to thoroughly wash everything when you have finished cleaning your tank. You may not see it at first, but the nooks and crannies of your home may be coated in algae
  • Thus, you should check for it on a regular basis. If you see any thing losing its color, remove it from the tank as soon as possible. It has the potential to have a negative impact on the entire tank ecology and perhaps be lethal to the fish. The item that has been painted and is at risk of chipping is not allowed in the aquarium. With a little bit of experience, you will be able to discover methods for learning how to construct aquarium decorations that are safe. You may not be able to locate the matra immediately, but you will ultimately locate it
  • Give your fish some breathing room, perhaps a few millimeters from the top, so that it may jump without hitting its head

What If I Told You? Betta fish have the ability to leap up to 2-3 inches above the surface of water.

  • For the bottom stones and pebbles, aquarium sealant should be used since alternative glues may leak chemicals that are toxic to the fish if they are not properly sealed. Do not utilize any timber materials that may be lying about your home or office. Because it produces tannin, it has the potential to entirely alter the pH of the water. As an alternative, seek for logs made of plastic that will be readily accessible at toy stores.

Tips to Clean your Fish tank

A great deal of responsibility comes with having an aquarium in your house. It is not possible to just purchase it and not take adequate care of it. If you are not careful, you may end up causing problems for the fish that live within the tank. The first step is to monitor the pH level on a regular basis and search for any areas that may indicate an algal build-up in the water. Prior to cleaning the aquarium, you must gently transfer your fish to a dish that must contain the same water as the tank being cleaned.

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Reduce the amount of water in the tank by one-third and clean the gravel thereafter using a gravel cleaner, which can be purchased at any local pet store or even on the internet.

It is recommended that you replace the old water with fresh water before putting the system back together.

Take a look at it!

  • A great deal of responsibility comes with owning and maintaining an aquarium in your residence. No matter how much money you spend, you must maintain it properly. If you are not careful, you may end up causing problems for the fish that are housed in the enclosure. Monitoring the pH on a frequent basis and looking for spots that indicate an algae build-up are the first steps to taking to prevent algae build-up. It is necessary to gently transfer your fish into a dish that must contain the same water that was used to clean your aquarium before cleaning it. After you’ve switched off the heaters, pumps, and the filter, remove all of the decorative items. Reduce the amount of water in the tank by one-third and clean the gravel with a gravel cleaner that can be purchased at a local pet store or even online. It is also important to carefully clean the decorations when you are ready to reinstall them in the tank in order to maintain a healthy environment for the organisms that live within it. It is recommended that you replace the old water with fresh water before reassembling the system. An automatic gravel cleaner such as the NICREW Automatic Gravel Cleaner may be of use to you. It’s worth a look! Ideal for thorough tank cleaning – highly recommended.

Tips to Clean the Decorations

Cleaning aquarium decorations on a regular basis is one of the most crucial measures to do in order to keep them safe. You may wish to invest in some cleaning products and brushes with soft bristles to ensure that the undesirable buildup is removed as quickly as possible.

Video Introduction

Purchasing an aquarium is simple enough, but ensuring that it receives the right care and attention can be time-consuming and frustrating. If your aquarium is in good condition, the lifespan of your pet fish is determined by this factor. If you want to see your aquarium in a well-maintained condition, you must bear in mind the safety tips for aquarium decorations listed above. This is in addition to a monthly check of the aquarium, which you can easily undertake on your own.

Keep in mind that all living things require a safe atmosphere in which to thrive. Pet fish require special attention, and you must ensure that they survive and are content with their newfound status as members of your household.

Top Editor’s Choice on Aquarium Decorations

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More Decoration DIY: Materials and Aquarium Suitability

Home|Aquarium Set-up|More Decoration DIY: Materials and Aquarium Suitability: Materials and Aquarium Suitability Eileen Daubin contributed to this post. How to set up an aquarium, Common Aquarium Questions, Do it yourself, Fun Stuff, and General Information Views on December 23, 2014: 99774 This third installment of our DIY blog series – “Adding a Personal Touch to Your Aquarium Decor” and “Aquarium Decoration Ideas – Fish Bowl DesignsDIY”– appears to have sparked your imagination, so we’ve returned with another installment.

Remember that these are only basic instructions, and you may need to test the item you’re attempting to utilize before proceeding.

  • Choosing the most appropriate glue or adhesive for your project may make or break the outcome of your endeavor. Cyanoacrylate Glue (also known as “Reef Glue,” “Krazy Glue,” and “Super Glue”)– These glues are some of the most widely used, especially among aquarists and reef enthusiasts, and are available in a variety of colors. The adhesives are effective with a wide range of various sorts of materials and are quite strong, particularly when attaching plastic materials. They are effective for reattaching coral frags that have become dislodged as well as for repairing decorations, and they heal fast. However, if they are placed in water while the glue is still wet, most of them will become milky white, although they are generally safe for a wide range of applications. Silicone Sealant– Silicone sealants are often used to repair the seams of an aquarium, but they may also be used to assemble decorations and other elements within the aquarium, such as fish tanks. It is often available in black or “clear” (which, in my experience, is more milky blue-white in color) and can be thicker than cyanoacrylate glue, but it is more durable and more flexible once it has been set. Remember to follow the instructions to make it easier to use, and to allow it to cure completely before putting it in your aquarium. Epoxy– Epoxy is a two-part adhesive that must be mixed together before it can be used to hold things together. Typically, underwater epoxies have the appearance of a putty, with an exterior layer covering a contrasting interior. They are most typically seen in the colors white or a coralline-algae-colored violet. They are more cement-like in appearance than other adhesives and are useful for constructing rockwork formations. However, they are not as successful on surfaces that require a thinner, more transparent adhesive, such as glass. Keep epoxies that are not intended for underwater usage or with dangerous components away from the water until the epoxy has fully set. The use of hot glue guns is not just common in the arts and crafts world, but they are also surprisingly successful in aquariums, particularly in freshwater aquariums. They are the quickest and most convenient solution for rapid fixes such as reattaching an artificial plant that has gotten separated from its base. They are also non-toxic and ready to use immediately after application. Make certain that the components are absolutely dry and clean before applying this adhesive, and avoid using it in high-temperature tanks. Water-soluble glues– It goes without saying that you should never use water-soluble glues in aquariums, such as white craft glue. They will never heal and will have a negative impact on the water quality.

Touch-ups and fast corrections may be accomplished using nail polish since it is simple and affordable.

  • Touch-ups and fast corrections may be accomplished with ease and at a low cost with nail paint.

Aquarium decorations are a great place to allow your imagination run wild and express itself! From fishing lures and hockey pucks to Eiffel Towers and zombies, we’ve received a slew of queries regarding new aquarium accessories you’ve been thinking about adding to your collections. While I am clearly unable to cover every single thing here, I have included a few of the more popular materials we have seen you evaluate, as well as our thoughts on whether or not they are acceptable (or not) for your aquarium.

  • Metal should be avoided. Sure, you can try to cover it up to keep it out of the water, but as we’ve explained, even a tiny amount of moisture seeping into the metal can cause problems with your tank over time. It will almost certainly have some surface rust at the very least. If left unchecked, it has the potential to leak extremely dangerous chemicals into your water and even conduct electricity. Look elsewhere for a decoration if the thing you are considering is constructed of or contains any bits of any form of metal, just to be on the safe side. Coral skeletons may be good in certain aquariums, but they might have a negative impact on the water quality in others. Material that is natural or organic should be handled with care. There is a lot of gray space in this situation. However, although certain materials may be suitable for certain types of systems, others will degrade or have a detrimental effect on the water quality by altering the pH or hardness of the water. Additionally, the source from which you obtain these items might have a significant influence. Whenever possible, avoid utilizing anything that you may have scavenged from nature (the beach, the forest, etc.) since anything that the item has come into touch with may end up in your tank, including potentially dangerous substances such as pesticides. As a general rule, it is better not to introduce something natural into an environment that is drastically different from the one from which it originated. For example, putting marine shells or corals to a freshwater tank is not recommended, and wood from the forest will not typically withstand being submerged. Rocks and minerals – This is largely dependent on the type of rock or mineral you are contemplating. Some are harmless, while others will have an adverse effect on the water’s quality. Consider storing your prospective item in a container of tankwater for at least a few days while keeping an eye on the water chemistry to ensure that everything stays stable. The majority of rocks that have an impact on water quality include calcium carbonate, which dissolves at low pH levels, causing the hardness to rise and the pH to rise as a result. The origin of these rocks is frequently traced back to the water. To test your suspicions, you might try sprinkling a few drops of vinegar on the surface of the rock. If it contains calcium carbonate, you will notice that it begins to bubble and disintegrate. The addition of this rock to a freshwater tank where the pH will be below about 8.0 is not recommended! Glass– In an aquarium, plain glass is suitable for the most part. Colored glass is generally considered to be safe as well, as long as the color is contained within the glass itself. When it comes to painted or glazed glass, there is a certain amount of danger involved. It is possible that this coloration may begin to fade or become very easy to scrape off if the livestock is repeatedly soaked, and that this will be damaging to the cattle at that time. Most clear-coats, like as those we described above, do not bind well with glass and may not be sufficient to render the item safe for use in the tank. Use extreme caution when handling any colorful components, and test, test, and more tests before putting it in a tank with live animals! But most simple, clear glass is safe, and you can create some pretty fascinating betta bowls from whimsical vases and glass containers found at craft stores
  • Most basic, clear glass is safe.

Glass is long-lasting and may endure hundreds of years underwater, making it an excellent choice for aquarium decorations in most cases.

  • Dishware and pottery (mugs, plates, bowls, and so on)– These items are generally considered to be safe. A good rule of thumb is to assume that everything that can be washed in the dishwasher is also suitable for use in an aquarium. A mug with your company emblem on it may be used as an aquarium decoration in your lobby, and basic plates and bowls can be used to create ledges and caves for your aquarium (especially in a pinch). If the item has ever been washed in a dishwasher or with dish soap, ensure sure it is thoroughly cleaned and free of any soap or food residue before placing it in an aquarium or other water feature. The same laws apply to ceramics as they do to every other medium. Several types of unglazed earthenware, like as terracotta pots, may be used in aquariums and make excellent breeding caves
  • But, if they’ve previously held a plant, they may have absorbed fertilizers or other chemicals from the plant. If this is the case, it is preferable to use a clean, new pot rather than reusing an old container. Some ornamental glazes may not be sturdy enough to withstand the conditions found in an aquarium. Never include something that you are unsure about. Plastic and rubber are generally considered to be safe! Plain colored plastics are non-toxic and may be used to create beautiful decorations! In most aquariums, toys such as Lego construction blocks may be wonderful, customized centerpieces
  • However, only use them in conjunction with dishware. Mugs can be terrific personal additions for most aquariums, and a good way to get your company’s branding into the tank! Pieces devoid of decals and embellishments that may weaken and break apart when submerged in water are preferred. The same may be said about firm rubber, too. A tank with a hockey puck pyramid and hockey puck archways is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.but again, simply basic components without decals or embellishments would suffice
  • Polyresin– A majority of the requests we got regarding suitable decorations were for figures made of polyresin, which we found to be rather appealing. Polyresin is a chemically inert material that is safe for use in most tanks. It is possible that the paint and embellishments applied on it are not authentic. You can experiment with water that is identical to the circumstances in your tank, or you can contact the maker of the component to see if they can provide you with any further information. However, when in doubt, leave it out
  • Stickers or decals– When it comes to decorating your tank, don’t be afraid to take use of all of the accessible surfaces! It has been said throughout these decorating suggestions that anything with decals or decorations should not be used, and this is true.underwater. Don’t be afraid to decorate the outside of the tank with vinyl cutouts, stickers, window clings, or other types of stick-ons. It is possible to give depth to the décor by including graphics on the tank’s front, backdrop, or sides that are inaccessible on the items inside the tank.
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I hope this helps to clear up some DIY ambiguity and provides you with some additional ideas for objects that you may (and cannot) use to decorate your aquarium as a result of this article. In the event that you’ve developed your own unique and original DIY aquarium decoration, we’d love to see it!

About Eileen Daub

Continue reading more articles written by Marine Biologist/Aquatic Husbandry Manager. One of those youngsters who said, “When I grow up, I want to be a marine biologist!” was me. with the exception that I really became one. After a brief stint at the United States Coast Guard Academy, I earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. That Fish Place – That Pet Place has been my home since then, where I’ve worked as a marine biologist, a Fish Room supervisor, a copywriter, a livestock inventory controller, a livestock mail-order supervisor, and a variety of other jobs.

Furthermore, I am a devoted Crazy Hockey Fan (go Flyers and go Hershey Bears!) to add insult to injury.

Adding a Personal Touch to Your Aquarium Décor

Other writings from Marine Biologist/Aquatic Husbandry Manager are available to read on this blog. One of those youngsters who said, “When I grow up, I want to be a marine biologist!” except for the fact that I truly turned into one. My undergraduate degree from Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, came after a brief stint in the United States Coast Guard Academy. That Fish Place – That Pet Place has been my home since then, where I’ve worked as a marine biologist, a Fish Room supervisor, a copywriter, a livestock inventory controller, a livestock mail-order supervisor, and a variety of other roles.

In addition, I worked as a professional actor for eight seasons with the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire as well as in various local productions around the state. Furthermore, I am a devoted Crazy Hockey Fan (go Flyers and go Hershey Bears!) as well as a passionate Crazy Football Fan.

Silicone Sealant is Your Friend

Silicone aquarium sealant may be bought at practically any fish store and is typically available in two colors: clear and dark. When fully cured, sealants developed for aquariums are completely safe for fish and aquarium tankmates. However, other sealants, such as those used for bathroom or hardware purposes, should be avoided. If you’re searching for a more natural-looking hideaway, you may use sealants to construct caves out of bits of rock or rubble, glue shells, stones, and other decorations together, or even cover items like PVC or plastic “caves” with substrate or pebbles to create a more natural-looking refuge.

The rock wall has a long-lasting effect, but it is stunning since it gives depth to the landscape.

Think Outside the Box

For aquariums, the vast majority of rigid-plastic toys, decorations, and miniatures are acceptable to use as long as they are not painted and do not have any sticker decals or stickers on them. Make certain that the object has been thoroughly cleaned and that any stickers or adhesives have been removed entirely. If you aren’t sure if something is painted or printed, try soaking it in water for a time and then scraping the color off with your fingernail to find out. This means that it is not safe for your aquarium if it falls off.

  1. A large number of ceramics and pottery items, including as coffee cups and flower pots, are typically suitable for use in aquariums.
  2. In general, if a cup, plate, or bowl is suitable for food preparation, you can use it in your aquarium as well.
  3. When determining whether or not an object will survive in your aquarium, it is best to soak it for a few weeks in water that has the same characteristics as your tank (or better yet, is at the extremes of your aquarium as far as temperature and pH).
  4. Terracotta pottery that has not been fired or fired with glaze is also appropriate for aquariums.
  5. Some of the few relics surviving from ancient shipwrecks are ceramics and glassware.
  6. Decorative glass bottles may be obtained at craft and vintage stores, and even beer, wine, and condiment bottles that have been thoroughly cleaned can be transformed into aquarium décor!
  7. The glass should also not be painted – if the glass is colored, make sure it’s the glass itself that’s colored, rather than a glaze or paint applied over it.

If you want to create a decorative glass “bubble” within your aquarium tank, you may fill a light-colored bottle with tiny items, decorations, beads, or substrates and seal the top tight.

Cues from Nature: the Good and the Bad

The use of natural products may be both beneficial and detrimental. Always resist the impulse to utilize something you’ve picked up off the ground since it’s impossible to determine what chemicals or alien substances could have leaked into it. Things like seashells and coral skeletons that can be cleaned Extremely, VERY thoroughly in very hot water are normally okay, but organic stuff such as starfish or wood should be avoided since they can disintegrate when returned to the water of the aquarium.

However, wood from the forest behind your house or wood discovered on the coast is usually not a good addition to a home aquarium.

Most shells are not ideal for freshwater aquariums save african cichlid or brackish set-ups, as they may elevate your pH.

The Don’ts and Disclaimers

Of course, there are always caveats and cautions to consider. These suggestions are only meant to serve as inspiration and a jumping off point for your own originality. Never add non-aquarium ornaments to your aquarium without first thoroughly cleaning them and ensuring that they are safe for your fish, inverts, and water chemistry before doing so, especially if your aquarium is subjected to extreme conditions such as a saltwater aquarium, a low pH/acidic aquarium, high temperatures, or sensitive or extremely aggressive animals.

If you’re unsure, please ask and we’ll be pleased to assist you in determining whether or not your new decorating concept is safe.

Make use of your imagination and let your individuality to come through in your aquarium.

The following tags are associated with this post: aquarium decorations, aquarium ornaments, aquarium set up, and decorating an aquarium.

About Eileen Daub

Continue reading more articles written by Marine Biologist/Aquatic Husbandry Manager. One of those youngsters who said, “When I grow up, I want to be a marine biologist!” was me. with the exception that I really became one. After a brief stint at the United States Coast Guard Academy, I earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. That Fish Place – That Pet Place has been my home since then, where I’ve worked as a marine biologist, a Fish Room supervisor, a copywriter, a livestock inventory controller, a livestock mail-order supervisor, and a variety of other jobs.

In addition, I worked as a professional actor for eight seasons with the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire and in other local productions. Furthermore, I am a devoted Crazy Hockey Fan (go Flyers and go Hershey Bears!) to add insult to injury.

How to Make Aquarium Decorations Safe

Pet Snap is made possible by donations from readers. As an Amazon Associate, we profit from qualifying purchases. Pet Supplies for the Home The presence of an aquarium in your house may be a terrific stress reliever and a great method to keep yourself engaged, especially during these tough times. Having a beautiful aquarium is wonderful, but being able to customize the contents of the aquarium to meet the needs of your small fish is as vital. This can assist your pet fish in feeling your affection for them, and your presence in their habitats can be really beneficial to you as well.

For this reason in this essay, I will lead you through the stages of creating aquarium decorations that are both safe and beautiful.

DIY Fish Ornaments

It is really satisfying to include fish ornaments that you have created into your aquarium. You must, however, ensure that the decorations you create do not pose a threat to the health of your fish.


Learning how to design aquarium decorations that are safe requires a great deal of creativity. If you happen to have some PVC pipes laying around in your garage or basement, those can make excellent additions to your aquarium setup.


  • Then, using a grinder, create grooves around the exterior of the pipe so that it appears to be a hollow log. You must cover the pipe with Java moss and set it in a low-light location before continuing. Make sure that the pipes have had time to dry before placing them in the aquarium with your fish


You should keep in mind, as you are learning how to build aquarium decorations, that you do not have to be an expert in order to accomplish it well. You may either purchase driftwood and use it in your aquarium, or you can pick up some driftwood near the coast, chop it up, and then place it in your tank.


After that, you may go out and get some aquarium accessories. Make certain that they are non-toxic small toys of the appropriate size. Make certain that they are not ones that will dissolve in the water after a short period of time.

Stones and Rocks

Another thing that you can learn while learning how to construct aquarium decorations that are safe is to use rocks, stones, and pebbles as your aquarium decorations. This is something you may pick up when wandering along the beachfront. Alternatively, you may seek for some beautiful rocks, rocks, and stones on the internet.


A tropical theme may also be used to decorate your aquarium, with little trees placed within the tank to complete the look.


  • Locate hardwood
  • Get a fishing line
  • Procure Java moss. Clean the wood
  • Attach the moss to the fishing line using a piece of fishing line

It’s important to stuff a lot of moss into the fishing line in order to make it appear more like a tree.


Aside from trees, logs, toys, and stones, you can also learn how to make aquarium decorations safe by making a DIY cave for your fish. Rocks may be used as caves, but you must boil the rocks first to ensure that they are clear of anything that could poison or injure your fish before using them. As an alternative, you may use PVC pipes and shape them into caves; nevertheless, it is preferable to utilize natural materials rather than those that have been subjected to chemical processing when creating decorations for your aquarium.

Sunken Ships

Sunken ships are another ornament that you may construct if you are learning how to make aquarium decorations that are safe for your aquarium. Sunken ships may help to create a vintage vibe in your aquarium while also serving as a playground for your boats to play on as well.

You may purchase ships from online retailers or even from real pet stores in your local region. Alternatively, you may construct your own sinking ships. Please note that you must wait a few days before putting it in water to ensure that the paste will not pollute the water.


Last but not least, sculptures would be an excellent addition to your aquarium. As you can see, your fish requires companionship while you are not present. As a result, there will be statues around the space. You may purchase sculptures from any aquatic merchant, as well as on the internet. Alternatively, if you are interested in creating your own sculptures, you can do so and then place them within your aquarium.


It is fairly simple to come up with ideas on how to build aquarium decorations that are safe. When it comes to the items that you are placing in the aquarium, you must exercise extreme caution and caution. Afterwards, you must make certain that everything you place in your aquarium is not only beneficial to you and any other individuals who may come across it, but is also beneficial to the fish as a whole. There are a plethora of options for enhancing the appearance of your aquarium. Those items can be done by hand or purchased as a package.

Find out more about the upkeep of an aquarium.

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