How To Make Aquarium Decorations

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?

Image courtesy of ArtEvent ET/Shutterstock Simply simply, everything foreign that you introduce into your aquarium has the potential to introduce deadly chemicals and risks that might endanger your fish. The pH level in a freshwater aquarium is a delicate balance, and the chemicals found in most household objects can be lethal to your fish if they are not used properly. Your fish are also at risk if they come into contact with any naturally occurring object that contains common germs and has not been thoroughly disinfected.

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.
  • Plastic. Pieces that are labeled as food-safe are typically appropriate as decorative items, but use caution while purchasing them. It is not recommended to use single-use plastic objects such as water bottles or unsealed, painted plastic toys since they may contain harmful compounds

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.
  • Anything that is biodegradable or edible. In their natural surroundings, many fish like to chew on things in their environment or seek for food at the bottom of their aquarium. As a result, it is harmful to include anything that they can eat that is not already a part of their diet.

Can I add my own live plants?

In a nutshell, the answer is no – and here’s why: While adding living plants in your aquarium can really enhance the water quality, not all plants are ideal for underwater life. Read on to learn more. You’ll need to include aquatic plants that can survive being submerged in water in your arrangement. Aquatic plants offer food and shelter for fish, birds, and other creatures in the wild, as well as building materials for their own construction. These plants in your aquarium make use of nitrogen, a nutrient that may be found in abundance in fish waste, as well as CO2 (carbon dioxide).

There are several options to choose from.

  • 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.
  • An affordable, slow-growing plant that like to attach itself to wood or rocks, the Java fern is a good choice.
  • 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.

Put up Christmas decorations. How come all of the enjoyment is reserved for human homes? Shop around in the Christmas department of your favorite retail shop for aquarium-friendly tiny decorations. Add a background to make it more visually appealing. Using the measurements of your tank, create a scenario that will be printed and laminated for use. Outside of your tank, attach it to the rear of your tank. Bring to life a scene from one of your favorite Hollywood films! A favorite film is something that everyone has.

  • While you won’t be able to dress them up in costumes, you will be able to build a little underwater movie set for them to investigate.
  • You could be prompted to create a sequel by their antics.
  • Make use of your creativity to re-create Pavlopetri, Atlantis, or Heracleion, the lost metropolis of Cleopatra’s time; Make use of the Legos you have on hand.
  • 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 they do not leach any chemicals into the environment; and Consider using lighting in a unique manner.
  • One simple solution is to use colored lighting around the tank, as well as to string decorative Christmas lights around the tank; flowerpots also provide excellent hiding spaces.
  • If you want to make your decor a bit more vibrant, there are fish-safe paints available online.
  • Create a painting out of your aquarium tank!

So, get out your pencils and start scribbling.

If you aren’t a natural Michelangelo, stencils are always an option, so don’t be concerned about being flawless.

Making your own aquarium landscape out of silicone and insulating foam is a more difficult — but ultimately satisfying — project to do for a little more serious hobbyist with a whole weekend to spend; Make use of pebbles and adhesive that is not harmful to fish.

Make certain that your construct is properly stabilized so that it does not topple over or threaten your fish in any kind.

Custom vinyl decals may be created by printing them yourself.

Home crafters who have access to a cutting machine such as the Cricut may create and print their own vinyl at their leisure, however custom-cut vinyl images are frequently inexpensive and easy to purchase online.

As long as it’s on the outside of the tank, you won’t have to worry about the material’s safety when it comes into contact with your fish.

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I hope you enjoy the things that I have recommended! By the way, any links on this page that direct you to items on Amazon or other shops are affiliate links, and I receive a compensation if you make a purchase as a result of clicking on one of these links. Thank you in advance for your assistance! Now that’s out of the way, let’s go on. You definitely have a few images in mind when you think about aquarium decor: brilliantly colored pebbles and rocks, plastic plants, and perhaps even a scuba diver holding a treasure trove in his hands.

Is it possible to make your enormous 55-gallon aquarium more distinctive if you do not already have a magnificent aquarium coffee table or gallery view aquarium in place?

Read on for more information: Make your aquarium more interesting by adding some interesting fish tank decorations.

My Top 5 Favorite DIY Fish Tank Decorations From The List Below

Before you put anything in your aquarium, check to see that it will not have an adverse effect on the water. Keep away from any natural objects you discover outside, as well as anything that has been painted, as the paint may chip or be worn away by the water. If you’re concerned (and you should be! ), you may test your décor by submerging it in warm water for a few days to see how it reacts. Is it possible that the paint has an effect on the water? Does it flake or rust when you touch it? Do the parameters of the water change?

  • Painting their tanks to seal them or painting handmade décor is a popular pastime.
  • Make use of an old G.I Cobra Comander figurine, just make sure it’s sealed first.
  • Read it here.
  • Here are some amazing handmade DIYfish tank decorating ideas for your freshwater aquarium to get you started.

Here Our Homemade Fish Tank Decoration Ideas

The following image was submitted by Simon Q from the United Kingdom: Flower PotsUploaded bytm, CC BY 2.0,Link Consider the use of flower containers. An aquarium with one put at the bottom and on its side creates a large effect, or you may disperse smaller ones for a more intriguing appearance. Remember that terracotta is only one of several forms, sizes, and colors to choose from. Before you put them in the tank, give them a thorough cleaning. Another important consideration when using pots is to pay close attention to the drainage holes and sharp edges.

Check to make sure your fish will not become trapped or cut. If possible, either close the holes or, better yet, ensure that they are large enough to allow your fish to swim through them is your best chance.

2. Ceramic Coffee Mugs

Get Your Hands On The Bob Ross Mug If your aquarium is at your office, placing a mug with your company’s name on it is a terrific way to incorporate a little branding into your space while also providing an unexpected aspect to your aquarium. Having said that, this concept may be used to personal aquariums as well. Adding a quirky mugortwo (or three!) to your aquarium will turn it into a true discussion piece.

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3. Plastic Toys

As you look around your aquarium, you could notice dinosaurs walking about, farm animals hanging out with your fish, or even sand toys buried in the sand at the bottom of your tank. With additional Galactic Star Wars Decorations, you could even stage an underwater Jedi combat between two ships! Be bold and enjoy yourself with your fish! All that stands between you and a world of possibilities is your imagination and what you can find at a toy store. Take a look at these very interesting aquarium setup ideas.

4. Prints and Pictures

Take Advantage of the Stars It is not necessary to place items within the tank in order to decorate it. Other options include just putting a huge print photo to the back of your tank, which has virtually limitless potential applications. You could, of course, go the conventional method and provide your fish with a reef to swim in. However, think outside of the box! What do you think about swimming in a forest under the stars? Are they taking their VW van to the beach to surf? Alternatively, perhaps your fish like to hang out in outer space?

Watch this wonderful video to learn how to create your own Aquarium backdrop.

5. Ceramic Figurines

The Stars Are In Your Corner It is not necessary to place items within the tank to decorate it. Add a huge print photo on the rear of your tank for another choice with virtually limitless possibilities. It’s possible to follow the conventional wisdom and provide your fish with a reef to swim in. Thoughtfully consider alternatives. Swimming in a wilderness under the stars seems appealing. Going surfing at the beach in their VW van? Is it possible that your fish would prefer to spend time in outer space?

The following video shows you how to create your own Aquarium backdrop.

6. Toy BlocksLego

Extend the use of Legos beyond basic toys by creating intricate displays out of them. A plethora of choices exists. You could take a more traditional approach and bring in some deep-sea explorers, or you could even construct an underwater castle. However, don’t stop there.

Set up a camp for a Lego family to stay at. Build an underwater ferry or a deep-sea version of Alcatraz for your own amusement. Make a model of the skyline of New York City. Read this post to find out if it’s allowed to use Lego in your aquarium and how to make it safe for your fish to enjoy.

7. Vinyl Stickers

Get Yourself Some Stickers This is a really simple approach to make the outside of your aquarium look more attractive. It’s another another entertaining concept where the possibilities are virtually limitless. Placing stickers on the sides and around the borders of the front edge will produce a unique look. Simple polka dots or stars might be used as accents. Develop an image from your favoritevideo game (Super Mario anyone?) or a scenario from your favoritechildren’s storybook. You can also stay with fish if that’s what you like!

8. Holiday Decor

When the holidays arrive, don’t forget to bring your aquarium along! There are a variety of activities you may engage in to make your fish more enjoyable and festive. Add some skulls and skeletons to the tank for Halloween, or fill the tank with creepy spiders. Thanksgiving is the ideal time to decorate your fish tank with a Lego feast or a vibrant fall backdrop. When it comes to Christmas, the options are virtually endless: Decorate the outside of the tank with snowflakes, invite some reindeer to hang out with your fish, or simply purchase some little gifts for Santa to leave for your fish.

9. Doodles

When the holidays arrive, don’t forget about your aquarium! Your fish will enjoy and appreciate a variety of activities that you may provide for them. Add some skulls and skeletons to the tank for Halloween, or fill it with terrifying spiders for a spooky effect. This Thanksgiving, why can serve your family a Lego feast or decorate your table with a vibrant autumn backdrop? As for Christmas, there are countless possibilities: Decorate the outside of the tank with snowflakes, invite some reindeer to hang out with your fish, or simply purchase some little gifts for Santa to leave for your aquarium inhabitants.

10. Picture Frames

Purchase a few picture frames. Add a simple picture frame to the front of your aquarium for a quick and easy method to bring attention to it while still making it blend in with your current décor. Due to the fact that it all depends on finding a frame that is the proper size, this approach works best with tiny tank setups. In the event that you place a frame that is excessively heavy on the front of a huge tank, it may cause damage to the tank or render it unstable. If you have a tiny tabletop tank, look for a frame that isn’t too heavy and that extends over the edge of the front of the tank to provide protection.

Get yourself some picture hanging strips, connect them to the tank and the frame, and you’re done!

What household items can you use to decorate a fish tank?

Aquariums may be filled with a variety of everyday objects that you can find around the house. Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Pots made of clay or cement
  • Coffee mugs made of ceramic
  • Plastic toys
  • Prints and pictures
  • Ceramic figurines
  • Toy blocks Lego, vinyl stickers, holiday decor, doodles, and picture frames are some of the options.

Can I paint my aquarium decorations?

For sealing or painting handcrafted ornaments in aquariums, a large number of aquarists choose Krylon Fusion Paint. Krylon Fusion is available in a variety of colors as well as clear.

Make use of an old G.I Cobra Commander figurine, just make sure it’s sealed first. Are you considering painting your aquarium? Check out our tutorial, where we’ll walk you through the process of selecting aquarium-safe paint that isn’t poisonous to the fish in your tank.

What is the best thing to put on the bottom of a fish tank?

A substrate is the ideal item to use as a substratum for the bottom of your tank. Gravel, rock, aqua soil, and even marbles are examples of such materials. The substrate is the environment in which the most beneficial microorganisms will thrive. Consequently, choose something with a large surface area to give a perfect environment for your beneficial bacteria.Take your aquarium to the next level with some of our most popularaquarium DIYprojects and ideas.

DIY Aquarium Decorations

The process of creating an aquarium is undoubtedly the most enjoyable aspect of fishkeeping. Once you’ve chosen your fish, you’ll need to construct an atmosphere that is conducive to their growth and development. You will notice a significant difference in the appearance of your tank depending on your choice of decorations. Of course, your fish will make the nicest decorations, but they may not always be available to be seen in their natural habitat. Advertisements You may build your own decorations instead of purchasing them from your local fish store, which is what most people will do.

Coming up with innovative alternatives to commercial items may be less expensive, more convenient, and a lot more fun than purchasing them.

You don’t have to be a master craftsperson to personalize your aquarium; there are options here to fit everyone’s taste and ability.

DIY Decorations

Looking outside your local fish store for inspiration will provide you with an almost limitless number of alternatives for decorations, allowing you to create something lot more unique and personal in the process. You could already have some suitable decorations around your home; you might be able to purchase some from somewhere else; or you might be able to build your own. Some “Do-It-Yourself” aquarium decorations are shown in the following gallery.

Household Objects

You most likely already have a plethora of objects laying around your home that may be utilized as decorations. If they are suitable, it may be as easy as inserting them directly into your tank without any more preparation. It’s still a good idea to give them a quick rinse to get rid of any dust/particles that may have accumulated. You must be certain that the materials you use will not discharge any contaminants into the water of your aquarium. Plastics are generally considered safe, which is why toys are popular as holiday decorations.

  • This is an excellent method of incorporating a personal touch into your design.
  • Your children will have a great time aquascaping your aquarium with you.
  • Aquarium-safe paints may be purchased to seal the décor and safeguard your fish from contamination.
  • Bottom-dwellers will particularly appreciate them, as they will provide as a safe haven for them when they need to get away from harsh lights or raucous tank mates.

Advertisements Mugs made of ceramic can be used in the same way. These may be purchased in a variety of varied and amusing patterns. Maintain a close eye out for any sharp edges on your everyday home items. These have the potential to damage a vulnerable fish as it swims by.

Hardware Store

Lawn ornaments will work well if you don’t have many possibilities at home. If you don’t have many options at home, your local hardware shop or garden center will be a fantastic location to seek for DIY decorations. These are available in a variety of forms and sizes. In the case of garden gnomes or stone animals, they appear particularly attractive when submerged in water.AdvertisementsThese are fantastic places to acquire some flower pots or vases if you don’t already have some on hand. Alternatively, you might get some artificial plants.

Make sure that anything you add to the aquarium is safe and will not release any pollutants when left in the water for an extended period of time; you could try connecting a few together to create a whole underwater maze.Again, make sure that anything you add to the aquarium is safe and will not release any pollutants when left in the water for an extended period of time.


The majority of individuals would agree that Legos are really entertaining, regardless of their age. You have complete freedom to let your creativity run wild and construct whatever you want. Because Legos are completely safe in water, you may use them to express your imagination while constructing the inside of your aquarium’s interior. They are often packaged in an official set, which requires you to follow guidelines in order to construct a set design. You might accomplish this task and then place the completed construction into your tank.

Because Legos can be taken apart and reassembled as many times as you desire, your design may evolve as your skills and knowledge grow.

In the case of bigger constructions, this should not be an issue.

Make Your Own

Whatever your age, the majority of people would agree that Legos are a lot of fun. You have the freedom to use your creativity and construct whatever you want. Because Legos are completely safe in water, you may use them to express your imagination when building the inside of your aquarium. These items are typically packaged in an official set, with instructions on how to construct a set. As a result, you might finish building your tank and then place it inside. In addition to collecting random bits and creating something unique, you can also use your imagination.

Due to the fact that Lego pieces are light and float, you should remove all air bubbles before placing them in your aquarium.

With bigger constructions, this shouldn’t be an issue. With bigger construction blocks instead of Legos may be a safer alternative, however if the blocks do not have interlocking components, it may be safer to glue them together (using aquarium-safe glue).

A Natural Aesthetic

When it comes to building an aquarium, many people opt for a more natural appearance. This makes sense since it would be similar to the natural environment of your pets, which is ultimately the greatest thing you can do for your fish in the long term. When purchasing rocks and wood for their aquariums, aquarists typically go to a pet store, which seems weird until you consider the situation. Why would you want to purchase parts of nature when it is all around you? You are under no obligation to do so.

  • To make them safe for use in your setup, they must first be completely cleaned before being integrated into the system.
  • Some materials should not be used as aquarium decorations because of their toxicity.
  • Advertisements For this, you will need to conduct some research and be confident in your understanding of what you are actually putting into your water.
  • Not all wood is appropriate since the majority of it will decay if kept in water for an extended period of time.
  • You might transform the wood you discover into driftwood in order to make it more safe to use.

Holiday Themes

As long as all of the decorations are aquarium safe, you should have no trouble swapping them around to reflect different holiday themes. It’s possible that your fish would like to join in the celebrations! This may include putting some plastic spiders and skulls for Halloween, and then swapping them out for reindeer and a snowman when Christmas arrives, among other options. Consider whether you have any Legos on hand and whether you could keep putting together decorations throughout the year to suit the occasion.

Check to see if there is a fish hidden in or around a piece of décor.

Other Ideas

Decorating your aquarium does not have to be restricted to the objects you place inside; there are other things you can do to enhance the appearance of the aquarium from the outside. Because you don’t have to worry about polluting the water or injuring your fish, you have a lot more flexibility when it comes to decorating the outside of your home. In addition, it is much simpler to alter your mind and swap things up. Advertisements Listed below are a few creative suggestions for sprucing up the outside of your tank.


Adding a background to an aquarium is an easy way to include a variety of colors into the design. If you can see them all the way through your tank, they are extremely effective. Just put anything bright and cheerful to the rear of your tank; it may be a photograph of a real aquarium setting, or it could be something completely different. It is important to note that some of these are available for purchase at pet stores, but you may already have some other solutions available in your home. The majority of people have wrapping paper in their homes.

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Wrapping paper is available in a variety of colors and patterns, allowing you to create a background that is unique to your style.

Anything to connect to the back of the tank could be possible if you sketch or paint something. If art wasn’t your favorite subject in school, you may print an image from the internet that you liked.


Converting your tank into a canvas may be a creative and enjoyable way to personalize your space. Draw on the glass with a permanent marker once you’ve gotten it out of the bag. You may draw whatever that comes to mind from your imagination, and you can use a wide rainbow of colors if you so like. Although it is advantageous if you are artistically gifted, you are not need to have any drawing abilities because you can just clear it off and create anything different at any time. Advertisements Although it is entertaining for adults as well as children, this is an interesting opportunity for children of all ages to participate in the design of the aquarium.

It will result in an entirely new appearance.

Their non-toxic nature and ability to be used underwater will be critical considerations.


Using decals or vinyl stickers to decorate the front and sides of your fish tank is a more expedient method of achieving your desired look. Advertisements Their adhesive properties will allow them to adhere well to the outside of the glass. Never bother attempting to insert them inside since they will not adhere to the surface and may discharge potentially dangerous chemicals into the water. Every design may be complemented with decals. Rocks, forests, and plants are all good subtle possibilities, but you could also use photographs of your favorite film or television characters instead.

If you change your mind later on, you should be able to remove the decals from your vehicle without difficulty.

Decals provide a fantastic foreground and are really beneficial for providing a feeling of depth to your set-up and scene.


Decal/vinyl stickers are a quick and easy method to decorate the front and sides of your fish tank with various patterns. Advertisements Their adhesive properties will ensure that they adhere nicely to the outside of the window glass. Never bother attempting to insert them inside since they will not adhere to the walls and may discharge potentially dangerous substances into the water. Decals are available to complement any design. Consider using photographs of your favorite film/TV characters instead of more overt elements such as rocks, trees, and plants.

After installing the stickers, you should be able to remove them if you change your mind at a later time.

This may be a difficult and time-consuming task at times, so keep this in mind during the design process. It is quite beneficial to utilize decals to create a strong foreground and to offer a feeling of depth to your setting. Advertisements


One other aspect that allows you to be creative is the actual tank that you’re using. Almost everyone has a standard rectangular glass aquarium from a pet store, but you might make it more interesting by using a different shape. Perhaps a huge mason jar or water bottle would be appropriate. Whatever you choose must be large enough to hold your fish and equipment, and it must be extremely simple to reach the inside for cleaning. Even more creative solutions for fish tanks have been devised by certain people in recent years.

Advertisements It takes a lot of effort and expertise to be able to convert items like those into fish tanks, therefore it may be more convenient to purchase one that has already been constructed.

Things to Consider

You can’t just throw anything into your aquarium; you have to consider whether or not it will be safe for your fish first. A possible decoration’s material and previous location will need to be considered, as will its intended use in your aquarium. If you can obtain precise information regarding the item from the manufacturer, you will be able to feel more confident about introducing it to your aquarium. With a fast search on the internet, you might be able to find out what you’re looking for.


The ability to maintain ideal water conditions is essential for keeping an aquarium in good health. You don’t want to add anything to your tank that will make this process more difficult for yourself. If water quality deteriorates as a result of leaching contaminants, your tank might become an ideal breeding ground for illness, facilitating the spread of infections if they reach your tank by accident. The majority of contaminants that end up in the water would be harmful to your pets. Copper, for example, is harmful to invertebrates and should be avoided.

  1. Make sure the labels are correct.
  2. Toxic paint is a common source of concern.
  3. If you look around, you should be able to locate aquarium-safe paints that will effectively seal around your decorations.
  4. It is almost certain that you will require these paints on anything you have already painted yourself, such as figurines.
  5. Chemicals might be introduced into your tank through the wood that you collect for it.
  6. Tannins can also be released by wood.
  7. The fact that it recreates a blackwater ecosystem is appealing to certain individuals.
  8. If you’re going to use rocks, be sure you know what they’re composed of.

This has the potential to hurt your fish and/or cloud your water. If you are bringing anything in from the outside, it is really beneficial to know as much as you can about it, such as where it came from.


Smooth, without any sharp edges, will be the surface of any decorations that have been particularly made for an aquarium setting. This is significant because it would be extremely possible for a fish to cut itself if they were to spend a lot of time swimming near to the surface while searching for food in this manner. This is why many people opt to use soft, fine-grained sand as a substrate for their bottom-dwelling fish, in order to protect their barbels, which are extremely sensitive. Physical damage to your fish might result in further problems for your fish, such as illness.

  1. Check the ornamentation with your hands to see whether there are any sharp edges.
  2. If neither of these options are available to you, you’ll have to come up with another alternative for what to put in your tank.
  3. This should be avoided at all costs, should it collapse and crush an unsuspecting fish.
  4. First and foremost, decide how you want everything to appear.
  5. Small/light decorations can also be prevented from floating by burying them somewhat deeper.


The substrate is where the majority of the beneficial bacteria in your aquarium will colonize and thrive. These are in charge of degrading potentially dangerous substances in the water before they may affect the fish in the tank. Beneficial bacteria are essential for the proper functioning of an ecosystem; therefore, avoid using too unusual a substrate in case you end up putting your bacteria populations at danger. Sands and fine-grained gravels are the ideal choices for your substrate since they have a high surface area.


There are a variety of methods to decorate your aquarium without having to visit your local fish market. Though some ways need a bit more effort and expertise than others, there are solutions available for everyone to consider. Everything you put in your tank must be safe for your creatures, so be certain that everything you put in it is. There are frequently creative methods to create decorations for a fish tank, but if you don’t have time to construct your own, there are a variety of different objects that you may use in their place.

Additionally, you may be able to save some money in the process. Have you ever produced any DIY aquarium decorations for your home? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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 different types of materials and are extremely strong, particularly when bonding 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.

  • Clear-coats– Clear-coat paints and “sealers” were among the most often asked about materials in the queries we’ve received so far. We’ve received a number of inquiries about the types of transparent sealers that aquarists may use to cover potentially hazardous materials and make them fit for use in a tank. It is possible to coat an ornament or other object with clear spraypaints and other paints, but none of these products can provide a guarantee of safety when utilized. Even the tiniest crack or gap in the clearcoat can allow water to seep in and damage the surface underneath it. Once the water has begun to seep into the vehicle, it will continue to soak in and eventually penetrate below the clearcoat. None of these clearcoats has the ability to prevent metal from corroding or minerals from dissolving in water. Even if something isn’t safe for your tank to begin with, adding a clearcoat will not make it any more so. The clearcoats, like the pigments we’ll examine next, are available in both enamel and acrylic finishes. Enamel paints are some of the most lasting paints available for underwater application, in my view, after they have been properly cured. Small jars are available in a variety of colors at craft and hobby stores, where they may be found among the model-building supplies. We’ve been making numbered frag plugs using nail paint at our retail business for years, and it’s because most nail polishes are enamel-based. Clear nail paint can also be used for fast touch-ups when the need arises. Enamel spray paints are excellent for providing rapid coverage for decorations or for creating backdrops on the exterior of tanks and other vessels. Before applying any type of enamel paint in your tank, check sure it has completely dried and cured
  • “dry to the touch” does not always indicate that it has entirely dried and cured. If the paint’s instructions state that it should be allowed to cure for a number of days, follow those requirements. Acrylic paint is a water-soluble paint that, once dried, may be quite water-resistant. It is commonly used for decorative purposes. Hobbyists have had varying degrees of success with these paints. Acrylic spraypaints can be used to create interesting backgrounds on the tank, but they may not last as long in the tank and under water on a regular basis. I prefer to keep acrylic paints out of the tank itself. Krylon Fusion paints are the most often used “acrylic” paints in aquariums, and they are the most widely available. These paints are sometimes referred to as “acrylic alkyd enamels,” and they exhibit features that are similar to those of both enamels and acrylics. Many aquarists utilize these paints with excellent success, particularly when applied to plastic surfaces
  • However, they are less effective when applied to glass surfaces, where many aquarists report the paint peeling or flaking off.

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.
See also:  When Should You Take Down Your Christmas Decorations

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! Toys such as Lego construction blocks may make excellent, adaptable centerpieces for a tank, but they should only be used once. Mugs, for example, can make terrific personal touches for most aquariums, and they may also be a great way to include 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. However, once again, simple pieces without decals or ornamentation should be used. 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
  • Adhesive 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.

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

This article, I hope, will clear up some DIY ambiguity and provide you with some further suggestions for items that you may (and cannot) use to decorate your aquarium. Let us know if you’ve come up with your own unique and clever DIY aquarium ornament.

14 DIY Aquarium Decoration Ideas You Can Make at Home (with Pictures)

It’s a Fish Thing is made possible by donations from readers. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of our affiliate links, we may get a commission at no additional cost to you. Aquarium décor is beneficial to both the pet owners and the aquatic species that lives in the tank, according to experts. It helps to create an environment and accentuates whatever vibe you’re trying to achieve with your music.

When it comes to evading predators, they rely on factors like vegetation and terrain characteristics to help them survive long enough to procreate and carry their genes on to the next generation.

Some decorating concepts are more effective than others when used for this purpose. Also, be certain that you’ll be able to maintain the cleanliness of the décor. The objects should also be able to withstand the conditions found in the aquarium.

The 14 DIY Aquarium Decoration Ideas

What truly jumps out about this DIY arrangement is that it doesn’t require a lot of materials to make a significant effect. It’s made up of a seashell, sand, and strategically arranged plants. These few items will take you to the beach and its soothing seas in no time at all.

2. Build It and They Will Come.

Sometimes you can’t locate the exact thing you’re looking for at the pet store. There’s nothing to worry about! Simply create it from scratch. A little collection of slate pieces can allow you the flexibility to design sculptures that complement the décor of your tank. We really enjoy the beautiful aesthetic of the black pebbles. In terms of offering unobtrusive cover in a fashionable style, it is a fantastic pick.

3. Bringing the Aquatic Life Out of the Tank.

You can do it yourself since you start with a blank canvas when you purchase this tank kit. In a way, it’s similar to furniture. What’s also amazing is that you can virtually build a self-sustaining habitat, with the plants maintaining the water’s purity and the fish delivering nutrients. It’s the watery equivalent of the phrase “win-win.”

4. Functional and Practical.

The DIY part of this project is the blank canvas that you begin with when you purchase this tank kit. A piece of furniture is what it is. What’s also amazing is that you can virtually build a self-sustaining habitat, with the plants maintaining the water’s cleanliness and the fish delivering nutrients. It’s a win-win situation in the aquatic world.

5. Cover Your Options.

This aquarium design incorporates agates and plants into the design. Because of the way this design is constructed, it is ideal for providing cover that does not obstruct water flow or filtration. It goes without saying that the options for adding more shelves and hiding places for your fish are limitless.

6. Keep the Peace.

This design receives high grades on a number of different criteria. For starters, it allows you to maintain Bettas in an aquarium rather than a bowl, which is far better for them. Moreover, the available space is not wasted, since the fish are segregated in order to keep fighting under control. Finally, because the dividers do not obstruct the flow of water, the environment remains clean and steady.

7. Tell a Story.

There’s something quite appealing about this setup, I think. The arrangement of pots gives it a thought-provoking but old air to it, which is a nice contrast. Because there are so many hiding places, it’s a no-brainer for schooling fish or tiny fish that just want some room.

8. Make a Zen Garden.

This arrangement is one of our favorites, and we have a lot of love for it. The layout and style are both calming and serene, which is a nice touch. The slate stones have been strategically positioned, and the plants have been carefully picked. Everything about it is functional. The color of the substrate is also perfect for accentuating the décor and brightening the tank’s interior.

9. Aeration on Steroids.

This is one of the most inventive methods of providing welcome aeration to a tank that we’ve come across!

The waterfall provides a more natural environment for the fish while also serving as a focus point for the tank. We can only image how peaceful white noise may be when it is played in a room.

10. Create a Tiki Theme.

The decision to go with something more realistic is a great one. However, it might be entertaining to experiment with something unusual, such as a color scheme that is reminiscent of the natural oceans of the fish in your aquarium. We appreciate the element of surprise that the statue provides to the tank, and the cave is just the appropriate finishing touch to complete the look.

11. Make It Dramatic.

This DIY backdrop receives top scores for its originality and overall feel. It creates a hidden world within the tank’s confines. The lines are also visually appealing, with their curves providing a layer of intrigue to the overall design. The use of little hiding areas throughout this painting is a wonderful touch.

12. Imagine Your Own Background.

Making a frame for the stones is an excellent idea for figuring out where to place them. The mossy patches were particularly appealing to us since they served to conceal bare places without bringing attention to them. The nooks and crannies are large enough for fry to take refuge in as well.

13. Get Creative With Cover.

We were taken by the quirky appearance of this rock cave that was festooned with plants. It’s an ingenious technique to use any artificial plant components that have been left behind. As a result, there are more places for the fish to hide, which increases the cover factor for them. Because of the gleaming surfaces of the rocks, they are very simple to keep clean.

14. Travel the World.

Here’s a picture of an aquarium that we’d want to visit someday. The combination of a simple design with elegant selections of plants and décor produces a soothing environment. The tranquility of this area is something we wish we could experience. A healthy configuration that doesn’t overcrowd the fish is achieved here. We are confident that they will like it just as much as we do!

Final Thoughts About DIY Aquarium Decor

It is not necessary to spend a lot of money in order to come up with a distinctive design for your aquarium’s décor. The home improvement or gardening center near you will have a large selection of design elements. It’s also a great method to make use of any leftover materials from your landscaping work. Your fish will be grateful to you for taking the time to do so. Credit for the featured image goes to Krysja of Shutterstock.

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