Top Fish Tank Decoration Ideas


So the preparation of a new aquarium is in your mind? Do you require Fish Tank Decoration Ideas? Yeah, great! Do you have any knowledge of assembling its inner environment? No? Anxious? Hey, just relax.

Doing all the arrangements are going to be fun. Don’t believe us? Just be enthusiastic and give some thought to the kind of set-up you wish to create for your ‘aquatic pets’.

Sure, the decorative aspect is really important in order to come up with a fascinating aquarium, but don’t forget it’s crucial to satisfying the needs of your fishes as well. After all, they’ll be spending their life in that glass tank.

Well, this post has a lot of stuff for you to digest. So, brace yourselves.

Ready now? Here you go…

You have a perfect tank, water quality test-kit, a list of the fishes you wish to have as your pet and other things ready. What’s next? Puzzled? If you have no idea about how to arrange the things in your aquarium then you have reached the right destination.

At times, people get so excited that the wide selections of cute decorations that they fail to pick the right item for their aquarium’s bottom. If you’ll overdo the things then the surely it will turn out to be tacky.

We have come up with some essential tips, awesome themes, and great fish tank decoration ideas that will help, guide you in using your creative side in the best manner possible.

Let’s first know about the things that should NOT be added to Fish Tanks-

  • Wood, ceramics, rocks, plastics, glass, corals, shells, and coins may not serve as safe decorations for the aquarium.
  • Ceramics can leach heavy metals and chemicals, so better refrain from adding them to your fish tank.
  • Untreated wood is not a good buy as well
  • Rocks inclusive of some minerals that may affect the health of your fishes adversely
  • Corals and shells; they’ll add calcium in freshwater systems, which isn’t needed.
  • Items made of glass with sharp edges. Even the painted ones should be a no-no.
  • Decorative items crafted out of plastic.

aquarium decoration tips

Factors to Keep in Mind When Looking for Fish Tank Decoration Ideas and Items


  1. Dimensions and size of aquarium

It is important to determine the right size of the aquarium before you start looking for the accessories. If you’ll add big sized items in your fish tank, they might fit in somehow but space will turn congested for your fishes. Apart from the tank’s size, consider the size and type of the fishes that you are considering to keep in it.

The size of your aquarium and variety of your pets should be in synchronization. Remember, too much of everything will bring out a cluttered look. In addition, understand the behavior and needs of the fish species that’ll go in your fish tank.

Fact- Some smaller species are territorial and aggressive in nature. Such fishes are comfortable having only with one male in their living space.

When it comes to buying aquarium accessories, consider a minimum number of items. Your fishes should be the central complementing feature and not your decor.


  1. Set a rough idea of the sequence to avoid pitfalls

Make sure to draft an idea of your aquarium’s decoration before you start with anything else. Knowing about the set-up and sequence of the arrangement will save you from encountering some common pitfalls. Also, this will help you in shortlisting the things required for fish tank decoration.

Fact- It is important to rinse natural structural decoration, gravel, and other items you intend to put in your aquarium thoroughly. This is to prevent harmful chemicals and unwanted substances from entering the fish tank.

It doesn’t harm to be creative. Just remember less is more when it comes to decorating fish tank.


  1. Decide on size of the fish you wish to keep in the tank

If you want the best set-up for your fishes, it’s important to have a clear vision of the varieties you’ll be keeping as your pet. The behavior of large and small fishes vary from each other drastically even in the same species.

Large fish mostly feed on the aquarium’s bottom. Hence, they require an open aquascape, featuring a fine substrate such as sand. It’s a little hard for them to survive in a cluttered space.

Fact- Large fish are in the habit of uprooting plants and digging their living space’s bottom.

It is best to avoid a rock or coarse gravel. Floating plants form one of the top aquarium decoration ideas freshwater, as they are perfect buy both for small and big fishes.


  1. Choice of aquarium’s backgrounds

It is not necessary to keep a background. If you want to add it to your fish tank be considerate when settling with your choice. Backgrounds with solid colors help in creating a uniform contrast while highlighting plants, fish, décor, corals, and other items added to the tank. They provide a finished look.

Fact- Matching the elements of the fish tank with the background creates an illusion of three-dimensional elements.

Aquatic scene-type backgrounds give a natural look at the artificial setting. If your background scenes have great depth in them go for less dramatic décor items and vice-versa.


  1. The marine side of the living aquatic plants

If you are looking forward to adding living aquatic plants to your aquarium’s décor then be considerate about the color combination when making the purchase. Look for the ones with contrasting hues like darker red or green with bright green leaves.

Go for varieties featuring forms. You may also go for some giant Vallisneria featuring a backdrop of reddish and dark green. Even Cryptocoryne nevelli may also prove out to be a great option. Its solid intense green hue does well under lightning.

Fact- The Vallisneria gigantea grows to the surface.

Using plants in your fish tank is rather great, but note that you must know how to care for them. Also, ensure their optimal placement in your tank’s set-up.


  1. Open/closed aquarium top

Keeping the top of your aquarium open will do no harm but it might affect the safety of fishes. They might jump out of the tank. Some of the popular options include plastic/wooden covers. You can also go for natural biotopes.

Fact- Mostly the freshwater fishes are more comfortable with the covered surface of their living tank.

In case you still consider open top aquarium consider adding natural elements to the décor. This will help you in achieving a fish-friendly and unique set-up.


  1. pH and water hardness of the decorative items

The pH value and water hardness of the items like wood and rocks are important to be considered. Look for some high-profile shop for buying natural decorative materials. They should be safe and free of contaminants.

Fact- Divalent metal ions- magnesium and calcium are the cause of water’s general hardness. While Carbonate hardness is the result of bicarbonate/carbonate ions. They represent the resisting ability of the water against pH changes.

So, these are few of the Fish Tank Decoration Ideas that we could think of. Take your time and be patient enough when gathering ideas for your fish tank’s accessories.

How to Decorate Fish Tank At Home

How to Decorate Fish Tank At Home

On thinking about aquarium décor what are the things that strike your mind in the first place? I suppose brightly colored rocks, pebbles, and plastic plants. Right? Do you really think they could bring about a different feel to the fish tank decoration ideas? Nah!

Don’t you worry we have got you sorted? Here is all you need to know about implementing your home aquarium decoration ideas effectively.


  • Start with choosing the substrate

Use a high-quality substrate for covering your fish tank’s bottom.

The first thing to consider is the kind of substrate. You will find a wide range of options including sand, large/small gravels, small stones, glass pebbles, and others. Make your choice according to the hue you want to create in your aquarium.

Next important consideration is your fish. The variety of fish you wish to add to your tank will dictate your choice of substrate. If you are looking forward to adding fish like knifefish or eels, it is recommended to go to a sandy bottom.

Such species spend a maximum of their time on the tank’s bottom. The rocky substrate is not good for them, as it will prove out to be fatal for their bodies. If the freshwater ray is the list then a sandy bottom is a good option to consider.

Popular substrate options-

Sand- Sand is one of the most popular substrates among home aquarium owners. But it does come with some downsides. Gravel washes, which is a must, of course, make sand more annoying. It is because the sand is lighter and smaller in comparison to gravel.

Hence, it travels higher up. Moreover, it also ends up in the equipment used for collecting wastewater from the tank. As a result, replacement of sand has to be considered more often in comparison to gravel.

Stones and gravels- They are yet another popular choice for fish tanks. They are a perfect for adding a natural look to the freshwater tanks. The best part is that they’re easy to clean. Plus, they are good alternatives to glass pebbles. They may turn finer but won’t break over time.

Glass pebbles They, however, look pretty, but aren’t the best choice for aquariums. They aren’t necessarily bad for the tank as they minimalize the possibilities of bacteria to colonize. Also, glass pebbles break down over time and have sharper edges.

They just serve the purpose of good show items (with a little risk added intact). It is better to have a limited quantity of glass pebbles scattered throughout the tank’s bottom. This is one of the good ways to add some color to your aquarium without compromising the safety of your fishes.

Once they begin showing signs of wearing down replace with the fresh ones.

Make sure everything that goes into the tank is rinsed thoroughly. Don’t spare your substrate even. Get all of the debris and dust out before bringing them to use.


  • Selection of Plants

Plants undoubtedly top the list of popular fish tank decorations. They not only add color to the aquarium but also enrich the freshwater environment. Some perfectly crafted artificial plants and of course the live ones give a natural feel to space potentially.

The greatest advantage is that you will find wide selections of aquarium plants. This means you can easily find one for your particular requirements.

Freshwater aquarium plant options- 

Real plants Needless to say, there is nothing can beat their aura in the fish tank. Living aquatic plants improve the aquarium’s water quality while enriching the environment. Plants need nitrogen for their survival.

Fishes’ waste products come to their rescue in a freshwater fish tank. This keeps the low levels low of nitrogen in the tank- a great bonus indeed. Moreover, plants give off O2 and use CO2 (carbon dioxide) which is again a plus point for home tanks.

Stable oxygen levels help the fishes breathe while maintaining the pH level and water hardness. Make sure to use the species that fully submergible in water.

Fake plants There are many benefits of using live plants, but the fact can’t be ignored that they have their own limitations and fake plans come with some exclusive perks. The biggest advantage is they don’t die or drop leaves.

Nitrogen levels in the fish tank may spike when dead plants and leaves decompose. Higher amounts can even prove out to be deadly for the fish. Fake plants add a splash of amazing colors to space.

In addition, their maintenance easy and they aren’t worn out easily. What’s even better is they offer a hiding place to the fish.

  • Bottom of Form
  • Arranging the decorations

Truly, there is no limit when it comes to selecting aquarium decoration items. Sometimes people get so tempted with so many décor selections that they end up adding too many things, even the ones that aren’t meant for fish tanks.

Some of them pick items created with concrete, plastics, copper, and painted items that can possibly cause problems. They don’t even refrain from adding items featuring sharp edges. Why? Just to achieve an amazingly decorated fish tank. Crazy, huh!

Selection and arrangement of décor items is next important aspect of fish tank decorations. You can’t afford to go wrong here or else you’ll have to satisfy yourself with a cluttered looking aquarium.

Check out the following list to get a better idea of the items that should go into the fish tank-

Miniature replica We bet you can’t get enough of fish tank miniature replicas. From so many amazing options to choose from you will find it really hard to settle with one or two for your aquarium Stonehenge, Bikini Bottom are some of the most popular varieties.

In addition, you will find countless options of fake rocks, sunken ships, corals and other oddities at the pet store. Be sure to choose the items designed specifically for the fish tanks, as they don’t easily deteriorate even if they remain submerged in water for a longer period.

Real coral – They are tempting, right? But be careful they can be perilous too. You’ll not want any parasites to accompany your fish in the tank.

Play extra safe when choosing real coral for your aquarium. Imitations are a better though. Live coral loses their color easily.

Driftwood- Is there anything that can beat the grace of real wood in the aquarium? We guess nothing. Driftwood enhances the beauty of fish tank while offering it a natural feel and look.

You can easily find them in natural aquatic habitats. Roots, chunks of woods from fallen trees and logs will serve as a great addition to your fish aquarium.


There are a few important things to keep in mind when choosing decorations for the aquarium. The number of plants (live/fake) you’ll be adding to the tank. Most important you should have an idea about the kind of look you want to create out of the arrangement.

Never ever invest in purchasing too many decorations for your tank or else you’ll end up totally confused. It can be fun to pick out the thing from the store’s shelf but the arrangement is the ultimate thing. Think about the space of the tank when making the purchase.

Things like a sunken ship, giant treasure chest and fake corals are a good buy, but at times, the simpler items create a better look. You can go for a combo of a couple of smaller pieces with one large piece.

Plants make an even combination of all kind of items. Don’t end up buying anything that is already there for you. DON’T endanger your fish merely by adding ‘costume jewelry’ in the freshwater aquarium. Take your time deicde and go for the best Fish Tank Decoration Ideas.

fish tank themes

Fish Tank Decoration Ideas Themes


  • Aquascaping Theme

Aquascaping is one of the greatest options for the ones desirous of creating an underwater landscape. Inspired by both natural scenes and underwater locations this theme includes set-up of waterfalls, mountains, deserts, jungles, and others.

Note that Aquascaping setups are not similar to standard tropical setups. Why? Some aquatic plants demand nutrient rich substrates and higher lighting to thrive. There are a number of important parameters that need to be considered for customised aquascape theme.

So, if you are up for a tough setting go for it. Arrange low maintenance aquascapes that utilize low wattage lighting, minimal CO2, less variety of plants and low lighting setups. As far as live plants are concerned, place your bet on aquatic ferns, anubias, crypts, and moss.


  • Underwater Dry Zone Aquarium Theme

A freshwater home aquarium is not only meant for keeping fish. You might want to keep fiddler crabs and other semi-aquatic creatures that need air as well. You can easily create this habitat with this theme. To establish Underwater Dry Zone Aquarium, you’ll need a large

clear glass jar (size depends on the number of semi-aquatic creature’s you’ll keep, gravel/sand, fish tank air pump, aquarium air hose, fish tank air stone, and decorations for the dry zone (this is optional though).

All these items come at a reasonably lower price, it is for this reason this theme is considered one of the fish tank decoration ideas cheap. 


  • Buddha Theme

The Buddha theme is for the ones who wish for serene aquarium scene. The greatest advantage of using this theme is that you can find countless selections Buddha décor in the market. Buddha head(s) add an enlightenment factor to space.

What could be better than having a happy Buddha resting peacefully in the midst of your fish tank? If you want a dramatic arrangement look for a Buddha centerpiece featuring exquisite details. Be sure to buy the one crafted out of non-toxic material.

The Buddha figurine/head should turn out to be the main focus of the tank’s arrangement. You may use some hardscapes or plants as complementing items. Creating an undersea world of lost treasures including a Buddha Head ornament is also a great idea.


  • Avatar Theme- Floating Rock Stones

How about having the Avatar world right in your fish tank? Awesome, right? Well, you need not be a techy to build floating islands or the replica of those gravity-defying landscapes to your aquarium.

A simple visit to a pet store or an online store is enough to get the Avatar-themed set-up. Must say aquascapes have come up with a simple yet brilliant technique.

Basically, some lightweight material like a wire mesh is attached to the other side of the fish aquarium. The wire mesh is then filled with a substrate. Moss and the carpet plants are added onto the islands thereafter. The idea is to cover the bottom completely with the plants and give an island look/feel.


  • Reef Theme

A reef themed aquarium or reef tank prominently displays marine invertebrates, live corals, and different varieties of fishes. The basic idea of this theme is to maintain a coral reef environment.

If you choose to establish a reef aquarium make sure to arrange for intense lighting and turbulent water movement. In order to maintain stable water chemistry, look for the animals that are compatible with the fish that are on your list.

Considering only-fish Reef Theme isn’t a bad idea either.


  • Real Word Underwater Theme

Having dreamlike Real World Underwater landscapes is more exciting than it sounds. It is a perfect choice for the ones who love artistic works. However, you may need the help of an expert aquascaper to get an idea of the art and design of this theme.

It is very much possible to create mimics of small Zen gardens, pine forests, deserts, and even canyons environments. You’ll almost feel the scorching heat of desert on seeking a sloping bare terrain with one end of the tank scattered with cacti, wildflowers and various desert plants in your fish tank.

You can even create an enchanted fairytale forest including looming branches, intertwining roots, and cement sculptures.


  • Pirate Theme

Are Pirates of the Caribbean in your mind? Yes? What are you waiting for then? You have your inspiration. Use your creative side and get this theme working for your fish tank. Create an underwater adventure using a toy treasure chest and pirate ship.

If possible, add some theme related pieces outside the tank, such as a pirate’s hat, a bowl of gold coins, a shell bra, or miniature of a mermaid’s tail. You can even use slate rocks for your Pirate themed aquarium.

How to Decorate a Fish Tank with Household Items

One of the best things of fish tank decoration ideas is that you’ll easily find some cool household items that can be added to the décor. Know here about the basic household items which can be smartly used as aquarium accessories-

  • Flower Pots

They can prove out to be a good addition to an aquarium’s bottom. You can place a bigger sized flowerpot towards the side while scattering the smaller ones. This will create an interesting look undoubtedly.

Be considerate of the material used in making the pot. It should not harm your fishes. Go limitless with a wide range of sizes, colors, and shapes. Place them in your fish tank only after proper cleaning/scrubbing.

Keep in mind the pots that you add to the aquarium’s décor should have no sharp edges and drainage holes or else your fish might get a cut or stuck in the hole. Either the size of the holes shouldn’t be large enough or better to seal them.

  • Toys

Imagine farm animals and dinosaurs roaming hanging out with your pet fishes. Interesting isn’t it. Alternatively, you can create an underwater farm (like one of the themes discussed above).

Just push your imagination and come up with some crazy idea. Toys add a fun element to the aquarium. You can create an amazing aquarium set up with children’s playthings.

  • Pictures/prints

If you have been wondering how to decorate an aquarium with homemade then pictures and prints could prove out to be your savior. Decorating fish tank doesn’t necessarily requires some solid décor items. There are endless possibilities with the print picture.

Apply one towards the back of your freshwater fish aquarium. If you have settled with one of the themes, look for a complimenting picture so that the combination gives a perfect finished look to the arrangement.

You can even add a picture of a starry forest, beach or anything else that goes with you fish tank set-up. A simple tape and a cool poster can bring a huge transformation to your aquarium’s look.

  • Picture Frames

Picture frames will make your aquarium even more appealing. It is indeed one of the easiest ways attract the eyeballs towards your aquarium. Make sure the color of the frames matches or makes a good combination with the hues used inside the fish tank.

As you’ll be adding some items inside the tank so don’t overdo with the frames. They should be simple or with minimal design. Using heavy frame could make your tank unstable or damage it. So be extra careful when adding picture frames to the fish tank.

  • A permanent marker

You don’t have to place inside your fish tank. Use it to create interesting doodles. This is one of the best, easiest, and cheapest ideas to decorate a fish tank. You just need a permanent marker and nothing else.

Use your imagination and start drawing a cartoonish charm directly on your aquarium’s surface. You can draw a fisherman with a boat, doodle a little house or design a beautiful private island. It can be anything you like.

The best part designs are easily removable using a safe cleaner (use the one formulated particularly for aquariums). This means you need not to think twice before changing the scenes. A new one can be drawn at any time.

Doodles will surely enhance the mood of your fish tank, making it even more appealing. So make use of these Fish Tank Decoration Ideas and decorate your fish tank to the best.

Concluding Word

Remember, anything that you put in your fish tank will affect its environment and safety. Therefore, stay away from the items that can lay a harmful effect and deteriorate the health of your fishes. After all, fishes are the main element of an aquarium and not the décor.

Consider only chemical free and non-painted items. To be on the safer side it’s better to test you’re the décor item by placing in water outside the tank for some days. See how the item reacts.

Don’t include it in your aquarium’s décor if the water parameters show any sign of change. But make sure to add lots of colors with a modern touch to your fish tank. Some fun element is also important though.

Keep in mind, whatever set-up you choose for Fish Tank Decoration Ideas, should be non-toxic and favorable for your fishes.

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