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Aquarium decoration - Suppliers, Guide & Forum

Aquarium decorations, resized image 1 Aquarium decorations, resized image 2 Aquarium decorations, resized image 3 Aquarium decorations, resized image 4 Aquarium decirations, picture 1, added on Nov 13 2011 Aquarium decirations, picture 2, added on Nov 13 2011

Brief Description

If you came here looking for aquarium decorations, simply click this text. The below-shown article contains information about various decorations and tips on decorating a fish tank. You should also visit following pages (they will open in new tab/window): What to use as Aquarium Ornaments - with Pictures, Fish Tank Decorations FAQ and Tips and Types of fish tank decorations. We'd love to hear what decorations you use in your tank, so submit your story at the bottom of this page, please!


As we all know aquarium decoration nowadays, it includes items such as caves, air pumps, plastic plants, rocks, shells, pearls. However, let's go through it's history and tips how to decorate your fish tank.

The first kinds of fish tanks were small ponds in the gardens. The fish kept there were goldfish and some kinds of carps. It all started in China around the 10th century and it could be, that even in the 7th century. The goldfish species came to Europe in about 17th century. The first aquariums like we know them now were built in the 19th century.

Mostly, people decide to start an aquarium because an aquarium is a part of their decoration. But the fish tank is a real and quality decoration only if it looks good. These days, there are numerous styles of decorating our homes, but when you are starting a fish tank, the first thing you should bear in mind is the comfort of fishes kept there. You can also choose how your aquarium should look like and only then you’ll buy fish according to the biotope in your aquarium. For example, if you have your room in colder style with a lot of metal items, you may choose an aquarium decorated only with stones and the best fish for such kind of tank are the cichlid species which eat plants, so they (plants) shouldn’t be in the tank.

Special thanks for photos go to Stokes.

Decorations; Example of an aquarium no.1 Decorations; Example of an aquarium no.2 Decorations; Example of an aquarium no.3

The first and basic thing in decorating your aquarium is choosing the right tank.

Nowadays, you can find many variants of tanks; big, small, quadrilateral or polygonal and ball desinged. If you want to keep only plants, you may choose any of previously-mentioned desings. But ball aquariums are absolutely not accommodable for fish. They will swim round and round until they go insane. Another reason why a ball fish tank is not suitable, is that they are made in small sizes and that is why filtration of the tank is rarely possible. The size of an aquarium should be adapted to the size and the number of fish. I think, that polygonal tanks are very interesting.

If a fish tank is chosen, the next thing is the bottom substrate.

The substrate can be in the form of gravel or sand. You should choose it according to the fish species, which are living at the bottom levels of the tank. If you choose gravel, you can find normal coloured gravel – white, brown and black, or gravel in many colours, like blue, red, green and many more. You can create bright aquarium with such colours, but it will not look naturally. You can even buy gravel which is made from glass – little glas balls. The sand bottom must not be only brown. Very interesting is the combination of white and black sand. But you can also buy blue, yellow, red, green and mixture of these colours.

If you want to have a living beings in the tank, and you want to decorate it too, you have to think about aquarium equipment just as your decoration. It might not look good, but it is nessesery in the tank. For example, aquarium equipment includes bulbs, filter and heater. They are the main electrical items you should have in your fish bowl. There can be found naturally looking aquarium equipment on the market, or they make the sense like they were hidden in the fish tank. There are also items like external filters, which are not present in the tank, or the light which is installed inside of the cover of the fish tank. On the other hand, many items can be hidden easily using the plants.

The most creative thing within an aquarium tank decoration is situating aquarium plants, stones, driftwood and other inner decorations.

Make sure that every decoration is well situated and installed, because fish will live in conditions which you create. Any item you buy must be suitable for an aquarium! Some things which look very nice may consist of metals which will kill all living beings. Decoration is mostly for the fish, not for you, bear this idea in mind, please... Most of fish require some shelter, place to swim, place to breed and place to lounge. Shelter can be made from stones, can be brought as caves or you just can plant some plants.

Decorations; Example of an aquarium plant no.1 Decorations; Example of an aquarium plant no.2 Decorations; Example of an aquarium plant no.3

The most used way how to decorate an aquarium is to put longer plants or bigger stones to the backside of the aquarium and shorter and smaller to the front of the aquarium.

When you are decorating the aquarium with the plants, you should take care, if the plant have enough light and if they have enough nutrition. When buying the aquarium plants, you should choose them according how they reproduce and grow. It is because some plants need help when growing or they can spread so much, so that they kill other plants in the tank. Of course you should choose plants according to your fish as well. Some fish like to lay on leafs and some of fish species are only hiding in them. Some fish prefer breeding on some kind of leafs and when they do not have them, they do not reproduce. You can also use plastic plants. As a decoration, plants are nice, because you can put them anywhere and they will not overgrow and they will not die, but for a real and living aquarium they are not good enough. They don´t produce any oxygen, they don´t clean any water and they don´t change. And if you want to have plastic plants, they will cost you more money.

Another great-looking decoration might be stones; If you place them into the tank, you should take care if those stones don't contain minerals, which can destroy the chemistry in the tank. Much better solution is to take stones with small amount of minerals only. It is better for the chemistry, because it doesn’t release too much minerals into the water and the fish are healthier. If you have fish, which are living at the bottom levels, it is better to build them a cave from the stones. But be careful and build it stable. If those fish are bigger and the cave is not stable, they can tumble it and can hurt themselves.

Decorations; Example of an aquarium cave no.1 Decorations; Example of an aquarium cave no.2 Decorations; Example of an aquarium cave no.3

Other things, which you can decorate the aquarium with are:

  • Driftwood decoration – They look really natural in the aquariums and they are good for the water chemistry. Fish, which come from lakes or rivers in the rain forests, breed much more in these kinds of water. Plecos species love driftwood. But the driftwood usually colours the water. So if you want to have a clean water, you should not have them in your aquarium and you should not raise plecos, because they are sad if they do not have any piece of wood...
  • 2) Shell decoration – Shells have many interesting forms and sizes. They look good as the decoration and they are good for the chemistry of the water. Generally, we know salt water shells and freshwater shells. The common thing they have together is, that they are made from calcium and they are releasing it into the water and with it they hinder getting water too soft. Salt water shells have more minerals than freshwater, but both of them are good for your aquarium and fish in it (except some special cases).
  • Aquarium ornaments – These are things that people like in their aquariums. They are usually plastic caves, castles, treasures, divers, statues, signs and many funny stuff. Producers make many such ornaments. Some of them are hidden aerating like shells and treasure chest. You can choose any designed ornament and with these things your decoration become bright. These ornaments must not be only funny, you can choose some statues from for example old Egypt, Roman, Aztec, Chinese or Greek art or maybe modern art too. Not only art, but buildings too.

Feel free to visit Decorating Your Aquarium at too!

Questions and answers

On March 24th 2011 we added the following questions and answers here due to mering with related pages of You're welcome to submit your own unique and not yet answered questions here, use a form that can be found at the bottom of this page for this purpose, please.

  • What objects from the house can I put in my aquarium?

    Answer: I would not advise putting any household items into your tank. Aquarium ornaments and décor are specially designed to be aquatic safe; this means they will not leach toxins into the water. Household items will not be aquatic standard.

  • What do I need to put in my aquarium?

    Answer: Decorating your aquarium is purely personal choice as to what you use but if you are keeping tropical fish you will have to have a heater and a good filter. Research on the net for pictures of tanks, this will give you an idea as to how to decorate the tank.

Online suppliers of aquarium decorations

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