Shopping Cart

Your cart is empty

Continue Shopping

How to Decorate Your Fish Tank

When you take a look at aquarists' aquariums, you'll find there are many other things except for the fish and aquarium products. We can call them decorations for fish tanks.

These decorations include plants, substrates, rocks, caves and so on. To let your fish tank look more ornamental, you should know how to arrange the decorations and what to buy.

In this article, you'll know everything about fish tank decorations.


Why should you decorate your fish tank

Make your fish tank more ornamental

People like decorating their house to make it more beautiful and suitable to live in. An aquarium is one of the decorations in a house, and the aquarium itself also needs to be decorated. Decorating your fish tank will not only make your tank more ornamental but also add sparkle to your house.


Make your fish more comfortable

The main reason why you need to decorate your fish tank is to make your fish feel more suitable. Like people who prefer to live in a comfortable city, a comfortable house, fish also hope their “home” can be more comfortable.

Decorating your fish tank alleviates your fish’s stress, improves their immune system, and enhances their ability to get rid of diseases.

Also, fish in a more comfortable environment are more likely to show their natural behavior, which is very important for people who like fish-keeping.

Things you should consider before choosing decorations

Tank size

Although decorating a fish tank means a lot to both fish and their owners, adding too many decorations is counterproductive. Therefore, before you decide and choose the decorations for your fish tank, make sure your tank is big enough.

If your fish tank is small, one or two attractive decorations may be enough, or your fish will have little space to swim around. If you have a larger fish tank, you can try to decorate it based on a theme you like.


Fish types

When decorating the fish tank, you also need to consider your fish. Do they like hiding, do they like digging into the substrate, what kind of decorations do they prefer, and how active your fish are. Different fish have different preferences, you need to know what decorations your fish want.


What kind of decorations can you choose


A substrate is the first thing you may want to add to your aquarium, and it should be added before other decorations.

Most substrates are consist of sand, gravel, pebbles, and so on, which also vary in colors and sizes. When you are deciding on the substrate of your fish tank, the first thing you should consider is the fish you are keeping. Some fish like digging into the substrate, so sand may be more suitable for a substrate.

But most people like gravel substrate over sand substrate because it’s more difficult and time-consuming to clean a sand substrate.

The sand is smaller and lighter than gravel, when you use a gravel vacuum to clean the substrate, the sand will easily be sucked in and blog your equipment. So you may need to empty your fish tank to clean the sand. But for a gravel substrate, a gravel vacuum may be enough for the cleaning.



If you are going to add some plants to your aquarium, the first thing you need to do is to decide whether you’d like real or artificial plants.

They both have advantages and disadvantages. The real plants offer a natural aesthetic and can improve the water quality as well as provide oxygen to the tank through photosynthesis. For some herbivorous fish, live plants can also be their food so they don’t need to entirely depend on your feeding.

However, artificial plants are durable and easy to maintain. You have multiple choices if you’d use artificial plants as decorations because they vary in colors, sizes, and shapes. In addition, you don’t have to worry that the plants will decompose, which can higher the nitrogen level in your tank.



The background is a personal choice, you can choose to decorate your aquarium with a background or not. It is the simplest way to decorate your fish tank because you can have what you want with a single picture, and you can change the background at any time if you are bored with the original one.

There are plenty of choices, you can buy a sea background, a castle background, or a sunken ship background, it’s all up to you.



The driftwood can make your fish tank more natural and suitable for your fish to live and hide. You can get driftwood from rivers, streams, or a pet store, but I suggest going to a pet store for driftwood.

Although driftwood from rivers is free, there may be harmful microbes and parasites in it, which have the potential to make your fish suffer from diseases.

And you should remember boiling the driftwood first before putting it in your aquarium. By doing this, you can reduce bacteria and tannins carried by the driftwood.


Stones and rocks

Stones and rocks can also provide your fish tank with a natural landscape. You can pick up stones and rocks in the wild, but do not forget to boil them before you add them to your fish tank because they may have many harmful bacteria.

Some fish like hiding in the rocks or plants, so if you add some stones and rocks to your fish tank, you also provide some places for them to hide. But pay attention to the rocks with a sharp edge, because they will hurt your fish and make them be infected by bacteria.


How to clean the decorations

For most of the decorations such as driftwood and rocks, you can just rinse them to get them clean, but for live plants and substrate, you may need special clean tools.

  • First, let’s talk about how to clean the substrate.

According to the material you use to make your substrate, the methods of cleaning it may vary.

If you set your substrate with sand, as we mentioned before, sand is difficult to clean, you may need to empty your fish tank to do a thorough cleaning. While setting your substrate with gravel only requires a gravel cleaner to clean.

If you want to know the details of cleaning a substrate of your fish tank, you can read “How to Clean Aquarium Sand or Gravel” on our blog.

  • Then, I’ll tell you how to clean the live plants in your fish tank.

You can use a small piece of cloth or your fingers to rub them. If you can not remove the dirt this way, you can use a soft toothbrush or an algae pad to clean it. If it still doesn’t work, you may need bleach to clean the stubborn dirt.

There is one thing you should keep in mind. With time passing by, some beneficial bacteria will stay on the decorations, so do not over-clean your decorations, clean them regularly and properly.

Comments (0)

Leave a comment