If you want your fish tank to be completely unique and eye-catching and you want to steer clear of the usual cliche decorations such as fake castles or treasure chests, then why not think about making your own?
With a bit of creativity and imagination, there are all kinds of materials which you could use to create your own personal aquarium accessories and decorations – you just need to make sure they are non-toxic for the fish, suitable to submerge in water and won’t affect any of the tank levels.
If you are going to make your own decorations then one of the easiest ways to make sure it is safe is to stay away from using natural things which you have found, or anything which has paint on it. These materials will be worn away by the water over time and paint can flake off.
The best way to make sure your item is suitable is to put it into a bucket of warm water for several days to test any kind of reaction. You can see if any paint flakes from it, or if it rusts or falls apart and you can test the water to see if any levels have been affected.
You can buy paint specifically designed for aquariums to help seal homemade decorations and prevent flaking so as long as you are using materials which are made for that purpose, then you should be fine.
The other thing to think about is making sure anything you create to put into the tank is clean first, so that you don’t accidentally pollute your water when you put it in. Here are a few ideas for home-made fish tank decorations:
Recycle your clay flower pots
A large clay flower pot in the bottom of the fish tank creates a nice feature and a perfect hiding place for your fish to shelter in when they are stressed. You could use a big one, or several small ones, or even broken pieces to add interest. Just watch out for sharp edges and if the pot has a drainage hole, make sure your fish won’t get stuck in it.
You need to seal the hole if it’s too small, or make it bigger so fish can swim in and out easily. The most important thing is to make sure the pot is scrupulously clean before introducing it into the aquarium environment.
Coffee cups or mugs
If you have an old coffee cup or mug you don’t use anymore then this can make an unusual and safe fish tank decoration. You could choose one with a funny slogan, or interesting pattern to match the theme of your fish tank and create a unique talking point.
Recycle your old plastic toys
For fish tanks with unlimited imagination think about recycling plastic toys – you could have a superhero fish tank, or dinosaurs battling for space. Why not put farm animals in with your fish or recreate a battle with plastic soldiers. The only limit is your imagination.
Just be careful not to get carried away and fill your tank with toys – you need to make sure your fish have enough space to swim and places to hide, before you start adding in fun decorations. Again, be aware of any sharp edges which could injure fish.
Try using pictures
An alternative way to decorate your tank is to use pictures – you can add a poster or image to the back of your tank so you are not having to put anything into the water, but creating a background for your fish to swim against safely.
It could be a coral reef in keeping with the fish’s environment, or you can use your imagination and turn your aquarium into a scene from space or a forest – again, it is entirely up to you and as this will be placed outside the aquarium, it’s also incredibly easy to change it on a regular basis.
If you want to create a really unusual talking point then why not opt for a porcelain figurine for your fish tank – you could choose a miniature classic statue, or a fun modern figure which wouldn’t normally be found underwater.
The options for decorating your aquarium really are limited only by your imagination – these are just five ideas we have shared but there are many more options available. As long as you put your fish first, ensuring their health and wellbeing, you can really decorate your aquarium however you like.
Check that anything you use is not going to degrade in the water over time, or leak chemicals into the fish tank, or harm the fish in any other way – and make sure you don’t take up all their swimming space with ornaments – and your fish tank can be as creative as you want it to be.