If you have never decorated a tank before, decorating your fish tank may seem like a daunting task. Just thinking about it could give you a brain freeze. However, you should worry not. There are many different ways you can decorate your tank to make it pleasing to look at and a good home for your fish.

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In this article, you will learn 30 different fish tank decoration ideas to spruce up your tank and make it exciting to look at. 

Without further ado, let’s begin.

  1. Table of Contents

    Use fewer items to make your tank look more attractive

Instead of throwing a thousand and one things into your aquarium, you should try to use fewer decorative items. This is because the fewer items will make your tank look more attractive and more items will make it look or feel cluttered.

For example, instead of adding rocks, coins, and toys in your tank, you can add live plants and perhaps a striking item in the middle of them or in front of them. This will make your tank look more organized and exciting.

  1. Use contrast to enjoy the beauty of your centerpiece or showcase fish

The most popular aquarium fish species are brightly colored. If you add too many colorful decorations to your fish tank, your aquarium will not be very attractive and you won’t really enjoy the colors and the beauty of your centerpiece fish. 

Therefore, you should always go for contrast. If your fish is colorful, do not add colorful decorations. Go for a dark substrate/ gravel and dark decorations. This will enable contrast and allow you to fully enjoy the beauty of your fish.

  1. Use plants to make your tank appear more natural

Plants are very important additions to fish tanks. In fact, I believe that every fish tank deserves live plants. This is because they absorb ammonia and, therefore, detoxify aquarium water. However, in addition to removing ammonia, plants also make aquariums look more natural and attractive.

There are many types of underwater plants for aquariums that you can use to make your tank to appear more natural. There are also some you can use to organize your tank, to add color to your tank, and to make your tank look livelier.

  1. Use your own creations or decorations to make your tank a conversation starter

Can you make small clay pots? Can you blow glass items? Can you carve wood? Can you make small statues? If you can use your own skills to make something small and beautiful, you should do so and add it to your aquarium.

If it is truly beautiful, it will catch the attention of anyone looking at your tank and they will immediately want to know about it and your skills. 

  1. Use driftwood to create a natural and realistic feel

You can use natural driftwood to create a natural and realistic feel in your fish tank. By adding driftwood to your fish tank, you will not only create a natural feel but also create hiding spots for your fish.

There are two ways you can get natural driftwood. You can go to your local river or stream and fish out natural driftwood or you can buy natural driftwood directly from sellers on Amazon. The benefit of getting driftwood from nature is that it is free but you will still have to prepare it for your tank (you need to cut it into a few small sizes and boil it to kill parasites and microbes). In contrast, natural driftwood bought from Amazon sellers is often already prepared and ready to use. 

Wherever you get natural driftwood from, it will most likely float at first. If you are okay with this, well and good. If you are not okay with this then you should drill holes in it. This will make it sink faster.

  1. Use caves to make your fish tank more interesting

You can create a small cave for your fish or buy it from Amazon or any other marketplace and add it to your fish tank to make it more interesting. There are many different and fascinating types of aquarium caves on Amazon. They are all made to make tanks look more interesting and exciting.

Caves can also serve as a hiding spot for your fish if it is timid or if it is escaping from a semi-aggressive species that has turned aggressive.

If you create a cave from natural rocks, you should boil it thoroughly before adding it to your aquarium. Otherwise, it could introduce parasites and microbes that are invisible to the naked eye into your tank and make your fish ill or kill it.

  1. Use aquarium rocks and stones as decorations

Many different sellers on Amazon sell very attractive aquarium rocks and stones that can instantly make any aquarium more attractive. However, before buying any aquarium rocks or stones to use as decorations in your tank, you should consider if they go well with the color of your fish. If they do, you should buy them and use them.

You can get rocks or stones to use in your aquarium for free from nature. You will have to boil them obviously to kill any harmful organisms on them or in them. If you want to acquire rocks for your aquarium, you should go for rainbow rocks, zebra rocks, river pebbles, ice rocks, and/ or glass rocks. This is because these are the most attractive rocks for aquariums.

  1. Use a sunken ship to make your extremely interesting

Most aquarium decorations available for sale online can make your tank attractive. However, not many have the potential to make your tank as attractive as a sunken ship can. 

There are many sunken ships for aquariums sold by aquarium shops and online sellers on places like Amazon. The best ones usually have ships that appear very old and have open spaces where your fish can hide. They have the potential to make your fish tank very attractive and interesting. 

If you have kids or you are visited by your younger relatives, they will find your aquarium extremely interesting. 

  1. Use a statue or statues to make your aquarium look creative

You can a standard aquarium into a masterpiece by getting a well-made statue to add to it. Statues are very attractive, especially in sea-themed fish tanks. For example, you can use a Buddha statue and a few plants to make your tank look creative, innovative, and like a Zen garden. You can also use a skull statue to make your tank look creative.

Aquarium-ready statues can be bought from pet shops and from online sellers on marketplaces such as Amazon.

  1. Use ruins to make your aquarium look like a sunken city

Many ruins models are sold online for use in aquariums. You can use such ruins to decorate your aquarium as a sunken ancient city. Ancient cities made for aquariums are perfectly safe for fish. And they usually have spaces or areas where fish can hide. 

  1. Use an air pump and an airstone to create bubbles in your tank and make it look lively

An air pump is necessary for all active fish tanks. This is because it creates water movement and enables oxygen to re-enter aquarium water. However, in addition to ensuring your fish and other critters get oxygen, you can also use your air pump to make your aquarium more lively and attractive.

You can do this by buying an airstone if your air pump does not come with one and connecting it to your pump’s outlet. This will result in bubbles being created every time your pump pushes air into the tank. And as the bubbles rise up they will make your tank look very lively. 

  1. Use an overhead LED light to illuminate your tank and make it eye-catching

Many modern fish tanks come with an overhead LED light bar to illuminate everything inside. Such lights usually make aquariums look very nice and eye-catching. However, some aquariums do not come with such lights. Most of those who build their own aquariums usually do not add such lights. If your fish tank or aquarium does not have an overhead LED light for any reason, you should buy one from Amazon and add it, it will instantly make your tank look much better.

  1. Use a submersible light ornament to create an exciting underwater light show

There are many submersible aquarium light ornaments for sale on Amazon. Many of them produce a soft light that will illuminate your colorful fish and make you enjoy their beauty even more.

Some specially illuminate fish tanks and create exciting underwater light shows. While others illuminate fish tanks in different color tones. 

So choose that which you think will work best for your tank and use it to significantly improve the aesthetic of your tank.

  1. Use a powerful filtration system to clean your aquarium water and make it sparkle

A filtration system is not really a decoration, is it? However, you can use a powerful one to clean your aquarium water and make it sparkle. Aquarium water usually gets dirty because fish produce waste which makes it look hazy. As you have to continually feed your fish, food debris will also gradually accumulate and make the water look even hazier.

This is why am saying you can make your aquarium attractive by getting a powerful filtration system. A fish tank filter is not a decoration but it can clean your water and make it healthy and sparkling clean. This will definitely improve how your tank looks.

  1. Use a creative aquarium background to take your tank to a different dimension

Nowadays, there are many 2D and 3D aquarium backgrounds available on the market. You can buy one to instantly and significantly improve the aesthetic of your tank. This is because most of them are well-made and give a realistic and extremely innovative feel.

  1. 16. Use ceramic ornaments to make your aquarium beautiful

Many aquarium gurus do not recommend the use of ceramic ornaments in aquariums as decorations. Their argument against the use of ceramic ornaments is that the ornaments leach toxic metals into aquarium water. However, while this is true for some ceramic ornaments, it is not true for all ceramic ornaments. 

Any ceramic ornament that is safe for use as dinnerware does not leach chemicals and can, therefore, be used as aquarium decoration. 

The best ceramic for use as aquarium decorations are terracotta ceramics as they have no risk of leaching. Moreover, terracotta ceramics are even better aquarium decorations when they have logos and markings.

  1. Use cement or clay pots to give your aquarium an interesting look

You can use a small cement or clay pot as decoration to give your fish tank an eye-catching look. To make your pot decoration even more eye-catching, place it on its side or break it and scatter the pieces in a creative manner.

There are many pots you can buy and use in your aquarium. They are aquarium-ready. You can add them directly to your tank to make it look interesting.

  1. Use plastic toys to recreate scenes or totally transform your tank

You can use different types of plastic toys to give your fish tank any theme you want. For example, you can use a sponge bob plastic toy set to recreate bikini bottom in your tank. You can also use a star wars plastic toys set to recreate an intergalactic battle from the movie. 

So whatever plastic toy set you have in your possession, just know that you can use it to decorate your fish tank as long as its plastics don’t leach. If you do not have a toy set, get one you like from Amazon or your local toy store.

  1. Use pictures or prints to decorate your tank from the outside

Adding decorations into a tank is perhaps the most popular way of decorating fish tanks. However, it is not the only way. This is because tanks can also be decorated from the outside. 

There are endless ways you can decorate your tanks from the outside but perhaps the most popular way is by sticking a print or a picture on the backside of a fish tank. A nice picture or print can totally transform your fish tank and make your fish swim anywhere you want it to.

If you want your fish swimming under a starry night, you can simply get a print of that. If you want your fish to appear to be swimming in a coral reef, you can also simply get a print of that.

  1. Use Lego and toy blocks to create an elaborate scene in your fish tank

You can use Lego or any other toy blocks to create an elaborate scene in your fish tank e.g. a camp, an underwater ferry, or a city skyline. You just need to be creative and you will get your tank looking super in no time.

  1. Use vinyl stickers to decorate your fish tank from the outside

One of the easiest ways to decorate your fish tank is to do it from the outside. I have already mentioned that you can decorate your tank from the outside using a picture or a print. In addition, you can decorate it using different types of vinyl stickers on all sides. 

  1. Use holiday décor to make your aquarium holiday ready

When you are approaching a holiday, do not forget to get your aquarium ready for it. So if it is Halloween, try to decorate your tank for the occasion i.e. add scary skeletons and skulls to get your kids excited. You can also add snowflakes to your tank during Christmas to spread the Christmas cheer to your scaly friend.

  1. Use DIY fish tank décor kits to make your tank more attractive

You can utilize DIY fish tank décor kits to draw doodles on your tank or decorate it in some other way to make it more attractive. There are many such kits available on Amazon for sale.

  1. Use corals and shells to decorate your saltwater tank

If you have a saltwater tank, you can use corals and shells to decorate it and make it more realistic and natural. Your saltwater fish and critters will love the décor. 

  1. Use an artificial water plant to give your tank a natural look

Using an artificial plant instead of a live plant will give your aquarium a natural look without you putting any significant effort. So an artificial plant will enable you to get the look without the effort.

  1. Use a castle decoration to give your tank the royal look

Several aquarium castles are available online for sale. You can buy one and use it to give your tank a royal look and your fish a place to hide when he or she needs to.

  1. Use small potted plants to decorate your fish tank

You can use small potted plants to instantly make your tank look a thousand times cooler and cuter than it actually. 

  1. Use an empty glass bottle to make your tank more exciting

If you have an empty glass bottle, you can use it to decorate your fish tank especially if it has a wide-open mouth. It will make your tank more exciting. Use coins 

  1. Use colored fish to decorate your tank and make it livelier.

You can use live colored showcase fish to decorate your tank and make it livelier. 

  1. Use a waterfall to decorate your fish tank

You can create a waterfall using a trickle filter and have water falling into your tank. This can instantly improve your tank.

As you can see from the above information, there are many ways to decorate fish tanks. You just need to use one or more of the 30 ideas shared above to make your fish tank extremely attractive and perfect for your fish. I believe using statues and plants are two of the best ways to decorate a fish tank.