40+ Aquarium Decor Ideas (with Photos)

Aquarium Decor Ideas

Having an aquarium at home can give you an up-close and personal study of marine life. If you’ve been browsing and saw some beautifully designed fish tanks, you may be considered taking your fish tank to the next level. You can make changes to your aquarium by simply updating its decor on the inside. In your reading, you’ll see many themes and color styles that will make your fish tank not only appealing to yourself but to family or guests.

Different Aquarium Styles For Inspiration

When trying to decide what aquarium decor to add to your fish tank, there are pros and cons of each.

1. Stones & Rocks

Pros: You can find many stones, rocks, and pebbles that will make any aquarium look appealing. These especially look great in naturally-themed tanks. You’ll have many choices such as glass rock, zebra rock, or rainbow rock.

Cons: Keep in mind that some rocks could be sharp and you don’t want them to harm your fish.

2. Caves

Pros: Caves can be very beneficial for your tanks as they can provide security for your fish. Caves serve as a great hiding spot for any species. To kill off any parasites or microbes, make sure you boil your rocks before adding them.

Cons: If you don’t take the proper precautions in boiling your rocks, so it doesn’t leak any chemicals into your tank.

3. Ships

Pros: Ship decor is a natural, sea-like theme that provides a safe environment for fish. This also allows them to hide for security and comfort.

Cons: There are no cons to this option as this is the safest decor you can purchase.

4. Ruins

Pros: If you’re looking for an Atlantis or mermaid theme, these are a great option to consider.

Cons: When adding any type of ruins, you’ll have to take the extra step to make sure that they’ve been quarantined or decontaminated so they don’t harm your fish.

5. Ceramic Decor

Pros: Ceramic decor can provide an upscale look to your fish tank. Any ceramic decor that is labeled ‘dinnerware safe’ is safe to use. This means the glaze has used methods to prevent any chemicals from affecting your tank.

Cons: Any non-dinnerware-safe ceramic should be avoided. While some ceramic decor can be safe, others can have the glaze melt off which could cause toxic metals to get into your tank.

6. Statues

Pros: Statues are a great decor option that will add a creative and unique feel to a basic aquarium. You can find statues at your regular aquatic store.

Cons: When purchasing, make sure you don’t over-purchase statues to avoid overcrowding in your tank.

Top Aquarium Decor Ideas

Here are 40 aquarium decor ideas to help get you started with designing your at-home fish tank.

1. Branches

Photo Credit: Youtube

If you’re not looking to take it too over the top, you can pair a long flared-out branch in your tank, surrounded by the grassy decor and large rocks.

2. Bridge

Photo Credit: Youtube

This underwater bridge gives this fish tank a natural forest theme. On both sides, it’s surrounded by spiraling stairs to give the image of an underwater town.

3. Cylinder Blocks

Photo Credit: Fish Tank Basics

These underwater cylinder blocks have holes throughout to provide your marine life security and comfort. These are perfect for natural basic themes.

4. Grass

Photo Credit: Youtube

This tank decor gives the look of a large field and lake in the middle. This decor brings underwater to life while its tree leaves wave in the water.

5. Groot

Photo Credit: Fisharoma

If you’re like me, and Guardians of the Galaxy is one of your favorite movies, you simply can’t pass up this statue of Groot. Statues like this are great for movie theme tanks.

6. Finding Nemo

Photo Credit: Youtube

Another great movie theme decor you can consider is Finding Nemo. You can add decor items for both Marlin and Nemo.

7. Bubble Maker

Photo Credit: Aqua Vim

With proper decontamination, you can add an underwater bubble maker to create a bubble wave effect in your fish tank.

8. Boulder Rocks

Photo Credit: Decor Ideas

You can find rocks in many styles and shapes. Here are some examples of boulder rocks with holes that your fish can easily swim into to feel safe.

9. Colored Greenery

Photo Credit: Innovative Decor Ideas

If you want to add some color to your take with greenery, green doesn’t need to be your only option. These decor items come in many colors, and pink is a gorgeous option to consider.

10. Statues

Photo Credit: Rate My Fish Tank

Statues a great way to give a theme if you’re into certain backgrounds or religions. They can be found in almost any aquatic store.

11. Hills

Photo Credit: Tankarium

Hills with sand are a great theme to consider. Here we lots of trees on mountain tops with sand to provide a hill-like effect.

12. Pebble Sand

Photo Credit: Universal Rocks

For basic themes, pebble sand is a great consideration for your tank if you’re looking for more natural themes.

13. Bamboo

Photo Credit: Life Of Fish

These bamboo designs are a unique touch. They are strategically placed in the fish tank with the tops coming out over the water for easy adjustments.

14. Spongebob

Photo Credit: Fish Subsidy

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?! This theme is self-explanatory and is great for kids who want to be involved in decorating their fish tank.

15. Sunken Ship

Photo Credit: Fish Subsidy

Sunken ships are your typical underwater design. They look great with blue light settings and jellyfish.

16. Coral

Photo Credit: Rate My Fish Tank

You can add different underwater coral decor items in fish tanks and top it off with a glow-in-the-dark light to add a great dark ambiance.

17. Las Vegas

Photo Credit: Pinterest

If Las Vegas is one of your favorite places to visit, these Las Vegas decor items are just what you need. This tank has a Las Vegas sign with dice and main landmarks on the Las Vegas strip.

18. Palm Trees

Photo Credit: Pinterest

This underwater setting gives an at the beach theme. You can add palm trees, pebble rocks for blue sand, and umbrella beach items.

19. Skeletons

Photo Credit: Pinterest

If you’re into dark settings, this fish tank decor design will be one you’ll want to consider. It has dark pebble-like sand with skeleton fish and skulls.

20. Pirate Ship

Photo Credit: Youtube

If you’re into pirates and ships pirate themes are a go-to. This take has a huge pirate ship decor added with treasure chests and barrels.

21. Skull & Bones

Photo Credit: Pinterest

This tank has pirate skull decor with an eye patch, a sword through its head, and a chest with treasure.

22. Castles

Photo Credit: Pinterest

For those who are into structures, castle decor is a great decor addition. It will provide plenty of hiding spots for your fish.

23. Harry Potter

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Are you a huge Harry Potter fan? This decor is just what you need. For an additional touch, you can even find a Harry Potter figure to add full effect.

24. Legos

Photo Credit: Pinterest

If you want your kids to be involved with decor designs, kids will love adding their lego decor to make their designs.

25. Asian Designs

Photo Credit: Decor Ideas

For Asian decor designs, you can add bridges, little huts, trees, and dragon decor. Red pebble rocks can be added for water-like illusions.

26. Floating Decor

Photo Credit: Pinterest

For decor options to give the illusion that your tank has a ceiling, you can add this sea-weed decor to float at the top of the water.

27. Shades of Pink

Photo Credit: Pinterest

These pink coral decor items are perfect for girls who are designing their fish tanks. Add some seashells at the bottom for an additional decor touch.

28. Surfs Up

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Do you like to surf? Is it one of your favorite hobbies to take up on the water? You can add a little surfs-up hut to show your favorite hobby in your fish tank.

29. Red Bridge

Photo Credit: Pinterest

We previously covered a natural color bridge earlier in our designs, this one is a red-colored bridge that can also be found in many other color options.

30. Connecting Bridge

Photo Credit: Pinterest

This fish tank has two large castles that have a bridge in the middle to connect the two. Top this castle setting off with an additional ship on the side.

31. Stairs

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Perfect for your marine life with crawling capabilities, you can add stair decor that gives them easy access to crawling towards the top of the fish tank.

32. Christmas

Photo Credit: Pinterest

If you’re one of those who like to change their fish decor with the holidays, you can’t go wrong with Christmas decor.

33. Nightmare Before Christmas

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Another amazing movie theme is The Nightmare Before Christmas. You can decor such as jack the skeleton, Oogie Boogie man, and more!

34. Action Figures

Photo Credit: Pinterest

If action figures are one of your obsessions, you can add action figure decor items that are safe to add to your fish tank.

35. Mario

Photo Credit: Fish Tank Bank

This decor brings you back to the days of Mario when video games were just starting. I don’t think there is anyone who didn’t like Mario and going down those green tubes.

36. Easter Island

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Easter Island heads are not only for adding to gardens, you can also add them as decor for your fish tanks. You don’t just need to add one, but can add a few since they’re so appealing.

37. Tubes

Photo Credit: Pinterest

If you want to create a hovering arch to your fish tank, you can add these decor tubes to create an arch-like look to your tank. This also gives another area for your fish to swim through.

38. Volcano

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Volcano decor would be my go-to if I were designing a fish tank. I love the volcano that allows the bubble effect option.

39. Broken Castle

Photo Credit: Youtube

We’ve covered two castle designs previously, but here is one that looks like a broken bridge castle. You may want to consider this castle design of roughed-up tank settings.

40. Moss

Photo Credit: Pinterest

If you don’t want regular grass decor in the bottle of your fish tank, you can add moss-like settings to the bottom.

What Decor Is Safe For Your Aquarium?

Decorations are not a must-have for your tank to be successful, but are mostly added to bring appeal and life to the environment. They will automatically improve your fish tank’s aesthetic. Before adding any type of decor to your aquarium, you’ll want to check and make sure that it’s safe to use.

Substrate: Most marine life does not require substrate. The substrate is mainly for aesthetic appeal and nothing else. Gravel decor is the substrate that is mostly used in fish tanks. You can find this available in many shapes, sizes, and shades. For best options, you’ll want to use medium-sized gravel, even though smaller gravel looks best in a planted tank. You’ll want to avoid large gravel decor as it can leave large areas that can trap waste, food, and even your smaller marine life.

Stones: Although many stone options are available for fish tanks, you can also take them up a notch and collect them yourself. Stones that are safe for aquarium decor include lava rocks, natural slate, quartz, river rock, and petrified wood. As mentioned earlier, you’ll want to boil these rocks before use.

When using larger rocks, especially ones that have crevasses and craters, this will give your fish tank a 3D appearance. One thing to keep in mind that if you’re using lace rock, it can be sharp with the algae hard to remove. Other rocks you can include are pagoda rock, honey onyx, and red desert rock.

Driftwood: Driftwood is another safe decor option you can add to your aquarium. You can find driftwood at the bottoms of lakes if you’re out fishing or along rivers and streams. Aquatic stores typically have many types of exotic driftwood imported and artificial options available.

Artificial Plants: You can find artificial plants that look more like real life than actual live plants. They are especially easier to keep alive *wink*. When choosing an artificial plant, they are available in many different heights, shapes, and colors. If you want to hide tubes or other items in your tank, you can add tall artificial plants to hide them. You can place medium-sized plants in the middle of your tank while using small ones for surrounding rocks and driftwood.

Ceramics: We briefly covered ceramics earlier, but we’ll dive a little deeper here. To find out if you’re ceramic decor item is safe, you can use household acid such as vinegar you keep in your home. You would then dilute it to a pH level that is best suited under extreme aquarium situations.

Roughly about a month later, examine the ceramic that you tested. You’ll want to compare the acidic portion to the rest of the ceramic. If you noticed a detonation in the shininess, then that piece of ceramic is not suitable for your aquarium.

Non-glazed ceramic decor like terra-cotta pots suitable to use as aquarium decor. Before adding it to your tank, you’ll want to carefully examine it to thoroughly make sure that it is not glazed. If you’re using broken pieces of any type of pot, you’ll want to be careful to avoid sharp edges. If you have any jagged edges in your aquarium, you can easily chip these away or cover them using bead silicone to create a safe environment for your marine life.

Cleaning Your Decor

While we may think that once adding our decor is a one-and-done thing, you’ll still have to make sure your decor is cleaned when needed. Over time, brown or green algae can start to grow on your decorations. Artificial plants especially tend to collect waste and food particles. To clean your decor, you can give them a pre-wash underwater.

After that, you’ll want to let them soak in very hot water. The hot water will help loosen any gunk that has collected. After they have soaked, wash them again using warm water, as this should have helped remove all the gunk, leaving them looking brand new. Cleaning your aquarium decor may seem like a tasking chore, but all you need is time and patience and to take it one decor item at a time.

Wrapping It Up

As you can see, there are many aquarium decor options available for your tank. Whether you’re wanting to spruce it with minimal decor or add a large amount for bigger aquariums, you’ll have many themes, styles, and colors to consider. While adding decor will require more maintenance for you in the cleaning process, it can bring an aesthetically pleasing design to your aquarium and a comfortable environment for your marine life.

The most important part of your aquarium is the health of your marine life, so choosing a decor that is safe for your tank is essential to allowing your fish to thrive. Take a look at these easy DIY pond ideas.

Related Articles

Nicole Abbott

I'm a stay at home mom of 2 who loves DIY projects! Since childhood I've always enjoyed to design and put personal touches on rooms around my home that fit my personality. When I'm not writing I'm doing DIY projects, as well as homeschooling and caring for my 2 children.

Recently Published