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14 DIY Aquarium Decoration Ideas You Can Make at Home (with Pictures)

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By Lindsey Stanton

hand arranging decorations in an empty aquarium_Krysja_shuttesrtock

Aquarium décor benefits both the pet owners and the aquatic life living in the tank. It creates an atmosphere and enhances whatever mood you want to create.

These animals are hard-wired to desire particular things in their environment, especially prey species. They rely on things like the cover from plants or landscape features to help them evade predators, so they can live long enough to reproduce and pass their genes onto the next generation.

Some decoration ideas work better than others for this purpose. Also, make sure that you’ll be able to keep the décor clean. The items should also be able to handle the aquarium’s conditions.

The 14 DIY Aquarium Decoration Ideas Are:

1. Bring Home the Sea.

What really stands out with this DIY setup is that you don’t need much stuff to create a big impact. It’s a seashell, sand, and well-placed greenery. With these few items, you’re transported to the beach and the calming waters.

2. Build It and They Will Come.

Sometimes, you can’t find the right piece at the pet store. No worries! Just make it yourself. A handful of slate pieces can give you the freedom to create your sculptures to fit the décor of your tank. We also like the elegant look of the black rocks. It’s an excellent choice for providing non-obtrusive cover in a stylish design.

3. Bringing the Aquatic Life Out of the Tank.

The DIY aspect of this one is the blank canvas that you start with when you get this tank kit. It’s like a piece of furniture. The other cool thing is that you can almost create a self-sustaining environment, with the plants keeping the water clean and the fish supplying nutrients. It’s the aquatic version of a win-win.

4. Functional and Practical.

Sometimes, less is more. The driftwood does double-duty as an element of décor and a filter for the water. While simple, it’s also functional. It can even serve as an anchor for living plants. Here’s your starting point, so run with it!

5. Cover Your Options.

This aquarium idea brings agates and plants to the scene. This design is excellent for providing cover that doesn’t interfere with water flow or filtration. Of course, the possibilities are endless for creating additional shelves and hiding places for your fish.

6. Keep the Peace.

This design scores high marks on several scores. First, it allows you to keep Bettas in an aquarium, which is much healthier than a bowl. The space doesn’t go to waste either, with the fish separated to keep fighting under control. Lastly, the dividers don’t impede the water flow, so the environment stays clean and stable.

7. Tell a Story.

There is something so compelling about this setup. The arrangement of pots gives it both a thought-provoking yet ancient feel about it. So many hiding spots make it a no-brainer for schooling or smaller fish that just want space.

8. Make a Zen Garden.

This setup is high on our list of favorites. The layout and design are relaxing and tranquil. The slate pieces are well-placed and the plants well-chosen. Everything about it works. The substrate color is also spot-on for highlighting the décor and brightening the tank.

9. Aeration on Steroids.

This is one of the more creative options that we’ve seen for adding welcome aeration to a tank! The waterfall creates a more natural setting for the fish and gives the tank a focal point. We can just imagine how calming the white noise is in a room.

10. Create a Tiki Theme.

Going for something realistic is an excellent idea. However, sometimes it’s fun to get edgy with something different, like something reminiscent of the native seas of the fish in your aquarium. We like the surprise factor that the statue brings to the tank, and the cave adds just the right touch.

11. Make It Dramatic.

This DIY background gets high marks for creativity and atmosphere. It creates a secret world inside of the tank. The lines are pleasing too, with their curves adding more interest to the décor. The addition of little hiding places is a great element of this piece.

12. Imagine Your Own Background.

The frame is a smart idea for figuring out how to position the stones. We liked the bits of moss, which hide bare spots without drawing attention to them. The nooks and crannies are big enough for fry to find cover too.

13. Get Creative With Cover.

We loved the whimsical look of this plant-adorned rock cave. It’s a smart way to make use of any leftover pieces of artificial plants. It also enhances the cover factor for the fish, as there are more places to hide. The shiny surfaces of the rocks mean that they’re easy to clean too.

14. Travel the World.

Here’s one aquarium that we’d like to see in person. The minimalistic style with the tasteful choices of plants and décor creates a relaxing scene. We wish we could immerse ourselves in this serene environment. It’s a healthy setup that doesn’t crowd the fish. We bet that they will love it as much as we do!

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Final Thoughts About DIY Aquarium Decor

You don’t have to break the bank to come up with a unique take for your aquarium’s décor. You’ll find many design elements at your local home improvement or gardening center. It’s also an excellent way to use up leftovers from your landscaping projects. Your fish will be happy that you did.

Featured Image Credit: Krysja, Shutterstock

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