How To Buy Aquarium Decorations

Aquarium decorations can lend as much excitement and wonder to your tank as your fish. You might want to recreate a naturalistic setting, or you could go for something otherworldly with blue gravel, underwater lasers, and bubble toys. There are a few simple steps to help ensure you maximize your value and enjoyment when selecting decorations. Most importantly, have fun!

  1. Determine if any of the fish you intend to keep have special needs. Special needs include places to hide or a fine substrate. Included these items in your aquarium's décor.

  • Develop a plan for aquarium décor. There are so many options it's a good idea to write or sketch your ideas out. Consider whether you want bright, bold, and artificial colors or a very natural looking aquarium. Consider the mood you want the aquarium to evoke:
    • Silly?
    • Otherworldly?
    • Serene?
  • Write down a list of colors you want to use. Consider how your color choices will work with fish you are adding. Will the fish be camouflaged? Or will there be enough contrast to see the fish easily?
  • Make a detailed list. Refer to the ideas you generated in Step 2 to make a list that specifies:
    • gravel color (or other substrate)
    • artificial plant types, sizes, and quantity (special lighting may be required if you want to use live plants)
    • objects to include such as aquarium safe statues, rocks, driftwood
    • any toys you might want to include such as bubble toys or underwater lighting

  • Measure your tank and record the dimensions. When you are selecting your decorations you need to make sure they will fit in the aquarium. Keep in mind that you have a fair amount of vertical space to work with. Tall, artificial plants placed near the back of the tank can help create layers of interest when combined with shorter decorations toward the middle or front of the aquarium.
  • Keep your maintenance tasks in mind when selecting decorations. Decorations will slow down a few of your key maintenance tasks. Additionally, too many decorations will steal attention from the fish.
  • Now off to the pet store. Try to find a local pet store that specializes in fish and bring your list. Sort through the selections at the store, piecing together your planned décor.
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