June 16

Some Good And Some Not So Good Accessories For Your Fish Tank


It is an excellent activity for fish enthusiasts to decorate the freshwater aquarium. We can find diverse aquarium decorations at pet stores. However, it is not simple to introduce anything simply into your aquarium.

While making your aquarium an eye-catching decoration piece, you need to consider certain factors to make the right decision. Thus, you can innovate and style your aquarium with a bit of research.   

Your fish tank accessories depend primarily on the size of your water tank. Therefore, if your fish tank is small, you will need to add 2 to 3 small size accessories to the tank to provide sufficient space for the fish.

First thing first, I will recommend you buy an excellent stand to give a modern outlook to the freshwater aquarium.

Moving on, I will list down the best accessories that will enhance the aesthetic appeal of your tank and keep the environment safe for your fish.

Best Accessories For Your Fish Tank To Make It Stand Out

1. Colorful Aquarium Gravel


buy at amazon

Gravels are available in multiple colors that brighten up the freshwater tank. They are non-toxic in nature and have a composition of natural material. Therefore they are absolutely safe for the life quality of fish.

Each bag has nearly 50 to 100 pieces of stones with no sharp edges and smooth corners; thus, they are not dangerous for your fish. Another reason to buy these pebbles as decorative for your fish water tank is that they are environmentally friendly and utilize solar power to light up.

However, you will need to keep your freshwater tank near the sunlight so that the pebbles can glow to full. But, in the beginning, they require charging from four to eight hours, and after that, they can charge themselves with the sunlight. Once charged, they can glow for up to 6 hours.

Fish enthusiasts love them as a decorative accessory for their tanks. However, several have reported that some pebbles start floating oddly in the aquarium. But, they are no more a problem when they are under the other pebbles. These pebbles will give you a quick solution and make your aquarium stylish within budget.

Reasons To Buy:

  • Made of Natural Materials
  • Brighten up in the dark
  • Available in diverse colors.
  • Negatives:
  • Need sunlight
  • Some pebbles float

2. Plastic Plant Grass Decor

artificial aquatic plants

buy at amazon

It is a decorative item that will enhance the beauty of the aquarium and provide the feel of natural habitat to the fish. They are the plants that look like the river and ocean plants, giving the tank a realistic outlook.

The plastic plants come in varying lengths, which you can choose according to the size of your water tank. Moreover, they can perfectly fit with other accessories of the fish tanks, such as pebbles or rocks. Some fish enthusiasts have introduced them to cheer the sad and shy fish. As fish feel more at home, so they swim happily then.

    Although they are budget-friendly and add beauty to the tank, but require cleaning frequently. However, these plants are easy to clean with a damp cloth and warm water.

    Reasons To Buy:

    • Available in different size
    • Realistic outlook
    • Cheer up the shy fish
    • Negatives:
    • Frequent and regular cleaning

    3. Penn-Plax Air Action Ornament

    penn plax

    buy at amazon


    The action ornament will perform a dual function in your tank. It will not only make your freshwater tank appear beautiful but will oxygenate the water.

    It features durable plastic that is safe for your pet fish. Resultantly, your tank will remain clean, and your fish will enjoy a healthy environment.

    The product doesn’t come with tubing and the air pump that creates the cool erupting effect. However, you can easily get it from any aquarium shop near you.

    Air action ornament is average in size, and it can fit in all sizes of aquariums. It is effortless to set up, and I am sure that your fish will love it! From the wide range of styles and sizes, you can choose the one according to your preference.

    Reasons To Buy:

    • Oxygenates the water
    • Set up is easy
    • Negatives:
    • An air pump is not there

    4. LED Lights For Fish Tank

    current usa

    buy at amazon

    Lights always add color to the environment and make it vibrant. Therefore, you can make your aquarium lively by adding LED lights.

    These lights feature diverse colors that you can change with the help of the remote that comes along. You can also alter and control the brightness of the lights.

    They are water-proof, so you can easily dip them in the water. They already have batteries installed in them, but the lifespan of those batteries is not good. Thus, you will need to buy good batteries separately.

    You can utilize your creative skills in this regard and decorate the fresh water tank with LED lights.

    Reasons To Buy:

    • Variety of colors
    • Operated via remote control
    • The power source is a battery


    Battery life is not good

    5. Natural Aquarium Gravel

    natural river rock

    buy at amazon

    Aquarium gravel is essential to consider whenever you plan to set up your aquarium. Along with giving an aesthetic look to your fish tank, it will keep it clean. It stops the growth of bacteria, and resultantly you will not have to clean the tank frequently.

    These stones provide a base for the other fish tank accessories and make them appear more natural in the environment. The white and grey color of the gravel gives it a light, airy, and natural outlook.

    It features a colorfast resin coating, due to which the color does not leak out and makes it safe for the fish. Moreover, it doesn’t alter the pH of the aquarium.

    So, if you want to keep your aquarium clean and stylish, you must go for it.

    Reasons To Buy:

    • Gives natural appearance
    • Keeps the tank clean

    10 Things You Must Not Put In Your Fish Tank

    1. Plastic

    Many aquarium stores sell plastic toys that attract aquarists, and they get tempted to make them part of their freshwater tank. Fish tank decorations are crucial, and I recommend researching before adding anything to the freshwater tank.

    We are no stranger to the reality that plastic is not suitable for the environment. Keeping that in view, plastic is dangerous for freshwater life as well.  

    Plastic releases toxins when it stays in the water for a more extended period. Thus, these released chemicals can disturb the natural environment for the fish, and in severe cases, it can also cause the unexpected death of fish.

    However, you can introduce toys that feature food-grade safe plastic. Such plastic has a triangle of three arrows on it. So, before purchasing any plastic accessory for your fish tank, ensure its quality and look for its sticker.

    Moreover, plastic toys usually have unsealed paint. They also tend to release harmful chemicals into the fish environment. Therefore, before making a purchase, ensure that the toy features sealed plastic and colors.

    Even after sealing, plastic has a possible chance of chipping and releasing toxins. Hence, I recommend avoiding plastic toys and keeping the aquarium environment natural.

    2. Ceramics

    Generally, ceramics categorized as dinnerware safe are not harmful to aquatic life, and you can confidently put them in your tank with few exceptions. Copper glazed ceramics are safe for human beings, but that’s not the case with aquatic life.

    Dinnerware-safe ceramics do not release heavy metals or chemicals when they remain in the water for a time. However, glazed ceramics are not safe for aquariums. High decorated ceramics and glazed terracotta can potentially release lead when it remains in the water.

    Lead is equally harmful and dangerous for humans and freshwater life. Therefore, always ensure that heavy metals are not present in the ceramic. 

    After recent advancements, some countries are manufacturing lead-free terracotta. However, if you are unsure about the presence of lead, don’t take any risk.

    3. Consumable Iteaquarium-fish-tank-decorationsaquarium-fish-tank-decorationsms

    You should not add anything chewable in the aquatic tank other than the food. Fish have the habit of chewing and biting a lot.

    So, if any soft rock or item is inside the fresh water tank, there is a great chance that fish will chew it off. Resultantly, this may release toxins in the water, and chipping may prove fatal for the fish’s life. 

    Moreover, when you are adding food to the fish tank, ensure that you are not putting other types of chewable items. If you do so, the fish will not finish the food on the plate. Eventually, food will settle at the bottom of the aquarium and will release toxins.  

    Before introducing any plant into the fish environment, research well to ensure that you are not putting anything in the aquarium which may prove harmful to fish. 

    4. Wood

    The introduction of wood in your aquarium can give it an aesthetic appearance. Most aquarium enthusiasts want wooden ornaments, and this is a relief that aquarium stores have treated wood.

    It is essential to put the treated wood in the tank so that the chemistry and pH of the tank remain undisturbed. Therefore, you cannot put just any wood in the aquarium on your own. 

    While selecting wood for the tank, you need to consider that your selected wood shouldn’t have quick decomposition properties. I will suggest you driftwood and hardwood in this matter.

    These woods don’t decompose rapidly and don’t alter the water’s chemistry drastically. However, you can choose any other available treated wood for your aquarium decoration

    5. Beach Sand

    Untreated beach sand contains various harmful bacteria, pollutants, and chemicals that make it harmful to fish. It may sound strange to you as you will come up with the inquiry of how the natural habitat of fish is dangerous?

    Well, oceans have a massive flow of water and water keeps on renewing. However, this is not the case with aquariums. They are a small community, and slight fluctuation can cause drastic effects. 

    Hence, you can introduce treated sand in the aquarium, an excellent substitute for beach sand.

    If you still want to put the beach sand in the freshwater aquarium, it requires time and energy. You will need to soak the sand, change the water, rinse the sand and let it sit in the water tank. This process requires patience and may take 2-3 weeks.

    6. Shells, Corals, And Rocks

    Any substance that tends to bring chemical change in the aquarium is unsuitable. Corals and shells can increase the calcium level of the water. As we discuss freshwater fish here, they don’t require excessive calcium. Therefore, it is best to avoid them.

    Seashells also disturb the pH of the water and make the environment unfriendly for the fish. It is difficult to maintain the pH of the aquarium, and it will cause difficulties for your pet. Hence, I will recommend not to make them part of your freshwater aquarium. 

    7. Degradable Substances

    Whenever any substance degrades, it releases various harmful toxins and substances that are not healthy for the surroundings. If something part of your aquarium degrades, it will alter the aquarium’s chemistry and make the environment harmful. 

    Some substances may release toxins in the aquarium, making the water dirty. Therefore, we should not add any such substance to the tank.

    The leftover fish food can also decompose, so you should not keep it inside for more than 5 minutes and remove it from the tank. As an aquarium enthusiast, you must acquaint yourself with the relevant information. 

    8. Your Own Hands

    Being a fish tank owner, putting your hands inside the aquarium is normal. However, it is an obligation for you to make sure that your hands are not a carrier of any contaminant. Your hands are bacteria-less without any traces of chemicals. They must not have any soap, lotion, or cream over them as it can ruin the tank’s chemistry. 

    If your hands have traces of creams, sanitizer, or soap, it will alter the pH of the water, which will affect the fish. Therefore, whenever you need to put your hands inside, first wash them with antibacterial wash. Then, rinse them properly with water. 

    9. Sharp Objects

    Breakable items such as glass, painted glass, or fragile decorative are a big NO for the freshwater aquarium. Therefore, when you are getting the decoration items, check them thoroughly. You must avoid putting those objects in the tank with sharp edges that can physically hurt your pet.

    In case your fish gets any cut, it will catch the infection. It is difficult to treat the injury of fish and can cause its death. If you find anything in the tank broken, remove it immediately to avoid any accident. 

    10. Large Fish Breeds

    You have to make a community that lives together in cooperation and at peace. For designing an ideal freshwater tank, you need to research which kind of freshwater fish is suitable for your water tank.

    If you choose large fish, you must know that it will eat the small fish present in the community. Moreover, some fish may not be suitable for the size of your aquarium. Therefore, research well before choosing any breed for your tank. 

    How To Select Accessories For Your Fish Tank

    You can add anything to your aquarium according to your creativity and personal preference. However, before buying something for your fish tank, there are some factors to consider.

    First and foremost is the type of fish community you have.

    It depends on the type of the fish, whether tropical or marine, as some accessories are not compatible with a specific type. Although most of the accessories are non-toxic and made of safe material, it is essential to ensure beforehand.

    Next is the size of the tank. Whenever you add any accessory to your tank, consider its size. Additions shouldn’t cause overcrowding in the environment because they will stress the fish. If your tank is small in size, add two to three accessories to it so that your fish will feel at home.

    If you are adding LED lights to the tank, ensure that your tank is compatible.

    Lastly, consider the liking of your fish. You need to consider the accessories that will make them feel closer to their natural habitat.


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