Best Aquarium Decoration | FOX31 Denver



Which aquarium decoration is the best?

Aquarium decorations aren’t just for making your aquarium look great. They also provide hiding places to help your fish feel safe. It is important that you choose decorations suitable for the aquarium that will not affect the water quality or harm your fish.

When considering what types of decorations are suitable for your fish and aquarium setup, consider size and materials. The Penn-Plax Castle Aquarium Ornament is ideal for medium to large sized tanks.

What to know before buying an aquarium decoration

Types of aquarium decorations

Consider what type of aquarium decoration you want for your aquarium. Some might also consider the bottom of the tank as a type of decoration, but it also provides enrichment for bottom fish.

  • Ornaments: These are usually made from resin or some type of ceramic. They come in a wide range of designs and sizes so there is something to fit most tanks. They are usually hollow with two or more openings so fish can easily hide inside. Resin is a common decorative material. Once cured, the resin is completely inert and can be safely used in aquariums. You can easily mold it into virtually any shape, making it ideal for all kinds of ornaments.
  • Natural driftwood: Natural driftwood makes an attractive addition to an aquarium, but only if it comes from a reputable aquarium supply manufacturer and is properly dried. Never use driftwood found in an aquarium. However, it can still leach tannins into the water, causing discoloration.
  • Artificial plants: Some fish like to hide among plants, but planted tanks require a lot of maintenance. Artificial plants are the next best thing. Silk plants made from fabric (but not real silk) are also gentle on the fins.
  • Rocks: You can use rocks as aquarium decoration but, as with driftwood, do not use rocks that you have found. Instead, buy ones that have been specifically cleaned and treated for aquarium use. Some rocks can leach harmful substances. Safe rocks for freshwater aquariums include lava rock, quartz, basalt, and slate. For marine aquariums, look for reef rocks, such as Fiji rock or Tongan branch rock.


Check the dimensions of any decorations you are considering to make sure they fit well in your aquarium and comfortably accommodate your fish.

  • Little: Decorations shouldn’t take up too much space in your aquarium because fish need room to swim, so if you have a compact aquarium, choose small ornaments around 4 inches or less.
  • Medium: Medium ornaments around 5-8 inches are perfect for medium sized tanks and can accommodate larger fish.
  • Big: If you have a large tank, it can hold larger ornaments of around 8 to 14 inches. They are perfect for large fish or groups of small fish to hide in.

What to Look for in a Quality Aquarium Decoration

Smooth openings

Good decorations for aquariums should not have sharp edges that could hurt fish. However, smooth openings are of the utmost importance, as fish are more likely to catch their bodies or fins here than anywhere else.


You can find decorations in a range of styles, from simple logs to classic treasure chests and castles to whimsical underwater designs.

How much you can expect to spend on an aquarium decoration

Basic ornaments and faux plants cost less than $10, while large, elaborate ornaments and treated driftwood can cost as much as $50 to $100.

Aquarium Decoration FAQs

Do fish like decorations in their aquariums?

A. Any fish you keep in a home aquarium like tank decorations because it gives them places to hide. Even if your fish doesn’t care about the beauty of its surroundings, the cover provided by decorations makes it feel more secure.

Are aquarium decorations safe?

A. In an ideal world, any product sold as an aquarium ornament or decoration would be 100% safe. However, you may discover unreliable sellers selling decorations with sharp edges or toxic materials. As such, it is always best to buy decorations from reputable brands. Before putting ornaments in your aquarium, check for sharp edges, especially around openings, and file them if necessary.

Do you have to clean the aquarium decorations?

A. Yes, you should clean the decorations before putting them in the tank and whenever there is a heavy build up of algae. You don’t need to do anything fancy – just scrub them with warm water and an aquarium cleaning brush or a soft toothbrush.

What is the best aquarium decoration to buy?

Top aquarium decoration

Penn-Plax Castle Aquarium Decoration

What do you want to know: Measuring 14.5 inches tall, this ornament is perfect for medium to large sized aquariums.

What you will love: It is made from a safe and durable resin that is painted for added realism. It has many different places where fish can hide. As it is double sided, it will look great no matter where or how you place it in your aquarium.

What you should consider: Some buyers state that they received their castle broken, but you may be able to get a refund or replacement if this happens.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

Top aquarium decoration for the money

Best Marina Naturals Pike Floss Factory

Marina Naturals Pike Silk Plant

What do you want to know: This soft-touch fabric artificial plant is non-toxic and will not scratch or hurt fish.

What you will love: This is a great choice for fish that like to hide in plants, and you don’t want to maintain real ones. You can choose between medium or large sizes. It looks realistic and does not fade.

What you should consider: The edges of the sheets tear slightly over time.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Best Hygger Polyresin Wooden Trunk Aquarium Ornament

Hygger Polyresin Wooden Trunk Aquarium Ornament

What do you want to know: Suitable for small tanks up to 20 gallons, this resin log ornament looks great and provides ample hiding space.

What you will love: It is hand painted for a realistic effect. It has three separate openings, so fish have different ways in and out. It is quite small for compact tanks but still relatively roomy inside.

What you should consider: You may need to file the edges for fish with delicate fins.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

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Lauren Corona written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.

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