Pets

Best Aquarium Decorations: Rocks, Plants, and Accessories

aquarium decorations, aquarium accessories, aquarium ornaments, aquarium rocks, aquarium, fish tank, fish tanks, cheap fish tanks, aquariums

Much like with your own home, the truly satisfying part of owning an aquarium isn’t the buying or the setting it up. The part that makes a house into a home is putting your touch on it, be it a coat of paint here or there or a whole new furniture set. It’s those design choices you make after you move in that make it distinctly yours.

The same is true for fish tanks. Picking out and designing the decor of an aquarium is almost as much fun as picking out the fish you will put in it. You can design the elements of the tank based on elements in your home, or you can do something totally outrageous and unexpected. You can treat your fish tank like a dollhouse of sorts, creating different areas for your fish to explore and hide.

There are a few categories you can choose from when deciding how to decorate your new tank. We’ve selected a few examples of rocks, wood, artificial coral and plants, and ornaments to get you started.

If you haven’t picked a fish tank yet, check out our list of the Top 10 Best Fish Tank & Aquarium Kits.

For those planning a new tank or just looking to redesign their current aquarium, here’s our list of the best aquarium decorations.


Aquarium Decorative Rocks

Decorative rocks serve as a nod to real underwater scenes, providing both a sense of terrain for the viewer and shelter for the fish. Even if you have other ornaments, having at least one rock formation is a nice touch for any tank.


1. Aquatic Creations Rock Formation

aquarium decorations, aquarium accessories, aquarium ornaments, aquarium rocks, aquarium, fish tank, fish tanks, cheap fish tanks, aquariums

(Aquatic Creations)

This rugged-looking formation is compatible with both salt and freshwater tanks and is a good alternative to real rock. It’s also relatively large, measuring 13 inches by 5.1 inches by 8.7 inches. It’s good in medium-to-large tanks, especially ones where other dark hideouts are available, since this is better for hiding behind as opposed to inside.

Need more options? Browse more decorative rocks here.

Price: $24.98 (13 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Aquatic Creations Rock Formation here.

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If you're in the market for a fish tank, consider our list of the ten best aquarium starter kits to give you everything you need to start keeping fish as pets.

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2. Underwater Galleries Cichlid Stones

aquarium decorations, aquarium accessories, aquarium ornaments, aquarium rocks, aquarium, fish tank, fish tanks, cheap fish tanks, aquariums

(Underwater Galleries)

If you do, indeed, need rocks for your fish to hide in, these cichlid stones are an excellent option. Great for not just cichlids, these three individual rocks each offer an opening for fish to hide out in. Since they’re separate, you can place hiding spaces in different areas of the tank. The largest stone measures approximately 4 inches by 5 inches by 3 inches, while the smallest is approximately 2 inches by 2 inches by 3 inches. If you only need two rocks, you can get the two-pack for $6.53 as an add-on item.

Need more options? Browse more decorative rocks here.

Price: $16.20 (for three pack)

Buy the Underwater Galleries Cichlid Stones here.

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Aquarium Decorative Wood

Like rocks, decorative wood in an aquarium adds a touch of natural surroundings to your fish habitat. Some wood pieces, like the ones we’ve chosen, serve dual purpose by releasing tannins to lower water pH.


3. Aquatic Arts 3 Piece Cholla Aquarium Driftwood

aquarium decorations, aquarium accessories, aquarium ornaments, aquarium rocks, aquarium, fish tank, fish tanks, cheap fish tanks, aquariums

(Aquatic Arts)

In the case of hard water, like municipal tap, adding a few pieces of wood can help lower the pH in your tank. You can also use pieces of wood for growing live aquatic plants. This cholla looks great in any setting. You’ll get at least three pieces that are at least five inches long, which you can use to stack or combine with other decorative elements.

Need more options? Browse more aquarium decorative wood here.

Price: $11.95

Buy the Aquatic Arts 3 Piece Cholla Aquarium Driftwood here.

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4. Estes Gravel Malaysian Driftwood

aquarium decorations, aquarium accessories, aquarium ornaments, aquarium rocks, aquarium, fish tank, fish tanks, cheap fish tanks, aquariums

(Estes)

If you only have a small tank, you might want to opt for a smaller piece of wood. While Estes produces these Malaysian driftwood in both medium and large, sometimes a small element is enough to do the job. Like the cholla, this will release tannins to lower the pH of hard water. The lovely wood color makes a nice accent piece.

Need more options? Browse more aquarium decorative wood here.

Price: $8.50

Buy the Estes Gravel Malaysian Driftwood here.

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Aquarium Artificial Coral

While you can certainly grow your own living coral in a saltwater tank, that might be a bit more of an undertaking than you initially planned. Thankfully, you can get artificial coral to liven up your tank and introduce an interesting element.


5. Saim Glowing Artificial Coral Ornament

aquarium decorations, aquarium accessories, aquarium ornaments, aquarium rocks, aquarium, fish tank, fish tanks, cheap fish tanks, aquariums

(Saim)

Glowing decorations are a nice complement to neon fish like GloFish. These glowing coral pieces are affixed to suction cups so you can place them either on the bottom or on the side of your tank. You’ll need acintic lighting to get them to glow, but once you have it, your aquarium will benefit from an eye-catching display.

Need more options? Browse more artificial coral here.

Price: $6.98

Buy the Saim Glowing Artificial Coral Ornament here.

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6. Deep Blue Professional ADB80022 Ridge Coral

aquarium decorations, aquarium accessories, aquarium ornaments, aquarium rocks, aquarium, fish tank, fish tanks, cheap fish tanks, aquariums

(Deep Blue Professional)

As with living coral, artificial coral decorations come in different types and looks. This U.S.-made coral ridge is more like the rocks above, offering a small swim-through area. It’s a finely finished piece, detailed to look like live coral. It measures 9.5 inches by 6 inches by 9.5 inches.

Need more options? Browse more artificial coral here.

Price: $35.15

Buy the Deep Blue Professional ADB80022 Ridge Coral here.

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Aquarium Artificial Plants

As with coral, there are live aquatic plants you can add to your tank, but these require additional monitoring and care. All you really need is some faux foliage to make your fish feel at home, and artificial plants are an excellent alternative. Additionally, artificial plants come in bright colors that add intrigue to your tank.


7. Vorcool 10 Piece Artificial Plant Decoration

aquarium decorations, aquarium accessories, aquarium ornaments, aquarium rocks, aquarium, fish tank, fish tanks, cheap fish tanks, aquariums

(Vorcool)

At less than a dollar a plant, this ten piece pack will provide more than enough foliage for even relatively large tanks. The base of each plant is made of ceramic material to help weight down to the bed of your tank. They are of course made of fish-safe, non-toxic plastic for years of enjoyment in your tank. The pieces measure between three and five inches and come in a variety of colors.

Need more options? Browse more artificial plants here.

Price: $8.88

Buy the Vorcool 10 Piece Artificial Plant Decoration here.

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8. Uxcell 14 Piece Plastic Aquarium Plants

aquarium decorations, aquarium accessories, aquarium ornaments, aquarium rocks, aquarium, fish tank, fish tanks, cheap fish tanks, aquariums

(Uxcell)

If the super bright colors of the pack above don’t speak to you, try this 14 piece package that focuses more on vibrant natural greens. These also come with ceramic bases to keep the plants grounded where you place them. By combining both sets, you can also create visual depth in your tank and give fish additional places to hide.

Need more options? Browse more artificial plants here.

Price: $20.15

Buy the Uxcell 14 Piece Plastic Aquarium Plants here.

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Aquarium Ornaments

Unlike the items listed above, aquarium ornaments aren’t really about emulating something found in nature. Rather, they’re for adding a touch of whimsy and fun to a tank setup. Giving your fish a themed ornament introduces a little character to the aquarium and can give viewers something to spot when watching the fish. They’re almost like little fish playgrounds.


9. Blue Ribbon Pet Products ABLEE898 Sunken Submarine

aquarium decorations, aquarium accessories, aquarium ornaments, aquarium rocks, aquarium, fish tank, fish tanks, cheap fish tanks, aquariums

(Blue Ribbon)

Sunken ships are a mainstay of fish tank ornaments. This finely detailed piece offers a twist on the old theme, featuring a submarine with a hull breach that reveals a torpedo within. Measuring 12.75 inches by 5 inches by 7.5 inches, there is a small cove under the ship that offers fish a place to hide. Accents are provided by brightly colored barnacles covering the hull and rocks.

Need more options? Browse more aquarium ornaments here.

Price: $27.92

Buy the Blue Ribbon Pet Products ABLEE898 Sunken Submarine here.

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10. Penn-Plax Aqua Ornament Super Castle

aquarium decorations, aquarium accessories, aquarium ornaments, aquarium rocks, aquarium, fish tank, fish tanks, cheap fish tanks, aquariums

(Penn-Plax)

Meant for somewhat larger tanks, this castle decoration is full of nooks for fish to explore. The title says this piece is 16 inches, but the description gives measurements of 13.5 inches by 7 inches by 14.5 inches, which is probably more accurate. Penn-Plax makes a variety of castle-themed decorations, including this similarly-size piece and this one, which is a little smaller. If you have a very large tank, buy all three and stage wars between fish rulers.

Need more options? Browse more aquarium ornaments here.

Price: $33.01 (31 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Penn-Plax Aqua Ornament Super Castle here.

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Other Options

aquarium decorations, aquarium accessories, aquarium ornaments, aquarium rocks, aquarium, fish tank, fish tanks, cheap fish tanks, aquariums

(Roodle)

If you want to add other low maintenance but still living species to your fish tank, consider Marimo Moss Balls. These Roodle eight to 15 year old giant moss balls ($15.95) will add interest to your tank while removing ammonia from the water. You can also propagate them by cutting them into smaller pieces which will round out over time.

If you’re looking for another ornament, you can’t go wrong with the BioBubble Origins Pirate Treasure ($17.76). The sunken treasure chest is a fish tank classic.

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Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.

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