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If you've just purchased an aquarium, chances are that you're really looking forward to decorating your tank. This is your chance to get creative and let your artistic side out.

There are a plethora of design options you could go for, with each aspect bringing something different to the table. There is no limit to what you can do. 

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Aquascaping a Fish TankAquascaping a Fish Tank

The secret is decorating fish tanks in a way that complements the type of fish you have as well as the décor of your room.

Keep in mind that less is more. You want decorations that add color and life to your tank but you don't want to overdo them either. Your objective is to highlight your fish by giving them an eye-catching setting to thrive in.

Background And Lighting

The aquarium background and lighting of your fish tank will make or break its look. Many people do not realize just how important these two are.

Remember, a mirror background and lighting will both reflect off the water. So, when done right, you can create some mesmerizing tones of color in the water.

White or blue lights work well in most aquariums, but you can always experiment with different hues and backgrounds.

Some of you might like colours that pop, while others might like more serene backgrounds.

Additionally, these two factors also dictate the perception of space in your tank. Proper usage can make your aquarium look much bigger than it actually is.

Selecting The Right Substrate

Once you have decided on the background and lighting of your aquarium, the next thing to do is select a substrate. The type of substrate to select depends primarily on the kind of fish you plan to keep.

Some fish like to bury themselves in sand or lie at the bottom of your tank , so you want to give them a sandy substrate. Sand is also preferable if you plan to keep saltwater fish. For freshwater aquariums and their fish, it is best to go with gravel or stone.

Next, you want to consider the look you want for your fish tank. Substrate is available in a variety of colors. Go for natural colours like brown for sand or white stones if you want your aquarium to mirror nature. You can go for something out of the box if you think you can pull it off. Substrate like glass pebbles are an interesting option.

Firstly, is the substrate suitable for your fish? Secondly, will it go with your other decorating plans? This is important because you can't have live aquarium plants growing on gravel or glass pebbles - they need sand.

Choosing Between Synthetic Or Real Plants

Plants for Tropical FishPlants for Tropical Fish

Plants are the backbone of most aquarium decors. Whether it is live plants or synthetic ones, there is nothing that can compare to the elegance that plants can give to a tank. Live plants provide oxygen, regulate pH levels and help purify the water.

The flipside is that like all living things they die. They shed leaves, discolour and need regular maintenance. Leave a deaf leaf floating around in your aquarium for too long and you’re inviting all sorts of bacteria.

This is where plastic plants can make your life much easier. Since they are synthetic, they require minimum upkeep and look fresh all the time. Plus you can select any shape and colour of plant you want without worrying about them dying on you.  

Keep in mind the above mentioned tips and you should not have any problems choosing the best decorations for your aquarium. The rest is a matter of personal taste. There are so many decorations out there that you can't really go wrong. Stick to what you like, or perhaps you might like to try a natural theme for your fish tank.

Fish Tank Decorations

Fish Tank DecorationsFish Tank Decorations

If you've ever visited a pet shop, you know that there is a wide variety of decorations and tank ornaments that you can put inside your aquarium. From driftwood to rocks, figurines to fake coral, treasure chests, wrecked ships, starfishes, etc, you are spoiled for choice.

Pick any decoration you want as long as you don't clutter. A general rule of thumb to follow would be to have no more than 3-4 items in a medium-sized tank excluding plant life.

Also only use decorations that have been specifically made for underwater use. Otherwise, they might dissolve or contaminate the water and harm your fish.  

By Stella Coleridge

Stella is a blogging enthusiast and marine animal lover from Brighton. She enjoys rock concerts and hiking in her free time. You can reach here at  stella.coleridge@gmail.com