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best fish tank ornaments

7 Best Ornaments for your Fish Tank.

Fish tank ornaments come in all shapes, sizes, and even themes!

There will be purists recoiling in horror at the thought of adding ornaments to a fish tank, but there is nothing wrong with it.

If done sensibly, it can add colour and/or character to your tank, as well as serving a purpose for your fish.

Ornaments can be a really good option for someone who is brand new to fishkeeping. It gives them the chance to concentrate on the fish without having to worry about live plants or wood etc.

fish tank ornaments
A selection of fish tank ornaments.

In this article, I will share with you:

  • Things to consider when choosing fish tank ornaments.
  • The best fish tank ornaments available to buy, some of which are already in my tank!
  • How to clean your ornaments.
  • Some FAQ’s about ornaments in your tank.

Things to Consider when Choosing your Fish Tank Ornaments.

The Size and Shape of your Fish Tank.

You have to consider the size and shape of your tank as you don’t want to put giant ornaments in a relatively small tank, as this will limit the amount of swimming space for your fish.

The main reason for putting certain ornaments into the tank is to give the fish a hiding place.

Something ‘cave like’ is perfect for this. By ‘cave like’ I mean something that has an entrance for the fish to swim into, and is covered above and at the back and sides, just like a cave.

The Species and Size of your Fish.

Some species are known to dig in the substrate, which can then loosen any ornaments you have in your tank (Cichlids can be buggers for doing this).

You also have to be aware of what size your fish will grow to (if they aren’t already fully grown), especially if you are putting any ornaments in that the fish can swim into, or through. You don’t want them to get stuck, or injure themselves trying to get in or out.

The Shape of the Ornament.

Whenever I buy a new ornament for the tank, I rub the back of my hand over it to make sure there is nothing sharp, or too rough.

I always check that there are no sharp corners as well, as these can cause serious injury to your fish.

Sometimes, I will see an ornament that I really want, but it looks like it going to be a complete pain to clean. If it looks like there will be hard to reach areas for cleaning, it is probably best avoiding.

When carrying out your aquarium maintenance, it is important that you clean all of the algae off your ornaments. Green or brown slimy ornaments are not a good look!

decorations in a fish tank


Replica Driftwood.

You can add authentic driftwood to your aquarium, but it can be quite expensive as it has to go through a process to make it safe before it can go into your tank.

I have this replica driftwood in my fish tank that is made out of resin. It looks authentic, costs less, and doesn’t come with any issues that could crop up with using real wood in the tank.


As I mentioned earlier, cave like structures serve an important purpose for some fish, as it provides them with protection, or a hiding place for if they are stressed.

This is what I chose for my tank. Some of these can sometimes feel a little rough to the touch. Make sure you check this before adding it to the tank.


Fake plants are good if you have fish that like to eat or uproot live plants.

They are perfectly safe for your tank, as long as you wash them properly before putting them in.

I have a mix of real and fake plants in my tank. I like a bit of colour in my tank, and this is an easy way to get it.

This is really good value as you get 30 different plants of all shapes, sizes and colours. You don’t need to put them all in at once, unless your tank is massive. It is good to have spare plants for if you fancy a change of scenery for you and the fish.

Replica Coral.

These small, replica corals are made from resin so are perfectly safe for your tank. Remember to wash them thoroughly first before you put them in though. The majority of this type of decoration are only small in size, but they do look good in groups of 3 or 4 in the tank.

They are available in different colours and would be great for a smaller tank.

Rock Formations.

I have this in my tank and it looks really good as it adds a bit of colour and also serves a purpose for the fish., in that they have somewhere to hide.

They can come in different heights and widths so just double check the size against the size of your tank so it doesn’t look too big.

This is better suited for small fish due to the size of the openings.

Fun for Kids.

There is a good range of ornaments that the kids (and adults) will love in their tank. You can find mermaids, Finding Nemo characters, even Star Wars characters when looking online for ornaments. They all add a bit of fun and colour to your tank.

Always make sure they are suitable for an aquarium rather than just a normal children’s toy.

I love this Spongebob Squarepants set!

Glow Effect Ornaments.

Glowing ornaments can really make an aquarium pop. These are not glow in the dark though.

You can only use these if you have blue/white lighting in your tank. It is the lighting that gives them the glowing effect, so please keep that in mind when ordering.

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