Best Accessories for a Whimsical Fish Tank

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington

Turn your tank into a wonderful, whimsical fish fantasy land! Here are the best accessories you should use for a whimsical fish tank.

Half the fun of having an aquarium is decorating it, and no one ever said you had to go for a “natural” look. Sunken treasure chests, pirate ships, even novelty-themed decorations can turn your aquarium into a whimsical fantasy land. All it takes is a little imagination!

You should feel free to decorate your fish tank any way you like, and there are plenty of amusing decorations out there to fuel your imagination. Keep reading to see our top picks for the best accessories for a whimsical fish tank.

Best Accessories for a Whimsical Tank

When it comes to adding decorations to your home aquarium, don’t be afraid to get a little silly. Your fish don’t know the difference between a natural river rock and a novelty treasure chest, so why not have fun when decorating your tank?

Here are our top picks for the best accessories for a whimsical fish tank:

1. Editor’s Pick: Penn Plax Licensed Nickelodeon Sponge Bob Ornament

Even if you’re not a fan of the show Sponge Bob Square Pants, you still recognize this pineapple-shaped home. This aquarium decoration adds color and dimension to your tank but also functions as a hideaway for your fish. Plus, it is made specifically for aquarium decoration, so it is completely safe.

2. Runner Up: Penn Plax Aerating Action Pirate Skeleton

Turn your aquarium into a sunken ship with this aerating action tank ornament. A skeleton clutches a jug while resting against a treasure chest and his arms raise the jug to his face with the aerating bubble action. The air pump is sold separately and takes a standard 3/16” tube to operate.

3. Best Marvel: SLOCME Baby Groot Air Bubbler Decoration

For fans of the Guardians of the Galaxy series, try this air bubbler decoration shaped like baby Groot. Groot holds a test with a yellow chick inside while a cascade of tiny bubbles rise from his head. This decoration requires an air pump to operate.

4. Best for Car Geeks: Boxtech Imitation Car Wreck Ornament

This aquarium ornament turns your tank into a junk yard because it is shaped like a wrecked car. Attach it to an air pump and watch the hood rise and fall with the bubbles. Purchase the car alone or with the necessary accessories.

5. Best Magical Motif: Penn Plax Mystical Magic Castle Ornament

Transform your aquarium into a mythical medieval land with this castle ornament. Made from aquarium-safe resin, this castle will tower above smaller decorations and has open space underneath where fish can hide. Choose from two different sizes according to your preferences.

6. Best SpongeBob Theme: Easter Island SpongeBob Ornament

If the pineapple house isn’t to your style, maybe this Easter Island head also known as Squidward’s home from SpongeBob SquarePants will. Made from aquarium-safe resin, this ornament adds intrigue to your tank while also functioning as a hideaway for your fish. It is perfectly sized for most home aquariums.

7. Best UFO: Blue Ribbon Crashed UFO Ornament

Make your fish wonder whether aliens exist with this crashed UFO aquarium ornament. It looks as if it has spent decades rusting in the depths of the ocean and it is the perfect cave for your fish to hide in. Pair it with other alien-themed ornaments to complete the story!

8. Best Skull: Blue Ribbon Exotic Environments Skull Ornament

The perfect pairing for a crashed UFO ornament, this alien skull is a whimsical tank ornament that also functions as a cave. If an alien isn’t quite your style, choose from other options including a haunted skull, hippo skull, crocodile skull, and even a human skull.

9. Best Classic: Penn Plax Aerating Action Diver Ornament

This live-action tank ornament tells the story of a deep sea diver who has discovered a treasure chest. Attached to a hose, this aerating action ornament bubbles up, bringing it to life. All you need is a standard air pump and 3/16” tubing.

10. Best Shipwreck: Penn Plax Shipwreck Decoration

Turn your aquarium into a deep sea mystery with this two-piece shipwreck ornament. Powered by a standard air pump, this ornament has live action – the masts sway from side to side and the lifeboat moves. Bury part of each piece in your aquarium substrate to complete the image of the abandoned shipwreck.

Tips for Decorating Your Tank

There are no rules when it comes to decorating your aquarium – you can do whatever you like as long as it doesn’t interfere with the proper care of your tank inhabitants. Many aquarium hobbyists strive to cultivate a natural-looking habitat for their fish, both in appearance and in actuality, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to. Have fun decorating your tank! That’s half the point of having it.

Here are some general tips for decorating your fish tank:

  • Decide on a theme before you start shopping so you have an idea what you’re looking for.
  • Aim to purchase a selection of decorations of different sizes – you want to break up the tank at different levels for a more interesting overall look.
  • Try to keep the taller decorations at the sides and back of the tank, leaving most of the middle open for free swimming space.
  • Include at least one or two decorations that give your fish a place to hide – this is particularly important for nocturnal fish.
  • Explore the idea of including live plants in your décor scheme – they add color and also help improve the water quality in your tank.
  • Don’t add too many decorations at once – start with a few key items and see how they fill the space in your tank before adding too many more.

Why Add Aquarium Decorations?

Additionally, ornamental items such as aquarium plants can improve the quality of water by filtering it, effectively making life in your fish tank much more enjoyable. Of course, not all breeds of fish will prefer the same type of decor, and not all types of fish tanks are suited for every aquarium plant or ornament. Thankfully, you don’t have to be afraid that you’ll endanger the fragile fish in the tank or mess up your setup with the wrong choice of aquarium décor.’s extensive resources on fish and aquaria will make sure you know exactly what your pets need to stay healthy and happy, and our buying guides and reviews help you pick out the best aquarium decorations for your fish tank. Whether you need to choose a perfect background, decide which type of gravel is a match for the fish you care for, or just need ornaments to complete your aquarium’s theme, you’ve come to the right place.

Choosing Aquarium Decorations

The key to choosing the best aquarium décor is to make a compromise between what you personally prefer when it comes to visual impact, and what your fish needs to ensure their well-being. Many aquarium enthusiasts got into the world of fishkeeping not just because they admire the variety of stunning fish breeds, but because they wanted a beautifully decorated aquarium to be a centerpiece in their home. Considering that there are some breathtakingly beautiful fish tanks out there, the aesthetic appeal of fishkeeping surprises no one, really.

However, if you plan on keeping fish as pets in the tank, your aquarium décor should be compatible with their needs too, not just your design preferences. For instance, you might find large gravel more visually appealing than, let’s say, fine sand on the bottom of your fish tank. But, if you keep fish that likes to burrow, like catfish or carp species, opting for a sand substrate is a must. Rocks and gravel can injure these fish breeds, as their burrowing habits require a soft bottom

Furthermore, even when you know what type of substrate you need, there are additional choices to be made. Rocks, pebbles, or fine gravel? Play sand, blasting sand, silica sand, or maybe Tahitian moon sand? Find out everything about decorative substrates right here at From information on types of substrates that will ensure your pet fish needs are met to help using it to decorate your fish tank so it complements your overall theme,’s aquarium experts will give you all the resources you need.

What Will You Add?

Once you set up the basics, like lights and filtration, it’s time for the most exciting part of the fish tank setup. You might have seen stunning saltwater tanks with coral reefs, sunken ships, and treasure chests, or were impressed by a freshwater aquarium boasting lush flora, fish tank logs or stone archways. Regardless of your personal taste,’s reviews will help you find exactly what you need to complete your dream fish tank. Whether you want an imposing rock castle, lovely little bridge, or prefer to create a minimalistic display relying on an interesting substrate and rock aquarium décor, you will find it here.

Our aquarium décor reviews cover everything from ornamental figurines and sculptures to aquarium backgrounds, and everything in between. Not sure how you want your finished fish tank to look like? No problem! Check out our aquarium décor ideas that will inspire you and help you find the ideal decoration style that will match your interior design and the requirements of your fish to boot.

While there are many interesting and highly ornamental aquarium décor items you can choose to enhance the appearance of your fish tank as well as enrich the surroundings for your pet fish, many aquarists rely on fish tank plants first and foremost. Fake or live, aquarium plants create a welcoming environment for the inhabitants and give the illusion of a little piece of wild nature right there in your home. Fake plants might be more convenient, as they don’t require any care besides eventual cleaning from time to time, but they also don’t offer any benefits for your pets.

Cleaning and Sanitizing

Whatever decorations you choose to buy, make sure you safely clean and sanitize them before adding them to your tank. The last thing you want is to accidentally introduce a harmful pathogen into your tank or some kind of chemical that might negatively impact your water chemistry. The safest solution to use is vinegar in a 1:1 mix with water. You can soak your ornaments in these for hours, then rinse off before returning them to your aquarium. Safe to use decorations are typically those that have been treated and specially made for fish tanks so they won’t rust in the water. Look for ones made of durable glass, ceramics (like your kitchen mugs or bowls) as these are usually safe in water.

Choosing Plants as Decorations

Live aquarium plants, on the other hand, are not just a piece of aquarium décor that acts as eye candy, but an aquarium addition with a real purpose. Plants in the fish tank balance out the pH levels of water, remove excess of carbon dioxide and enrich the water in the tank with oxygen, helping your fish stay healthy and boosting their immune systems. Additionally, rich flora in the aquarium will make your fish feel more comfortable as it mimics their natural environment more closely and allows them to express their natural behaviors, resulting in healthier, better-looking fish in your tank. And not to mention that aquariums decorated with live plants look absolutely gorgeous! However, live plants do require care if you want them to thrive. has a ton of informative guides that will help you choose aquarium plants for both freshwater and saltwater tanks, and ensure you provide them with proper care.

With our help, your aquarium will be a place of comfort and pleasure for your pet fish, and a source of joy for you. Beautifully decorated fish tanks are not just an attractive addition to your home decor; choosing the right ornamental items can actually improve the fish tank environment for its inhabitants. has all the scoop on aquarium decorations and how to choose the perfect products for your own individual needs – skip the fishy recommendations and go straight for the best!

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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