Think before Adding any Materials or Decorations to Your Fish Tank

There are literally tons of ways on how you can show your creativity. Among it is through aquarium decorations. From putting in fishing lures, zombies, Eiffel Tower and whatnot, it is your imagination that would limit your creativity in designing your aquarium. In the even that you need more ideas, you can always check out and source the pieces you need for your design.

In this short post though, we will be focusing on the frequently used materials for aquarium decorations and how suitable they might be for the purpose.

Organic/Natural Materials

While it is often used, it is important to apply caution when using them. This is undoubtedly a grey area as some materials might be safe for some kinds of systems but there are some that might seriously affect the quality of water or decompose which may eventually change the hardness or pH level. In addition to that, where you are acquiring these materials may have an impact to your aquarium.

Whenever possible, steer clear of using anything that you might have salvaged from nature like forest, beach etc. You don’t know what that particular piece gets in contact with.

A general rule is, not to put anything natural in a totally different environment than where it originally came. For instance, adding some corals or marine shells to your freshwater tank is a no-no and forest wood would not even last long underwater.


This one entirely depends on what mineral or rock you are planning to use. You might want to try keeping the piece you’re considering in the container of the water tank for few days and check the water chemistry to ensure that it is stable.

Most rocks that are affecting water quality normally have calcium carbonate which dissolves at low pH level that causes pH to increase and hardness to rise – more often than not, rocks from ocean. If you have strong gut feeling about this, then you may try adding few drops of vinegar on the rock. If it contains calcium carbonate, then you should see it fizzing up and dissolving. This is something you don’t want to add to a freshwater tank.

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