While decorating your home for the holiday season, why not decorate the fish tank too? Here are some ideas to get you started!
For Inside the Tank
As always, choices for decorations inside the tank are limited because you need to make sure the decor is safe for your fish. Goldfish in particular tend to be pretty clumsy swimmers, so avoid anything with sharp edges and rough surfaces. Also remember that hollow decorations are not ideal because water can become stagnant inside them. With that in mind, here are some aquarium-safe decor ideas!
Flat Glass Marbles
For a quick and easy pop of festive color, I like to lightly scatter some glass marbles on the tank floor. For Christmas choose red, green, and/or white colors. Whether you have a bare-bottom aquarium like me, or you have substrate in your tank, these glass marbles add accent colors that really help establish the theme of your decor.
There are many different types of home decorations made of glass. As long as they are solely glass with no extra paint, glitter, or anything on them, these are aquarium-safe. Peruse your local thrift stores to see what glass treasures you can find! Santas, reindeer, Christmas trees, and snowflakes made of glass would all make great aquarium decorations! I found some solid glass Christmas trees and some hollow glass Christmas trees at my local thrift store. The hollow ones can be made more aquarium-friendly by putting something heavy inside of them so they sink, sealing them with aquarium silicone, and allowing the silicone to cure fully. This seals the glass decoration up tight so that you avoid water getting trapped inside it and becoming stagnant. Alternatively, you could consider drilling small holes; one at the base and one at the top, of the hollow ornament and placing an air stone inside it. This will allow water to flow freely through it continuously. Please take extreme caution when attempting to drill holes in glass objects, and if you aren't comfortable drilling glass, then either get help from someone experienced or do not attempt it. When in doubt, opt only for solid glass decorations.
Solid Glass Christmas Trees:
Hollow Glass Christmas Trees:
Christmas-themed Decorations Made for Aquarium Use
As we near the holiday season, some pet stores may begin carrying Christmas-themed tank ornaments, and any of these would be fine for your aquarium. As always, take care to stay away from sharp, rough, or hollow ones.
For Outside the Tank
This is where we can get a little more creative because decorations outside of the tank pose little to no threat to the health of your fish.
Fake Snow and/or Frost
Avoid using spray-on fake snow on the outside of your tank because it's not a good idea to spray aerosols near the aquarium. Also, it may be difficult to fully remove from the glass when the holiday season is over.
If you want the fake snow look without using spray-on snow, you can opt for a roll of cotton fake snow. This can be cut in pieces and assembled together on your tank to resemble rolling snow-covered hills. Or you can wrap the base of your tank with the fake snow. The possibilities are endless!
To get that frosty window look on your aquarium glass, you can actually use epsom salt! Epsom salt is non-toxic and can be found in the pharmacy department of many stores. All you need to do is dissolve some epsom salt in hot water, add a little bit of dishsoap, allow mixture to cool, and paint it onto your aquarium glass (on the outside of course). As it dries, the epsom salt forms crystals that resemble frost on windows. After the holiday season is over, the glass wipes clean with a wet rag.
Here is my video tutorial that shows how to do this:
Window clings can be found in a wide variety of Christmas themes, and they also come in either gel or vinyl forms. Use snowflakes, santas, Christmas trees, snowmen, or any number of Christmas-related window clings! If you are DIY inclined, you could also make Christmas-themed cutouts with construction paper and tape them (using an easily removable tape) to the glass.
For a personal touch, you can buy or make some miniature stockings for your fish! They can even be customized with the names of your fish either by using fabric pens or by stitching with thread (as I have done). Then just hang the stockings from either the tank or the tank stand. Here are my handmade stockings.
Get creative and see what else you can come up with to decorate your tank this Christmas!