Why Are Aquarium Decorations So Expensive? (4 Main Reasons)

Image of an aquarium with expensive decorations

Aquarium decorations are expensive because they are specifically designed to be safe underwater. Besides, it’s a niche market aimed at a select group of people willing to pay for them. Also, fishkeeping is a growing hobby and as the demand increases, so does the price of the aquarium decorations.

Various factors have contributed to the price increase of aquarium decorations. Let’s take a look at them now.

4 Main Reasons Behind The Rise Of Aquarium Decoration Prices

Not every decorative item can be used in an aquarium.

An unsuitable item affects the water quality, lead to water contamination by release of toxins, and even injure the fish with its sharp edges.

So, only decorations that are marked as safe for aquarium use are preferred by aquarists.

Any decorative item that is marked as aquarium-safe is usually more expensive than its generic counterpart.

Given below are the main reasons why aquarium decorations have become expensive:

  1. Gone are the days when people just had a tank with a couple of fish, skimmer, light, and some coral in it. Nowadays, fishkeeping has evolved, with themes being incorporated in the aquarium to give it a unique identity. That’s why there has been an increased need for decorative aquarium accessories such as lighting fixtures, plants, gravel, sand, rocks, etc.
  2. The other reason contributing to the high prices of aquarium decorations is their design. The designs range from simple geometric patterns to intricate floral motifs. Some may also include pictures or paintings depicting marine life. These add up to the overall manufacturing cost, thus making the aquarium decorations expensive.
  3. Fishkeeping is now becoming a hobby wherein aquarists thrive to ensure their fish get the best care and an environment resembling their natural environment. Therefore, aquarists are looking for live aquatic plants, rocks, caves, and other decorative items to create such an environment. This has resulted in a spike in demand for aquarium decorations. As the demand increases, so does the price.
  4. Since hobbyists are willing to pay more money, many companies have become innovative and brought more expensive products to the market. This has led to the growth of the aquarium decoration industry. Further, it has resulted in higher production costs and an increase in the prices of these products.

Now, not all aquarists are fond of expensive decorations.

Some of them prefer to keep their aquarium simple with minimum decorations.

They prefer inexpensive aquarium decorations. So, you may wonder where to buy cheap aquarium decorations.

Where To Buy Cheap Aquarium Decorations?

Cheap aquarium decorations are usually available at local pet stores.

You can also find them online, but you may have to pay a premium for shipping and handling costs.

You can check online on Facebook Groups, Craigslist, Amazon, Petco, or eBay.

Facebook communities are generally an excellent place for negotiating prices.

You can also buy rocks at local landscaping places. You may get it cheaper there.

Walmart is another good option. Thrift stores are also usually cheap, but they may have used items.

You can even keep an eye on garage sales. You can get aquarium decorations free over there at times.

Some aquarists may sell their aquarium decorations cheaper if they want to get out of the hobby.

If you want something custom-made, you will have to pay more than what you would spend on an item from a local pet shop.

Are Cheap Aquarium Decorations Durable?

Cheap aquarium decorations are durable if the quality is good.

However, it also depends on how you use them and what kind of materials were used to make them.

Glass decorations are usually inexpensive and durable. Glass lasts up to a decade with proper care and maintenance.

The same case is with plastic too. Plastic decorative items that are safe for aquariums last long.

However, some plastics crack when dropped in water. So, make sure you know which ones you are buying.

The quality of the material used to make an aquarium decoration determines its durability.

If the quality of the material is sub-standard, the decorations won’t be durable.

8 Cheap Ways To Decorate An Aquarium Using Household Items

Aquarium decorations can be expensive and burn a hole in your pocket.

But the good thing is you can explore your creativity by using numerous household items to decorate your tank.

However, you can’t put any household items into the aquarium. It can prove fatal to the tank inhabitants.

Any item that affects the water quality or alters its pH levels should be avoided.

Similarly, any item that has paint on it is usually not aquarium safe.

While you can put many household items as decorations in your tank, they need to be thoroughly cleaned before placing them in the tank to avoid the risk of contaminating the water.

Some of the household items that you can safely use in the aquarium are:

1. Ceramic coffee mugs.

Coffee mugs are usually used in all households. So what better way to decorate your aquarium than with mugs.

If you have an aquarium in your office, you can add a coffee mug with your business logo on it.

It will not only enhance the beauty of your aquarium but can also serve as a branding element.

2. Clay flowerpots.

Clay flowerpots are usually aquarium safe.

Terracotta clay pots that come in various shapes and sizes are generally aquarium safe.

You can also customize them according to your needs. Moreover, clay pots are very affordable too.

You can place a single flowerpot at the bottom of the tank or scatter smaller ones at different places in the tank.

If you use household flowerpots, scrub and clean them well before placing them in the aquarium.

Also, look for any sharp edges or holes in the pot.

It’s better to seal the holes or ensure that the holes are large enough for the fish to swim through.

3. Colored lighting.

Colored lighting is another good way to decorate a fish tank. You can select a color as per your room decor.

For example, blue light has a soothing effect on the fish.

Moreover, light is crucial for the healthy development of fish and plants.

4. Legos.

Plastic toys are widely used in aquariums.

However, you can go beyond the traditional ways and build an elaborate display out of Legos.

With Legos, you can explore your creativity.

For example, you can give your aquarium an underwater palace, a castle, a sunken ferry, etc. The possibilities are endless.

Legos are kid-friendly and usually safe for aquariums as they don’t release toxins into the tank water.

5. Vinyl decals.

Vinyl decals are another excellent option to decorate the outside of a tank. Just like Legos, you have multiple choices in vinyl decals.

You can stick your favorite stickers on the sides, corners, or any other part of the aquarium as per your taste.

It’s fun to experiment with decals.

6. Rocks.

Rocks are popular as they give an aquarium a natural look. You can DIY rock caves or rock art for your fish.

Fish-safe glues are available online that make it easy to create beautiful rock formations.

However, while creating your creations, they need to be stable and shouldn’t fall over.

Otherwise, your tank inhabitants will get injured badly.

7. Picture frames.

When we think of decorating an aquarium, things like rocks, pebbles, driftwood, ornaments, etc., instantly come to our minds.

However, putting things inside the aquarium is not the only way to enhance its beauty.

You can add picture frames at the back of the tank.

The colorful background adds life to the frame, while the pictures enhance the aquarium’s overall appearance.

8. Doodles.

Doodles are one of the easiest and effective ways to beautify an aquarium.

Doodling helps enhance the aesthetic appeal of the aquarium by adding more colors and patterns.

You can doodle a beautiful castle, design a private island, draw a mermaid, or paint a rainbow on the glass surface.

All this will help make your aquarium unique and attractive.

Moreover, you can erase the doodles easily with any aquarium-safe cleaner and change the scenes whenever you feel like it.


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