How to Make Your Own Eco-Friendly Aquarium Accessories

There are plenty of aquarium accessories on sale, most of them made from plastic. That’s not especially eco-friendly. It’s perfectly possible to make your own aquarium accessories and still be eco-friendly, whether you have a freshwater or a saltwater aquarium. In most cases it’s simply a case of collecting natural items for your aquarium.

What to Avoid

If you’re going to be eco-friendly with your aquarium accessories you should avoid those that aren’t natural. That means primarily no plastic, which is definitely not a green item. There are ample natural alternatives that can do the job just as well.


Rocks are very basic aquarium accessories and are completely natural and eco friendly. Arrange them artfully so fish have places to hide. You can build arches with them and create small spaces. Rocks are much better than plastic as aquarium accessories and give much better texture above the substrate.


The use of driftwood as aquarium accessories not only looks good, it gives excellent hiding places for the fish. As a natural, breathing material it’s completely eco-friendly and easy to gather in different sizes that will fit in your aquarium. It will look and sit much better in the aquarium than fake wood.


Rather than plastic plants as aquarium accessories use eco-friendly real plants. These can provide cover for the fish and also help clear algae from the tank. On top of that, some of the plants are excellent fish food. The plants give much better decoration, too, and that fact that they grow means that the aquarium is an evolving environment. Plants can be in the substrate or attached to driftwood or rocks.

Saltwater Plants

Having the right saltwater plants as aquarium accessories gives more than decoration; it provides an idea ecosystem, making them very eco-friendly accessories. Try cactus algae or halimeda, and you should also put in macro algae and shaving brush. All of these will help the fish and also work to keep the tank clean.

Spawning Caves

Fish like privacy to spawn and you should provide it. When looking for a suitable spawning cave try to find something natural rather than one made of plastic. With some searching you should be able to find some stone or rock that can double as a spawning cave.


With saltwater fish, putting coral in the tank helps to create a natural environment. The problem, of course, is that so much coral in the wild is being destroyed. However, if you choose to have coral as aquarium accessories, you need to fix it to the tank. Using a more natural coral putty for the job will be eco-friendly.


To keep the fish in good health you need everything to be right in the water. There are chemicals available to help. A much greener way to go is by using natural alternatives to chemicals whenever possible. That won’t be possible in all respects. Sometimes you can’t avoid chemicals in an aquarium situation. But steer clear of them as much as possible.