13 Must-Have Aquarium Accessories

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Decorating your tank is one of the favorite things in fishkeeping. And I know and truly understand the feeling of accomplishment when you see the tank fully decorated and ready to use. But there are dos and don’ts when it comes to accessorizing your tank. There are few accessories your aquarium must-have while few of them will not be that necessary to have. But what are those must-have aquarium accessories?

Well, heater, filtration equipment, test kits, lights, air pump, etc. are some must-have accessories of the aquarium. However, their need in the tank might vary according to the situation and type of aquarium you are planning to keep.

I know you need to know the whole idea about the must-have aquarium accessories. But will the above answer be enough?

I guess not. So, in this article, I will be telling you all about the things you need to get for your aquarium. Let’s get this started.

Must-Have Aquarium Accessories

Fish like human beings, need to have certain things in their home, or else they will die due to differences in the natural habitat and captivity.

People tend to think small fish don’t feel anything but boy how wrong they are? The unfamiliar environment and lack of resources can stress your fish out.

You might like to read more about Freshwater Aquarium Equipment Checklist : Aquarium Supplies You Need.

So, here is the list of must-have aquarium accessories:

Aquarium Heater

If you have tropical fish in your aquarium, you need to maintain the temperature at the warmer side all the time.

Trust me, if you are relying on room temperature to maintain the water temperature of your aquarium, you are highly mistaken.

Tropical fish hate the constant fluctuation of temperature in the tank. Hence, an aquarium heater is really one of the must-have aquarium accessories.


As I mentioned earlier, your fish will not like constant change in the water temperature and you need to maintain an ideal temperature consistently.

So, in order to know what the temperature is in the aquarium, you need to keep the thermometer in the house all the time.

Test Kits

Aquarium ammonia poisoning, nitrite poisoning, and nitrate poisoning are real things and scary problems you will face in the aquarium.

Hence, testing the water once in a while is very important to avoid these problems. So, keep test kits handy and always available within the home premises.

Aquarium Filter

Aquarium filtration methods determine how clean and appropriate your aquarium water is for fish.

You need to have an aquarium filter in the tank in order to maintain the cleanliness and hygiene within.

The aquarium filter consists of various filter media like mechanical, chemical, and biological filter media.

While the mechanical filter media removes the physical pollutants and debris from the tank water, chemical filter media removes harmful chemicals.

Biological filter media houses aquarium beneficial bacteria that will perform the aquarium nitrogen cycle. Here these bacteria will convert toxic ammonia into essential nitrate.

Even the slightest hint of ammonia or nitrite will cause disease and stress in fish. And of course, the debris and other pollutants will make the environment inside the aquarium unlivable.


Lighting is quite necessary when it comes to keeping an aquarium. However, the lighting of the aquarium needs to be according to the Circadian rhythm.

Most fish prefer lighting according to the rise and set of sun and most of the fish will be fine with a dim-lit environment.


During the water change or acclimating new fish in the aquarium, a bucket will come really handy. It is necessary to have a device where you can pour water into or from.

I have also written an article on Is Too Much Water Change Harmful For Your Fish: How To Do It Safely?

Aquarium Air Pump

Dissolved oxygen in the water needs to enough for a fish to survive in the aquarium environment. An air pump or a bubbler will help you maintain the oxygen level in the tank.

Also, the bubbler will make cute little bubbles that will give your aquarium an aesthetic look and make it way more soothing.

You might like to learn more about How To Maintain The Oxygen Level In Aquarium?

Gravel Cleaner

In order to siphon off the debris and excretion present in the bottom of the tank, you need to get a gravel cleaner.

Any leftover food, waste products, or any other decaying matter can make aquarium water cloudy and foamy.

You might be interested to know more about Why Do Fish Tanks Get Dirty So Fast – How To Clean And Maintain Tanks.


While cleaning the tank or tank equipment, you will need a sponge to assist you. The acrylic tank needs a softer sponge while the glass tank will be okay with hard sponges.

Water Conditioner

Sometimes ammonia, nitrite, or even nitrate level will not go back to normal and even the chlorine can reach the level that can harm your fish.

Even after using all the methods, you will be returned empty-handed. In that instance, you will need to look at other alternatives.

A water conditioner with a specific purpose will be of great help during aquarium ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate poisoning.

Aquarium Stand

Well, you know what I mean by this, don’t you? You can’t keep an aquarium lying around with no support to keep on.

Hence, an aquarium stand is a vital accessory to keep the aquarium stand properly and looked through easily.

Always look for a stand that will last longer and can handle the size of your aquarium. Consider the weight, height, and width of the aquarium before getting an aquarium stand.


While removing the floating pollutants or even transferring a fish from one place to another, a net will be of greater use.

From removing the debris, dead plants, dead fish, etc. from the tank to preventing the decaying matter to build up ammonia, even a simple thing like a net shows the high necessity to make it into the must-have accessories list.

Aquarium Lid

Some fish tend to be jumpy when kept in an aquarium. Thus, to protect them from jumping towards their death, you have to keep an aquarium lid.

The aquarium lid will help you to deteriorate the tank from the external forces as well as prevent the jumpy fish go out of the tank.

Here is a detailed article to help you solve your query Why Do I Need A Lid For My Fish Tank? Here Are My 5 Reasons.

Frequently Asked Questions

I know decorating or accessorizing the aquarium will bring more questions and you will have a hard time figuring everything out. So, here I have given answers to few FAQs to make fishkeeping a little easier for you.

What Should You Not Put In A Fish Tank?

People often hoard and keep every possible thing they think will make the aquarium beautiful. I know the rush and excitement of keeping every little thing that reminds you of the ocean.

But my friend, not everything present in the sea is good for the fish you are keeping in the tank. You may have heard how the pollution in the sea and oceans are leading to the deterioration of the natural habitat of fish.

That’s why there are few things you need to stay away from while decorating your aquarium:

  1. Ceramics
  2. Plastic products
  3. Wood
  4. Things fish might eat
  5. Beach Sand
  6. Shells, corals, etc.
  7. Sharp Objects
  8. Degradable substances
  9. Your Hands
  10. Fish breeds that are larger for the aquarium to accumulate

Can I Put Coconut Shell In Aquarium?

To be honest, if you are thinking about putting the coconut shell directly into the tank, then don’t. The tannins present in the coconut shell will deteriorate the quality of aquarium water.

These tannins from the coconut shell will change the color of aquarium water to brown which will not look pleasant, trust me. So, if you want to put coconut shell in the tank, then boil the hollow, water, and flesh-free as well as sanded shell for a while till the yellowish or brownish tannins go away.

How Should I Decorate My Fish Tank?

Decorating the tank is a simple few steps procedure that can easily be done even if you are a beginner.

  1. Put the substrate as per your fish preference and add a few rocks and gravels for a natural look.
  2. Add live plants and larger decorations like driftwoods or hiding caves in the back of your tank while letting the smaller decorations on the front.
  3. Use longer and larger plants that can hide aquarium heaters, filters, etc. behind it.
  4. Add the air pump or bubbler that will serve the purpose of giving an aquarium aesthetic look.
  5. Do not overcrowd the tank with many items and keep the decorations to minimal and natural.


In conclusion, some accessories are quite important for the aquarium, so they make it to the must-have list. You might overlook simple things in the tank but those things are the ones that will decide how well your fish will grow. Aquarium heater to the net, every little thing carries equal necessity in the aquarium where you are planning to keep your fish. A clean and well-maintained aquarium determines the beauty and better lifestyle of fish in captivity.

I know you will have more questions and it is okay to ask more. Drop your queries in the comment box and I will help you out.

Good Luck!!

Happy Fishkeeping!!!

Recommended Articles:

  1. 10 Best Freshwater Fish For Those New To Fishkeeping | Beginners Guide
  2. Most Common Beginner Aquarium Mistakes When Setting Up New Tank
  3. Can I Turn off the Aquarium Filter at Night?
  4. Why Do I Need A Lid For My Fish Tank? Here Are My 5 Reasons

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