Gravel or a substrate should cover the base of your tank. These come in lots of different shapes, sizes and colors so you can be as bright or natural as you want. If you’re sticking to plastic décor then any gravel will work, just make sure it’s deep enough to hold all the different ornaments in place. If you want to keep live plants, you’ll need gravel suitable for growing plants, this is so the plants can spread their roots and take up food.
When you’re looking for ornaments make sure to always stick to the aquatics section of you’re the aquatics store. It might be tempting to use a normal house ornament or plastic toys, but these could pollute the tank and poison your fish. Find ornaments designed for use in aquariums, you’ll be surprised at how many different types there are out there. The same goes for natural décor like wood, pebbles and rocks. Buying these from an aquatics store will mean these are safe for use in your aquarium and will not cause any harm to your fish.
Before you add any décor to the tank everything needs a good wash. Clean your gravel, ornaments, wood or rocks in plain water to remove any dust or dyes that could cloud the aquarium water. Tap water will do the job just fine, NEVER use any detergents.
Finally, it’s time to design the aquarium. Add the gravel or substrate to the base of the aquarium, creating a slight slope from back to front. Fish love to have lots of different spaces to explore in the tank. Create some hiding spots for shy fish and open spaces for the braver ones. It also needs to look good for you to look at, so take some time to get the layout right. To keep things interesting for you and your fish occasionally move, or replacing, the decorative items. Try not to move things about too often as this can stress your fish out. Fish often set up routes and territories within their environment and major physical changes to their world can be stressful.