Can You Put Glass Decorations in a Fish Tank?

4 min read

Decorating a fish tank can be one of the most exciting parts of getting an aquarium. This process can quickly become overwhelming since decorations come in many materials, colors, and designs. However, some materials are unsuitable for fish tanks, which raises the question can you put glass in your aquarium? 

Glass Decorations

You can put glass decorations in a fish tank. Glass is one of the most durable and safe materials for aquariums. However, the glass must be clear or colored, not painted or glazed. You should also avoid including any object with sharp or rough edges that can injure the fish.

This article will further explore the types of glass to use and avoid in your fish tank. It will also provide some alternative decorative materials that can replace glass altogether. So, let’s dive in and find the best decor for your aquarium. 

Types of Glass That Are Safe for Fish Tanks

Two types of glass are safe for fish tanks, and all the rest may leach toxins into the water and harm your fish.

So, let’s establish what types of glass you can place in your tank: 

Clear Glass

Clear glass decoration pieces are among the safest and most durable materials you can use inside a fish tank. Pure, clear glass does not need much maintenance or special cleaning.”

If on a budget, reuse miniature vases that you can pick up at a local craft or dollar store. If you want to splurge, check out these gorgeous Froiny Hand-Blown Glass Figurines that are just for fish tanks.

2023 05 12 07 58 00 PetAquariums Can You Put Glass Decorations in a Fish Tank?

Colored Glass

Colored glass is also safe to use in fish tanks if the actual glass is colored and not painted. Paints and other colorants can be unsafe for fish. However, most colored, hand-blown glass pieces are fish tank friendly since the pigments are inside the glass and not on the surface.

Types of Glass To Avoid in Fish Tanks

Now that we have looked at the glass types that you can incorporate into your aquascape, let’s look at the glass to avoid.

Painted / Glazed Glass

Painted or glazed glass is not safe to use in fish tanks. When submerged for an extended period, the paint or glaze can scrape off and contaminate the tank’s water. This leaching creates an unsafe environment for the fish and can cause significant harm to the fish tank’s filtration. 

Sharp Glass

You should avoid adding any decor piece with sharp or rough edges. No matter how aesthetically pleasing the object may look, anything sharp can injure your fish and hence are deemed unsafe. So, choose a smooth, unbroken piece of glass to keep your fish unharmed.

Alternative Fish Tank Safe Materials

Although glass is one of the best materials to incorporate into your fish tank, there are plenty of other options. If you want to mix it up, you can consider adding other decorative items made from the following materials.

Acrylics / Plastics

Acrylics or plastic decoration pieces are safe for fish tanks. They come in various designs and textures and add a fantastic design element to any aquarium.

Penn-Plax Anchor

Although they are not as durable and long-lasting as glass, they are available at much more budget-friendly prices and in many different designs. The transparent acrylic decor makes an excellent dupe for glass pieces.

If you want a fantastic acrylic statement piece for your aquarium, check out this beautiful Penn-Plax Anchor Aquarium Decoration.

Penn-Plax Age-of-Magic Enchanted Castle

If you are a fan of the Atlantis aesthetic, check out this Penn-Plax Enchanted Castle decor piece. These pieces are examples of how creative you can get with acrylic aquarium decor, allowing you to create stunning, themed tanks.

Natural Plants

Natural plants are a great option to consider when looking to decorate your fish tank. While they are beautiful, plants can help maintain the water quality in your tank.

Plants consume nitrogen, which is available in your fish’s waste. The water can become toxic for the fish if nitrogen levels get high. Hence, the plants act as a natural filtration system, keeping your water fresh. 

Plants can also increase oxygen levels in your water. Fish need stable oxygen levels to survive in fish tanks, so natural plants are a great way to help maintain this balance.

Fake Plants

Natural plants are hard to maintain on land as is, and cultivating them in water can be even more challenging. Fake plants are the way to go if you want the same aesthetic look as natural plants but aren’t sure you can commit to their needs. 

Not only are fake plants much easier to maintain, but they are also available in various designs that cater to every aesthetic. Fake plants are also available in much brighter color varieties than their natural counterparts.

For a life-like plant, check out this GCNZ Water Grass Decor. Life-like plants like this one are ideal for a naturalistic tank, and since this one has a weighted base, it will stay put no matter what happens.

To add color and playful touch to your tank, check out this CNZ Purple Plastic Plant.


If your ceramic is dishwasher and food-safe, it is safe for use in a fish tank. You may want to include things like cups, mugs, plates, and bowls in your fish tank. These elements add an interesting effect to your aquarium. They look like they’ve sunken to the bottom of a lake or ocean. In addition, they can provide plenty of hiding spots for your fish.  


Most types of glass are safe to use in fish tanks. However, when in doubt, test it out. If you are still unsure, check out one of the alternatives mentioned in the article. And remember, clear acrylic is an excellent substitute for glass pieces for half the price and ease of mind.


Written by:

Pet Aquariums

Have you any questions?