How to Create a Fake Aquarium: 7 Easy Steps for a Stunning DIY Fish Tank

Have you ever wanted to bring the calming presence of an aquarium into your home but don’t want to deal with the expense or upkeep? Well, creating a fake aquarium is a simple and inexpensive solution that can add a touch of serenity to any living space. Not only does it create a relaxing atmosphere, but it’s also a fun DIY project that the whole family can enjoy. With a little creativity and some basic supplies, you can have a beautiful and mesmerizing aquarium that requires no feeding, cleaning, or maintenance.

Let your imagination run wild as you bring together elements like colored stones, plastic plants, and LED lights to create a stunning underwater paradise. This easy guide will walk you through the simple steps to create your own fake aquarium. From choosing the right container to selecting the perfect fish replicas, you’ll learn everything you need to know to create a realistic and beautiful aquarium that will fool even the most discerning eye.

So why spend a fortune on a real aquarium when you can create your own fake version that’s just as gorgeous and calming? Dive into this guide and start creating your own tranquil underwater world today.


Creating a fake aquarium is a fun and creative way to bring the beauty of marine life into your living space without the hassle of real maintenance. There are a few materials that you’ll need to get started. First, you’ll need an aquarium tank or glass container that can hold water.

Next, you’ll need some aquarium gravel, which can come in a variety of colors and sizes, and some fake plants or corals to give your tank some depth and realism. You can also add some small decorative items like seashells or pebbles to make it more interesting. Finally, you’ll need a source of light like a simple LED light to add a little shimmer to your tank.

With these basic materials, you’ll be ready to create a peaceful and relaxing aquarium that’s sure to be a conversation starter. With a little creativity and imagination, you can create a captivating underwater world that’s all your own. So go ahead and dive in- the possibilities are endless!

List of Items Needed

When it comes to tackling a DIY project, having the right materials on hand is crucial to its success. While the specific items needed will vary depending on the project, there are some general materials that every DIYer should have in their toolbox. One essential item is a good set of tools, including different types of screwdrivers, pliers, and a hammer.

It’s also important to have measuring tools like a tape measure and level to ensure accurate measurements and angles. For cutting and shaping materials, a utility knife, saw, and sandpaper are essential. Adhesives like glue, tape, and caulk are also useful, as well as safety equipment like gloves and goggles.

The list of materials may seem overwhelming, but having these basics on hand will ensure that any project can be completed with ease. Don’t forget, having the right materials is key to success when taking on a DIY project!

how to create a fake aquarium

Where to Get the Materials

If you’re wondering where to get the materials for your next DIY project, there are plenty of options available to you. One of the most popular choices is your local hardware store. They typically carry a wide range of construction materials such as wood, metal, and cement as well as tools and other supplies.

If you’re looking for something more specialized, you could also try searching online. There are many websites that sell DIY materials and tools, and some even offer free shipping. Finally, you could consider repurposing materials from old projects or even scavenging things like pallets or scrap metal from construction sites.

No matter which option you choose, remember to always prioritize quality materials that will help ensure the success and longevity of your DIY project.

Setting up the Tank

Creating a fake aquarium can be a fun and simple way to enjoy the beauty of aquatic life without the hassle of maintaining a real tank. To start, you’ll need to gather supplies such as a clear plastic container, gravel, decorative elements like artificial plants or shells, and a small air pump with tubing. Begin by washing your container and adding a layer of gravel to the bottom, followed by your decorative elements.

Once you have arranged your desired elements, add water until the container is about half full. Attach the tubing to your air pump and place it in the container, making sure the tubing reaches the bottom. Finally, add more water until the container is filled and turn on your air pump.

This will create bubbles and movement in the water, giving your fake aquarium a more realistic look. With a bit of creativity and attention to detail, you can easily set up a beautiful fake aquarium to enjoy in your home or office.

Choosing the Right Container

When setting up a tank, choosing the right container is crucial. Whether you opt for glass, acrylic, or plastic, make sure the material is safe for aquatic life and has the appropriate thickness. Once you have your container, it’s time to get it ready.

Start by cleaning it thoroughly with hot water and a gentle soap to remove any residue or contaminants. Rinse it several times to ensure no soap remains. Next, add your substrate, plants, and decorations, being careful not to overcrowd the tank.

Finally, fill the tank with water and add a water conditioner to neutralize any harmful chemicals. By taking the time to set up your tank correctly, you’ll provide a safe and healthy environment for your fish.

Adding Gravel and Sand

Adding Gravel and Sand is an essential step when setting up a tank for your aquatic pets. Not only does it provide a natural look to the tank, but it also serves various purposes. Gravel and sand can help in the biological filtration of the tank, providing a home for beneficial bacteria that help break down waste products.

Moreover, it also acts as a substrate for plants and serves as a base for decorations like rocks and driftwood. Adding them to the tank is easy; before you start, ensure that you wash the gravel and sand thoroughly to remove any dust or debris. You can layer them in any pattern you prefer, but it is ideal to keep the bottom layer thicker for adequate filtration and plant growth.

Remember to add water gradually to avoid disturbing the layers and clouding the tank water. With the right care, adding gravel and sand can make your aquatic environment healthy and attractive.

Arranging Decorative Elements

Setting up the tank for your fish can be an exciting experience. It’s important to arrange decorative elements in a way that not only looks pleasing but also benefits the health and happiness of your fish. Start by selecting a substrate, such as sand or gravel, which will serve as the base for your tank.

Then, add plants and decorations such as rocks or driftwood to create an environment that mimics the natural habitat of your fish. Be sure to provide plenty of hiding places, as fish can become stressed without a place to retreat. Additionally, consider adding a few artificial plants or decorative elements, such as a castle or shipwreck, for visual interest.

By taking the time to carefully arrange these elements, you can create a beautiful and functional tank for your fish to thrive in.

Adding Water and Air

Setting up a fish tank can be a fun and exciting experience, but it can also be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. One of the first things you need to do is add water to the tank. When adding water, it’s important to use dechlorinated water that’s been sitting at room temperature for at least 24 hours.

This will allow any chemicals to dissipate and the water to reach the same temperature as the room. You should also use a water conditioner to remove any remaining chlorine or chloramines from the water. Once the water is in the tank, it’s time to add air.

This is essential for the well-being of your fish because it provides oxygen for them to breathe. You can add an air stone or bubble wand to the tank for aeration. It’s important to make sure the air flow isn’t too strong, as this can disrupt the fish and cause stress.

By following these simple steps, you’ll be on your way to creating a healthy and happy environment for your fish to thrive in.

Adding Fish and Plants

Now that you’ve created your fake aquarium, it’s time to add some fish and plants to make it look even more realistic. Start by choosing the type of fish you want to include in your aquarium. You can opt for colorful tropical fish or go for a more peaceful, calming atmosphere with some freshwater fish.

Once you’ve picked your fish, make sure to place them strategically in your tank. Arrange them in groups and create a balanced ecosystem. Finally, add some plants to complete the look.

Artificial plants are easy to find and require no maintenance, so they’re perfect for a fake tank. Place them around the edges of the tank and between the fish to create the feel of a natural underwater environment. With a little creativity and some careful placement, your fake aquarium will look like a real underwater world.

So go ahead and bring your aquarium dreams to life while enjoying the serenity of water life in your home.

Choosing Artificial Fish and Plants

When it comes to adding fish and plants to your aquarium, you want to make sure you choose the right ones for your tank. First and foremost, consider the size of your tank and the type of fish you want to add. It is important to ensure that the fish you choose have enough room to swim and thrive in your tank.

Additionally, research the type of plants that will thrive in the conditions of your aquarium. Some plants may require more or less light, certain water temperatures, or a specific substrate to grow properly. As you shop for artificial plants, look for ones made from high-quality materials that are safe for your fish and won’t change the chemical balance of your water.

Similarly, only choose artificial fish that won’t harm your real fish and are the correct size for your tank. With a little research, you can create a thriving and beautiful underwater environment in your aquarium.

Placing Them in the Tank

Placing Them in the Tank: Adding Fish and Plants Now that you’ve set up your aquarium with all the necessary equipment, the next step is to add your fish and plants. Before you begin, make sure that your tank water is properly conditioned and at the right temperatures for your choice of aquatic life. When adding plants, start by burying their roots firmly in the substrate and covering them with gravel or sand.

Live plants not only add beauty and aesthetic appeal to the aquarium but they also help regulate the water chemistry and provide hiding places for your fish. When adding fish, make sure you choose varieties that are compatible with each other in terms of temperament, size, and water requirements. Introducing new fish should be done gradually, releasing them into the tank in small numbers over a few weeks to prevent overcrowding and keep the nitrogen cycle in balance.

Remember to feed your fish a balanced diet and perform regular water changes to keep the aquarium environment clean and healthy. Don’t rush the process of setting up your aquarium – take your time and research the species you wish to keep to ensure they thrive and stay healthy. Patience and diligence are key to creating a successful and beautiful tank that your fish and plants will love.

With proper care, you will enjoy watching your aquatic friends swim, grow, and interact in their new home.

Final Touches

Now that you have all the elements in place, it’s time to add those final touches to create an aquarium that truly looks like the real deal. First, make sure to clean the exterior of your fish tank thoroughly to give it that crystal-clear look. You can use a cloth or a specialized cleaner to do this.

Next, add some underwater plants, such as mosses or aquatic grasses, to give the impression of a thriving ecosystem. It’s important to choose aquatic plants that are safe for your fake aquarium, so do your research beforehand. You can also add some ornaments, such as rocks or coral, to give your aquarium a more natural look.

Finally, consider adding a light source or using colored LEDs to enhance the underwater effect and make your fake aquarium stand out even more. With these final touches, your DIY aquarium is sure to be a hit with your friends and family.

Adding Lighting Effects

Adding lighting effects can take your project to the next level. Whether you’re creating a video or designing a website, the right lighting can make all the difference. By strategically placing lights and adjusting the brightness and color, you can create a mood that complements your content.

For example, warm colors like orange and yellow can create a cozy and inviting atmosphere, while cool colors like blue and green are more calming and peaceful. Additionally, you can use lighting effects to highlight certain elements or create depth and dimensionality. Overall, adding lighting effects is a simple yet effective way to elevate your project and make it stand out.

So, don’t be afraid to experiment and find the perfect lighting setup for your content.

Maintaining Your Fake Aquarium

Once you’ve set up your fake aquarium, it’s important to keep it maintained to ensure its longevity and visually appealing appearance. A crucial component to maintaining your fake aquarium is adding final touches. Adding decorations such as rocks, plants and other items will help create a realistic look and feel for your aquarium.

This will help your guests appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of your fish tank. Additionally, you should monitor your aquarium’s water quality, keeping an eye out for any changes that may impact the health of your fake fish and other creatures. Regular cleaning will help keep your aquarium looking bright and clean, and keep your fake fish happy and healthy.

By giving your fake aquarium the attention it needs and adding the final touches, you’ll ensure that you have a beautiful and realistic representation of an aquarium that is enjoyable for guests of all ages.


In conclusion, when it comes to putting the final touches on a project, it is essential to take a step back and review your work. This allows you to make any necessary adjustments and ensure that everything is in order before presenting it. Additionally, you can enlist the help of a friend or colleague to get a fresh perspective on what you’ve done.

This outside input can help you identify any gaps or areas that may need improvement. Remember to proofread your work thoroughly and make sure that you’ve addressed all the requirements. Overall, it’s essential to take your time and be deliberate in your approach to ensure that the end product is of the highest quality.

With these tips in mind, you can put those final touches on your project and feel confident in the work you’ve done.


Creating a fake aquarium is like creating a work of art. You are the artist, the tank is your canvas and the decorations are your paint. With a little imagination, creativity and some basic materials, you can create a stunning and believable aquatic oasis that will amaze and impress your friends and family.

Just remember, the key to making your fake aquarium a success is attention to detail – the more realistic you can make it, the more convincing and enticing it will be. So go ahead, let your imagination run wild and create a fake aquarium that will make everyone say ‘Wow, I didn’t know this was fake!'”


What materials do I need to create a fake aquarium?
You will need a clear plastic container, gravel, colorful stones, artificial plants, and plastic sea animals.

Can I use real water in my fake aquarium?
No, it is better to use distilled water as it prevents the growth of bacteria and algae, which can spoil the look of your aquarium.

Where can I get plastic sea animals for my fake aquarium?
You can find plastic sea animals at craft stores, toy stores, or online retailers.

How do I create the illusion of movement in my fake aquarium?
You can use an air pump to create bubbles in the water, or attach a motor to your plastic sea animals to create motion.

How do I clean my fake aquarium?
You can clean your fake aquarium by removing the plastic sea animals, draining the water, and wiping the container with a soft cloth or sponge.

Can I add lights to my fake aquarium?
Yes, you can use LED lights to simulate sunlight and add a beautiful touch to your fake aquarium.

How can I make my fake aquarium look more realistic?
You can add different types of artificial plants, use different colors of gravel, and arrange the plastic sea animals in a natural-looking way to make your fake aquarium look more lifelike.