How to Make Mason Jar Aquarium: Easy DIY Tutorial for Kids and Adults

Do you ever find yourself daydreaming about a serene underwater world? If so, then you’re going to love making a Mason Jar Aquarium! This DIY project is perfect for those looking to add a touch of aquatic vibes to their homes – without breaking the bank. Creating a mini aquarium in a mason jar is a fun way to bring the calming presence of water into your living space. Not only is it visually pleasing, but it can also be quite therapeutic.

This project is easy to do and won’t take much time at all. So, grab a mason jar and let’s get to it!


If you’re looking for a fun and creative way to add some aquatic life to your living space, why not create your very own mason jar aquarium? It’s an easy DIY project that doesn’t require too many materials. Firstly, you’ll need a large mason jar, which can be purchased at most craft stores or online. You’ll also need some sand or small rocks to create a base for your aquarium.

Next, you can add some aquatic plants, like java moss or water wisteria, which can be found at pet or aquarium stores. Once you have your base and plants set up, you can add some fish or shrimp. It’s important to choose fish or shrimp species that can thrive in a small environment, like betta fish or cherry shrimp.

Lastly, you’ll need some water and a water conditioner, which will help balance the pH levels and remove any chlorine from the tap water. With these materials, you can make a beautiful and unique mason jar aquarium that’s sure to impress your guests!

Glass mason jar, aquarium gravel, decorative rocks, aquatic plants, fish food, fish net

If you’re thinking about starting your own aquatic ecosystem, there are a few materials you’ll need to get started. The first thing you’ll need is a glass mason jar – big enough to house your fish and aquatic plants comfortably. Once you’ve got your container sorted, you’ll need to add some aquarium gravel to the bottom.

This will help to mimic the natural environment of your fish, whilst also providing added stability for your setup. Adding some decorative rocks can also help to create a more natural look, whilst also giving your fish a place to hide. Now it’s time to add some aquatic plants – these will help to oxygenate the water, whilst also providing a food source for your fish.

Don’t forget to also stock up on some fish food and a fish net for maintenance purposes. With these materials, you’ll be well on your way to creating a thriving aquatic ecosystem.

how to make mason jar aquarium

Step 1: Setting up the tank

If you are wondering how to make a mason jar aquarium, the first step is setting up the tank. To do this, you will need a wide-mouthed mason jar, gravel, a small container of aquatic plants, and clean, fresh water. Begin by thoroughly rinsing the gravel to remove any debris or dirt.

Next, add the gravel to the bottom of the mason jar, filling it up to about one-third of the jar. Carefully place the aquatic plants in the jar, making sure they are evenly distributed. Finally, fill the jar with water, leaving about an inch of space at the top to allow for air circulation.

It is essential to remember that the tank should not be placed in direct sunlight or near a heat source, as this could cause the water to become too warm, harming your aquatic plants. With a little bit of care and attention, setting up your mason jar aquarium can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, providing a unique and beautiful addition to your home decor.

Clean the jar and add 1-2 inches of aquarium gravel and some decorative rocks

Setting up a fish tank can seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually quite simple when you break it down. The first step is to clean the jar thoroughly and add a layer of aquarium gravel. The gravel not only adds aesthetic appeal but also provides a surface for the beneficial bacteria to colonize, which helps break down harmful waste products in the tank.

After adding the gravel, it’s a good idea to add some decorative rocks to give the tank some personality. Plus, your future fish will love having some hiding spots to explore. Overall, this first step of setting up the tank is crucial for creating a happy and healthy environment for your swimming pals.

Step 2: Adding Plants

After organizing the rocks in the mason jar aquarium, it’s time to add some greenery to give it a more natural look. Adding plants will also provide oxygen for the fish, creating a healthier environment for them. Before choosing the plants to add, it’s crucial to consider the size of the jar and the types of fish you plan on keeping.

For smaller jars, it’s best to opt for tiny plants such as mosses or small ferns, whereas larger jars can accommodate larger plants such as Java fern or Anubias. Once you select the plants, add a small amount of substrate at the bottom of the jar, make a hole with a stick, and gently place the plant roots inside. The substrate will hold the plants securely, and you can add water until it reaches the desired level.

It’s vital to monitor the water level to ensure that the plants survive. Plants add color and vibrancy to your jar and create a healthier environment for your fish while adding to the aesthetic appeal. Adding plants to your mason jar aquarium can bring a touch of nature into your home and create a serene atmosphere.

Add aquatic plants such as Java Fern or Anubias. Rinse them before placing them in the jar

Aquatic plants are a crucial addition to a jar aquarium as they provide oxygen, filter the water, and create a natural habitat for the fish. Adding plants is a two-step process. First, you need to rinse them before placing them in the jar.

This ensures that there are no bugs, fungi, or bacteria present on the plants that can harm your fish. Next, choose suitable plants such as Java Fern or Anubias. These plants are perfect for jar aquariums because they are low-maintenance and hardy.

They also provide a great visual appeal to the jar. You can either bury the plants in the substrate or attach them to rocks or driftwood. Just make sure that you don’t overcrowd the jar with too many plants as this can lead to poor water circulation and oxygenation.

With properly placed plants, your jar aquarium will thrive, and your fish will be happy and healthy.

Step 3: Adding Fish

Now it’s time for the fun part – adding fish to your mason jar aquarium! But first, it’s important to choose the right type of fish for your jar. Small freshwater fish like guppies, tetras, or betta fish are ideal for a small container like this. Next, prepare the jar by adding in some gravel or sand and decorating with plants, rocks, or other decorative items.

Use an aquarium-safe water conditioner to prepare the water and let it sit for a day or two before adding your fish. When adding the fish, acclimate them slowly by gradually adding small amounts of the aquarium water into their bag over the course of about 20-30 minutes. After acclimating, release them into your jar and make sure to monitor their behavior and cleanliness of the water regularly.

With proper care and maintenance, you can enjoy a beautiful and unique mini aquarium in your own home!

Add a Betta fish or a shrimp. Be sure to avoid over-crowding the jar

If you’re looking to add some life to your jar ecosystem, a Betta fish or a shrimp can be a great addition! However, it’s important to remember not to over-crowd your jar. These small creatures require proper space and care to thrive. Betta fish are known for their colorful appearance and easy-to-care-for nature.

They are also aggressive, so it’s best to keep them alone in their own jar. Shrimp, on the other hand, are great bottom feeders and can help keep your jar clean. They are social creatures, so it’s recommended to have at least a few in a jar together.

Just make sure that the jar is large enough to accommodate the creatures and that you are providing enough food and proper care. With the right balance, your jar can be a beautiful and thriving mini ecosystem!

Step 4: Feeding the Fish

Congratulations! You have successfully created your own mason jar aquarium. Now, it’s time to learn how to properly feed your fish. As a general rule of thumb, fish should only be fed once or twice a day, and only enough food that they can consume within three to five minutes.

Overfeeding can lead to water pollution, which can harm the health of your fish and plants. It is also important to choose the right type of food for your specific fish species. Some fish require a herbivorous diet, while others may need more protein.

Additionally, make sure to remove any uneaten food from the aquarium after feeding to avoid contaminating the water. By following these tips and taking care of your fish, you can create a beautiful and healthy aquatic ecosystem in your mason jar aquarium.

Feed the fish small amounts, once or twice daily. Use a small amount of fish food and a fish net

Feeding your fish is an important aspect of fish keeping, and it’s crucial to do it right! You don’t want to overfeed your fish as this can lead to health problems and cloudy water. So, it’s best to feed them small amounts, once or twice a day. Using a small amount of fish food is ideal, as you don’t want to leave uneaten food in the aquarium.

This can quickly pollute the water and harm your fish. Be sure to use a fish net to avoid getting the food stuck in the filter or other equipment. When it comes to feeding your fish, it’s important to keep things consistent.

Establish a feeding routine, and stick to it. This way, your fish will know when it’s time to eat, and they’ll be less likely to become stressed. Remember, a healthy and happy fish is a well-fed fish! So, keep the portions small, and the feeding routine consistent, and your fish will thank you for it.

Step 5: Maintenance Tips

Once you’ve made your mason jar aquarium, be sure to give it proper maintenance to keep your fish and plants healthy. First and foremost, make sure to change the water regularly. Depending on the size of your container and the number of inhabitants, a water change every week or two may be necessary.

Additionally, you’ll want to clean any algae growth off the sides of the jar with a gentle solution of equal parts water and vinegar. Finally, pay attention to the health of your fish and plants. If you notice any signs of stress or illness, take action immediately.

By consistently maintaining your mason jar aquarium, you can enjoy watching your underwater world thrive for years to come.

Change water weekly or bi-weekly. Keep the jar out of direct sunlight and avoid adding too many fish

One of the most important aspects of keeping a healthy and thriving ecosystem in your fish jar is regular maintenance. Changing the water weekly or bi-weekly is essential in keeping your fish healthy and happy. It’s crucial to remove any excess food, waste, or debris from the jar to avoid any harmful bacteria growth that can harm the fish.

Keep the fish jar out of direct sunlight, as too much exposure can cause an imbalance in temperature and harm the fish. It’s also important not to add too many fish to the jar as too many fish may compromise the water quality, leading to health issues for the fish. Overall, keeping up with regular maintenance such as changing the water, removing debris, and monitoring the fish’s behavior, will ensure a healthy and thriving fish jar ecosystem.

So, don’t forget to give your fish jar the care it needs to thrive!


In conclusion, making your own mason jar aquarium is easier than inviting a mermaid over for tea! With just a few simple steps and minimal supplies, you can create an underwater paradise for your fishy friends. So go ahead and dive into this DIY project, or as the fish would say, ‘tank’-fully accept the challenge. The end result will be a fin-tastically beautiful addition to your home decor.


What materials do I need to make a mason jar aquarium?
You will need a clean mason jar, aquarium gravel, aquarium plants, a small water filter, and small fish or shrimp.

Can I use a regular mason jar to make an aquarium?
Yes, you can use a regular mason jar as long as it is clean and has a lid to prevent the fish or shrimp from jumping out.

How often do I need to change the water in my mason jar aquarium?
It is recommended to change the water once a week in a mason jar aquarium to keep the environment clean for the fish or shrimp.

Can I add decorations to my mason jar aquarium?
Yes, you can add decorations like seashells or small figurines, but make sure they are aquarium-safe and won’t harm the fish or shrimp.

What types of fish or shrimp are suitable for a mason jar aquarium?
Small fish such as bettas or guppies, or shrimp like cherry shrimp or ghost shrimp are suitable for a mason jar aquarium.

Do I need to add an air pump to my mason jar aquarium?
It is not necessary to add an air pump to a mason jar aquarium, but you can use a small one to create some water movement and oxygenation.

How do I maintain the water quality in my mason jar aquarium?
You can maintain the water quality by testing the water regularly, doing partial water changes, and adding aquarium salt or other water-balancing products as needed.