What are the Best Fish Tank Decorations for Angelfish?

bogwood aquarium

Photo by nycbone, Flickr

The best fish tank decorations for angelfish improve the habitat for the fish without causing harm to the fish or tank. The primary concern when decorating an angelfish habitat is their fins and tails.

Smooth River Rocks

Smooth rocks, whether natural or artificial, make great angelfish aquarium décor. Smooth rocks won’t snag a tail or fin and create a natural looking angelfish habitat. Get creative and you can use a variety of rock shapes and sizes to build caves for your angels to hide in.

Don’t use limestone or other rocks that dissolve in water as this can change the water chemistry. To test if a rock dissolves in water, soak it in water for several hours. If the water becomes cloudy, then the rock is dissolving and should not be used in your angelfish tank.

Rocks purchase for fish tanks will only need a good rinsing before adding to the tank. However, if you are using collected river rocks, which make for cheap aquarium decorations, it’s a good idea to first scrub with a scrub brush and water and then boil these to remove any harmful bacteria or parasites.

Also, consider how heavy the rocks are. Heavy rocks can crack your glass fish tank.

Real or Artificial Plants?

The choice to use artificial or real plants is up to the aquarist. However, real plants provide a natural habitat, natural food source for angelfish, and are an important part of the nitrogen cycle as they help remove nitrites and nitrates from the fish tank. The only downside to adding live plants is that your angelfish will probably eat them and they will need replacing. Other than being low maintenance, there’s little benefit to using artificial plants, but they won’t harm your tank either.

Air Pumps

Air Pumps generally are not necessary if your angelfish tank has a filter and the water is continuously circulating. And angelfish generally prefer slow moving water. A strong air pump may make the waters too rough for an angelfish. However, air pumps do add interest to a tank, so if you want one, pick one with a gentle flow that doesn’t agitate the water in the tank.

Ornamental Aquarium Décor

Angelfish don’t need pirate ships, skulls, castles, statues or other fish tank ornaments in their tank to thrive. But you may appreciate a tank with some character. When choosing the ornament, consider if your angelfish could get tangled or trapped by any holes or crevices and how much space the piece will take up in the tank.

Testing the Fish Tank Decorations for Roughness

To test for rough edges that may tear your angelfish’s fins or tail, do a nylon test. Put your hand inside the foot of a pair of nylons and run your hand over the décor. If it snags the nylons, then it can snag a fin or tail.

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