Once you have the basics for your aquarium such as the filtration systems, water testing kits, etc. what is left to find is decorations. You need to have an idea of what the final aquarium will look like before you start purchasing decorations. Most of the time, people tend to buy decorations without having any theme or order and the aquarium can get very crowded.
First, you need to understand the size of your aquarium before selecting decorations. When it is a small aquarium, you need to make sure that you use the space you have wisely. You can focus on a single feature instead of several different decorations. This can be your unique feature that sets the tone for the aquarium. You can then group aquarium decorations around it to tie into the whole theme creating a stronger design. But you will need to have a theme in mind before you select this unique feature.
You can check for inspiration online on how similar-sized aquariums have been decorated and which themes will prefer the aesthetic of the space you have. Once you have a theme, you need to select the substrate. Maybe you want a sandy base or a gravel base. There are other substrates that you can choose such as colourful bases and bright colors. But you need to consider the aquatic animals that you are going to have in the tank. The substrate should be comfortable for them.
Think about how you will be lighting the aquarium and where the lighting will be placed. You will be able to create a better visual effect when you have lighting in strategic locations only lighting up only what you need to focus on. You can also give the impression of a larger space using a mirror background. Many aquariums use blue and white lights to create a cool background. But you can always experiment with different colours to see what produces an interesting effect. You can use the reflections that light creates and produce something unique. When using plants, it is best to choose live plants. These will help with aerating the water with oxygen.
It is best to choose natural materials for the aquarium as they will be submerged in the water full-time with the fish. With artificial materials, there is the risk of harmful chemicals leaching into the water. It is best to double-check the specifications of the materials before you choose to use them in the aquarium.
There are certain safe synthetic materials such as synthetic corals and decorations that are easy to clean. But they will only have an aesthetic function as they will not produce oxygen. Look for plants that can be easily maintained. You need to consider the substrate that you are using as well as the temperature and other conditions of the tank to select plants that will thrive in that environment. Think about the plants that the fish in your tanks will eat or plants that will not be harmful to the fish. Select a reliable pet store when selecting decorations for the tank.