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Built-in fish tank ideas: why you’ll be hooked on a home aquarium

Fish tank ideas can add masses of drama and personality to any room in the house. Be inspired by these home aquariums and create a soothing backdrop, that's sure to go swimmingly...

Fish tank ideas for the home have come along a way, since a simple, square tank on a sideboard. We still love those basic set-ups, but cool fish tank ideas are plentiful and will add serious design flair to your four walls.

Don’t forget, fish are also easy to pets to keep and care for – they don’t need walking or grooming.

You can opt for built-in or freestanding fish tank ideas, and the options are limitless. Either way, the colours and movement of the fish swimming inside will create a mesmerising and restful water scape.

Do be aware of the many practical points to consider when choosing a built-in aquarium.

Fish tanks have all kinds of filtration systems and mechanisms that will need to be hidden from view but still accessible. And clearly, the health of the marine life is of utmost importance.

For these reasons, it’s recommended to get a custom aquarium specialist to design and install an in-wall fish tank.

Read on for our fish tank ideas for the home. Trust us, you’ll be totally hooked.

Fish tank decoration ideas – build it into your room as decoration

Check out these top 5 fish tank decoration ideas and let your pet fish become the focal point of your room.

1. Fish tank wall

fish tank ideas for the home

This fabulous fish tank wall is like an ever-changing piece of art. It offers long slim scenery as you walk through the hallway into the home.

Remember, though, that installing a wall aquarium can be tricky from a practical and installation point of view. Always get a professional to help with your project.

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2. Fish tank room divider

large fish tank wall divider

A wall aquarium can let more light into a space. It can also connect or divide two separate zones in a really unique way.

The simple framework and sheer size of this glass aquarium provides a striking backdrop to the modern corner sofa. It also creates a striking divider to create a cool, seating hub.

If you fancy giving your sofa a new lease of life with mix and match covers, read our furniture reupholstery price guide.

3. Fish tank full of colour

tropical fish

An aquarium filled with tropical fish is a feast for the eyes and will add a burst of bold colour to any space.

Remember, if you’re keeping tropical fish, you will need to install a water heater and maintain a constant temperature of around 23-28 degrees Celsius.

4. Try a small fish tank

start with a small fish tank at home

You might want to start out with a small freestanding fish tank before you go ahead with a big installation project.

This will give you time to work out if keeping fish is something you’d like to continue with.

How many fish you can keep depends on the size of the tank and type of fish you want to keep. Roughly, allow 1 gallon of water for every 1 inch of fish. But do remember that fish grow, so you need to factor in what size they’ll be when they are fully grown adults.

5. Fish tank at night

an illuminated fish tank

A glowing fish tank at night is super soothing to the senses.

Apart from its aesthetic plus points, aquarium lighting is really important and will affect the behaviour, health and wellbeing of your fish. It also provides vital energy for aquarium plants and other living organisms.

Seek advice from an aquarium specialist but you should aim to keep your fish tank lights on for around 8-10 hours per day.

Fish tank design ideas

Big or small, fish tanks can look spectacular in every room in the house. Aquariums also add a calm, feng shui serenity to your space.

Explore our fish tank design ideas and be inspired by these fabulous indoor water features.

design ideas for fish tanks

Home bar fish tank: Enjoy a relaxing drink at home with an ever changing, built-in aquarium panel to gaze at. Find more home bar ideas here.

fish tank in a kitchen design idea

Kitchen fish tank: This beautifully, bold fish tank is filled with tropical fish and acid-bright plants. Who needs a kitchen TV when aquariums are so interesting?

match your fish tank to your furniture

Dining room fish tank: Match your fish tank to the style of your furniture for a seamless and sophisticated look. (Maybe don’t have fish on the menu!)

boost productivity with a fish tank in office

Home office fish tank: Boost productivity with a fish tank in your home office. Fish tanks are said to reduce stress and help you focus. Here are more ways to maximise productivity in a home office.

bedroom fish tank idea

Bedroom fish tank: Help get a better night’s sleep by watching your fish tank when you get into bed. It might also provide some white noise to help you fall asleep.

Cool fish tank ideas

cool fish tank idea

  • Replace your TV with a fish tank. It might be a good way to cut back on children’s screen time too.

replace your TV for a fish tank

  •  If you don’t have the budget for a built-in aquarium, replicate the idea with a fish-print wallpaper. Be inspired by our feature wall ideas.

fish tank wallpaper idea

  • Go all out on wow factor with an aquarium bed frame. Here’s our cost guide to help you plan.

aquarium bed frame


1. What size aquarium should I install?

The RSPCA is clear that bigger is better when it comes to aquariums. If possible, go for more space than the minimum required. Think ahead and consider how big your fish will grow. Some adult fish grow really large.

2. What other equipment will I need?

As well as a fish tank, you’ll need a filter (internal or external), lighting, water heater and thermometer (if you’re keeping tropical fish). You’ll also need a substrate (the material such as gravel or stone that covers the bottom of the fish tank), aquarium décor and water conditioners.

3. How much does a wall aquarium cost?

This will vary depending on the size of tank and how much water it holds – an average price is £1,500 for a fish tank alone. Don’t forget to factor in extra costs such as filters, lighting and professional installation. Check out our fish tank in wall cost guide.

4. How long does it take to install an in wall fish tank?

This will depend on the size of the tank and where you’ll be installing it. Standard tanks can take just couple of hours, while custom or bespoke aquariums are likely to take half a day or more to install.

5. When can the fish go into the tank after installation?

Only add your fish after you’ve done a fishless cycle. This means only adding fish once your aquarium has been set up and running for at least two weeks. This allows new aquariums to build up essential friendly bacteria.

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