Bamboo can be a gorgeous addition to an aquarium, especially if you have zen or an Asian-themed tank. However, bamboo grows on every continent except Antarctica, so you don’t have to limit your bamboo decorations to Asian tanks.
However, is it safe to use bamboo in an aquarium? Unfortunately, actual bamboo is not the best option in an aquarium. If you add natural bamboo to an aquarium, it can rot over time, causing a spike in ammonia levels in the water. That’s why all the bamboo on my list of bamboo decor is imitation bamboo.
I want to introduce you to several bamboo aquarium decor ideas that you can try, using decorations like leaves, canes, a bamboo planter, and even a bamboo forest background.
**Important**: Before you add anything to your aquarium read this first; How to make fish tank decorations safe at home. A lot of aquarists use Krylon Fusion Paint in their aquariums to seal or paint homemade decorations. Kyrlon Fusion comes in a few colours as well as clear. So go ahead & use fake bamboo, just seal it first.
Top 5 Bamboo Aquarium Decorations to Choose from
If you’ve been thinking about using bamboo aquarium decor in your tank and need inspiration, I’ve got you covered. These are my top five favorite bamboo decorations that I like to use in themed tanks. So whether you’re thinking about planting bamboo, want the illusion of a bamboo forest, or want a few bamboo decorations, you should find something here to inspire you.
Bamboo Shoots Plant
When you think about bamboo, you often think of bamboo canes. However, its leaves have a lot of beauty as well.
Bamboo shoots, stems, and leaves are a major food source for pandas, so if you have a panda-themed aquarium or maybe even a Kung Fu Panda aquarium, bamboo leaves can be an excellent addition.
You can also use them as floor-level greenery in an aquarium that already has other bamboo cane decorations.
These bamboo leaves are 4 x 5 x 14 inches, making them perfect for any fish aquarium. Even in a 5-gallon aquarium, they can be the sole decoration and provide an obstacle for fish play.
Bamboo Wall II
Not only is this bamboo wall decorative, but it’s also practical. It has three small container spaces in the front to place items.
I like to use the container areas as planters. So while you can’t plant actual bamboo in your aquarium, you can plant lucky bamboo in your planters. However, keep in mind that it won’t work in marine or brackish tanks because it needs a more acidic pH (it thrives between 6.0 and 6.5).
The bamboo wall also comes with a bubbler hose if you want to use it as an aerator.
The wall is 12 x 4 x 7 inches, so it’s too tall for tanks below 15 gallons. You’ll want to check the height of the wall and the maximum height of what you want to plant in it to determine if it will suit your purposes. Of course, if you decide to plant lucky bamboo in it, many people allow the bamboo to rise out of the tank eventually so that the ultimate plant height won’t matter.
For more stylistic bamboo, these bamboo sticks are an excellent choice. They include both bamboo canes at various angles and bamboo leaves. As two come in each package, you can use them to flank your main centerpiece decoration in a themed tank or as calming decorations in a zen tank.
This decoration has a few places where the sticks cross over each other, making a fun opening through which your fish can swim.
You’ll want to pay special attention to your tank height before ordering these bamboo sticks. Each decoration is 19.69 x 8.27 x 3.54 inches. Thus, it is taller than many tanks under 55 gallons.
One of my favorite looks for bamboo in an aquarium is to have multiple bamboo canes standing tall at regular intervals throughout the tank.
Bamboo canes throughout your tank give the illusion of standing inside a bamboo forest and is quite a serene effect. It’s an especially lovely look for a zen aquarium theme, but it also works well in Asian-themed tanks. I especially like doing this when I have one big themed item to put in the middle of the tank, like a Buddhist temple, a Ganesha, or Buddha statue.
These bamboo bars are synthetic, but they look and feel like natural bamboo. I also like that they are expandable and collapsible with a spring-loaded function that allows you to set them from 10.5 to 15 inches tall. This means that you can use them in all but the tiniest fishbowls.
Try some of these Buddha Aquarium Decorations to really get the theme done right.
Bamboo Forest Background
I’m not sure why aquarium backgrounds have become less popular recently. They do a lot to hide all the cords and machinery behind your aquarium, so they have a practical and aesthetic function.
If you want to give your tank’s bamboo forest more depth or don’t want to bother with bamboo decorations or lucky bamboo in your themed tank, a bamboo forest aquarium background might work well for your purposes. It looks more realistic than some aquarium backgrounds because it’s a photograph rather than artwork.
The background clings to your tank, so you don’t have to tape it on or worry about adhesives.
It comes in 12 different sizes, from 24.4 to 60.8 inches wide and 12.4 to 24.4 inches high. Keep in mind that if you don’t find one in your aquarium’s exact dimensions, you can get a slightly larger one and cut it down.
Video: Building A Bamboo Aquarium
If you like the idea of bamboo aquarium decor in your tank, there are many options you can choose from without having to plant lucky bamboo. My favorite decorations are the bamboo bars that give the illusion of your aquarium being set in a bamboo forest.
There are a lot of cool things to put in a fish tank. If you like the look of bamboo, check out some of our other articles about related themes like zen tanks, Japanese aquarium decorations, and Buddha aquarium decorations for more ideas.