While decor and accessories are not a requirement for your aquarium, they can enhance the appearance of your tank, making it more attractive and enjoyable. Many decorations can also provide places for fish to hide, including cave like areas for fish like plecos and catfish. In their natural environment, fish have access to numerous hiding areas so by providing similar areas in your tank you can greatly improve their health and happiness.
Backgrounds are another way to enhance the appearance of your tank and they can be used to camouflage cords and filters as well. They come in a wide variety of designs, enabling you to create anything from a naturalistic planted look to a sunken treasure ship.
Decor and accessories can be either natural or artificial and there are benefits to both. Live plants complete the nitrogen cycle which can improve the water quality of your tank, while live corals can help to create complex reef ecosystems. However, they also require additional care such as special lighting and nutrient supplements. As a result, artificial décor and accessories are often and less maintenance intensive option.
Heaters are a necessity for all tropical fish, both freshwater and marine. They enable you to maintain a consistent temperature in your aquarium. Heaters are available in submersible and non-submersible styles and the wattage needed is determined by the size of your tank. When using a heater, it is also a good idea to use a thermometer or other temperature gauge to ensure proper temperature is maintained.
Air pumps provide additional aeration in the tank, creating an aesthetically pleasing look and also produce more oxygen for aerobic bacteria. Bubble wands, bubble wands with LED lights, air stones, and some decorations can all be attached to air pumps to create bubbles and movement and to add interest to the tank.