DIY Mason Jar Aquarium: A Cute Decoration for Your Shelf

Looking to create a cute aquarium decoration? Try making a diy mason jar aquarium! This simple project is a fun way to add a little bit of color and life to your room. All you need is a mason jar, some small plastic fish, and a few other crafting supplies.

In this article, we’ll go over the steps to make your own little underwater world. So grab your supplies and let’s get started!

Materials Needed

Mason Jar

Mason jars are a crucial component of this aquarium project. They are inexpensive, readily available, and come in various sizes to accommodate different fish or aquatic plants. The jar you use should be free of cracks and holes that could compromise its integrity.

  • A large-mouthed mason jar (at least one quart).
  • A jar with a lid that screws on tightly.
  • Ensure that the jar is clean.

Tiny Pebbles

Tiny pebbles or gravel make up the substrate of your diy aquarium, creating a foundation for your plants or plastic aquarium toys. You should choose a pebble size that suits the size of your jar and isn’t too small or too large for your plants or toys.

  • At least two bags of tiny pebbles for the bottom substrate.

Blue Food Coloring

Adding blue food coloring to the water turns the aquarium water blue and makes it look more like a real aquatic environment. Use food coloring sparingly so that the water doesn’t turn dark blue.

  • A few drops of blue food coloring per quart of water.

Artificial Aquatic Plants

Artificial aquatic plants add a natural appearance to your aquarium and create a natural habitat for your fish or plastic aquarium toys. You can purchase these plants at most pet stores, or you can make your own artificial plants using silk or plastic.

  • At least 3-4 artificial aquatic plants for a 1-quart jar.

Small Plastic Aquarium Toys

Small plastic aquarium toys, such as miniature boats or underwater creatures, add an exciting and playful touch to your diy aquarium. Each toy should be small enough to fit comfortably in your jar without overpowering it.

  • 3-4 small plastic aquarium toys for a 1-quart jar.

Air Pump, Airline Tubing, Aquarium Filter

An air pump, airline tubing, and an aquarium filter are vital components of your stone aquarium, as they create water movement and aeration, ensuring that your fish or aquatic plants have a healthy environment. An air filter is the heartbeat of the aquarium; without it, your plants or fish won’t survive.

  • An air pump that fits your jar size.
  • Airline tubing to connect the air pump to the aquarium filter
  • A small aquarium filter.

Aquarium Gravel

Aquarium gravel is a must-have substrate in your jar aquarium. It is a porous material that removes debris, preventing them from sticking to the bottom of your jar aquarium. Gravel also provides excellent water space for beneficial bacteria that remove harmful toxins.

  • Small aquarium gravel at least two bags for a 1-quart jar.

Construction Glue, Tank Glass Sealant

Construction glue and tank glass sealant are necessary when creating your diy aquarium. Construction glue helps to hold your aquarium toys and plants in position, while the tank glass sealant ensures that your jar’s seal is airtight.

  • A small squirt bottle of construction glue.
  • A small bottle of tank glass sealant.

Step By Step Guide

Creating a mason jar aquarium is a fun and creative way to decorate your home with a unique touch. There are many different ways to design a mason jar aquarium, but we will break it down into six easy steps to make the process a breeze.

Follow along with our step-by-step guide below to create your own personalized diy mason jar aquarium today.

Step 1: Clean The Mason Jar

Before starting to build your mason jar aquarium, it is essential to ensure that the jar is cleaned thoroughly. This step is crucial to make sure that your aquarium stays hygienic, and your fish remain healthy and happy.

  • Rinse the jar with warm water to remove any dust or debris.
  • Fill the jar halfway with equal parts of warm water and white vinegar.
  • Swirl the solution around for a few minutes, then rinse the jar with warm water until the vinegar scent disappears.
  • Dry the jar with a clean towel.
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Step 2: Add Aquarium Gravel

Once your jar is clean, it is time to add the aquarium gravel. Aquarium gravel provides a natural-looking base for your aquarium, as well as a functional component. It filters debris and helps to reduce the growth of harmful bacteria in the water.

  • Add a layer of aquarium gravel to the bottom of the jar. The thickness of the gravel layer should be around 1 inch.
  • Rinse the gravel with cold water before adding it to the jar. This step removes any dust or debris that might be present in the gravel.

Step 3: Add The Artificial Plants And Toys

Now comes the fun part; decorating your aquarium with artificial plants and toys. These decorations add color and a touch of personality to your aquarium.

  • Choose a few artificial plants and toys to place in your aquarium. While selecting the toys, ensure that they are small enough to fit in your jar but also big enough to be visible.
  • Position the plants and toys, and add them to the aquarium.

Step 4: Attach The Aquarium Filter

An aquarium filter is vital in keeping the water clean and fresh for your fish.

  • Attach the tube from the aquarium filter to the pump.
  • Place the pump into the gravel and position it towards the back of the jar. Ensure that the filter is not obstructed by any of the decorations.

Step 5: Add Water And Air Pump

It’s time to add water to your aquarium. Adding the right water and amount is crucial for your fish’s health.

  • Fill the jar with water up to around 2 inches below the jar’s opening.
  • Add an air pump to the jar and place it inside.
  • Attach the air tube to the air pump and place the air stone inside the jar. This step adds oxygen to your aquarium.

Step 6: Seal The Jar

This final step is crucial to ensure that your aquarium remains an enclosed environment for your fish.

  • Place the lid on top of the jar and screw it securely.
  • Ensure that the seal is tight and that there are no leaks.

Now that you have completed all the steps, your cute and trendy mason jar aquarium is ready! Place it on a shelf or on your desk, wherever it’s visible, and watch your fish swim in their new home.

Tips For Maintenance

Decorating your home with a diy mason jar aquarium is not only cute but also a fun and creative way to show off your love for aquatic life. However, maintaining the aquarium’s cleanliness and water quality is of utmost importance if your fish is going to thrive.

To help you keep your jar aquarium in top shape, we have outlined some essential maintenance tips below.

Always Keep Good Water Quality By Changing Out 20% Of The Water Every Week.

Maintaining good water quality in your diy mason jar aquarium is vital to the health and happiness of your fish. To effectively preserve water quality, you will need to do routine water change. We recommend that you change out at least 20% of the water in your aquarium every week.

Doing so will help eliminate any build up of toxins and other harmful substances in the water.

Ensure That Water Ph Levels Remain At 6.8–7.0.

The level of acidity in the water of your mason jar aquarium should be within the range of 6. 8–7. 0 ph. To achieve this, ensure that you use a ph testing kit to monitor the ph levels daily. If the levels fall above or below the recommended range, adjust accordingly to ensure that the fish stays healthy.

Clean The Filters Weekly To Prevent Blockage.

Filters are essential components of the mason jar aquarium. They help remove debris, dead matter and excess food from the water to ensure that it remains clean. To prevent blockage, clean your mason jar aquarium filters weekly or biweekly, depending on the quantity of fish in the aquarium.

Doing so will ensure that your fish stays healthy and the water remains clean.

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  • Remove the filter from the jar.
  • Take out the debris and waste materials that have accumulated.
  • Rinse the filter under running water.
  • Put the filter back in the mason jar.

Change The Air Stones In The Air Pump Every Three To Six Months.

Air stones provide oxygen to your fish, and it is essential to keep them functioning correctly. Change the air stones in the air pump every three to six months to ensure that your fish have enough oxygen supply, which is crucial for their survival.

Maintaining a diy mason jar aquarium is not a difficult feat. With these tips, keeping your fish happy and healthy is much easier. Remember to stick to the recommended water changes, monitor ph levels, clean the filters regularly and replace your air stones every few months.

And with these tips, you can keep your cute decoration looking fresh and your fish thriving.

Frequently Asked Questions For Diy Mason Jar Aquarium : A Cute Decoration For Your Shelf

What Materials Do I Need To Make A Diy Mason Jar Aquarium?

To make a diy mason jar aquarium, you need a mason jar, gravel or sand, aquatic plants, water, and small aquarium decorations. Optionally, you can also add small fish or shrimp. Be sure to research and carefully follow the steps for creating a healthy and safe environment for your aquatic pets.

How Do I Properly Clean And Prepare The Mason Jar Before Adding Water And Fish?

To clean and prepare your mason jar for fish, first wash it with soap and warm water. Rinse thoroughly and let it dry completely. Then add clean, room temperature water to the jar. Aquarium-safe items like gravel can also be added.

Let the water cycle for 24 hours before adding your fish.

What Type Of Fish Is Recommended For A Small Mason Jar Aquarium?

Betta fish is the best fit for small mason jar aquariums. They require low maintenance, and their vibrant colors add beauty to the aquarium. Ensure that the jar has sufficient space, and the water is clean and filtered for the fish’s health.

Is It Safe For The Fish To Live In A Mason Jar Aquarium Long Term?

Keeping fish in a mason jar aquarium long-term is not safe for their health. Mason jars are very small and don’t provide enough space, oxygen, or filtration for fish to thrive. Fish require a properly sized and maintained aquarium with a filtration system, heating, and adequate space to swim.

A mason jar aquarium is not a suitable long-term environment for fish.

Can I Add Plants Or Other Decorations To My Mason Jar Aquarium?

Yes, you can add plants and other decorations to your mason jar aquarium. Adding live plants will benefit your aquatic creatures as it enhances the natural environment. Be sure to select appropriate plants that thrive in an aquatic environment, and avoid overcrowding your aquarium.

Can a Self-Cleaning Aquarium Be Made using a Mason Jar?

Yes, a self-cleaning aquarium can be made using a mason jar. Utilizing a selfcleaning aquarium setup guide, you can create a mini aquatic ecosystem that requires minimal maintenance. The design typically involves a filtering system and aquatic plants that naturally clean the water. A mason jar setup can be a charming and low-maintenance option for beginners or those with limited space.


Creating a diy mason jar aquarium is an excellent way to add some flavor to your living space. With a little creativity and budget-friendly materials, you can entirely transform the look of your shelves. It’s a fun, engaging project that can enhance your home decor and bring a splash of color to your life.

By incorporating live plants and decorative elements, you can create a genuine sense of underwater allure. A mason jar aquarium can be an ideal centerpiece or a thoughtful gift for your loved ones. It’s simple to set up, easy to maintain, and adds an exciting twist to traditional aquatic displays.

You can tailor the design to your preference, experiment with different plants and sea creatures, and create your dream aquarium without breaking the bank. Adding a diy mason jar aquarium to your home can benefit both your physical and emotional well-being, creating a peaceful and inviting atmosphere that you can enjoy every day.

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