Fish are playful pets. They like to chase each other for fun and hide behind aquatic plants. Sometimes, they serenely glide through the water or play with aquarium toys.
Yes, toys! Toys make aquarium fishes super-happy and excited.
Toys can stimulate and reduce the stress levels of many fish species.
Read on to find out the best toys for your aquarium fish to play on!
What is the Best Thing to Put in an Aquarium for Fish to Play On?
Floating log, leaf hammock, moss balls, and aquatic plants are some of the best things for aquarium fish to play on. Enhancing your tank with toys and marine décor can do wonders for your fish’s habitat.
It excites them and makes them feel at home.
Above all, if your pet fish are feeling lethargic and slow, keeping toys readily stimulates them. They become curious and find interesting ways to play with them.
If you have Betta fish, you’re lucky because they’re extremely active and inquisitive.
However, even if you’re petting some other species, these toys can really invigorate your fish. Let’s have a look at the best things for your aquatic pets to play on!
Floating logs are common additions to a home aquarium. Floating logs are cylindrical in shape, with a hiding space inside them. Fish love to play on and inside them. The log is a floating tube designed like a log so fish can swim through and over it.
It is one of the best toys to stimulate your fish, especially bettas, barbs, and goldfish. The hiding place piques their curiosity and impels them to sneak inside the hole. Floating logs also act as a small space for fish to create their bubble nests.
The bubble nests are shelter places for fish to deposit fertilized eggs until they hatch. The surface area of the floating log is usually large enough for bubble nests. Above all, it’s quite cheap and an ideal starting point to make your pet fish more active.
Sometimes, your pet might even sleep or rest on it. When fish get tired of swimming, they like to recline inside aquatic plants. However, a log is even better as it provides sturdy support to rest on.
Look for a log with a moderate weight so it doesn’t roll over or sink. You can add multiple logs in different sizes for your fish to play, swim, and spawn on!
Ceramic logs – similar to floating logs- are wonderful tank decorations. They are aesthetic and give your pet fish lots of opportunities to play around. Your pet can swim through them, over them, and even hide for fun. Ceramic logs commonly have multiple holes in them.
This way, your pet can pass through each of them and navigate its way. The activity will keep them busy, excited, and curious. They will discover a new pathway every day through the log. You can even put little snacks and dried fish foods over or inside the holes.
If you’re willing to invest some time, using food as bait will keep your fish active. Searching for small food items will jog their memory and keep them moving.
Choose one time of the day to plan this little game with your pet fish. Soon, you’ll see them swimming towards you the moment you come near the tank!
A leaf hammock gently floating at the water’s surface is ideal for playing and resting. If you have fish that like to take big leaps, the hammocks can act as cool landing places. Fish that stay near the surface of the water will love hammocks.
They are simply toys that use suction cups to stick to the side of the tank. You can safely place them near the surface of the water. Leaf hammocks are lightweight and float really well. They are good alternatives to leaf hammocks that are too heavy and may sink.
Their light green color exudes a natural, tropical feel that allows fish to play over them. Bettas, barbs, and tetras can easily swim onto the leaf and play over it.
However, when keeping hammocks, make sure to regularly check the tank levels of the water. If it’s too low, the leaf won’t float properly and your fish won’t be able to swim over it.
Marimo Moss Balls
Another fun addition to the tank is Marimo moss balls. Apart from being great toys, moss balls are naturally detoxifying. Keeping a few in your tank will draw out toxins from the water and keep it fresh. They keep the algae growth in check and prevent toxin buildup.
Moss balls are occasionally used as snacks for your fish to nibble on. So, it’s great for killing their boredom. Since moss balls are live toys, they do require some level of maintenance. Keep rotating them weekly to prevent the bottom side of the ball from dying.
For example, if you’re doing a water change or increasing filtration, rotate the ball too. This will keep them running for a long time. Moss balls have a natural velvety green color, which is quite enticing for many species. Bettas, for example, live in perfect harmony with moss balls.
Fish love playing on it and resting over it when they feel tired. It acts as both a soft couch and a soccer ball to play with. If you can’t maintain live moss balls, there are also fake ones. However, make sure to replace them every few months.
Artificial Aquatic Plants
While keeping live plants is great for your tank, artificial ones can add a lovely color. Since they are ceramic-based, they are extremely stable and hardy in the water. They are odorless, rust-free, and don’t affect the quality of the water one bit.
The benefit of having artificial plants is that they’re available in a variety of colors. They’re small and vibrant, making them super-adorable toys for fish to play on. Your pets can swim and bounce over them for a refreshing playtime.
With the water swaying them gently, artificial plants create a true underwater habitat. It makes them feel at home. You can keep them in different sizes and colors for each of your fish. Artificial plants are also good hiding places when fish try to chase each other for fun.
Bubbles and Water Wheels
Look for an aquarium device that produces bubbles in the tank. Your fish will love playing on them and bursting them. Bubbles can actually provide hours of entertainment, especially if your fish is bored. They are good stimulation and get them moving around the tank.
You can also keep a tiny water wheel in the aquarium. Apart from being extremely attractive, water wheels act as pump ornaments. They’re durable, eco-friendly and non-toxic for a home aquarium. Creating a swiveling motion in the water, they will keep your fish busy for hours.
Adding a few water wheels can create a home-like environment for the fish. They will certainly feel more comfortable, secure, and confident in the tank.
Tips for Buying Attractive Things to Put in Aquarium for Fish to Play On
When buying toys for your pet fish, you have to think like one. For example, if you have scales and fins, you’d love jungle gym, waterwheels, and playhouse. Look in different pet stores and online websites to find small toys to play on for your fish. Here are the tips to follow:
- Always choose non-toxic toys for your fish. Even when you’re going for artificial plants or plastic toys, make sure they’re safe underwater. If they’re known for releasing toxins over time, discard them immediately.
- Try to look for lightweight toys like ping pong balls, moss balls, and floating logs. Since they aren’t as heavy, they don’t sink to the bottom. Most fish like to stay at the surface of the water level. Therefore, you need lighter floating toys that stay in the middle and upper tank levels.
- Add toys that encourage group play. If your fish is sluggishly moving and looks unbothered, it probably feels isolated. Leaf hammocks and aquatic water plants are ideal for schooling fish. They can play around and swim through them one by one. It really encourages a sense of community and belonging in your pets.
- Look for brightly colored toys to play on. The more colors you add, the better it is for your fish. Your pets will be drawn to neon shades and bright hues. So, avoid dull colors like black and brown. Instead, choose colors that complement an underwater habitat like red, orange, and lime green.
- Choose toys that are stimulating and keep your fish active. While hammocks and floating logs are good choices, they’re also resting spots.
Understand that if your fish are chasing and nipping one another, they could be bored. To kill the boredom, keep pump-based water wheels. You can also add devices that constantly expel bubbles in the tank.
Engaging your fish in playful activities is extremely easy when you know what toys to look for. Use the ideas above to create a bright, exciting, and fun home for your pets!
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