Aquariums are generally made for inside the house, but why not have a fish tank outside? An aquarium or other water feature in the garden is relaxing and adds a whole new level of visual interest. A backyard aquarium can be elaborate and costly, but it can also be simple and DIY.
Outdoor Aquarium Ideas
You can go big with an outdoor aquatic ecosystem, but a small tank or pond is great too. Consider your budget, the amount of time you can put into building and maintaining it, and your skill level before choosing a project.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Trough tank – A galvanized steel trough is all you need to create a lovely outdoor aquarium or pond. A horse trough is great for a big space, but a tub or bucket makes a great small ecosystem.
- Large glass jar – A glass jar or terrarium provides the basis for a simple aquarium that can sit on a tabletop, on the ground, or even in a planter among flowers.
- Barrel fishpond – Find an old barrel to repurpose into a small outdoor aquarium. You’ll need to seal it to keep the water in, of course.
- Pond with a view – A more traditional pond becomes an outdoor aquarium if you construct it with a window. Use thick, sturdy acrylic to create one or two clear sides to your pond.
- Upcycle – An outdoor aquarium can be a truly creative endeavor if you look around for materials you already have. Create a box out of scrap wood, use a large plant pot, or even make an aquatic ecosystem out of an old canoe.
Tips for Putting a Fish Tank in the Garden
Aquariums in gardens can be tricky. You may have some trial and error and a failure or two before you make it work. Consider these tips first and make a detailed plan before starting the project:
- Plan for winter if it gets cold. Either design your aquarium to be year-round or be prepared to move it indoors.
- If you do want to keep it outside all year, you can use a heater for the colder months.
- Avoid putting your aquarium under trees or you will be forever cleaning out debris.
- Also, avoid a location that has no shade or shelter. A corner of the yard with some shade from the house is a good spot.
- Use a filter to keep it clean.
- Consider putting in some aquatic plants for a complete ecosystem.