5 Abandoned Shipwreck Aquarium Decor You Can Copy

There are an estimated three million shipwrecks in the ocean, and only 1% percent of them have been found and explored. So, it’s no wonder we are fascinated with the idea of shipwrecks.

Shipwreck aquarium decor is a classic option and can make excellent hiding and playing structures for your fish. Loaches, cichlids, and catfish especially appreciate places in their tanks to hide. So, if you have fish that need shelter and the aesthetics of shipwrecks appeal to you, adding a shipwreck to your tank will make both you and your fish happy.

The sunken wrecks on this list include an ancient ship, a battleship, a warplane, a submarine, and a Coast Guard boat. Each shipwreck is abandoned, most likely because the occupants did not survive the blasts that tore their air or water ships apart and became food for the fishies.


Top 5 Shipwreck Aquarium Decorations to Choose from

When you’re thinking about adding shipwreck aquarium decor to your tank, it’s essential to consider the size of the wreck in comparison to your tank. I’ve included both small wrecks and large to give you a good range of sizes.

Air Action Shipwreck

Penn-Plax Shipwreck Aquarium Decoration Ornament with Moving Masts, Lifeboat, and Bubble Action

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If I were going to guess what happened to this ancient wrecked ship, it would all be about cannonball action. The vessel wasn’t completely defenseless. It has gun turrets out the side, but a few are entirely gone, blasted to Hades.

Nobody managed to escape in the lifeboat either because it’s still attached. So I guess everyone ended up down in Davy Jones’ locker unless the other ship took prisoners.

This shipwreck also doubles as an air bubbler and has plenty of places for your fish to hide and play, so it’s more than just a tank decoration.

The listing includes a few other shipwreck-related options to choose in addition to or instead of this one:

  • Barrel of jewels with a steering wheel and skeleton
  • Diver and treasure chest
  • Diver with air hose
  • Only half of the same shipwreck
  • Rocking shipwreck
  • The pirate skeleton still at the ship’s wheel
  • Treasure chest

This two-part shipwreck measures 9.5 inches long and 4.7 inches high. If you decide to raise the masts, the height increases to 7 inches. You could fit it in a tank as small as five gallons, but it would look best in a tank a bit longer than that.

Battleship Ruins

Underwater Treasures Battleship Ruins

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You sunk my battleship!

For a more modern approach to shipwrecks, consider a ruined military battleship. Like the scene above, this ship has also come under heavy fire before succumbing to the ocean depths below.

The sunken battleship comes in two pieces, allowing you to place it haphazardly in your tank. Each piece has multiple holes through which your fish can swim, and the inner depths make great refuges for shy and nocturnal fish.

The smaller half of the ruined battleship is 13.25 inches long, 6.25 inches wide, and 6.25 inches high. The larger half is 16 inches long, 6.5 inches wide, and 11.25 inches tall.

As you can see, this is a big ship, measuring a whopping 29.25 inches long altogether. I wouldn’t even attempt it in a tank under 30 gallons. Be sure to measure before you buy.

If you like the cave aspect of this decoration then maybe take a look at these Aquarium Cave Ideas.

Fighter Plane Shipwreck

Shyfish Aquarium Decorations Fighter Plane Ornament Resin Material Fish Tank Decorations for Betta

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If you’re looking for a smaller wreck for your tank (anything’s smaller than that battleship), you might want to consider the fighter plane instead. At 3.2 x 8.2 x 1.8 inches, the set is tiny. Thus, it’s perfect for a one- to ten-gallon tank.

The plane has an excellent design that makes it look like rusting metal, even though it’s just resin. There’s a small hole in the side that small fish can go through to take refuge. You might consider surrounding it with plants and tall grass like Vallisneria to give it an even more lost feel.

In-person, the plane looks a little different than the picture, with the markings being more grey than blue. Plane crash material can be a little pointy, so you will also want to make sure to feel around the inside of the plane for sharp edges. It’s possible to sand down anything rough that you find inside.

Submarine Shipwreck

SLOCME Aquarium Submarine Ornaments Shipwreck Decorations - Resin Material Sunken Ship Decorations Eco-Friendly for Aquarium Environments Accessories

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Nobody was ever going to survive the blast this submarine received. Brutal!

I like that the two pieces of the submarine look rusty and that they are secured to a rock structure so that they’re in a perfect pose. Lucky for your fish, both sides of the submarine have escape routes in case your alpha fish decides to intimidate the scaredy-fish hiding inside.

If you want aquarium-safe rocks to match the ones upon which the submarine rests, I would suggest:

  • Seiryu stone
  • Mountain stone
  • Dragon stone

The submarine measures 11.5 inches long, 3 inches wide, and 6 inches tall, so you could put it in an aquarium as small as five gallons.

Large Shipwreck

SLOCME Aquarium Large Shipwreck Decorations - Fish Tank Lifelike Ship Decor,Resin Material Large Pirate Ship Decor

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It looks like someone has declared war on this Coast Guard boat. Pirates? Drug runners? Whoever it was, they blasted several lethal holes to seal this crew’s fate.

This large shipwreck is more colorful than the others on the list, featuring blue, red, green, yellow, and white paint, along with green and pink corals below. However, it feels almost too cheery considering its ultimate demise.

You might consider using a substrate that matches the ship’s colors or some coral decorations (or natural coral in a saltwater tank). You may even want to hide it among the plants in your tank.

The sunken ship is 9.8 inches long, 3.5 inches wide, and 5.7 inches high, a perfect size for smaller tanks.

Video: Setting Up A Shipwreck Aquarium Theme


Yes, I know. It’s hard to decide on a favorite shipwreck. The air-action shipwreck is probably my favorite because I can imagine it coming under pirate attack.

There are many cool things to put in a fish tank, but I think shipwrecks are among the most interesting and useful. So choose some shipwreck aquarium decor, and then get busy wrecking your tank.

If these ideas are too serious but you still want that underwater theme? try these SpongeBob Aquarium Decorations.

Jack Dempsey
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