How to Make an Aquarium in Minecraft

Image credit: Microsoft

You’ve certainly had the opportunity of diving into the seas and oceans of Minecraft and got to see all that the water has to offer. Everything from freshwater to tropical fish and even turtles!

Now if there was only a way to bring all of that color and excitement into your Minecraft home…

Well, aquariums make for excellent decoration inside any house.

If you know how to build an aquarium in Minecraft you can bring all those cute fish and turtles back to your home.

Anything from a small fish tank to brighten up a living room to a large centerpiece of a mansion, an aquarium will definitely help impress guests.

Finding Fish

Depending on the type of aquatic animal you want in your aquarium, there’s many places to look.

In Minecraft you can put any fish you see inside a bucket to take back to your home; salmon, cod, tropical fish, and even pufferfish. If you want a very large aquarium you can also raise breed turtles.

If you’re looking for salmon or cod you’re in luck, as these are the most common fish in the game. They can be found in virtually all types of water as long as they are deep enough.

With tropical fish and pufferfish it’s a different story. You’re most likely going to have to travel by boat into deeper waters.

Tropical fish can be found in warm ocean variants or lush caves, appearing in schools of 8. In oceans they will only spawn at a depth of 13 blocks or lower, usually at least 24 blocks away from the player.

Pufferfish can only be found in warm ocean variants, those being lukewarm ocean, deep lukewarm ocean, and warm ocean biomes.

Unlike other types of fish, pufferfish can protect themselves by inflating and stinging the player when approached. In doing so they inflict poison damage for 5 seconds.

Regardless of differences, all fish are very easy to catch. Swim up to your desired fish with an empty bucket in hand and right click. This will fill your bucket with water and fish.

Finding Turtles

Turtles aren’t exactly fish, but they can still be a fun addition to an aquarium if you can get a hold of them.

They usually spawn on beaches with the exception of snowy beaches and stony shores. They spawn directly on sand blocks where the light is bright enough, sometimes in small groups.

Turtles can be either put on a lead or led away with seagrass. It is important to note that if you want to breed the turtles, they will always try to return to their spawning block to lay their eggs and will not otherwise lay them down.

Any turtle egg can be harvested using the silk touch enchantment.

Building an Aquarium

Now that you have your fish all gathered up it is time to build them their new home.

When building your fish tank it is important to keep in mind how big you want it to be, as well as how lively you want it.

Smaller tanks look good with just a single fish or two, with maybe a single block of Seagrass for decoration. These are easy to incorporate into any room and it is fun to place decorations around them.

Big aquariums on the other hand can take up much more space and even require a bit of terraforming or landscaping.

How to Build a Small Fish Tank in Minecraft

If you don’t have a lot of space you don’t need to worry, because there’s many ways to make a small fish tank for your fish inside your base.

My favorite way of building a small tank is by using the walls of my home to hold in the water. Remember you need an entire block to be free to place the water and then you need additional space for the blocks that contain the water.

This was something that used to cause me issues before whenever I wanted a rather small tank.

So I always utilize the walls of my home and dig into them to place the water. After that I simply decorate around it with furniture.

I often use bookshelves around the fish tank to make it part of a mantle piece. Using spruce trapdoors I add details to the whole thing.

When you are satisfied with your decorations and you feel like your tank is ready you can add your fish.

You can either put a bucket of water inside before the fish and decorate with some coral or seagrass or you can add your fish directly.

How to Build a Large Aquarium in Minecraft

Making a large aquarium can sometimes be a little easier than building a small tank, because you have a lot more space and freedom. Though it obviously does require a lot more material in the long run, especially glass and glass panes, which are a must have.

First things first, it’s good to figure out what materials you want to use for building. Having a Tool bar with your chosen pattern could come in handy here.

I usually lay out the sand in the shape I want my aquarium to be. It helps me figure out the size I want and the overall layout.

I am building this aquarium in the middle of the room and giving it a star/circular shape. I plan on making it a tall aquarium.

I use stone brick stairs to surround the sand and to also place the glass on top of it, so that I get most out of my space. After I raise the Glass wall a little bit I fill the very bottom of the aquarium with a single ‘layer’ of water, just one block tall.

This way I can put down the seagrass, coral, sea pickles, and other decorations that I want to be on the floor of the tank, save for the kelp.

I won’t go too wild on the kelp because I don’t want it to obscure the view.

This also helps me see if the blocks I am using are going to keep the water in. In the case they don’t and I accidentally flood my house I can easily remove the water.

Here I decide that I don’t want the aquarium floor to be too even, so I make a tiny sand hill on the side.

After I’m happy with the bottom of the aquarium, all I have to do is continue filling it with water and raising the surrounding walls until I am satisfied.

It’s best to add your fish and turtles right before you close the top of the aquarium. That way they’d not get in the way of your building and decorating and you won’t have to worry about them jumping out of the water.

If you’re building a particularly large aquarium with plenty of space, you can even consider adding dolphins.

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