Is Styrofoam Aquarium Safe? And Some Substitutes To Use In Your Tank

Is Styrofoam Aquarium Safe? And Some Substitutes To Use In Your Tank

Have you been thinking of creating a beautiful background from Styrofoam, or is it the idea of hills and mountains that has inspired you to use Styrofoam in your fish tank? Well, both these ideas are great as they will add a new look to your aquarium while enhancing your creativity skills. Not to mention, your fish will have a positive change in the environment, and so will you as an observer.

Although we support making your aquarium beautiful with decoration items, the safety of your fish and the aquarium’s health must be the most crucial aspect. As a particular school of thought considers Styrofoam a poisonous material for human consumption, so should it be considered safe for your aquarium? Well, such a concern requires deep digging before you can consider Styrofoam a safe material for your tank.

Let’s analyze it from different angles.

  1. Where can you use Styrofoam in the aquarium?
  2. Who can get affected by Styrofoam?
  3. Is Styrofoam aquarium safe?
  4. Alternate to the Styrofoam

Where can you use Styrofoam in the aquarium?

You can make hills and mountains from the Styrofoam and include it in your water tank to prove a playing ground for your fish and other creatures. Besides, such hills will also give a beautiful view of your tank.

You can include the background of your choice by using Styrofoam as the base. Painting it, adding cement, and other materials can serve your purpose. But don’t forget to add the pet-friendly materials only. Otherwise, it can harm your pets.

Who can get affected by Styrofoam?

Who can get affected by Styrofoam?

If you think Styrofoam will release different elements into the water, you are particularly assuming that your entire water is affected. In that case, the impact it would cause would be wide-scale and affect your entire aquatic living species.

Fortunately, this is not the case. Styrofoam is inert and does not react with your entire aquarium water. If the living organisms in your tank are not in direct contact with this foam, especially if they are not eating it, everything is good to go.

You can expect to eat a few pieces of Styrofoam out of curiosity or out of habit. One of the animals in your tank that might be inclined to nibble on this foam is the turtle. Sometimes, these turtles could be calcium deprived, which could lead them to take Styrofoam. So, in that case, the use of Styrofoam would be problematic for your tank.

You must ensure that your turtle is not in such a habit or not deprived of the necessary minerals before you can get a Styrofoam for your aquarium.

Is Styrofoam aquarium safe?

Although one school of thought considers Styrofoam poisonous for human consumption, we still see the cups and packing boxes made of Styrofoam sheets. Luckily, these boxes are approved by the health and food departments. So that makes it safe for humans. You can probably call it an inert compound that would not react with other things, especially eatables, keeping them safe for consumption.

So, how does it work for the turtles? As turtles can directly consume the Styrofoam in the worst-case scenarios, so you cannot consider it as safe as you can consider it for humans. The turtles are usually in the habit of nibbling things, so when they find an easy-to-nibble item in their aquarium, they are most likely to do so.

You might not consider it a safe product in such a situation because you won’t like your turtle to have loads of Styrofoam in its body. You can consider it safe as even minor consumption of this foam won’t pose any problems for your turtles or other aquatic animals. But if they are not habitual of nibbling on to everything they find in the aquarium.

What can possibly go wrong?

If your turtle would eat the Styrofoam in large quantities, it can definitely affect its health. As you cannot find any suitable medicine for the turtle with such a problem, it’s great to ease, so there are high chances that your turtle or even the other animal eating this foam will die eventually.

So, if you already have the Styrofoam pieces in your aquarium, or you are planning to get some, it is essential that you should keep your turtles away from it.

Alternatives for the Styrofoam

Alternatives for the Styrofoam

Although you can find a lot of substitutes that might work similarly to Styrofoam, a very immediate product that can perfectly work is the food-graded Styrofoam. This might look similar to the traditional Styrofoam, but it actually isn’t. It is made of food-grade quality materials, so it is safe for your aquarium and the animals living in it.

Such a Styrofoam is available on the market, and you can easily buy it for all decorations. However, you must be willing to spend extra on it as it would be specialized and provide better protection for your aquatic animals.

Substitutes to Styrofoam to use in your tank

Now with a bit of doubt about the general Styrofoam in your tank, if you are considering using other materials, then here is a list of products you can use. These materials have been chosen in a single condition that they are safe for your aquarium and the animals living in it.

Styrofoam from Ecovative

One of the closest alternatives to the traditional Styrofoam that would look and function similar to the original one but would be safer for the aquarium is the Styrofoam from Ecovative. Ecovative is the company that provides an alternative to all the products made from Styrofoam and plastic.

It will have mycelium in it, thus making your selection organic and capable of having better interaction metrics for the safety of your water and fish living in it. Just like the traditional Styrofoam, you can easily use it in whatever form you like, providing the best results.

Tree fern board

You can do a great job with the addition of your creative instinct. Although not exactly the shape of the Styrofoam, you can use it to create beautiful bases and backgrounds for your aquarium. You can either choose the flat options or pick out the odd tree ferns to give a unique look. Besides, the addition of ferns in the water won’t change any of the nutrients, and you can expect your organic ecosystem to be beautiful as well.

Cork and driftwood

One of the other alternates you can find is the cork and the driftwood. Adding a bit of silicone to this material, along with the incorporation of creativity, can take your aquarium to another level. Arrange these pieces in the background, and you’ll be able to construct a display that would amuse your aquarium animals as well as everyone around you.

Use clay

You can also use clay to make the background of your aquarium beautiful. But to do it, you must buy the pet-friendly clay that you’ll often find in the leading stores. You can even buy it online.

Mix this clay with water as mentioned in the instructions on the label, you’ll be able to create a chunky mixture of this clay. It can be used to create a false bottom in your aquarium and it would look just awesome upon finishing. So, you wouldn’t miss the traditional Styrofoam.

Summing up

Styrofoam is usually considered a safe material for your aquarium decoration and background. But if you aren’t sure that you can control your aquarium turtle, then you can go for a list of alternatives available in this regard.

We are sure you’ll be able to fulfill the purpose fully without even thinking about the traditional Styrofoam again. The best part is that there is Styrofoam made of the other material too that can make your choice more accessible if you don’t want to let go of the original ideas for decorating your aquarium.