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How To Use Terracotta Pots In Your Aquarium!

As the number of people starting to keep fish as a hobby increases, the number of questions we see from fish keepers looking for quick, cheap, and easy to use fish hides also seems to increase.

One of the more obvious fish hide options is to use terracotta pots in your aquarium as a way offer some easy shelter to your fish while also keeping your costs as low as possible.

Due to seeing so many people reaching out and asking for cheap hide ideas as well as if terracotta pots can be used in an aquarium, we have decided to publish this article.

We plan to cover all of the commonly asked questions from the community on using terracotta pots in your aquarium to try and help as many of our readers as possible.

We will try to be as specific as possible on when you can and can’t use terracotta pots as we work through the various sections of the article for different situations.

Although there is a common rule of thumb about avoiding glazed terracotta pots in aquariums, many of the modern glazes used are perfectly safe but most people still avoid them just to be on the safe side.

Are Terracotta Pots Safe For Fish Tanks?

Most modern terracotta pots are perfectly safe for use in your aquarium, especially if they are brand new and have never been used before. If your terracotta pot has been used previously be sure to wash it thoroughly prior to adding it to your aquarium.

A number of terracotta pots that use a modern glaze are also generally safe for many aquarium setups now too.

The absolute easiest option for using terracotta in your aquarium is to simply go with Terracotta pot hides that are premade for use in your aquarium and will reduce the chances of any potential negative effects occurring.

Thankfully though, most non-glazed, brand new terracotta pots are considered aquarium safe but we would still recommend you give them a quick wash.

We would always recommend that you deep clean any pre-used terracotta pots prior to putting them into your aquarium. The general process is to soak them in bleach for a day and then soak them in water for a week with the water being changed out each day.

If you want, you can then quarantine the pots for a few days and check the water parameters in the quarantine tank prior to putting them in your main aquarium.

How To Prepare Terracotta Pots For An Aquarium!

You can choose to prepare your terracotta pots by cutting them if you want a specific design for your aquarium but terracotta pots are generally good as they are for use as general hides.

Just be sure to clean them prior to actually putting them into your aquarium to avoid issues with your water parameters.

If you are trying to integrate your terracotta posts into an aquascape for your aquarium then taking a few minutes to plan and prepare really can make a huge difference.

Even something as simple as realising that a small amount of java moss on top of the terracotta pots will help it fit your aquascape better.

Depending on exactly what you are doing you may want to spend some time using an aquarium safe glue to glue multiple terracotta pots into a set shape. This can stop them from accidentally falling over in your aquarium due to water flow or being knocked and potentially landing on your fish, snails or shrimp.

Using Terracotta Pot Hides In Your Aquarium!

Terracotta pots are one of the quickest, easiest, and cheapest hide options for your aquarium while also being highly customizable.

Due to the wide range of sizes of terracotta pots commonly available, you can usually find the perfect item for your needs to ensure that your fish or amphibian is able to hide in it with ease.

Due to the popularity of using terracotta hides in aquariums, there are a number of different pre-made Terracotta pot hides that can workout to be even cheaper and easier than using a regular pot.

More and more fish keepers are starting to pick up a cheap dremel to customise their terracotta pots with additional holes too.

Using terracotta pots as one of your main hide options was actually one of our main recommended axolotl hides too but they work very well for fish, snails, shrimp, and most other popular animals kept in tanks.

If you have a heavily stocked aquarium with a large number of fight and need a bunch of different hides then you are usually able to arrange a number of terracotta pots in a way to offer everything you need from a small number of pots too.

Keeping Aquarium Plants In Terracotta Pots!

Keeping your aquarium plants in terracotta pots can be a great option if you want the primary substrate option in your aquarium to be something that is not suitable for growing plants.

The pots allow you to use small amounts of the substrate required for your plants to grow easily and then use your preferred substrate for the rest of the tank.

For the most part, mini terracotta pots are definitely the better option for keeping aquatic plants in as they take up a tiny amount of space while being able to hold plenty of substrate for your plants.

If needed though, you can use regular terracotta plants too but just keep in mind that they can take up a large amount of space.

You can actually get very creative with how you want your setup to look too. For example, you can have a few verticle terracotta pots with your live plants in and then multiple horizontal plants near them facing different directions to work as hides for your fish too.

You can then sprinkle some java moss over the setup to blend it all together and complete the look too.


That brings our article going over how you are able to use terracotta pots in your aquarium to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand the different ways you are able to use terracotta pots in your fish tank as well as how you should be trying to clean them prior to adding them to your tank to reduce the chance of you having any problems with your water quality.