Decorations for cichlid fish aquariums

Decor for aquarium – 120 x 40 x h 50 cm

aquarium de cichlides avec décors aquarocheThis decor has a lot of passages and hiding places  where every fish can find shelter and territory

  • on the left a pile of ceramic rocks, with passages
  • in the middle: a bridge over a sand beach
  • on the right a big grottoe
  • on the back a partial background that gives a depth effect

What was used:

  •  « ceramic rocks » : one  17 kg box (code 0017) and one 5 kg box (code 0005)
  • 1 plate(code 3517) on the right to build the upper part of the grottoe
  • thin backgrounds: codes 4519 et 4501


  • Cichlid fish from  the Malawi lake

Decoration  for an angle aquarium : Trigon by Juwel

Décor pour aquarium TrigonThe  decoration with ceramic rocks  leans on a high rock (0954) usually used in reef aquariums, which hides the technical part in the angle.
Backgrounds cover the 2 sides.


Following aquaroche rocks have been used:

  • 17 kg ceramic rocks;
  • 1 rock 0954
  • 2 backgrounds 5539, 1 on the right, 1 on the left
  • 1 rift 5501 and1 rift 5502 near each background 5539.

Aquarium for cichlid fish – 160×60 cm H: 60 cm

Décor et photo par DavidThis decoration was realized by David with ceramic rocks and backgrounds. He made an article about all the setting up of this decoration for the french magazine Aquarium à la Maison , also available on following website:

 site Aquasquale

Aquarium 260×80 cm H: 80 cm

This décor was thought for cichlid fish, with many passages, hiding places, nooks and corners / territories for fish, big and small.

It was built in the aquarium in 2 hours by 2 persons. Same décor was rebuilt in our workshop, as it is easier to make pictures without the pane. We are preparing some videos showing construction of this décor.


Les décors pour cet aquariumWhat was used:

  •  sets of 3 tripods  code 0033 + plate 3535 and5035)
  • Ceramic rocks:  5 boxes /  17 kg.
  • Backgrounds (to hide central weir) 2 rocks 1956 and 2 extensions 1920 (we do not produce these backgrounds any more, they are replaced by bespoke creations.)
  • Plates: (to builds arches, bridges and grottoes)  3 code 3517 + 3 code 5017  and 1 big 8040
  • A few « eco reef plates »

For cichlid fish – aquarium / 500 litres

Céramique et plateaux 2This aquarium (Beluga – Atelier de Marianne) was exhibited at Expozoo – Paris in 2003, with cichlid fish. (this decoration could be similarly adapted to inverts).

As we did not have the opportunity to take photos during the setting up, we created a similar decoration in our workshop, and detailed each step with photos.

To make this composition:

Beluga Aquarium « Atelier de Marianne » – 120x 70 x 60 cm – 500 litres

  • « ceramic rocks » : 2 boxes 17 kg
  • plates : 2 – 35 cm et 1 – 50 cm

A good distribution of rocks, a light construction with plates enables use of less products and to create territories and shelters.

Sand, very thin, well washed. Plants : anubias and microsoriums on the rocks, vallisnerias in the sand ; it seems that these plants are strong enough to resist cichlid fish.

With the lighting, rocks always seem clearer (in water) ; do not hesitate to use the darker ones in the low parts, to strengthen the deep effect.

Different stages, step by step

Reminder : Use a very horizontally steady aquarium, with clean glass. Make sure that all water tubes and electric connections are in place (so that you won’t have to move them again). Protect the rim of the aquarium , and the inside with a blanket or cardboard pieces, during the setting up.

Choose the rocks in the box :

17 kg boxes contain mainly big pieces. To start with, use the most stable rocks, on 3 points (see page : How to build…) for the base. Keep the longer rocks for bridges, the thinner for hiding the weir column. Do not hesitate to break small pieces, during the setting up, to adapt the rocks to shape. But do not break everything at the beginning ;-))) Small pieces should be kept to finish details of shapes or lines. Remaining gravel can be used for filtration or to hide eventual silicone spots.

Description of the décor : a grotto in the middle to hide the column, a big bridge on the right and one on the left (at different levels).

A good distribution of rocks, a light construction with plates enables use of less products and to create territories and shelters.