Bonsai in Fish Tanks: How Are Bonsai Added in Fish Tanks?

  • By: Josh Koop
  • Date: February 8, 2023
  • Time to read: 6 min.
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Anyone who loves being around plants has thought about adding a bonsai plant to their garden at some point. From houses and gardens to have one inside of a fish tank, bonsais can now be spotted almost anywhere. While some have considered adding bonsai to fish tanks, the question remains: how are bonsai added to fish tanks?

The bonsai trees found inside fish tanks are not dead bonsai plants, but they are still made from real wood from trees. A bonsai tree will die out if it has its roots waterlogged due to being underwater. Utilizing dry roots sold in aquarium tank stores and after tying or sticking on little mats of moss, gives a bonsai look to the plant underwater. 

While bonsai trees are unfit to grow underwater or in fish tanks, there are other ways to have one inside your aquarium. Similar-looking plants to a bonsai tree are constructed and put into your fish tanks.

Let’s learn more about them and see where we can buy bonsai trees to be added to fish tanks.

Where To Buy Aquarium Bonsai Trees?

Bonsai trees are available everywhere. While the trees in your aquarium that resemble bonsai are not real, they appear to be. In order to make a bonsai , you’ll need a base plant. The base plant can be found in a number of places.

Plant Nursery

The best place to look for plants is always a nursery. Here you will have all the different kinds of plants and trees you can choose from to set up your bonsai . Look through all the plants and see which ones fit or already have an outlook similar to a bonsai. 

You will need to re-branch the plant in a similar way to the type of bonsai you desire for your fish tank. It is best to choose a slightly bigger plant so you can easily modify it instead of having it fall apart.

You can use driftwood to give the tree a bonsai look . Driftwood tends to be expensive but serves the purpose well. It also gives you the perfect outlook you desire for your bonsai tree .

Aquarium Store

You might also go to your neighborhood fish store. Growing bonsai is becoming increasingly popular, so there’s a good chance they have some. There may also be a wide range of options to choose from. If there aren’t any bonsai designs available, you can always go for something else for your fish tanks to have.

Gift Shops

With the plant underwater not being a real bonsai, it does open doors for experiments. You can simply buy a plastic bonsai tree from gift shops and use it to decorate your fish tanks.

With the plant being completely made out of plastic, there will be no need for maintenance and it will sit perfectly inside your aquarium underwater.

Once you have chosen your way of getting the proper bonsai for your fish tank, you will next need to place them inside and set them up properly. Keep in mind that the bonsai tree is not a part of your fish tank and will need the same maintenance you give while changing water or rocks.

Let’s know more about them and see how you can put bonsai trees inside our fish tanks.

Adding Bonsai Trees To Fish Tanks 

When you put up decorations inside a fish tank, you’ll see that they’re usually heavy enough to sit through. Or you can use rocks to keep them in place. There will also be a need to glue the tree to the surface of the inside of the aquarium before the water fills up as well as moss.

When it comes to different conventional-looking trees, there are two primary types of bonsai. There are a ton of distinctive sizes and common shapes to choose from. Bonsai trees can be costly, so make sure you know precisely what you need to attain before you begin this project.

There are a few steps that you need to take while setting up a bonsai inside of a fish tank.

Choosing The Bonsai Type

A bonsai tree will die out if it has its roots waterlogged inside the soil. You need to submerge the roots in the water and make sure they do not proceed into the soil.

However, if the roots begin to submerge into the soil, it will be necessary to inspect and restructure the plant. Several bonsai trees require consistent humidity as well. They have a tendency to lose moisture in their surroundings.

There are many different types of bonsai driftwood out there. Not just the normal -looking or typical; bonsai trees. Bonsai trees, in most cases, being inhabitable underwater, will need driftwood, which will be transformed into looking like a bonsai.

You can easily customize the type of look you want your bonsai tree to have in a fish tank by using driftwood.

You will then have to add leaves to the driftwood to complete the look of the tree before submerging it underwater inside a fish tank. Adding bonsai driftwood to a fish tank can help change the look of your aquarium into a tropical paradise. 

Moss For Bonsai

Not every moss will work for a bonsai tree. If the mosses are turning brown or drying out, they are likely in transition, and in time, with watering, they might rebound. With proper watering, they can come back to life.

The moss must also be moist. Attach the moss to the roots of the bonsai tree or driftwood before filling the tank with water. If you have a big piece of java moss, you will need to stick down the ends too. 

Waterlog Or Attach To Rocks

Most bonsai trees will float underwater. A few bonsai aquarium trees come with a very rocky bottom that avoids requiring water to be added to the fish tank. To keep your bonsai tree grounded to the fish tank you must keep it in place using heavy rocks to hold the tree in place until it waterlogs.  

If the size of your aquarium is really big and the bonsai is also of a bigger size and starts floating, you will need to screw it down. The use of adhesive is also popular when it comes to sticking plants inside fish tanks.

Changing Aquarium Water

Plants must always have fresh water. You will need to change the aquarium water regularly, maybe once every two weeks. Change the water regularly to prevent the buildup of algae and rotting. Make sure that the plant or driftwood gets all the resources it needs. 

Add liquid nutrient supplements to the water when being replaced. Adjust the tree if it starts to allow new roots to grow in the soil and gets used to life submerged in water.

Changing the water will also help keep the roots from being waterlogged. It will also help the new roots from being submerged in the soil and not the water.


A bonsai tree will die if it has its roots waterlogged due to being underwater. The bonsai trees found inside fish tanks are made from driftwood, which gives them the look of bonsai trees.

Use rocks to keep them in place and add moss and leaves accordingly. You will still have to change the water regularly to prevent a buildup of algae and rotting. 

I hope this article will come in handy if you are looking forward to adding bonsai to your fish tank. Thanks for stopping by!