Inside Wall Aquarium Blog

Tips for DIY "Built in fish tanks".

Home » 2015 » April

Does a wall aquarium have to be in a wall?

IMG_3647No, any tank that is built-in is a wall aquarium.  I just finished my 250 gallon built-in tank.  This tank is 2’ deep so instead of dry walling it in, it makes more sense to have cabinets below and above for the filter, storage and ease of maintenance.  A second wall was opened for viewing from another room.  This adds a focal point to that room and visitors that see this end first are blown away by the depth of the tank.  This was a 8′ closest but makes a much better super tank!

Alternative pets in a Wall Aquarium.

cat_in_aquariumOf course we know that a wall aquarium makes an awesome fish tank but what else can we put in them?  A few ideas come to mind, let’s explore.

How about a shrimp tank?  Shrimps are cool guys to watch as they interact with each other and roam around.  Red cherry shrimps are very popular and grow to around 1”.  A few in a tank can multiply to a hundred in no time at all.  They make a cool freshwater tank colony and are not very demanding so of course they work well in a wall tank.

How about lizards or amphibians?   It would be cool to have a branch with geckos, frogs or turtles inside your wall.  You can have a little pond area in the bottom and a leafy green area above but will it work?  Of course it will.  Just add critters that don’t grow too big for your tank and rig up a heat source.  Be careful not to put heat directly against an acrylic tank or it might melt.   You also might want tape off any holes where they can escape from.

What about an ant farm?  Although I have no experience with ants and don’t know what I’m blogging about I can’t see why not and say, go for it (if it doesn’t work you didn’t get the idea from here).

Perhaps a wall aquarium makes a great tank for your cat or dog… Umm, no.

How hard is it to build a fish tank into your wall?


Quick answer, it’s not hard if you’re handy. Anyone who has experience with drywall and a basic understanding of how a stud wall is built can put a tank into their wall. The only other skill that’s helpful is knowledge of electrical wiring.

First you’re going to cut a hole. You need to know if that’s a load bearing wall or not. If it is you will have to brace it in such a fashion that you transfer the load around the tank. Next you going to finish the stud work and construct a nice flat base for the tank to sit on.

A GFI electrical outlet should be placed in the top corner at this point. If you do not know how to do this you might need to call a friend who does. Then the tank goes in the space, patch up your drywall and trim it out with some wood. Not a hard job if you know what you’re doing.

More detailed instructions: