Fish Tank: Recycle This

We want to give credit where credit is due. So the idea for this post came from one of our favorite British blogs, How Can I Recycle This?

It just so happens that one of the Ecoists over here has a husband (and we’re not naming names) who has a thing about fish tanks. You know….buy fish, kill fish, buy more fish, insist these fish will survive the obviously cruel fate you’re subjecting them to. The next thing you know, the fish tank is sitting empty in the garage, taking up space.

So in honor of of our friends at How Can I Recycle This? and the unnamed fish killer amongst all of us…here are our top five ideas of what to do with that fish tank taking up space in your garage:

  1. Turn that tank into a terrarium: Turn the fish tank into a green house. Plant directly in the fish bowl and cover to create a greenhouse effect. Be sure to use a plant that does not require a lot of drainage. Learn more about the process from this article on how to plant a terrarium.
  2. Create a cactus garden: Add decorative pebbles and rocks with the cacti. This requires minimal water and care. If you are a fish murderer, the cactus is your new best friend. (By the way, we don’t judge you. “Cactus handler” is a noble cause in our book.)
  3. Create a collage: Add a layer of sand, a layer of seashells, another layer of sand, some decorative stones. What have you got? A memory of your last tropical vacation! A fish tank offers ample opportunity to store your vacation keepsakes.
  4. A romantic centerpiece: Fill it with sand, place a candle in the center, light it, and make googly eyes at your date. (Bonus: you’re also saving energy because you’re making those googly eyes by candlelight versus electricity! And we look sooooo good by candlelight!). This is also a great eco centerpiece for all of those summer weddings!
  5. Use it as a container: If you have detergents or other products of the like that can be put into a container for easier use (powdered laundry detergents, baking soda, etc), pour it into the fish tank for storage, add a scoop for ease-of-use, and place on a shelf for a funky display. Note: do not do this with bug-attractors such as sugar, since the fish tank is not sealed.

If all else fails, save your sanity and a bit of waste, and post that fish tank to Freecycle, so someone else can use it for actual living, breathing fish!

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    Catherine Brock

    As a Southern California transplant now living in the Midwest, Catherine has turned layering into an art form and accepted that UGGs actually do have a place in the stylish lady's wardrobe. She's been featured in Woman's World Magazine,, Refinery29, and has made appearances on ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis, KCAL9 Los Angeles, Fox19 Cincinnati, WGN TV Chicago and WCPO TV Cincinnati.

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