Can You Put An Aquarium Near A Fireplace? PLUS – 5 Fish Tank Fireplace Ideas!

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Should you locate a fish tank near a fireplace?

Sometimes it’s the ideal place for your tank, either because you have limited other options, or because it just looks great. However, before you make the decision there are a few things to consider.

For example, I would not be able to put my fish tank beside the fireplace in my house.

I live in a cold climate and for 6 months of the year, the fire is roaring. It puts out an exceptional amount of heat that would not suit a fish tank.

However, in some homes, there are situations where it would be totally fine!

Fish Tank Near Fireplace

fish tank next to fireplace
A great example of a fish tank above a fireplace

This image comes from Reddit, and here’s what you should know about it!

  • This is an electric fire display
  • The heating element can be turned off and on
  • This fire puts out very little heat
  • The fish tank is heavily insulated to protect it from any heat
  • The setup was installed and tested by aquarium experts

You would not want to put a fish tank above a wood-burning stove or gas fire. Not that you could put it above a wood-burning fire because of the chimney!

Electric fireplaces, such as these corner electric fireplaces or these Walker Edison Fireplace TV Stands put out a lot less heat and can be controlled to a greater degree. 

Therefore, locating a fish tank near one of these isn’t as difficult as putting one next to other types of fireplaces.

Generally speaking, you should not put a fish tank next to a fireplace because:

  • Water will heat up
  • Heat damages tank seals/silicon
  • Acrylic fish tanks won’t like the heat
  • Ash is more likely to find its way into the tank

The obvious reason you shouldn’t put a tank too close to a fireplace, and why it is common sense to ask the question to start with, is the heat.

A fire could cause rapid fluctuations in temperature that fish (especially cold-water fish) won’t like.

Fish Tank Beside Fire Place

fish tank beside fireplace
One idea as to what to put next to a fireplace

There are always exceptions to the rule when I say ‘don’t put a fish tank near a fireplace.’

In the image above, for example, you can see a large tank near the fire.

Now while this fire looks like it is merely decorative, it is also an open fire. Were it to be used, it would not put out a lot of heat.

Open fireplaces do not get nearly as hot as wood-burning stoves.

Also, woodburning stoves that are set into a wall or have a thick surround (as above) also will not put much heat out to the sides. It would be OK to put a tank near a fireplace in this situation.

The wood burner in my home (shown in this post on cleaning wood stove glass) is not set into the wall and it puts out a ton of heat from all sides. Inset fires are mostly putting out heat from the front.

The best fish tanks will be able to withstand a decent amount of heat without being affected, but over time you could still have problems. Making sure your tank is back from the immediate ambient heat is the best idea.

If you have cold-water fish, they should definitely not be near the fireplace.

A significant rise in temperature will cause them distress. There are good aquarium chillers that can be used to offset this, but is it worth it?

Tropical fish, on the other hand, with be able to deal with higher temperatures, but most still need to be kept at 75-80°F. Being too near a fireplace could take the temp higher.

A larger tank will a greater volume of water will also take longer to warm up. A small tank beside a fire is worse than a larger one.

Another consideration – what type of wood are you burning?

If you are burning hardwood like oak, this will put out a lot of heat. If you only burn softwood like pine, things aren’t going to get quite as hot.

Fish Tank Fireplace Ideas

For those looking for some fireplace aquarium ideas, here are a few from Instagram.

These are not so much about how close you can put an aquarium to a fireplace, but rather, how to convert an existing fireplace space into a fish tank!


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A post shared by Valerie (@valzeyx)

This glass aquarium has simply been inserted into the old fireplace space.

Looks great and it’s the perfect level for the kids to watch the fish!


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A post shared by LTAquariums (@ltaquariums)

This looks like it was once a see-through fireplace, but it’s now a see-through aquarium!

It’s a pretty cool feature in this hotel, convention center, or whatever it is.


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A post shared by SeaVisions (@seavisionsaquariums)

Ok, this fireplace aquarium is on a whole other level.

Goodness knows how long this took to design and construct, and how long it takes to maintain. Amazing!


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A post shared by Fintasia Aquarium Services (@fintasiaaquariumservices)

Another gorgeous example of a fish tank inset over a fireplace.

It’s difficult to see what type of fireplace it is, but one imagines it’s electric or a type of unvented propane model.


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A post shared by Langen and Animals (@langenandanimals)

Lastly, for those not wanting to go too extreme, but who are asking ‘what can I do with an empty fireplace?’ – just chuck a small cube tank in there!

It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece but it still solves the problem of having a boring gap there.

Putting An Aquarium Near A Fireplace

So, should you put your aquarium beside the fireplace?

In most cases, no, you shouldn’t. However, in some cases, it won’t be a problem.

If your tank would be close enough to get warm to the touch, definitely not. But if it is 6 feet or more away, you might be alright.

Every situation is different and we all must use common sense. Don’t do anything to risk your precious pets!

Here are a couple of other fire and saw VS pet posts you might be interested in:

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below!


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