If it gets the kids more interested and involved, I don't see the harm. We don't have "junk" in my more serious tanks, but the frog (ADF) tank and one of the betta tanks have odd items that the kids selected
Not really sure what a Firetruck, Squidward's house, a sunken ship, and a robotic frog have in common, so yeah... it's a tad eclectic
When I was growing up we had a 10 gallon hex. Not much room in there after my parents picked put a small castle to put in it. But we always got to pick the fish within reason of course. We had mollies and guppies and tetras and some dwarf hatchetfish and plecos of every color just to name a few. (Whenever the pleco got too big for the tank we brought them back to the store for a trade in)It was always a lesson of understanding and who played well with the other fishies we had had home.
Sometimes it is too easy to want our kids to be just like us, to like what we like, do what we do, act too mature and to make everything "educational". So congrats to any parent that is encouraging their child to be involved and creative in a productive hobby that brings the family together. What we see as random figures and toys, might actually be a very developed cast of characters with an interesting story. We bought our first tank for our 8 yr old son. He started watching the show "Tanked", loves fishing with his grandpa, and reads every book about sharks. He liked a sunken ship bubbler with reef sharks, so that is part of the tank, plus he has been involved in plant and fish choices as well ( though we looked for beginner fish and plants that were compatible and the right size for the tank and then let him choose ). Our little 8 gallon has an asian dragon and a small temple, our QT will have a temple and and asian elephant ( because the tiki hut was a little pricey ). I am just hoping that we can make our son's wish that the Cloud Minnows will have babies in our one "all natural tank" come true. I love the unicorn decoration... I have been dissuading my girls from getting Disney Princess Decor, but maybe a miniscape with some interesting objects ( maybe a tea party set for the fish ). Has anyone done a DIY where they coat objects in some kind of sealant to make them safe to put in the tank? I have to add a cheerleading smiley and say what beautiful children you have!!
Has anyone done a DIY where they coat objects in some kind of sealant to make them safe to put in the tank?
I've used epoxy resin (the type you find in the paint section of a hardware store, or sculpture section of a craft store) to build backgrounds and paludariums and such. it's fairly easy to use, just follow the instructions on the box, and use a disposable brush. It may be a little thick to easily coat some things, but I believe you can thin it with acetone- it won't be as strong, but you don't really need strength, just sealing.
Speaking of ceramic doo-dads for the aquarium, am I the only one that remembers the small glazed ceramic deep sea divers, mermaids, etc? I think they are adorable! Unfortunately everyone else must too, because they cost and arm & a leg on That Which Must Not be Named. I would love to collect them & have them scattered about on my book shelves. I really want to put a vintage deep sea diver in my 125, because the original 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea was my favorite movie as a child!
I certainly remember them and yes, some of them fetch a fair price. I saw one small mermaid decoration online a few months ago that was absolutely gorgeous (I mean really nice - I felt like Tom Hanks in Splash). I just couldn't bring myself to pay almost $40 for this at the time. I sometimes regret that decision now.