If you had an aquarium when you were growing up, then odds are fairly good that your fish could swim through the plastic skeleton of a tiny sunken ship. There’s just something viscerally appealing about including a sunken ship in your aquarium. It’s not that we’re attracted by the sense of loss or tragedy — it’s that they appeal to our childlike sense of adventure. Even though most shipwreck sites have been completely picked clean, there’s always the little idea at the back of our mind that makes us think, “What if the ruins are hiding some sort of priceless treasure?” That idea captivates us, which is why sunken ships have always been such a popular centerpiece for aquascapes.
The other big appeal of ruins is that they invoke a sense of history. What was the story of this ship? What made it sink? What — or who — was lost when these ruins sank into the sea? Ships like the Titanic and the Estonia captivate us because of their compelling stories.
A shipwreck in your aquascape obviously won’t have much of a history, and it certainly won’t have a sunken treasure chest unless you put one there, but they still do an excellent job of delighting the kid in us.
The main thing that you have to watch out for with a sunken ship is that there’s a fine line between a cheap-looking kitsch and a high-quality aquascape. It’s not that there’s anything inherently kitschy about sunken ships, it’s just that a lot of the sunken ships you find are cheap plastic models. If you want to include a shipwreck at the bottom of your aquarium, then your best bet is to seek out a professional company that can design custom, high quality shipwreck ruins.
Another strategy is to include ship parts rather than an entire sunken ship. A Ship’s wheel is ideal because it’s so iconic and visually intriguing, but you could also drape rope nets across of rock formations, include portcullis windows, or nestle ship cleats along the bottom of your aquascape. The trick is to come up with something unique. Coral colonies grow in unique patterns and every fish is one-of-a-kind. Ship parts, on the other hand, can be incredibly common. Try to use visually compelling and custom-designed ship parts so that your aquascape is as one-of-a-kind as you are.
Whether you go with a complete shipwreck or just a few scattered ship parts, these maritime figurines can add a sense of wonder to your custom aquascape. It’s a perfect option if you’re building a custom aquascape for your children. The mysteries inside the drowned ship will keep your kid’s imagination running for years.