How to Make a Fish Tank Divider

Two Methods:Mesh net dividerPlastic craft canvas dividers

A fish tank divider is a useful item when you need to keep fish apart for safety, breeding or other reasons. If you want to save money by making your own tank divider, there are some easy ways to do this and you can even get really creative and turn the dividers into a place for growing plants too.

Method 1
Mesh net divider

  1. Image titled Make a Fish Tank Divider Step 1
    Use a piece of tall mesh net. Cut it to the height and width of the tank. Make sure that it is pure mesh, suitable for fish.
    • If adding a frame, check that the frame is safe for the fish.
    • Don't forget to check that fry (baby fish) can't swim through the mesh net, unless this doesn't matter.
  2. Image titled Make a Fish Tank Divider Step 2
    Stand the mesh net upright where you want to divide the tank. If you want to divide the tank more than once, you'll need to use several.
  3. Image titled Make a Fish Tank Divider Step 3
    Attach to the top of the tank. You could use duct tape or tie small weights onto it that overhang on the outside of the tank.

Method 2
Plastic craft canvas dividers

This is a great way to turn plastic craft canvas and report folders into neat tank dividers.

  1. Image titled Make a Fish Tank Divider Step 4
    Measure the tank in readiness for cutting the craft canvas. Measure one side of the tank to the other side. Then measure the height to which the mesh needs to go. Use these measurements to draw the exact dimensions onto the plastic mesh.
  2. Image titled Make a Fish Tank Divider Step 5
    Cut the plastic craft canvas to the size measured. Remove any loose, dangling bits left after cutting; you don't want these floating off into the tank and being mistaken as food.
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    Pull the sliding bars off the report covers. Slide one on each of three sides of the plastic craft canvas to make frame bars. Cut to size if needed, although the bars can be longer on the two sides that face upward, as they will simply help to hold the mesh in place against the tank.
    • The top side does not need the frame bars.
  4. Image titled Make a Fish Tank Divider Step 7
    Slide the canvas divider into the tank. It should hold firmly. However, for added protection, you can also add suction caps and use a piece of wire to attach the suction cap to the divider and keep it held firmly in place. Do this at the top of the tank, above the waterline.
    • You can also use aquarium-safe pure silicone to adhere the dividers to the tank. Use a marker to draw a line on the outside of the tank, guiding you as to where the silicone needs to go. Then add the silicone, and slide in the divider. Remove the marker with rubbing alcohol or a similar cleaning agent.


  • If you want to buy a divider, you may be able to get a customized one at the pet store.
  • If you want to grow moss as part of the divider, double the plastic craft canvas pieces in the second method and stick the moss in the middle to grow outward through the plastic craft canvas. This makes an excellent nesting, play and resting area, as well as making a visual block between the divided-off fish.
  • You might like to experiment with different colors of the plastic craft canvas; the fish may prefer some colors over others.


  • A divider made at home could be harmful if you use the wrong materials. Never make a tank divider out of wire, harmful metals or sharp materials.
  • Double check the frame to make sure it is safe for your fish. If reusing some old household item, make sure it is thoroughly cleaned so that nothing on it could affect the health and safety of your fish.

Things You'll Need

Method 1:

  • A net made out of mesh that stands tall and straight
  • Ruler or tape for measuring
  • If making a frame, fish-safe frame materials
  • Duct tape or weights to keep the frame in place

Method 2:

  • Report covers that have a sliding bar
  • Plastic craft canvas (check out the craft section or hardware stores)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler or measuring tape
  • Marker pen (optional)
  • Suction cap (optional)

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Aquariums