How to install an aquarium background

Updated July 20, 2017

Aquarium backgrounds are a nice way to enhance a tank and make it even more beautiful, tropic or exotic. A background can add a realistic element to the aquarium, making the set-up look even more like a natural setting. Additionally, aquarium backgrounds serve a utilitarian purpose by helping to hide unsightly cords and tubes that dangle down the back of the tank.

Empty the tank of any water.

Orient the tank with the back side facing you and clean the outside of the tank glass.

Make sure the scene you wish to show on the inside of your tank is facing toward the tank.

Trim off the top edge of the background paper to the right size so that it can be slipped just under the tank's top trim, which will help secure it in place. Be sure not to cut it too small.

Apply clear, water-resistant tape all along the top edge of the background to hold it in place and form a seal to prevent water from leaking down in between the background and tank.

Use a razor blade to trim the right and left sides of the background to fit the tank.

Tape the sides in place using clear, water-resistant tape. As the tape might be visible, take care to be neat.

Trim the bottom edge of the background just enough so that it can be tucked into the bottom tank trim. Use the tape to seal the bottom all the way across the tank.

Turn the tank around and refill with water.

Things You'll Need

  • Clear water-resistant tape
  • Razor blade
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About the Author

Karen Crawford is a freelance writer living in the Florida panhandle. She has written for both print and web publications, such as and eHow, for close to 10 years. Crawford is a graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in clothing and textiles.