DIY 3D aquarium background

Updated February 21, 2017

Making a three-dimensional background for your aquarium is one of the best ways to add beauty and drama to your tank. Flat backgrounds are fine, but a 3D background can really bring your aquarium to life. With a little bit of creativity and some simple materials, you can make a fascinating aquarium background that will instantly capture the attention of all who see it.

Measure the back of your aquarium. Be sure to measure both the length and the height of the tank.

Cut the foam sheet so that it is the same length and height as your aquarium. Dip a sponge in some water colours and give the background the colour you want. Natural colours like greens, blues and browns work well as aquarium backgrounds.

Use the craft knife to cut ridges and gulleys into the polystyrene foam. This will give the background more of a three-dimensional appearance.

Paint the background using your water colours. You may want to paint a realistic background to simulate a natural aquatic environment. You can also choose a more abstract background with bold colours and unique designs.

Glue a few plastic plants to the 3D background. This will provide a more natural appearance and bring out the 3D nature of the piece.

Attach the 3D background to the back of the aquarium using clear packing tape. Make sure you put a piece of tape on the top and bottom of each side of the background. This will help to secure the background in place.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Polystyrene foam sheet
  • Craft knife
  • Plastic plants
  • Water colours
  • Paint brush
  • Sponge
  • Glue
  • Packing tape
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About the Author

Based in Pennsylvania, Bonnie Conrad has been working as a professional freelance writer since 2003. Her work can be seen on Credit Factor, Constant Content and a number of other websites. Conrad also works full-time as a computer technician and loves to write about a number of technician topics. She studied computer technology and business administration at Harrisburg Area Community College.