How to put background paper on an aquarium

Updated February 21, 2017

A home aquarium is a very customisable piece of decor. You can add rocks, plants, and all sorts of decor to give an aquarium a unique appearance. For anyone wanting to go the extra mile, there's also a wide variety of aquarium background sheets for your choosing. These vinyl sheets that go on the back of your tank give your aquarium an added dimension and are available in styles ranging from naturalistic jungles to deep oceans to more abstract designs for off-the-wall tanks. There also very easy to put on and require only a few simple tools.

Cut the aquarium background to the appropriate size. Many backgrounds come pre-cut to fit a certain size aquarium, but others may have to be trimmed to fit perfectly into the background. Use the ruler to measure the length and height of the back wall of your aquarium then use the scissors to cut it to those exact dimensions.

Place a small amount of double-sided tape along each side of the background's perimeter--one at the top in the centre, on at the bottom in the centre and two on each side in the centre.

Press the taped side of the background against the outside of the aquarium's back wall. Press firmly and wipe it over with your hands to eliminate any air bubbles. Keep the background paper in between the trimming on the top and bottom of the aquarium.


If you cut the background too large but don't realise it until after you've already placed it on the back of the aquarium, you can simply remove any excess with a sharp razor blade. This is also a good technique if the edges aren't perfectly straight and you want to smooth them out.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • Double-sided tape
  • Ruler
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About the Author

Brenton Shields began writing professionally in 2009. His work includes film reviews that appear for the online magazine Los Angeles Chronicle. He received a Bachelor of Science in social science and history from Radford University.