How to install a self-adhesive vinyl background in an aquarium

Updated February 21, 2017

Adding a background to your aquarium can make it more attractive and more practical. Backgrounds can abate the growth of troublesome algae by reducing the amount of glass exposed to the sun. An aquarium background also gives the tank a more natural look and feel. If you choose a self-adhesive background, you can easily install and remove it, allowing you to change the look of your tank whenever you want.

Measure the height and length of the back of the aquarium. Cut the self-adhesive aquarium background to match the size of the tank.

Clean the aquarium glass thoroughly with an aquarium-safe glass cleaner. Never use a traditional glass cleaner because the chemicals and fumes could harm the fish. Dry the glass with paper towels.

Peel about 1 inch of the self-adhesive backing off the aquarium background. Place the self-adhesive aquarium background at the top of the tank. Check the background to ensure it is level and even.

Roll the aquarium background down the aquarium glass, removing approximately 1/4 inch of backing at a time, then smoothing the background down to eliminate any air bubbles. Use a hair dryer set on the lowest setting to remove any air bubbles that do form.

Peel the backing off slowly as you work the self-adhesive background down the tank. Continue until you reach the bottom of the tank.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Aquarium-safe glass cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • Straightedge
  • Box cutter or scissors
  • Hair dryer
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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.