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

Written by bonnie conrad
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How to install a self-adhesive vinyl background in an aquarium
Dress up your tank with a self-adhesive background, to add a realistic scene. (Jochen Sands/Photodisc/Getty Images)

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.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

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

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  1. 1

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

  2. 2

    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.

  3. 3

    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.

  4. 4

    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.

  5. 5

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

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