DIY Aquarium Background Instructions

Written by bonnie conrad
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DIY Aquarium Background Instructions
Give your fish a stylish home with a custom background. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

At the pet store, you can find a variety of pre-printed aquarium backgrounds, all ready to cut to size and attach to the back of your tank. But if you want a more personalised aquarium for your home or office, you should consider making your own background. With a little bit of creativity and a few simple materials, you can create a one-of-a-kind background, one that will become a conversation piece for all who see it.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Foam sheet
  • Coloured foil or watercolour paint
  • Paintbrush or sponge
  • Razor blade knife
  • Hot glue gun
  • Plastic plants
  • Sticks or wood pieces
  • Scissors
  • Clear packing tape

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  1. 1

    Measure the height and length of your aquarium's back panel. Use the razor blade knife to cut the foam sheet to the proper size.

  2. 2

    Use the razor blade knife to make ridges and gulleys in the foam sheet if you want to give the background a three-dimensional effect. Otherwise cover the foam sheet in coloured foil (available at your local pet store or aquarium centre) or use the paintbrush or sponge to apply a water-based paint in the colour of your choice. You can use browns, blues and greens for a natural look, or bright, vibrant colours for a more whimsical design.

  3. 3

    Glue on any accents or decorations you want to add to the foam sheet. You can use a variety of items such as plastic aquarium plants, sticks and pieces of wood to add depth and interest to the background. Allow the glue to dry thoroughly before proceeding.

  4. 4

    Lift the finished background and hold it against your tank. Look through the front of the tank to make sure the background matches your expectations. Apply a small piece of clear packing tape to one corner of the background to anchor it in place, then tape the remaining corners and sides to hold the background in place.

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