Can You Put a Background on an Aquarium?

Can You Put a Background on an Aquarium?

Every aquarium background has a different texture with non-identical pasting procedures. Moreover, their selection depends on the history of fish and their swimming abilities. 

Can You Put a Background on an Aquarium? You can put a background on an aquarium by selecting a paper sheet of colorful landscape, cut it by leaving 1 to 2 inches more than tank width, apply glue on its edges and paste externally. In addition, select a stone shape 3D background, add glue on sides, and paste inside the tank. Moreover, fix custom, printed landscapes on the exterior, paint sceneries on outer walls, and paste transparent sheets with adhesives.

I prefer a 3D sheet for my home aquarium because it provides durability with minimum toxicity.  Moreover, I suggest avoiding paper sceneries inside the water container. 

What is the background for an aquarium?

People add paper sheets on the tank’s rear wall and copy the natural environment for freshwater fish.

Also, it has different types and adjusts on the external interior glass with adhesive materials. They make the tank attractive for fish and aquarium keepers. 

I have explained different types of aquarium backgrounds and their pasting procedures. The selection of adhering spots is significant because it prevents them from water and environmental effects. 

Paper backgrounds

They are one of the most attractive backgrounds for freshwater aquariums because they have different landscapes with variable color patterns.

They are one of the most economical and colorful backgrounds. Moreover, they are conveniently available in different sizes.

They produce different appealing fantasies for fish and are low maintenance. However, they provide a synthetic and slightly fake appearance. 

Pasting method

You can install these paper sheets on the exterior of a fish tank. However, keeping these paper sheets away from water is necessary because moisture disturbs their quality. 

In addition, you can use adhesive jellies and water-resistant tools for pasting such backgrounds on the glass rear section. Also, take measurements of your container and cut its edges accordingly.

In addition, leave 1 to 2 extra inches during cutting procedures. It prevents paper stretching and tearing.

Apply adhesive material on the backside of the paper scenery. Adjust it on the glass wall and press slowly. Leave it for around 6 to 7 hours and check adherence.

Three-dimensional backgrounds

Natural habitats with the effects of stones and mountains attract tank fish. The three-dimensional background is one of the most appealing decorative items.

Also, it provides depth to the water tank, and fish swim freely. In addition, they have a depth of several inches with different cuts and shapes. 

Moreover, the pop-out designs provide a natural appearance to the aquarium. 


  • They are more costly than the paper backgrounds due to the composition material.
  • The built-in components are non-toxic. 
  • They never discard harmful debris inside tank water. 


You can install them on the rear wall interior because they provide clear fantast through it. Moreover, the entire procedure takes less than 10 to 20 minutes.

Purchase a high-quality and color background with stone shapes and mountain appearance. The color is insoluble in water and remains intact for several years.

It has a foamy texture with extraordinary stability. Measure the purchased piece according to the tank width. Drain the tank water and leave it for drying.

Then, use a commercial cleaning and spray it on the rear wall. Now, check the tank width and cut the edges according to differences.

Then, use silicon and high-quality glue on the back edges. Hold it from the sides and adjust it in the tank slowly. Leave it for around 23 to 24 hours.

Now, add sand to your fish tank bottom. Next, adjust the water pump and slowly fill it with water. Now, you can add your fish for free swimming and other playful activities. 

DIY paper sheets for aquarium

People prefer DIY methods and save money. Also, they provide a neutral and aesthetic appearance to their fish tank. In these procedures, select any pattern or color combination for a background.

Also, print the picture on high-quality paper of a specific size. In addition, you can cut the sides and edges according to tank width.

Adjust it on the exterior and fix the edges with tape. They are removable papers, and installation takes less than five minutes.

Select the landscape according to the type of your fish. 

They are cheaper than all other backgrounds. They are temporary options because of their short lifespan. 

They provide customizing facilities and promote natural choices. 

Also, water splashes can damage them, and you have to replace them instantly.

Utilize painting techniques

Painted tanks are a choice because they require expertise. But, a few people paint their tank backgrounds as a landscape. Also, they apply paints with rollers and sponges for producing a plain colored background. 

They are long-lasting backgrounds with appealing appearances. 

They may cost you a fortune due to wrong color selection and inappropriate pattern formation. 

The creative technique takes a long time, and you cannot paint an aquarium background while having fish inside it. 

Method to install

Paint the tank on the external rear wall and make it colorful.

You can paint plants, colorful fish, and rocks through paintbrushes. Also, use different shapes and cuttings and make sceneries.

Add colors to your scenery and leave for some time. Protect the surface from moisture or use water-resistant paints. 

See-through aquarium background papers

They are transparent and matt white sheets that stick on the rear and outer glass walls. Moreover, they facilitate a brighter and more colorful impact on internal decorations. 

They are less costly due to thin material and low color application.

They have quick installation methods and rarely require cuttings.

They last longer than the DIY and paper backgrounds. 

Steps to install it

Clean the external surface of the glass wall with a high-quality cleaning agent. Then, rub the wall with a lint-free fabric and repeat it 2 to 3 times.

In addition, use transparent adhesives and opaque glues to attach the background. Then, apply it on the rear side of the see-through sheet.

Adjust it on the wall and press it. Leave it for drying and add extra glue at sharp edges. Also, you can use water removing bubbles and water for the attachment of these plain sheets.

In addition, add a bright light source and turn it off and on according to requirements. In this way, you can generate the luminous impacts of day and night inside the fish tank. 

Why would you put a background on an aquarium?

Aquarium backgrounds have several benefits for fish life and keep them active. But, I have mentioned their 4 significant advantages.

Provision of natural habitat

The addition of background provides a natural look to your tank. The freshwater fish feels comfortable in such habitats. It improves their health and lifespan.

Reduce the reflections

Generally, the glass reflection terrifies tiny pets. But, the sheet spreads on the glass and restricts the external light penetration.

Also, it hides the surface entirely and stops reflections. As a result, the fish feels safe in these tanks. Also, they swim freely without any shock. 

In such conditions, their drying rate decreases, and they keep the tank oxygenated with frequent movements. 

Make aquarium look good

The sceneries of colorful landscapes and pleasant natural habits make the aquarium attractive. Also, they foul the fakeness through clean glass consistencies.

Fish swim around artificial rocks, plants, and mountains, and people enjoy such visuals. 

Light restriction

A few tank fish depend on the light source for growth and powerful living.

But, several fish hides behind artificial decoration and natural plants due to constant light penetration. The paper sheets and 3D pieces block the light passage. 

Is there any disadvantage of aquarium backgrounds?

The wrong color selection, inappropriate themes, and dark aquarium backgrounds are harmful to fish. Also, the addition of rigid and sharp 3D pieces scratches fish bodies.

In addition, a small tear in the paper and transparent sheets destroys the entire concept. The fish prefer hiding spots and quit swimming.

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