DIY aquarium backgrounds

One of the questions which I am asked quite a lot is how do I hide all the plumbing and/or wires around the back of the tank so that they are not visible from the front.

And I agree it does not look natural. You set your aquarium up and all the rock is aquascaped perfectly yet all you can see through the back of the tank is the wall, wires, pipework etc.

Of course there are areas where you don’t want to apply a background to an aquarium. A good example of this is when an aquarium is installed into a wall where the aquarium can be seen from both sides.

When you start out in this hobby thinking about a background is probably the last thing on your mind. You are learning that much about this hobby that a background is well down the list. Actually the background should be thought about as part of the planning stage.

You may even end up purchasing a [tag-ice]salt water aquarium package[/tag-ice] where a background is not included.

The planning stage is an exceptionally important part when it comes to setting up a salt water aquarium, however it is also unfortunately one of the things which is not performed.

When you consider starting your aquarium you need to research as much as you can (when you finish researching then research a little bit more!) and then you can start planning. When you start planning you do this based upon the animal you wish to keep and not the equipment you need. You purchase the equipment which is necessary for the animals which you hope to keep not just know but also in the future.

The reason I have talked about planning is that the background is part of this. For example you may want to incorporate overflows into the rear of the tank. Your chosen background needs to accommodate this.

It is also easier to apply a background before the aquarium is installed and full of water.

There are various [tag-tec]DIY aquarium backgrounds[/tag-tec] that you can use which are listed below:

* Incorporate a painted wooden background onto the rear of the stand.
* Paint the rear glass of the aquarium.
* Paint a thin wooden background and attach it to the rear of the aquarium using silicone.
* Attach a curtain or some other type of fabric across the rear of the aquarium.
* Purchase [tag-self]reef rock[/tag-self], cut them in half and stick to the inside rear of the aquarium.
* Make a cave/reef structure out of salt water rated concrete/resin or foam.

The most utilised option out of the above DIY aquarium backgrounds is where the rear glass of the aquarium is painted.

The next thing to think about is what colour do you use?

This is up to you really. It is personal preference, however the most common used colours and blue and black. The trick is to attempt to make it so that the background is not obvious and seamlessly integrates into the aquarium. The rear of the aquarium will probably get covered in corraline etc within time.

If you choose to paint the glass then ensure that you clean the glass first with some glass cleaner and ensure that all fingerprints and oil based marks are removed. If you not 100% sure that it is clean do it again to make sure. You can now either spray or hand paint the glass. Do so in several thin coats ensuring that the previous coat is dry before applying the next.

When all the coats are applied wait until it is completely dry before touching it or moving the tank. The paint does not attach that well to glass and can easily peel.

Whichever of the DIY aquarium backgrounds you choose to use attempt to plan for it prior to starting your aquarium. It is much easier to paint the aquarium when it is empty and not in it’s final position.