Five Ideas for Realistic Aquarium Background Decoration

When decorating a home aquarium, you must decide on gravel, rocks, driftwood, decorations, and plants. Another important part of creating a realistic fish tank is choosing the correct aquarium background. These backgrounds can be paper or plastic applied externally, prefabricated rock or plant backgrounds, or homemade varieties. For maximum realism in your fish tank, the following five ideas for aquarium backgrounds cannot be beat.

Aquarium Background Decoration – Printed Paper Background Roll

The most common type of aquarium background decoration comes as a printed roll of plasticized paper. You can purchase this in a pack or by the foot at most aquarium or pet stores. They are taped to the outside back of your aquarium with the image you desire pointing inward.

These printed paper aquarium backgrounds come in various patterns. For freshwater fish tanks, the main options are a rock background with some plants, or a full plant design. Saltwater aquarium backgrounds have coral formations or pictures of rock with invertebrates. You can also find these in plain blue, black, and silver.

Aquarium Background Decoration – Snap Together Rock Walls

If you want a rocky background for your fish tank, you can purchase a snap together rock wall kit. These have narrow rows of plastic rocks that snap together to form a wall. After you build a structure that will fit on the side of your fish tank, you use suction cups to stick the wall inside the tank.

These rock walls come in various types such as grey slate and tan sandstone varieties.

Aquarium Background Decoration – Suction Cup Plant Walls

Similar to the rock wall aquarium backgrounds, pet stores also sell plant walls that attach with suction cups. These plastic or silk plant walls mimic popular aquatic plants. The stems are attached together to form a net or sheet of solid plant leaves. They can be easily cut to fit any aquarium.

Aquarium Background Decoration – Build Your Own Rock Wall

If you wish to use natural rock to build your own realistic aquarium background, you must start with an empty fish tank. Collect small pebbles or lightweight, thin slabs of stone. Using aquarium safe sealant or adhesive, simply glue the rocks to the inside back of the fish tank.

Aquarium Background Decoration – Build Your Own Plant Wall

You can do a very similar thing with fake aquarium plants. Choose plastic plants with long, feathery branches or large leaves. Use the aquarium adhesive to glue them upright to the back of the aquarium glass. It is a good idea to vary the types of plants unless you plan to have the background mostly hidden. This will give the impression of a realistic lake or riverbed.

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