This DIY background project began with a used 29 gallon aquarium won at a
local aquarium club auction. To our surprise, it turned out not to be a traditional
aquarium at all, but was made from thinner glass intended only for small
reptiles and mammals.
DIY Aquarium Background Semi-Aquatic Plateau
This father daughter project turned an
otherwise unsuccessful aquarium into our
very first DIY semi-aquatic background
built with polystyrene and cement.
The background features an unidentified
bog plant on the left, Java Moss carpeting
the rock wall and a working waterfall on the
right. A DIY water bottle power filter hidden
below, supplies the waterfall and dripline
with filtered water.
Click here if you would like to see how the
hidden filter was made.
The nylon hose dripline provides a
continuous flow of nutrient rich water for the
Java Moss from the water column below.
This closeup shows the white nylon
T-splitter used to direct water from the
hidden filter to both the waterfall and the
dripline. Since the dripline is fed with
pre-filtered water, the small holes in the
dripline rarely clog with debris.
A small wedge of pink polystyrene was
used to hold the dripline in place and is for
the most part, out of sight when viewing the
Flash back a few months earlier, our
semi-aquatic setting was sporting less
than natural looking blue gravel.
Three Fire Bellied Newts unconcerned by
the youthful selection of substrate, relax in
the Java Moss bed after a swim. The
natural stone leaning against the plateau
was added to provide the newts with easy
access to and from the water.
Patience was a virtue when it came to
waiting for the Java Moss to spread and
The reward however, was a more natural
look to the rock wall and naturally ocurring
biological filtration provided by the moss.
Page 1 of 2
do-it-yourself aquarium and semi-aquatic background designs beyond the traditional