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. This presented the challenge of what to do with this project so our first
semi-aquatic design was born. The thinner glass easily supported the estimated 8 gallons of water used in
DIY Aquarium Background
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
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
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 flourish.
The reward however, was a more
natural look to the rock wall and
naturally ocurring biological
filtration provided by the moss.
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