This 20 gallon DIY semi-aquatic background uses an aqueduct style water
distribution system at the top of the background to feed three separate
waterfalls. The water source is a DIY water bottle power filter hidden in the left
corner behind the center island.
Each waterfall provides continuous water movement throughout for visual
appeal and the health of this semi-aquatic environment.
DIY Aquarium Background
After completing the first coat of cement, the
waterfalls were tested to see how the water
moves over the contours of the cement
surfaces. The waterfalls were designed to play a
strategic role in efficient water circulation to and
from the filter. The goal was also to have
minimal splashing so the tank would be
This view shows the small center waterfall which
will filter thru the substrate once the island is
filled and the larger right-most waterfall which
will move water across in front of the island back
to the hidden filter. A few recessed caves in the
rock wall can also be seen.
All cement coats have been applied to the
background inside the tank including a final coat
with Terracotta color.
The tank has been fully papered and taped and
ready for spray-paint. Plain white copy paper
was used on each end of the tank to trace the
outline of the background sides.
A light was temporarily placed inside the tank to
help trace the edge of the background then the
plain paper was cut to cover the glass on the
front and sides in front of the background.
With a few quick coats of fast drying enamel
paint, the less appealing back and sides of the
background are covered.
This is one of the rewarding moments. When
the stencil and newspaper comes off and the
pink styrofoam is no longer visible. Our new
manufactured background begins to emulate a
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do-it-yourself aquarium and semi-aquatic background designs beyond the traditional