The inspiration for this project was to be able to bring a piece of my aquatic
hobby to my place of work, so "small" was key.
Not willing to settle for a "Betta in a bowl" solution, I began work on this 2.5
gallon with the intent to accommodate not only a custom background, but all
things standard to a functional aquarium. Those being regulated temperature,
good lighting and filtration.
DIY Aquarium Background
This project posed a particular challenge due to
the small size. The aquarium is a 2.5 gallon, so
to conceal the filter and heater behind the
background without giving up too much of the
water column took a bit of careful planning.
A DIY filter was placed behind the left side and
a 10w submersible heater and airstone on the
Small openings were created in what will be the
artificial rock surface to allow water circulation
and small fish to navigate.
With the background work completed, the
aquarium has been papered and the back and
sides spray painted with a flat black enamel
Plain copy/printer paper was cut to follow the
contour if the edge of the background inside the
aquarium then attached to the sides.
I light was temporary placed inside the
aquarium to help with the tracing.
Masking tape was used to hold the paper in
place during painting since this kind of tape is
easy to remove from glass without leaving a
Removing the newspaper and tape reveals the
outline of the painted surface that covers
everywhere styrofoam and cement meet glass.
The contoured painted edge is a little more
effort than a straight edge, but visually supports
the theme of the background.
We let our freshly painted aquarium with
background sit for a bit to allow the paint to dry.
For a few extra dollars, quick drying paint can
help move the project along for anyone with
limited time for these DIY aquarium projects.
Page 1 of 3
do-it-yourself aquarium and semi-aquatic background designs beyond the traditional