This 20 gallon background was made almost entirely of scraps of polystyrene left over from previous projects.

Having already completed more than a few of these backgrounds, my scrap collection was getting a bit large. It was a good feeling to recycle.
DIY Aquarium Background
Rock Columns
It's important to cover everything you don't want painted including the bottom trim of the aquarium.

Even painting black over a black trim can later result in unwanted marks on furniture.
Flat black enamel paint has been applied here. One trick I sometimes use is to tear small holes in the newspaper over each hardware compartment and shine a light down inside to see any spots that may need a little better paint coverage. This works best in a darkly lit room.

Once the aquarium is up and running, any areas around the hardware compartments with thin paint may allow light thru which could be a visual distraction.
Removing the paper template reveals the painted curve that follows the edge of the background inside the glass.

This is an exciting moment when the polystyrene is no longer visible from any angle. The illusion of a natural landscape or aquascape is developing nicely.
Artificial Amazon Sword plants seemed to work well with this vertical themed background.

Hidden in the shadows of the background are a heater on the left and H.O.B style filter on the right. The filter returns water over the top of the background for optimal water circulation.
Viewing from a slightly different angle confirms all aquarium hardware is out of site and out of mind. All that's left is to add some fish and enjoy our new background.
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welcome to
do-it-yourself aquarium and semi-aquatic background designs beyond the traditional
Dramatic AquaScapes