DIY Easy fish tank background: Trash Bags!

I have known many aquarium hobbyist who have experimented with a wide variety of fish tank back grounds.

There are tons of options on the market from model diorama taken from actual aquascapes in nature.

Click the image to learn more about the build of this tank on www.cichildae.com

There also the adhesive kind that stick to the back of your tank. These come in all sorts of photo backgrounds featuring live plants

stones, corals,

fish…

Wrapping paper, very modern, nice, but it melts pretty quickly with the humidity.

and some very strange ones to say the least…

Hmm… Not sure what to make of this one.

As hard as they try, I find these tank backgrounds to be way to busy and artificial looking and totally detract from the beauty of your fish.

Some gifted people have even hand drawn their own backgrounds like the Staley family. Click the picture to see more.

Here’s another….City fishers….

These backgrounds all cost money. Sometimes you just need a quick fix to hide some unsightly wires or cables. Here’s a cheap DIY fish tank background tip : use plastic garbage bags taped to the OUTSIDE of the tank. Even though the bags are waterproof, you shouldn’t put them in your tank just in case they have been treated with bactericide or anti-rot agents.

Trash bags come in all kinds of colors like white, red, orange, brown, blue, yellow…

and of course my favorite, black.

As a rule of thumb, the lighter colored trash bags will reflect more light and will be better for growing aquatic plants.

I believe these are two the great aquascaper genius Takashi Amano’s tanks. Notice the airy spacious feel with the lighter colored backgrounds.

The dark bags will absorb more light, giving the tank a more deep water look and make the fish feel more comfortable. This goes for the majority of backgrounds.

I find the dark colors work best for most fish, but white looks really great for saltwater marine tanks, especially once algae and other micro organisms populate the glass.

The air pockets, folds and wrinkles will create depth as the algae grows on the back wall of your tank. Before you know it, you’ll forget all about the trash bags.

The best part is that you can change your background for the cost of pennies with no fuss.

What are you using for an aquarium back ground right now? Please leave us a comment and tell us about it, the more pictures the better!


2 Comments

  1. tess February 11, 2013 1:38 am  Reply

    I put some transluscent blue paper that is generally used to stuff gift bags,I found a couple of rolls in blue, and lightly affixed to my 40 gallon betta tank (1 male two females).

    • Marcel February 14, 2013 8:42 am  Reply

      Great idea! That stuff is available in tons of colors and waterproof!

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