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The 11 Best Aquarium Backgrounds

To illustrate, imagine you are fighting someone who is imitating your every move. No lag, no hesitation, just an accurate reflection of your every action. Wouldn't you feel a little scared? 

What seems like a bad kung fu hit to a human can be a real nightmare for a fish in an uncovered tank.

When a fish looks in a mirror, it sees a formidable opponent rather than its own reflection.

Fish are hurt and have a very low quality of life because they have to deal with their own reflexes all the time. 

The problem can be fixed by investing in a beautiful backdrop for the aquarium.

This not only improves the aesthetics of the aquarium from across the room, but also improves the health of its fish inhabitants.

Another advantage is that ugly pipes and tubes can be hidden. 

It's a no-brainer to buy an aquarium backdrop, but it can be difficult to find the best option. Cheap imitations abound online, all designed to waste your money.

However, don't worry; BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has reviewed the five best aquarium backgrounds on the market right now to help you make the right choice.

Instruction Manual

The owner of an aquarium must constantly strike a delicate balance. Your fish tank has to do double duty as a beautiful piece of decor and a safe haven for a number of nervous fish or other aquatic pets.

How do you make sure that your fish are living the greatest life possible while also ensuring that your aquarium serves as a decorative focal point in the room?

Here, we’ll go over everything you need to know to set up an aquarium that’s suitable for humans and fish alike, beginning with where to go for an aquarium backdrop.

Where to Find Aquarium Wall Art

These goods are simple in their construction. If you stick to these guidelines, you can ensure the continued happiness of your fish.

  • Take the requisite dimensions of your storage facility. This should virtually not need to be stated. The first step is to determine how many of the tank’s walls will be covered. Then, with a measuring tape, calculate the combined length of the tank’s base and its height. This can help you determine the appropriate dimensions for your aquarium backdrop. Some vendors specify backdrop sizes in gallons, so that’s useful information to have as well.
  • Make a fashion choice. The background of your aquarium should complement the overall design. Some of the backdrops are constructed from photographs of actual oceanic locations, while others include more stylized and cartoonish depictions of marine life. The emptiness of the sea or a solid hue may serve as a backdrop for certain images. If you have night-dwelling fish and plan to use an oscillating blue light (described further down), we recommend GloFish’s backdrop (chosen as our runner-up) because of its high visibility under certain lighting circumstances.
  • Select a solution. Next, you should go through the aquarium backdrops that are for sale online once you’ve decided on a size and style. To make an informed decision, thoroughly peruse both the positive and negative feedback available online. The usual rate for an aquarium backdrop these days is between $8 and $20. Carefully avoid going above or below this range. We suggest going with a backdrop that can be rolled up and sent in a poster tube. Learn how easily the backdrop might be creased or torn by reading the reviews. You shouldn’t settle for one that’s easily broken. If you discover one you like but it doesn’t fit just right, it’s better to err on the side of buying one that’s too big than one that’s too tiny. Most aquariums can accommodate two separate backdrops, although it’s usually simpler to just remove one.
  • Work out a method for sticking it. Our top selection comes from Sporn and is one of those aquarium backdrops that sticks to your fish tank like plastic wrap. Some of them need tape, or maybe a particular kind of glue. Having to spend some extra legwork to get adhesive like Vibrant Sea, which is usually available separately from the backdrop, isn’t a deal breaker but may be annoying. Make sure you’re not buying something that can’t be attached before you do.

Extra Equipment for a Fish Tank

At least now your fish aren’t having scary fights amongst themselves, and you have some context to work with. However, a fish tank needs more than just water and a pretty backdrop for the fish to call home.

Before you go out and buy fish for your new tank, make sure you have everything listed above.

Both freshwater and saltwater aquariums are common. Fish found in freshwater aquariums often come from inland bodies of water like lakes and rivers, whereas marine species are kept in saltwater aquariums.

There are unique concerns for each, however there are also some overlapping factors.

Universally Appropriate for Tanks

  • Term used to describe the gravel that forms the base of an aquarium. Substrate prevents the tank bottom from reflecting light, gives the aquarium a more natural appearance, and can support the growth of aquatic plants if you choose to add them. This is also an excellent location for cultivating the beneficial bacteria required to break down all the fish waste in your aquarium.
  • Most fish worth keeping in an aquarium do best in bright conditions. A light that gradually fades from brilliant to dim during the day can also help them adjust to the time change from day to night. CFL bulbs have a longer lifespan than LED ones, however LED bulbs seem more natural.
  • Compressor is a great example. The presence of oxygen in the water is essential for fish to be able to filter out the gas on their own. If you want to keep the water in your tank at a consistent temperature, installing an air pump will help.
  • The purpose of water filters is to cleanse the water supply of any dirt, pollutants, or biological contaminants. You should check your filter frequently and replace it as directed by the instructions.
  • A temperature gauge and heater. You can’t expect the water in your tank to maintain a constant temperature. Learn the ideal range of temperatures for your fish, especially tropical species, and make sure they are maintained on a daily basis. Put simply, don’t put fish in the same tank that need to be kept at quite different temperatures.
  • Strips that measure pH. As time passes, the pH of aquarium water often decreases. Most fish in freshwater thrive at neutral pH of 7.0, whereas marine life does best in slightly more basic pH of 8.0. Changing the water on a regular basis can help keep the pH stable, but if you see it falling below 7.0, a solution of water and baking soda may be used to restore the equilibrium.

Use Only In A Saltwater Tank.

  • Purifier for the water. Bacteria in freshwater fish waste helps degrade potentially dangerous ammonia. In order to avoid the formation of toxic ammonia, water conditioners encourage the growth of beneficial microorganisms.

A Place With Saltwater Fish

  • Remove excess protein. Aquarium waste may also be reduced with the use of protein skimmers. When used in saltwater, they may keep your tank tidy even while beneficial microorganisms flourish.
  • Use sea salt available for sale at pet stores. Don’t use regular salt.


We put each platform through its steps in a real aquarium, noting how it appears in terms of form, how well it matches with other decorations, how simple it is to install, and how long it lasts in.

Every award goes to the Sporn Static Cling wallpapers. The visual value of your aquarium will skyrocket with the addition of these large, simple, low-cost aquarium backdrops.

GloFish’s changeable backdrops are a great two-for-one bargain if you’re trying to cut costs. The organic designs on these backgrounds look great when illuminated by pulsating blue light, helping your fish feel perfectly at home. 

The purpose of BestForPets (bestforpets.org) is to assist you in sourcing quality aquariums from poorer quality substrates. We are happy that you feel secure and choose the best aquarium backgrounds.

That’s in line with your mission. Please comment if you have purchased any of these wallpapers and would like to share your thoughts. If you found this article helpful, consider sharing it with your fish-loving friends.


Best Static-Cling Sporn Coral Aquarium Backdrop

Fish keepers who want a more natural appearance for their aquariums might choose the Sporn Static Cling Coral Aquarium Background.

Its dimensions of 18 inches in height by 36 inches in width make it suitable for use on three sides of most home aquariums, and its low price makes it practical to purchase two if necessary.

The fact that this aquarium backdrop doesn’t require any sort of glue is our favorite feature. Patiently, we were able to get it to roll on smoothly and without wrinkles.

This picture isn’t anything exceptional, but it looks convincingly like coral and should go with practically anything you already have in your home. Another thing that appeals to us is the sense of depth that it conveys in three dimensions.

You’ll also benefit greatly from the fact that the wiring and equipment in your tank will be concealed by this backdrop. The way it calms your fish is perhaps the most vital benefit.

The acceptance of the pet is the most important factor when purchasing pet supplies.

The one and only drawback is that it is only available in one size. Despite the fact that this backdrop is simple to cut and inexpensive to layer, it adds a few additional steps between purchasing the product and decorating your tank.


  • Uses no glue in its application.
  • Facilitates quick and simple installation
  • Sooths fish
  • Brings a new dimension to your fish tank.
  • Affordable


  • One and only size


The Finest GloFish Aquarium Backdrop at Any Price

There aren’t a lot of pricey options for aquarium backdrops. This GloFish backdrop, however, is the solution to your prayers if you want the greatest aquarium background for the money.

While its 12×18-inch size is less than our top selection, you receive two backdrops with your purchase.

Both sides feature stunning, organic imagery. One features floating jellyfish, while the other features a softly moving sea anemone (the product website also features a spelunking scene, but it does not appear to be available).

If your fish are nocturnal, you should cycle on and off blue light in the tank, and the resulting blue light makes both images stand out.

It may be placed in aquariums with a capacity of 10 gallons without any issues. While black posterboard may be used to extend the backdrop, GloFish is not ideal for bigger aquariums. Likewise, it’s simple to reduce the size for tanks under 10 gallons.

This is not a self-sticking backdrop. Tape is required for installation on your tank. In addition, you can’t rely on its blue glow alone – it requires a light source in order to operate.


  • This backdrop may be used in two different ways.
  • Brilliant under a blue hue
  • Simple to prune
  • Cheap


  • The size is rather modest.
  • Not sticky to itself


GloFish Background Color Changing – The Best Option

GloFish’s color-changing background is head and shoulders above the competition for fish enthusiasts with larger aquariums and/or those prepared to pay a bit more money.

This aquarium background is beautiful on its own, but when paired with a cycling light, it takes your 25-gallon aquarium to the next level.

As a consequence, both you and your fish will enjoy a beautiful light display. They’ll experience a day-night cycle, much like they would in nature, while you’ll enjoy a captivating fluorescent display that occasionally reveals hidden images.

Your aquatic pets will be far less stressed if they are exposed to their reflections less frequently.

The convenience of duplicating this backdrop is a further perk. Even if the price goes up with a second sheet, you can cover a 55-gallon tank with it. Do not anticipate a drastic transformation in the color of your tank; the effect is the same across all sizes.

The coral, seahorses, and rock arches on this backdrop are a little too stylised to go with a realistic tank design. As a result, it is useless unless complemented by other types of illumination tools.


  • Large
  • Modular for bigger vessels
  • Amazing light display that cycles and conceals items
  • Fishes’ Soothing


  • Expensive
  • This is not a realistic piece of art.
  • Doesn’t do anything if you don’t have a bike light.


Setting the Scene at the Vepotek Aquarium

The double-sided aquarium background by Vepotek is a fantastic option for anyone wishing to spruce up their tank’s aesthetics.

You may purchase it with either an image showcasing colorful plants and coral or a picture showing the stony bottom of a reef. Inverting either choice reveals a view of open water with sunlight penetrating the depths of the ocean.

Backgrounds are delivered wrapped up like posters and have arrived undamaged so far. When lit by tank lights, all three pictures are stunning. If you just have a tiny aquarium, you can simply tessellate them into one large image.

The “Vibrant Sea” adhesive offered by Vepotek is ideal for swiftly and simply attaching the backdrop to the tank, and it also enhances the tank’s color scheme. A squeegee-like applicator is included for use.

Vibrant Sea makes the colors pop, but it’s greasy and sloppy, and you need it to stick the backdrop in place since it won’t stick without it.

The same effect may be achieved with tape if you’d rather avoid the bother. Use only a little amount of Vibrant Sea and spread out some newspaper if you go that route.


  • There are three visually appealing images.
  • The size of oversized backdrops may easily be reduced.
  • Backgrounds of a smaller scale can be tessellated.
  • An improved hue is the result of using glue from the vibrant Sea.


  • Cannot be set up without the use of glue
  • The glue that is included is slick and sticky.


Pre-Edited Scenes of Marina

If you’re looking to liven up your aquarium without breaking the bank, precut aquarium backdrops from Marina are a great option. There are five distinct designs to pick from, each of which is double-sided and costs no more than $15.

The options range from serene rock motifs to aquatic scenes to riverbeds to rocky coral reefs to plain colors on both sides. You may make an environment that’s suitable for your fish, or you can make a simple background for other lights and decorations.

Sizes range from 12 by 24 inches to 18 by 36 inches to 24 by 48 inches, while most pictures provide at least two of those possibilities.

They may be trimmed to size as needed to accommodate tanks of varying dimensions. If you’re on the fence, go with the bigger size; it’s simpler to reduce than increase.

There are a few problems with these backdrops, despite the fact that we appreciate the choices a lot. They don’t stick, necessitating aquarium glue, and they fold easily.

Aquarium glue, like #4, is messy and difficult to use, and the fact that even a small error might ruin an otherwise perfect photo makes matters even worse.


  • Multiple picture dimensions and settings are available.
  • Affordable
  • Lovely, organic backdrops
  • Available in solid hues


  • Required use of a glue or tape
  • Easily wrinkled
  • A single wrinkle can completely distort the picture.

Author Image

Dr. Barry Buttler

Dr. Barry Buttler, DVM, MS, DACVIM, is an experienced veterinarian who specializes in the care of small animals, specifically dogs. Dr. Barry K. Buttler is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and holds multiple certifications in small animal emergency medicine and geriatric pet health.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Barry Buttler


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