10 Best Aquarium Backgrounds Reviewed For All Styles In 2020

Choosing an aquarium background will come down to a combination of which one is the right size and appeals to your personal taste.

In this guide I’ll teach you how to choose the right size, understand your tastes, and then share what I consider the best aquarium backgrounds for different styles.

Overview: Top 10 Picks For Aquarium Backgrounds

Here are my favorite types of aquarium backgrounds.

Preview Product
ELEBOX New 20' x 48' Fish Tank Background 2 Sided River Bed & Lake Background Aquarium ELEBOX New 20" x 48" Fish Tank Background 2 Sided River Bed & Lake Background Aquarium
SOBAKEN New Aquarium Background Decoration 48' x 18.5' 2 Sided Rocky Aquarium SOBAKEN New Aquarium Background Decoration 48" x 18.5" 2 Sided Rocky Aquarium
New 9091 20' x 48' Fish Tank Background 2 Sided Driftwood/Floral Background Aquarium New 9091 20" x 48" Fish Tank Background 2 Sided Driftwood/Floral Background Aquarium
Vepotek Aquarium Background Deep Seabed/Coral Rock Double sides (Deep Seabed/Coral Rock, 48WX24H) Vepotek Aquarium Background Deep Seabed/Coral Rock Double sides (Deep Seabed/Coral Rock, 48WX24H)
Forest Tank Aquarium Poster, PVC Adhesive Underwater Forest Tank Background Poster Backdrop Decoration Paper(6130cm) Forest Tank Aquarium Poster, PVC Adhesive Underwater Forest Tank Background Poster Backdrop...
Fantasy Star Aquarium Background Vintage Wooden Board American Flag Fish Tank Wallpaper Easy to Apply and Remove PVC Sticker Pictures Poster Background Decoration 12.4' x 30.4' Fantasy Star Aquarium Background Vintage Wooden Board American Flag Fish Tank Wallpaper Easy to...
Dark Silver Flat Rock/HD Stone Aquarium Background 21' x 72' / Rocky Fish Tank Background Dark Silver Flat Rock/HD Stone Aquarium Background 21" x 72" / Rocky Fish Tank Background
Silver Medley Rock/HD Stone Aquarium Background 21' x 48' / 55 Gallon/Rocky Fish Tank Background Silver Medley Rock/HD Stone Aquarium Background 21" x 48" / 55 Gallon/Rocky Fish Tank Background
HITOP 15.5in31.5in Double Sides Aquarium Background Picture,3 Different pcs with Total 6 Options for Fish Tank (15.5H31.5L(inch)) HITOP 15.5in31.5in Double Sides Aquarium Background Picture,3 Different pcs with Total 6 Options for...

Last update on 2020-10-19 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How to Choose an Aquarium Background

Sizing

Sizing is probably the most important factor to consider when purchasing an aquarium background.

It just makes sense that a background meant for 10 gallon (38 liter) just isn’t going to work for a 75 gallon (208 liter).

Measure your aquarium so you know what size range you need to cover the back of your tank. 

Installation 

It’s important to note how a background is meant to be installed. 

Some backgrounds are made of laminated photos that need to be taped to the back of the aquarium.

Others are “static clings” that act like a flat suction cup.

And some are self adhesive, basically, they’re huge stickers that you place on the glass.

Pro Tip: All aquarium backgrounds go on the outside of the tank NOT the inside. And no matter what kind of background you’re using, make sure to clean the glass really well before you install the image.

Laminated Backgrounds

Laminated backgrounds are taped onto the back of the aquarium with clear plastic tape (Scotch tape) or glued to the back with removable adhesive.

The nice part about this is that it’s really easy to do. Even if you are DIY challenged, it only takes a few minutes to install one of these.

While the tape is easy, adhesive will make the image easier to see because it’s right up next to the glass. Using adhesive to glue the background to the tank helps eliminate glare and really is worth the time.

Marina Background Solution, 1-Ounce
Marina Background Solution, 1-Ounce

    Last update on 2020-10-19 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    Static Cling

    Despite the name, static clings don’t actually use static at all. Static cling backgrounds are a thin sheet of vinyl that’s so smooth it acts like a huge, flat suction cup. 

    You can easily pull the cling back off the tank, but be careful! Static clings can be really delicate.  

    When you’re trying to smooth out bubbles, only apply gentle pressure so you don’t tear the vinyl.

    Self Adhesive

    Self adhesive backgrounds are basically huge stickers. They have a paper backing you peel off and then you put the sticky side of the background against the back of the aquarium.

    It’s best to spray the back of the tank and the sticky side of the background with water. This lets you move the sticker around for a short time so you can get it placed correctly.

    If you just try to place it dry, it will immediately adhere and you won’t be able to slide it around.

    The biggest downside to a self adhesive background is that it’s really hard to get it back off. So if you change your mind down the road, it can take some serious work to get the sticker, and its residue, off the glass.

    Pro Tip: When you place any kind of background against your tank glass, there will be bubbles in between the image and the glass. Use a squeegee or an old credit card to lightly push the bubbles out.

    Start from the center and push towards the edge. It takes some time but you get beautiful results. If you have a ridiculously stubborn bubble, you can poke it with a pin to let the air escape.

    If your background doesn’t come with instructions, take a look at some YouTube videos so you have a better idea what you’re doing.

    10 Best Aquarium Backgrounds Reviewed

    1. Two Sided River Bed and Lake Background (20” x 48”/51 x 122 cm)

    Not great with growing live plants but love how they look? This background gives you the appearance of an instant garden.

    This is a double-sided, laminated background, big enough for a standard 75 gallon (208 liter) tank (fits 55 gallons, too!).

    I love the vibrant colors and contrast on this background.

    ELEBOX New 20' x 48' Fish Tank Background 2 Sided River Bed & Lake Background Aquarium
    ELEBOX New 20" x 48" Fish Tank Background 2 Sided River Bed & Lake Background Aquarium

      Last update on 2020-10-19 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

      2. Two Sided Rocky Background (20” x 48”/51 x 122 cm)

      This is a double-sided, laminated background that has images of natural rock formations.

      It could be a good choice for something like African cichlids or any tank with rock work in the decor.

      It’s meant to fit a standard 75 gallon tank, but can be cut to fit a smaller aquarium.

      SOBAKEN New Aquarium Background Decoration 48' x 18.5' 2 Sided Rocky Aquarium
      SOBAKEN New Aquarium Background Decoration 48" x 18.5" 2 Sided Rocky Aquarium

        Last update on 2020-10-19 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

        3. Two Sided Driftwood and Floral Background (20” x 48”/51 x 122 cm)

        This is a double-sided, laminated background that gives you the choice between an image of a piece of driftwood surrounded by a lush green carpet of plants, or an assortment of plants that have a nice contrast between red and green foliage.

        This background is meant for a 75 gallon, but could be cut down for a smaller tank, especially the driftwood side. 

        New 9091 20' x 48' Fish Tank Background 2 Sided Driftwood/Floral Background Aquarium
        New 9091 20" x 48" Fish Tank Background 2 Sided Driftwood/Floral Background Aquarium

          Last update on 2020-10-19 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

          4. Deep Seabed and Coral Rock Background (Multiple Sizes)

          One side of this background can help create the illusion of depth as it shows open water with bright sun streaming through. Or you can use the side that shows a sheer sheet of coral rock.

          This is a laminated background that comes in several sizes.

          Vepotek Aquarium Background Deep Seabed/Coral Rock Double sides (Deep Seabed/Coral Rock, 48WX24H)
          Vepotek Aquarium Background Deep Seabed/Coral Rock Double sides (Deep Seabed/Coral Rock, 48WX24H)

            Last update on 2020-10-19 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

            5. Static Cling Galapagos Mangrove Background (10″ x 30”/25 x 76 cm)

            I really like this static cling background that pictures mangrove roots. The image has gnarled roots on one side and then a nice shot of open water on the other. 

            This is meant for a 10 gallon (38 liter) tank, so it’s a bit on the small side.

            No products found.

            6. PVC Adhesive Underwater Forest Background (11.8” x 24”/30 x 61 cm)

            I love the image on this background. It shows an underwater forest and really creates the illusion of depth. This is a self-adhesive background that goes on like a sticker. 

            This would fit a 20 gallon high or could be cut down for smaller tanks.

            Forest Tank Aquarium Poster, PVC Adhesive Underwater Forest Tank Background Poster Backdrop Decoration Paper(6130cm)
            Forest Tank Aquarium Poster, PVC Adhesive Underwater Forest Tank Background Poster Backdrop Decoration Paper(6130cm)

              Last update on 2020-10-19 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

              7. PVC Adhesive American Flag Background (Multiple Sizes)

              Show your patriotic pride by making the Stars and Stripes your aquarium background. I think the image of an American flag painted on the distressed wood really makes for a unique look.

              This is a self adhesive background that comes in a wide variety of sizes to fit tanks from 10-75 gallons.

              Fantasy Star Aquarium Background Vintage Wooden Board American Flag Fish Tank Wallpaper Easy to Apply and Remove PVC Sticker Pictures Poster Background Decoration 12.4' x 30.4'
              Fantasy Star Aquarium Background Vintage Wooden Board American Flag Fish Tank Wallpaper Easy to Apply and Remove PVC Sticker Pictures Poster Background Decoration 12.4" x 30.4"

                Last update on 2020-10-19 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                8. Dark Silver Flat Rock Background (21″ x 72″/53 x 182 cm)

                 This self adhesive background is large enough for a 100 gallon (378 liter) tank, but because of the kind of image it uses, it could easily be cut down for a smaller tank.

                It shows a slate gray rock wall that makes an interesting but mostly neutral background.

                Dark Silver Flat Rock/HD Stone Aquarium Background 21' x 72' / Rocky Fish Tank Background
                Dark Silver Flat Rock/HD Stone Aquarium Background 21" x 72" / Rocky Fish Tank Background

                  Last update on 2020-10-19 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                  9. Silver Medley Rock Background (21″ x 48″/53 x 122 cm)

                  I like the image on this background because it shows a rock wall made up of different kinds of rock so everything has unique colors and textures.

                  This is a self adhesive background meant for a 75 gallon.

                  Silver Medley Rock/HD Stone Aquarium Background 21' x 48' / 55 Gallon/Rocky Fish Tank Background
                  Silver Medley Rock/HD Stone Aquarium Background 21" x 48" / 55 Gallon/Rocky Fish Tank Background

                    Last update on 2020-10-19 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                    10. Hitop Double Sided Background, 3 sheets (11.5” x 24”/29 x 60 cm or 15.5” x 31.5”/39 x 80 cm)

                    I really like this because it’s not just one background, but a set that gives you six different options for images on three sheets. A great value if you have more than one tank that needs a background. 

                    Take your pic of crystal blue waves, a lush planted scene, a beach with seashells, driftwood covered with moss, or two different kinds of tree roots.

                    These backgrounds will fit 20 gallon tanks or smaller. You could buy the set and change out your background every few months.

                    HITOP 15.5in31.5in Double Sides Aquarium Background Picture,3 Different pcs with Total 6 Options for Fish Tank (15.5H31.5L(inch))
                    HITOP 15.5in31.5in Double Sides Aquarium Background Picture,3 Different pcs with Total 6 Options for Fish Tank (15.5H31.5L(inch))

                      Last update on 2020-10-19 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                      Which is Best?

                      Which background is best will come down to a combination of which one is the right size and appeals to your personal taste.

                      For smaller tanks, I really like the Underwater Forest and the Hitop variety pack. I think these can really add some interest to your tank.

                      For a larger tank, I think I would go with the Driftwood and Floral background. That big piece of driftwood surrounded by all those plants is just gorgeous. 

                      I think it would really add a layer of depth to a planted tank that would really help it pop.

                      Preview Product
                      ELEBOX New 20' x 48' Fish Tank Background 2 Sided River Bed & Lake Background Aquarium ELEBOX New 20" x 48" Fish Tank Background 2 Sided River Bed & Lake Background Aquarium
                      SOBAKEN New Aquarium Background Decoration 48' x 18.5' 2 Sided Rocky Aquarium SOBAKEN New Aquarium Background Decoration 48" x 18.5" 2 Sided Rocky Aquarium
                      New 9091 20' x 48' Fish Tank Background 2 Sided Driftwood/Floral Background Aquarium New 9091 20" x 48" Fish Tank Background 2 Sided Driftwood/Floral Background Aquarium
                      Vepotek Aquarium Background Deep Seabed/Coral Rock Double sides (Deep Seabed/Coral Rock, 48WX24H) Vepotek Aquarium Background Deep Seabed/Coral Rock Double sides (Deep Seabed/Coral Rock, 48WX24H)
                      Forest Tank Aquarium Poster, PVC Adhesive Underwater Forest Tank Background Poster Backdrop Decoration Paper(6130cm) Forest Tank Aquarium Poster, PVC Adhesive Underwater Forest Tank Background Poster Backdrop...
                      Fantasy Star Aquarium Background Vintage Wooden Board American Flag Fish Tank Wallpaper Easy to Apply and Remove PVC Sticker Pictures Poster Background Decoration 12.4' x 30.4' Fantasy Star Aquarium Background Vintage Wooden Board American Flag Fish Tank Wallpaper Easy to...
                      Dark Silver Flat Rock/HD Stone Aquarium Background 21' x 72' / Rocky Fish Tank Background Dark Silver Flat Rock/HD Stone Aquarium Background 21" x 72" / Rocky Fish Tank Background
                      Silver Medley Rock/HD Stone Aquarium Background 21' x 48' / 55 Gallon/Rocky Fish Tank Background Silver Medley Rock/HD Stone Aquarium Background 21" x 48" / 55 Gallon/Rocky Fish Tank Background
                      HITOP 15.5in31.5in Double Sides Aquarium Background Picture,3 Different pcs with Total 6 Options for Fish Tank (15.5H31.5L(inch)) HITOP 15.5in31.5in Double Sides Aquarium Background Picture,3 Different pcs with Total 6 Options for...

                      Last update on 2020-10-19 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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