Tanks & Accessories

The 10 Best Aquarium Backgrounds of 2020

Best Aquarium Background

Photo: ELEBOX

Aquarium backgrounds are decorations you can install on the glass of fish tanks, or on a wall bordering the aquarium to add color and vibrancy to the setup.

Most backgrounds are in the form of high definition and color images printed on plastic or vinyl material. These panels can create naturalistic looks when installed on aquariums.

You can also get rock replicas for terrariums and reptile enclosures.

In our top 10 aquarium background reviews, we’ll help you pick some of the leading designs and quality panels for your fish tanks.

10 Best Aquarium Backgrounds – Review

IMAGE

​PRODUCT

​FEATURES

Leowefowa 15x1NSW01624

1. Leowefowa 15x1NSW01624 (Best Overall)

  • Large 60 x 36 inches in size
  • Versatile and multipurpose
  • Lightweight and fade-resistant
  • Very affordable
Aquatic Creations 879542004117

2. Aquatic Creations 879542004117 (Best Budget)

  • Reasonably priced
  • High-definition images
  • Static cling design
  • Residue-free removal
Exo Terra PT2951

3. Exo Terra PT2951 (Best for Terrariums)

  • Natural rock design
  • Creates new tank dimension
  • Non-toxic plastic material
  • Provides climbing aspect
Vepotek Aquarium Background

4. Vepotek Aquarium Background (Best Waterproof Design)

  • Double-sided background
  • Waterproof plastic film
  • Vibrant and colorful
  • Anti-wrinkle materials
New 9091

5. New 9091 (Best Double-sided)

  • 2-sided background
  • Resizable 48-inch x 20-inch panel
  • Colorful and vibrant
  • Residue-free removal
New 9088

6. New 9088 (Heavy-duty)

  • Heavy-duty plastic construction
  • 2-sided background
  • Resizable, colorful and vibrant
  • Thin professional profile
Aofoto Q15x1NCJ03562

7. Aofoto Q15x1NCJ03562 (For Multipurpose Use)

  • Support multiple applications
  • Large 60 x 36 inches in size
  • Lightweight vinyl build
  • Glare-free and fade-resistant
Aquatic Creations 879542004087

8. Aquatic Creations 879542004087 (Easy-to-install)

  • Static cling design
  • High definition images
  • Resizable background
  • Hides water stains
Universal Rocks 48x20-ROCKY

9. Universal Rocks 48x20-ROCKY (Premium Quality)

  • Rock replication design
  • Premium and flexible build
  • Resizable background
  • Brown rocky color
Zoo Med NCB2

10. Zoo Med NCB2 (Natural Cork Material)

  • Natural cork material
  • Ideal for vivarium/terrarium
  • Mold and mildew resistant
  • Hides water stains effectively

PRODUCT

1. Leowefowa 15x1NSW01624

(Best Overall)

Leowefowa 15x1NSW01624
  • Large 60 x 36 inches in size
  • Versatile and multipurpose
  • Lightweight and fade-resistant
  • Very affordable

2. Aquatic Creations 879542004117

(Best Budget)

Aquatic Creations 879542004117
  • Reasonably priced
  • High-definition images
  • Static cling design
  • Residue-free removal

3. Exo Terra PT2951

(Best for Terrariums)

Exo Terra PT2951
  • Natural rock design
  • Creates new tank dimension
  • Non-toxic plastic material
  • Provides climbing aspect

4. Vepotek Aquarium Background

(Best Waterproof Design)

Vepotek Aquarium Background
  • Double-sided background
  • Waterproof plastic film
  • Vibrant and colorful
  • Anti-wrinkle materials

5. New 9091

(Best Double-sided)

New 9091
  • 2-sided background
  • Resizable 48-inch x 20-inch panel
  • Colorful and vibrant
  • Residue-free removal

6. New 9088

(Heavy-duty)

New 9088
  • Heavy-duty plastic construction
  • 2-sided background
  • Resizable, colorful and vibrant
  • Thin professional profile

7. Aofoto Q15x1NCJ03562

(For Multipurpose Use)

Aofoto Q15x1NCJ03562
  • Support multiple applications
  • Large 60 x 36 inches in size
  • Lightweight vinyl build
  • Glare-free and fade-resistant

8. Aquatic Creations 879542004087

(Easy-to-install)

Aquatic Creations 879542004087
  • Static cling design
  • High definition images
  • Resizable background
  • Hides water stains

9. Universal Rocks 48x20-ROCKY

(Premium Quality)

Universal Rocks 48x20-ROCKY
  • Rock replication design
  • Premium and flexible build
  • Resizable background
  • Brown rocky color

10. Zoo Med NCB2

(Natural Cork Material)

Zoo Med NCB2
  • Natural cork material
  • Ideal for vivarium/terrarium
  • Mold and mildew resistant
  • Hides water stains effectively

1. Leowefowa 15x1NSW01624 – Best Overall Aquarium Background

Leowefowa 15x1NSW01624

Photo: Leowefowa

  • Width: 60 inches
  • Height: 36 inches
  • Material: Vinyl

Starting use off is Leowefowa 15x1NSW01624, the best overall aquarium background on our list. It is large, colorful, and offers the best value for money.

This aquarium background is the largest of the pack. It has a width of 60 inches and a height of 36 inches, for maximum coverage of different surfaces. You can even resize it for smaller backgrounds.

You can use the background for your aquarium, or for other purposes including photography backdrops in different settings. It also makes for a great kids’ party backdrop and a studio prop.

The thin vinyl that is used to make the background is lightweight and professional-grade. You’ll also love the fact that the pattern on this background is seamless and fade-resistant.

It also offers the best value for money because you get a large background for a very reasonable price.

We did note, however, that Leowefowa 15x1NSW01624 is not waterproof hence cannot be used inside an aquarium or for underwater photography.

Pros:

  • Large size
  • Multipurpose background
  • Made of lightweight and fade-resistant material
  • Great value for money

Cons:

  • Not waterproof

2. Aquatic Creations 879542004117 – Best Budget Aquarium Background

Aquatic Creations 879542004117

Photo: Aquatic Creations

  • Width: 38 inches
  • Height: 18 inches

Aquatic Creations 879542004117 is the best budget aquarium background on our list. It is an ideal choice for those who are on a budget but want to decorate their aquariums.

This background may have a budget price, but it features high-definition color images, which create a lifelike impression on your fish tank.

Its size is ideal for most standard aquariums, but you can also adjust it to fit your fish tank’s size requirements.

You’ll also love the fact that this background is easy to apply because of its static cling design, which allows for hustle-free application. You simply adjust the background to the required size, then spray some water on the glass and then proceed to apply the background by squeezing out any air bubbles.

Upon removal, the cling does not leave any residue or damage your fish tank. Simply peel it off gently.

The Aquatic Creations 879542004117 is, however, not waterproof so it cannot be installed on the inside of a fish tank.

Pros:

  • Reasonably priced and affordable
  • High-definition colors
  • Easy application on glass
  • Does not leave any residue on the glass

Cons:

  • Not waterproof

3. Exo Terra PT2951 – Best Background for Terrariums

Exo Terra PT2951

Photo: Exo Terra

  • Width: 18 inches
  • Height: 12 inches
  • Material: Plastic

Exo Terra PT2951 emerges as the best background for terrariums. It creates a natural rock look and texture for desert or tropical terrariums.

Not only is it an effective terrarium insulator, but it also creates an extra dimension in your tank, a capability that is not available in image backgrounds.

The background is made using black, non-toxic polystyrene, which won’t harm your aquatic life when the item is applied in the desired terrarium.

If you have pet reptiles in your tank, then you’ll appreciate the ability of this background to provide a climbing aspect for them.

You’ll also love the deep ridges of this background’s back. You can use them to hide tubing from pumps, or wires that may be present on the tank.

The Exo Terra PT2951 is, however, rather pricey for its size, and people on a budget may find it unfavorable.

Pros:

  • Natural rock design for terrariums
  • Creates a new dimension in tank
  • Non-toxic materials
  • Offers climbing aspect to tank creatures

Cons:

  • Rather pricey

4. Vepotek Aquarium Background – Best Waterproof Aquarium Background

Vepotek Aquarium Background

Photo: Vepotek

  • Width: 24 inches
  • Height: 24 inches
  • Material: Plastic

Vepotek Aquarium Background is unique because it is made using high-quality waterproof film.

The 3-layer waterproof film used to construct the background makes it ideal for installation on the inner surface of the fish tank or in humid conditions. Waterproofing also extends durability.

It is printed on both sides, making it diverse and suitable for people who desire some flexibility in their choice of backgrounds. You can also get the background with water plants on the main side, and deep-sea on the other side.

This background is also printed using high-quality and durable anti-wrinkle plastic film. It is easy to maintain while bringing out the rich and vibrant colors.

Unfortunately, the Vepotek Aquarium Background comes in a square size of 24 inches by 24 inches, which means you may have to trim it further to fit standard fish tanks, which may not be square.

Pros:

  • Waterproof construction
  • Double-sided for more decoration variety
  • Produces rich colors
  • Anti-wrinkle material for enhanced appearance

Cons:

  • May require resizing to fit regular tanks

5. New 9091 – Best Double-sided Aquarium Background

New 9091

Photo: New

  • Width: 48 inches
  • Height: 20 inches

New 9091 is the best double-sided aquarium background on our list. It is printed on both sides, meaning you can use either of them or switch between images as you please.

In fact, the double-sided combines well with the backgrounds above-average size of 48 inches by 20 inches to make it ideal resizing so that you can use both backgrounds at the same time if you want.

Speaking of 2 sides, they are very colorful and vibrant. One side has a floral/plant image while the other side has a driftwood image. Both sides are capable of bringing your fish tanks to life.

The background also boasts of easy removal. You’ll also love the fact that its removal is residue-free. It will not leave scratches or marks on your fish tank when removed.

An issue you may dislike about New 9091 is that it does not come with installation instructions, and this process may take a bit of time and effort.

Pros:

  • Printed on both sides
  • Large and resizable
  • Vibrant images and colors
  • Easy, residue-free removal

Cons:

  • No installation instructions

6. New 9088 – Heavy-duty Aquarium Background

New 9088

Photo: New

  • Width: 48 inches
  • Height: 20 inches
  • Material: Plastic

New 9088 is a heavy-duty aquarium background made of plastic and printed on both sides to enhance usability.

This plastic background promises to last long with little to no maintenance necessary. Because the material is heavy-duty, it may sometimes come in handy when you want to prevent harsh sunlight from hitting the back of your tank.

Also, it is 2-sided. One side has a colorful riverbed image, while the other side features a lake image, making this background very vibrant and appealing to the eye.

It comes in an above-average size of 48 inches by 20 inches, which allows it to be resized to fit one of more fish tanks’ surfaces.

Because of its thin profile, the background adheres flawlessly to the glass surface of your fish tanks, creating a professional finish. Just be extra cautious when cutting it during resizing.

While the New 9088 is a heavy-duty background, it is not waterproof, so caution is necessary during installation as it will not work well inside a fish tank.

Pros:

  • Heavy-duty plastic build
  • 2-sided background
  • Resizable to fit different tank dimensions
  • Thin profile for a professional look

Cons:

  • Not waterproof

7. Aofoto Q15x1NCJ03562 – Multipurpose Aquarium Background

Aofoto Q15x1NCJ03562

Photo: Aofoto

  • Width: 60 inches
  • Height: 36 inches
  • Material: Vinyl

Aofoto Q15x1NCJ03562 is a great multi-purpose aquarium background you can use to decorate your fish tanks, and for other applications such as photography.

You can use this colorful undersea background to line small and large fish tanks. Its superior size allows you to trim it into different dimensions depending on the fish tank size.

It also serves as a reliable photography backdrop, which you can use in either portrait mode or landscape mode.

This background is also ideal for food and still displays and arrangements, for instance, in stores, shows, or events.

Even though the background is large, it has been constructed using lightweight vinyl, allowing you to move it easily across different venues, in case you want to use it for photography or related applications.

You’ll also love the fact that the background is glare-free and fade-resistant, as long as you don’t expose it to direct sunlight.

The Aofoto Q15x1NCJ03562 is, however, not waterproof.

Pros:

  • Multipurpose background
  • Large and resizable
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Resistant to glare and fading

Cons:

  • Not waterproof

8. Aquatic Creations 879542004087 – Easy-to-install Aquarium Background

Aquatic Creations 879542004087

Photo: Aquatic Creations

  • Width: 38 inches
  • Height: 18 inches

We love the Aquatic Creations 879542004087 because of its ease of installation and use. You don’t have to worry about adhesives or fastening clips with this background.

That’s because it comes with a static cling design, which enables near effortless application. You simply spray your tank wall with water and attack the background while squeegeeing out air bubbles.

Its size of 38 inches by 18 inches allows the background to fit standard aquariums. However, you can still resize it further to match your tank’s measurements.

The background boasts of high definition images, which produce vibrant colors that bring your fish tank to life, especially with its ocean floor design. 

It is also effective at hiding your tank’s water stains, and installations such as hoses, tubes, filters, and cords.

Aquatic Creations 879542004087 cling background is, however, a bit prone to creasing so extra care is necessary during installation to ensure maximum attachment to glass.

Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Colorful images
  • Resizable to desired dimensions
  • Hides water stains and tank installations

Cons:

  • May crease if not installed well

9. Universal Rocks 48x20-ROCKY – Premium Aquarium Background

Universal Rocks 48x20-ROCKY

Photo: Universal Rocks

  • Width: 48 inches
  • Height: 20 inches
  • Material: Rubber

Universal Rocks 48x20-ROCKY is a premium aquarium background that creates a realistic rock replication in your fish tank.

It is made of premium and flexible material, which allows for easy installation in fish tanks. You can use center braces on the background and bend it as much necessary for it to fit.

Also, it allows for resizing to different a size that is suitable for your fish tank. You can use it to create life-like reptile enclosures, which provide your pets with a near-natural environment to live in.

The background is also highly flexible for installation around the walls of your fish tank. Also, its brown color contributes to the overall rocky feel and look of this background.

There are, however, 2 issues we noted in the Universal Rocks 48x20-ROCKY. First, it is very expensive and not a great fit for budget buyers. Second, the clips required for its installation are not included.

Pros:

  • Creates a realistic rock replication
  • Premium and flexible material
  • Resizable to tank dimensions
  • Color complement rocky look

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Clips are not included

10. Zoo Med NCB2 – Natural Cork Aquarium Background

Zoo Med NCB2

Photo: Zoo Med

  • Width: 18 inches
  • Height: 12 inches
  • Material: Cork

Zoo Med NCB2 stands out from the pack for being a natural aquarium background.

It is made using natural cork, which forms superb lifelike panels for vivarium and terrarium backgrounds. The background especially recommended for use on Zoo Med’s naturalistic terrariums although you can resize it to fit your tank’s dimensions.

This background is also ideal for high-humidity environments because it is resistant to mold and mildew. 

The brown color combined with the cork texture means that this background is good at hiding water stains, simplifying your aquarium’s cleaning process.

We did note, however, that Zoo Med NCB2 comes in a small size, which means you may need to combine several panels in case you are installing on large enclosures.

You could get additional large or small panels, from the 4 available options, but that would mean spending some more money.

Pros:

  • Made using natural cork
  • Creates lifelike feel in vivarium/terrarium
  • Resistant to mold and mildew
  • Hides water stains for easy tank maintenance

Cons:

  • Size is rather small

How to Buy the Best Aquarium Backgrounds

How to Buy the Best Aquarium Backgrounds

Photo: New

1. Size

Aquarium backgrounds come in different sizes, mostly rectangular. Some of the largest backgrounds we reviewed include Leowefowa 15x1NSW01624 and Aofoto Q15x1NCJ03562, both of which measure 60 inches by 36 inches.

Such large backgrounds are great for multipurpose use. Not only do they make great aquarium backgrounds, but you can also use them as photography backdrops. They are also resizable.

If you want smaller backgrounds, our review offers many options to choose from. These ones are great for small fish tanks, especially when you don’t want to waste parts of the background.

2. Materials

Material is a key component of aquarium backgrounds. Most are made using either plastic or vinyl. They are low-cost and readily available.

These two materials are also preferred because they are lightweight, flexible, and durable. It is also easy to resize plastic or vinyl backgrounds by simply cutting through them with scissors, for instance.

You may also find rubber backgrounds, such as Universal Rocks 48x20-ROCKY. Another unique material is natural cork, which is used to make Zoo Med NCB2.

3. Installation

Ease of installation is a top priority for aquarium owners looking to purchase a fish tank background.

While some backgrounds may require some resizing for them to fit most standard tanks, installation is pretty straightforward. Most will require an adhesive for them to attach firmly to the glass walls.

Aquatic Creations 879542004087 and Aquatic Creations 879542004117 did emerge the easiest to install because of their static cling design, which is effortless and effective.

4. Realistic

Besides decorating aquariums, backgrounds also aim at creating realistic and naturalistic environments for fish and other aquatic animals to thrive in.

That’s why most backgrounds have HD images of corals, seabed, driftwood, floral images, and others resembling aquatic environments.

We also encountered a natural cork background in Zoo Med NCB2, rock replicas in Exo Terra PT2951 and Universal Rocks 48x20-ROCKY.

You can also install the background on more than one tank wall to enhance the realistic outlook of the entire setup.

5. Aesthetics

The primary goal of an aquarium background is to make fish tanks beautiful and appealing to the eye.

The background you choose should also complement the overall décor and ambiance of the room or location you have installed the fish tank.

Therefore, you should consider the overall look of the entire setup when choosing a background. Floral backgrounds were observed to brighten up aquariums and their surroundings.

Also, the blue seabed and coral backgrounds have a notable aesthetic appeal because they bring out a realistic aquatic look and feel.

6. Durable

Durability should be a key consideration when choosing an aquarium background. The more durable it is, the less the frequency of replacement.

Many of the plastic and vinyl backgrounds proved to be considerably durable, especially when installed correctly, and outside the fish tank.

However, Vepotek Aquarium Background did stand out with its waterproof properties, which contributed to its superior durability.

Conclusion

Our aquarium background review demonstrated the value such decorations add to fish tanks. They brighten up aquariums while creating a realistic aquatic environment.

If you’re looking for the finest of them all, Leowefowa 15x1NSW01624 is the best overall aquarium background. It is large, durable, multipurpose, and reasonably priced.

For those on a budget, go for the Aquatic Creations 879542004117, which is the most affordable. Terrarium owner can opt for the Exo Terra PT2951, which creates natural rock looks.

If durability and waterproof are your key priorities, you can go wrong with the Vepotek Aquarium Background.

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