Inspiring Ideas for Modern Home

8 Best Aquarium Backgrounds [Reviewed & Buyer’s Guide]

“Buying an aquarium background can’t be that tough,” or so we thought!

Soft corals in aquarium. Closeup Anthelia and Euphyllia corals in clean blue water. marine underwater life. Violet natural background, copy space selective focus, endangered species, global warming

While searching for a durable and aesthetically-pleasing aquarium background, we ran into hundreds of options. From different materials to distinct prints, everything left us scratching our heads! So, we decided to make the job easy by shortlisting the names making the right noise on the market.

If you, too, have faced the same problem, then welcome home as we have curated a guide containing the best aquarium backgrounds. 

Now, let’s begin!

Best Aquarium Backgrounds

close up image of aquarium tank with a variety of aquatic plants inside.

Here is the list of the 8 best aquarium backgrounds that you can use to bring a captivating and beautiful ambiance to your tank.

1. ELEBOX New Fish Tank Background - Best for Lifelike Aquatic Display

First, let’s talk about the Elebox New Fish Tank Background. Its heavy-duty, durable construction does away with the need for frequent replacement. With vibrant colors and intricate details, this one is worth considering.

ELEBOX New 20" x 48" Fish Tank Background 2 Sided River Bed...
  • Heavy duty plastic aquarium background, Easy trim background...
  • Aquarium Background with vibrant colors and detailed HD...

Why Did We Like It?

For starters, the positive customer feedback drew our attention to it. Made from thickened PVC plastic, it’s integrated with waterproofing abilities, meaning you can use it both inside and outside the aquarium. And despite being fairly sturdy, you won’t have to strain your nerves for trimming it.

The natural aquatic-based images keep your fishes comfortable as they won’t get distracted by their reflection. In this regard, the double-sided image has a bit of a 3D effect for adding more visual depth. It’s available in a variety of colors and patterns, and in two different sizes. We tried the one measuring 19.5 by 48 inches, and it sufficiently covered our 75 gallons of the aquarium.

Unlike its predecessor, this one doesn’t use a static cling design for a practically adhesive-less application. Hence, we opted to stick it with clear waterproof tape on the inside and were pretty happy with the result.

Finally, the brand is ably represented by responsive customer service should users face any problem. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

It may be good to know that this Elebox New Fish Tank Background isn't the cheapest option out there. Also, some users may find the repeating pattern of the images to be monotonous, especially when used for larger tanks.


  • Non-glare and fade resistant
  • 3D effect for lifelike background
  • Facilitates smooth trimming
  • Responsive customer service


  • Slightly expensive
  • Repeating pattern

Size: 19.5" x 48" | Other Size/s Available: Yes | Image Quality: High-Definition, Has 3D Effect | Double-Sided: Yes | Material: PVC

2. Vepotek Aquarium Background - Best for Versatile Decor

The Vepotek Aquarium Background is a high-quality product that’s meant for long-term use. It employs a distinct waterproof material and printing technology for bringing your aquarium to life. What’s more, the package comes with all the necessary accessories.

Vepotek Aquarium Background Double sides (Deep Sea/Water...
  • Double sided- One side Printing
  • 24", 36", 48",60" and 72" wide

Why Did We Like It?

Before walking you through the aesthetic aspect, allow us to shower some praise on the durable construction. Unlike most other aquarium backgrounds that are printed on a double-layer material, it uses the latest triple-layer poly film printing technique for high-definition images.

Being printed on both sides, it certainly takes the versatility factor a notch higher. We went with the one that has sea plants on one side and the deep sea on the other. However, you may choose the other variant with the deep seabed and coral rock combination. The rolled packaging prevents crease formation and additional straightening needs.

Not only does the background come in different sizes, but it also comes with different quantities of mounting glue. In the absence of a static cling design, the mounting glue set does well at saving users from the hassle of buying suitable adhesive. Simply spread a few drops of the glue evenly on the surface and stick the background on it. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

Although we are very happy with the rolled packaging, the mounting glue packet was a total disaster as most of it spilled in the bag. Moreover, there are no instructions regarding the application process, so you might want to take your time with the process.


  • Double-sided print for more versatility
  • Anti-wrinkle material
  • Waterproof build for fade-resistant colors
  • Comes in different sizes and with mounting glue


  • Poor packaging of glue
  • No application instructions

Size: 8" x 24" | Other Size/s Available: Yes | Image Quality: High-Definition | Double-Sided: Yes | Material: Triple Layer Poly Film

3. Fdit PVC Fish Tank Underwater Forest Tank Background - Best for Vibrant Underwater Forest Setting

Almost halfway through the list, we’d like to introduce the Fdit PVC Fish Tank Underwater Forest Tank Background. Sporting premium material and high-definition images, it’s made for long-term use.

PVC Fish Tank Background Adhesive Underwater Forest Tank...
  • 【PREMIUM MATERIAL】The Fish Tank Background is made of...
  • 【HIGH DEFINITION IMAGES】Its bright colors and detailed...

Why Did We Like It?

Starting with the base material, it's essentially a high-quality, waterproof PVC sheet, which is waterproof and easy to clean. Not only that, but it has a non-toxic and non-odor build that has zero effect on the water.

The high-definition images boast bright colors and precise detailing to create a luxurious setting in the aquarium. It has a realistic look and feels that somewhat replicates an underwater tropical scene.

Coming to the construction, the thickened decorative sheet adopts a self-adhesive design, which is shielded by a thin protective film. Users need to clean the surface and add a few drops of water and detergent mix or wipe the glass with a wet cloth before sticking the poster. The residual-free removal is meant to come in handy during alignment issues.

Likewise, use a scraper to flatten it out or poke tiny holes with a needle to release any trapped air bubbles from the middle to the sides. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

There’s a fair bit of effort involved in the application process. Firstly, the adhesive is extremely sticky, which makes it difficult to work with larger surfaces. It practically gives you one shot at the alignment. Secondly, if the air bubbles aren’t released properly, the glue tends to turn white. Users would then have to dry it out with a hairdryer to remove unwanted marks.


  • Non-toxic and no-odor design
  • Vibrant greenery
  • Strong adhesive back
  • Durable and long service life


  • Aligning may be an issue with larger surfaces
  • Adhesive may leave marks if not dried properly

Size: 18.11" x 48.03" | Other Size/s Available: No | Image Quality: High-Definition | Double-Sided: No | Material: PVC

4. HEEPDD Marine Coral Fish Tank Background Poster

Nothing creates that dreamy, underwater landscape like the HEEPDD Marine Coral Fish Tank Background Poster! Its durable construction fits most aquariums for providing a stress-free environment for fish.

HEEPDD Aquarium Poster, Underwater Marine Coral Fish Tank...
  • Realistic Look---Colorful corals and coral reefs create a...
  • Durable PVC Material---Aquarium poster is made from...

Why Did We Like It?

At first glance, we loved the vibrant coral reef landscape that creates a very realistic effect. The non-glare PVC material effectively prevents the fish from getting distracted while maintaining a homely atmosphere to ensure optimum comfort. And with its durable and waterproof properties, users can rest assured about a long service life.

Its self-adhesive design eliminates the need for additional glue or tapes. In other words, it employs a “peel and stick” system, where all you have to do is peel the protective film and stick it on the surface.

We like how the poster is available in 9 size variants to fit varied tank sizes. This is particularly helpful for users who are apprehensive about trimming the background to distort the image. That said, it still facilitates smooth trimming for finesse purposes. But make sure you cut it before removing the protective film. It’s finished off with residual-free removal for hassle-free installation. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

We feel the brand should take care of consistency in terms of manufacturing. While some users have reported that the adhesive is too sticky, making alignment difficult in established tanks, others have complained about having to use extra glue for foolproof installation.


  • Durable PVC material
  • Bright colors
  • Waterproof and non-glare
  • Available in multiple sizes


  • May not be suitable for established tanks
  • Inconsistent manufacturing

Size: 16.14" x 24.01" | Other Size/s Available: Yes | Image Quality: High-Definition | Double-Sided: No | Material: PVC

5. Donau High Aquarium Background Poster

Another one of our affordable favorites is the Donau High Aquarium Background Poster. This double-sided background may just be the ideal way to create a unique-looking aquarium without breaking the bank.

donau 11.6" High Aquarium Background Poster Ocean Woods...
  • Double sided aquarium background wall picture decor.
  • Both side were printed with beautiful landscape, different...

Why Did We Like It?

To begin with, we loved the vibrant blue color of the ocean theme poster. In fact, it blends so well with the surface that it can be hard to tell the difference between real and artificial “water”! On top of that, the sharp quality ocean wood images on the PVC material create a natural home-like environment for the fish to reduce stress and anxiety.

Having tried a number of self-adhesive posters, we were glad to break the monotony with its non-adhesive design. In hindsight, it gives users the flexibility to “customize” the installation according to the surface of the tank. You can use either sticker adhesives or waterproof tapes to secure it into place.

Much like the Donau High Aquarium Background Poster, it comes in 10 different sizes to suit different-sized aquariums. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

There are but a couple of things that can cause inconvenience. For one, the poster is not very suitable for aquaponic tanks as it isn't efficient in blocking out sunlight. Hence, you might want to paint the back black before installing it. Owing to the tight roll packaging, the edges kept coming off, and we had to use more clear tape to hold it in place. 


  • Durable PVC material
  • Can be used both ways
  • Rich colors and detailing
  • Comes in multiple sizes


  • Not ideal for aquaponic tanks
  • Edges require extra taping

Size: 11.6" x 24" | Other Size/s Available: Yes | Image Quality: High-Definition, 3D-Like Projection | Double-Sided: Yes | Material: PVC

6. BannersNStands Aquarium/Fish Tank Background

The BannersNStands Aquarium/Fish Tank Background uses high-definition images for a realistic look. It comes in various sizes to cater to different users' needs. What’s more, it easily tapes on the surfaces for trouble-free installation.

Mangrove with Sunlight/Aquarium Background Fish Tank...
  • Realistic look / HD Quality Image
  • Scratch, tear and water resistant.

Why Did We Like It?

Honestly, we were quite intrigued by the mangrove print, which compelled us to try it in the first place. Similar to quite a lot of our other recommendations on the list, it employs high-definition printing to render an accurately realistic effect. Also, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the projection is almost 3D-like.

Although the material looks like paper, it’s basically a thick vinyl that accounts for the durability factor. Additionally, the scratch and tear-resistant properties make it last longer than usual.

Here again, the non-adhesive back gives users the freedom to adjust the installation as required. While the brand recommends using tapes, we got satisfactory results with gel adhesive as well.

Since it's available in about 10 sizes, you don’t have to rely on intensive trimming to customize it according to the tank dimensions. Moreover, it has a complete scene printed and doesn’t just repeat one single image to fill the space. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

Some users have complained that the poster begins developing bulges and water bubbles only a couple of months later. In that case, you may have to take out the whole thing and replace it with a new one. And with its rather expensive price tag, this is not something we had expected.


  • Thick vinyl material
  • 3D like projection
  • Can be applied using tapes
  • 10 size variants


  • Not very long-lasting

Size: 21" x 72" | Other Size/s Available: Yes | Image Quality: High-Definition | Double-Sided: No | Material: Vinyl

7. AOFOTO Under Sea Aquarium Background

As we near the end of the list, here’s the AOFOTO Under Sea Aquarium Background. This digitally created poster has a host of colors and images to amp up almost any aquarium setting. Plus, it can be used as a photography background or for decoration purposes.

AOFOTO 5x3ft Under Sea Seabed World Backdrop Underwater...
  • Size: 5 x 3ft. (60 x 40 in), this backdrop is ideal for...
  • Additionally, the background is well suited for still life...

Why Did We Like It?

One of the first things that grabbed our eyeballs was the rich color base. Being digitally printed, the quality is at par with some high-end aquarium backgrounds. And with dynamic fish images, we are sure your little friends won’t feel alone in there. The images are glare-free and mostly resistant to fading when kept away from direct sunlight.

Of its affordable pricing and high-tech digital design, we are surprised by the thick vinyl construction. Not only does it reinforce the durability of the poster, but it also makes for hassle-free portability and storage. Simply put, you can fold it for shifting or storage purposes.

Even if you see some wrinkles, place a cotton cloth over the poster and carefully run a hot iron.

However, its biggest advantage is the multi-purpose utility factor. Be it for indoor photography, parties, or events; you can roll out the backdrop flat and hang it either vertically or horizontally. For aquariums, feel free to use any gel-based adhesive or clear waterproof tape. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

Since it doesn’t have a waterproof construction per se, it limits utility in the sense that users can only install it on the outside of the aquarium. Besides, it needs to be shielded from direct sunlight and may not be a good choice to accessorize aquaponic tanks.


  • Thin, foldable vinyl material
  • Digitally printed for bright colors
  • Suitable for multi-purpose use
  • Glare and fade resistant


  • Not waterproof
  • Not for use under direct sunlight

Size: 40" x 60" | Other Size/s Available: No | Image Quality: N/A | Double-Sided: No | Material: Vinyl

8. Karen Low Aquarium Background

Before wrapping up the list, the Karen Low Aquarium Background finds an honorable mention. Comprising a two-sided print and a durable build, it comes in a variety of sizes to fit different aquariums with ease.

Karen Low New!! 23 Inch Height Aquarium Background Coral and...
  • 2 Sided - one side shows colorful coral and the other show...
  • Material: Plastic

Why Did We Like It?

First things first, it has a plastic construction that makes it durable for regular use in aquariums. The double-sided printing consists of a colorful reef on one side and fresh seawater plants on the other. We like how the design replicates natural hiding/resting spots for fish to the tee.

Although it doesn’t have an adhesive back or static ling design, the package includes clear double-sided tape for attaching it. Hence, you don’t have to worry about the adhesive showing on the surface.

We also appreciate the brand’s attention to detail in preventing shipping-related damages. That’s why the product comes rolled in a postal tube. We’d suggest unrolling it and laying it flat for some time before installation. This will eliminate any bumps or unevenness. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

We felt that the side with seawater plants printed on it is a bit too crowded with the images, making it appear slightly darker than what we’d have preferred. You might want to face it away from the water or install a light-colored LED in the tank.


  • Suits tropical or lagoon-style aquarium
  • Sticks with clear tape
  • Can be used both ways
  • Long-lasting


  • Maybe a bit too dark for some users

Size: 23" x 48" | Other Size/s Available: Yes | Image Quality: High-Resolution | Double-Sided: Yes | Material: Plastic

Best Aquarium Background Comparison Table

ProductSizeOther Size/s AvailableImage QualityDouble-SidedMaterial
ELEBOX Fish Tank Background19.5" x 48"YesHigh-Definition, Has 3D EffectYesPVC
Vepotek Aquarium Background8" x 24"YesHigh-DefinitionYesTriple Layer Poly Film
Fdit Fish Tank Background18.11" x 48.03"NoHigh-DefinitionNoPVC
HEEPDD Fish Tank Background Poster16.14" x 24.01"YesHigh-DefinitionNoPVC
Donau High Aquarium Background Poster11.6" x 24"YesHigh-Definition, 3D-Like ProjectionYesPVC
BannersNStands Aquarium Background21" x 72"YesHigh-DefinitionNoVinyl
AOFOTO Aquarium Background40" x 60"NoN/ANoVinyl
Karen Low Aquarium Background23" x 48"YesHigh-ResolutionYesPlastic

Underwater life, Fish, coral reef in ocean

Buying Guide For The Best Aquarium Background

Sure, most aquarium backgrounds won’t cost you a fortune, but that doesn’t mean you should pick up the first product that you come across. Aside from the size and design, there are a few other things that you should consider to make the investment truly worth it. And in the following sections, we have listed just those! So, bear with us for some time.

  1. Construction/Material

Without a doubt, the material or construction is one of the first things to look out for. From what we have observed, most aquarium backgrounds are made of PVC or vinyl with durability in mind. And the images should have high-definition printing for a realistic or even 3D effect.

Besides, trimming a PVC or vinyl sheet with a sharp pair of scissors is a fairly easy job. But it’s still advisable to buy one that has tear or wrinkle-resistant properties. And double-sided backgrounds are a great option if you plan to change the display frequently without actually installing a new poster.

Another thing in this regard is that while some are slightly thin, others may have a slightly thick build, which may affect the contrast. No matter what thickness you opt for, we’d advise going for a waterproof background. Likewise, fade-resistant backgrounds are a good way to ensure longevity.

Lastly, residual-free removal will prevent the surface from developing scratches or stains.

  1. Color

The color of the background will have a significant impact on the overall look of the aquarium. If the color is too similar to that of the fishes or other decorations, the appearance will invariably become monotonous. You’d want a background that makes the other elements pop. But remember that too many contrasting colors can become an eyesore.

Alternatively, a very light-colored background can reflect the light to opposite walls, which can cause stress in fishes used to living in dark environments. As such, color and the subsequent lighting are sensitive issues and should be selected based on the habitat of the said species.

  1. Painted Vs. 3D Backgrounds

Painted backgrounds are a popular choice for odd or uniquely-shaped backgrounds where prefabricated backgrounds won’t fit. Usually, these backgrounds have a single solid color like black or blue without any designs. 

In case you opt for these, make sure the paint is compatible with the material (glass or acrylic) that your aquarium is made of. And be informed that changing it later will involve a fair bit of work.

3D backgrounds are available in both prefabricated and textured variants. Generally, these are installed to mimic natural hiding spots like coral reefs and sea rocks for fishes like cichlids that live in rocky or wooded underwater environments. 

  1. Installation

The installation primarily depends on the overall design of the background. For instance, static cling or adhesive back doesn’t require extra adhesive for installation. Similarly, others may require you to apply glue or tape. Especially for the latter, we’d strongly recommend buying one that comes with the compatible adhesive.

  1. Size

Most users prefer going for a larger size than required just to keep some room for installation mistakes. If you plan on doing that, ensure that trimming the design doesn’t take out a chunk of the design to render the look incomplete. 

A pro tip: for the ones with an adhesive back, always make sure you do the trimming before removing the protective film.

Aquarium Backgrounds FAQs

  • Are aquarium backgrounds safe for my aquarium’s inhabitants?

    Yes, most aquarium backgrounds are made from materials that do not interfere with the water chemistry, making them safe for your aquarium’s inhabitants.

  • Does the color of the background influence the behavior of the fish?

    Some studies suggest that darker backgrounds can help fish feel safer and less stressed, but the effect largely depends on the species of your fish.

  • Can I use an aquarium background in a saltwater tank?

    Yes, most aquarium backgrounds are safe for both freshwater and saltwater tanks.

  • How should I measure the aquarium for the proper size background?

    Measure the width and height of the back of your aquarium. Select a background that matches or slightly exceeds these dimensions so you can trim it for a perfect fit.

  • Can I change the background after I've set it up in the aquarium?

    Absolutely. Depending on how it’s affixed, you may need to empty the tank to safely remove it, but generally, aquarium backgrounds can be changed if you want a new look.

  • Do aquarium backgrounds require maintenance?

    Minor maintenance may be required to keep the background clean. This could involve gently wiping off accumulation of algae or dust.

  • A beautiful freshwater tropical green planted aquarium with tropical fishes. Planted aquarium with Dwarf rasbora or Boraras maculatus or Boraras macros fish.


    Creating the perfect haven for our aquatic pets involves several important decisions, one of which includes choosing the best aquarium background. This final touch not only enhances the overall aesthetic appeal but also provides a sense of security for the fish by eliminating distractions beyond their living space. Moreover, a high-quality aquarium background can convey a vibrant, underwater scenario that transforms an ordinary aquarium into an eye-catching display piece.

    From the above 8 best aquarium backgrounds, here are the top three expert recommendations:

    The ELEBOX New Fish Tank Background, with its vibrant colors, intricate design, and durable construction, is an ideal option for those desiring a lifelike aquatic display. Its easy installation and waterproofing capabilities make it a standout choice.

    The Vepotek Aquarium Background is a good option for individuals seeking versatility. Its double-sided print gives you multiple design choices and the included mounting glue takes care of the application process. Moreover, its durable and waterproof build ensures that it will withstand the test of time.

    Lastly, the Fdit PVC Fish Tank Underwater Forest Tank Background is the right choice for those looking to simulate a vibrant, underwater forest setting. The self-adhesive design makes application a breeze while the PVC material ensures durability, making it a great long-term investment.

    Having a strong aquarium background is crucial not only for the aesthetic it presents but also for the comfort and security it provides for your fish. So, whether you're trying to recreate the deep sea or a lifelike aquatic display, the perfect aquarium background is out there for you. Remember, no matter which aquarium background you choose, the main goal is to provide a pleasant and comfortable habitat that your fish will thrive in. Let's dive in and create beautiful underwater worlds in our homes!

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