Best Aquarium Background – 7 Best (2022 Reviews)

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If you’re like me, then you’re always looking for ways to improve your fish tanks. One way to really enhance the appearance of your tank is by using a aquarium background. In this blog post, I’ll be reviewing 7 of the best aquarium backgrounds on the market today. So whether you’re just starting out with fish tanks or you’re a seasoned veteran, read on to see if one of these backgrounds is right for you!

Our Criteria (How These Backgrounds Made The Cut)

I’ve been involved in aquariums since I was 11. Through my over 25 years of experience setting up various aquariums, there are certain things I look of if I’m going to install a fish tank background. Here is what I’m going to focus on when selecting the best to buy:

  • Backlight Features – Backlighting is something that comes from Nature Scape aquascaping. When you have a backlight aquarium background, you can replicate a sky environment in freshwater tanks. You can also change colors with some.
  • Static Clings – A backlight aquarium background is usually going to be a plate that you mount. For more traditional backgrounds we want a cling type product. These adhere to the back of your aquarium and won’t peel away like the cheap tape on backgrounds you find in chain pet stores.
  • Brand – We want a solid brand that that makes backgrounds for serious hobbyists. A pet store brand fish tank background is usually going to be cheap, be taped on, or fall apart easily. An aquarium background needs to lasts through the life of the tank.

The Fish Tank Background Candidates

That that we have seen what my criteria is, lets see who made the cut. I’ll go in further detail below.

In a hurry? I recommend Serene Background Kits. Use discount code ASD15 at checkout!

PictureNameFeaturesLink
Editor’s Choice
Serene Backlight Light Kit
Serene Backlight Light Kit
  • Backlight
  • Static Cling
Click For Best PriceBuy On Amazon
Best Value
SPORN Black Aquarium Blackground
SPORN Black Aquarium Blackground
  • Static Cling
  • Dark Background
Buy On AmazonBuy On Chewy
FJARDE Lit Background FJARDE Lit Background
  • Backlight
  • Multiple Colors
Buy On Amazon
DUOFIRE Frosted White Background DUOFIRE Frosted White Background
  • Static Cling
  • Great For Planted Tanks
Buy On Amazon
SPORN Coral Background SPORN Coral Background
  • Static Cling
  • Photo background
Buy On AmazonBuy On Chewy
SPORN Tropical Background SPORN Tropical Background
  • Static Cling
  • Photo Background
Buy On AmazonBuy On Chewy
Seaview Sea of Green Background Seaview Sea of Green Background
  • Photo Background
  • Tape attached
Buy On PetcoBuy On Amazon

The Best Aquarium Background – 7 Best (2022 Reviews)

Let’s look at each product below and see why they made the cut.

1. Serene Backlit Background Light Kit

In the aquascaping world, there is a gold standard when it comes to aquarium backgrounds. These are backlit backgrounds that come in a frosted white color. Current USA’s Serene kit meets this standard, is far cheaper than the gold standard ADA kit, and offers more features.

What I love about this kit (aside from the price) is its ability to change colors. You can change it according to the mood you want to set in your fish tank and in your living space. Because the light is backlit, it does not affect your ability to provide lighting to the aquarium plants in your fish tank. You can see the multiple vibrant colors it can display below.

I love how flexible this kit is. You can use this for virtually any type of setup and it’s super easy to install. You can either install it with a static cling or the mounting clips that Current USA provides. This light offers the ultimate balance of looking good for your home and guests while looking great as a fish tank. While it is more expensive than typical backgrounds, it’s features are second to none. Give it a try. You won’t be disappointed. It’s one of the best aquarium backgrounds you can buy today!

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Frost default background
  • Multiple color options
  • Easy to install
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Colors aren’t for everyone

2. SPORN Black Aquarium Background

Best Value
SPORN Black Aquarium Background

SPORN backgrounds are static cling aquarium backgrounds that are easy to install and look great. Best for saltwater aquariums

Buy On Amazon Buy On Chewy

Static cling aquarium backgrounds as some of the most reliable backgrounds you can purchase in the hobby. I continue to be surprised to this day that pet stores continue to sell cheap tape on the back backgrounds for new hobbyists.

SPORN offers not only high quality backgrounds, but they also cheap and easy to install. This one showed above is a classic black, which works amazing for saltwater tanks, African cichlid tanks, brackish water tanks, and some betta tank setups.

This is a great buy. You really can’t go wrong with this brand.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Static cling
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to cut to shape
Cons
  • Black doesn’t work for all setups

3. FJARDE Background Light

FJARDE Backgrounds

An attempt at an ADA backlight aquarium back clone. It is cheaper than ADA and offers a few extra features.

Buy On Amazon

ADA’s backlight screen is considered the best in the business when it comes to backlit backgrounds. You figure it would be time for someone to make a clone of the product. Here we have FJARDE cloning the ADA screen, but with some additional features.

This screen is designed to fit on rimless aquariums. It offers both gradient and solid vibrant colors. This screen is very easy to install, using a mounting clip that is designed for rimless aquariums.

This is a great alternative if you are shopping for a premium backlit screen. It offers a lot of what ADA offers without the massive price tag. That being said, it’s still the most expensive aquarium background on this list. If you have the budget for it, I would give this fish tank background a look and compare it against the Serene. I personally think the Serene is better buy, which is why this one comes at #4 on the list.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Static cling
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to cut to shape
Cons
  • Black doesn’t work for all setups

4. DUOfire Frost White Aquarium Background

DUOFIRE White Frosted Background

This background is designed for homes, but also works great for aquariums. Frosted backgrounds are ideal for planted aquariums and freshwater tanks

Buy On Amazon

Not everyone wants a backlit aquarium background. For a freshwater fish tank, a frosted white background offers a great aquarium background, especially with planted aquariums.

This aquarium background from DUOFIRE is a product to use on an aquarium. These clings are designed for residential use, but still work for aquariums and are built to last a very long time.

They are more expensive than the SPORE brand, but it is difficult to find this style in an aquarium brand. The premium you spend purchasing these is worth it. They are built for more stressful environments like bathrooms.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Frosted white background
  • Easy to install
  • Static Cling
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Not ideal for saltwater tanks

5. SPORN Coral Background

SPORN Coral Background

This static cling background offers a coral backdrop for saltwater fish tanks

Buy On Amazon Buy On Chewy

I understand some fish tank keepers want to have a real picture for their aquarium background. The problem you run into with the traditional tape on back aquarium backgrounds is that they don’t show well and they break over time.

Enter SPORN’s coral aquarium background product. This has a great HD quality picture aquarium background, but it’s a static cling. This means that it adheres to the back of your fish tank, and it will last a very long time. This product is great for saltwater aquariums.

This is a great product if you want an aquarium environment picture. If you have a freshwater tank, check out the other option below.

Pros And Cons

Pros
  • High quality picture background
  • Easy to install
  • Static Cling
Cons
  • Needs a backlight to show well

6. SPORN Tropical Background

SPORN Tropical Background

Spoon offers a static cling planted tank background. Great for freshwater aquariums

Buy On Amazon Buy On Chewy

For those with freshwater tanks, SPORN offers a great background that gives the look of a planted tank. These backgrounds are easy to install, and will last longer than the traditional taped backgrounds you will find in most pet stores.

One thing to caution about this aquarium background is if your fish tank is on the small size, the image will look too big. This fish tank background is best for aquariums 2 feet wide and up.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • High quality picture background
  • Easy to install
  • Static Cling
Cons
  • Needs a backlight to show well

7. Seaview Sea of Green Aquarium Background

This aquarium background from Seaview is what you usually see at most pet stores. This is your taped on backgrounds. While this is of higher quality than what you will find locally. I would still caution on purchasing these types of aquarium backgrounds.

The main issue with taped backgrounds is they do not hold well. The tape will not stick over time, leading the fish tank background to fall down. You also will not have a clean look in the aquarium background as the imagine is often times washed out. One way to correct the wash out effect would be to purchase a mounting and illumination kit.

Seaview Mounting and Illumination kit

A mounting kit mean to adhere a traditional aquarium background and enhance the look

Buy On Amazon

Purchasing this kit will properly mount your aquarium background and bring it in line with your lighting. It turns your tape on into a glue on fish tank background that mounts like a cling product. While it is a good upgrade, the combo of this upgrade and the fish tank background itself make it more expensive than the SPORE line.

Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend this product if similar SPORE offerings are available when you are shopping. I feel that SPORE is a much better buy. These tape on backgrounds are only suitable if mounted with a kit.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Cheap
  • Easy to find locally and online
Cons
  • Has to be taped
  • Needs upgrades to show better
  • Expense when you add the upgrades

How To Install An Aquarium Background

Installing an aquarium background is easier than you think. Below is a video by SPORN that you exactly how to install your background on your fish tank. I’ll leave some additional tips below.

Avoid Installing On An Empty Aquarium

Avoid installing these on a running aquarium. If you have to install these on a running aquarium, consider a mounted backlit background or a taped on aquarium background. Also, always measure your aquarium with a tap measure to ensure you get the correct size prior to ordering or purchasing locally.

Clean The Back Of The Tank Before Mounting

Clings need a clean surface in order to fully adhere to the back of the aquarium. You can use household cleaner for the back, but make sure you do not use an ammonia based product like Windex. The method brand at Target is good to use if you want an aquarium safe option.

Use a Squeegee Or Credit Card

When installing, you need to edge out the fish tank background to eliminate the bubbles and to get a proper cling to the aquarium. A credit can work if you have nothing else, however, a squeegee is preferred as it is longer and easier to use.

Use A Straight Edge Razor For Final Cuts

You will need to make initial cuts to fit the background. Once it mounts, you can use a straight edge razor or x-acto knife to cut the edges of the background for a flush fit. You can use scissors instead, but they aren’t as precise as a blade.

Why Are Static Clings So Good For Aquariums?

Cling backgrounds are the best practice solution for aquariums in our industry. Here are several reasons why:

  • They can be removed – Don’t like your fish tank background, just remove it and install another
  • They are easy to install
  • They last longer and are more durable than taped on backgrounds
  • Because they adhere to the surface of the aquarium, they illuminate better

To learn more about how static cling backgrounds work, you can check out this video below by 858 graphics. They explain how cling stickers work. Aquarium backgrounds are designed off white material, giving them a solid look. You shouldn’t purchase clear material clings for aquariums, as they will not show well in a display tank.

FAQS

Are Backgrounds Good For Aquariums?

Aquarium backgrounds are great for fish tanks. They look great when installed correctly, hide wires and compliment the scaping you have in the tank. All aquariums should install an aquarium background unless the tank is designed to be viewed from multiple angles (e.g. – a Peninsula style tank)

Are Aquarium Backgrounds Tacky?

Some of the cheap backgounds you fish at pet and local fish stores can look tacky. These typically backgrounds that are not black, blue, or white and tape to a fish tank. These backgrounds can crack, fade, or break over them. These are the ones you want to avoid when purchasing an aquarium background.

Is A White Background Good For An Aquarium?

A pure white background is not the best looking background for an aquarium, however a frosted white background can look amazing. Frosted backgrounds are typically used in planted tanks. Certain styles like Nature Style Aquariums and iwagumi look amazing with these backgrounds.

Can I Put A Mirror Behind A Fish Tank?

You certainty can put a mirror behind a fish tank. This is usually used to keep a fish entertained as they will see their reflection and try to interact with it. It can also be used to curb the hostility of an aggressive fish. However, it’s not a great idea to have a mirror near an aquarium at all time

Can I Paint The Background Of My Aquarium?

Yes, you can paint the background of your aquarium. There are a few precautions to take when doing so however. You should never paint the inside of the aquarium, only the back. You also will need to use a paint that is safe for aquariums. Spray paint is typically used. Krylon Fusion is a trusted brand that has been used by aquarists for years.

Closing Thoughts

Backgrounds are an important part of any aquarium, and the type of background you choose can make a big difference in the overall look and feel of your tank. Cling backgrounds are our top pick for most hobbyists because they’re affordable, easy to install, and don’t require any special equipment. If you’re looking for something more flashy, backlit backgrounds can give your tank an extra pop. Just be sure to factor in the added cost if you decide to go this route. Taped backgrounds may be tempting because they’re so cheap, but we recommend avoiding them due to their low quality materials and lack of durability.

Leave a comment below and let us know what kind of aquarium background you ended up choosing for your aquarium!

by Mark

Mark is the founder of Aquarium Store Depot. He started in the aquarium hobby at the age of 11 and along the way worked at local fish stores. He has kept freshwater tanks, ponds, and reef tanks for over 25 years. His site was created to share his knowledge and unique teaching style on a larger scale. He has worked on making aquarium and pond keeping approachable. Mark has been featured in two books about aquarium keeping - both best sellers on Amazon. Each year, he continues to help his readers and clients with knowledge, professional builds, and troubleshooting.

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