While decorating the aquarium we should keep in mind that the tank is a small piece of nature brought into our living space. That piece of nature is a living world, the reason why we chose the tank and that is obviously the aquarium fish. That is why the tank should be decorated to depict the same nature, in other words, the natural habitat of the species and fish family we choose to keep. That can be accomplished by adding 3D aquarium background.
3D aquarium backgrounds were not so accessible before like they are today. They appeared in the world market dozens of years ago and started a revolution in aquarium decorating, usually cichlid ones.
There are two kinds of 3D backgrounds. The ones that are made of a specially adjusted kind of expanded polystyrene, designed for use in a wet environment (let’s call it “massive 3D backgrounds”) and slim 3D backgrounds that are made from different plastic and rubber materials which can be used in water and not have a negative effect on the living world inside the tank.
Polystyrene or massive background
The base of these 3D aquarium backgrounds is polystyrene that is molded using different kinds of hand techniques. Using this technique, you get an imitation of the shape of a stone which is later covered with different kinds of materials. Aquadecor uses materials that are rubber-based i.e. elastic-plastic or maybe something firmer if it is a wallpaper for really large fish (more than 30 cm) or terrariums.
Polystyrene or massive 3D backgrounds are “the usual target” of passionate hobbyists with large aquariums where they keep cichlids. They usually choose this type of background because there is an abundance of cracks, caves, places to hide. The 3D landscape is more pronounced which has an impact on the visual 3D effect of the whole tank.
Considering we are talking about custom 3D fish tank backgrounds, you can choose where the equipment is hidden in the tank and even the entirety of the wallpaper landscape. Check out our 3D massive rock aquarium backgrounds.
The backside of these backgrounds is ideally flat. They don’t weigh down the back wall of the tank and look absolutely identical to the real stone. A special advantage of massive 3D backgrounds is that there can be no stagnant water behind them. These backgrounds are easily applied to the tank glass using aquarium silicone.
Slim 3D aquarium backgrounds
Another kind of background is a slim background. They can be made for already formed tanks but not necessarily. These backgrounds are very popular since you can just put them in the water and have a background. They don’t have to be applied to the back glass like 3D polystyrene ones.
These backgrounds can be used to make an additional biological filter in the aquarium. When the slim background is placed into the tank, you can add a bio sponge or bio balls, which are good for beneficial bacteria, inside the space between the back glass and the background. We wrote a useful article about aquarium filters and how to chose them, check it out if you want to learn more about filters. Motor pump (powerhead) is placed on one side and it sucks in the water from the other side. That water passes through the filter mass and returns refined to the tank.
Most importantly, while decorating an aquarium you should have in mind the natural look of your pet habitat. Therefore, it is your job to create tank conditions that are similar to natural conditions.