This 20 gallon long background illustrates many of the same techniques used to create more ambitious designs. Not including cure time, this project collectively took about 6 hours to complete. This was a fun weekend project.

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here for step-by-step instructions on how this background was built.
DIY Aquarium Background
Vertical Rock
This 20 gallon long background design is almost completely attached directly to the glass with the exception of a small cave on the left and a larger hidden hardware compartment behind the rock on the right.

The hardware compartment on the right will hide a hang-on-back style filter, airstone and submersible heater.
This top view shows the depth of the aquarium hardware compartment on the right and subtle entry points in the false rock for water movement.
During the build process, the aquarium was laid on its back which made it easier to apply the cement.

The cement was first poured between the rock formations then spread with an inexpensive disposable paint brush.
The first coat of cement has been applied and allowed 24 hours to become firm.

A small section of pink polystyrene on the left is exposed where a cave entrance was added as an afterthought.

One of the luxuries of working with these materials is the option to change the design even after the project is well underway.
This photo shows the finished background with three coats of cement with some brown accents added. The addition of the brown liquid color to the cement was done to create a more natural rock appearance.
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welcome to
do-it-yourself aquarium and semi-aquatic background designs beyond the traditional
Dramatic AquaScapes