6. Using an enamel spraypaint, cover all exposed glass surfaces until all cement and styrofoam are no longer visible. Allow the paint to dry per the directions on the can.
7. When the spray paint has had adequate time to dry, remove the copy paper and newspaper.
30 Day Tap Water Rinse
Fill the tank with untreated tap water full enough to completely submerge your background. Add a powerhead with prefilter (see project pages "Do-it-yourself Water Bottle / Power Filter") or airstone to circulate the water.

Do a 100% tap water change at least once a week. For the first few weeks, there will be a gritty film on the water surface and some on the glass. It is easily removed if you check it daily, but use a single edged razor blade instead of any scrubbing technique since the film can be abrasive on the glass. The powerhead with prefilter option will reduce the film.

Note: This is the minimum rinse time. Adding aquatic life within the first 30 days is not recommended.
At this point your aquarium and brand new aquatic masterpiece are ready for the gravel of your choice and all the traditional equipment that keeps your water clean, cozy and well aerated for your tropical residents.

If you're new to the aquarium hobby, it may be helpful to know patience is not only a virtue, but can also save you money. Adding too many fish too quickly to any new aquarium can have disastrous results. The best thing to do is to add just a few hardy fish to get the biological process going and wait at least two weeks before adding any more fish.

I hope you find the experience of building your own custom aquarium background as rewarding as I have and look forward to
hearing from you in the forums!

Glenn Minor
How to Build Your Own
Custom Aquarium

By Glenn Minor

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