I am considering to buy a fish tank (~100L). I have not much experience yet, so I am doing a lot of research before committing to something.

While doing, so I have seen fish tanks being used as room divider. I could certainly use a room divider and a fish tank would look beautiful.

But I am concerned: I have read somewhere else you should tape one wall of the fish tank because otherwise fish would be stressed out.

Is that true? Or does it depend on the kind of fish?

  • Why make a secret out of what you've read before?!? See diy.stackexchange.com/questions/5737/aquarium-in-the-wall and others at diy.stackexchange.com/search?q=aquarium for construction challenges Jun 5, 2017 at 20:29
  • Karl, I don't want to know how to build it, but what the fish think about this idea. I forgot where I read the fish might be stressed without backwall. It was certainly some German site. Otherwise I am fine to name any resources I was reading.
    – Christian
    Jun 6, 2017 at 5:50
  • 1
    Interesting question! I've been told to put up a background to hide reflections (especially with fish who would attack the 'other fish') and provide them with a feeling of camouflage. But I'm definitely not an expert, so I'm interested to see the answers!
    – user812786
    Jun 6, 2017 at 13:14
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    This is just a random idea here, but perhaps it will help: Perhaps OneWay vision foil with a fitting print for the fish to see might be a way to go? I have no idea how such a foil would affect what fishes see, though, with their totally different vision.
    – Layna
    Jun 8, 2017 at 11:51
  • Thats a fun idea @Layna. I am not sure if this works either, but I can do some internet googling now.
    – Christian
    Jun 8, 2017 at 12:48

2 Answers 2


You don't have to tape one side of the aquarium. Alernatively You can look for planted aquarium with heavy planting in the center of the tank. If you are not a pro then go for tall and easy hard plants like cabomba , Vallisneria etc ... This will give lot of hiding place for fish and it will be more effective and natural for fish compared to poster on the glass.


Aquarium backgrounds are a good idea for more than one reason. One idea behind putting a background in, is to make the fish feel like they are in a more natural environment. They can feel more hidden than being in the front of the tank where it is brighter (less light exposure= more well hidden = less stress). Also it's used as general decor... A background can be prettier than a wall, or the other side of this room you speak of. Fish like to have a place to hide and if you have enough decor and plants (artificial or live), and maybe some that float on the surface as well, you can achieve this for them without background.

Background will also keep from additional natural light from hitting all sides of the tank. The less natural light you have on your aquarium = less algae growth = more oxygen in your tank = healthier environment/less stress on your fish.

Side note: when you bring fish home in a clear bag it's typically recommended to put that bag into a paper or colored bag or bucket to reduce stress during transport. This is the same concept.

  • 1
    This answer makes a lot of sense, thank you. In the meantime I even found aquariums build into coffee tables. Thinking about this, it must be horrible for the fish when somebody puts a glass on them!
    – Christian
    Jun 6, 2017 at 18:17
  • I've seen ONE coffee table aquarium in person, it seemed like it would be difficult to clean, and difficult to get to the filtration without making a mess of your living space, but maybe not all are like that. I would never do the coffee table thing because I think the fish would be exposed to too much bumping, movements and change to their environment. A drink on it one day, not the next, magazines and things being dropped ontop of it, people bumping it as they passed by, feet resting on it etc...
    – Christy B.
    Jun 6, 2017 at 18:22

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