Conceal sides with adhesive film

It might be nice to hide the sides behind the background. This article describes how to do this in a simple manner using adhesive plastic or film. We are using black adhesive plastic in this article. Of course you can also paint the sides, but paint is more sensitive to scratches, as it doesn’t stick well to the glass.

Measure and cut

Measure the area of the side glass that is to be masked, and cut a piece of the film, a bit bigger than what you measured. Use a knife or scissors.

Spray the glass where you want to place the film with water. You can also use soap water, sometimes this is even easier than just water. Remove the paper from the adhesive plastic and apply it to the glass. Thanks to the (soap)water you can adjust the film. Then paste the plastic from the bottom and work your way up.

Bubbles in the adhesive plastic?

There will be bubbles underneath the plastic, this is normal. The water that we first sprayed on will help push the bubbles out. Use a piece of cardboard or anything else that is flat and shear the bubbles out. Start in the middle and work your way outwards. It is important that there is no water left underneath the plastic. If there is a bubble that won’t give up – puncture it with a needle.

Trim the edges

Use a sharp knife and cut away the plastic that is redundant. Look from inside of the aquarium when you cut away the plastic that is in line with the background. Mind that the glass of the aquarium can deceive the eye, so cut away little but little.


Wipe off any remaining water with a bit of paper or a towel and look over one last time so that there are no bubbles or water left underneath the plastic. The use of adhesive film is an excellent way to hide anything you don’t want to see from the outside.