How To Make An Aquarium Divider? Many fish hobbyists find that they have aggressive fish on their hands. One fish antagonizes the others, creating a stressful environment.
If you’re in this situation, you can install a divider for your aquarium. This separates the tank into two sections but allows the free flow of water.
In this article, let’s study the step-by-step instructions for building your aquarium divider at home.
How To Make An Aquarium Divider
To make an aquarium divider mesaure the space you’re dividing and cut a piece of mesh plastic canvas to these dimensions. Slide binder bars on all four edges of the mesh plastic canvas. Then, place your divider in your tank.
Make An Aquarium Divider – Step By Step
Step 1 – Gathering the Materials
Most of the materials you need to make an aquarium divider can be found in your drawers at home. You can purchase these school supplies from your local craft store or a discount department store.
- Measuring tape
- Mesh plastic canvas (also called plastic embroidery canvas)
- Sliding binder bars
Consider the size of your fish when purchasing the plastic mesh. The smallest fish in the tank should not be able to swim through the holes.
Pro Tip – Choosing a darker canvas makes it more difficult for your fish to see each other. Embroidery canvas is available in black at most stores.
Step 2 – Measure
Grab your measuring tape. You’ll need to make two measurements to make your tank divider:
- Measure the width by measuring from the inside edge of the front wall to the inside edge of the back wall.
- Measure the height from the tank’s base to about an inch from the top rim.
Jot both of these measurements down. The adage “Measure twice, cut once” comes to mind here. It’s always recommended to measure at least twice to ensure everything’s in order.
Now that you’ve taken your measurements, it’s time to start making the divider. You’ll need to cut two pieces of the plastic embroidery canvas:
- Cut a sheet of mesh plastic canvas to the tank’s width. This is the first measurement you made. Make sure you cut the sheet evenly. Rough edges can flake off, putting your fish at risk.
- Cut the sheet of mesh to the tank’s height. This is the second measurement you made.
Next, it’s time to put everything together.
Grab two slide-on binder bars. Cut them to the width of your embroidery canvas. Cut two more binder bars to the canvas’ height.
After making these cuts, slide the bars onto the canvas’ edges.
Installing an Aquarium Divider
Create a trench at the installation site. To do so, simply scoop away the gravel so you’ll be able see the bottom of the aquarium always.
Now it’s time to slide the divider into its new home. It should fit snuggly against the front and back walls. The divider should also be flat and snug on the bottom of the aquarium.
Check the divider to ensure it’s tall enough. It should reach a little higher than the water level.
If your DIY aquarium divider doesn’t reach above the water, cut a new divider. Otherwise, the fish will still be able to swim back and forth.
After confirming that the divider fits snuggly on all sides, gently push gravel up against it. Always pay close attention to the ends, as these are the weakest parts of the divider.
Put the tank back together. Once the splash guard and lid, etc. are in place, test for any weaknesses and adjust accordingly.
Pro Tip – For a more snug fit, measure the height to just under the tank’s lip.
To avoid this, move the filtration system closer to the middle of the tank. Installing a second system is also an option.
A Note About Safety
You must use materials that are safe for your fish. Never install a divider made of sharp materials, harmful metals, or wire.
Wash everything thoroughly before installing it in the aquarium. If you’re unsure about an item’s safety, check with your pet store or veterinarian.
Why Do I Need an Aquarium Divider?
Aquarium dividers can be used for several reasons. The most common include:
- Separating aggressive fish.
- Keeping spawn away from the adult fish.
- Separating injured fish so they have the time and space to heal.
In these instances, you would normally want a second tank. This requires additional equipment and isn’t always possible. A tank divider is an effective alternative.
What’s Wrong With the Store-Bought Aquarium Dividers?
You can buy aquarium dividers at any retail store that sells tank equipment. The average price is USD 15.
DIY dividers are less expensive and of better quality. The store-bought ones don’t provide enough of a barrier.
Most often, the fish can still see each other. This leads to angry and stressed-out fish.
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Make an Aquarium Divider
I have two very aggressive fish. Will this divider be enough?
There’s a simple solution for this. Choose a darker-colored mesh plastic canvas. Cut two sheets, rather than one, for each measurement. This will make it harder for the fish to see each other.
Up to how many times can the tank be divided?
This depends upon the tank’s size. For a five-gallon tank, do not use more than one divider. A ten-gallon tank can safely handle two divers. Dividing your tank too much is unfair to the fish.
My beta fish jump. What should I do?
Betta fish are notorious for being jumpers. Measuring the divider so it fits the tank lid will prevent them from jumping from one side to the other. The DIY tank divider is a simple, yet effective home remedy for partitioning off your aquatic buddies.