Blue Tang Aquarium Paper Diorama

Everyone has had a school project sprung on them at the last minute.  You can save the day with The Blue Tang and Fire Shrimp Aquarium Paper Diorama project. 

A paper diorama can be a quick and appropriate school project.  This diorama looks like an aquarium.  It features two salt water animals - a pair of blue tangs and fire shrimp.  Seaweed and coral round out the scene.  It lets you show what life is like in the sea.

Things You Will Need

  • a computer
  • color printer
  • matte photo paper
  • ruler
  • used ballpoint pen
  • scissors
  • glue
  • thread/string.

Blue Tang Aquarium Paper Diorama

Blue Tang Aquarium Paper Diorama

Printing Is No Problem

If you don't have a color printer and paper, you can still make this paper diorama. 

Most cities have on-demand printers.  Check at places like Office Depot, Staples or Kinkos.  You may be able to email your files directly to the store.  Call to make sure you have everything they need. 

You may want to write the report first and include it in the email.  Oh, I always print both the Pattern and the Instruction files. 

Something About the Fish

Surgeon-fish, Tangs, and Unicorn-fish

This family of fish live on tropical coral reefs. Many of the species are brightly colored and popular for aquariums.

They have small mouths with a single row of teeth.  They eat the algae that grows on the reef.

The dorsal, anal, and caudal fins are large.  They extend for most of the length of its body.

Surgeon fish have special scalpel-like spines on either side of their tails.  These spines, called thorn tails, are dangerously sharp.

The Blue Tang

The blue tang (Paracanthurus hepatus) is a saltwater fish.  It lives in coral reefs.  It is found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

It grows to be about 30 cm (12 in) long.  The blue tang can be recognized by its bright blue body, black stripes, and yellow tail.

Its colorful markings makes it a popular salt water aquarium fish.

Cleaner Shrimp

This family of shrimp help other fish stay healthy.  Cleaner shrimp make their home on tropical coral reefs.  The fish which live on the reef visit the shrimp.

The fish allow the shrimp to climb all over their bodies.  The shrimp clean the fish's body.  They eat parasites growing on the fish.   This is good for both the fish and the shrimp.  The fish stay healthy.  The shrimp get a tasty meal.

The Fire Shrimp

The fire shrimp (Lysmata debelius) is a saltwater cleaner shrimp.  It lives in coral and rocky reefs.  It is found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

It grows to be about 8 cm (3 in) long.  The fire shrimp can be recognized by its bright red body, white spots, and white feet.


The Pattern Only Comes in A4

Canon only produced the Blue Tang Paper Diorama on A4 sized paper.  If you have access to A4 matte photo paper, things are fine.  But what if you don't?

A4 Alternatives

A4 paper is longer and narrower than letter size paper. So the image will not fit.   The closest thing in the US is legal size paper, which is longer and wider than A4.  Printing on legal wastes a little paper, but lets you get the entire image.

Canon recommends using matte photo grade paper.  Photo grade paper is usually 45 - 50lb paper.  This makes it thicker and stiffer than regular printer paper, which is usually 20lb bond.   It is unlikely you will find legal size matte photo grade paper.

Honey, I Shrunk the Fish

If you don't mind making a slightly smaller version of the project, you could scale the image.  This means you tell the computer to make the image small enough to fit onto letter size matte photo grade paper.  

Unless you are really good with a computer, you will do what I did.  I went to the printer.  I explained the problem.  They played around with their computer and printed the reduced size images for me. 

You will probably want to do some 'test' prints to make sure everything fits.  You can do these on regular printer paper. Once everything is set up, then you do the final print on the photo paper.  (There is no point in spending any more than you have to.)

No Thanks! I Want It Big

There is one alternative which leaves everything the original size.  You print on card stock. Usually, this is 65lb paper.  You will have to talk to your printer about this option.  He may have card stock in sizes larger than letter size.  

Before you jump into this answer, you need to realize that the paper will be much thicker and stiffer than photo grade paper.  Cutting and folding become much more difficult.  Plus it will not have a matte photo finish. 

Get the Blue Tang Aquarium Paper Diorama

Pattern and Instructions

A4-size Paper



Blue Tang Aquarium Paper Diorama Pattern



Blue Tang Aquarium Paper Diorama Instructions


How To Set Up The Printer

Recommended Paper:  Matte Photo Paper

Print Quality:  High

Orientation:  Landscape

Page Layout:  Same magnification

Page Scaling: None

Other Project Ideas

You can find projects on the  Tatebanko – Paper Diorama page.

You can find other paper projects on the Cannon Creative Park website.

Posted in Paper Diorama and tagged , , , , , , , , .