(Two weeks later...)
Okay, so I had a different idea.
Silicone is waterproof right? Safe for Aqua use, right? What if I covered a bunch of metal weights in it?
So I did. Covered all the original nuts in silicone and then "disguised" it by packing gravel onto it.
Took forever because I did each side at least twice, but now I think it's pretty awesome - my filter is now mostly hidden behind a piece of driftwood and you can pretend it's a gravel mountain behind the driftwood!
I may have also been hard at work getting a bunch of pretty plants...
I'm so in love with my tank. You folks are the absolute BEST.
(And no, I haven't gotten any better at silicone since I first started. I keep forgetting about fumes and I definitely keep getting it all over my hands haha)