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Background or No Background.


ErinV
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Very intrested to see the split on this one.

Do you use a background and if so what type?

Solid colour, graphic, applied or held on by tape?

I think when I first started with a tank as a kid it was bare back, however in my adult fish keeping I have always had one. That is until my new 90g, possibly. Due to budget, I have always just got the double sided printed, laminated graphic from lfs. You know, the ones where one side is more blue and water looking and one side is rocks and green plants. That is what I have sitting beside the tank now. When I went to install it, hubby said that it made the tank look cheap. I am very torn. On one hand it hides the cords and all the stuff that keeps the tank running. It also gives that full look while plants are settling in and growing. I can however see hubby's side in that with everything else being real and much more natural looking, it looks fake and sorta brings the class level down. Not sure which way to go. Thoughts on my tank, pictures below. Also what is your preference when it comes to your tanks?

 

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I started with bare backed tanks and wanted them that way when I started. THEN, wasn't that I didn't like the look it was more that I had window cling film sitting around and thought, hmm, this might be cool. I like it and it's just taped on so I can remove it when I get tired of it. My two 20 gallon tanks sit side by side in my kitchen- so it's a nice continuous look they have now- and the plants looked more full when they were smaller because of it. 

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Edited by xXInkedPhoenixX
Typos are lame
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I have always had a background on my tanks, I hate being able to see through the tank and seeing the wall behind and any cords, airlines etc behind the tank. When I was younger and first in fish keeping, I used the two sided ones from the LFS that were taped on. Then, I started painting the backs of the tanks, so many different colors of spray paint I could easily spray on. The last few tanks I have used the vinyl window cling film that is used to tint car windows or what can be used to cover windows in your home for privacy. They go on really easy, just spraying on some water, and use a squeegee to get all the water and bubbles out. I just picked up a 75 gallon that I am going to build for my wild discus, and I am thinking about getting one of backgrounds from Universal Rocks like what @Coryand @Dean’s Fishroomhave installed in several of their tanks. 

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I like a flat black background. I painted my 40 breeder background. I have a 10 gallon that sits on a desk and it has no background as you can look in it from all sides. But for tanks that sit against a wall I'd always want a black background. It makes the greens of the plants stand out that much more and fish seem to really color up with a dark background and substrate as well.

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I like having a background. When I was a kid, I would always use the different photographic backgrounds they sold at the store. But now I just prefer to paint the back black before setting it up. 

However, my 75 has a black yoga mat as a backdrop, because the people who helped me get the tank home also helped me put it on it's shelf the same day, and I wasn't able to stop and paint it. So I just used what I had on hand. Works fine, though it has a weird bumply texture if you look closely. 

 

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Edited by H.K.Luterman
typo!
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I like black. the background on my 120 is painted black. If I had it to do over again I might try Plasti-Dipping it black. The black plastic coating might come off easier if I want to change the background. Platinum angels and green/red plants look good against the black background.

I am working on a new peninsula aquarium between the dining room and kitchen, so that will be different. Thinking about trying the dark orange "ultimate coverage" koi angels for the peninsula set-up.

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Great topic,

Black backgrounds look really good with real or even plastic plants. Tends to help those greens pop!

We use posterboard for black backgrounds. But do have a couple tanks with the graphic backgrounds that feature some desired but unachievable plants! Lol

We rather leave the sides open, but have closed off a couple sides due to predatory fish peeking on the innocent inhabitants!

*Edit* For applying backgrounds we use scotch tape for solid black, or the double sided for graphics 

Edited by NorthernAquarist
Added adhesive lol
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On 7/15/2021 at 9:27 AM, HH Morant said:

I like black. the background on my 120 is painted black. If I had it to do over again I might try Plasti-Dipping it black. The black plastic coating might come off easier if I want to change the background. Platinum angels and green/red plants look good against the black background.

I am working on a new peninsula aquarium between the dining room and kitchen, so that will be different. Thinking about trying the dark orange "ultimate coverage" koi angels for the peninsula set-up.

For our 125g build I plan on painting black for background...any paint recommendations??

Thanks

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On 7/15/2021 at 8:39 AM, NorthernAquarist said:

For our 125g build I plan on painting black for background...any paint recommendations??

Thanks

I'm sorry that I don't remember what I used. I went on Youtube and watched a few videos and used the paint recommended there. While I was painting I thought I was doing a poor job because the paint dripped and ran. But it really looked fine from the front even if it looked sloppy from the back. You just have to be sure to get complete coverage.

One of the guys on Youtube turned the aquarium on its side to paint the back, and that eliminates a lot of the dripping and running that comes with painting a vertical surface. That was just not an option for me because of the size of the aquarium.

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On 7/15/2021 at 9:49 AM, HH Morant said:

I'm sorry that I don't remember what I used. I went on Youtube and watched a few videos and used the paint recommended there. While I was painting I thought I was doing a poor job because the paint dripped and ran. But it really looked fine from the front even if it looked sloppy from the back. You just have to be sure to get complete coverage.

One of the guys on Youtube turned the aquarium on its side to paint the back, and that eliminates a lot of the dripping and running that comes with painting a vertical surface. That was just not an option for me because of the size of the aquarium.

Hmm....maybe I will use a roller to apply although a brush may be less bumpy??...I'll do some YouTube surfing and see what's best and available. Thanks 

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I use a graphic background in my tanks. I like the look and depth it gives. I also mimic it in the tank. If the background has a amazon sword I plant one in front of it. If it is a rock background, i use the same type in the tank. Gives much depth. I use aquariums background adhesive. It is easy to work with and remove if i Ever need to.  I do have a 55 Angle fish tank no background between 2 room and it can be viewed from 3 sides.

 

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