What is the Best color for a background - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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What is the Best color for a background

I was wondering what would be a good background color for a planted tank. I am starting a new tank and want to paint the outside a color....

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 01:14 AM
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I always prefer black, a lot of people like various shades of blue though
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 01:36 AM
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I like black also.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 02:01 AM Thread Starter
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Vote what color you like..... also gloss or matt

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 02:05 AM
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I've got two tanks in black, one in blue, and one with a moss wall on the back so technically green.

The black backgrounds with black substrate look fabulous in my heavily planted tanks with moderate-high light. The greens really pop and my light colored fish look great.

My low-tech low light tank has the blue background and natural sand substrate. It's a bright, happy tank in my office. It doesn't show the plants off as well but my dwarf cories and crystal black shrimp look great. The blue beta kind of disappears. I used to have black substrate and background but the dank looked like a cave. Not enough light or plants to make it work and my cories were hard to see.

So I guess it depends on what your focus is.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 02:09 AM
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I like black also, but there is a guy on here that clear frosted or hazed the back of his tank so that he can change the colors with LED's mounted behind the tank.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 02:15 AM
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I'm liking the idea of black window tint or frosted led for something different
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 03:19 AM
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Black is popular because it makes the fish and the plants "more vibrant looking". I've read many posts that say that a black background, however nice, is unnatural.

The bottom line is that you should go with what you think is best for your liking while trying to keep it "relatively" natural looking. But I strongly advise against painting the back wall of the tank. At some point you may want to change that background and then what? Removing the paint is going to be a pain. What if your tank gets scratched on the front wall and you want to simply turn it around so you can hide that scratch with plants in the background?

There are many reasons not to paint the back wall of a tank. Think about re-use and evolving tastes. I wouldn't do it if I were you.

Just my two cents.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 03:27 AM
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I'm a fan of black backgrounds. All of my tanks have them. But I didn't paint them. I used black contruction paper and just taped them on. For larger tanks you'll have to hide the areas where you stitched peices together, but that isn't hard with tall plants or driftwood.

That being said I do have some darker-colored fish that don't stand out as well. I also have a tank with white substrate and a white fish... doesn't look that good. So I'd recommend black but only if you're going to have fish that will stand out against that color.

-- Izzy

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 03:52 AM
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I painted some poster board a light blue & attached it to the back.

I tried black (& a darker blue) but it was too dark for where my tank is located.

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 04:01 AM
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Well, I think I've tried about 20 different colors -and I know it's just a matter of preference for any one person, but I really have come to prefer medium/dark blue - now, that's the only color I use for background - have look & see what you think:

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 04:18 AM
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I put some dabs/spongey blobs of red, yellow, and blue paint on the back wall of my tank. Not too much, and it's thin and not just solid areas. After it dried, I painted black over it. From the inside it looks like a black background, but with a lot of texture and irregularity which I really like!

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 05:07 AM
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For a solid painted background, my favorite so far has been a really really deep semi-gloss pine green--gives as good a contrast as black, without being quite as dead/flat looking.

My next tank, though, is likely going to be either a deep charcoal window tinting film or white frosted. I like the sense of depth and the lighting options they offer over a plain solid background.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 06:07 PM
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I went the super cheap route and taped a black garbage bag to the back. When I change it maybe a dark brownish green would look good.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 06:09 PM
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