Background for Aquariums - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 05:19 AM Thread Starter
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Question Background for Aquariums

What do most of you guys use for aquarium backgrounds? Those of you who have used multiple types, please list the pros and cons of that type of background.

Thank You
Kyle
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 05:47 AM
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I just use a plain old black background. If I'm feeling cheap, I use a piece of black bristol board

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 05:56 AM
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Black background from Petco. Shoulda just painted it....
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 09:43 AM
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 12:50 PM
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Painted black here. Wish I didn't do it now though and went the way I did for years - black paper.

Reason? Like a dummy, I left the magnetic cleaner in a what I thought was a good spot on the top of the tank (still ready to swipe and clean). You know where this is going.... Kids decided to help dad and clean the tank, got some eco-complete in between the glass and the scrubber and scratched the crap out of my tank. BAD. I mean really bad.

Had I had paper back there, I'd just drain, rotate and have a nice new surface, relatively free of scratches. Now, I have to drain, dismantle, use stripper and make one hell of a mess.

The paint looks better for sure, not even marginally, but significantly, in my opinion. If you ever want/have to remove it though, bummer....
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Does anyone know if there is a paint type that is easier to remove from others?
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 03:58 PM
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I use the cheap black spray paint from Walmart. I have only once wanted to remove the paint and I used a product called Graffiti Remover from Home Depot. It's still a bit of a pain depending on how thick your paint layer is, but it generally slides right of using a scraper of some kind.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 04:01 PM
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Latex will peel off nicely. So will oil but you run the risk of it melting off if it gets wet. I used cheap spray paint. Three years now and it is still there like day one.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 04:28 PM
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I used dark Window Tinting film. It should be easy to remove whenever I want to.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 04:49 PM
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I use flat black spray paint. You can also frost the back and use lighting to get the various sunrise/set effects.

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 04:50 PM
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Right now I have frosted window cling film. Before that nothing but the wall and before that a cut open black garbage bag stretched tight to get rid of most of the wrinkles.

Don't put paint on until you have tried something temporary to see if that is the way to go! I was sticking all sorts of stuff in back of the tank to see what I liked best before I went out and paid the big bucks for the cling film.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 05:38 PM
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If I had it to do over, I think some of those 3d natural looking backgrounds are cool but it wasn't an option when I was setting up my tank. The wall behind my tank is a cream color, so the natural tone doesn't feel crazy when you look through it.

But at this point, the plants are so grown in that it doesn't really matter.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 05:50 PM
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Cardboard, spray painted flat black
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 05:59 PM
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I use one of those natural background papers that you can buy at the pet store. Like $10 for 5' and it taped on.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinokath View Post
Painted black here. Wish I didn't do it now though and went the way I did for years - black paper.

Reason? Like a dummy, I left the magnetic cleaner in a what I thought was a good spot on the top of the tank (still ready to swipe and clean). You know where this is going.... Kids decided to help dad and clean the tank, got some eco-complete in between the glass and the scrubber and scratched the crap out of my tank. BAD. I mean really bad.

Had I had paper back there, I'd just drain, rotate and have a nice new surface, relatively free of scratches. Now, I have to drain, dismantle, use stripper and make one hell of a mess.

The paint looks better for sure, not even marginally, but significantly, in my opinion. If you ever want/have to remove it though, bummer....
Did you try scraping it off with a razor blade? I had moved a 20G that was actually painted on three sides, and had to scrape it off when I decided to move it. It was really pretty fast and easy. Not completely without a "mess factor" with all the little paint flecks to deal with, but it was easy.
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