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Old 01-29-2013, 03:51 PM   #1
TetraFan
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Default Best Cheap Background?

Hi guys. I am looking for recommendations on the easiest, low-cost black background you can put on your tank (that isn't paint!) and how to do so. Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:16 PM   #2
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Spray paint is the cheapest and my favorite background.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TetraFan View Post
Hi guys. I am looking for recommendations on the easiest, low-cost black background you can put on your tank (that isn't paint!) and how to do so. Thanks in advance!
Hi TetraFan,

I use the plastic sheet film available a most LFS in rolls; typically less than $1 per foot available in various heights. I cut to fit the back and tape in place. You can also use Vaseline to hold it in place but it can be messy.

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Old 01-29-2013, 08:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi TetraFan,

I use the plastic sheet film available a most LFS in rolls; typically less than $1 per foot available in various heights. I cut to fit the back and tape in place. You can also use Vaseline to hold it in place but it can be messy.
Pam Cooking Spray also works well.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:32 PM   #5
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I use the black background available at petco. I covered my 55 and two 10 gallons for under $12
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:48 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies! All I have seen at my LFS so far are pictured background rolls, but I will keep my eyes peeled for a black one!
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:39 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies! All I have seen at my LFS so far are pictured background rolls, but I will keep my eyes peeled for a black one!


Check the reverse sides.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:14 AM   #8
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I'm a big fan of the painted-on background. I've only done spraypaint in the past, but am going to try brush-on latex next.

Maybe take a stroll through the paint section of your local hardware/paint/home store. sometimes they have discounted cans that were returned/problematic/ihavenoidea for really cheap. Usually it's typical household colors, various shades of beige and off white, pastel blues, etc., but sometimes there is something interesting in there.

Also check and see if there are any hazmat recycling/collection centers in your area, I remember one near me was offering free latex paint (I think they just mixed all the excess they collected, but I'm not sure...), but it's likely to be in the common shades.

If you are really hard up, you could probably just take some oil (cooking oil, mineral oil, crisco, vaseline, used motor oil, etc.), smear it on the glass, and then stick even a plastic trash bag or something on it, work it a bit with a credit card/stiff scrapertypethingy, and get a cheap (free?) background...(I haven't tried this, and wouldn't recommend it...)
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:16 PM   #9
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I used that plastic backing with the oil stuff you rub on first and after about three months, it started peeling away.

I just used some acrylic craft paint. About $3.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:58 PM   #10
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Right now I'm using a piece of black cardstock I got at my local grocery store. I used little velcro pads to hold it in place. Looks great.
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:47 PM   #11
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You can also go to the fabric store and purchase black opaque fabric then velcro or clamp to the back of the tank.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:17 PM   #12
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Check your local sign shop. They toss out scrap vinyl all the time. Depending on the size of your tank, it could be free.

Some people like the look of window tint as a background. Check your local window tint shop for scrap pieces as well.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:28 PM   #13
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I used the darkest window tint that I could find.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:37 PM   #14
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yeah dark window tint works great. if your looking for a great non glossy background than youre probably going to have to use matte black paint
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:52 PM   #15
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Or try Plasti-Dip, which sprays on, and is black, but isn't truly paint. More like a thin rubber sheet.
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