Vinyl Background - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-02-2010, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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Vinyl Background

I came across a few old threads of people using vinyl black background for the back of tanks. I thought this was an great alternative to paint, especially if the tank is already setup and back against a wall.

I went out and got some black vinyl at a print/sign shop to do the back and one side of my 75 gallon. It came in a 24" role - cost me $11 bucks for 5.5 feet. The local aquarium shop wanted $5 a foot for the regular black plastic background. This was much cheaper and actually sticks to the back of the tank.

I cut it to fit. Then peeled off the backing paper. Sprayed the sticky adhesive with a little soapy water - this step is important so the background can be moved around to get it in the perfect spot. Do not attempt to do this without water because you will not get it right. I then took my credit card and worked out the excess water and air bubbles. It sticks very well and once the water dries up should stick even better. I then took a razor blade and trimmed the edges.

Very slick! Looks much better than the regular plastic because you don't have the air gaps between the plastic and glass.

You can get this in about any color - depending on what the print shop has on hand.

I'll post a pic of how it turned out.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-02-2010, 09:59 PM
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sounds awesome i was thinking about doing this with my 55 cause i don't want to paint an aquarium that big. my 10 gallon looks awesome with the krylon paint but too permanent for a larger tank.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 01:04 AM
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Can't wait to see the pics. I have a moss wall currently on my tank and it's getting bad, thanks to your help I look to do the same thing here.


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 11:32 AM
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I'v done this as well. Works out really nicely. If you put a small amount of soap with the water, it makes lining it up much easier.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 12:00 PM
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I've done this before as well and it works beautifully.

"Aquarists are a brave lot. We mix water and electricity every day."
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 07:03 PM
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Any update with pics yet? I can't wait.


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 03:46 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, here are the pics - before and after. You judge what looks better and if black is the right choice.




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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 01:22 PM
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nice tank! Good choice going with black.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 05:02 PM
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Very nice, but I did like the tank before it to.


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 08:52 PM
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can you give me some detailed instructions on how to apply to the back, ie... glue, soap, water....and i have about 4 inches behind my tank to work with....
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rountreesj View Post
can you give me some detailed instructions on how to apply to the back, ie... glue, soap, water....and i have about 4 inches behind my tank to work with....
I have about 5-6" of clearance on my tank. I first cut the piece to fit the back of the tank. I then peeled off the backing paper - so the adhesive side was facing the ceiling. Next i filled a spray bottle with some water and one drop of dish soap - then lightly misted the vinyl adhesive. Then carefully lift the piece of vinyl up over the top of the aquarium and place into position. You need to be careful not to let the vinyl get wrinkly. Once you get the piece on the back of the tank you should be able to slide the vinyl around to get it right into position. If you mess up and find it will not slide around, just peel off and add some more water. Then take your credit card and work out all the bubbles and excess water. It is a bit tricky. You could also just spray the back of the aquarium too to give the same results. Eventually the water will dry and the vinyl adhesive will stick well.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-07-2010, 08:33 PM
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I also have wheels on my stand, I can prolly just lower the water level significantly and wheel it out to apply...
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 07:44 PM
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I've used the black vinyl before, a lot easier than paint, a little difficult to remove though. Use lots of soapy water and try working from one side to the other to apply. Use a squegee to smooth out wrinkles and air bubbles. I would like to try some other colors besides black. I have a light blue on my 20 now, but it's jsut cardboard. I was thinking a light gray might be an interesting contrast for the plants.


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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-23-2010, 09:11 PM
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Hmmm... I want to get some olive/beige Vinyl now.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-23-2010, 10:54 PM
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How much did that piece cost for that tank?


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