Backgrounds Reflecting Light??? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-03-2005, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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Backgrounds Reflecting Light???

Im not quite sure the name for it, but you know thoes diffrent colour backgrounds you can buy at your LFS. Some have disigns of rock, or plants, others are all black or navy blue. You stick them on the the back of your aquarium to make things "look nice".

Anyways, my question is... would an all black/blue background reflect any light back into the tank? Woud this act kind-of like a reflector at all and improve the amount of light actually getting into the tank?

75 gallon, fillstar xp2 with inline reactor, 12 Lb pressurised co2, 4.2 WPG-corallife 3x96 watt PC-, fluorite/silica-sand substright.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-03-2005, 09:02 AM
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I would think that any kind of background would act to keep the light in. Thats one less place for light to escape from the tank.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-03-2005, 11:33 AM
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Glass will naturally reflect some of the light back into the tank. I think it would reflect quite a deal too since the angle doesn't penetrate well because the light is directly above and the reflectors existing in the light fixture direct light straight downward.

Black backgrounds will however absorb the light. Color backgrounds will filter the color slightly as well.

You could try a mirror or white background...
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-05-2005, 01:50 AM
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Any background reflection of light is minimal. Very little light actually gets out of the tank through glass due to the combined refraction properties of water/glass/air. Put your hand next to tank to see how bright it looks, not bright at all.


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-14-2006, 09:29 AM
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mirror background

hi do you know where i could get a mirror background for my fish tank
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-14-2006, 12:54 PM
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Instead of a mirror (which I have heard will also absorb light!?!), you could try reflective mylar as seen here:

http://www.aquariumplants.com/cgi-bin/cart/DIY390.html

This stuff is DESIGNED to reflect light! Plus a little easier to cut to size than a mirror
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-14-2006, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shalu
Any background reflection of light is minimal. Very little light actually gets out of the tank through glass due to the combined refraction properties of water/glass/air. Put your hand next to tank to see how bright it looks, not bright at all.
agreed. also considering that the light source is above the tank, most of the light directed towards the sides of the tank will likely be greater than the critical angle for internal reflection. the critical angles for common aquaria interfaces are... ~ arcsin(refractive index material A / refractive index material B)

water/glass ~ 61.0 deg
air/water ~ 48.6 deg
air/glass ~ 41.1 deg

i'd choose something that's aesthetically pleasing, rather than worrying too much about redirecting light. plus, it's something you'll be looking at every day and very visible...
-snafu
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-14-2006, 08:11 PM
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I agree 100% with snafu. Nothing more to add.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-14-2006, 09:33 PM
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A lot of the reason to have a black background is to absorb light anyway- You don't want it to reflect. It gives a sense of depth to the tank, like looking into a deep forest, if your back wall is reflecting light it is just going to scream out "here I am- this is where the aquascape ends"
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-14-2006, 09:56 PM
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We are talking about two kinds of back wall reflection. The original question was referring to reflecting light that would otherwise escape the tank, back into the tank. That would be light coming from overhead, and that light is almost entirely reflected off the inside glass surface in any case. The second type of reflection is what you see as you look at the back wall. That is either reflection back at you, like a mirror, and a mirror surface is what would be needed for specular reflection as opposed to diffuse reflection, or it is light transmitted from behind the tank thru it to your eyes. In other words it is the appearance of the tank, where the original question referred to the light the plants can use.

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