Iwagumi style glowing background - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 03:55 AM Thread Starter
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Iwagumi style glowing background

I've looked everywhere for this online and found a couple of possible ideas.

I want to learn how to make the white, glowing, never ending looking background for the Iwagumi style tanks...

A couple of places I'd read mentioned getting a white vinyl background and illuminating behind it.... Another guy just mentioned getting the glass fogger/froster tint type stuff from a home improvement store and illuminating the back of it.

Anyone done this before on here who would care to share your technique? If there are threads on this, my bad. Guess I was not using the correct keywords for search

I attached a pic for some of you, who may not be certain of what I'm talking about.

This is NOT my tank btw.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 07:52 AM
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That particular look can be achieved by placing a white background 2-3 inches away from the back glass of your tank. Your normal tank lighting will provide the shadows and highlights. Play with the angle a bit to get the look you want.

Most of these contest or magazine tanks have been staged with special lighting and other gadgets for effect. Most of those gadgets are not terribly attractive in real life.

You can pick up window frosting film for a few bucks an apply it to diffuse any light you use decoratively. I've done this before and it's a pretty cool effect


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblondskeleton View Post
That particular look can be achieved by placing a white background 2-3 inches away from the back glass of your tank. Your normal tank lighting will provide the shadows and highlights. Play with the angle a bit to get the look you want.

Most of these contest or magazine tanks have been staged with special lighting and other gadgets for effect. Most of those gadgets are not terribly attractive in real life.

You can pick up window frosting film for a few bucks an apply it to diffuse any light you use decoratively. I've done this before and it's a pretty cool effect
Thanks alot for your reply!

What was your experience with the window frosting? Was it a nightmare to apply and get the air bubbles out like normal aquarium backgrounds?


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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 10:55 PM
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Thanks alot for your reply!

What was your experience with the window frosting? Was it a nightmare to apply and get the air bubbles out like normal aquarium backgrounds?
It's worse, actually. I recommend buying a frosted piece of acrylic sized to fit against the back of your tank. You can just attach that with some tape or clips and it'll be far less of a headache.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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It's worse, actually. I recommend buying a frosted piece of acrylic sized to fit against the back of your tank. You can just attach that with some tape or clips and it'll be far less of a headache.
Oh man... I appreciate the heads up. Definitely do not want to deal with that anymore.

Painting my current 55 was the best thing I ever did (as opposed to putting the paper backgrounds), but on this new 55 I want something different. Think I'll go for a piece of acrylic painted white.... or with the frosted look.


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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-06-2012, 12:10 AM
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In photos like that I believe that particular effect is achieved with a back light and some sort of shaddow box.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-06-2012, 03:51 AM Thread Starter
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In photos like that I believe that particular effect is achieved with a back light and some sort of shaddow box.
I'm beginning to think so. I know alot of the really dramatic looking ones are staged just for the photo, but almost all of the iwagumi tanks seem to have the glowing white background.

Been doing some more reading and it seems everyone agrees on a white background spaced a few inches from the back of the tank, or a frosted background with a really weak light behind it to help with illumination.

Found several people talking about using the frosted plexiglass or glass, like kuni mentioned. I found a spraypaint for glass/acrylic that is the "frosted look". Read alot of reviews on people using the spray paint for various projects, and the overall review is good. May pick up a scrap piece of acrylic and the spray paint tomorrow to test out the effects.


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-10-2012, 06:29 PM
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My lowest of low budget tanks, the 10gl in my sig line has a somewhat similar background effect. I used a brown paper grocery store bag. I tapped it from side to side around the back. No special care was used. The tank in an unfinished basement and is really just for me to experiment with. I only put a background on to calm the Rams to encourage breeding.

To the point~ because it does not lay all flat and ADA show room perfect, it allows for light & shadow areas behind the tank. The ten looks much deeper.

Before you drop a lot of ca$h try a flat pc of poster board, color of your choice. Cut it 3-4" longer than you tank's length. Tape it to the back so the ends are flush with the sides and it bows in the middle. You'll be surprised at the shadows and fading of color as the light shines back there.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 12:15 AM
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A light behind ur tank near the ground shining up towards the back of the tank can make some cool effects as well.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 03:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogFish View Post
Before you drop a lot of ca$h try a flat pc of poster board, color of your choice. Cut it 3-4" longer than you tank's length. Tape it to the back so the ends are flush with the sides and it bows in the middle. You'll be surprised at the shadows and fading of color as the light shines back there.
I have to try this idea out! I'm so glad I read your post.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 03:40 AM Thread Starter
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Dogfish: Excellent idea! I will have to give this a try for sure. A $3 piece of poster board would be ideal.

Jreich: I've noticed this seems to be a great method of getting the fading glow from bottom to top. Trying to think of what type of light that would give a dispersed effect like this, and not so much a direct stream of light onto the background of the tank. A guy in the Aquascaping sub forum, under the name of "ionut g", seems to have this down to an art. He changes his lighting alot from red, to blues, to white and it looks amazing. Really want to figure this out.

Thanks for all the replies! Would love to hear more opinions from others!


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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 03:50 AM
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I'm looking for a heavier weight of cardboard for my own tank that will hold up to latex house paint. I'm going to use the same paint as the wall behind the tank (white with a blue tint) right now you look through the tank on one side and it looks great with the lights being hung from my ceiling.

The other side you can see through to the blinds for the patio for and a filter hose.

What about a small 12v automotive LED run of a 12v wall charger?
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Ah I know what you mean Dogfish, good idea on that. I may try your bowed method.

Not sure what you mean regarding the 12v automotive lights for background lighting? Maybe you could post a pic to show me


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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 12:57 AM
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...Not sure what you mean regarding the 12v automotive lights for background lighting? Maybe you could post a pic to show me
Sorry I forget I'm not on Club ScionXB sometimes when it comes to Car talk.

Auto supply stores little Pep Boys or AutoZone sell interior LED upgrade lights that are 12v. I replaced the single rear cargo area bulb with a small 12 LED panel in the back of my Scion XB. The increase is pretty amazing.





There are several types depending on application from panels to strips. I would be rather simple to wire one to a 12v charger that might be used for a flash light or cell phone.

Here's my favorite GEEK Store: http://www.sciplus.com

I found a small pancake fan and a 12v charger there to use to vent my emerged tank under $8. I'm near the Geneva , Il store.
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