Tank Backgrounds - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-20-2014, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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Tank Backgrounds

Just curious about how you guys prefer your tank backgrounds... Do you prefer to buy them or paint them on?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-20-2014, 10:48 PM
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My last few have either been black spray paint, or black poster board. Im not a fan of scenic types you can buy.


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-20-2014, 10:50 PM
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Every time I've used one of the tape on ones you can buy petco and petsmart, they look like crap within a year.

Painting the back is a better option IMO.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-20-2014, 11:06 PM
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I use either spray paint on the glass, spray paint on a piece of cardboard for small tanks, or static cling limo tint. I did buy some of the spray rubber that peels off easily, but I've yet to try it on a tank.


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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-21-2014, 12:17 AM
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I have a tank with a black Plasti Dip background and one with a frosted privacy screen film background.
I like the privacy screen a lot better but it'll run anywhere from 3 to 6 times more than the rattle-can depending on tank size.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-21-2014, 12:24 AM
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Blue poster board.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-21-2014, 01:25 AM
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Currently no backgrounds. Light gets reflected off the wall so the back of the tank gets some light. Plants are pretty dense, so the lack of bg does not show.

In the past: fabric with velcro. Patterns on the fabric were green fern fronds scattered on black, or marbled blue or green. Looked like rippling water.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-21-2014, 01:32 AM
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Mine came with black background when I bought the tank. That was my specification.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-21-2014, 10:44 AM
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I don't use backgrounds. By the time you get that planted tank really going, your not going to see much of a background anyway.

If I had a tank that was planned to be very open, then I'd use black.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-21-2014, 03:37 PM
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I've had a black acrylic, made up a rock/wood background, black trash bag, off white plastic tablecloth, none but the wall and currently a frosted film backdrop.

Black is fine if furniture is around the tank but a tank standing alone and dark can be pretty awful looking although a tank completely filled with plants is just as dark.
Plastic that has been folded has shiny fold marks you cannot get completely out. The black trash bag was on the tank for 10 years, those folds stayed throughout!
Patterned background make the tank look half the depth they really are. Every once in a while I see a tank that nails it but not very often.
No backdrop at all makes for a harsh shadow line in the tank.
Frosted film softens up that line a lot but does take away some depth, I wish the frosted film on mine wasn't as opaque as it is.
Setting the backdrop away from the tank is interesting, the off white plastic tablecloth was taped to top of tank and to the wall below the tank and I liked that more than against the tank as the tablecloth was too opaque otherwise.

My Beating Back the Jungle tank journal has some of my backdrop experiments in it and the tablecloth one is in the 180 long journal.

I wouldn't paint the tank unless you know that is what you want, lots of ways to get the tank back black without doing that. Have fun experimenting with backdrops!


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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-26-2014, 10:53 PM
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I use acrylic paint (blue, but black works too - just a matter of preference). The acrylic scrapes off easily if you decide you don't like it.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-26-2014, 11:24 PM
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I have one tank I painted black about 30 years ago and still looks good. My 55 is a piece of black acrylic and my 75 is a blue sign vinyl. I'm setting up a 110 right now that I am going to cover the back with black vinyl. I like the blue quite a bit but the black has always been a favorite.

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-26-2014, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VocalTrance View Post
I have a tank with a black Plasti Dip background and one with a frosted privacy screen film background.
I like the privacy screen a lot better but it'll run anywhere from 3 to 6 times more than the rattle-can depending on tank size.
+1 on the plasti dip.

It works well, comes in all sorts of colors now, and peels off super easy as long as you spray enough on to make it mostly uniform.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-28-2014, 11:56 AM
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I bought some frosted window film from the hardware store. Works perfectly for what I'm after.


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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-28-2014, 12:04 PM
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either blue or black is an option when buying acrylic

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