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I was going to create a background for my planted tank out of some large foam blocks I have...incorperating planters into them...

After looking through the photo album on this site I noticed that some of the better looking tanks dont really have much too them as far as backgrounds go...they have the occasional piece of driftwood and rock but not really anything complex on the background...they make up for this with their depth of plants

My question is...Should I build a background for my tank or am i just wasting my time and with the proper plant layout the background won't even be noticed?
 

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I think it depends on your set-up. If you have a sweet ADA tank that's nice and deep with glass intakes and outakes and in-line heaters, then you have nothing to hide. The depth of plants you can grow is all the background that you need.

If, however, you have a scratched-up 29 with a big ugly heater and ugly-lookin' fluval intakes and outtakes like I do, then a background can only help! :icon_lol:
 

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Moss Walls are simpler too if you have the material(Okay Im obsessed with them lol). But they create an attractive background from a plant that you need little of too start with and it grows in nicely. Its a nice contrast to light green plants aswell and can grow on tthe heater and hide it a bit. Christmas Moss works the Best I ve seen!
 

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I like to just spray paint the outside back of the tank black.
It gives nice contrast to the plants and in my opinion more depth to the tank.
Cheap - Quick - Simple
 

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Check out Gareths-45-gallon-slate-tank-journal
I have been dreaming of doing pretty much the same thing, using lace or lava rock instead of slate. moss walls are a pretty popular background in a planted tank, but take a lot of patience to fill out right. In my 29gal I use moss ropes or Anubius growing vertically to hide my plumbing, and a mirror backed cabinet to deepen the look of my narrow tank.
 

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I taped a black plastic bag to the back of my ten, which otherwise has wires (heater, filter) and an off-white wall behind it. The black makes the green plants glow almost neon, and the fish don't seem to mind. I save old calendars and am thinking I might cover pictures I like with plastic wrap (to protect them from moisture) and use them as backgrounds. My current calendar here at work has a picture of the Cordillera de los Andes, Patagonia, Chile, which I think would be fascinating (for me, not the fish).
 

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"I taped a black plastic bag to the back of my ten"

I used a black garbage bag as the background for my 65g sw tank. You would be surprised at how good it looks.
 

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I went to a sign shop and bought black vinyl. The kind they use on windows outdoors and its weatherproof. There is no glueing involved at all. All you have to do is just lightly spray it with water, apply it to the outside of your tank, and use one of those plastic scraping tools to push out the bubbles. Then I used an Xacto knife to cut the edges so its perfect. I've had it on for about a year now with no bubbles, wear, or anything else.. It looks perfect (knock on wood).
 

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I went to a sign shop and bought black vinyl. The kind they use on windows outdoors and its weatherproof. There is no glueing involved at all. All you have to do is just lightly spray it with water, apply it to the outside of your tank, and use one of those plastic scraping tools to push out the bubbles. Then I used an Xacto knife to cut the edges so its perfect. I've had it on for about a year now with no bubbles, wear, or anything else.. It looks perfect (knock on wood).
What a cool idea! Is that a permanant attachment or can it be easily peeled off?

TIA

Ed
 

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Yeah Backgrounds!!!

I'm about to post a tank journal, but here is a quick pic of my adaptation of the "Cave Grotto" concept in my brand-spanking new 75g Mbuna planted tank. It has lots of territories for my fishes (like 25 or so independent caves), and is a 3 dimensional planting surface for all my javas and anubias.

(Brad Newton's idea originally, see here for details: http://www.duboisi.com/diy/BNdiygrotto/bndiygrotto.htm : I made the background more varied and 'natural'):

 
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