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I've heard for tanks larger than 50g it is a good idea to put a colored background in the tank to hide the wall the tank is against. For example using a black background creates depth and gives the fish a sense of security. Does anybody else here use a background? If so do you put the backgound inside or outside the tank? Thanks
 

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I like a background on any tank regarless of size. Black is my preference, some like dark blue better. I had green once and it looks terrible. They go on the outside, I use scotch tape to attach them.
 

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Usually the background is on the outside. Some people use cork, which they can then attach plants to, or styrofoam painted and sculpted, or moss walls, all of which go against the back pane on the inside.
 

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Green does sort of give a greenwater look to the tank. :) If you don't spill a lot, stiff paper (poster board, colored craft paper, even good quality gift wrap) and tape work well for putting on an already set up tank. I've never been organized enough to have a background on before filling!
 

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I've used the plastic backgrounds, taped on the to trim around the tank with double-sided tape -- I have a blue one on my 2.5 gallon and a black one on my 29 gallon. I haven't out a background on the 5 gallon hex. I think the plants and fish stand out much more against the dark background.
 

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the tape-on backgrounds look tacky imho. get some latex paint and a mini roller, put all equipment on front of tank,(unless you have a bowfront) and roll on a cpl coats. black comes out beautiful for freshwater and a nice blue for my reefs
 

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the tape-on backgrounds look tacky imho. get some latex paint and a mini roller, put all equipment on front of tank,(unless you have a bowfront) and roll on a cpl coats. black comes out beautiful for freshwater and a nice blue for my reefs
What about using that new spray latex paint? Do you think that'd be easier or harder? You may be able to create a sort of marbled/layered look that way.

I agree about the tape on backgrounds. In my 3gal. shrimp tank I have a moss wall started. Coming along nicely, and it eliminates the need for a background;)
 

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I sprayed mine on with Fusion paint and as I recall it took a LOT of coats to get a good, opaque coverage. Rolling it on would definitely be faster and you shouldn't have the concern of brush or roller marks since you're looking at the underside of the paint.
 

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I use the store-bought black background on all of my tanks. I trim it to size and use clear packaging tape to tape one side on, then stretch it as tightly and snugly as I can so that there aren't any loose spots and tape down the other side.

On rimless tanks, a bit of silicone aquarium sealant along the top edge will keep any water from getting between the tank and the background (which leaves really yiggy water marks when it dries.)

I prefer the backgrounds (though only the black, or possibly the gradated dark-to-medium blue; I completely agree that the original blue and all of the photo ones look super tacky) as opposed to painting because it's easier to change it later on if I want to, or remove it if the tank is going into storage.
 

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I sprayed mine on with Fusion paint and as I recall it took a LOT of coats to get a good, opaque coverage. Rolling it on would definitely be faster and you shouldn't have the concern of brush or roller marks since you're looking at the underside of the paint.
Krylon Fusion is for Plastic--so that was probably the problem. I just use the $1 walmart spray paint and takes two good coats--3 tops!

HTH
 

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I really like Oceanvisions' product. It can be removed and even reapplied, easy to apply (with a little help to lay it on tank), and looks GREAT. If you want ot change it later, you don't have to worry about scratching the paint off since it can be cleanly removed.
 

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Diy

I just figured out a new way to make a cool custom background. Go to tap plastics and buy a sheet of the plastic that is kind of frosted looking, get the one that is stiff enough to stand on edge but thin enought to cut with an exacto knife. Don't cut it to size til after you paint it so you can choose the section you want by holding it behind the tank and moving it around.

Get a few spray cans of different color of paint (like a dark and light blue for example) and work in a ventilated area or wear a paint mask. Shake the cans and make sure paint is not dripping by spraying on a piece of cardboard first. Then spray the paint on super thinly at a low angle so it is hitting the frosted texture of the plastic from the side. Try for a fade effect. When scuba diving the water is lighter near the surface and darker below, and it gets bluer. Conversely, the sky is darker overhead and lighter near the horizon. Both can look good. On a long tank a dark to light fade across the distance could enhance, or a lighter area could ehance a focal point.

I didn't wind up keeping my background on my ADA tank because of yellow paint drips and because the orange I used looked funny above the waterline, but on a covered tank it would have looked great. I can stick it back on and take a pic if people are interested. I might do another one when I get fish.

My original motivation was to go from black on the left to a sunset orange/white/purple gray on the right. The black side would hide my stealth heater. If you do not go for full coverage you can still light it from behind.
 

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I really like Oceanvisions' product. It can be removed and even reapplied, easy to apply (with a little help to lay it on tank), and looks GREAT. If you want ot change it later, you don't have to worry about scratching the paint off since it can be cleanly removed.
I have to agree here.
I love Ocean visions, and the way their background looks after its applied.

It is pricey though.
 
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