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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
[For those who have not read my photo journal thread]

I've recently stumbled into a very beautiful and inexpensive background method. For the price of a $10 piece of foamcore (used for presentations and other applications - found at office supply stores) and a $10 backlight, you can achieve a whopper of a background.

The "trick" is that you NEED to block off the space between the tank and the background. This prevents glare from your overhead lighting.

The backlight is a simple halogen, undercabinet light from any home improvement store. Fluorescent (low wattage) lighting may also work. This light is mounted to the back of the aquarium stand, pointing up.



Backdrop without backlighting - creates a dark blue/gray look because the white foamcore is completely shadowed.



With the backlighting - the bright, white light of the overhead lighting gives the backlighting a pink/orange glow. You can now appreciate the darker, shadowed backdrop. Without blocking that top area, the backlight would be drowned by the glare of the overhead light.



For reference, here's how things look without blocking off that top portion.

 

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seems that will only work if you use MH pendant fixtures high up like you do.
if you had a typical CF fixture, it would light up the in side of the foam no
matter how much of the top rear you blocked off. Thanks for sharing :proud:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
seems that will only work if you use MH pendant fixtures high up like you do.
if you had a typical CF fixture, it would light up the in side of the foam no
matter how much of the top rear you blocked off.
Just tested that idea with my old CF fixture - you're right. But, it doesn't only work with a MH pendant. The results are similar for other suspended lighting. If you opt to have a lighting fixture directly on the tank, then the only way to stop that glare is to move the foam core back. How far back depends on the angles associated with your lighting fixture and the height of your tank.

So, this isn't for everyone. And it certainly is a system that can require a lot of tweaking. But, it's something different in the land of the "blue and black" :).
 

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Great idea Ted, thanks for sharing! I'll try this on my 36gal tank which is right now see-through (incl all sorts of cables). I guess it doesn't matter what exact kind of styrofoam you'd use, 3/4in will proably do alright?

I don't think there would be a huge difference between HQI and fluorescent lighting? Gotta try this!
 
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