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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
IMO, when viewing a tank from a quarter view or from the side, the back reflection creates an illusion that the tank is bigger and deeper. I also really like the clean look that white vinyl backgrounds give from the front. It allows all the plant and hardscape silhouettes to really pop. But when applied, you lose the reflection of the back panel glass. Is there anyway to have both effects?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
As far as I know, yes as long as there is an air gap.
What I mean is no water adhered backgrounds.

Was referring mostly to par but optical illusions are related.
Thanks jeffkrol! I noticed applying it (no air gap) gave it the brightest, or truest effect to what the vinyl actually looks like. Without the air gap, should the surface be more reflective to catch the light, or slightly angled at the light to brighten it? I wonder if making a plexiglass light screen without the actual light could give me that effect.
 

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Thanks jeffkrol! I noticed applying it (no air gap) gave it the brightest, or truest effect to what the vinyl actually looks like. Without the air gap, should the surface be more reflective to catch the light, or slightly angled at the light to brighten it? I wonder if making a plexiglass light screen without the actual light could give me that effect.
Dr. James Fatheree who wrote the Tridacnid Clam book did a research study on lighting and found that painting or sticking anything to the glass actually causes notable light loss...reason is that the glass reflects light back into the tank, not just from the inside surface of the glass, but also from the outside surface of the glass...I recommend taking a black (or blue) piece of plexiglass, or even the cheap lexan they sell at the Depot, painted the color of choice and put it behind the tank, not in contact with the glass..

I know this is a strange concept but having contact with the glass (especially painting it) can rob up to 20% of the total light reflected by the glass....Realize that the reflection of the glass is why we have that intense light in the tank, but not in the Living Room....
Trial and error might be best here.
 

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That information is really interesting and very helpful, thank you!
Thickness of the air gap doesn't matter I believe.
There is one thing I never got a good answer to regarding this.
Color doesn't matter with the initial issue but does color ( white,mirror) ADD light back in and how much.
You know the "normal" light lost though an all glass no background tank.
It should.

Does an adhered white/mirror background reflecting back in make up for the loss of light caused by the lack of air gap ?
 
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