Best Tank Background Product?

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Pinkey

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Hmm, I like the look of some 3D backgrounds but have read of issues with some of them. As I recall fish can get "stuck" behind them & it can be hard to place filtration & heaters so they work well...Maybe with a sump? Just my thoughts...
There are some amazing ones but none are reasonable for me to buy for a 6'x2' scale. I'd have to make my own which I've wanted to do for years but never made time for. It's still not the time. Thank you for the suggestion.
 

dougall

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Those seem like the ones the big box petstores have. The solid colors have been OK but the colorful ones I've used have faded and don't look anything like they did when they were new. What do you use now?
They are similar, but where the mainstream ones are taped at the edges to hold into place, these adhere to the tank and are thicker than a lot of stuff designed to see through.

Never been a fan of anything not attached completely, seen too many backgrounds where there's a gap to the tank glass and it just never looks right.

These days I normally use nothing, or temporarily put a piece of plastic behind depending on how I want the contents of the aquarium to appear.. lighter colors give a greater impression if depth, darker makes things stand out more .. at least generally.
 

fishorama

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I thought of something else to consider: hiding filter intakes (& sponge prefilters), spray bars, cords. I had a canister with gray tubes & it took a long while until I could ignore them...or until they got enough algae to blend in better, lol. I guess the tubes could be painted, I've heard of folks doing that. It may be a different type of paint to stick to the plastic & be fish safe.
 

dougall

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Krylon Fusion will color filter intakes and returns.

Or you can always go for something you don't mind seeing so much, like glass filter pipes, and keep as much equipment out of the aquarium as possible, using a sump or inline heater or whatever.
 
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Pinkey

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Krylon Fusion will color filter intakes and returns.

Or you can always go for something you don't mind seeing so much, like glass filter pipes, and keep as much equipment out of the aquarium as possible, using a sump or inline heater or whatever.
I hadn't thought of tubing yet. I'm building the stand a bit oversized so it looks like the tank is on a purpose-built table with a few extra inches on the front and sides. I can easily drill through the top of the stand to the right of the tank where no one will see. It would be entirely possible to run the plumbing to the side of the tank instead of behind it. This is a very interesting development. Thank you for sparking this.
 

Pinkey

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I've never been brave enough to paint a black tank background...but...were I you I'd just do that. Since I have NO experience I'm not sure what brand or form of paint to choose. I think it may matter whether you want to roll it on or spray it...I might go with rolling.

On smaller tanks I've done fabric, plastic (including a shower curtain!). I like a black or very dark blue or brown background mostly. In my current house I have darkish terra cotta walls behind 2 tanks. I just let plants, moss & algae go crazy back there & I almost don't see it...I thnk it's amazing the things I can ignore in my tanks, lol.
Well, I talked to my wife about painting the wall after reading your comment. We are both ceramics artists and have decided to do a 24" x 81" tile mural of something underwater. Knowing us, it will be inspired by Disney's Little Mermaid. Now, what could have been a $20 1 hour project, has turned into a work of art of it's own.
 

fishorama

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A tile mural sounds great! But I'm not sure I'd want to hide it behind a tank & plants after all your work & artistic talent. Maybe an above the tank mural leading down to your tank? The ceiling's the limit for height ;). Fake paludarium with a mermaid perched on rocks, maybe a waterfall, then underwater scene? (OK, I don't really know the story, can you tell?) We going to need to see what you come up with!

All I can say is if you go with above the tank art, think about how you'll hang it BEFORE the tank is in place. A friend gave us a large painting that would be great above our 75g...but there's no way to lean over far enough & high enough to hang it without moving the tank (no trivial chore as I know you know. A few inches or miles, it's a tank tear down either way). Think about the weight of tile too. Stick it to the wall? Or to plywood & hang it somehow...Geez, it could be awesome!...eventually...Just the art alone could take...a long while before you even get to the tank proper. Or just paint the mural on the wall or canvas & skip the tile?

Go for it, or divide it into 2 projects; the mural & the tank...& the planting & the fish...yeah, ok, a few projects but fun 1s!!
 

Pinkey

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A tile mural sounds great! But I'm not sure I'd want to hide it behind a tank & plants after all your work & artistic talent. Maybe an above the tank mural leading down to your tank? The ceiling's the limit for height ;). Fake paludarium with a mermaid perched on rocks, maybe a waterfall, then underwater scene? (OK, I don't really know the story, can you tell?) We going to need to see what you come up with!

All I can say is if you go with above the tank art, think about how you'll hang it BEFORE the tank is in place. A friend gave us a large painting that would be great above our 75g...but there's no way to lean over far enough & high enough to hang it without moving the tank (no trivial chore as I know you know. A few inches or miles, it's a tank tear down either way). Think about the weight of tile too. Stick it to the wall? Or to plywood & hang it somehow...Geez, it could be awesome!...eventually...Just the art alone could take...a long while before you even get to the tank proper. Or just paint the mural on the wall or canvas & skip the tile?

Go for it, or divide it into 2 projects; the mural & the tank...& the planting & the fish...yeah, ok, a few projects but fun 1s!!
Since you kind of asked I'll do the internet overshare thing. :)

This is the setup as it appears from my office about 5 minutes ago. Every few years I come back here to update an old thread I posted way back when. It serves as my aquarium journal.

20230127_080512.jpg
The cichlid tank on the right will remain a 125. I'll transfer the community fish there as well as most of the aquatic plants. The tank you're looking at (125g) will be replaced with a 180g so it will still be 6' wide and fit in the same place. We will be able to see the background through the tank much more easily as it will not be planted. (If you're local to Denver and want some val, I have more than I can sell on Craigslist and I'll give you all you can take for $20.) The area above the tank is taken. We are excited to paint something this size in tile because we've never done anything that large before. The biggest I've done is 2' x 3' and that was a repeating pattern. We won't do as much detail as usual because it will be behind a tank but it is still the most inspiring thing we've though of.
20230127_080642.jpg

Here is a group of 3 8" tiles that gets completely lost in the jungle. It is visible in the first picture, too but that doesn't mean much. I'll do a much more detailed post of art and function when I update my old thread. It has come a long way in the last couple years. Thanks for listening and inspiring the post.
 

FreshyFresh

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I've got some off the roll bulk penn-plax brand, double sided background that I had on the back of a 55gal for 10yrs. It's a plastic, Mylar type material. It looks new still. I have a similar type background on my 75gal that I applied to the glass with baby oil. 10yrs on that one too and it sits up against a window.
 

fishorama

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OMG!! You've got the whole floor to ceiling thing more than covered!!! I LOVE it! Although I don't totally understand the PVC pipes I think I get the gist for real plants & they all look real. Is it tank water running through all the PVC?

I'm pretty sure I have that val or a similar 1 in just half tank now. It's a matter of control & willing "next owners" with big tanks. I'm running out of plant club friends with bigger than small apartment sized tanks...I feel bad if I have to compost it but I do it especially since covid...sigh....

So I still don't get the Disney Mermaid reference...& I only see 1 full, 1 partial tile with a bit of a 3rd. Not cartoonish IMO but more an artistic rendering...I need some loach art, lol. Or maybe you're inspiring me to go all DIY? I have high ceilings too, but maybe not as good of lighting & certainly not PVC watering tubes...jealousy...if I don't have to do the old chubby woman crawl space comando crawl. Really, not happening!
 
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