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Background Choices

4213 Views 11 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Sir_BlackhOle
What background would be good to use? Blue? Black? Plant pictures? How do you choose one that will not detract from the overall look of the tank? Something that will blend in and not be obtrusive....
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background fro best of show tank

I think this guy has the best background I have ever seen. However, I don't think I would ever have the confidence to airbrush it.

Steve Pituch
Painting the back with acrylic latex paint is popular(Blue or Black is the best IMO).
Comes off relatively easy if you want to remove it.

Cork backgrounds on the inside and attaching plants is also very nice(gives another surface to plant on and is easy to plant with Anubias, java fern, moss etc)

Some add terrestrial plants in the background.

Some use paper, cloth etc, these don't look good IMO.
Paint looks much better and is easier in the long term.

Some use Styrofoam and mould/paint/silicone it.
Some used moulds of rocks, wood etc that they like and make a silicone rubber moulds to form their shape, designs etc.

Some use flat rock silicomed, glued together, some use rock with sand, gravel glued to it etc.

There are other methods also.

Tom Barr
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Yeah that airbrushed background really looks great! I like the latex paint idea....if I dont like it or want a change it would be relatively easy.


Anyone know any place that sells large pieces of cork to make a background for a 48 inch by 28 inch tank? (150 gal)
Black Paint


I used an exterior trim black gloss latex enamel on the 125 gallon tank. Got it at Home Depot premixed.

What was good is that when I wanted to remove it I sprayed it with water to soften it and had it off the tank in about a half hour with a razor blade.

Steve Pituch
I prefer matte black Rustoleum for most of my tanks. I enjoyed the cork thing when I did it and am pretty fond of my 20L with the wood/foam background. I guess it all depends on what I'm trying to accomplish.

Black=regular aquascape
Cork=natural or Dutch

Overall do you like your tank better with a background or without?
I like plain color backgrounds, IMO. I think they look more classy
than Greek ruins, rock crystal, saltwater reef pictures, etc.

I have seen well done tanks in many colors: yellow, red, blue, white,
black. Yellow was especially beautiful in an ADA aquascape titled
"Little *****" with cardinals and altums. The deep yellow color reminded
me of the tannic acid stained waters of the Rio *****.

Currently, my 55g has a sky blue background, and I think I may go with
white on my 20g long. I'm not too crazy about black. I feel that a black
background is kind of like omitting the effect of the background on the
aquascape. Yes, it makes the plants stand out better but it doesn't
really evoke anything...

Background color will definitely be a future "weekly topic." I'll post
some examples at that time.

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I guess the best thing to do would be to wait untill I get the tank going for a while and then decide on a background that will complement it best.
Contact film here. Why? You can change it in the future as opposed to paints. It provides a very good uniform color. I don't particularly like artificial backgrounds unless I'm doing a biotope aquarium.

I have a light blue one on my current tank. Not sure about the yellows, reds or whites though. Guess I'll wait to see how Carlos' come out.
So you dont use any background on a non-biotope aquarium?
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