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Best background color?

16656 Views 17 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  defdac
I'm working on setting up yet another tank today and have a background that's solid blue on one side, and solid black on the other.

Which would be more appealing in a fairly heavily planted tank with some driftwood, and a combo of red and green plants?

If it matters, it's a 30 gallon long which will have 110 watts of CF lighting, Eco-complete, and pressurized C02.

Thanks for any opinions. :)
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Ive always liked the blue background on tanks. Although black usually looks great as well. I'd flip a coin :wink:
What is most appealing to me may not be most appealing to you. Which one is your first instinct?

Go with that
That's the trouble, I didn't have the first (or any) instinct on this one like I usually do, so I thought I'd get some insight from you guys. :)

Oops, I see I posted in the wrong section - and I was torn between which one would be more appropriate and obviously erred... :roll: Sorry about that.
I noticed with a black background in my Betta's tank he was able to see a perfect reflection of the tank and himself. Keeps him busy protecting the tank from himself. I also noticed the black makes the colors of the plants and Betta stand out much more, and gives a bit of a darker feel to the tank. I personally like black. :)
Depending on the equipment, state of the wall and such, I prefer clear unpainted backgrounds. The 30g I have has a sort of pthalo green/blue background. Other aquariums are unpainted. Black is the colour to use if you want to hedge your investment.

Andrew Cribb
I much prefer black. It's good for showing the colors of the plants and is a neutral color, unlike many blue backgrounds.

You might check out some of the photos in Aquarium Plant Paradise. A lot of those tanks are photographed against more than one background color in different shots. The same goes for the video Aqua Journal, if you have access to a copy.
I prefer black, mainly because it provides good contrast.
I perfer dark blue but also like black. I don't think you will be disappointed with either color.
my background for my tank is a fadeing dark blue to lighter blue. if i got one set of lights on it, the background looks blue, however if i turn on another set of lights, the background looks black. the best of both worlds i guess. :D
I think it is all relative --blue or black. It depends on the species which you are using.

If you are creating an aquascape which will focus on intricate plant groupings such as Dutch tanks or layered Nature Aquarium style tanks, your best bet will be black.

If you are going to focus more on good rock and driftwood hardscaping with fewer species of plants, your best bet will be the blue (or white!).

I cannot wait until I start seeing American aquascapers start using colors other than black for their layouts. Yes, black does make your plants stand out better but that is beyond the point. White and blue backgrounds create a sense of continuation and vastness which the black "wall" lacks.

How does one create that fading blue to white background with paint?
Hire an artist friend;) I like black personally but I have yet to put a background on my 15 gallon as I kind of like the effect of the white wall behind it. Maybe tsunami's comment will jog my laziness and curiosity to try new colors.
I have 9 different colors/shades for backgrounds to choose from....sometimes you don't know till yoiu just try them all:)
Darker colors seem to make a tank look smaller while lighter colors make a tank look larger. I think that's true regardless of the hue of the color. If you stick to the range of black through grey to white then you probably don't need to worry about much else. If you use a tinted color then you have to think about whether the color will match the plants and decor.

I'm partial to light blue backgrounds. Planted tanks without a blue background often contain very little blue, so a blue background gives the aquascape a little more color variety. A light blue is good for a more expansive feel.

Light blue backgrounds are pretty common. If you want something more innovative and attention-getting then you might try a different shade.

Roger Miller
I think it was Carlos (tsunami) who once pointed out this one to me:

I love it, too. The background in this one really mattered, as it was meant to be "seen" and not entirely hidden by dense vegetation. But I guess if you've already filled your tank, airbrushing is out of the question.

Well, my point is that it's going to depend on your aquascape. Choose carefully if you're going to show a lot of background; if the entire back wall is going to be hidden by dense vegetation, then "eenie meenie miney mo" always works :wink: .

Fading background color to white

gnatster said:
How does one create that fading blue to white background with paint?
You usually put a lamp shining on the blue background and slightly overexpose the picture. Compare this:
to this (the hood shoved back so one bulb shines on the wall):

Very easy actually.
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