Black background or none at all?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by kinetic, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    I'm thinking of totally getting rid of the background on my tank, it'll make the vortechs stand out a lot more, but they're already all purpled so it stands out on black anyway.

    what do you think?


  2. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Well I personally like the black background look... however unless you're quite meticulous in keeping it clean it won't stay black like that for long :D

    BTW is that actually the background? Or some photoshoppery?
  3. pixelpixi

    pixelpixi Guest

    Totally depends on the tank, the room, what's behind it, and what you're going for. My main tank has a painted black back. There's just a wall behind it and I really want to make the contents of the tank pop. The little 10g in my bedroom is a rimless with no background. Some light comes in the back from a window, which I like. I want that tank to feel very light and modern, almost as if the tank itself isn't there.
  4. glee

    glee Guest

    i like the rockwork! imo, based on just the pictures alone, it looks much better with the black backgound.
  5. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    thanks for the input guys.

    mike: no photoshop, this was when I first setup my tank two years ago, before it got a black back, then after. It's just one of those "stick" on backgrounds that always has a million bubbles that you have to try to get out.

    I've had no problem keeping it clean, yesterday just spent like half an hour with a kent scraper blade, by hand, to clean off the coralline and stuff. The problem is the vortechs have tons of coralline on them... I'll probably pull them out and run them through vinegar.

    The wall behind it is just white, so not that interesting I guess...
  6. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    I also was a fan of the white stuff that percipitated out onto the bottom. I had mixed salt right into the tank originally with reefcrystals, so it left this white look on the bottom, it was awesome. I don't know why I scraped it clean =( Looked like a Faux sandbed.

    next barebottom I setup, I'll mix the water straight in the tank again, and hopefully the white stuff will precip out again. Wonder how long that'd last.
  7. pixelpixi

    pixelpixi Guest

    If you want to create white precipitate in a new tank, you could just put in 1/4" of water and then add some baking soda and calcium chloride. The bottom would be covered in calcium carbonate almost instantly.
  8. seminolecpa

    seminolecpa Past President


    I am a big fan of a background but I am also very anal in cleaning the back glass. I have seen others that have no background but have the wall behind painted. Northbayreefer's old tank had a pinkish color (from what I remember) on the wall behind his tank and with the timing of his light it was simulated a sunrise/sunset effect. Spectacular.
  9. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    I had that precipitation snowy effect when all DC8 failed and dumped all my 2 part into my tank.. while yeah it looked pretty after a few days it went away (unfortunately :().
  10. CookieJar

    CookieJar Guest

    I have both black and blue backgrounds and like both. If you dont' clean the back, the coraline stands out on a black background more. One idea is to add a light behind the background to simulate depth. There was a thread somewhere, RC I believe, that someone detailed that approach and it looked cool how he did it.
  11. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    thanks for all the suggestions guys!

    Bryan: your background was a reflective one right? Or did you have two pieces of glass? I don't remember it being entirely black.

    CooieJar: through the black part? it's pretty much opaque? Or do you mean if it's a clear background? Very interesting idea.
  12. CookieJar

    CookieJar Guest

    I don't know about light through black- maybe it's too opaque to make a difference. I'd try before putting any effort into it. It was a blue background that the light was used with in the RC thread.
  13. seminolecpa

    seminolecpa Past President

    Correct mine is reflective. I believe something is sandwiched in between the glass in the back that makes it so.
  14. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    No fish aggression as a result? I remember hearing a long time ago mirrors were bad for that reason.
  15. seminolecpa

    seminolecpa Past President

    None other then my maroon clown. She picks on everyone if they get near her space. Everyone else does fine here is my fish list right now

    Purple Tang
    Desjardini Tang
    Blue Tang
    Magnificant Foxface
    Black Spot Foxface
    Bellarus Wrasse
    Yellow Choris Wrasse
    Mystery Wrasse
    Small fairy wrasse (can remember which kind)
    Mandarin Goby
    Maroon Clown
  16. Eight

    Eight Guest

    I bought a this piece of black plastic from TAP plastics, cut to the exact size of my tank back. Then I used little clips to clip the background to the tank. This makes it very easy to change the background from clear to black. (Also very easy to clean the back of the tank.)

    FWIW, I was running black for awhile, but now I really prefer it clear. I like being able to see the tank from the back.
  17. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    The best way to get a mirror like black background similar to Bryan's is to add an external sheet of very black plastic on the back wall. Air between the plastic and glass will greatly diminish the effect. You need to "index" match the glass directly to the plastic. I'd guess that you can use a thin black plastic backing, a squeegee and some glycerine to do such in a non-permanent fashion.
  18. yardartist

    yardartist Guest

    Jason, the other plus with your tank open backed, is the garage stays nice and clean. :D

    How do you store the black to keep it scratch free?
  19. tuberider

    tuberider Guest

    I've done that with conventional plastic background and it does look a little shiny for sure.

    My vote is for black background, it makes the tank look deeper and enhances the colors of corals and fish.
  20. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    well that's easy, I'll just keep the back then ;)

    thanks guys.

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