Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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herefishy 01-02-2007 12:54 AM

An Observation
Why do the pictures I have seen on the forum have no backgrounds? I have been in this hobby going on 40 years, and I have always seen tanks with some sort of background. It may be as simple as a coat of paint on the outside of the back of the tank or a commercial background. I have competed in many shows with decorated tanks and wouldn't think of not having some sort of background, painted or other. The background hides those unsightly cords, air lines, and water hoses from view. Sure does increase the asthetic value. Even my lfs's have them. The backgrounds, if done tastefully, enhance the color of the of the overall aquascape, both fish and plants. So, help an oldtimer understand, is this a new concept or just a matter of just not having enough money in the pocketbook?

My breeder, rearing, and hospital tanks are spartan and do not have backgrounds, but these are not used for show and many are sans gravel except when a part of the needs of the fish.

Lupin 01-02-2007 01:24 AM

I would say here are the following factors:
1. Tight budget although there are cheaper alternatives.
2. Personal taste..Depends on some members on how they think background looks.:mrgreen:

I agree with you that it hides unsightly objects like electrical cords and they do add a pleasing appearance to the tank.:thumbsup: :wink2:

I used black background. I prefer black when it comes to following Amazon biotopes but plastic rolls with plants?:dunno:

herefishy 01-02-2007 01:43 AM

Thanks for the reply. I do not think that the monetary end of this tale has a lot to do with the reason. For one of my 300g tanks for example, the tank is 8 feet long, a printed background costs less than $16, or $1.99 per lineal foot. Cost? I'm sorry, I cannot buy that as a reason. It would cost a mere $8 for the background for a 55g tank, $5 for a 29g tank, ect. We will spend $20 dollars for a fish before we spend the pittance for a background. In fact, there are a few tanks in the competion for "tank of the month" that would awesome if they just had some sort of background. I've even used a mirror. Talk about an effective illusion. The tank looked twice as big and twice as full! Did you paint the back of your tank or use some other means?

musho3210 01-02-2007 10:22 AM

A black background makes the tank look a tiny bit smaller than what it is. This is a reason why not many people use it, also they might not find a background that looks or suits the real decor.

Daz 01-02-2007 10:30 AM

I use a black background, black gravel and white bits of wood.

Lauri 01-02-2007 10:33 AM

It's simple really, some people just dont like having a background. I have 5 tanks all but one has a background of some sort. Why does one have no background? Because I felt it did not need one :) Everyone is different :)

fish_4_all 01-02-2007 10:45 AM

I think there are a couple reasons.

The first one is most of us don't do show tanks. The idea is to see through the tanks and give them a "spacious" look. A backgrouynd makes the tanks look confined and almost cramped, to me anyway.

I do recomment that when taking pictures for contests it is a good idea to have a background bedcause it enhances the photo and give the look of a natural environment. Even with a background though, it can take away from the fish if there are any dark colored fish that need to be enhanced for the picture.

As far as the "commercial" backgrounds, I have one in a box and have never used it. I think, IMHO, that they look tacky and I have never seen a show tank picture that looked good with a tropical scheme behind the tank that is supposed to "be" the tropical scheme.

I have a background that I want to put behind my tanks but have never seen the pattern in a scape and have not been able to find it printed. I think this might actually be the biggest reason why poeple don't use backgrounds because they want their tanks to be originals and there just isn't the variety out there to get enough people intersted in the backgrounds for a majority to use them.

Gump 01-02-2007 12:45 PM

I just don't feel one is needed on most of my tanks. My big tank i payed a little more to have black acrylic on the back but other than that its not to important to me.

weaselnoze 01-02-2007 04:17 PM


Originally Posted by herefishy
I've even used a mirror. Talk about an effective illusion. The tank looked twice as big and twice as full!

now thats an idear! ima have to try that one day. i painted the back of my 2.5 nano and have a cheesy commercial background on my 10 gal. i personally hate tanks with nothing. at least put a solid color on it!

herefishy 01-02-2007 08:20 PM

f4a - believe it or not every time someone comes to our humble abodes, we are showing our tanks. I have a few LARGE tanks and if it were not for the backgrounds on each tank, all of the power cords, power filters, and plumbing for the canisters in the cabinet below would show. Truly an eye sore. Thanks for the compliment weasel. I tried that trick at an OCA (Ohio Cichlid Association) show. I won the class.

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