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Aquarium backgrounds - the plastic stuff on a roll
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globaldu
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Joined: 06 Nov 2006

PostPosted: 2006.12.08(Fri)11:53    Post subject: Aquarium backgrounds - the plastic stuff on a roll Reply with quote

Hi all

I usually prefer to paint the back of our tanks, because I don't really like the picture backgrounds you can get., but we've got a tank with just a Pleco and a frog in it, and I have a length of background which is ideal for the tank.

However, I've found that when cellotaped to the back of the tank I get air/condensation bubbles in it and it doesn't look too good.

Has anybody tried siliconing it to the inside of the tank? Are there any problems doing this? Obviously I'd have to make sure its well stuck, and give it a couple of days to dry before filling it...

Any help would be very much appreciated!

John
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Minsc
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Joined: 03 Jan 2006
Location: Framingham, Mass

PostPosted: 2006.12.08(Fri)12:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try coating the background with vegetable oil, mineral oil, vaseline, something of that sort before sticking it on the tank. Then rub out the bubbles.

Sorry I don't remember which is supposed to work best, it's been a long time since I read a very good discussion on the subject.
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globaldu
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Joined: 06 Nov 2006

PostPosted: 2006.12.08(Fri)13:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply.

Wouldn't this cause an oily sheen?

Before when I put the backgrounds on I rubbed all the air bubbles out and it looked fine for a week or two, then bubbles started appearing... I didn't use any thing other than cellotape before though.

The other thing is that the tank currently has a coating of emulsion on the back... I was hoping that, if I put the background on the inside, I wouldnt have to scrape it all off.
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Minsc
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Joined: 03 Jan 2006
Location: Framingham, Mass

PostPosted: 2006.12.08(Fri)14:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just know that I've seen that technique recommended. I paint my backgrounds nowadays Very Happy

I think the biggest concern about adding the background to the inside is that it would show wrinkling or bunching. Plus, you could never get that cool mirror affect.
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globaldu
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Joined: 06 Nov 2006

PostPosted: 2006.12.08(Fri)20:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, so let's sack the idea of sticking the backing on the inside.

What if I were to silicone the background to the outside of the tank, by applying a layer of silicone to the glass with a credit card then putting the background on being careful to roll out all the bubbles?

Would this work, or would it be disasterous?!

How does everyone else do it?

I'm gonna be making a start tomorrow... I've got another external filter on order, but I won't be changing the back until I've moved the fish into their new tank.

I've got a huge pleco, a large albino african clawed frog and two small dempseys. The idea is that I put the two dempseys in a 30G tank [until they're big enough to need a larger tank] and keep the pleco and the frog in my existing tank, which has a sand substrate at the moment.

I want to change the background and change the substrate, giving the dempseys the sand, and replacing the existing tank's sand for gravel so the pleco doesn't make such a mess... I figured the best way to do this is to remove some of the sand to put in the new tank, move all the fish, then clean out the old tank, put the background & gravel in, then move the pleco and the frog back.

This'll give the dempseys a bit of peace and quiet to set up territory as, at the moment, the pleco is doing all the landscaping.

Would it be better to remove the sand with the pleco in there and replace it with gravel, or take him out and put him in another tank?

I'm trying to work out which of the two evils would be less stressful for him...

He's a big lad - around 14"... and I know he's too big for the tank, but we look after him as best we can, doing frequent water changes and have a 1000 LPH filter on order to replace the 500 that's in there at the moment.

So, to summarise... I have a semi-mature 3foot tank, nearly 2 foot high. Sand substrate, painted back, and I want to move the dempseys to a new 3foot tank, 18" high, with sand substrate, painted back, and keep the pleco and frog in the old tank, replacing the sand for gravel and the painted back for a pretty background laminated picture.

As soon as we get a bigger tank we'll move the pleco there, but it probably won't be until summer next year.
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redmum
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Joined: 23 Feb 2006
Location: Brisbane

PostPosted: 2006.12.09(Sat)20:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hiya,

I was going to suggest just putting it on the outside (I just taped the edges, or used bull clips on the top adge).. but its painted, so that's out. Personally, I can't stand the laminate backgrounds (after using one for ages). I finally realised they create a very 2D look. TO be honest, I'm totally lost on you tanks and what's happening Laughing Only because it a Sunday, and my brain doesn't work very well on the weekend.... My point is, do you really need to change the painted background? Could you put plants along the back edge? (don't know anything about JDs etc). Or even scratch tiny hole through the paint, shine a light up the back and it will look like a starry night...

Sorry if I haven't been any help!
anna
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globaldu
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Joined: 06 Nov 2006

PostPosted: 2006.12.09(Sat)21:11    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plants on the back? Sorry. didn't I mention that I had a 14" pleco?!

Just taping the edges results in air/condensation bubbles after a few weeks.

I can scrape off the paint... if I can't stick to the inside of the tank, this is the only option.

I don't like the laminate photo backgrounds either, but for this tank I think it'll look OK... better than the painted aquamarine background we have at the moment. This is for the pleco/frog, not the dempseys, who are moving to another tank with painted aquamarine background.

I have some java moss... maybe I could coat the back of the tank with that, but I'd like to apply the laminate while I'm waiting so want to know what's the best way to stick it without any bubbles appearing... and preferably not permanently.

The starry night is an interesting idea but I think we'll pass Wink

Thanks for your input.
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Bucjason
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Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Location: Tampa, FL

PostPosted: 2006.12.10(Sun)10:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

At my LFS I recently saw a fake rock background that silicones to the back of the tank on the inside for a 3d look. It's made of coated styrofoam and makes the entire back wall of your aquarium look like a REAL rock ledge.

They had a Jack Dempsey tank set-up with it and it looked totally amazing. I loved it.

Only problem is you better have unlimited budget to buy one. It will put you in the poor house. They aren't cheap.
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globaldu
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Joined: 06 Nov 2006

PostPosted: 2006.12.10(Sun)12:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, I've seen the bacxkgrounds you're talking about... but the problem with those, apart from the price, is that it'll use use precious space in the tank, which is already too small for our pleco.

I was just talking to my dad about this and he said another idea is to use kitchen foil - preferably coloured foil if available - scrunch it up a little, then open it back out and stick it to the back... apparently it creates a cool effect, similar to rock.

I may try that on our livebearer tank and see what it looks like...

Thanks for your reply.
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Sammie7
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Joined: 18 May 2006

PostPosted: 2006.12.11(Mon)21:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would go with the vegatable oil and credit card to smooth out bubbles plan. That is what I do with my tanks. It is easy to remove, create a bright and better visible backing, you don't need tape, and water won't get in between it and the glass.
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