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Old 07-06-2006, 01:26 PM   #1
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Backgrounds Backgrounds Backgrounds

In the name of good and evil, I find myself in the worst possible situation a fish...umm..person could EVER be in. This is worse than ANYTHING, and I am requesting help from all the experts! THIS IS LIFE OR DEATH!!!!

Okay, so, I set my 55g up, pushed it to the wall leaving little space, set up the filter, heater, etc. Filled the tank, added the fish, then applied the background.

"Did he say he applied the background as the last step?!"

Why yes, I did. Quit your bickering. Needless to say it was a laborous process, with an end result leaving much to be desired. I've got it on there, sorta, but there are air pockets, especially in the center. When the light is on, it illuminates only the portions of the background that does not have air pockets. So I am left with a stinky (not my word of choice but i'm trying to be gentle here) looking background that I do not like. So yeah, I got a 600-800 lb object against the wall here and the back is not very assessable, especially the center. TO TOP IT ALL OFF, this background was a huge investment. I believe it rang to the ungodly amount of two dollars and fifty cents. Those kinds of prices should be illegal!

I need help - how do I get this thing to stick on there flush? I used double sided take on the ends which was hard to do because once you set one side its hard to move or adjust. I think I just need to start over - but don't know the best way to get a smooth, even application.

The rest of the tank looks magnificent. The crayfish loves the driftwood. He climbs up it and dives off it - I think he is practicing for the olympics (the crayfish olympics of course, he couldn't participate in the human olympics silly - they don't allow crayfish!!)

Like I said, this is a matter of life and death, obviously.

Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, snide remarks, and advice.

-William
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Old 07-06-2006, 01:36 PM   #2
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Best option... Bag the fish and drain the tank. Sorry but your plum out of luck trying to do it any other way.
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Old 07-06-2006, 01:37 PM   #3
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But what is the best way for it to stick and stay flush w/o air pockets?
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Old 07-06-2006, 01:43 PM   #4
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The one I had on my 45 wasn't flush and I could see it perfectly fine. Granted I had the expensive background... $3.

I just used a few pieces of scotch tape to hold it on the ends and one in the center to keep it from sagging (and I did this while the tank was set up as well).
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Old 07-06-2006, 01:48 PM   #5
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I just pulled mine tight and scotch taped it on. I didn't even use doublesided tape. Of course now I prefer LWB's wonderfull spray paint method.
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Old 07-06-2006, 02:01 PM   #6
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I had this problem, heres what you do:
Get a long brush, like an aquarium brush for example, and get some vasoline. Put some vasoline on the brush and use it to spread the vasoline as evenly as possible along the back of the tank, you want a thin layer.
Then get something flat (like a credit card or a c.d case or something, the longer the better) and use it to smooth out the background. I used a rolling pin gently because i had enough room, if not just use like a dvd case and get all the airpockets out.
HTH.
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Old 07-06-2006, 02:01 PM   #7
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Can you shove a thin stick (like a yardstick ruler) between the back of the tank and the wall ? If you can, then use the ruler to smooth it out a bit and try taping it again.
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Old 07-06-2006, 02:02 PM   #8
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yes a yardstick ruler! perfect! lol
Thats the long thing you could use lol. Gj Joannde.
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Old 07-06-2006, 02:32 PM   #9
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Don't use Vaseline. I did, and after a few months, the background developed tiny bumps and started to pucker. I'm guessing that something in petroleum jelly breaks down the plastic background.

When I replaced my backgrounds, I had the same problem as you - a 58 gal tank so close to the wall that I couldn't get my whole arm behind it. I went to Home Depot and got a wide, long handled squeegee in the wallpaper department.

I bought a background a few inches longer than I really needed and trimmed the bottom so it would fit snugly between the top and bottom frames. Then I generously coated it with corn oil and applied it to the back of the tank from above. Then, I used the squeegee to smooth out the bubbles. Having the tank lights on when you do this helps you see the bubbles. After the background was in place, I trimmed the excess from the sides with a razor blade.

It's been about 9 months, and the background still looks great - no bubbles.
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Old 07-06-2006, 02:36 PM   #10
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Interesting....

::takes notes franticly::
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Old 07-06-2006, 02:49 PM   #11
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I tossed my plastic fake background and got the textured spray paint and painted the back of the tank - looks really nice
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Old 07-06-2006, 03:36 PM   #12
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IMO you should drain the tank and move it when you have the time anyway. You really should have some room to work behind the tank IME.
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Old 07-06-2006, 04:04 PM   #13
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this is exactly why I just paint a solid background (usually black) on all my tanks and call it good.
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Old 07-06-2006, 07:18 PM   #14
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These Vaseline and corn oil suggestions are a little crazy, but I guess if they work...

Personally, I'd just drain as much as I could safely get out of the tank, then wedge some of those plasic things under the corners that they sell specifically to scoot furniture around.

As far as actually getting the background to stick, I've had really good luck with the Scotch Clear Mounting Squares that I found in Meijer for about $2.50. You have to be careful peeling the first layer of backing off, but they work much better than double-sided tape. They're actually strong enough to keep tension on the paper, so it doesn't sag against the tank.
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Old 07-06-2006, 10:01 PM   #15
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That is not really a good idea Tostada. Moving the tank around or jerking it around that way with water in it could create a lot of stress on the tank that you really dont want.

It does not take that long to drain a tank and put the fish in QT or a bucket if you are careful. Unless it is a huge tank.
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Old 07-06-2006, 10:42 PM   #16
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I had the same problem with my 125 gal and when we move, off goes the plastic background and I am painting it. Somehow moisture always seems to get caught in there and cause pockets.
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Old 07-07-2006, 12:50 AM   #17
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Paint, paint, paint, paint, LOL. From now on, I will only paint. None of these tape-on, self sticking, vaseline, or anything else. I don't like them. But I do love textured paint. So many varieties to choose from. Then if you want the ultimate, you can get something like this:

http://www.aquabid.com/cgi-bin/aucti...ons&1152628793
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Old 07-07-2006, 02:06 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike469
That is not really a good idea Tostada. Moving the tank around or jerking it around that way with water in it could create a lot of stress on the tank that you really dont want.

It does not take that long to drain a tank and put the fish in QT or a bucket if you are careful. Unless it is a huge tank.
A 55 gal. tank isn't really THAT big. I don't see how moving it around carefully with about 20 gal. of the water in it would be a problem unless it was really cheap.

Now that I think about it, though, it'd probably be less hassle overall just to get a few big buckets. Still might want to get a few of those scooty pad thingies depending on how hard it was to move the tank across the floor, though.
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Old 07-07-2006, 10:05 PM   #19
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Vegetable Oil WORKS!!! (didnt have corn oil) YAY!! It looks GREAT. I was a skeptic at first, but I must admit it looks great now - no bubbles or anything!!!!!!

Thanks for everybodies input.

-William
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