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Old 06-20-2007, 09:04 PM   #1
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Colorful Fish, Lighting.. Painted Background?

Well I have been battling ick in my main 10 gallon tank and my wife has set her 10 gallon tank up with some guppies and neons. We are new to this hobby so we started small ( 10 gallons ). Anyways, we got all cycled and added fish - she has 4 guppies and 3 neon tetras in her tank plus some anacharis. I've got 5 tiger barbs plus ALOT of anacharis. She brought up a good point, the fish look alot more 'colorful' or 'bright' at the LFS then ours do. Our water conditions are fine, the only thing different I could think of was our lighting or painted tanks. We have 10 gallon aquarium kits from wal-mart, and the hood has two light bulb sockets, I purchased two small 10w fluorescent bulbs for each tank instead of the incandescent ones that came with the tanks because of our anacharis ( I was always told fluorescent was best for plants ). The LFS has similar lighting ( fluorescent lights ), except their hoods are different - and the fluorescent bulbs run the length of the tank.. But there shouldn't be much of a difference.

I talked to a fella at the LFS and he mentioned they don't have any special fluorescent bulbs, the same as someone would use to light their garage. Nor should mine be much different. But he did mention how the backs of their aquariums are painted blue and some black - saying that it would reflect light and make everything look brighter. Is this true? The fish look healthy in my wifes tank. Minus mine battling ick, I got ontop of it quick and the fish weren't covered with it - just a few tiny spots on their tails. And I have been on the heat treatment for about 5 days.

We also use the same food. I know substrate has alot to do with it, but she has black gravel pieces, and I've got black sand. I've heard you are supposed to use black substrate for neon tetras to bring out their color.. which she has.

Any ideas? Maybe I am going crazy, but know that she has said something about it - the colors don't look as bright.

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Old 06-20-2007, 09:31 PM   #2
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A nice dark background always makes a tank look nicer. it also helps hide the equipment hanging on the back. I just use black poster board.
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Old 06-21-2007, 08:51 AM   #3
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I agree. I've used the tape-on backgrounds, the stick-on backgrounds, and painted a few tanks. The stick-on backgrounds and painted backgrounds look nicer (darker, and more even) than the tape-on kind. The stick-on ones are a pain to put on there though.

It's pretty easy to paint a tank. You just need to tape off everything that you don't want to get paint on. I used spray paint the last time, and it worked pretty well with a few coats. If you spray paint a tank you just have to be careful to cover the top so no paint gets inside the tank. You can see a pic of how I taped mine off if you click in the link in my sig- it will take you to my 15 gallon nano reef thread. I'm happy with the results overall.
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:07 AM   #4
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Backgrounds really do bring out the inner tank lol. My 55 gal I bought a while back from my local fish store came with a background glued on it. Its just a rocky backgroud. It makes my tank look pretty nice, although I would like to take it off since it has 2 side i want to reverse it I don't know how. But yea go for a background they always make things look better
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Old 06-21-2007, 12:37 PM   #5
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I wondered about the background wallpaper stuff. Just wasn't sure how well it looked - guess I will have to swing by my LFS today!

I'm not sure I like the idea of painting the tank.
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background, colorful fish, light, lighting

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