Originally Posted by checkvalve
As far as painting the background goes, this is what I hoping is right: Clean glass with alcohol? use low fume, water resistant Acrylic ? What kind? flat, semi-gloss? Would textured be ok to use?
I agree with everyone thus far. I would paint it flat black or semi-gloss (I doubt you will tell the difference), and group your cords together. Then put in either a large annubias show plant or maybe an amazon sword to hide them. Once that is done, it will look like a totally new tank. Changing the substrate is too big of a PITA if ya ask me... but definately doable. But going darker doesnt need to happen, as it will look darker with a couple more tall plants + black background instead of a reflecting white background
Textured would be ok, but you most likely would not notice.