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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have used a few kinds of aquarium backgrounds that you can buy at the fish stores. Lately though I've had nothing on the back and I have been pretty happy with it. But then I saw somebody using frosted window film and I fell in love! I've been trying to find an option less than 20 bucks. Anyways I am wondering what else you guys have used on your tanks. I'd love to see pictures!
 

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I need to take a closer pic at home, but for $1 at a thrift store, I got this big roll of celophane wrapping paper, that I squinched up to make it more dimensional, in a lovely blue. I'm very happy with that! Even at regular price at a retail store, shouldn't be too bad! The roll is huge making for plenty of extra..... This way more than enough for my 30 in long, 20 gal.... I'm sure it comes in lots of colors too....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oooh, we used to have some cellophane wrapping paper. It was clear and had white polka dots. That's a really good idea to use that material.
 

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I don't have a picture, but I've used wrapping paper on a couple of my tanks. I got brown "paper bag" looking wrapping paper with just subtle black pinstripes at the dollar store.
 

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Oh and for my daughter's tank, I just used aquatic-themed "reusable stickers" from this big pad of stickers from Melissa & Doug. Obviously we put them on the outside of the tank. But they're just cling stickers (like colorforms if you are old enough to know what that is) and not sticky, so we change them around all the time. She wants robots for her next tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I tried out using a white trash bag today and it looked like paper towel behind it :p I thought I had found trash bags with out texture.
 

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I love all the ideas here! I've been trying to figure out how to make a black background have a bit more texture. I'm using a blue-painted piece of cardboard at the moment in my 3g. My 2.5g doesn't have a background. I'd love to switch to black or white backgrounds for both of them...might have to look for cellophane!
 

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Pics

Pics as promised, blue cellophane. A pain to squnch up and tape to back, you can see the tape, but I do like the look, I love the blue- so "calming"... And for just $1 at a thrift store, I got "lucky"! I love garage sales and thrift stores, and Goodwill....

It looks better from a "distance", maybe not so great close up, if you are picky- HA! I would use this for my new Roatan and 10 gal, but he wouldn't show up so great against the dark blue. I need to look for something else for him. Right now, I'm just using white poster board, very boring- HA! But at least I can see him! I may have some clear cellophane somewhere though.... my hubby suggests yellow... I need to go see what I have on hand, that came from the dollar store!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
There are rolls of clear cellophane wrapping paper at target. I almost bought a roll with the plan of tapping together a bunch of layers so it mimics a frosty look.
 

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Roatan's cheap background

I've been working on this one this afternoon. This is clear cellophane (doubled over and 3x length, squinched up, taped on top of two types of wrapping paper- all from dollar store- ages ago. All taped to poster board, and taped to back of 10 gal tank. The color is lighter than I would like, a light turquoise. I can change it someday- HA! The bottom wrapping paper, you can't see, is a "border" of blue and torquoise flowers, only as a border. May give him something to look at.
 

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Maybe paint your own background?

What I did for the meantime was place a white cardboard in the back of my tank. (I am an artist so I have extra paper and cardboard from past projects. I was thinking about painting it but it was too much work so I got a background at petsmart instead. =P Lazy I know. Hehehe maybe someday I will paint it but for now the background I have will work. Maybe this will give you some ideas for a BG?

http://i928.photobucket.com/albums/ad124/Treesump2/Fish/IMG_4126.jpg
 

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ohhhhhhhhhh I'm gonna have to see what clear cellophane and alcohol ink do! That would be a background that would actually match the other decor in my living room!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Oooh I would love to see how the cellophane comes out with alchohol ink~

Painting your own poster board is a really good idea. I think I am going to try that tomorrow....or maybe tonight!
 

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If you are good at art, you can make a painting of your own, laminate it, then tape it to the back of your tank.

Perhaps do some surrealism or paint a Fish-A Lisa (a play on Mona Lisa).
 

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More elaborate, but I made a 3d rock wall background out of Styrofoam for my 54 gallon tank. It's only about 3/4 of an inch thick, so it doesn't take up a lot of room. No reason you couldn't do one in a smaller tank. I can share the process if anyone is interested.
 

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More elaborate, but I made a 3d rock wall background out of Styrofoam for my 54 gallon tank. It's only about 3/4 of an inch thick, so it doesn't take up a lot of room. No reason you couldn't do one in a smaller tank. I can share the process if anyone is interested.
that is... impressive. :shock:
 

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It looks way more complicated than it is. I used two old styrofoam coolers, a box cutter from the dollar store, a quart of drylok, and some cement tints.
 

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Still, you clearly have a lot of creative power!

Speaking of creativity, OP, you could print out a picture or a drawing to stick on the back. Even if you need to go to Kinko's or something to get one big enough. (They'd also help with laminating it.) I'm currently backed up on drawings right now, but plenty of forum members around here do drawings, often for free. :)

I don't know about you, but I have a stockpile of computer backgrounds sitting in a folder. If you search for those, you'll find tons of pictures ripe for use. Black-and-white, fantasy, natural, Japanese, Van Gogh's Starry Night... if you wanted, you could give your fish his own personal Miku Hatsune concert or let him get involved in a Star Wars spaceship battle. Or that one episode of Gravity Falls where they go looking for lake monsters?

You get the idea. The opportunities to be extremely nerdy are extensive here.
 

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That styrofoam cave thing is really nice! So, how did you make it brown, paint, what paint? LOVE love love this idea, very creative, indeed!
 

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Used Drylok masonry waterproof for the paint (latex version) which is fish safe when cured. For the colors, I used quikrete cement tints mixed into the drylok - also fish safe when cured. If you google diy 3d background you can get lots of ideas.
 
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