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Aquarium Background

Jan 3, 2007
I'm nearly completed with my planning before starting my 72 gallon bow front. I need to choose a background.
I had two 1" holes drilled out on the back plate (risky..I know) and it worked perfectly. Now I have to use a pair of bulkheads which is going to affect how the background is mounted.
Should I situate the background under the lock-nut or secure the lock-nut and work around it?
I'm leaning toward situating the backgroung under the lock-nut, I think it wil look alot cleaner.
The background I'm thinking of using is the plain old royal/sea blue with no pattern so I'm open to suggestions.

I built my own wet/dry filter which I'm very proud of. I plan to post pics of it's construcion sometime soon. I used two food grade buckets, two extra lids, a single Lee's UGF plate, a circular piece of blue filter material, shotgun wads and a few PVC fittings. Wow....it may even actually work. LOL

Any advice on the background issue will be appreciated. Thanks everyone!
We made the mistake once of putting something between the bulk head seals and had to drain and fix after about 4 months but our overflow box was quite a bit thicker than your background.

If you are not committed to blue, I use a plastic window shade product to black back my aquariums (and to block sunlight from windows). It is not totally opaque and looks best if the backed side is close to a wall where little light comes from behind but it offers the flexibility of infinite removal and replacement. It sticks without any kind of glue and leaves no residue but stays put unless you get salt underneath (then it needs to be rinsed in warm water and put back to look its best but it does not stretch and is easily replacable). A double layer (it sticks to itself easily) is almost opaque. The ease of removing it has been great when I am searching the back of the tank for Trapper ;>).

Thanks for the advice!
So if I'm understanding correctly I should work around the lock-nut which is in a hex shape.:hmm:
Also another thing I'm faced with is connecting an elbow to the 1.25" bulkhead threads sticking out without spinning the bulkhead thus ruining my seal.
I think I'll have to make all my tubing connections and secure the lock-nut last.

I was hoping to be able to just paint my background blue (which I started out doing) and my LFS guy said that the salt would eventually destroy the paint. So I scraped the paint off and here I am.
I used the "plasti-dip" paint at Home depot and it worked great on my tank. It comes in colors, is easy to remove, and isn't affected by saltwater.

The can has a photo of a hand tool being dipped in it for gripping.


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The company that built my last tank used a product designed for truck bed lining. It sprays on and once it sets up it has a slight rubber texture to it. It works awesome but I am not sure if you can get it in blue or not, mine is black.
They have paint on and spray on versions. I got the spray on.

When you spray use long overlapping strokes - it will take alot of time for opaque coverage like I did. Don't try spraying in one stop for a long period or you can get bubbling you can see in the glass. It is nice though to be able to take it off in sheets if you need to, but not have to worry about the texture falling away from the back of the tank.

They have blue, black, yellow, red and maybe orange. You could even swirl black and blue if you wanted.
I'm glad you drilled the tank--in the end its less risky than using a HOB overflow!

For the background, just use a can of black or dark blue spray paint. Mask off the trim and the other panes with tape and newspapers. Quick, easy, looks great and its easy to remove with a razor blade if you're ever inclined.

I am going to remember this one, terrific idea. I am glad I did not know about it with the octo tank since I have taken all of my backing off (hex tank) except the very back and I peel it back regularly ;>) but for some of my other tanks (particularly the one I am working on right now) I like the idea a lot! I will give it a test run on some spare acrylic (sooo much easier to drill, patch, redrill ...) before I use it to be sure it won't stain but I am really enthusiastic!
I'm really glad I drilled my tank too, it looks really clean and tidy.
Should make octo security alot easier too.
The only power cords I have to deal with are the power head cords which I think I can conceal pretty well by siliconing to each of the rear corners of the tank and making a small notch in the rear strip as it exits the tank.
Well...lets see if I get the rear painted tonight I will be able to finish securing my bulkheads and inlet /outlet lines tomorrow then I should be ready for a freshwater test run.....finally!
I was beginning to think this was all just happening in my head.
I know it will all be well worth the wait.

If you have a little gap between the cords/hoses and the lid plastic, you can put some hot glue in there as a gap-filler. I haven't had much luck submerging hot glue, but it works great for lids.

Well the plasti-dip paint worked very well, it has a kinda rough texture and it did take a while to get complete and even coverage (I went through about 1.5 cans).
I plan to show this to my local fish store, they told me that there are no spray paints suitable for a marine tank.
I'm sure they wont mind being gently corrected.
My bulkheads are secure and tonight I'm going to start testing my filter and other equipment for leaks and performance.....yay!
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