Has anyone ever used a mirror as a background?

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Junior Poster
Mar 22, 2008
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I just bought a used 75 gallon tank I'm going to set up as a planted tank, 4 wpg, pressurized CO2, etc. The previous owner siliconed a mirror to the back of the tank. I have been planning on painting the back of the tank black, but I figured before I went to the trouble of 'unsiliconing' the mirror I'd see if anyone has ever used a mirror, and what their opinion of a mirror as a background in a planted tank was. So, any opinions would be greatly appreciated!
 

tedr108

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I've always thought a mirror would be cool -- the tank sure would look big -- but, then I think the fish might get confused and swim nose-first into the glass! :)

One time when I was trying to catch an ornery fish and was chasing him around, one of my cardinal tetras got scared and swam into the glass really, really hard. Poor little guy has a very flat face and nose now. It's been over a month and he is doing OK, but he looks like an old boxer since then.
 

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Mar 22, 2008
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tedr108;24057 said:
It's been over a month and he is doing OK, but he looks like an old boxer since then.

Conjures up visions of Anthony Quinn... Requiem for a tetra...:p

Upon closer inspection after getting the tank home, the mirror isn't in real good shape. Off it comes!
 

VaughnH

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If the rear glass isn't kept clean the mirror effect is largely lost. Then it is like a separate aquarium behind the main one, with a curtain inbetween. I like black backgrounds to avoid any need to be a good housekeeper in cleaning that back glass.
 

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Junior Poster
Mar 22, 2008
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Well, about 2/3 of a can of black satin Krylon Fusion spray paint, and I've got the black background I want. Looks great... Now I just need to get substrate, water, plants and fish in it!:D
 

Tom Barr

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Acrylic latex hobby paint works well and can be removed somewhat easily later if you want.

Regards,
tom barr
 

prjct92eh2

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Mar 11, 2008
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This is the tank i inherited from an algae frustrated mom and turned planted. It has a mirror background

aquarium027.jpg
 

a1matt

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Jan 30, 2006
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I contemplated a mirror backing once, and held a mirror up to my tank to see how it looked. Some of the fish couldn't work out that it was a mirror and started attacking their reflections. They really went for it as well. It was quite sinister to watch. It was about 20 years ago so I can't remember exactly what fish - I *think* it was a pair of kribensis.

I currently have a black background. I just have some black card form an art shop blu tacked to the rear glass. It then takes 30 seconds to change the backing to another colour when the urge takes me!
 

prjct92eh2

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Mar 11, 2008
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VaughnH;24519 said:
How do you like the mirror background? Does it make the tank seem to have more depth?

I think it does add a bit of depth to the tank. I also make sure to go over the back glass/mirror with the magnetic cleaner every week and a half before my water change. I think the depth effect would be much better if i didn't have those stupid HOB filters and heater. Granted, this is the only aquarium i have ever owned and therefore my first planted tank, so i don't have anything to compare it to that i've seen in person (i.e vs. a black background). Also, all of my fish have always lived in this tank, so they are used to the mirror and never try to attack themselves, etc.

Below are some more pics to give a little more of an idea of what it looks like with a mirror background. (Sorry for the crappy quality, still working with my point and shoot to get decent pics)

The mirror is just behind the neon in this pic
aquarium034.jpg


2X the fish!
aquarium033.jpg


Was trying to get the red tops in this pic, but you can see the reflection of the plants.
aquarium035.jpg


One last really crappy pic, but the mirros definitely adds some depth to this pic
aquarium037.jpg
 

VaughnH

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That is interesting. It does seem to make the tank look like it is deeper. I considered trying this when I installed my black background.