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Has anyone ever used a mirror as a background?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by 20 20, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. 20 20

    20 20 Junior Poster

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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!
     
  2. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
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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.
     
  3. 20 20

    20 20 Junior Poster

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    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!
     
  4. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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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.
     
  5. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Junior Poster

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    Ditto. :cool:
     
  6. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    With a lack of paint, black garbage bags work great.
     
  7. 20 20

    20 20 Junior Poster

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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
     
  8. Tom Barr

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

    Regards,
    tom barr
     
  9. prjct92eh2

    prjct92eh2 Junior Poster

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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
     
  10. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    How do you like the mirror background? Does it make the tank seem to have more depth?
     
  11. a1matt

    a1matt Prolific Poster

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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!
     
  12. prjct92eh2

    prjct92eh2 Junior Poster

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    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
     
  13. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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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.
     
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