3D backgrounds too real???

Magnum Man

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Jun 21, 2023
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Southern MN
I was trying to take a picture of an egg laden Rummy nose, when I saw a shrimp, in the close up photo... went back to the un-zoomed photo, & sure enough, its a shrimp... no shrimp in the tank... I noticed the background has some ember tetras on it ( I don't really like seeing pictures of fish, printed on the background )... apparently there a couple shrimp printed on the background, that I never noticed before... I guess I did a good job of blending in the tank, with the background, I can't tell what's real, & what is a picture in the background
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I prefer neutral "Solid" colors to my backgrounds. If it is confusing to you, think about how your fish feel about it. Looks like the water continues on, but wait, we just hit the glass. I think they adjust to it eventually, making a mental note, "wait that shrimp is not real or I cannot get to that shrimp". I also worry about internal reflections, from different internal locations the inside of a fish tank can look like a house of mirrors. If it could be done in a reasonable way I believe it would make sense to make the internal glass surfaces unreflective. I believe some more sensitive fish have a hard time adjusting to being in a glass box.
Yeah I never liked backgrounds with fish in them. Then there’s a bunch of fish visually present in the tank that I didn’t put in there!
@Magnum Man When you first started your SA cichlid tank, you posted a picture of the tank with nothing but sand and the background on it, and I replied “nice aquascape!” because I literally didn’t realize it was a background
I pick & choose my backgrounds, to match the direction I want to go, with decorating the tank, & I like them to look, 3-D, like you are looking into a lake, or river, something deeper than the tank... but for some reason it's hard to find nice ones, that don't have added critters printed on, & that is my pet peeve... I generally try to cover them up with plants or hard scape
Overall, I think this discussion really brings out that an aquarium is an unnatural environment for creatures that normally have much larger home ranges. I believe overall it is better for the fish to cover the view outside the tank on at least 1 side so the fish have somewhere they are not "always looking over their shoulder", any background will do that.
I'm trying something a little different... I have one tank, that's not part of a group, that I mentioned in a different thread, it's too dark, it still has a double sided background, & it's up against a wall, & has a dozen pothos vines growing between it and the full length LED light mounted about 18 inches above the surface... so I'm changing the background, to a lighter one, so the tank doesn't appear as dark, and so that I can back light it, like my other tanks... so, this one is going to be a challenge to blend the tank into it seamlessly, but at least there are no fake fish or shrimps... at least that I can see from the picture...

I paint the backs of my tanks black, SOme also get their sides painted. I think SW tanks should be blue.

When I swimm in fresh water what I see when I go underwater is black. When I have done scuba diving in the sea what I see is blue over reefs but deeper down it become more gray and then black.

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