50g Lake Tanganyika Shell Dweller Tank

realzalio

Fish Crazy
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Messages
396
Reaction score
309
Location
United States
So I have this tank now
IMG_0479.JPG

It's a 50 gallon zoo med 10 inch tall frag tank, and I think it will do fine for a shell dweller only tank
(it has a big footprint of 48x24 inches)

I'm trying to decide what would be better - a 3D background or a black background
A 3D background would make it look like the tank is located near a shore, and a black background would make it seem that it is farther out in the lake
Here are some pictures I like of some shallow parts of Lake Tanganyika:
iu
iu
iu

I think I can replicate this easily with some natural river stones that I can get from a local rock store
A few intermittent plants would also probably look nice as it appears in the first picture
I would also need to include a couple of clearings for the shell dwellers and their shells

I'm thinking if I should do one big light unit or two small ones
the two small ones would better copy the effect of sunlight, in my opinion

For now I would like input on those two things before I start moving on to other things
 

meodix

New Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2021
Messages
29
Reaction score
26
Location
canada
Personally, i like the third one, for the possibility of the caustic effect being extended in the picture. It seems about the same depth as the tank.
That's just IMHO.
But they're all very nice anyway.
 

meodix

New Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2021
Messages
29
Reaction score
26
Location
canada
Not to repeat myself but i also like the third one of the last three!
Back to your original post, what do you mean 3D background (as opposed to a dark one)? Do you mean that instead of a 'wall of rocks' the picture has depth?
 
OP
OP
realzalio

realzalio

Fish Crazy
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Messages
396
Reaction score
309
Location
United States
Not to repeat myself but i also like the third one of the last three!
Back to your original post, what do you mean 3D background (as opposed to a dark one)? Do you mean that instead of a 'wall of rocks' the picture has depth?
This is a 3D background, it's molded from a flexible material
image1-5.jpg

I think I'll do a painted black background because the 3D background might make the tank feel tightly spaced and small
I'd be saving a bunch of money too since buying a 3D background costs hundreds of USD while painting it black will not be near as expensive, not to mention it'll make the tank look better in this instance
 

FishHobby99

Fish Gatherer
Joined
Aug 15, 2021
Messages
2,436
Reaction score
51
Location
USA
So I have this tank now
View attachment 149950
It's a 50 gallon zoo med 10 inch tall frag tank, and I think it will do fine for a shell dweller only tank
(it has a big footprint of 48x24 inches)

I'm trying to decide what would be better - a 3D background or a black background
A 3D background would make it look like the tank is located near a shore, and a black background would make it seem that it is farther out in the lake
Here are some pictures I like of some shallow parts of Lake Tanganyika:
iu
iu
iu

I think I can replicate this easily with some natural river stones that I can get from a local rock store
A few intermittent plants would also probably look nice as it appears in the first picture
I would also need to include a couple of clearings for the shell dwellers and their shells

I'm thinking if I should do one big light unit or two small ones
the two small ones would better copy the effect of sunlight, in my opinion

For now I would like input on those two things before I start moving on to other things
I did not know Zoo Med made tanks, if we’re talking the same Zoo Med in San Luis Obispo, California. They make my betta micro floating pellets & I once phoned them. Very nice & helpful people.

I prefer the center pic. The cichlid biotrope with similar rocks you posted last week sent me down to my creek Sunday. It runs though my acreage on the south side. More on this later!
 

FishHobby99

Fish Gatherer
Joined
Aug 15, 2021
Messages
2,436
Reaction score
51
Location
USA
This is a 3D background, it's molded from a flexible material
image1-5.jpg

I think I'll do a painted black background because the 3D background might make the tank feel tightly spaced and small
I'd be saving a bunch of money too since buying a 3D background costs hundreds of USD while painting it black will not be near as expensive, not to mention it'll make the tank look better in this instance
Are those the custom made ones by Aquadecor that cost a small fortune, have tedious installations & reduce the bottom surface area, but look awesome?
 

threecharacters

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Nov 2, 2015
Messages
142
Reaction score
94
Location
US
I would not do a black background, a 3D background, or a printed background. None of the photos you posted have backgrounds like that. You need something like a frosted, dim, white-blue background like what you see in professional biotope contest tanks. For example, look at all these biotope aquariums (one, two, three, four, five), they all have a kind of dim, backlit background that is specifically designed to give the impression of infinite depth, just like what you have in those photos.
 

FishHobby99

Fish Gatherer
Joined
Aug 15, 2021
Messages
2,436
Reaction score
51
Location
USA
stunning! I took screenshots of those as a future reference for a 125 G cichlid/catfish in the making, but likely I’ll go with a sand substrate & large stones.
 
OP
OP
realzalio

realzalio

Fish Crazy
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Messages
396
Reaction score
309
Location
United States
I would not do a black background, a 3D background, or a printed background. None of the photos you posted have backgrounds like that. You need something like a frosted, dim, white-blue background like what you see in professional biotope contest tanks. For example, look at all these biotope aquariums (one, two, three, four, five), they all have a kind of dim, backlit background that is specifically designed to give the impression of infinite depth, just like what you have in those photos.
do you have advice on where to get the paint and the specific colors?
I've never painted a tank with a blue background but in some photos online the blue seems to pop out too much, so I'd rather go with a subtle light blue mixed with green or something like that, but I don't know if anyone will sell me the exact color? would I need to mix paint until I got the ratio right myself?

Particularly the fourth example you gave me seems to pop too much, but the first is closer to what I'm looking for if I were to go with a blue background
 

threecharacters

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Nov 2, 2015
Messages
142
Reaction score
94
Location
US
do you have advice on where to get the paint and the specific colors?
I've never painted a tank with a blue background but in some photos online the blue seems to pop out too much, so I'd rather go with a subtle light blue mixed with green or something like that, but I don't know if anyone will sell me the exact color? would I need to mix paint until I got the ratio right myself?

Particularly the fourth example you gave me seems to pop too much, but the first is closer to what I'm looking for if I were to go with a blue background
Honestly, I don't know how they get the backgrounds to look that good. You can definitely tell when it's not done well (e.g. the 4th example). I think a large portion of it has to do with how you light the background, and how to scape the foreground. Luckily, you have a very deep tank, which will give you space to create a depth effect.

The third an fourth examples I gave overlit the background, so I think that's something you want to avoid. However, the impression of depth is usually achieved by lighting the background some. This is something I've never tried myself, but have always wanted to do.

I would test different colors and lighting out with a removable background (e.g. colored paper). That way it's easy to reverse. Once you've found a color/lighting combination that looks like how you want, you can try matching it with paint. In some of the cases I've seen it almost looks like they are using something like paper or window frosting anyway.

My main point is that you shouldn't count out a green/blue/white background, I think when these types of backgrounds are done well they can actually look the best.
 

FishHobby99

Fish Gatherer
Joined
Aug 15, 2021
Messages
2,436
Reaction score
51
Location
USA
do you have advice on where to get the paint and the specific colors?
I've never painted a tank with a blue background but in some photos online the blue seems to pop out too much, so I'd rather go with a subtle light blue mixed with green or something like that, but I don't know if anyone will sell me the exact color? would I need to mix paint until I got the ratio right myself?

Particularly the fourth example you gave me seems to pop too much, but the first is closer to what I'm looking for if I were to go with a blue background
Lowe’s will match any paint color. Probably the same for other places. I painted my refrigerator turquoise to match the stove. Given the paint I needed, an automotive shop did the paint. You can also mix your own.
 

Most reactions

trending

Staff online

Top