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Thread: Help! how to get rid of bubbles in the aquarium background

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    Silver Member malawifish's Avatar
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    Help! how to get rid of bubbles in the aquarium background

    Hi all

    I have put a plain blue background to the back of my tank with some water. However, after a couple of days bubbles started to appear every where.

    Have you experienced anything like this before? if you had how would go about fixing this problem. Your help would be greatly appreciated

    Cheers

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    Gold Member noyakfat's Avatar
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    Re: Help! how to get rid of bubbles in the aquarium background

    G'day there,

    I don't quite understand the application method. What is the material made of and how did you use the water to apply it? Is it on the outside of the tank?
    Nige
    (sniff)... (sniff)... i can smell fish... can anyone else smell fish?

    Currently fishless!!! Just running 3 ft to keep my plants alive...

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    Silver Member malawifish's Avatar
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    Re: Help! how to get rid of bubbles in the aquarium background

    Hi noyakfat

    The background material made of flexible plastic film similar to that of contact which we use to cover books. In fact it is like the material that we use in car tinting.

    The application is very simple and I basically wetted the background with water and just put on the outside of the tank and smooth it out. That's it!!! It's that simple

    Having said that, after a couple of days there are bubbles building up between the glass and the background. That is really annoying especially when the light is on the bubbles become very obvious

    Cheers

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    Re: Help! how to get rid of bubbles in the aquarium background

    There's a product called seaview that's made to attach backgrounds. Any LFS should be able to get it from Aquatopia.

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    Re: Help! how to get rid of bubbles in the aquarium background

    try using more water. like drown the plastic in water and same with on the tank. and then smooth it out. with the light on you will be able to see the bubbles use a flat edge to push the buddles out while there is still water behind the plastic film. and tape the sides down and the top to the tank.. you can also try it dry ive had it work dry before then out times it doesnt.

    As mention "Seaview" is great it works well. its like a oil based product.
    TRY Nielsen's Marine Mates Aquarium
    45-47 Beenleigh-Redland Bay road

    Loganholme

    they stock the product ive bought it from there before. also it is worth the trip just to check out the store its a Great store really clean and tidy. not much of freshwater but there saltwater stuff is Great.
    ive also heard that vegetable oil works i havnt tryed it myself but have heard of someone using it once before. just make sure to push all the bubbles out with to the sides of tank or top.

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    Re: Help! how to get rid of bubbles in the aquarium background

    Im only just getting back into fish keeping, but years ago, i used to use the spray on cooking oil, then a flat edge (credit card, spatula, etc) to smooth out air pockets, never had any dramas and always looked great.

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    Re: Help! how to get rid of bubbles in the aquarium background

    Guide I did a while back on a different forum - Copy/Paste. Canola oil is magic for this.

    Hey guys,

    I get asked quite often how I get such perfect black backgrounds in my fish and full tank shot photographs, and whether my tank is painted. None of my tanks are painted because I don't like the permanent aspect, regardless of quality. I'm no paint expert but from what I gathered from researching the painting of the tanks, the best results are after applying a preparation product such as Penetrol or ESP, which may affect the glass if you ever decided to remove the paint.

    Since beginning in the hobby I've always had black backgrounds on advice of a friend who taught me this method. I'm sure its documented elsewhere, but here's my method that may be slightly different.

    What you need:

    - Appropriate size of Blue/Black Double sided background vinyl (I call it vinyl)
    - Canola Oil Spray
    - Something flat and square, like a plastic scraper, ruler, etc.
    - Black electrical tape
    - Old Newspaper



    This is pretty much what I use.

    Procedure:

    a) Wipe down the background of your aquarium with a half wet fine cloth and allow to dry. Methylated spirits will also work but I generally have other things going on when applying a background that I can attend to in the meantime. Don't dry it with a towel as you'll leave tiny specs of hairs and such on the glass, so unless you want to go over it again with a static brush or similiar I suggest waiting it out.

    b) Cut your vinyl backing to fit onto only the glass sections of your tank, so it's not overlapping any corner edging, it needs to go on perfectly flat. Don't be overly pedantic about making it absolutely perfect, as we have methods of smoothing out the edges once it's applied. If your tanks over 24" high or you bought backing that's too short and need to join pieces together, that's fine. Cut everything to fit neatly even if there are gaps.

    c) Lay some old newspaper out on the floor and lay your vinyl down with the colour you want to see facing upwards. Grab your Canola oil, and go to town on it. You don't need a whole lot, but a decent coating like you were doing a thin undercoat using spraypaint will be enough.

    d) Carefully lift it (a friend helps here) and place onto the back (you never know) of the tank as evenly as possible, and line it up. Make sure there are no kinks or anything in the vinyl, but airbubbles are fine. Now would be a good time to whack your fluro setup on top of the tank and flick them on. If you can see through any of the background on the edges grab your electrical tape and very carefully tape over any gaps. I basically just run electrical tape down both edges of the tank, and along any joinings of vinyl.

    The top and bottom won't matter so much because your substrate will cover the bottom, and the top will generally be out of sight anyway.

    It should probably look like this.



    e) Now you're going to want to get rid of these evil air bubbles. This is where you employ your nice flat object, and a friend also helps here as he can be your air bubble spotter.

    You want to locate air bubbles and push them out the top or the bottom (not where you have electrical tape) of the vinyl to let the canola oil fin in any gaps and become an even glue like substance that holds the background on. This is quite a tedious process and will take you a good 10 minutes.



    This is not me in the photograph ladies, settle down.

    f) Once you're happy with the results, you're done. Fill her up and you'll have a tank almost as good as mine are. Here's what the tank should look like without any water in it in comparison to the first photograph.



    ...and here's what the tanks and photographs should look like if you've got a DSLR, a steady hand, and some nice lighting. Once you've had black (as your aquarium background) you'll never go back.





    Edit: Here's a shot of the tank currently, this is 15 months after the background was applied.



    There's a few little air bubbles creeping in but they're only visible from certain angles, so 15 months on and still looking good so it's a fairly permanent solution until you decide to change it.

    Hope this helps some of you out there.

    Cheers,
    japes.

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    Gold Member pony-tail's Avatar
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    Re: Help! how to get rid of bubbles in the aquarium background

    Cool I would never have thought of using canola oil.
    When I used to have backgrounds I used 2pac Epoxy paint I used to do mine the darkest blue on the chart . I do not bother with them any-more
    The ancient one
    been keepin' fish since '65
    Currently mainly keeping empty tanks .

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    Silver Member malawifish's Avatar
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    Re: Help! how to get rid of bubbles in the aquarium background

    Hi guys

    Thank you for the advice and info. I will try again with canola oil tomorrow and will keep you guys update with the changes.

    Cheers

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    Silver Member malawifish's Avatar
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    Re: Help! how to get rid of bubbles in the aquarium background

    Hi guys

    The canola oil worked like champ. Finally I have a nice background without visible bubbles, if you had this problem surely give the canola oil a try......

    Cheers

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    Re: Help! how to get rid of bubbles in the aquarium background

    A trick we used to use in the sign writing business was use a tiny pin (smallest possible) and ***** a small hole in any air bubble and use a flat object to squeeze the air out.

    The hole will not be noticed if you do it as small as possible as when you squeeze the air bubble out the film will sligtly stretch and cover the hole.

    Just be careful not to use a big pin because you will see the hole if its too big, we also used scaples to "slit" the film slightly.

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