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How to best show off tank/goldfish colors

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Hi all,

 

After seeing all the wonderful photos of tanks and fishes on the forum, I was wondering if any of you had suggestions about lighting or backgrounds (or whatever) that would make a wider and perhaps more natural palette of colors stand out (of both the goldfish and the plants, etc). 

In my tank, everything just seems to have a yellow cast, which I find unappealing. I have black Tahitian moon sand, this light with white fixtures, a 29-gallon tank, and some plants that are trying their very very best. I have a small piece of Mopani driftwood that I boiled for several hours (and soaked), but I think that things were looking kind of yellowish before I put that in.

 

Would it help to put in some kind of laminate background? If so, which colors do you think set things off better? It seems, to my eye, that a slightly bluish cast (or cooler tone, I suppose) to the light sets off things quite handsomely. Would a blue bulb in addition to the white bulb help? Or would a blue bulb hurt the plant growth? 

 

I leave in some algae on the walls for BB and for my fish to suck on, but could this be why things are just not looking like the best color? Would it help to get some supplemental colored LEDs (although I don't know if I would have room to hang them over the tank--I am not sure if there is a way to "stick them" onto the back tank wall or something)? 

I might try putting in carbon once I'm done treating with Prazi and salt in a week to see if that helps, but that seems like a short-term solution to me. 

Thank you!

Also, here is a recent picture of the tank, although it looks more yellowish in real life.

20150406_124852_zpsxoh9c9ud.jpg

 

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There are certain varieties of fluorescent bulbs that work especially well with the reds and oranges in goldfish.  I went to an LFS where the goldfish looked A-MA-ZING and asked them what they were using.  They were able to sell me the same bulb (but for the life of me I couldn't tell you what it is about the bulb that makes the fish look so great).  I'm pretty sure it does have a slightly bluish cast to it, though.  I don't grow live plants, so having full spectrum or intense lighting doesn't matter at all for me.

 

It's possible that, even with all your boiling, the driftwood is releasing tannins into the water (which would explain a slight yellowish tint to the water).

 

Black backgrounds make goldfish really POP.  You're halfway there with the Tahitian moon sand.  A plain black background would probably tie it all together. :)

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My tank has a fairly pinkish colour bulb (it came with the tank) and while I don't think it looks good during the day, I really like how it looks at night.

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If you are concerned about space for another lamp, what about a hidden LED lamp? 

 

I have a LED finnex that has white lights and blue lights called "moonlight" that removes any yellow hues and really shows off the colors of the fish.  It in no way deters plant grown.  I'd definitely go with something blueish to offset the yellow.

 

I have another LED on my goldfish tank that has white lights as well as red & blue.  It also really shows off the colors. I'm not sure what purpose the red & blue colors have other than to increase the vibrance of color in the tank, but they sure do a good job at that :)

 

The algae in your tank will for sure add to the yellowing...it its on the glass, its probably in the water too.  I personally wouldn't worry about removing a small amount of algae, especially if your fish like to eat it, as long as it didn't start to take over.  The colored lights will take care of the yellow from it, so I would just leave it if it were me.

 

 

neontank_zps5afo0wi6.jpg

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I don't know what color temp you're dealing with but with my T5HO florescents I had to use the 6500K ones because they were out of the kind I normally prefer, these are warm and do cast a yellowish tint where as if you move towards the 10000K range you will get a bright cool light. I'm not sure if it's just my fixture but I prefer to have one 6500 and one 10000 or two 10000s. I think the brighter hue makes the fish pop more personally. 

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You want the light to be on top, and more near the front. Otherwise you will be lighting only the backside of things.

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Thank you for all of the great suggestions!

I will test to see if the driftwood is still leeching tannins with a carbon insert soon as an experiment, but the Finnex LED also looks very interesting as a supplement. I am looking at this one on Amazon. Does this seem like a good option? I see that it has red and blue lights. I don't have a lot of money, so I also am liking the price!

As for upping the Kelvin on the T5HO, I have been having a hard time finding a T5HO at that Kelvin rating that is on the smaller side. If I ever get a bigger tank I will definitely consider it! 

Also, I might try removing the algae on the back and then putting a black background so that Duchess can still eat the sides of the tank. 

 

Anyway thanks again for all of your advice!! I am excited to try to implement it. 

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I actually have that exact finnex light on one of my tanks.  I think you'll be happy with it :)   I also have a black background on a couple of my tanks, and the algae honestly isn't that noticeable as long as your light isn't shining directly towards that back glass.  Removing it from the back and leaving it on the sides, it'll just grow back on the back glass anyways.  I'd just put the background on that you want first and see if you really notice it or not before stripping it off the tank wall :)

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Great--I've ordered the light and am looking forward to meeting it! I hope it fits over my tank, but I think it'll manage, since it looks very skinny.

 

Many thanks to you all, again!

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For a black background, you can either paint your tank (I recommend emptying it first) or just put a black plastic bag with some tape holding it, to the back of the tank :) Others use black cardboard or similiar stuff. Anything black that you can attach to the back of your tank (outside of course) will help to make the fish standout more. I use to have the bottom and back of my tank painted black - I just had too much floating debris in the tank that also was quite visable with the black background, for me to keep it.

 

I might do it again as my water quality has greatly improved by adding new filters to the tank :) Also to have a small tank with black background to take pictures in, is something I'm trying to get started.

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