Cloud Tanks

Today I’ve been wrangling the mythical beast that is a cloud tank. Lots of research on these, and weirdly there’s little in the way of info out there. Thanks to Shanks FX though I had enough info to make it work.

First I began to look for a fish tank that would be good enough to use. I didn’t really want to spend too much on it as I wasn’t actually going to be using it again. Thankfully a friend had one they were no longer using. only issue was, it was a piece of crap.

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I cleaned it up and purchased various salt. I ended up using dead sea salt as I figure it makes things float in the sea pretty well… yeah. I also had a look at epsom salts and standard rock salt.

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I boiled two pans of water (about 4 litre) and added around 800g of salt. I then filled the newly cleaned tank with the water and let it settle for a few hours.

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I used a black velvet curtain behind the tank so that it didn’t reflect the light. Next, once the water had settled and cooled I had to fill the rest of the tank with fresh water. This is done by laying a plastic sheet (or bin liner in my case) on top of the salt water and gently filling the bag with fresh water. Once full you slide the bag under the fresh water so the two waters meet without mixing.

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Once this was done, I set up my camera and started to drop my liquids just beneath the surface. I used various types of liquid, but mainly condensed milk and food colouring.

It’s simpler than I thought it might be, but somewhat time consuming. If I wanted to have a clean tank every shot, I would have to boil more salt water… pretty laborious.

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