Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
FAQ #1: What do you recommend to paint the back of the aquarium? | 52 FAQ

FAQ #1: What do you recommend to paint the back of the aquarium? | 52 FAQ


Today on brstv we are doing something new! Hi I’m Ryan one of your hosts of BRSTV.
For those of you that are following along recently my wife is about to have our baby
at any moment and I am going to take a quick break to go enjoy that with her. While I am
gone RT turner is going to is going to start a fun new series with all of you. I will see
all of you in just a few weeks. hey guys while Ryan is gone we are going to
start the 52 FAQ where we answer all of your frequently asked reefing questions from our
popular 52 weeks of weeks of reefing. Today we are going to answer rebeldeasupoder92’s
question from week 5 “ what would you recommend to paint the back of the aquarium? i want
it black” Like most things in reefing this is a fairly
simple question to those of us who have done it before and learned from our small mistakes.
Most of us actually started off our first reef tank by trying to apply some type of
black plastic film or other material to the tank. that can work ok but almost always eventually
peals off and you are just better off painting it the color you want which in almost every
case is black. People normally use black because it doesn’t
promote or show algae growth on the back of the tank and most reefers agree just looks
best unless you have some pretty specific atheistic desires. lets start with the type of paint, we want
something that will adhere well to glass , goes on easy , low cost , easy to find and hopefully
provides complete coverage in two coats. Everyone here at BRS uses rustoleum enamel paint which
is also probably the easiest paint to find in any market. Flat or gloss doesn’t matter
at all so get whatever is cheapest, both will have a glossy look from the glass. Only reason
to select one over the other is ifd you care what the back looks like. I guess my personal
preference is gloss in that case but it really doesn’t matter much. it comes in a typical can as well as a spray
can. Both work and have individual advantages. With the can you don’t need roller or other
tools which makes it the lowest cost however you absolutely should do it outside so you
don’t get get oil base enamel pain all over your house and air. You can obviously find
ways to control the paint but I personally would never spray black paint inside my house. I will also say that unless you are good with
spray paint its easier to get drips, uneven coverage. and frequently requires a few coats
to get a nice even black coat on the back of the tank. Id say spray paint is best for
small tanks where it is easy to bring them outside and is also the cheapest solution
but easily the most messy, requires the most protection and easier to mess up. For that reason I always use the traditional
can of paint and roll mine on. The roller applies the paint in a nice even coat, doesn’t
get in the air so it can be done indoors easily, more notice friendly and I think the overall
simplest solution with the highest success rates. You can almost always get complete
even coverage in two coats. We do have a few tips starting with make sure
to tape off the parts you dont want to be black, most people don’t care that much about
getting some on the trip but it you do tape it off with painters tape. but I would tape
off the edges of the tank so no paint gets on the side pannels. Rather than applying
the tape flat leave the edge tapered out so drips end up on your drop cloth rather than
the glass side panes. I also like to paint it with the back of the
tank facing up which limits drips, you wont see the drips on the inside of the tank but
it makes it look nicer if the back side is ever exposed. Also be somewhat stringy on the first coat
and try to just apply a thin layer. This is more or less just a primer or tach coat which
drys quickly and provides something for the second coat to easily adhere too. Its common
to try and put it on thick with the first coat in hopes that you might only have to
do one but in in almost every case you will have to do a second and all you did is add
drying time to the first coat. Last piece of this is the roller itself. select
something for ultra smooth surfaces if you can. This will make applying the paint to
the glass evenly easier and reduce the chances you will need a third coat. in most cases I try and use a 1/4” or 3/8”
nap roller that says smooth surfaces on the outside and I prefer these mini rollers which
gives me a lot more control over the application on a small area like an aquarium. I also try
and get a decent brand which wont leave fibers behind. Trying to save a buck or two here
just isnt wise. You can normally get a kit with a frame, roller and tray at any big box
hardware store for less than ten bucks. If also advise picking up a 99 cent foam brush
with a sharp angle which allows you to get the edges right next to the trip. A lot of
people like to do the trim with the brush first and then roller after. Hopefully this was helpful for those of you
who were wondering how to paint their tanks. If it was let us know with a quick thumbs
up and if you have any questions or tips for other us or the BRS community let us know
in the comments area down below. In this weeks poll we are also asking all of you what you
treated the back of your tank with so vote and check out the results to see what others
are doing. Ill see you in the next BRS 52 FAQ where we
answer Alex De Michieli3’s question.”In a calcium reactor if you are dissolving old
coral in isn’t it also going to dissolve Mag as well ? Why do you need to add extra mag
?”

100 comments on “FAQ #1: What do you recommend to paint the back of the aquarium? | 52 FAQ

  1. funny that you uploaded this, as i'm about to start painting mine here in the next hour. which makes me wonder….are yall watching me?! haha

  2. I used a piece of fabric to the back of my tank. Was able to get a nice light blueish color with random white lines in it (similar to the LED sparkle). Use a hot glue gun to attach one side and then pull it tight and attach the other side. If it does get wet, it will dry and won't show or bubble away. Keep in mind painting the back of your tank is only a temporary solution, as the coralline algae will cover the back glass (unless you scrape it daily/weekly).

  3. Congratulations! Having a baby is a true Gift from God bless you and your wife .. Btw you and your coworker sound the same! Lol

  4. I used gloss on my sump and flat on my tank. Can't tell a difference inside the tank because the paint is adhered to a glossy glass surface anyway , but the back of the tank is definitely different. As for using spray paint; the drips won't matter unless the back side of the tank is visible or the coats are too thin and you can see through the areas that don't have runs in them. I also masked off the sump in the return chamber and used silver spray paint make a level indicator.

  5. I have 3 QT tanks in my garage. I have fish in there now. if I used a roller, could I paint the back of the tank if I was careful and taped off all edges?

  6. thank you so much I was just actually thinking of doing this to my aquarium actually , talk about prefect timing.

  7. I have an acrylic hexagon tank where 3 of the panels on the back side are blue and the others are clear. Would the krylon paint be safe to paint the inside of these panels?

  8. is painting the tank while fully stocked a bad idea. the black looks great but I'm afraid the paint will get in the water

  9. When painting a drilled tank, do you just tape up the drilled holes or is there a better way to do this? Setting up a 75 soon and what to do this right!

  10. Instead of paint, try Plasti Dip. Three coats to cover glass, removable and easy to find the spray. Can also be used to black out stand glass. Best part? As I mentioned, removable. The next owner might not like your color choice. If they don't, the dip just peels off cleanly.

  11. RT. I would suggest using the rubberized black paint since I want to be able to remove it easily if I had to. it's not more expensive and you can find them easily too. I also like the shadowbox backgrounds. have been working on one recently but definitely an issue when algae grows on the back glass.

  12. Congratulations Ryan enjoy your baby!!! R.T you are doing a great job!!! You guys should put him in more videos. Awesome idea doing Q.A videos. I see a very nice potential on this. You guys should make this a routine once a week show of Q.A where us "The BRSTV Community" ask questions and you answer them in a 20ish minute show as best as you can. I can see Ryan and R.T hosting it. And from time to time a live stream show maybe?. I don't know is just an idea that also can promote your store

  13. How do you prevent the in take line and the out take line not get clogged with the slimy stuff my get clogged and prevent the flow of the water

  14. I use Plasti Dip. so if or when I need or want to take it off I can just peel it off. If the tank is going to be in one place for long regular paint is fine. But scraping it off is messy and time consuming.

  15. Once it is painted and dried is it possible to use a magnetic scraper on the back? Or will the dry side chip the paint?

  16. Congratz on the soon to be new arrival. Great video. I have never painted my tank thinking that it would scratch when you remove the pumps for cleaning. Has anyone experience this issue with a painted back?

  17. This is a little off topic, but I have a small problem of Dino's and I want to fix it while it's small. I am going to do a 30 gallon water change on my 75 gallon tank. I will be testing all my levels later today. Any thoughts and help would be appreciated

  18. I ended up spray painting the back of my 75g. Did it in a basement with plenty of windows open, but after the painting I noticed some paint made it inside the tank …. I was sure to newspaper all of the outside surfaces, but somehow a very thin layer made it inside …. I used a razor and got most of it off, but am worried that some residual might be toxic for fish….. thoughts?

  19. If the back of your tank is drilled, what steps would you take to make sure no paint manages to sneak through the holes?  I thought about taping paper towels or gauze over the holes from the inside of the tank, but then the inside of the holes will still get some paint in them.  I don't know if having the inner edges of the drilled holes get painted would affect any bulkhead seals, so does this even matter?  Thanks!

  20. I've had great success using Krylon for plastics spray paint (3 to 5 coats) followed by a few coats of Plastidip spray. I have found that the Plastidip acts as a tough barrier that will withstand most bumps and the such while working behind our tanks. I've done 3 tanks so far with this method and all have withstood the test of time.

  21. I use black vinyl that they use for car sign writing. Can use ordinary paint just need to add PVA glue 5050 mix

  22. Well, this was disappointing but understandable. Ryan, enjoy that baby, before you know you could have 4 just like I did!.

    I just used hobby grade acrylic. It is not as durable as enamel, but the back and sides of my tank are not accessible for damage. Not sure about enamel, but acrylic can be pealed off if you decide to go with a different color or if you sell the tank later for an upgrade.

    Great advice on multiple coats. I recommend 3 coats minimum. the mini-roller for smooth surfaces is the best roller you can use.

    Also, I went with a Navy Blue. I did not want black, but I also did not want a bright blue either. The Navy was a good mix. If I were to do it again, I would have cut in a little more black, maybe 10% black, 90% navy.

  23. Does the Rustoleum enamel work better than the black krylon spray paint? I have had kryon paint with success, is rustoleum better or the same?

  24. I have found spraying the paint works better, rolling or brushing makes the layer of paint too thick and it will peel off over time.

  25. plastic dip… it's removable so you can change the color whenever you want. been using it on my tanks since day one. plus you can customize the colors.

  26. black looks great and is the only way to go but i kept the back of my 125 with no paint, just all glass. i like to see the back of my tank clear so i can see everyone and everything. back of my tank is against the stairs.

  27. All of my tanks are 25g or less, I have 4.
    2-4 thin coats of black matte hobby grade acrylic applied with a 4" smooth surface roller, allow to dry between coats. Up and running in about an hour and removes super easy with a razor blade.

    I have noticed that salt creep will eventually damage the acrylic causing it to peel if you aren't good at maintaining the creep.

    Like all paint, thin coats work best but it's essential for acrylic on glass. Too thick of a coat will most often result in cracks as the thinner paint dries and the thicker paint recedes into the thinner dry paint. This effect is highly exaggerated if using a fan or hair dryer to dry the acrylic faster.

    A fan/hair dryer works gangbusters on multiple thin coats, not so well on thicker coats, and that probably applies for most paint.

  28. I'm looking to paint an inside back of my acrylic tank, I have an all in one tank and the partition that acts like the background is white, I want it black
    I try spray painting with epoxy paint on testing piece of acrylic but it leaves little holes or round marks
    What would you recommend to accomplish this task
    Thanks

  29. i have a very tiny 6 inch tank planted with baby dwarf tears and a betta fish. how do i control algae in the tank? can shrimps be a good solution?

  30. I used acrylic paint. I got the paint and foam roller for 3$ at the dollar store :p And acrylic paint is really easy to remove.

  31. I use Fusion to paint small tanks. It sticks to glass extremely well and doesn't peel off after years of use. However using enamel you can remove the paint later on. It just takes blasting with the water hose and a soft brush. I usually roll larger tanks just because it is easier to do indoors and doesn't require masking off the entire tank. Gloss black is the only way to go. You can also paint anything that goes in the tank with cheap black spray paint. Just let it cure for a week or so. I use the 99 cents a can black at the dollar store. It's non-toxic once cured. Make sure to read the label and make sure it says non-toxic when cured.

  32. what do u think about using plastic dip? is it just as effective? will it be just a black as the paint would? any con of using plastic dip?

  33. Thanks for the video, I just painted my 180 DT and my QT tank. Was shocked to see it still tacky after 11 hours with the first thin coat. Is this normal?

  34. Hi, first of all thanks a million for the wealth of information you provide to us reefers! My question: is there an alternative to a black back wall? Are there reef-tank back walls for sale, just like there are for fresh water tanks? Any recommendations? Thanks!

  35. Does this stop reflections from inside the tank? My Betta in my tropical planted tank is driving me nuts. He keeps seeing his reflection and keeps trying to fight himself. He gives up after a few seconds, turns around, turns back around and spots himself again. Rinse and repeat.

  36. What if you paint parts for inside your tank? Also if paint flakes off inside the tank what is the best way to get the flakes or toxins out? So for example, you paint a PVC overflow. Then fill the tank with water, and you see little paint flakes.

  37. I want to paint my 3d background. So will this color can be applied on it coz it will go inside the tank.. and also will it harm the fishes..??!

  38. After I paint the back of a tank I cover it with contact paper to protect it from scratches from the HOB filter resting against it.

  39. Acrylic paint costs for a few bucks plus a dollar store roller pack, Done! Sometimes people over complicate things.

  40. Super!! This is the best video I've found to paint my tanks..I have a 29 20 and 10 gallon and after consistently checking for sales on the static cling backgrounds for all 3 tanks..never pans out..this way I can buy 1 can..1 maybe 2 brushes and 3 all 3 tanks for a 3rd of what it would cost to cover all 3 in static cling backgrounds..and let's face it..the black is so much cooler than all those crazy aquatic scenes that would probably scare my fish anyway as God love they are scared of their own shadows! Even my betta!

  41. I use chupacabra blood as it tends to be more thicker than let’s say puppy blood. I only use one coat and I sometimes let it drip causing any house guests to flee.

  42. Hi, we have built an aquarium which is open from three sides. When we put water the other side from where we are standing looks seriously bent. Any thoughts?

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