Painting a Home Aquarium

There are a number of ways to cover the rear panel of a fish tank.  One of the lesser known methods – because of fears of toxicity and lack of knowledge on how to do it is by painting a home aquarium – this can be just the back – or it can extend to the back, both sides and the bottom. It really depends on the needs of the aquarium and its locations.

appistogramma in painted tank

appistogramma in painted aquarium

Of course the easiest method to disguise the equipment hanging from the back and the various hoses and wires that must enter the system to keep the habitat viable is to place a paper or plastic sheet on the outside of the back panel and attach it with tape.  I suppose you can bend it around the tank and cover the side panels as well, but I have never been able to get it taped tightly enough when I try the extra panes.

Painting a Home Aquarium can prevent Green Water

One of the most difficult problems an aquarium can suffer is when direct sunlight strikes the aquarium at any point.  In cases like this the power of the sun causes algae, a single celled plant to explode in population in a bloom that can turn the water a pea soup green. Once started it is very, very difficult to eradicate.  The best cure is proper preparation that eliminates the problem before it can occur.

Painting a home aquarium on the outside of both side panels as well as the back limits the ways sunlight can enter the fish tank.  It can only come in form the front, so care must be taken in locating any aquarium away from direct sunlight and even strong fluorescent lighting that is on most of the time.

Paper and plastic sheets are easy to apply, and sometimes they are the only option when an aquarium is already established – all that is needed is the sheet and some tape, but they often are not installed tightly enough to the glass and lose colour and texture because of air pockets and wrinkles.

A proper paint job should be done prior to tank installation, and given enough time for the paint to dry before the tank is filled.  As discussed in the video, it is easy to remove the paint from the tank with a razor blade.

It may not be the most convenient way to hide all the accessories from view, but it is effective and safe for the fish, and probably the best way to prevent sunlight from entering the tank when there is direct sunlight entering the room and possibly an unprotected gravel bottom.

Most tanks in commercial operations are painted, what is your personal solution to hiding the accessories that enter the tank?  I prefer a dark blue – either paint or plastic sheet.  What do you like best?


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