Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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bearwithfish 12-22-2010 08:00 AM

painting advice needed
so as i begin my fresh water adventure i have decided that once i get the tank in i am going to do a 3-D back ground.. now i have seen the foam ones for sale and they are a bit too much in my eyes for a piece of foam LOL and i have looked at a ton of DIY ones on line and all of them cal for concrete .. i do not want to use concrete for a number of reasons regardless of other success (all of my previous trials were major failures) so i am considerinf either a good foam block that i will carve up to look like stone or egg crate with great stuff foam (i know this to be aquarium safe) my queston lies in what to use for the paint to get the realistic look i want? i have used Krylon fusion in the past to paint tubes and such but can i use this for detail work also? i have read about 100% latex paint being good as long as you let it sit for a week or two before putting it into the the tank.. does any one have any experience with painting decorations in the tank? and what advice could you share for this project?

ram50 12-22-2010 11:47 AM


Have you thought to talk with Train hobbyist? They make all kinds of landscapes for there model trains. and they are mostly light weight stuff. They might could give you a good idea as what you could do. Just an idea that popped in my head.

bearwithfish 12-22-2010 11:50 AM

actually i have talked with a few and they were not sure what would be safe submerged in a tank with fish.... thank you though.. most use acrylic and i want to but most important as i begin this build is to be sure nothing i do needs to be undone later LOL

lorax84 12-23-2010 12:48 PM

Use Drylock UGL - DRYLOKŪ Masonry - Masonry Waterproofer its masonry sealer and is aquarium safe once dry. Here is a thread from turtle forum with some info on using it.

3D Background with Drylok - Turtle Forum

You will notice in the thread that he melts the styrofoam with a heat gun before painting, this keeps the foam from flaking and makes it easier to paint.

bearwithfish 12-23-2010 01:16 PM


lorax84 12-23-2010 01:24 PM

btw, if you want different colors just buy white and tint it with quickrete mortar color.

bearwithfish 12-23-2010 01:30 PM

i read that on there.. very very good deal and with a gallon of white i can split it up into quarts myself and have 4 colors to play with!! this one looks the safest of all the others i have read at this time... i thin ki just may have to get me some and start messing around after the tank comes in (Sunday hopefully)

lorax84 12-23-2010 01:32 PM

Yeah, I have been researching this for awhile but have way to many projects that I need to do before I start with the ones I just want to do because they look cool. Let me know how it goes for you and post some pics when you finish.

bearwithfish 12-23-2010 01:41 PM

oh absolutely!!!!!! LOL i am the biggest one to complain about the lack of pix !!!! infact i will do an entire thread on the build in general and another for all the DIY stuff ... bee on the look out.....

jeaninel 12-23-2010 05:20 PM

+1 on the Drylok. MUCH better than using concrete. It doesn't mess with your Ph and there's very little cure time compared to the concrete. I used it on the 3D background I made for my 135 gallon and it was great to work with. But in the end I ended up not using the background because I didn't want to take up too much space (on the depth of the tank) because I was going to have some very large fish in there and didn't want to have to tear it out in a year. I had painted the back of my tank black first and that is what I ended up with.

Good luck on your project. :-)

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