Painting an aquarium with the fish in it?
Alright, here is my problem. What would you do with it? I have a 60 gallon aquarium against a wall. There is about 4 1/2 -5 inches between the glass and the wall. Just enough to make room for the HOB filter. Anyway, it has this horrid background. It is supposed to be plain black but because of how it bubbles and won't stay on the tank it looks horrid. I would ideally like to pull it off the tank but not sure how I could clean off the back of the tank and paint it with it this close to the wall. Needless to say, it is too heavy to move away from the wall to paint. Is it even safe to paint it with the fish in it? Fumes? I know you need an oil based paint to stick on the glass so... I worry about the fumes with the fish. Not to mention, how in the world could I actually do it? I am thinking if I had a soft roller with a long handle maybe?
For the past year I had a lot of plants that covered the bulk of it so it didn't bother me but now... they are shorter and it looks nasty. What would you do?
Here is how the background looks. I am sure you can see why I need to fix it.
I wouldnt worry SO much about the fumes, but I would say the tank definitely needs to be covered. I would say saran wrap over the top for the initial painting, and the first few hours of drying, minimum, but not so long that the water gets starved (I wouldnt leave it on overnight, for example).
the tricky part past that would be getting it clean enough for paint to stick with it against the wall. Painting it will be the easy part ;)
if it were me, I would drain half the water and get a friend to help me drag it away from the wall for a few days, then drain it again to move it back. but thats just my $0.02! And painting it in place will be fine, just cover the top and be careful.
without moving the tank your not going to be able to clean it properly unfortunatly. I would get some black poster board from the dollar store and replace it with the old one. Once you take off the old one and replace it you might not notice the dirty marks. Also i would move the light more to the front so it leaves the back slightly darker .
ive had bad experiences with construction paper :\ the paper had gotten damp on and off over a couple years on my old 29g, and the paper fused to the glass. was a nightmare to get it off.
Try it, maybe you CAN get your arm in there enough to clean and paint it. I just want pics :D
Most aquarium stands that are bought in stores (for example Petsmart/Petco) are not structurally sound in that kind of movement. They are only designed to hold the massive weight vertically, but are quite flimsy in any kind of horizontal movement.
Home built may or may not be better, depends on how much cross support there is.
I vote for the poster board, best option without moving the tank.
Labrynth(sp) type fish such as Gourami,and or Betta's, could easily become sick from fumes from paint for they take in oxygen from the surface at times.
Were it me,,I would drain the tank into large rubbermaid tub and place fish,heater, and filter on the tub to temporarily hold the fish.
Would put the gravel in another tub along with plant's and some aquarium water.
Would then get help to move the tank.
Should not take long to tape off the sides of the tank, cover the top ,and paint it.
Then move the gravel,fish,and plant's back.
That is true, lord knows I don't need a broken stand and tank. As much money as I have been dumping on my dogs i sure as heck couldn't run to the store for an emergency new 60 gallon tank and stand. Ugh!
I third the poster board idea. I plan to do that with my tanks that are already set up. I spray painted a tank black, but I had to completely take it down. I'm not doing that with another tank until I have to move them. With a tank that large, I wouldn't risk moving it.
Think of the poster board as a temp fix. When you have the time to paint it you can.
Just leave it Inga :) It's only aesthetic and from what the other posters are saying will only lead to a headache.
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