What type paint for a black background? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-13-2018, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
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What type paint for a black background?

I will be shortly be getting a 75 gallon tank and want a black back ground. I have always used the back ground most LFS sell but the foot.
I can paint it black but would like to know from someone who has done this before and how they applied it to the glass so no streaks appear when done. What type paint gloss, flat black, gloss black etc and also roll it on or brush it on is there a particular type that sticks to glass. Feedback is greatly appreciated


Thanks Bill
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 12:51 AM
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I typically use latex. I don't think that gloss vs non is an issue unless you plan on being able to see the back of the tank and have a preference for that. When you view it from inside the tank, it's going to be semi gloss no matter what because of the glass. Depending on how big a tank you have to paint and/or if you already have a roller, one of these (https://www.homedepot.com/p/Roller-L...KITH/100209747 ) can come in handy...


In my experience it will take you about 3 coats to get it decent. 2 will probably do it unless you have it against a window. 2 coats will still leave some places a bit thin/spotty but you can't see them unless you have a backlight behind the glass. Make sure it's completely dry before you try to handle the aquarium much. I got a bit impatient and had to start over. I bumped it at one point and half the sheet of paint peeled off. Once it's completely dry it isn't so delicate, but it's not too hard to remove it at a later point if you decide you don't want/like it any more.



Hit me up if you have any specific questions.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 04:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
I will be shortly be getting a 75 gallon tank and want a black back ground. I have always used the back ground most LFS sell but the foot.
I can paint it black but would like to know from someone who has done this before and how they applied it to the glass so no streaks appear when done. What type paint gloss, flat black, gloss black etc and also roll it on or brush it on is there a particular type that sticks to glass. Feedback is greatly appreciated


Thanks Bill
Painting the glass cuts down your PAR levels.. long story..

Quote:
James Fatheree (sorry if I miss spelled the name) did some light testing a while back and ended up with data that showed lower light levels in the back of the tank he was using which had a painted back. After some investegation, it turned out that this was being caused because there is an effect where the interface between water and glass, and then the interface between glass and air, both reflect a notable amount of light back into the tank. By painting the back, you lose that glass to air reflection effect and this can cause a measurable drop in light level in the tank. I'm paraphrasing all of this based on a presentation he gave at a local club meeting a while back. Not sure where a specific and more detailed write up could be found, and also not sure what the name of that reflection effect is, but it does have a name..
also if you "mount" a background w/ say.. water..like those window stick ons..
Quote:
The issue is not reflection or absorbtion of the light. It's the effect where the interface between the glass and the air causes a reflection. When the back of a tank is painted, OR a background is adhered (including plastic backings that become stuck to the glass when they get dampness between them and the glass) that reflection is lost. When paint covers the back glass, the glass and air don't meet, and thus you lose the reflection you would otherwise get.
Lost the orig link showing PAR losses (orig source) but this "hints' at why (pg 4):
https://www.fmf.uni-lj.si/~planinsic...Experiment.pdf

Found it:
https://www.advancedaquarist.com/2012/5/equipment

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Last edited by jeffkrol; 10-14-2018 at 05:28 AM. Reason: edit
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-15-2018, 12:38 AM
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I find little difference in any painted backside and they do all takes several coats to get even near uniform. Brushing or rolling both tend to have problems, so I use what is handy at the time. Brushes leave streaks and rollers tend to slide on the glass and leave streaks. I've always thought that spraying on a coat from a distance so that the paint falls as tiny bumps and gives a bit of "tooth" might help with the next coat being rolled but I have never got it to work for me. Glass is tough to stick to for paint and I see no difference between rolled or brushed as they are both much thicker than spray. Spray is very thin and does get knocked off easier with tubing changes, etc.
But anything to keep from looking through to see all the junk hanging down will certainly be better. The worst paint job is far better than none! Nothing like a living room wall of some odd color shining through to mess with the effect of having a tank.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-15-2018, 04:05 AM
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The $1 cans of black spray enamel from home depot worked great. A 75g takes one can. The enamel it tough and wont easily scratch off.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-17-2018, 10:54 PM
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I use liquid acrylic (from a craft store usually) and put it on with a small roller. Generally takes multiple coats to get full coverage. Even if it looks covered be sure to check with light behind the tank that there are no little pin point holes. This has worked out OK for me but is a bit of a pain.

In the past I have used black Krylon spray paint which is faster and easier to get good coverage but can be a pain to move the tank some place safe to spray it (driveway or garage or whatever) especially if it is a large tank. I live alone so I don't have people around to help me move big tanks back and forth.


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-17-2018, 11:14 PM
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Plasti Dip in very thin coats. If you change your mind, just peel away.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-18-2018, 10:34 AM
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This is how I painted mine with a spray rubber paint a while back. You can see how it turned out in the video. Don't mind the crappy music and talking in the beginning of the video, it's in Mongolian. I was just talking about the paint and where I got it.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-18-2018, 03:16 PM
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What ever method you use, make sure the glass is entirely free of any oils. Wipe clean with denatured alcohol and do not touch the glass afterwards. Otherwise you'll end up with blemishes that are very difficult to fix.


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Last edited by Ken Keating1; 10-18-2018 at 03:41 PM. Reason: Grammar correction
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