Painting internal tank glass - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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Question Painting internal tank glass

I'd like to try a black background that's painted on the inside of the tank rather than outside to remove reflection/glare.. from my reading so far the only safe thing I've found is Kylon Fusion spraypaint but also read it won't adhere to glass. I'm curious if anyone has foudn another way to paint internal tank glass? What exact product was used? How long has it been submerged with like fish/inverts to say its aquarium safe?

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 09:40 PM
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I looked around for something similar to cover (as in not seeing it through the rear glass) the external part of my internal/external overflow while sill painting the rest of the back externally.

I didn't find anything that sounded like a good idea either.

I ended up ordering some thin custom cut black acrylic and covering the section I could not paint externally with the acrylic. It has worked great, you can't tell. Suppose you could do that for the whole tank. Especially if it is a small one.

May be more of a pita than it is worth vs painting it externally (when possible) though.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-24-2014, 12:55 AM
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Might try getting a big sheet of black foam, the style that people use for filters. Might tend to turn green over time or be hard to clean, I dunno.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-26-2014, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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I grabbed acrylic sheets, husband cut them to fit in the tank and spray painted them with krylon fusion black.. I sanded them before the spray to give better grip but I can see the sanding marks and suspect the tiny notches will form algae so I might flip the acrylic over and paint the other side to be the viewed portion instead.. then get to wait 24 hours+ before doing a water test. Will post outcome of water test later.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-26-2014, 07:25 PM
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How about geotextile used in ponds? Or pond liner itself maybe?


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-26-2014, 09:14 PM
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Removing it would be a ridiculous amount of work, but you could pick up some aquarium-safe black silicone and smear that over the back of the tank...
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-01-2014, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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So I took acrylic sheets, one side was sanded the other not, and they were coated with Krylon fusion black. over 48 hours cure time then put in a bucket of water for 48 hours. No pealing, but the paint is oddly not adhered to the sanded side as well and small dust particles of it come off when whipped down gently with a towel (when its dry) the smooth acrylic side does not release paint dust. This is strange as I'd excepted the opposite if it wasn't going to adhere completely.. Mulling over removing and re-painting or just getting some new acrylic and not sanding any side it to paint instead.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-01-2014, 06:48 PM
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I'd recommend black acrylic so you don't have to paint it. Wouldn't you have issues cleaning the paint too?
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-01-2014, 07:24 PM
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The only applications of heard for Krylon is painting PVC fittings to which it adheres to perfectly. Since you're open to experimenting, why not paint a small piece of glass to test its' adhesion? Just as you (me too!) would've expected it to adhere better to a scuffed acrylic that smooth, you can easily prove or disprove what you read about it on glass. Honestly, I would give it a shot. The worst you could lose is a cheap scrap of glass you can buy at the hardware store.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-01-2014, 10:53 PM
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I haven't used krylon submerged, but I had heard that you were supposed to let it cure for something like 7 days before submerging it, so that might make a difference.

Supposedly it chemically bonds to the plastic, so if that's true, then as long as the piece of plastic is clean, I don't think you would need to sand it, since that's to help with a mechanical bond.

If you can find a plastic supplier near you, you should be able to get black colored acrylic.

Otherwise, I'd look for other sources of flat, black plastic pieces. Try wandering around the hardware store, and look at cheap trashcans, washing machine/waterheater/shower trays, cement mixing tubs, etc...
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-02-2014, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lochaber View Post
I haven't used krylon submerged, but I had heard that you were supposed to let it cure for something like 7 days before submerging it, so that might make a difference.

Supposedly it chemically bonds to the plastic, so if that's true, then as long as the piece of plastic is clean, I don't think you would need to sand it, since that's to help with a mechanical bond.

If you can find a plastic supplier near you, you should be able to get black colored acrylic.

Otherwise, I'd look for other sources of flat, black plastic pieces. Try wandering around the hardware store, and look at cheap trashcans, washing machine/waterheater/shower trays, cement mixing tubs, etc...
I can't verify the theory of a chemical bond being created either. Krylon first came to be used on the SW side of the hobby to paint white PVC fittings that just look awkward in some of the hardscaping in those tanks. The idea is to paint the PVC and it eventually gets covered in pink, puprple and red coralline algaes (takes a few months or more). Given that the coralline growth over painted PVC fittings doesn't experience any loss of adhesion, you can assume that the Krylon is pretty well affixed to the PVC. Not sure about the cure time, but that would be a good question to ask here and in a SW forum. I'd be curious to know myself.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-04-2014, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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Sadly I have no access to black acrylic/glass or other inert material so had to paint it. I ended up putting the tank together and so far the fish is doing fine and the beneficial bacteria in the filter (pre-cycled before moved to the tank and exposed to the acrylic) is not dieing off (ammonia and nitrite readings are still 0ppm) so I think its ok.. Will see after a week.
The reason i waited 48 hours to test it in water and not longer is because my Googling (which led to a lot of salt water tank forums) people recommended a 48 hour cure time. These forums also included the use of Krylon not just for pvc but also overflow boxes or in tank sump systems (coating the outer wall so they don't have to see the filtration). I found not definitive "I tried it on glass and it failed" but looking up Krylon and glass I got people simply saying "It won't adhere to glass, use a plastic." just no first hand failures being mentioned.
As a side note: using acrylic for a hood sucks compared to polycarbonate (what I usually use), in less than 48 hours the acrylic is more bowed than my many months old polycarbonate lids are (on tanks with same water chemistry, temp, and lighting).. the acrylic was cheaper than the stuff I usually get which is why i tried it.. "you get what you pay for".. at least the internal pieces are not bowing.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-09-2014, 12:07 AM
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Black plasti-dip.
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