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Discussion Starter #1
I made the mistake of not painting the back of my tank before filling with water / fish / plants. I have a black plastic background now but its way too reflective and it drives me crazy. Is there a way to paint it without killing everything? Would spray paint be best or regular paint applied with a brush? Talk to me people...
 

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Why would you kill everything??? The background should be painted on from the outside of the aquarium. If you can get a small roller than can reach behind the tank without painting the wall you're all set.
 

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I haven't done it yet, but i plan on buying some uncut black vinyl (Like this) from a sign shop or car vinyl place and sticking it to the back of the aquarium. This way you can remove it pretty easy if you need to, also it should be very cheap, just a couple of bucks.
 

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I haven't done it yet, but i plan on buying some uncut black vinyl (Like this) from a sign shop or car vinyl place and sticking it to the back of the aquarium. This way you can remove it pretty easy if you need to, also it should be very cheap, just a couple of bucks.
The only bad thing with anything that adheres to glass is that you're going to run into bubbles. It's a good idea as long as you have patience to apply it slowly, because you really only get one shot.
 

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In my opinion, nothing looks as good as actually painting the back. Now, that isn't to say that I always paint the back of all of my tanks, some of them I don't want to do something that permanent. But I've used both fleckstone/stone finish spray paint, and plain black brush/roll on paint, and in my opinion it looks far better than any kind of attached background material. If you have room to reach behind your tank, and you do want to paint it, I'd say get some good quality roll-on paint, a mini-roller and a small brush for details/edging, and go for it.
 

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I used black contact, (the sticky stuff to cover kids school books) on the back of my tank. Looks just like painted & when you decide you want a change, just peel it off & wipe the back down with methylated spirits. Cost you all of about two dollars, is easy to apply without bubbles & is easy to remove if you want a change.
It's not a great picture but this is one of my tanks that I used the contact on. Two layers of contact were stuck to the correct size styrofoam base & taped with gaffa tape to the back of the glass at the edges. I don't even have to peel the contact off. Just remove the styro sheet & the contact comes with it.
 

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In my opinion, nothing looks as good as actually painting the back. Now, that isn't to say that I always paint the back of all of my tanks, some of them I don't want to do something that permanent. But I've used both fleckstone/stone finish spray paint, and plain black brush/roll on paint, and in my opinion it looks far better than any kind of attached background material. If you have room to reach behind your tank, and you do want to paint it, I'd say get some good quality roll-on paint, a mini-roller and a small brush for details/edging, and go for it.

+1

Only other thing I can add is that if you decide to paint it, get oil based paint, and get flat not semi gloss. Also, apply multiple coats of paint. I used multiple coats while using a hair dryer in between coats to speed up drying process.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So I have gathered the best way would be to roll it on. Should I cover the top of the aquarium with plastic so nothing gets in? I will probably do this this weekend or next. I was also thinking flat black would be best. Less reflection. This is what bothers me the most about my current background. Thanks everyone for the input.
 

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Yes, flat black paint. I used latex and it sticks perfectly. You just have to clean the glass with window cleaner first and make sure it's really clean!
You don't have to put plastic on top of the tank unless you're really messy or if you use oil paint (because of the fumes).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well the reason I asked is because the tank has water, fish, and plants in it already...

I was planning on covering it anyways.
 
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