General Aquaria Discussion • Painting in rooms with aquariums

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Painting in rooms with aquariums

Postby mambee » Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:50 pm

I've lived in my current apartment for over 15 years. I own the apartment and completely renovated it when I first moved in.

My sister recently stayed with me for a couple of days and had some critiques. Being a bachelor all of my life, I've made some misguided design choices (painting every room the same color, mismatched furniture, etc.)

I really need some cracks in the wall and ceiling repaired and my entire apartment repainted. I've always been concerned about the fumes killing my fish.

How do you safely paint an apartment which has multiple aquariums? The tanks are close to the wall, so how can you paint behind them without moving any tanks? I would never risk moving 90 and 150 gallon tanks.
150 Gallon:
Geophagus, Angelfish
90 Gallon:
Bolivian Rams, Rummynoses, Corys, Dwarf Loaches, Neons, Glass Catfish
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Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2003 9:54 pm
Location: Hartsdale, NY

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Re: Painting in rooms with aquariums

Postby noddy » Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:20 pm

Get your sister to do it. ; )





I wouldn't worry about fumes as I'm sure you'll be using latex.
I would move the tanks if it were me.
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Re: Painting in rooms with aquariums

Postby Deeda » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:09 pm

I've painted rooms with aquariums and always used a latex based paint without issues. A paint with low odor/low VOC should reduce the odor as well as opening windows to help dissipate the odor.

As far as painting behind aquariums, there are a couple choices. One is to see if you can fit a smaller diameter roller with a long handle behind the tanks to paint the wall but if there isn't enough room, only paint as far as you can since the unpainted section won't be seen until you move the tank.

The other is to empty as much water as possible, leaving enough for the fish and slide the tank/stand far enough away to paint. I've only done this with a 75G tank on low pile carpet and it worked well though I did need to put a scrap 2x4 against the baseboard and pry with another 2x4 to move it away from the wall. Pushing it back required more effort.

Most people don't bother getting behind the tank to paint fully and just save some paint for the future when relocating the tank.

Or tell your sister to keep her decorating opinions to herself!! :roll: :lol:
Fishless Cycling
Posting Pics Eff. June 20, 2017, Photobucket does not allow free pic hosting

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Re: Painting in rooms with aquariums

Postby ken31cayman » Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:43 am

To paint behind the aquariums put a painter's dropcloth to wrap around at least the back part of the tank, then paint the wall behind as much as you can. Put a good amount of fresh charcoal in the filters to detox the water of the paint fumes.

I kept Discus in my 180gal for 18 months and I would never try painting the room since Discus are so sensitive, but for most other fish you should be fine with fresh charcoal in the filters.
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Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:06 pm
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Re: Painting in rooms with aquariums

Postby nodima » Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:41 am

Deeda wrote:I've painted rooms with aquariums and always used a latex based paint without issues. A paint with low odor/low VOC should reduce the odor as well as opening windows to help dissipate the odor.

As far as painting behind aquariums, there are a couple choices. One is to see if you can fit a smaller diameter roller with a long handle behind the tanks to paint the wall but if there isn't enough room, only paint as far as you can since the unpainted section won't be seen until you move the tank.

The other is to empty as much water as possible, leaving enough for the fish and slide the tank/stand far enough away to paint. I've only done this with a 75G tank on low pile carpet and it worked well though I did need to put a scrap 2x4 against the baseboard and pry with another 2x4 to move it away from the wall. Pushing it back required more effort.

Most people don't bother getting behind the tank to paint fully and just save some paint for the future when relocating the tank.

Or tell your sister to keep her decorating opinions to herself!! :roll: :lol:


LOL when we bought our house, there were ghosts of small shelves in two rooms. Seems the previous owners could not be bothered to remove 4 screws and simply painted around the shelves in place!!!

In a previous house, we did not want to move a 75gal tank for painting behind it, so we painted around it as best we could, and when it was time to sell, we broke the tank down and painted that section. Fortunately the paint was not up for too long, so the color still matched perfectly.
180 gal - Tanganyikan community tank: Tropheus Bemba, Synodontis Petricola, Compressiceps

125gal - South American community: Geophagus, Acara, Angels, Severum, Festivum

75gal - Planted SA tank
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