View Full Version : Need ideas for back wall on my cube tank

10/18/2007, 10:08 AM
Hi guys
Here is my cube tank:
It will be visible on 3 sides, and the back wall (where the overflow is) I would like to be black. I am wondering if anyone had any suggestions for me on how to make my back wall black? So far my best idea is to paint below the overflow box with black spray paint, and paint a pice of acrylic black (and cut some overflow strainer teeth in the top) and put that inside my overflow box. I'm worried it will look goofy though. My other ideas are to paint the inside of the tank black, but I'm worried it would be bad for the livestock, and the paint would scrape off when I cleaned it. Finally I could put a peice of black 1/8 " acrylic on the inside of the tank, but again i'm worried about it scratching when I clean it. I'm kindof stumped, I was hoping someone ells could help me think up another solution.


10/18/2007, 10:34 AM
paint the outside back

if you paint the inside...paint will eventualy peel and that would be bad :P

if you paint the outside black...the inside will have a smooth finish.

my 0.02

10/18/2007, 12:20 PM
Clean it, clean it clean it
Before you paint make absolutely sure that there is no dirt, marks,blemishes. I didnt clean mine thorougly and am now dissapointed. Use water proof or UV resistant paints, Krylon fusion paints are great for tanks as are BBQ paints and exterior paints. Use proper masking tape and mask it well, take your time. After applying first coat allow to dry, not completely, look for marks, this way you can start over. Apply as many coats as needed.
Have fun!!!

10/18/2007, 03:30 PM
I'm thinking painting the outside is the best option. that's what i did with my old tank and it worked great. The only problem is my overflow is an external coast to coast overflow that extends 24 cm (10.5" or so) down the back of the tank, so if i pain the back, i can only paint the space below the overflow. I could paint a piece of acrylic cut to fit inside the overflow, but I would have to be sure to use a reef safe paint.

10/18/2007, 08:03 PM
I am not 100% positive that there is a "Reef Safe" paint that would be suitable for your application. I may be wrong, and usually am.
I dont think that painting the back of the tank, and not doing anything with your overflow would be a distraction. My best advice would be to paint and see how "you" like it. Another option, that you could do, off the top of my head, is get some backing film from you LFS, add some "Reef Safe" epoxy to the film and mount it inside or out of your overflow. ( I know that there is reef safe epoxy!)
Problem with that I find is that, the film will have s slightly different shine than the paint.

10/18/2007, 08:32 PM
You've pretty much run into the same situation that a lot of us have here. Your solutions are about all that I have seen as well. I've seen both the full darkened acrylic backs covering the back glass with the teeth cut out as well as painted around the external overflow.

I opted for the painted around overflow option as i was expecting lots of coralline growth anyways.

Here are some shots:


After about 1 year:


10/19/2007, 06:24 AM
I know the coraline will take over eventually if it let it, but I would like to try to keep my back wall nice and clean (i'm sure i will get lazyand let it cake over though).

ctreefer what do you have on the bottom of your tank> is that BB or is it sand?

10/19/2007, 07:54 AM
you can use a thin 1/8" piece of black acrylic and laminate it to the back (outside) of tank using solvent. The same is true, for the inside of your overflow, however, even more caution needs to be taken because of the small working space. Also, make certain that the 1/8" will not significantly alter the space required for dursos etc. (some overflows are snug enough).

10/19/2007, 08:52 AM
why don't you use the spray foam insulation material like reefmaiden uses? It gives a nice texture and is hard to tell it isn't rock.

10/19/2007, 09:04 AM
to be honest I hate spray foam tanks... some people like them but they are not for me. I think krylon paint is fine as long as you give it a good long time to offgass before putting it in to a tank. i'm going to ask around to be safe though.

10/19/2007, 02:16 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11005391#post11005391 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by george1098
I know the coraline will take over eventually if it let it, but I would like to try to keep my back wall nice and clean (i'm sure i will get lazyand let it cake over though).

ctreefer what do you have on the bottom of your tank> is that BB or is it sand?

Then I would probably choose the full piece of black acrylic inside the tank to cover the seams and rout in the teeth. Just make sure you seal it around the edges with silicone so as not to let detritus get in there and become a problem later.

The bottom is BB with the starboard. Not the prettiest thing in the world, but its easier for me to control the tank this way. My DSB attemps were poorly made.

Good luck