How To Choose A Freshwater Aquarium Safe Paint

Last Updated on January 19, 2022 by Fabiola L.

Want to know how to choose a freshwater aquarium-safe paint? Click and learn how to protect fishes from toxic paints.

If you have some old and boring decorations you want to throw away or you are tired of the background of your aquarium, don’t waste your money. Painting your aquarium can be fun and rewarding for both you and your fish.

However, you have to be very careful because some paints can be poisonous (fatal) to fish. Therefore, keep reading to learn how to choose a freshwater aquarium safe paint.

What Paint Is Safe To Be Used In An Fish Tank

The following types of paints are safe to use in the aquarium:

Latex paint is water-based paint and is very similar to acrylic paint. It is made of acrylic resin. This type of paint is of a much thinner consistency, making it dry very quickly.

Acrylic paint is non-toxic, and a chemical-based paint. It is made of pigment suspended in an acrylic polymer solution and acrylic resin. Because it is chemical-based, it dries extremely quickly and when dried it becomes waterproof.

Epoxy paints are chemically resistant and extremely durable paints. Those that do not contain volatile organic compounds are suitable for painting aquariums because VOC gases can harm fish and aquatic plants.

Admittedly, although they are usually considered safe colors, it is incredibly important to check the label.

How To Recognize Aquarium Safe Paint

When choosing paint, pay attention to the following things. This is the only way to guarantee that you will protect your aquatic friends from harmful substances.

One of the easiest ways to identify aquarium-safe spray paint is to label it “for use in potable containers” or “food-safe”. The most important thing is to wait for the paint to dry completely after application. Because only fully cured paint with completely evaporated solvents is safe to use in your aquarium. Also, try to avoid any paints or sealers that have mildew-fighting components as they are extremely toxic to fish.

There are also some universal features that you need to pay attention to. For example, oil-based products will stick best to glass and water-based products will peel off over time. Likewise, latex-based products break down water-based ones. While on the other hand, don’t forget that acrylic-based products must be protected from UV rays.

Labels On Products

Look for the following properties on the labels:

  • Non-toxic – this component does not need to be specifically explained. Toxicity is not good in any form, neither for humans, nor for animals, nor for the environment either.
  • Waterproof – such paint is less likely to chip or fade in water.
  • Safe for animals – paints that are specially designed for animals are the best possible option.

What Happens If You Use The Wrong Paint In Your Fish Tank

The aquarium should be a place full of calm and soothing vibes. That is why it is a very harsh environment for paint. Mainly because the paint itself does not react very well when exposed to water.

A large percentage of aquarium paints absorb water and soon begin to bubble or peel. Unfortunately, this can be fatal for fish because they misperceive them as fish flakes and often start eating them. This misconception is extremely harmful to your fish pets and can result in their death.

Sometimes the problem will be “invisible”. By this, we mean that the paint will seem to hold up well, but will release harmful chemicals into your aquarium. Although invisible to the naked eye, this problem will indeed be very deadly.

Learn more about: Why Not Make Clay Aquarium Decorations

Freshwater Aquarium Safe Paint For Internal Use

Pay special attention to the paint-covered objects that will be placed in your fish tanks. This is most often related to things like pipes and decoration pieces. We are sure you don’t want to deal with paint that peels off or releases harmful chemicals inside the tank.

Plastic is one of the most common materials used in aquariums. The best paint type for such objects is aquarium-safe spray paint. Why? – Because you don’t need brushes or extra cleaning.

Its use is a great way for those boring white PVC pipes that spoil the aesthetic of your aquarium. You can hide them in a very simple way; just spray them with black paint to make them disappear in the background.

Let the painting process consist of spraying an extremely thin and even layer to avoid dripping. You can later spray additional layers of paint later as needed. Don’t forget to prep the surface of the object before spray painting by cleaning and sanding it.  This will help reduce the likelihood of breaking or peeling. Finish the whole process by applying aquarium-safe sealant spray.

After the process of painting and drying, rinse the object in dechlorinated water to get rid of all the remaining impurities that have settled on the surface.

Freshwater Aquarium Safe Paint For External Use

External surfaces include tank glass, trim, and/or an aquarium stand. The good thing is that you don’t have to think too much about choosing colors for external surfaces since they are not in direct contact with your aquarium inhabitants.

People most often choose to paint the rear glass panel. It is also the largest surface of your aquarium. Acrylic paints, plastic dip, or even matte paints are most often used. It is only important to choose a color that will give a smooth finish and make it stand out.

As for shades and colors, blue and black are most often used for the aquarium background. This way you can camouflage the heater, filter plumbing, pipes, etc. However, the possibilities are endless. Choose what suits you best and what suits the needs of your aquatic world.

In Conclusion

There are many freshwater aquarium-safe paint options. However, most important of all is how well they will perform underwater and what the durability would be.

Finally, all coloring products will be toxic and dangerous before complete curing and should be handled with care during and after application.

Do you have experience with fish tank painting? Write to us in the comments.

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