I love The Beatles, they are definitely my favorite band of all time so when I saw the AquaFarm fish tank from Back to the Roots I knew I had to have it, and that I wanted it to be based on Octopus's Garden by The Beatles. At first I considered putting an octopus figurine inside the tank but didn't want to take up room from my fish (aptly named Ringo) and I wasn't satisfied with the selection of octopuses available online. I wanted to be able to design my Octopus the way I wanted, this was my solution and I hope you all like it whether you are a Beatles fan or not.
I used Gallery Glass paints and the AquaFarm system, I'll go over the basics but this is more of an instruction on making the wrap around the tank. If you would like more information of either product I would recommend visiting the links, and I am also happy to answer any questions you may have.
This concept of using the stained glass could be used for any concept of a background and could easily be manipulated for any tank, so don't let the concept of the specific tank keep you from enjoying this Instructable.
Step 1: Supplies
What you will need is:
A fish tank
A printed template (I have attached the ones I created and used, but you could also use your own concept, an image from a coloring book, or if you're super talented you could always free hand it)
Gallery Glass paints - I got this multi color option from Michaels but I also got a bottle of blue since I needed more than was provided for the water)
A clear sheet which is bendable - There are multiple options for this I used clear acetate but laminating film or another thin plastic material would work.
Patience - This project will take at least three days due to the time required for the paint to dry.
Step 2: Outline and Paint the Background
For the size of the background I just measured the tank and made my painting a little larger to make sure it would bleed off the sides.
Once you have your print out of the background tape it to the acetate.
Use the liquid lead to outline your design. I found the best way was to get the lead started and then hold it about a 1/4" above the surface so that it came out evenly. If you have never used Gallery Glass paints I would recommend playing around a little bit before starting the actual tank to get an idea of what works best for you.
Wait at least 12 hours for the liquid lead to dry
Once dry fill in between the lines, make sure you use enough paint that it comes to the height of the leading, this will ensure a smooth, even color. I mixed some clear into the blue using a tooth pick so that it would have a bit of a gradient at the top to make it look like the sun coming down from the surface.
Step 3: Apply the Background
Peel the dried paint off of the acetate. White printer paper can be used underneath it in the peeling off and application to make sure it doesn't stick to anything you don't want it to.
Once it is removed place it onto the tank starting at the bottom and moving up, try to remove as many bubbles as possible. If you make a mistake you can peel it back up but it is a bit tricky since the tank is not bendable like the acetate.
Trim around the edges with a pair of scissors.
Use liquid lead to go around the edges and seal it up, this finishes it off, and gives it the look of a stained glass background.
Step 4: Size the Foreground
For the foreground I actually cut apart the pieces so I could see how they would line up on the tank.
Once you have the size determined do the same process as the background. Outline, Paint, Apply. I suggest adding some bleed on the sides and bottom to make sure you can line it up how you would like.
Step 5: Fill Your Tank and Enjoy
That's it! Your tank is full decorated. Fill your tank following the manufacturers instructions and Enjoy your new fish habitat.
A bonus of the AquaFarm is it goes with the Octopus's Garden theme and hopefully I will have some basil, rosemary and mint to cook with in another couple of weeks!
If you have any questions or comments I would love to hear them!