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Old 02-25-2016, 04:49 PM   #1
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DIY easel


This is my first post in here, and I hope I am in the correct place.

I have had a 13 gallon freshwater aquarium for about 3 years now. Currently it is home to a betta fish and two cory cats (I know, weird team).

Yesterday I went to get more fish food and I fell obsessed with a betta there.
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I named him Picasso. I didn't want to put him in with my other fish because I know that Hamilton, my betta in the 13 gallon wouldn't quite care for him.

So I got him his own little bowl that is pretty simplistic. I thought I would roll with the idea that I named him Picasso (because he looks like he is covered in pain splatter!) by putting a little easel in his bowl.

There are no easel fish ornaments that I am aware of.
I did, however, find that Joanns has a tiny easel that is made of US pine. I've read that you should boil it before placing in a tank. i realize that because it is pine it might not last long, but as long as its safe for my fish, I will just remove it if it begins to degrade whatsoever.

So really, my question is if anyone has any ideas about how to make this all work? I am going to try the easel thing as I stated above, but it doesn't have a canvas on it and I was gonna try to put some kind of canvas on it.
Either an actual painting that picasso has done, or maybe just a cute little scribble of fish on it. I can't think of what to use for a canvas, or how to attach it to the easel, or how to seal it or whatever else.

Any help is appreciated!


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Old 02-25-2016, 07:33 PM   #2
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Hi there,

That's s gorgeous betta, really like the name!
Unfortunately a bowl is not a good size permanent home for a betta. Bettas need a 2.5 gallon minimum tank, with a 5 being better. They also need a filter as well as a heater(they are tropical), to keep them alive.

Also I'd be vary about what you put in a tank, especially with a small tank that can easily be upset! Pine does not work, it will leach a resin that is poisonous. Canvas may work, and some paint as well.

If you get a tank, you could make your own background, by choosing a Picasso painting and having it print out in color at a office supply store! These are all aquarium safe: pvc pipe, terra cotta pots, or aquarium safe wood (Check out Spiderwood, Mopani, Malaysian, or Manzanita). Many kinds of rocks are safe as well, such as Slate.

You could break up a terra cotta pot, and prop up a square piece as a easel, or use a slate piece.....

I love to DIY, so let me know if you have any other questions!
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Old 02-26-2016, 10:17 AM   #3
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Go big or go home, make your own easel!
Basswood 1/4x1/4x24 (20) (mid4066) Midwest Hobby and Craft Basswood Sheets Basswood Strips
That should be of a sufficient size to make one.

There's also no reason why a small piece of canvas shouldn't work. However, the slate suggestion is a solid one as well.

Another idea is Jeffrey Court Summer 3 in. x 3 in. x 8 mm Ceramic Double Bullnose Trim-99232 - The Home Depot
along with a home made easel. Then you can paint something onto it and clear coat it to make it aquarium safe and long lasting.
"The simplest explanation for some phenomenon is more likely to be accurate than more complicated explanations." -Occam's razor
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Old 02-26-2016, 01:09 PM   #4
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I would definitely look into a little tank for him. There are some pretty cheap little setups out there. I have gotten the WalMart 5g more than once and been perfectly happy with it.
Keep in mind, most pre-made canvases are stapled and the canvas itself might be treated with things you do not want in your tank. I know the little easels you mean, I have a few of them myself. I would definitely not put them in your tank.
A little tile like Mebbid suggested sounds really good too. Easy, but it will still look good.
If you want to construct an easel, another option could be polymer craft clay sealed with aquarium safe epoxy. I have been looking into this myself, and it seems that nothing would be be leached.
I have found aquarium safe paint to be pretty high, and hard to find. In my opinion, not worth it for a project so small. I would just use regular acrylic and seal it.
You also could always just set the easel outside the tank and fill the tank itself with plants (silk is fine) and such so your betta has some more appropriate landscape to maneuver through.
I think the idea of getting a small tank and then a background printed out is pretty cool.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, but thankfully they both led to fish stores.
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