How Do I Get My Aquarium to Glow?

Updated April 17, 2017

A glowing aquarium can be an awe striking addition to your home or business. Glowing fish were originally bred to assist in detecting environmental pollutions, but are available for purchase for domestic freshwater fish tanks. If you are not a fan of glowing zebra fish but still want to achieve the effect of a glowing fish tank, there are other techniques that you can apply. Glow in the dark accessories are widely available from pet stores, as are speciality lights that can make fish and tank accessories appear to glow.

Place glowing fish or fish that have light, shiny colours that reflect well in your freshwater aquarium.

Use a black light for periods of time where you want your aquarium to really glow. Do not use a black light all the time with your fish as they also require periods of darkness alternated with brighter light sources. You can use a black light in conjunction with glowing fish, or alternatively with fish that have light colours that will be brought out by the lighting and light coloured accessories.

Place glow in the dark accessories throughout your aquarium so that the aquarium lights up at night. Glow in the dark accessories are available in many forms such as rocks and pebbles, castles and coral.

Use non-toxic glowing acrylic paint to make your aquarium glow. This can be achieved either by painting specific accessories that you want to light up or by applying the glow paint in a design along the outside, back glass of the fish tank. Alternatively, you can apply an even layer of glow paint to a piece of paper cut to fit the back side of the tank that can be used as a backdrop when you want your tank to glow. Acrylic glowing paint can be found in most craft stores.


Your fish require alternating periods of light and dark. Do not leave your tank with a lot of glowing materials in it or on it throughout the night.

Things You'll Need

  • Glowing zebra fish (optional)
  • Black light
  • Glow paint
  • Glow in the dark aquarium pellets
  • Glow in the dark aquarium accessories (i.e. coral, buildings)
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