Funko Pop!s have quickly become the hottest-selling toys over the past few years. Encompassing huge franchises from DC to Star Wars, as well as obscure series based on old movies like Labyrinth, it seems as though Funko is unstoppable.
While the sales are dominated by Funko extremists (such as myself), it is not uncommon to find someone with just one Pop!. My personal collection ranges anywhere from my main Marvel superheroes shelf, to my smaller shelves containing characters from Star Wars, Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, DC, and even Big Hero 6.Something unique you can do with Funko Pop!s that I discovered is putting them in your fish tank. However, this is not as simple as just dunking a Pop! of Baymax into your fish tank and expecting it to just become a way of life for your fish. You must go through a certain procedure, otherwise the chemicals on the Pop! could poison and kill your fish.
Here’s a safe step-by-step process to follow if you seek to decorate your fish tank with a Funko Pop!:
1. Gather what you will needThis will be the most complicated part of the process, as you will need to make sure you are retrieving the right products to put in your tank. As mentioned earlier, we do not want your fish turning upside down at the top of your tank due to your creative decorating skills. Pet safety is the most important thing to consider when adding anything into your fish tank. With this in mind, here is what you will need:
- A Funko Pop! Figure (not a bobble-head)
- Aquarium-safe sealant
- A fish-tank decoration for the Pop! to stand on
- A metal butter knife (or other dull tool)
- Paper towel
- Warm water
- A towel
I strongly urge you to use a Funko Pop! figure rather than a bobble head, as it would be next to impossible to safely seal the interior of the bobble-head’s head. A figure, on the other hand, has its head already sealed upon purchase. This unfortunately rules out most Pop! in the Star Wars and Marvel lines, as they are primarily bobble-heads. Fortunately, other lines like Disney and DC are primarily figures, making them viable options. For my tank, I chose the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con exclusive #Aquaman Patina Pop!, due to its underwater design.
Also make sure that the sealant you choose is aquarium safe. These sealants are typically used to seal cracks in the side of a tank, and can be found at most pet stores for around $10 US.
2. Apply sealant to the Pop!This is a very tedious and foul-smelling process, but is the key step for keeping your fish alive. I recommend you put your Funko Pop! figure on a towel for this step, as the sealant will not stick to a towel as much as it would newspaper or a table.
To apply the aquarium-safe sealant, squeeze the tube at an angle over the Pop! and let a ‘blob’ come out. Then use the butter knife, or other dull tool, to spread the sealant over the Pop!. Repeat this step until the entirety of the Pop! is covered. You don’t need to worry about the bottom of the Pop!’s feet yet. If the sealant does not look completely smooth, do not worry about it. Smoothing sealant perfectly over a not-smooth surface is very difficult. Just remember that it is more important to keep your fish safe and healthy than to have a spotless design on your Pop!.
Be careful to avoid any sealant on your skin. This is actually quite difficult to do, so I would advise using gloves when going through the process. Otherwise, if you do get any sealant on you, use a paper towel and warm water immediately to clean it off.
3. Seal your Pop! to a Fish Tank DecorationBe sure to give your Pop! some time in between the last step and this one. It’s best to wait at least 24 hours before continuing onto this step, to make sure that no sealant is removed from your Pop!.
For this, you will need a fish-tank decoration heavy enough to hold your Pop! down. If you put your Funko Pop! in the tank without anything to stand on, it will float. If this is your intention, then by all means, skip this step, but I assume most people would like their newest addition to their tank to be at ground level.
For my Aquaman Pop!, I sealed him to a bridge decoration. Be sure that whatever decoration you use is an aquarium-safe decoration, otherwise you will have to cover it in sealant like you did with the Pop!. Once you have everything ready, use the sealant to stick the feet of the Pop! to the decoration. When the sealant is applied, hold the Pop! in place for at least two minutes until it is firm enough to hold on its own.
4. Place the Pop! in your tankAfter waiting another 24 hours, your Pop! should be safe to add to your tank. Be sure to place it in a location where it can be easily viewed, for maximum Pop! goodness. More importantly, be sure to check on the Pop! regularly for the first few weeks after adding it. If you notice the sealant (or even worse, the paint) starting to flake off, remove the Pop! immediately and apply sealant to wherever it is flaking.
If there are no visible issues with the Pop! or with the health of your fish, then you should be good to go! The process may be time-consuming, but it secures the safety of your fish and makes it so the design of your Pop! will last for years.