New "canopy"

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (DIY)' started by tankedchemist, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. tankedchemist

    tankedchemist

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    I keep fish that jump (wrasse, anthias, jawfish, etc) and have struggled with finding a lid that will keep stuff in while having a minimal impact on stuff like temperature, gas exchange, and loss of light. I was stuck using the glass canopy built for my tank, which required frequent cleaning, and the hinge (flimsy plastic) on one of them doesn't work very well any more, and this glass canopy keeps in lots of heat, impacts gas exchange, and also causes lots of salt creep.... which is really annoying.

    Then, I saw an idea on BRS that I loved. See here: [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0CzorCknWQ&feature=player_embedded]YouTube - DIY screen top for aquariums.mpg[/ame] and immediately decided I should do it.

    So I ordered 1 roll of 1/4" clear plastic netting from BRS for $12, which is excellent. You could use black netting from the hardware store, but it's likely to absorb more light than the clear does.

    Then, I went to home depot and acquired the necessary screen materials. For my 6' tank, I got 3x 7' "bronze" finish window screen frame pieces, 25' of spline (that rubber crap that makes the screen stay taut), 8 corner pieces (since my tank has a brace in the center, there will be two seperate screens... thus 8 corners), and a spline tool. This cost a grand total of $15.

    I used these tools:

    [​IMG]

    First, measure twice. Then measure again. For my aquarium, there's a lip on the inside where the screen sits. That's the part I measured.

    It's easiest to cut the frame with a strong pair of shears... but you can only cut the side of the frame without the channel. If you squish the channel, it's kind of a pain in the arse to unbend it so you can slip the corner pieces in. However, if you cut through the channel-less part, you can just bed the frame to break the channel part. It's very thing, so easy to cut. It is often necessary to use the needle nose pliers to unbend the metal at the site of the cut. Then, slip the corner pieces in and assemble your frame.

    [​IMG]
    '
    test it in your tank. Make certain it sits properly. If it's not an exact fit, fix it. :D

    Then, you need the netting, spline, and spline tool:

    [​IMG]

    align the netting over the frame with some overlapping, and start at one corner with the spline. Use the tool to squish it in. if you go carefully, the screen will become taut all on its own. Use one continuous piece of spline around the whole frame. Then, trim off the excess netting, and put on your tank. If you're like me, you've got various chords sticking out of the tank... just cut a few of the threads and slip the cord (electrical plug first) through it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Voila-- excellent tank cover, and if snug, it will prevent fish from jumping. I know this because I watched one of my sand sifting gobies attempt to escape... and he fell back into the tank unharmed.
     
    tankedchemist, Dec 19, 2010
    #1
    Grassman likes this.
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  2. tankedchemist

    Toolman RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH

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    Nice job.:bounce:
     
    Toolman, Dec 19, 2010
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  3. tankedchemist

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    That looks great! Thanks for the tutorial.
     
    Bifferwine, Dec 19, 2010
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  4. tankedchemist

    little_fish Moderator

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    Sticky perhaps? It seems like this is a pretty common concern.
     
    little_fish, Dec 19, 2010
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  5. tankedchemist

    Rufio808

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    I will surely need this. Especially after getting a $45 McCosker's wrasse.
     
    Rufio808, Jan 25, 2011
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  6. tankedchemist

    little_fish Moderator

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    OOOO! I actually like those wrasses
     
    little_fish, Jan 25, 2011
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  7. tankedchemist

    BL1 ............. Moderator

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    I would highly recommend it, especially with a sixline in there also. My lined wrasse scared my leopard right out of the tank.
     
    BL1, Jan 25, 2011
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  8. tankedchemist

    PRC Stop Quoting Me!

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    That's funny ...I know JimFlies...The guy he's talking about on ReefCentral.
     
    PRC, Jan 25, 2011
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  9. tankedchemist

    Rufio808

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    Home Depot and a weekend project! Woots!
     
    Rufio808, Jan 25, 2011
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  10. tankedchemist

    AmberSunrise

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    Awesome thanks for the info!
     
    AmberSunrise, Jan 26, 2011
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  11. tankedchemist

    ErinCahir Sausage Wrangler

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    I made mine today! Love it!
     
    ErinCahir, Mar 21, 2011
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  12. tankedchemist

    reeftanker84

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    i have a Mc Coskers wrasse myself,he is very fun to watch,only payed 29 for mine
     
    reeftanker84, Jun 21, 2011
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  13. tankedchemist

    arkansasboy Reefer Wannabe

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    How does a material like this hold up to the heat from your lighting? I am looking for an alternative to my glass lid but I am leery of something that might melt.
     
    arkansasboy, Sep 24, 2011
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  14. tankedchemist

    BL1 ............. Moderator

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    I've had my plastic screen about 4-5" under my two 250w MH lights for maybe 6 months now. They've done great, I was a little worried about them melting but so far so good.
     
    BL1, Sep 24, 2011
    #14
  15. tankedchemist

    Mandarin66 Oh Hi

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    I still wish some body made a set of these and set them in a present box and then send it for chrismas :( becuase it hard for me to make them and they dont have the material here :(
     
    Mandarin66, Sep 26, 2011
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  16. tankedchemist

    reeftanker84

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    someone should make these to sell? then people like the not so handy men wouldnt have to try to build these
     
    reeftanker84, Sep 26, 2011
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  17. tankedchemist

    BL1 ............. Moderator

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    The only problem with that, is that every one would have to be made to custom measurements. It's not like you could just make a standard size and fit it to a 75, they would have to take into account plumbing, overflows, wires and such.
     
    BL1, Sep 26, 2011
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  18. tankedchemist

    Sir Alex Dragon the eel (below)

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    They also have to take that in to account for glass lids.
     
    Sir Alex, Sep 26, 2011
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  19. tankedchemist

    arkansasboy Reefer Wannabe

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    Yeah, and I have a bowfront so I am still scratching my head trying to figure that one out. Any ideas?
     
    arkansasboy, Sep 26, 2011
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  20. tankedchemist

    Mandarin66 Oh Hi

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    Inbox me if you wanna make me one i will send pics and give the sizes :(
     
    Mandarin66, Sep 26, 2011
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