Help! My custom cut glass tops for my aquarium both cracked. I believe it is from the heat of the lights but you tell me. Am frustrated. I don't mind spending the money to get new tops made, or to buy different light fixtures, but I want to understand what happened, and what I'm doing wrong, to get it right next time.
Photos of my setup are attached, showing the tank, the lids and lights (one stacked on top of the other just for the photo so you can see the lid, and one with a closeup of the crack).
Let me ask my questions first, and then I'll give all the detail below for those interested. And thank you in advance for your help! These forums have been great.
1. Is it OK to place aquarium lights right on the glass top? I thought so, but maybe not.
2. Check out the cracks here in the photos. Do you agree caused by heat? Maybe glass corner notches for piping weakened glass too?
3. Can you recommend a different kind of lid, or lights, to avoid cracking? Maybe light fixtures that run much cooler, even if they won't work for plants?
4. Any risk the lights could crack the glass bracing on the tank itself? A terrifying thought!
- Custom sized 68 gallon. 5 feet long, 1 foot wide. Basically it's a standard 55 gallon stretched to be 1 foot longer. That was my first mistake. Custom tank size means custom lids and that is the root cause of my aggravation.
- Fish: regular tropical freshwater fish assortment
- Plants: none yet. was thinking about it, which is why I got the lights I did, but am reconsidering...
- Lights: Deep Blue Solarmax T5, two 24" fixtures, each with two daylight bulb tubes inside. It does get hot when both are on. See link to fixture here: http://www.petsupplies.com/item/deep...trip/1000A7F0/
- Glass lids: were custom cut of 1/4" regular glass, with corners notched for tubes / wires. Front piece is acrylic flip up lid for daily feeding access.
Basically, because of the custom size, I had to get custom lids made. Major pain. But I finally got them right, with notches for tubes. Then I set up my lights, and after running both lights, both lids cracked! Sigh. If I raise the lights up off the glass (3/4"?), using the metal extenders on the side of the lights, then a lot of the light leaks out the back of the canopy (see my first photo of my tank showing this), and presumably less gets into the tank.
What I wish I could find, or have made, a durable (plastic?) lid fixture that would fit the light inside of it, so I didnt need to have a glass top at all. But the overall sizes I would need are about 25.5" by 10.5" for each lid, which is not standard. That's coming from a person who upgraded from a basic 20 gallon tank that had an integraded canopy / light / lid / door which worked great. Really wish I had stuck with a standard size tank.
Any advice much appreciated, thank you so much!