Here is what I wanted to do. But my question is this. Does the grain have to run vertical? If it does, ply wood is sold in 4'x8' boards. My tank is also 72" long so vertical grain would have to be two boards next to each other. What is the rule on this?
All I can think of run along the 8' length. The picture you have probably has 2 4' wide pieces cut and glued side by side (good finish). I agree with Hoppy, that if I go rimless, then a canopy kills the look and also is a pain to clean, prune etc. I like open top with hang-over light fixtures (reminds me of my missed step # 5, light fixture)