DIY glass tops? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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DIY glass tops?

Does anyone know of a good DIY solution for glass tops? I have four Marineland 55 gallon tanks with a center brace that are open top, each with two 54 watt T5 HO bulbs. The water is evaporating about two inches between weekly water changes. Glass tops would run $35 to $40 for each tank (then multiply that by four) so I was just wondering if anyone knew of a cheaper solution. I want something that wonít block the light for my plants. Do stores cut glass to size or would acrylic work? I donít think I would need a hinge like store bought glass tops. A flat piece cut to allow the cords, filters etc to run out the back would be great.
Any ideas?
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 06:39 PM
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If you can keep the acrylic clean enough that could work. I am not sure where you can get it but they sell flexible hinge material that slides over two pieces of 1/4 glass and works great. Just get the acrylic or glass cut and edged then put the hinge strip on. You can also get handles that allow opening and pieces that slide over the back that can be cut around equipment. I will try and find some info for you.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 07:00 PM
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have you ever tried using rain X??
and FYI go to a glass place like here in local MI we have golich glass or magic glass tell them what you need and the cut it right there for you (in 5 mins or less) anywhere from 1/8- 1 inch glass... here in MI the glass is about $10 a square foot (cheep compared to store bought stuff) i hope this helps
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 07:02 PM
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and try to go to your local home depot of lowes(my lowes carries it) they typically have acrylic and glass and will cut it to what you need it as... i think that cost more then a normal glass store though
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 07:13 PM
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I made some custom glass tops for my 90 gallon, since I didn't like the hokey plastic back strips that the Aqueon (All-Glass) tops have in the rear.

Glass tops that size are 3/16" thick. That's thicker than window glass, and thicker than what's carried by home centers like Lowes or HD.

I wouldn't use window glass - too fragile and unsafe, and you're asking for disaster.

Go to a glass shop and they'll do whatever you want. I just got two rectangles of 3/16" glass, and drilled holes and notches myself, but they'll do that, too, if you want them to.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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I didnít think Lowes or Home Depot would sell acrylic and window glass does seem to thin. Iíll call and ask about the acrylic and 3/16 inch glass and look for a glass shop in my area. Would acrylic melt or warp from the heat from the lights? I had no idea that anyone would sell the plastic hinges. For the handle, I was thinking Iíd just find some type of knob like a small drawer pull to glue on the top.
Thanks for the help everybody!
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 08:41 PM
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 08:54 PM
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I've use acrylic in the past but have gone back to glass because the acrylic eventually warps. Glass is also eaiser to keep clean. Any glass shop should be able to gut glass to size for you and be sure that they sand the sharp edges so you don't end up with stitches in your fingers.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiabloCanine View Post
That's an awesome link! Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaDean View Post
I've use acrylic in the past but have gone back to glass because the acrylic eventually warps. Glass is also eaiser to keep clean. Any glass shop should be able to gut glass to size for you and be sure that they sand the sharp edges so you don't end up with stitches in your fingers.
Thanks, I had thought about the edges being sharp but I didn't know what could be done about it. I'd just as well keep all my fingers while cleaning tanks lol
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 09:44 PM
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[/quote]Thanks, I had thought about the edges being sharp but I didn't know what could be done about it. I'd just as well keep all my fingers while cleaning tanks lol[/QUOTE]


usually the glass store will do it REALLY nice if you ask then nicely (at least mine does)
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I had thought about the edges being sharp but I didn't know what could be done about it. I'd just as well keep all my fingers while cleaning tanks lol[/quote]


usually the glass store will do it REALLY nice if you ask then nicely (at least mine does)[/quote]

I have to ask nicely? Jeesh... okay lol
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 10:06 PM
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haha probably not... i do just because the owner of the store i go to dis-likes me because i had them cut like 20 pieces of glass for me and sand all the edges on each piece and they where all ready REALLY busy that week haha
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 10:07 PM
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and try to go to your local home depot of lowes(my lowes carries it) they typically have acrylic and glass and will cut it to what you need it as... i think that cost more then a normal glass store though
they do have them. I have gotten glass and plexi from them. Their plexi isnt super clear though.

Id recommend going to "taps plastic". There is some lexan plastic there that is very durable and doesnt scratch easy. You can also choose your thickness and it is crystal clear. Im going to be getting this for my 60 gallon.

I use the same lexan as a fog light cover on my van (custom housing). Its been there for a year and hasnt discolored or scratched or got a nick from a rock. So IMO if it survived there then it can survive in the aquarium.

The rainx idea sounds like a good one. Never thought about it.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-24-2010, 06:01 AM
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The rainx idea sounds like a good one. Never thought about it.
i wont lie i wanted to see what you guys would say about it... i highly recommend it as it works great and the water beads right up and falls off.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-24-2010, 05:50 PM
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Ok here's what you do go on drsfostersmith.com search with this number CK-930816 its 24in glass top for $10.99 get 2 comes out to $21.98. Then use the $5 off coupon 1130/8477 and your hole order will come out to $21.98 shipped you can't get a cheaper price then that. I was going to do the diy glass and have it cut would of cost around $25 and its just straight glass good luck. Also that stuff lowes and homedepot sell for acrylic is not good I got a sheet after cutting it and using it for around a month it starting to bend from the heat of the light. But if you get thick acrylic it mite not do that.

Last edited by HEINEKEN357; 01-27-2010 at 02:09 AM.
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