By memory I'd estimate that there's about 5.5 inches of clearance between the top of the tank and the underside of the hood, this is adequate...no potential for fish getting zapped since they can't get anywhere near the electrical contacts.
Hi, I built and designed the hood myself, the curved wood was done by 'kerfing' the back of the solid cherry wood. Kerfing is pretty simple, basically, its a cut into the back of the wood about 2/3 of the way through. These were done on about a one inch frequency and then the piece was put into a steam box I built (plywood box with a hole for steam to rise from a turkey sized pot of boiling water). The steam swells the wood that's not kerf'ed more than the kerf'd side and results in a curve. From there, I dried the piece and assembled with the end plates. To seal the exposed wood from moisture I covered the back with fibreglass resin and some glass strands to add some strength. It's held up well.
The hood is removable but has a hinged opening for feeding etc. The design is a bit awkward for people not used to it, but its not often that someone else feeds my fish.
Hi, I saw your post in the diy stand section. If you don't mind, I have some questions about your aquarium hood.
I would like to know where you got your light fixture. I have been looking everywhere, and one like that seems impossible to find. Secondly, do you have any advice on what not to do when making a aquarium hood like that? I would love to make something similar for my 55g, but I would like to replace the tank eventually since it is very old. Is the hood removable from the tank? It looks almost as if it isn't to me. Oh, and when closed, do you have any idea how much room you have in between the lights and the water? I am a bit worried that I will have a fish that jumps and get's zapped by the lights.