My new (sliding) canopy
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:38 PM   #1
jart
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My new (sliding) canopy


I decided to buy some new PC lighting for both my new tank and my pre-existing tank from AH Supply.

The lighting over my 45 gallon worked fine, but it was a mess of wires and was becoming a bit cumbersome. Three ballasts definitely take up quite a bit of room under the tank.

I wanted to build something that wouldn't take a lot of time, but that would look half decent as well. Functionality is high on my list of priorities. I want to be able to have room to put my hand in the tank on a daily basis without having to go through a complicated procedure.

My old canopy moved from front to back on drawer slides. That design worked well, but it took a bit too long to plan. So here is what I came up with.

I am sure that most people could build this sort of thing with the tools that they have laying around.

I started with a box. I made this out of off the shelf pine. I joined it together with biscuits and pocket hole screws, but other methods may work just as well. I left the back open for ventilation.



I will now jump to the end product. You will notice that I have attached a piece of pine on either end of the canopy. This is to keep the canopy in place (keeps it from sliding off to the right or the left).



The main "box" of the canopy rests directly on the tank frame. This works fine, but I wanted to be able to move the canopy from front to back without having to necessarily lift it each time (will be easier, and less chance of dropping it; also less potential wear on the tank frame.

As if some of you needed another excuse to go to Lee Valley, I picked up some 3/4 inch wide UHMW polyethylene.


The UHMW poly fits perfectly over the edges of the pine boards. This pic shows how I attached it to the underside of the canopy.


In the second pic, if you look closely you can just see the white UHMW poly.

All you need to do is attach it with screws (of course, countersink them first).
The canopy has only been on the tank for a few days but it seems to work fine, as far as being easy to move from front to back.
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Old 02-17-2008, 12:48 AM   #2
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Looks good.
Im curious about the poly. Is that for a moisture barrier between the wood and the tank lip ?
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Old 02-17-2008, 01:14 AM   #3
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Hey Buck,
Although the UHMW polyethylene can be used for a number of different applications, the size I used is designed to fit in the grooves found on tablesaw or router table tops. It has a very low coefficient of friction. My canopy is designed so that I can slide it easily from front to back, thus allowing easy access. I used the UHMW polyethylene to eliminate any wear and tear on the top of the tank frame.

This picture shows the canopy slid out over the front of the tank. And some algae.
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Old 02-17-2008, 01:48 AM   #4
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ahhh...its for the slide factor ! Gotcha man...here I am thinking it was for a moisture barrier...

Check this out...
My dad is retired and bored with a great work shop in his downstairs with all the fixin's. He used to make furniture years ago when I was a teenager.
Back in November I told him we were going to build a canopy this winter for my 75G as a good father/son project but then I got into a huge kitchen remodeling job at my house and I delayed the project.
Well this morning he called me up and said it was done ! I didnt even know he was building it. It came out nice even though he hates it because of these "minor flaws" in the finish staining...

Im all pumped now...the lights are hooked up and no more glass tops ! Its the only way to go... good job on yours !
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Old 02-17-2008, 01:58 AM   #5
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Nice, however if it were me I would have made the top, front and back pieces 1/2 longer instead of adding those two pieces on the ends. IMO it would have looked cleaner.

However, you did do a nice job! Kudos.
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Old 02-17-2008, 03:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fshfanatic View Post
Nice, however if it were me I would have made the top, front and back pieces 1/2 longer instead of adding those two pieces on the ends.
Now that is a good idea. I probably would have spent a bit more time on the design, but soon this tank is no longer going to be in the living room (where looks are perhaps more important) and I wanted to get it done rather quickly.

Buck I'll be sure to check out your new hood on your web site.
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Old 05-28-2010, 02:52 AM   #7
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Well, this canopy has been in service for over 2 years now, and I am more than happy with it. Still very functional. I would definitely recommend this design.
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Old 05-28-2010, 04:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jart View Post
Well, this canopy has been in service for over 2 years now, and I am more than happy with it.
That is the most important thing ! You took the initiative to build what you wanted for your tank... Kudos to you for that !!

BTW, very nice healthy looking tank, you have good reason to be proud

Larry K
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Old 05-31-2010, 12:54 PM   #9
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has any one here ever built a canopy for a 72 gallon bow front i did and its a pain and i was wondering if you have what material you guys used for the front curve and if you have any pics could i see them
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