LEXAN vs Glass - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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LEXAN vs Glass

Hi All,

I am using LEXAN for the top of my tank as it's very light weight, reasonably priced, heat resistant and easy to work with (cut grind) and clean. Does anyone have any thoughts on using it? It doesn't seem to block out any more light than glass does so far as my research has led me.

I have attached pictures for your review.

Thanks,

DD
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 02:00 AM
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Are you sure it's LEXAN (polycarbonate) and not acrylic? I ask because the two handle moisture differently. Acrylic will bow away from humidity surprisingly quickly but as far as I know polycarbonate won't. You're right about them not blocking much light though, in fact acrylic passes slightly more light than glass. Not sure about polycarb.

Polycarbonate greenhouse panels, either in wavy or double-wall form, are popular with people who don't want/can't afford glass tops (big tanks, lots of tanks, etc) and I've heard nothing but good things. I'd assume polycarb sheet would perform just as well.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 02:01 AM
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Problems with warps and drooping over time?
I moved to full canopies to get away from turning the covers over to warp them back into shape.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 04:52 AM Thread Starter
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[quote=BigMek;9924026]Are you sure it's LEXAN (polycarbonate) and not acrylic? I ask because the two handle moisture differently. Acrylic will bow away from humidity surprisingly quickly but as far as I know polycarbonate won't. You're right about them not blocking much light though, in fact acrylic passes slightly more light than glass. Not sure about polycarb.

When I bought it, it had this sticky plastic covering that said LEXAN, so it's LEXAN. I got it for next to nothing at Home Depot.

I think it will bow though, this I can see coming but that gives me an idea. Why not take some of the material I used for the edges to allow the material to slide and fortify the material with beams in between ? I'm going to check that out, and if anything noteworthy comes of it, I'll report my findings.

Thanks for the comments and suggestions.

Cheers,

DD

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Originally Posted by BigMek View Post
Are you sure it's LEXAN (polycarbonate) and not acrylic? I ask because the two handle moisture differently. Acrylic will bow away from humidity surprisingly quickly but as far as I know polycarbonate won't. You're right about them not blocking much light though, in fact acrylic passes slightly more light than glass. Not sure about polycarb.
BigMek
When I bought it, it had this sticky plastic covering that said LEXAN, so it's LEXAN. I got it for next to nothing at Home Depot.

I think it will bow though, this I can see coming but that gives me an idea. Why not take some of the material I used for the edges to allow the material to slide and fortify the material with beams in between ? I'm going to check that out, and if anything noteworthy comes of it, I'll report my findings.

Thanks for the comments and suggestions.

Cheers,

DD
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 05:51 AM
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Making beams sounds like a solid plan. Some quick googling tells me polycarbonate won't warp due to moisture like acrylic will, so the only thing you should have to worry about is it sagging under its own weight.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 06:48 AM
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I run polycarbonate on all my tanks, and I've never had an issue with bowing. That's actually how I learned about polycarbonate because my first (and only) acrylic lid warped from moisture.

To be fair, I've never had anything deeper than 12", so ymmv on a 40b, etc. Thickness does play a huge role here, and I've used either 1/4" or 3/8" depending on what TAP Plastics had best pricing on at the time.
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