Rimless aquarium cover - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-31-2018, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Rimless aquarium cover

Anyone have ideas for a rimless cover. My fish were fine in my 220 gallon rimless for quite a while. I added some silver flying fox yesterday and then all of a sudden two of them jumped out over the passed 2 days. Hoping to get some input on some cover ideas that won't ruin the overall look of the tank. :/
What complicates this a bit for me is some driftwood that sticks up above the water line on the left and the overflow on the right.

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-31-2018, 06:09 PM
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Two options I can think of:

1) Polycarbonate sheet

- Use the metal or acrylic hangers designed for rimless glass lids
- Cut holes in the sheet for the branch

2) Something like clear plastic canvas: http://www.michaels.com/darice-no7-s.../10812578.html

- You can cut this and zip tie sheets together
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-31-2018, 06:40 PM
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I like the polycarbonate sheet idea seeing as you have some nice wide euro braces to lay it on. You can go the inexpensive route with the corrugated plastic or spend a bit more for a nicer look and go with lexan. A jigsaw with a fine toothed blade will notch out grooves for the driftwood and light stands. Could do one big cover, or do it in two pieces. Long right side, and short, notched left side. Cut the pieces a little large and you wouldn't even need the clips.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 05:26 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natemcnutty View Post
Two options I can think of:

1) Polycarbonate sheet

- Use the metal or acrylic hangers designed for rimless glass lids
- Cut holes in the sheet for the branch

2) Something like clear plastic canvas: http://www.michaels.com/darice-no7-s.../10812578.html

- You can cut this and zip tie sheets together
Quote:
Originally Posted by KayakJimW View Post
I like the polycarbonate sheet idea seeing as you have some nice wide euro braces to lay it on. You can go the inexpensive route with the corrugated plastic or spend a bit more for a nicer look and go with lexan. A jigsaw with a fine toothed blade will notch out grooves for the driftwood and light stands. Could do one big cover, or do it in two pieces. Long right side, and short, notched left side. Cut the pieces a little large and you wouldn't even need the clips.
Have you had experience with the polycarbonate ? How is it in terms of light penetration and and bending of the light. Worried about the vertical lines in the polycarbonate

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 05:39 AM
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Have you had experience with the polycarbonate ? How is it in terms of light penetration and and bending of the light. Worried about the vertical lines in the polycarbonate

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Lexan is simply a brand name for polycarbonate, similar to Kleenex and tissue. A polycarbonate sheet should be less than 5% worse than glass for light penetration, and as long as you keep the thickness at least 3/16" for a 12" wide or 1/4" for 18" wide, it should not sag / warp. I prefer to do 1/4" on 12" wide so I can set dishes with moss or other things in it and not worry about the weight causing it to sag.

To cut it, I use a standard table saw, hole saw, and drill bit. You can sand the edges as it is sharp enough to cut you, and any pieces you cut out can be glued on as a handle if desired.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 05:51 AM
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A similar idea, but using egg crate.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 06:30 AM
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Lexan is simply a brand name for polycarbonate, similar to Kleenex and tissue. A polycarbonate sheet should be less than 5% worse than glass for light penetration.
My understanding is that Acrylic has slightly less light attenuation than glass and cost a little less Than Lexan. Lean is mainly used when maximum strength is needed. It is also more difficult to cut cleanly and glue than acrylic.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 09:17 AM
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My understanding is that Acrylic has slightly less light attenuation than glass and cost a little less Than Lexan. Lean is mainly used when maximum strength is needed. It is also more difficult to cut cleanly and glue than acrylic.
Depends on the acrylic. The cheap extruded stuff people try to make lids out of will sag and warp from heat and moisture. The cast acrylic they use for reef tanks would be even more expensive than polycarbonate.

Working with polycarbonate is about the same as ABS or PVC. Cutting cleanly has little to do with the material - it's the tool you are using (correct blade). I use a finishing blade on my table saw and the cuts are always clean.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by vincel892 View Post
Have you had experience with the polycarbonate ? How is it in terms of light penetration and and bending of the light. Worried about the vertical lines in the polycarbonate

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I have made a few Lexan tops and believe it reduces light LESS than glass. Lexan is a higher end plastic less likely to warp, and comes in one-ply sheets so no lines there.

The lines are found in the corrugated polys, often worded as "twin-wall" and sold for uses like roof panels. The benefit to this is low cost, but will likely reduce SOME light from the lines. I've never used corrugated/twinwall personally but have seen it used by forum members who seemed happy with the results. Doesn't look as nice as solid one ply Lexan, just way more affordable and can be cut with scissors. Also looks DIY, where well cut Lexan looks more professional

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KayakJimW View Post
I have made a few Lexan tops and believe it reduces light LESS than glass. Lexan is a higher end plastic less likely to warp, and comes in one-ply sheets so no lines there.

The lines are found in the corrugated polys, often worded as "twin-wall" and sold for uses like roof panels. The benefit to this is low cost, but will likely reduce SOME light from the lines. I've never used corrugated/twinwall personally but have seen it used by forum members who seemed happy with the results. Doesn't look as nice as solid one ply Lexan, just way more affordable and can be cut with scissors. Also looks DIY, where well cut Lexan looks more professional
Ah ic. Im looking to keep this as affordable as possible so was looking into the twinwall stuff. I guess I don't mind blocking light as much since my LEDs are adjustable ( im running at less than 50% intensity ATM).

My other option would be the window frame and clear netting approach than I've seen many reef keepers use. Just can't seem to decide which one I want haha. I feel the mesh might look cleaner ? Not sure

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-03-2018, 02:48 AM
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here is as option I and many many Salt water ppl use on out ref tanks keep sthe fish in full light and gad exchange.

https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/diy-a...4-netting.html

you can get the screen window frame any where really. HD, lows, amazon etc. but the netting is really nice.
there are clips that let the frame sit inside the tank so you keep that nice clean look of the rimless. amazon and ebay have them too.

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2018, 10:34 PM
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https://www.marinedepot.com/Clear_%C...FIAQAA-vi.html

They will just sell you the netting. Then you just buy the frame at HD or Lowes. It's basic window frame that you cut to size and piece together. The rest of the suggestions just look way too complicated lol.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-15-2018, 06:13 PM
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Good links! I need to try something like this out

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-16-2018, 09:43 PM
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Good links! I need to try something like this out


I donít know how you are with floating plants but they will make sure that fish donít jump as well as cutting down on algae. There are many floating plants that are super compact and even species with red Tops.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 04:43 AM
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I donít know how you are with floating plants but they will make sure that fish donít jump as well as cutting down on algae. There are many floating plants that are super compact and even species with red Tops.

Yeah, only thing is that they diffuse the light, I'm not too big of a fan.

I ended up buying a picture frame and inside it had an acrylic sheet that fits right on top of the aquarium. It's worked on keeping the fish inside but yeah water keeps condensing on it and it looks bad.

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