Cover for bowfront tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Cover for bowfront tank

I am looking for some ideas for a replacement cover for my 16 gallon bowfront. I want something that is mostly clear.
I was thinking a main acrylic rectangle, possibly with cutouts for filter/chords. And semi-circular front flap on small hinges.

The width would be 20". Does this seem like a feasible idea?
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 12:23 AM
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www.fishtankdirect.com sells them. I just bought one for 36 bow front and love it.


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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 03:45 AM
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 06:12 AM Thread Starter
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The problem is that the ones on that site have black plastic lid and only a glass window for light. And I have it currently. I wanted a completely see through lid so that I could use a wider light and possibly even two.

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 08:59 PM
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they have ones that are completely clear. even the back piece you can cut for equipment.


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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 09:01 PM
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http://www.fishtanksdirect.com/Glass...py.aspx?page=2


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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-06-2013, 01:34 AM
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Acrylic doesn't do so well as a lid - after a bit of time, it will sag to the point where it may fall into the aquarium.

I'm not sure why, I've heard some people say the humidity warps it/makes it prone to sagging, but it could just be the effects of gravity over time.

If you have any scrap glass, it's not too difficult to cut with a bit of practice, and you don't need very thick glass for a lid. (I just cut up a couple 1/4" panes the other day, and it went pretty well after I practiced on some scrap/waste) The hard part would be cutting the front part, you might be able to get away with using a rectangle and cutting the corners off, making a sort of misshapen hexagon. I've heard that curves are possible, but I imagine they are a lot more difficult then simple straight line cuts.

You would still have to get a hinge - they sell them at plastic supply shops, and sometimes fish stores. You might also want one of those thin plastic flanges/skirts that go on the back, so that you can cut out holes/gaps for filters.
You can make your own living hinge out of silicone - put masking tape on the glass up to the edge on the face of each piece, leave a bit of a gap (I'm not sure how much, 1/2"?), put a wide piece of saran wrap or masking tape spanning the gap on the bottom, and then fill the area with silicone and make it nice and smooth, and let it cure undisturbed.

Although, at that point, buying the hinges and the glass and all, it will probably be about the same cost as just buying one of those lids in the links above...
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-06-2013, 05:23 AM Thread Starter
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I guess I didn't provide enough info. My 16 gallon tank is 20 inches wide, I only see 24 wide for bowfront in the above link.

I have absolutely no glass cutting experience or tools. And honestly I'd rather not try it with the parent being around.
Thanks for writing it out though, I hadn't thought that a 'living' hinge like that was possible.

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-06-2013, 01:47 PM
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You could always go with glass for the back half and pecan for the curved portion. A glass shop can cut the back piece and bevel the edges pretty cheap. I'd say the hinge isn't completely necessary. Just a handle so you can lift the front portion easily.

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-06-2013, 04:29 PM
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http://op5.triadinet.com/elmers/nlca...rgs=sku|529601

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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-06-2013, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBRguy View Post
thanks, i tried googling but hadn't come up with a result. obviously your googliness is superior.

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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-06-2013, 10:36 PM
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no prob. i really like that top the back is easy to cut for filters and what not.


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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-27-2013, 08:55 PM
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I have have just made one using twin wall polycarbonate got a big sheet for £7 its corrugated so should not sag

One Side is uv protected so won't degrade

You can cut it with scissors and its strong enough to hold its own weight on mine 100cm 50gal bowfront

I'm guessing the flap at the front is for access I just cut holes out and used a bit of scrap to slide over the access holes to cover
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-27-2013, 09:39 PM
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Kind of hard to see but the little rectangle is 2 cuts of polycarbonate glued together and then glued to the tank to act as a rim for the top to sit on



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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-28-2013, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for sharing. That looks like it might block a lot of light. Does it?

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