DIY canopy help - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 04:49 AM Thread Starter
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DIY canopy help

For my birthday, my dad is going to help me build a canopy for my 55g. This could be scary - if only you knew my dad. He has no idea about fish keeping and started rattling ideas that don't sound safe to me. I've searched on these boards and can't seem to find direct answers to my questions.

How can I "weatherproof" the wood safely?
-polyurethane? is it safe after it's cured?

What type of paint can I use for the inside of the canopy?
-or does it even matter if it ends up under the weatherproofing

All plans and pictures show a perfect square, but if we leave room for pipes and tubings in the back will the wood warp? Can I just brace the center?
l_______l_______l <<<like that? (very rough sketch!)

If I use AH supply reflectors is it still better to paint the inside white?

Is it really ok to not put glass between the lights and water?

My dad thinks it should extend back to the wall, rather than be just hanging on the back - this is dumb, yes? You can see the tank from one side when you walk in the front door and this would look unbalanced, yes? Or am I dumb?!

I know that's a lot of questions...thanks for reading and offering any small or big help - whatever you have, thanks.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 11:37 AM
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Well the first thing to consider is, yea I would "weatherproof the wood". the last thing you want is the canopy absorbing water. there are plenty of sealers on the market, and I would advice some type of combination paint/water sealer for the inside where the lights are (and yea, white sounds like the appropriate color, however, the reflectors on the AH supply unit will do 99% of the work for you).

Now, the major issues I see are as follows:

Is the AH supply unit lighting caps water proof? You need to contact AH supply with this question. This is their territory, so let them answer it for you!

Ventilation! PC bulbs do get quit warm and if you do go with an open top, the bulbs may actually heat the water, and also it might get pretty humid in their! You need fans to vent out the hood and keep those bulbs cool. their are tons of DIY canopy threads here, you need to do a search through the DIY forum and see. If I have time I will do a search as well for some of the ones I have seen before.

Good luck!


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 11:44 AM
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Here is one that I found using the search feature here. I advice going through a few of them. Just do an advanced search for "canopy" and filter it to DIY area. Here is the search....

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/se...chquery=canopy

Here is the link to the first one I saw applicable to what you were doing.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ph...hotos-56k.html


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 12:43 PM
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How can I "weatherproof" the wood safely?
-polyurethane? is it safe after it's cured?


To waterproof the outside of the canopy, I use PU Varnish over whatever paint or stain is going on first. But there are many other options.

What type of paint can I use for the inside of the canopy?
-or does it even matter if it ends up under the weatherproofing


Does the tank have cover glasses/glass covers? If not, this becomes a very important decision since water will evaporate and end up inside the canopy.

All plans and pictures show a perfect square, but if we leave room for pipes and tubings in the back will the wood warp? Can I just brace the center?
l_______l_______l <<<like that? (very rough sketch!)


You could brace the center but on a tank that is only 12" deep it is not really necessary. Rather than leaving room you could cut out holes where the pipes and cables go so the overall rigidity isn't compromised.

If I use AH supply reflectors is it still better to paint the inside white?


Doesn't make much difference... if you have white paint sitting around yes, it might reflect back 1% more like gmc mentioned.

Is it really ok to not put glass between the lights and water?


Good question that is discussed frequently.

My dad thinks it should extend back to the wall, rather than be just hanging on the back - this is dumb, yes? You can see the tank from one side when you walk in the front door and this would look unbalanced, yes? Or am I dumb?!

You are right... One question is how will you open it. If it extends beyond the tank, will it be attached to the wall, or slip off the tank? Will you tilt it up on the back of the tank?


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-07-2008, 01:00 AM
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Polyurethane is food-safe once fully cured.
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