The Ultimate Canopy - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-10-2008, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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The Ultimate Canopy

I thought I might pose a fairly light-hearted question -

If you were designing a custom canopy for your tank, what features would you include? i.e. where would you put the hinges that articulate the top panel, would it be enclosed on all 4-sides or the back left open, have two vent fans in it or what? What kind of maintenance or access problems do you have now that you could solve with a different canopy? Space problems (i.e. problem fitting lights, etc)?

I've seen some neat designs on here, and thought I might see if i could consolidate them a bit and come up with some new ones....

I have a wonderful opportunity to work with an incredibly skilled carpenter who is essentially willing to create whatever I want for a menial cost, so I thought I might ask....

I want some good suggestions - hopefully I can incorporate some into the design to make maintenance a breeze and keep it stylish and acceptable for the house (my girlfriend is a real stickler about introducing "nasty aquarium stuff" into the house...)

It's being built for a 75g (48x18x21) which will go in the kitchen "lounge" area or breakfast room or whatever this room is in my house...
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-10-2008, 11:34 PM
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On my canopy, I have two vent fans in the back. One in, one out.
For ease of removing the canopy and whatnot, don't enclose the back completely, allow some space above the tank so you can slide the canopy off a bit easily.

Mine opens at the top. Some canopies have the whole front side open up.
Each have their disadvantages. The ones that open at the top make the tank "higher" in a sense. The ones that open on the front side may or may not give you enough "good" access to the very back.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 12:57 AM
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Coleman, as I read your post the following two parts caught my attention:

"...my house..." and "my girlfriend is a real stickler about introducing "nasty aquarium stuff" into the house"

Sorry I don't have an opinion regarding your dream canopy but I will offer that it is not your house if the girlfriend is in charge. After 20+ years of marriage I have come to realization that no matter if I pay for everything it is still her house and the sooner you realize that fact of life, the better off you will be ROFLOL.

Good luck,
Daniel
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 01:07 AM
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Model it after the Guggenheim or Sydney Opera building.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 01:50 AM
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I'm pretty particular about noise, so the fans would need to be quiet. I'd also want function over form, so to me, that means taking into consideration mounting lights, moon/display lights, ventilation, and moisture control.

As for aesthetics, it's a matter of personal taste. I like the look of unstained wood, flush mounted doors, satin finish, and as few bevels as possible.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 02:01 AM
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The Ultimate Canopy just needs air circulation, room for the lights of your choice and whatever style/color my wife wanted.

Just ask her what she wants for looks (stain/paint/trim maybe) , and then you just design it to fit your needs.

I personally like a front opener as opposed to a top lid myself for easy access. Lets face it, we are in our tanks more then the average hobbyist for plant trimming, dosing, etc.

Heres a super simple design for my 75G...notice the 4" inset on the front lid, it makes a big difference while working in the tank.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 03:09 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YankyTexan View Post
Coleman, as I read your post the following two parts caught my attention:

"...my house..." and "my girlfriend is a real stickler about introducing "nasty aquarium stuff" into the house"

Sorry I don't have an opinion regarding your dream canopy but I will offer that it is not your house if the girlfriend is in charge. After 20+ years of marriage I have come to realization that no matter if I pay for everything it is still her house and the sooner you realize that fact of life, the better off you will be ROFLOL.

Good luck,
Daniel
You know I think this is some of the best advice i have received since i've joined!
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 03:15 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck View Post
The Ultimate Canopy just needs air circulation, room for the lights of your choice and whatever style/color my wife wanted.

Just ask her what she wants for looks (stain/paint/trim maybe) , and then you just design it to fit your needs.

I personally like a front opener as opposed to a top lid myself for easy access. Lets face it, we are in our tanks more then the average hobbyist for plant trimming, dosing, etc.

Heres a super simple design for my 75G...notice the 4" inset on the front lid, it makes a big difference while working in the tank.
I really like that design...the guy I've been talking with wanted to do a "gull wing" style canopy, with hinged door son both the front and the rear, but the articulation in the rear would mean a loss of surface area on the canopy's top for lights and reflectors....
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 10:21 PM
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I don't think rear doors are necessary... Just have your front door extend inward a bit, and you can have one set of lights on the door and one set of lights under the rest of the canopy.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 11:30 PM
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Heres mine
LINK

Works great


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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 02:46 PM
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I'd suggest:

1. Lots of natural ventiliation to avoid the noise and evaporation of fans.
2. No front or side lips, in other words the canopy shouldn't obstruct your entry into the tank in any way when open. Usually canopies have a high lip in the front that makes it impossible to reach the bottom of the tank.
3. This one is difficult, but ideally you should be able to remove the canopy without removing any plumbing or cords. Doesn't sound complicated but its hard to put much strength into the back while doing this.
4. It shouldn't look like a huge box.

Here's what I can up with, I really should take some more photos with the light mounted in it and the hinges on:



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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 10:46 PM
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NICE!! I also like what looks like beer in the background.

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
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hey kuhli -
I really like the canopy - great design and interesting ventilation technique...i like it much better than vent fans (for aesthetics and cost both)....I'll post a pic of mine when I have it done; I'm going to incorporate aspects of nearly all the posts (even the guggenheim) in the design...so it will look something from outer space (not really, but we'll see)!

Thanks for all the comments...
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 01:28 AM
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original kuhli
If you built this your self, can you give us some DIY plans? Especially the top, what wood did you use to give it the bend?
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 04:12 AM
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I've some more photos that I need to upload and I've been meaning to do a post on the stand and canopy, sorry but no time now, stay tuned I'll have one up fairly soon.

The short answer is that the wood is cherry, it was kerfed (a saw blade wide cut 3/4 of the way through the piece) and steamed to create the bend.
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