Need some ideas for floating "Skylight" in tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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Need some ideas for floating "Skylight" in tank

Greetings,

For about a month now, I've been experimenting with the concept of floating skylights on the surface of my 125g natural tank.



Above is the view from the bottom of the tank looking up.



This is the view from the front of the tank with the skylights in place.

The reason for the skylights is the surface of the tank has a heavy growth of floating plants which can keep a great deal of light from getting to the submerged plants in the tank. The light puts out about 3+wpg.

To make the skylights I've been cutting bubblewrap into discs that are the size of a DVD. The discs have lasted for about a month, then the plastic seems to begin to deteriorate from the light and the heat generated by the light fixture.

My question to everyone is, can you think of a transparent material that I can easily cut to the size of a dvd and floats and will hold up to high heat and light conditions?

Many thanks for your input...

Phil


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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 01:38 AM
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Egg crate. It doesn't float, but you can attach it to suction cups and have it stick to a side.

Drawback of that is that you can't float it anywhere you want in the tank.

I wonder if petri dishes float?

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 01:43 AM
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a floating ring.. maybe made out of a section from a 2 liter soda bottle. Hopefully the floating plants will keep the ring in place.

cool idea.


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 02:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashappar View Post
what if you made a grid set onto the top of the tank, portions of it would dip into the water and form a barrier to keep floaters from coming into an area.

the area would be open, and just the borders would have plastic. maybe you could use less material this way, and be able to play with different sizes and shapes of openings.

If you used polycarbonate sheet that is for windows, that should hold up to heat and light for a long time.
Interesting idea. What material would you suggest for the grid? Can you post a link to the materila you have in mind?

Quote:
Originally Posted by epicfish View Post
Egg crate. It doesn't float, but you can attach it to suction cups and have it stick to a side.

Drawback of that is that you can't float it anywhere you want in the tank.

I wonder if petri dishes float?

the nice part about the bubblewrap is that it moved up and down with the water level. That would present a problem for non floating barrier on the surface. I'd have to maintain a very close watch on the water level. Even a slight drop would allow floaters under the barrier. I like the petri dish idea. I'm fairly certain the would float..

Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
a floating ring.. maybe made out of a section from a 2 liter soda bottle. Hopefully the floating plants will keep the ring in place.

cool idea.
I'll try that out. maybe even just the bottom section so that it is similar in for to the petri dish idea.

All excellent Ideas! Thank you very much...Any more?


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 03:13 AM
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Take a section of clear plastic tubing, like 1/2 inch or so and join the ends using a barbed fitting. This will create a floating "ring" that you could position anywhere. I do this to feed my fish so that the floating food does not go into my overflow. Great thing about this is that it is really inexpensive, and you may even have some tubing laying around you use.

Hope that helps.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 03:50 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by intermediate_noob View Post
Take a section of clear plastic tubing, like 1/2 inch or so and join the ends using a barbed fitting. This will create a floating "ring" that you could position anywhere. I do this to feed my fish so that the floating food does not go into my overflow. Great thing about this is that it is really inexpensive, and you may even have some tubing laying around you use.

Hope that helps.
Another very cool idea. Thanks!


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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 10:24 PM
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I have a good amount of frogbit and salvinia floating on my 72 gal tank and it does grow fast. When it starts to cover too much light I "harvest" it down to a dozen or so of each left and give it away or into the compost heap it goes. I do this about about every 2 weeks as the stuff grows back very quickly. Otherwise it becomes a mess, the water stagnates on top, a oily film collects, as does debris from the other plants, this severely affects water movement, and then algae comes....etc.....etc....

Your idea is a neat one and looks sort of cool (like alien UFO's checking out the tank ) but I do not see it as a good long term thing as your plants below will suffer. Why not just do a bit more "harvesting" as needed instead?
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 11:00 PM
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How about putting plastic straw together, don't know how it will hold back plants in that dense tank.
Link what I use to have as feeding ring.




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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 11:34 PM
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Don't they already make plastic feeding rings out of 3/4" plastic piping, that floats and keeps floating plants and other floating debris out of those gravity-fed filters that suck water from the middle? One of my local fish stores keeps their plants in big tanks that are filtered with a gravity-fed filter, and has plastic rings to keep floaters back from the intake (the intake pops up in the exact middle of the tank...).

I would assume that the flexible tubing from an old Fluval joined with a staple or possibly glued together would work just fine. Or you can just go to the water toys section of Wal-Mart and look for floating toss-rings for the pool. Only problem is that it'll come in hot neon orange, pink or green, and thus not look that fantastic.

There may be a plastic-bonding paint you could use to make it a more pleasing color, though.......

Last edited by Mangala; 08-07-2008 at 11:35 PM. Reason: spelling error.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-08-2008, 12:45 AM
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Airline tubes would be best IMO.

Oliver Knott did the opposite thing with them.

-Andrew
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-08-2008, 04:01 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rich815 View Post
I have a good amount of frogbit and salvinia floating on my 72 gal tank and it does grow fast. When it starts to cover too much light I "harvest" it down to a dozen or so of each left and give it away or into the compost heap it goes. I do this about about every 2 weeks as the stuff grows back very quickly. Otherwise it becomes a mess, the water stagnates on top, a oily film collects, as does debris from the other plants, this severely affects water movement, and then algae comes....etc.....etc....

Your idea is a neat one and looks sort of cool (like alien UFO's checking out the tank ) but I do not see it as a good long term thing as your plants below will suffer. Why not just do a bit more "harvesting" as needed instead?
I do harvest it, but the surface flow of the tank has a tendency to leave some spaces open to the light and bunch up plants in other spaces. When I keep a thin layer over the entire tank with the skylight, I've got a good balance of light over the entire tank and the skylights give me more time between harvests.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Augus View Post
How about putting plastic straw together, don't know how it will hold back plants in that dense tank.
Link what I use to have as feeding ring.
This is similar to the ring made from an air hose, which is one of the options I'm considering...Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangala View Post
Don't they already make plastic feeding rings out of 3/4" plastic piping, that floats and keeps floating plants and other floating debris out of those gravity-fed filters that suck water from the middle? One of my local fish stores keeps their plants in big tanks that are filtered with a gravity-fed filter, and has plastic rings to keep floaters back from the intake (the intake pops up in the exact middle of the tank...).

I would assume that the flexible tubing from an old Fluval joined with a staple or possibly glued together would work just fine. Or you can just go to the water toys section of Wal-Mart and look for floating toss-rings for the pool. Only problem is that it'll come in hot neon orange, pink or green, and thus not look that fantastic.

There may be a plastic-bonding paint you could use to make it a more pleasing color, though.......
If I can get the clear air hose rings to work, I won't have to worry about the bright colors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by A Hill View Post
Airline tubes would be best IMO.

Oliver Knott did the opposite thing with them.

-Andrew
That's another alternative. I could fill the rings with floaters and leave the rest of the tank open.

So the two ideas I'm considering are the air hose rings or 5" clear polycarb petri dishes with lids (about $1 each).


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