Plexiglass tops? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-25-2014, 04:38 AM Thread Starter
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Plexiglass tops?

Anyone ever tried having a custom cut piece of plexiglass for an aquarium lid? as opposed to the glass ones they sell in the stores.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-25-2014, 04:41 AM
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I use a piece of acrylic I picked up from Home Depot.
It started off nice but is a PITA now. It warps every other day so I have to constantly flip it. As far as I have read there is no way to make acrylic work as a top without the warping.
If it didn't warp it would be perfect. It's very easy to cut and customize.
Unfortunately the warping is a deal breaker and I just bough a versa-top today
-sigh
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-25-2014, 05:49 AM
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Plexiglass will haze over with mineral deposits and unlike glass can not be as easily cleaned with vinegar to remove them.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-25-2014, 06:01 AM
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Once upon a time I considered it until I heard about the warping issues. Thin plexi is definitely a deal breaker. You would need a much thicker piece to minimize the warping. Expense goes up though. I even did away with glass tops as I only do open top now. I know some hobbyist house jumpers and need some sort of cover and for this, some people have constructed custom covers such as mesh tops. They still allow the surface to breathe as if it was open to air and it still keeps jumpers in.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-25-2014, 09:00 AM
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I thought that plexiglas blocked visible light, but on googling, that turned out to be wrong, as you can see from the quote:

"In colorless form, Plexiglas sheet is as transparent as
the finest optical glass. Its total light transmission is
92%, and its measured haze averages only 1%.
The wavelengths of visible light fall within the range
of approximately 400 to 700 nanometers in the elec-
tromagnetic spectrum. Electromagnetic energy from
the sun is rich in these wavelengths, tapering off in
the ultraviolet and infrared regions, as shown by the
relative energy distribution diagram in Figure 1.
When a light ray strikes colorless Plexiglas sheet
perpendicular to its surface (0 angle of incidence),
most is transmitted, some is reflected at both the top
and bottom surfaces, and a negligible fraction is
absorbed (Figure 2)."

http://www.plexiglas.com/export/site...cteristics.pdf

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-25-2014, 09:07 AM
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+1 on the warping issue. It's a pita. A glass versatop that I had ordered came in shattered, and the top on it was too long, and I had already knocked into it a couple of times. Decided to run to the local hardware store and get some plexiglass. Tried getting the thicker one, but the guy had issues cutting it, and after waiting for almost an hour already, went with the thinner one. After a day it was warped beyond belief, and I finally ended up screwing some wood trim along the outer edges to keep it straight.

thanks for reminding me I need to look for a better alternative though!


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-25-2014, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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So I should pretty much steer clear of a plexiglass top?

Any alternatives to both the plexiglass and glass tops?
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-25-2014, 04:19 PM
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As far as I have been able to work it out, plex does not work for very long. For alterates, can you tell us some about what priorities you have?
There are several alternates. Some cheaper, some easy, some hard and some that are just plain ugly.
I build canopies to hide things under and then go for the cheap and easy, leaving the back open for air and cooling and using vertical eggcrate to keep fish from dying. I've found that almost all fish jump at one time or another.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-25-2014, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackheart View Post
Anyone ever tried having a custom cut piece of plexiglass for an aquarium lid? as opposed to the glass ones they sell in the stores.
You can get glass cut as well. I got a 1/4" 40b top for $14. I used some leftover makrolon from my shop as the back piece.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-25-2014, 10:00 PM
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-25-2014, 10:44 PM
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Oh! Another thing that can be used is an overhead light diffuser. This is basically only used to prevent larger jumpers or to make a spot for your light fixture to sit on.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-25-2014, 11:00 PM
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Why not glass? I get custom cut ones from osh all the time and all my tanks have glass covers. I love em and save me a lot of time as there is a LOT less evaporation in addition to peace if mind that my fish are safe!


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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-27-2014, 06:24 AM
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Hey Blackheart, I do want to add one option that you do have that isn't glass:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CriLkV6m8rk

Check it out.

Edit - Wow. Looks like my link is redundant and I am unobservant. Thank you brwaldbaum for posting it first.

Last edited by Squrl888; 10-27-2014 at 06:35 AM. Reason: edit
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-30-2014, 04:45 AM
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If your just looking you can also try having a window screen made. Just big enough to fit inside your tank. Glue a small lip on 2 sides to prevent it from falling in. Although It might not work depending on how high you keep your water level.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-30-2014, 05:24 AM
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I have a 125 and the top is divided into 3 sections. I was thinking about adding a 1/4'' piece of plexiglass to each section, what do you all think about a piece that size? i found a company that has a 8' X 4' piece for $135 and they will change $5 for each cut. Harbor freight has the blade for 5 or 6 dollars and I can cut the rest myself. Does anyone think that thicness will warp?
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