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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anybody ever do this or have suggestions? I would like to keep the convenience of a flip-up lid for tank access.

I'm working on plans for a 2nd tank. Would love a 120g wide (48x18x24) but unless I side mount the filter (either AC110 or AC70), I will have to go with a 90g.

Ideas?
 

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You mean side, instead of back? Still over the rim, right? Sure, there is no problem with that. For a larger tank, you would probably put one on each side.

Most of us forgo the low price and easy maintenance of HOB's for the hide-ability and output flexibility of canister filters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Guess I should explain more about what is in my head. Yes, I mean off the side of the tank instead of the back. I will also have a Eheim 2262 canister. I like the ease of access of a HOB for the polishing, etc... I don't expect to get into the 2262 often.

If the HOB actually is on the back, I need about 5" between the tank and the wall and that brings the tank too far out into walkway/usable space.

I would like to hang the AC110 on the side and HOPEFULLY still have some type of flip top lid on the tank...such as the VersaTop.
 

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I wanted to do the same thing for a tank that will be seen from both the front & back. I use versa tops too - and I thought about siliconing a support bar from front to back, resting in the notch of the plastic rim. (like a duplicate of the center bar on the rim of my 55g) Then you could use a shorter versa top for that one side, and still have the very end of the tank open to accomadate the HOB filter. This is for a tank that uses two versa tops due to the plastic center bar on a 55g. Could be adapted for a tank without a center bar, and only one versa top.
I hope that made sense! lol
 

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I would like to hang the AC110 on the side and HOPEFULLY still have some type of flip top lid on the tank...such as the VersaTop.
Get your local hardware store to cut you some glass. Just make sure the length is 47 or 46 inches to leave room for the HOB.;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Things keep getting more complex as I dig into the idea. i though about having a piece of class made to bridge the tank front-to-back with the notch for the AC110 in the back side/corner. Then cut the one side of the VersaTop down to length so it rests on that custom glass piece.

BUT, then there is the light fixture that would typically have legs which mount on the sides of the tank. (I have a 3 bulb Catalina Aquarium light). Only way around that is to hang the light and I'm not sure I want to go there. Any other suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I wanted to do the same thing for a tank that will be seen from both the front & back. I use versa tops too - and I thought about siliconing a support bar from front to back, resting in the notch of the plastic rim. (like a duplicate of the center bar on the rim of my 55g) Then you could use a shorter versa top for that one side, and still have the very end of the tank open to accomadate the HOB filter. This is for a tank that uses two versa tops due to the plastic center bar on a 55g. Could be adapted for a tank without a center bar, and only one versa top.
I hope that made sense! lol
Mine would have the center divider for 2 tops too. In order to keep open areas to a minimum, you would still need a custom piece of glass or plastic or something around the HOB area. Did you consider that? And if so, what was your plan? I have cats and need to keep the paws out and the fish in! LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Get your local hardware store to cut you some glass. Just make sure the length is 47 or 46 inches to leave room for the HOB.;)
The tank has a divider so I only need to mod one side. And I would hope to keep the flip top along the majority of that side, which brought me to my idea I just posted above. Still leaves the light mounting issue though.
 

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I have cats too, that's why I can't have open top tanks (and I really like that look too, darn it! lol)
As a last resort, I have a local glass shop that I use for glass for art projects (kiln work). He's very resasonable and could cut me a pair of glass panels to make a "short" versa top - I'd just have to cut down the plastic hinge. You can also buy replacement hinges online and cut one to size.
I also read a thread on a cichlid site where a guy & his buddy make their own versa-type lids (those cichlid folks are sure crafty). They would cut two pieces of glasss to the size needed, lay them down in position, butted up tight against each other (laying them back down as if they hadn't been cut yet, as they would look on the tank). Then they tape off a seam - like you would if resealing a tank - so the tape was postioned a 1/4" away from the cut line. Then they ran a bead of 100% silicone caulk the length of the cut line, smoothing it with the index & middle finger. By drawing the two fingers along the bead, it creates a peak in the silicone - a pyramid shaped bead. Remove the tape, let dry. They said it's important to get the silicone on top of the glass seam, not in the seam - inbetween the glass - because then the glass wouldn't be able to move if it's in the seam.
According to them that makes a perfectly flexible silicone hinge thats clear, not black. (The whole point of making tops & hinges like this is to aviod the black seam in a versa top, which interferes with the lights if they rest on the glass like mine do)
They say if the hinge needs to be redone in time, it's a breeze to do. I always thought this mini project sounded easy to do.
A glass cutter should be able to cut the glass to size & grind (sand) all the edges for very little $$. If you cut your own - which is easy to do - just remember to sand the edges. And don't get cut!

As for a special shape around the actual HOB itself, I would use thick acrylic, or better yet you can buy replacement parts for versa tops. You can get a hinge strip, but you can also get the clear plastic "flange" (don't remember what it's called) that fits on the back piece of the glass. That part that sits on the rim and where you make cuts to accomodate heaters, filters, etc. After buying a replacement "flange" you can cut it to match the short length of each of the end pieces of glass, and trim them to fit around the HOB. If you had this clear flap on the rear of the tank where it belongs, as well as on the end of the two pieces of glass where the HOB is, you would not need an addition brace at all - you wouldn't even be able to use an additional brace. The glass top would be sitting in the rim on it's glass edges on the front & center sides, and on the clear plastic flanges on the back and HOB sides.
I'm posting this before I go to work early in the AM, I hope I'm making sense! lol (no coffee yet)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Now that is a dedicated post response! LOL. Thanks

Good info to consider. I think I have enough options for the lid. I need to focus on the light mount interface to see if I can figure it out. At least one, if not both of the leg stands on that one side would typically use the same area as the HOB would use if mounted on the side.

If anybody has suggestions for the light fixture problem, I'm all ears!
 

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I'm game to learn that aspect, too! lol Time for someone else to write a book... ; )
 

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I set up my grow out tanks this way. They are 10 gallon tanks with a HOB on the short side and a powerhead diffusing DIY CO2 under the HOB outlet. I feel I get much better circulation in the tank this way vs placing the equipment on the long side. I actually have these tanks with the short side facing out though, since viewing experience isn't my goal. This also allows me to cram 4 of them under a 48" light fixture.
 
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