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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is the thread that started the sliding glass top discovery. http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/diy/31544-sliding-glass-top-how.html?highlight=sliding+glass+top
I posted DIY instructions for making sliding glass tops on another site and it got hacked, since it was not backed up it went to bit heaven. Having been asked several times how to do this I will attempt to repost the instructions. Read the above post first to understand why I got here.

First you will need some outside corner moulding for tile. I found it at Lowes in the door/window section.



The SKU is 1141511635; make sure you get this one as there were two sizes when I got it. Here is a cross section of the moulding.



There are two ways to do sliding glass tops side-to-side



or front-to-back.



Once you have decided which you want, cut the moulding to fit inside the top frame of the tank.

Like this:




Measure the distance from one side of the channel to the other. Take note the glass needs to sit inside the channel and on top of the molding.





You will also need to compute the size openings you want, i.e., the lengths of the 2 pieces. I recommend you go 50/50, for example if the opening is 24” wide and 13” deep you will need to get 2 pieces of glass cut 24” wide x 6 ¾” deep which will give you an overlap of around ½”.

This is what I mean by overlap. See where the 2 pieces of glass overlap in the middle?





Go to Lowes and get some glass cut. Measure your tank carefully and double check the cut they make, it is a PITA to get home and find out you or they measured wrong. I have made several sliding glass tops and believe me there are folks that can cut glass and folks that cannot.

Put the front piece of the glass in the track



and the back piece on top of the molding.



I have tried both ways. Putting the back piece on top keeps the two pieces of molding apart and out of the tank, putting the moving piece in the track keeps it from coming off the tank and breaking or falling in the tank.

I got handles at my LFS for a buck, you can use whatever works for you.

Here is a picture of my 55 gallon with side-to-side sliding glass tops:

Closed


Open


Here is a picture of a 20 gallon long with front-to-back sliding glass tops:

Closed


Open


One thing I did to the 20 gallon longs is to put a handle on each piece of glass; this allows me to move either piece gaining access to the whole tank.



Let me know if I left anything out or there are any questions……DC
 

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Wow! Great Idea and it looks so clean. I might just have to try that one of these days.
 

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This is no doubt one of the best DIY things you could make for your tank!

Now I wonder if anyone makes black tracks... Would look even cleaner, I'm a bit worried about the white getting dirty and looking messy over time, but that's just me I bet you could wash them or something...

-Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is no doubt one of the best DIY things you could make for your tank!

Now I wonder if anyone makes black tracks... Would look even cleaner, I'm a bit worried about the white getting dirty and looking messy over time, but that's just me I bet you could wash them or something...

-Andrew
They clean up easily with a toothbrush....DC
 

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Wow this is great! My hubby is going to do this for me. Then I can put a better light on the tank (55gal.) Just have the plastic molded tops now. Thank you so much for putting this on here!:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
 

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just wondering...where are your filters and accessories coming out of the tank from if the glass tops seal it completely?
 

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Deff. have to do this one! I have a coralife light and I hate that I have to pull my glass tops forward to open them. It's not THAT big of a deal, but I'm gonna like this much better! thanks for the post!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here are some pics at different angles to show how the glass is inserted into the moulding......DC





 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My finished light enclosure fell and broke the handle on the glass. As usual something has to happen before I take care of the jury rig. I always wanted the enclosure close to the glass top yet easily moveable when I wanted into the tank and of course for feeding. Digging through my "stuff" I found something I thought would work. Here are some pics of the evolution on my 10 and 29 gallon light enclosures I bought from AH Supply, assembly should be obvious.















It moves back and forth on the glass top easily for access and will not fall again......DC
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This is working pretty good but there has to be a better way. I am thinking some kind of rollers or wheels. Anyone seem anything like that in use?......DC
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
These should fit the bill:



Specifically, item "A", not item "B". The flange should help keep them on the track. They can be found at http://www.leevalley.com/hardware/page.aspx?c=2&cat=3,43614,43617,41847&p=41847

BTW, it would be much better to have a glass shop cut the glass and have them polish the edges, rather than going the HD - Lowes route.
Thanks, those look a little big for my applications but I will check it out. Have you priced having a glass shop polish the edges? I did, it raises the cost at least 400%. Using a belt sander with wax works just fine on the edges. Keep in mind safety precautions must be followed......DC
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
After using the current sliders for a while I modified them a little relocating the pipe straps forward so the light enclosure would move easier while keeping the sliders on top of the tank during movement. Here are some pictures of the current setup.



Side shot light enclosure forward.



Side shot light enclosure aft for tank access.



Front shot light enclosure forward.



Front shot light enclosure aft for tank access.



These guys are always watching me in the room.......DC
 

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DC, you continue to dazzle us and entertain with your inventions.
 

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DC, I have used the slding top design before, although it is quite different from yours. My design can be seen in this thread:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/photo-album/12404-jarts-45-gallon-journal.html

I only have one suggestion that might help you. Lee Valley also sells slabs of low friction polymers. If you were to mount pieces of these on either side of the tank, under the sliders, that might make things work a little easier. If you would like a link to the site, let me know.
 

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I just went to my second home depot and can not find these outside corner moldings. Nothing in the tile section, nothing in windows and doors. I did see the white plastic outside corner moldings for sheetrock, but the only had a J shape and the J was considerably larger than the glass they sell. Any idea where I might be able to order them online?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I just went to my second home depot and can not find these outside corner moldings. Nothing in the tile section, nothing in windows and doors. I did see the white plastic outside corner moldings for sheetrock, but the only had a J shape and the J was considerably larger than the glass they sell. Any idea where I might be able to order them online?
I have not seen them at Home Depot, just Lowes. If you do not have a Lowes nearby, PM me and I can get some and ship to you. I will need the lengths you need.........DC
 
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