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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am getting some lights for my tank, but I need to put a lid on the tank first. I was going to use glass, but then I found some sheets of acrylic at my local HD. It's cheaper, more accesabel and easier for me to work with so I am reconsidering. But I was wondering if it's alright to use acrylic for the lid, or if it will have a negative affect on lighting?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well I was planning on positioning the lights 3 or 4 inches above the lid and it's also only a 20 gallon tank, so the lid won't need to span very far. Will the heat still cause a bowing effect?

And since were on the topic of acrylic, what is the appropriate way to clean acrylic?
 

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just flip the lid when you do a water change. it will bow, but if you just flip it over once a week or so, it shouldn't really do any damage. i use plexiglass on all my tanks for lids and just flip them over and they're fine.
 

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The lid I made for my homemade sump tank is a 12"x12 sheet of 1/8" acrylic supported on the edges. I chose to use it because it was cheap and easy for me to cut. The problem is that the center bows about 1/2" downward in the middle under its own weight after a week or so. I have been flipping it over ever couple of weeks to straighten it and let it bow in the other direction. If I ever get around to doing it over again I with either use a thicker sheet of acrylic or glass. Keep in mind this bowing its completely without the warming of any lights.

Others here also gave me some suggestions on bracing it to eliminate the bow, but I haven't tried any of those ideas yet.

Just some food for thought...
 

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Go with Glass! I bought manufactured glass tops for my tanks. Then I made some for my larger tanks out of 1/4 glass I had laying around. I only had to buy the plastic hinge & the plastic strip across the back to be able to cut it for the filter lines, heater cord... The ones I bought for my 20 were cheap enough at like $10.00... I used to use "Plexi" (I worked in a plexiglass display wearhouse years ago & had access to the whole shop even after I hadn't worked there...) I didn't like the plexi at all. I used 1/4 plexi & it still bowed in the middle... I even tried it on a tank without any lights over the top (nothing in it but water, filter & heater.). But, it still bowed from the heat of the water.
 
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