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About Me

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  1. From 9/27/21 - This is the build of the canopy for my Marineland 220 gallon aquarium in photos. The entire unit was constructed out of white pine. I looked an tons of photos online for inspiration. I originally wanted the two front sections of burned wood to open like the doors below AND have the entire front tilt up but, my father the engineer said that was a tall order. he could do it but it would weigh a ton and be super complicated. So, we simplified my idea down to having the entire front tilt and just mimic the front doors below. Please check my other post on building the aluminum stand for this tank.
  2. This is a brief overview of the tools and techniques I've used to build three aquarium canopies this way. My intent with building a canopy is to block the glare from the lights and light spillage into the rooms. I also want enough room inside the canopy to be able to reach in the tanks if I have to without having to remove it. I use 1/2" Sande Plywood for a nice paintable surface while still being lightweight enough to lift on and off. It does require a moderate set of wood working tools and the knowledge to use them. I used the following. Tablesaw and Dado blade set Miter saw Kreg Pocket Screw Jig Drill To start I take measurements of the aquarium frame that'll determine the inside dimensions of the canopy. This is a 48x18, 90 gallon tank. I like the canopy to cover the black plastic frame of the tank. You could extend this lower to cover the water line as well. Once I determined the dimensions I use a tablesaw to rip the plywood to length. I like to start by assembling the front of the canopy where the doors are. I found a 10" tall opening was good for fitting my arm in and out of easily. I assembly the entire canopy using pocket screws drilled with a jig. I then make the sides of the canopy. I use a stack of dado blades to cut a groove in the sides. The groove will hold a strip of wood the will sit on top of the aquarium frame, holding it up in place. I screw the sides into the inside of the canopy front so that the cut edge will be hidden from the front view. I attach the back of the canopy the same way as the sides. I screwed the back panel on within the inside of the canopy so the side hides the edge of the back panel. At this time I glue in a strip of wood cut to a specific width to fit fully into the dado and extend out enough to sit on the rim of the aquarium frame. Take care not to make it too wide so you can get the glass lids on and off. Test fit confirms all is good to proceed. After that the top is the last major piece followed by fitting the doors. I found a 1/2" overlap on the doors is good. These are the hinges I use. Finally I attach some simple trim around the top to hide the edge of the top panel to give it a nice look. I painted with a semi-gloss black paint. I don't have any filter equipment running over the rim of this tank but you could trim out to allow access for filer tubes, HOBS, etc. I do plan on trimming a small access cutout on the back, for wires and airline, once I determine the light orientation. I'm no expert woodworker but I found this easy to make. May it serve as inspiration for you to design and build your own aquarium canopy instead of buying one.
  3. Re-establishing my older aquarium. A couple of decades ago, I stained the wood and sealed it with polyurethane. The exterior still looks great, but the interior ceiling has some water damage where the lamination bubbled up in places. I've cut out the bad, and I plan on painting the ceiling with white Rust-oleum to cover the damage - and for reflective purposes. I will then seal it again with polyurethane - while touching up the rest of the hood. My question is whether it would be safer to use oil-based or water-based paint and sealer? I tried a Google search, and there seems to be a lot of conflicting information on what types of paint to use around an aquarium.
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