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Aquarium lids (Ideally Dean Style)


aquachris
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I believe I used the same stuff they do. It's Palram Sunlight Polycarbonate Clear Twinwall Sheet 5/16". The 24" X 48" sheet I bought ($28) did my 40 breeder and a 10 gallon with enough to do another 10 gallon when I get to it. It cuts just fine with a sharp utility knife (thanks to@Ryo Watanabe for that, I saw him do it on a video). The handles are Self-Stick Drawer Handles from Amazon they were about a buck each.

344203108_10gallonLid.jpg.e92ebbf0ab09a12347ce50e589e6da55.jpg1668140143_40GallonLid.jpg.7249976569e38870ed424975d7de4711.jpg

 

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I had to order that size at Home Depot online, it took about a week to come in to the store. I don't think scissors would work, it would crush rather than cut. Drill littles holes at the corners of any inside cut outs it helps minimize overruns with the utility knife. The video Cory put out on making them he cut it with a table saw. I don't have a table saw and had visions of a horrible failure with a skilsaw. After having the material in hand I could see that Ryo's solution was a very good one and went that way.

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On 6/12/2021 at 2:17 PM, Ken said:

I believe I used the same stuff they do. It's Palram Sunlight Polycarbonate Clear Twinwall Sheet 5/16". The 24" X 48" sheet I bought ($28) did my 40 breeder and a 10 gallon with enough to do another 10 gallon when I get to it. It cuts just fine with a sharp utility knife (thanks to@Ryo Watanabe for that, I saw him do it on a video). The handles are Self-Stick Drawer Handles from Amazon they were about a buck each.

344203108_10gallonLid.jpg.e92ebbf0ab09a12347ce50e589e6da55.jpg1668140143_40GallonLid.jpg.7249976569e38870ed424975d7de4711.jpg

 

@Ken  Is the polycarbonate twin wall strong enough to support a Fluval 3.0?  Your LED looks like it might be lighter?  Are there 3 panels sitting inside the tank rim on the top photo?   The bottom photo looks hinged, are hinges hard to obtain?  Wondering if it could be cut ok with a coping saw?  Thanks, Trish

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On 6/12/2021 at 7:50 PM, Trish said:

@Ken  Is the polycarbonate twin wall strong enough to support a Fluval 3.0?  Your LED looks like it might be lighter?  Are there 3 panels sitting inside the tank rim on the top photo?   The bottom photo looks hinged, are hinges hard to obtain?  Wondering if it could be cut ok with a coping saw?  Thanks, Trish

Your fluval should lay on the tank frame so I don't think the tank lid strength is an issue.  Cory's link for www.tapplastics.com listed a few hinges that could work. 

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On 6/12/2021 at 6:26 PM, tnnlynch said:

Your fluval should lay on the tank frame so I don't think the tank lid strength is an issue.  Cory's link for www.tapplastics.com listed a few hinges that could work. 

Thank you for the link.. Fluval currently on glass and I forget it's extendable.  C.A.R.E. great community for helping each other. 

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On 6/12/2021 at 5:27 PM, Nick Y said:

@Ken thanks. I agree. I saw the video but don’t have the table saw or access to any good power tools. I’ll make sure I have a sharp box cutter when I get it.  I’ve checked online and Home Depot doesn’t have any in stock online or near me.   Thanks for the information though.  The search continues!

When I was looking it was listed on Amazon for a lot more money. 

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On 6/12/2021 at 6:50 PM, Trish said:

@Ken  Is the polycarbonate twin wall strong enough to support a Fluval 3.0?  Your LED looks like it might be lighter?  Are there 3 panels sitting inside the tank rim on the top photo?   The bottom photo looks hinged, are hinges hard to obtain?  Wondering if it could be cut ok with a coping saw?  Thanks, Trish

I wouldn't use it to support any weight. I didn't put hinges on either of them. The 10 gallon has a narrow piece (3") that I can take off to feed, the rest is one piece. The 40 breeder has 3 sections, a narrow one at the front so I can take it off to feed, a quite wide center piece that I can remove when doing tank maintenance and the back piece with cutouts for the filter, airlines and heater cords. After I cut the pieces and realized how light and handy they are a decided hinges would be more of a bother than not having them. 

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On 6/12/2021 at 8:05 PM, Ken said:

I wouldn't use it to support any weight. I didn't put hinges on either of them. The 10 gallon has a narrow piece (3") that I can take off to feed, the rest is one piece. The 40 breeder has 3 sections, a narrow one at the front so I can take it off to feed, a quite wide center piece that I can remove when doing tank maintenance and the back piece with cutouts for the filter, airlines and heater cords. After I cut the pieces and realized how light and handy they are a decided hinges would be more of a bother than not having them. 

 

On 6/12/2021 at 8:05 PM, Ken said:

I wouldn't use it to support any weight. I didn't put hinges on either of them. The 10 gallon has a narrow piece (3") that I can take off to feed, the rest is one piece. The 40 breeder has 3 sections, a narrow one at the front so I can take it off to feed, a quite wide center piece that I can remove when doing tank maintenance and the back piece with cutouts for the filter, airlines and heater cords. After I cut the pieces and realized how light and handy they are a decided hinges would be more of a bother than not having them. 

Sounds good, I have a custom 50 gal covered with a piece of plate glass that doesn't reach the back.   I'll keep it to sit the Fluval on, and do a cutout section from the polycarbonate for the filters etc. to fit inside the rim.  Thanks for posting pics of your tanks, those tops look nice and tidy.  

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Here is my experience as a Manhattan apartment-dweller without a car: 

I ordered 3/32 inch polycarbonate from TAP plastics, which you can order cut to size. I have rimless tanks, so standard lid sizes don't really work for me. Make sure to measure the interior dimensions of the tank AND account for the rim clips (I did the former but not the latter, so I spent a significant amount of time trimming the lid to fit the clips). I used a rotary tool to cut out corners for intake/outflow/air lines. You can also use a box cutter or other sharp knife, but this takes a while at this thickness. I also cut a square out of one side and used a clear plastic hinge from Amazon and superglue to create a door for feeding. By leaving a small gap where the hinge is, the door protrudes just enough beyond the edge of the lid to rest on the edge of the tank, making it easy to lift up and also keeping it from falling into the water. I use clear suction cups for airline tubing as lid handles if I ever need to lift them up. 

As for bending, I have two 17 inch long pieces - one is slightly bowed and the other looks fine. You can always flip it periodically (well, not the one with the door; fortunately this piece is pretty flat still). I think for my next go, I'll order a 1/8 inch thick sheet. My 25cm cube tank covers are all perfectly flat. 

My pieces were not too expensive, I think $12-20 each. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I struggled to cut glass well.  I used thin polycarbonate plastic that I had a friend laser cut for me, put it in so one part slides to feed (saw a video).  

I ordered the greenhouse stuff from Home Depot (cheapest price) and it arrived in 2 days - haven't attempted to cut it yet

Good luck - I found a lot of options - this will be my third effort, the thin plastic does the job but is bowed and I cracked a piece

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  • 1 month later...

I made tops for my 5 gallon culture tanks with the twin wall greenhouse panels.  It cut very easily with a table saw and is working very well.  I wish I had seen this video about the clear Command hooks because I just ordered drawer pull cabinet knobs that I will have to glue on with hot glue or something.  The looks would have been much easier, quicker to apply, and probably cheaper.  The knobs were very cheap, but they’re designed to screw into a drawer or cabinet, so I’ll be gluing them in place.

Edited by Odd Duck
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On 8/18/2021 at 10:41 AM, Odd Duck said:

I made tops for my 5 gallon culture tanks with the twin wall greenhouse panels.  It cut very easily with a table saw and is working very well.  I wish I had seen this video about the clear Command hooks because I just ordered drawer pull cabinet knobs that I will have to glue on with hot glue or something.  The looks would have been much easier, quicker to apply, and probably cheaper.  The knobs were very cheap, but they’re designed to screw into a drawer or cabinet, so I’ll be gluing them in place.

I bought these, super easy and way cheaper than Command. There are lots of color and size options just search self stick knobs.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08HKK51Z7/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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I ended up using the twin wall polycarbonate. I used these for the lid part. Retzjorv 10 Pcs Self-Stick Drawer... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082HWDBYR?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

And 

FarBoat 20Pcs Plastic Clear... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083Q14V66?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share for hinges

 

PXL_20210718_192512013.jpg

Edited by aquachris
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On 8/18/2021 at 2:08 PM, Ken said:

I bought these, super easy and way cheaper than Command. There are lots of color and size options just search self stick knobs.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08HKK51Z7/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

When I follow your link the cost is a bit more than my cabinet pulls which was a bit more than the Command hooks, but with all the options others have listed, I clearly should have searched more before I purchased!  😆  Now I’m just waiting for my knobs to actually arrive (they’re overdue). 🤷🏻‍♀️

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