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I think that will work nicely. I would do it like that even without grooves, if I had to. I would try to use thin material; acrylic actually absorbs water so I doubt thick material will help in the long run - maybe I'm wrong. Several ribs may be better than one.

If you succeed, you may have found yourself a side business 🙂

(Edit: using thick material, I'd like to try an acrylic frame of sorts with a quality soft plastic sheet inserted, if that makes sense. Maybe the flexible sheet part stretched and sandwiched between two, upper and lower, acrylic frame parts... could be slick.) 

Edited by darkG
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I build my own canopies so the fish have jumping room and top them with the thin acrylic used as window glass replacement. Mine don't bow, but they're glued to the canopy so there's no wriggle room for them. I even put my LED lights right against them with no issues. Here's a photo of one with the front door open looking up at the acrylic and light. I use the PVC trim boards for the canopy construction as it's waterproof and never rots. It's also easy to clean should the need arise and it's naturally white so it reflects light on the inside, but also holds paint well so the outside can be easily painted black. I've had this one in use for three or four years now with no bowing. or issues of any sort.



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