#1 Fish tank covers
bobfoley Posted on: 2010/12/16 12:55
I am in the process of constructing an area in my basement to raise some killies.
I have 3 20gal long tanks that will share a filter and heater. The question I have is what material to use to cover the fish tanks.
I started to use Plexiglas, (I got it free), but I find that it curls up after it is on a tank full of water. I found out later that it absorbs water causing it to distort. Oh well! I suppose I can use it for tank partitions anyway.
I hesitate to use glass due to the difficulty of making tight holes to allow hoses and heater cords to fit thru the cover. I can cut strait sides on the glass but it mighty difficult making holes and odd shaped cutouts.
I looked around a hardware store but I couldnâ€™t identify the plastic sheet material they had for sale. I think they were meant to be replacement panels in storm doors.
#2 Re: Fish tank covers
ksimolo Posted on: 2010/12/16 14:50
The diamond hole saws that are diamond grit on a rim drill glass fairly reliably.
If you are not trying to block moisture, the tight plastic grids used on some lights etc work pretty well.
I made my own glass lids using plastic hinges (some just use silicone caulk) and then used the same plastic strips used on regular aquarium glass lids to seal the last inch or so of the tank. That strip can be easily cut or drilled for cords, tubing, etc. I also made some that were one piece of glass (no hinge).
The hinges and plastic strips can be found in places like MSC much cheaper than in aquarium stores.
#3 Re: Fish tank covers
bcooper Posted on: 2010/12/16 16:50
Ken makes a good point. You can buy the hinge material used on glass covers in long lengths, as well as the plastic strip that goes at the back of the cover. As he says, the latter is easy to drill and cut. I have special ordered both of these through my local feed store, which also carries fish tanks, and other aquarium paraphernalia.
#4 Re: Fish tank covers
bobfoley Posted on: 2010/12/16 17:04
Thanks for the prompt reply.
That sound interesting about the hinged glass. Maybe I will need to try harder using glass. Possibly mostly glass with small sections of hinged plastic with the cutouts for the siphon and heater cord.
As well as keeping the fish in the tank, I also need to minimize the moisture in the room so that would rule out a light fixture grid.
#5 Re: Fish tank covers
bcooper Posted on: 2010/12/16 23:15
You are probably best to get some of the hinge material that is used on commercial tanks. It is a continuous piece along the length of the lid. If you buy the long lengths, you can cut it just a little shorter than the lid.
As has already been said, sometimes silastic glue is used as a hinge. I've never made one, but I imagine you lay the two pieces together, with a small gap, then smear a layer of the silastic along the length of the two pieces where they abut. I do have some tanks with such hinges and my experience is that they hold up better than the plastic hinges. The latter will break down after some time.
#6 Re: Fish tank covers
wshenefelt Posted on: 2010/12/17 6:23
You can make a semicircle hole easily in a corner using a glass cutter. Make the semicircle bigger than you need the hole and then tap under the scribe to get it to crack along the scribe. IT can be sanded relatively smoothe using some cruled up silicon sandpaper. For hinges or to fill in the unwanted size of the hole get some fiberglass window screen material and a tube af aquarium silicon. cut a piece of silicon bigger than the existing hole you made (or the length of the two pieces of glass you want to hinge) and put it in place and smear the silicon thru the screen to the underlying glass for the hinge make it thin to allow it to bend. Also for the hinge you need to put the glass pieces maybe a quarter inch apart so you do not easily work and tear the hinge. The thinner the silicon on the bare part of the screen the better it will flex and the longer it will last. For holes you just cut the exact size hole you want using sissors the next day after the silicon cures. THe hinge, since flexed a lot, is only good for a few months to a year and may need to be replaces once it gets torn from use. Still if thin it will outlast the plastic hinge material thefish stores sell.
#7 Re: Fish tank covers
twroblewski Posted on: 2010/12/17 7:34
What is MSC? I am looking for a source for plastic hinge material and the plastic strips for the back of tank lids.
#8 Re: Fish tank covers
ksimolo Posted on: 2010/12/17 8:08
My plastic hinges are now about 15 years old. Purchased from MSC.
I could not find it quickly there but did find something at McMaster Carr:
#9 Re: Fish tank covers
bcooper Posted on: 2010/12/17 8:23
You may want to "Google" this topic. For example, I found http://www.aquarium-pond-answers.com/ ... 03/aquarium-silicone.html, which I think is useful.
#10 Re: Fish tank covers
ksimolo Posted on: 2010/12/17 9:13
These are the safe silicone caulks i am aware of:
GE# 012A GE Window and Door Clear,
GE# 361 GE Clear Household Glue and Seal
This is assuming the formulations have not changed. The part numbers are the important part, not the names.
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