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Old 03-20-2008, 08:32 PM   #1
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The "top" of my 2ft tank needs "fixing"

Hey all... Happy Easter!

Well, things have been going really well with my tank. I stocked it on the 9th of March, and didn't have a single death. The scissortails and the harlequin rasboras appear to be really happy and are schooling all together in one big group. I really couldn't be happier with how it's turned out. (again, for the billionth time, thank you!)

My only loss was when one of the HRs jumped out of a tiny gap at the back of the tank, so I've put a towel there to patch it for now.

What I need now is advice on how to fix up the top of the tank. There's a glass cover that doesn't properly fit. It is longer and wider than the tank itself and even though the corners are cut, it doesn't fit at all and needs to be slightly angled.

The light fixture (pictured upside down below) is a free standing one. I was thinking of replacing it with one of those light reflectors that attaches to the sides, but whenever I've seen it used/demo'd, the tank has no cover. It doesn't even look like you could use a glass cover with it... Is anyone doing this?

On the left and right sides, there are glass "shelves" on the inside of the tank. I imagine are there to support a piece of glass. I also assume that if you have these things you can't attach these particular light fixtures. Is this the case, and what do others do?

Ideally I would like to get 2 WPG of light. I don't want to go down the CO2 path on this tank. I can't get to 2 WPG with a single globe reflector because they only sell up to 20W globes here. If I want more light, I need a double reflector. It's be nice if it didn't just sit on the glass as it does now, but if it has to, it's better than nothing.

Anyway, I've posted some pics here of the current set up. Should I get the glass top re-cut so it fits over the tank or so it sits on the shelf? Should I dump it in favour of another idea? How do other people close gaps so that their spritely little fish don't do death dives?

Current Set up - Towel covering gaps where fish can jump



Side View - No Towel. Red circle shows where I think the fish got out. The blue circle shows the "shelves" where I'm guessing the glass should sit. Note: those shelves don't go all the way to the back and as ou can see, I have pipes there.



Front view. You can certainly see here it just does not fit.

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Old 03-20-2008, 09:34 PM   #2
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I didn't realize that you had a rimless aqaurium. That definately would make it more interesting to try to use a glass canopy. I'd probably have a new piece of glass cut. Do some very accurate measuring, and mark where cut outs need to be for your equipment. The issue is going to become making sure that the glass rests securely on the aquarium. I'd probably pick up some aquarium safe silicon and then glue some thin peices to the bottom of the canopy to create some edges to keep the canopy in place.
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Old 03-20-2008, 09:48 PM   #3
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I have a rimless aquarium as well and I had glass cut to fit 1/4" past the edge of the aquarium. Also had my glass guys cut out for filters. I do however have a glass brace in the middle of the tank that is siliconed to act as a center brace.
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:09 PM   #4
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Anne and Joy to the rescue again. I must send you ladies some flowers!

Anne, sorry if this seems like a dumb question, but if you have your glass top a quarter inch over the sides, why the need for a center brace? I assumed that the cente r brace is there because you might have two glass pieces (one for the left and one for the right) and that is what the edges sit on. I also guess it gives some strength to the structure.

So I can get my glass top re-cut, that's no issue really, and I can get them to nip the corners so there's room for pipes/leads to get out. That's what I thought of doing, but was just throwing the issue out for any other alternatives.

Joy, I'm not 100% clear on what you mean... Get some glass pieces and glue it where exactly?

Perhaps I need to borrow neilanh's idea and suspend the lighting above the tank a few inches instead of sitting the light on the glass.
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:36 PM   #5
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You got it right, the center brace was there for support, and I use two pieces of glass left and right. I have been toying with the idea of using a suspended light as well. Where the tank is located it isn't convienent for me to do that.
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:16 AM   #6
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Hopefully this drawing will make it clearer. The black corners are the cutouts for equipment and the light grey bars are where I was thinking the glass strips would get glued on. Heck you could probably even just use a bead of silacon to do the same thing.
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Old 03-21-2008, 03:05 PM   #7
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Joy has the right idea. However, there are already 2 glass pieces on the left & right side. I think that is a Euro brace. With a 2 foot tank, you should be able to rest the glass top on those braces without the front & back pieces pictured.

You can put them in for peace of mind or a center brace so you can have a left/right split glass. But for a small tank, a standard front/back hinged glass top on those braces should be fine.
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Old 03-21-2008, 06:15 PM   #8
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Oh I see... Yeah, I will probably do that. I think it means I can't use light reflectors that attach to the sides of the tank, but I'm sure there are a ton of other options for it.

The glass I have is large enough to be re-cut, but isn't hinged.. Would the glazier do this, or do I need to go looking for a new piece of glass?
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Old 03-21-2008, 09:04 PM   #9
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The glazier can cut it into two pieces that will fit exactly onto the tank, as long as the glass is appropriate thickness for the hinge.

This is a plastic aquarium top hinge: Glass Canopy Hinge - Small - 0.125 in. x 30 in. | Canopy Parts & Accessories | Aquarium Stands & Canopies | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com
You just slide the 2 pieces of glass into the hinge & you are done.

Even though this is just a $3 part, you will porbably have to look around in Oz to find a source. The glaziers might have some glue on acrylic hinges that will work (but personally I find that ugly). You can also see if you can find a standard glass top that will fit (a 2 ft one is only $15 here - by the time you buy the hinge & pay the glazier, it might be cheaper). Commercial glass top have a plastic stripe at the back so you can adjust the width & cut out holes for your wires & hose.

As far as the light goes, people usu. put it on top of the glass top (on the back, non moving part). You just need to make sure that the light is resting on the tank rim & not the glass top itself (less risk of cracking the top). You can buy little plastic feet that allows you to mount your light at the right place .... or I just made some wood ones myself. <Or you can hang the lights from the ceiling.>
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Old 03-23-2008, 03:32 AM   #10
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That's a perfect solution.

I'll look around here for a distributor for these types of hinged canopies, but a 20 min check yielded nothing (I can't believe that these things aren't sold everywhere!).

Can worry about the lights after that.
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