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Old 02-27-2007, 02:05 PM   #11
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[quote="FMJnaX"]
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Originally Posted by itafx
You could look for cell-cast acrylic
Cell-cast sounds interesting. Do you know if it cuts easily and neatly on a table saw like extruded acrylic does?

Here's a link to a DIY cast-acrylic refugium. It appears to have some good ideas.

http://saltaquarium.about.com/librar...icrefugium.htm
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Old 04-22-2007, 12:52 PM   #12
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Could you build a wooden hood and mount the ligts to it? That would keep it up off of the acrylic and looks nice. I have an acrylic tank and am having the same problem. It actually came with acrylic covers for the lights and they do warp. I stuck two little pieces of wood on each end of my light to hold it up a few inches...just like two little risers. It helps just to give it more airspace. But It could use more.


I saw this link earlier today in another post and shows you what I think will work best for a cover on my tank.
http://www.melevsreef.com/29g.html
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Old 04-22-2007, 05:11 PM   #13
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Glass is far and away the best material for covers. The sharp edges are easily dealt with, by dragging a bottle or spare piece of glass back and forth along the edges. An alternative to folding tops are sliding ones, using E channel, which is used for sliding doors on DIY projects, and is available at building stores.
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Old 04-24-2007, 12:04 AM   #14
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I work in the sign industry and I cut lexan, bi-carbonate, plexi and acrylic all day long, and none of them will hold their shape on top of a tank unless you used a minimum of 1 inch thick, so do yourself a favor and get an 1/8 inch glass top from a glass shop and get plastic hinges. I once tried half inch acrylic and it bowed the first day. The plastics that marineland uses is not plexiglass, it is more of a clear ABS or pvc. But even then, they are just used in small sections for light bulb windows on black ABS plastic hoods, not entire tank top spans. For that they sell kits made from glass with the plastic hinges as I described.
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Old 05-04-2007, 01:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sicklid
I work in the sign industry and I cut lexan, bi-carbonate, plexi and acrylic all day long, and none of them will hold their shape on top of a tank unless you used a minimum of 1 inch thick, so do yourself a favor and get an 1/8 inch glass top from a glass shop and get plastic hinges. I once tried half inch acrylic and it bowed the first day. The plastics that marineland uses is not plexiglass, it is more of a clear ABS or pvc. But even then, they are just used in small sections for light bulb windows on black ABS plastic hoods, not entire tank top spans. For that they sell kits made from glass with the plastic hinges as I described.
What you say makes sense, but then what do the acrylic aquarium manufacturers use for their tanks so it doesn't warp? I have a Clarity Plus 72 Gal Bowfront and it holds its shape beautifully. The thickest part is the top cover and it's only 3/8".
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Old 05-04-2007, 07:23 PM   #16
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What you say makes sense, but then what do the acrylic aquarium manufacturers use for their tanks so it doesn't warp?
This relies on the fact that all sides, top, and bottom are welded to each other (or possibly cast) together for structural rigidity. If you take a flat piece of acrylic and just lay it on a rim with nothing to hold up the center, it doesn't take much heat (aquarium lamps are more than enough) to soften it and make it curl...
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Old 01-02-2008, 02:35 PM   #17
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One of my big problems with glass is I don't have any way to cut it on a curve. I'm trying to cover a 46 bow so my SW tank doesn't evaporate 10% per day in this dry winter weather. I've personally verified on a 20 gal that 1/4" cell cast acrylic warps, something the guys above in the thread already implied, but I found it out first hand. My next try is 3/8 inch cell cast with perpendicular strips bonded onto the most warp-prone parts for stiffening. I also found a source for acrylic hinges which would be a nice touch if they work.
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Old 01-06-2008, 12:30 PM   #18
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I use 1/4" Plexiglas/Acrylic sheet from Home Depot or Lowes. After years of cutting this stuff with a Bosch jig saw, or the old razor blade method my success rate was about 75%.

A month ago I started to cut this with my table saw. I am totally amazed how easy it is with the table saw. I can now cut perfect lines and circles by using the table saw. I am using a carbide trim blade and although one would think this would fuse the Plexiglas back together, it does not.

Try the table saw method, you will like the outcome!

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/galler...ts&searchid=19
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Old 01-06-2008, 12:39 PM   #19
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A note on the tank information area of the profiles: Not everything has been imported from the old site yet. I know the admins still have lists of things to do and getting the tank info over is on the list. They are working very hard and I'm sure it will be available soon.
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Old 01-06-2008, 07:55 PM   #20
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I've been using a saw table all along and agree, it works great, except when you have to do cut outs or curves. Then it gets a little harder. I tried 1/4 inch plexiglass from HD and found it warped horribly even on a 10 gallon tank. Next I tried 1/4 inch cell cast from Delvies Plastics and it warped too. This weekend was my next DIY try at an aquarium cover. I used 3/8" cell cast and put a double thickness strip along the most vulnerable (to warping) section. I used acrylic hinges. I've had the thing on a 20 gallon for 26 hours - no significant warping. It looks like that's going to be the ticket. it's wonderful. No black strip hinge to block the light. No excessive evaporation like all my other tanks. I took measurements on my 17 tanks to get ready to go into production. I plan to make a big buy to save on per unit shipping costs and get quantity discounts on the plastic. If anyone knows a better source for cell cast acrylic, I would definitely be interested.
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