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Old 10-29-2011, 04:38 AM   #1
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My glass top cracked and I don't want to spend $20-$30 for a new one, is it possible I can make a sturdy reliable acrylic top for my tank?

The measurements are 36" x 18"

Problem I see is the acrylic sheet will bend. How can I make it stay straight and sturdy? Nothing will be placed on top of the acrylic top. The legs for my lights rest on the edges of the tank.

The acrylic sheet from Home Depot is .098 of an inch thick. So its pretty thin. But very inexpensive.

Any advice?
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:49 AM   #2
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You could cut some strips and glue them in as bracing across the width. That would help reinforce it. You could also get some very thin metal bars and fit them in across the tank in a couple places to help brace the top. Even wood dowels would be an inexpensive fix that you could build bracing out of.
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:18 AM   #3
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Good idea.

You just made my life a lot simpler.

I'm going to use wooden dowels to maintain the light weight.

Thanks.
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Old 10-29-2011, 11:03 AM   #4
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Acrylic sags under it's own weight. In order to prevent that, you would need to brace it lengthwise. I would just get a new piece of glass cut to replace what you have. No need to buy a new top.
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Old 10-29-2011, 11:19 AM   #5
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I'll price compare the acrylic and glass. I thought glass would cost more and with the cost of cutting.

I tried finding some glass tops at my LFS but they don't have my size. And one just barely smaller than my tank by quarter of an inch.
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Old 10-29-2011, 11:21 AM   #6
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You could just... leave it off?
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Old 10-29-2011, 11:52 AM   #7
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I wanted to have a topless tank but the instructions for my AquaticLife T5HO fixture states to use a top. It's not for topless tanks. I'm assuming this is to protect the fixture from condensation.

Even though the fixture has a thin acrylic sheet slide in front of the bulbs.

I'll call around and price compare the glass. I'll make my acrylic project the last resort.
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Old 10-29-2011, 11:57 AM   #8
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That is probably a liability issue for the manufacturer of the light. I don't think I would worry too much about it, if you did want to run it with no top.
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:00 PM   #9
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Yep, I'd agree its for liability. I run T5HO fixtures, some without spash guards, with no lids on my tanks.
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:20 PM   #10
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If that's the case I'll run it topless.

You guys just saved me a lot of time and money.

I love this forum!

Thanks for all your help.
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