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Old 08-03-2015, 03:48 AM   #1
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Who here has built their own canopy?

Hey guys. Got my 75 gallon resealed and cycled, now onto the cosmetics! It did not have a cover when i purchased it, and unfortunately i am unable to find one that will work. The tank is an older 1/2" glass model without the center brace. 48"x18"x21" tall i believe? Currently i have purchased a dual T8 fixture from a hardware store and have that sitting on top. Less than aesthetically pleasing. I hope to build a canopy that will be about 4" tall and mount the ballasts and bulbs onto that, with it painted to match my stand. Does anybody have any recommendations on how to build one that wont be destroyed by the water over time? Would a paint seal it reliably?
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Old 08-03-2015, 08:41 AM   #2
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a couple of coats of paint will work just fine. Its not going to get that much water on it they usually last a long time.
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:13 AM   #3
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I built mine. It was a frame with some nice finished plywood recessed into the sides so you can't see the edges and I used a couple wooden radiator vents from Home Depot for vents in the top. After it was assembled I sliced in in half and installed some hinges , this way the bottom half of the frame remains on the tank frame and the top half opens up. I stained and urethaned it to match the tank stand itself.
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Old 08-03-2015, 02:36 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies! I was just unsure about it being right by water. How thick of wood did you use?
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Old 08-03-2015, 02:46 PM   #5
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No issues with mine being near water , however it does have glass lids so the canopy is really just a cover to hide the glass and lighting ( I have LED strip light ). I stained it and then three coats of poly after. The sides are made from 3 inch wide and 3/4 thick oak and the plywood was 1/4 inch that slips into a groove I cut in the sides to capture the plywood and this way you do not see the edge of the plywood. Water never an issue with mine
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Old 08-03-2015, 08:27 PM   #6
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I built the canopy on my 180.
I sealed it with Zinsser /Binz primer sealer and then water based poly.
The white helps reflect the light also.
The back of my canopy is open so humidity can exit.
I only have the glass cover(versa) on the back section with the middle /front completely open.
I also installed a computer fan to draw air through canopy if I need it.
When I use it I plug it into the lighting timer(one of them....).

You can see the back is open and the door is white.
I made my canopy only tall enough for lights (originally) and it opened on the top.
Then later(years) I built the door/riser section and just placed the original canopy on top!!!
2 pieces are lighter then 1!!!
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:06 PM   #7
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I built one for both my 30 and 75 gal tanks. I just used a good exterior latex house paint on the insides and the outside o0f the 75 and I stained the outside of the one on the 30 and they are holding up great. If water gets on any part it just beads up and wipes right off. They are on freshwater and the tanks are covered for the most part.
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