Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > General Aquarium Forums > DIY Projects
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
Old 05-02-2006, 06:33 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Freak
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 502
Send a message via ICQ to Thaiboxer
Canopy Sealant?

Hi all,

I'm just about finished with my DIY Canopy. I've got some pics on my web site, and will do instructions if anyone wants when it's finished.

I framed it with 2x2's, and faced it with oak and some trim. Sealed the outside with Poly and will put a couple coats of gloss on, it should be super sweet when it's done!

My question - what should I seal the inside with? I'm going to be running about 200 watts of lights in there to grow live plants, so it's going to be very humid with the evaporation.

My goals are:
- seal the wood canopy so it doesn't rot.
- minimize chemical exposure for my fish and plants.

I've debated the following:
- poly
- some kind of deck sealant?
- contact paper or similar with silicone in the corners

I'm open to ideas. Thanks!

Thaiboxer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2006, 11:26 AM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
dskidmore's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Genesee Valley
Posts: 2,616
Just use a white paint rated for outdoor use. It should repell water, and reflect light to boot. You shouldn't get too much condensation there, because the wood will be warmed by the lights.
dskidmore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2006, 11:26 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice FINatic
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Posts: 720
paint it white and use a lot of poly - thats my plan once I get moved, buy a new tank and start building the stand/canopy
tbonem91 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2006, 04:57 PM   #4
AA Team Emeritus
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Whitby, Ont,Canada
Posts: 2,764
Auto and marine enamel works well to paint the surfaces, and you can caulk the seams with silicone or similar to seal the joints. Silicone has to go on top of the paint as paint will not stick to it.
Join a fish club. Don't have one in your area? Start one.
BillD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2006, 10:38 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Nebraska, USA
Posts: 6,703
Yes, prime it and paint it white with an exterior paint, which is designed better for 'the elements'. Obviously oil based, marine paint, or epoxy paint are even more durable.

I'm assuming you're gonna run glass tops between the water and light? if so caulking and all that may not be too necessary.

It all depends on how much air can escape the back though. I build my canopies fairly simple, and with open backs to prevent wicked moisture buildup.

You should post your pics and design/blueprints. I'm about to do that for the super simple one I just built. Function over form, and light-weight cuz my old one took two people to remove for maintenance.
Former advisor and planted tank geek...life's moved on though.
malkore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2006, 09:30 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Freak
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 502
Send a message via ICQ to Thaiboxer
Thanks everyone for your replies! I like the idea of white paint, and I've worked with silicone a lot so doing the joints with it should be easy. I really don't want to use poly in there if I can avoid it, I think it'd leak a lot of fumes at higher temperatures.

Malkore - I'm not planning on running glass between the canopy and the lights. I'm going to do a planted tank, so I want the lights right there. I'm also using a moon light kit I bought on here (forgot the link) for night light, on a reverse timer from my grow lights. It should be super sweet.

The back will be more or less open, depending on how bad the light escapes it. If a lot of light escapes, I have a plan to drape it with black fabric in back and use fans. I work in IT so I already have an extra power supply and a handful of stealth fans I could use in there.

The canopy is over 12" high, and looks really nice. It should hold all the lights, a power strip, and any other equipment I need.

There are a couple of drawbacks to the project so far, but I like the tradeoffs:
- Spendy. I've spent more than I meant to, but I don't really care. I've enjoyed the work a lot and think it'll pay for itself in entertainment value. And let's face it, none of us would be happy if we weren't constantly tinkering.
- Time. Building and finishing my stand and canopy has taken at least 100 hours over the last year. But split up, it hasn't been that bad.
- Canopy Weight. This thing is 6' long, about 2' deep, and 12" high. All oak over 2x2's. That adds up. I can still lift it, but with lights and everything in it that's going to be harder. I already have a design in mind for a prop system. I'm going to build "legs" for the corners of the canopy so I can lift it 1/2 at a time and prop it up. I know that my plants are going to need maintenance, and I want to be able to do it when I'm alone.

I will post tons of pictures, blueprints, and my experiences when I'm finished. Hopefully some of you can learn from my mistakes.

You can get an idea of the canopy in my gallery at:

Talk to you soon!
Thaiboxer is offline   Reply With Quote

canopy, seal

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Silicone Sealant...how to tell if it's safe? happygirl65 Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 8 10-16-2006 11:08 AM
Polyurethane ok? Sealant advice, please. dansemacabre DIY Projects 11 01-12-2004 06:00 PM
where do i buy aquarium sealant? Smonkey15 Saltwater Reef Aquaria 9 12-14-2003 09:49 AM
sealant for water drips ellisz DIY Projects 4 11-29-2003 10:11 PM
Aquarium sealant Catalina Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 2 11-21-2003 09:08 PM

» Photo Contest Winners

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:52 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.