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Old 11-16-2005, 12:21 PM   #1
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My DIY Canopy Project (Pics included)

I recently decided to down my 125 gallon SA cichlid tank and bring it back up as a community planted tank. I've found over the last couple of years that I'm not truly happy if I'm not constantly tinkering with my tanks, and plants definitely seem like a good opportunity to do just that

I built my own stand a while back, not sure if it was one or two years ago. It's based on a design from Garf.org and has worked out really well. I've had an open top since then and have just used the glass cover I got with the stand, along with 2x36" regular 30w flourescents.

Here's my plan:
- Canopy framed with 2x2's
- Oak facing on 3 sides (front and 2 sides, back is against the wall)
- hinged top for feeding, but make canopy easily removable for tinkering.
- mount lights and new moonlight in canopy
- interior of canopy will be waterproofed, probably with poly... any suggestions?

So far I've gotten the framing done, this is it sitting in my garage:

I put the face on two nights ago, so here's a pic before I started last night:

Last night I made 3 beers worth of progress, mounting my molding:

Another angle:

My next step is to sand and smooth the corners and prepare it for finishing. I'll be using some staing and gloss to match the base, which is made from the same wood with the same molding. I'm excited to see how it turns out!

Any comments or suggestions are welcome!

PS - I couldn't figure out how to mount pictures from my web site in the post, so you'll have to follow my URL's for the pix. Sorry!

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Old 11-16-2005, 08:06 PM   #2
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nice work! I did a diy canopy not too long ago. It was fun to make. Yours looks like it'll turn out great. I could have done a better job if i had a mitre saw. Those things are awesome.
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Old 11-16-2005, 08:07 PM   #3
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"Great carpentry skills!!!!
I tend to find store prices on canopys a rip off. I thought about building myself one that will match my stand, I just cant find the time to do it in. I also use a piece of plex glass. Honestly, I pictured something much smaller than what you have. Is there a reason why everyone tends to build a canopy that sits high above the water line or does it just look that way because it slides over and down the sides of the tank?
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Old 11-16-2005, 09:58 PM   #4
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the design and construction looks good..
how do you access the tank? in other words is part of it hinged?
the back is staying open, just a Q thats a perfetly fine idea?
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Old 11-16-2005, 11:30 PM   #5
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I don't know what I'd do without the miter saw! It really makes a difference on those 45 degree angles.

Mine doesn't sit too far above the water line, just looks that way because the trim hangs over. The actual height is 11", but the trim makes it look more like 15". The bottom 2" or so hangs over the tank to cover the metal trim around the top, and the trim extends 2" over the top to hide the handles on my hinged panels.

The panels aren't in place yet, but will be hinged for feeding and access to the lights.

The back will be staying open, but I may cover it with plastic or something to keep light in.

I'm debating a system to "prop" the canopy a foot or two above the tank without lifting it off. That way the lighting wouldn't need to be unplugged, plus this thing is getting heavy...

We'll see how it goes!

Thanks for the comments!
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Old 12-02-2005, 09:58 PM   #6
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i made a small book case recently and you can buy strips of real wood "tape" that will match the wood you made the canopy with for the cut ends that are exposed, so instead of it looking like a cut end it will have a natural wood look, you can stain and sand it to match too, if your interested, i bought it at a specialty wood working store
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canopy, diy, pics, project

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