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src 07-19-2006 01:12 AM

Canopy for my 125G
Well, I finally finished (OK, 95%, but it's good enough for now) my canopy. I used AHSupply PC light kits (2x96, 2x55) to get to about 300W of light, which in this configuration should be close to high light. CO2 is on the way.

I'm no Norm Abrams by any stretch of the imagination (actually, my girlfriend is the woodworker, but I just had to do this myself). However, I am very happy with the design, and quite pleased with the end result. I took it as a compliment when she told me she wouldn't have done anything different, just slower and better.

Remaining tasks are to find a piece of glass or acrylic to put on the ledge below the lights (it slides in from the back like a drawer bottom), install the handles, build the moon lights and do some touch up work on the paint.

I don't have a lot of detail shots during construction, but these two should let you see the basic structure (it is upside down in these pictures, with the front to the left):

Here's a shot with the light kits installed:

These two shots were taken with the camera's flash, and the canopy lights off:

And finally, no flash and the canopy lights on - this thing really lights up the room when it is on!

fish_4_all 07-19-2006 02:06 AM

That is awesome. Now I know how to build the one I need for my 26 gallon bow front. Extra ventilation, lots of room, just looks like it makes for an awesome tank. I hope it works out well and grows huge jungles.

BTW, What did you seal it with?

src 07-19-2006 09:18 AM

I painted it with spray enamel, but I haven't done anything to seal it. Once I get the glass in I will tack it in place with a couple beads of silicone, but otherwise I didn't have any plans to seal all the joints.

Or did I misunderstand your question?

fish_4_all 07-19-2006 06:31 PM

Nope, that is exactly what I needed, thanks. I plan for mine to be up off the tank so it sounds like painting it should be more than enough.

src 07-19-2006 09:22 PM

I'll scan the rough drawings later, and put them up too. The one I made was poplar, which is a decent wood and takes paint really well.

The sides are 1x6, with a 1x1 ledge 2" up on the sides. This ledge is what sits on the top tank rail. The top is made of 1x2 boards, except for a 1x4 along the back. The back has a 1x2 at the top, which leaves a 2" gap between the canopy and tank along the back. I have a piece of plastic splash guard for light kits (usually runs along the back of a tank) that I will mount vertically instead of horizontally to fill the gap.

I used a 1x3 cross brace right behind the piano hinge. This supports the 1x2 fixed board that the hinge is attached to, and also provides stability to the frame so that everything stays square. I have tacked a 1x2 along the bottom of that brace so that it forms an "L" facing the back of the tank. The glass will sit on top of that, and the 1x1 frame rails - it will slide out the back for removal/maintenance.

The scale would be off for a much smaller tank, but it gives me plenty of room for lights and I still have good access to the tank from the front. For a small tank, I would do a solid frame all around, and just have a hatch on the top for feeding/etc. For major maintenance I would just lift the whole thing off.

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