Acrylic Lid?

BRS

chs724

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 12, 2020
Messages
35
Reaction score
43
Location
Austria
Hey all,
I am considering to diy an acrylic top for my tank? Is there any disadvantage in terms of light passing through? Anyone has any expirience? I am not a fan of meshes. Thx
 
Maxout

Tamberav

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 4, 2014
Messages
3,589
Reaction score
5,316
Location
Wauwatosa, WI
Acrylic will warp... you need polycarbonate and the condensation will reduce some light. It will also scratch some over time.
 

Mjl714

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 4, 2014
Messages
762
Reaction score
1,228
In my experience glass or acrylic tops all seem to get “stained” for lack of better word, with mineral deposits and similar from drying water on the side of the top facing towards the water. Obviously this will block light, but perhaps some solid effort on your part can keep it clean.
 

Peter Houde

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
Messages
46
Reaction score
18
Location
New Mexico, USA
Hey all,
I am considering to diy an acrylic top for my tank? Is there any disadvantage in terms of light passing through? Anyone has any expirience? I am not a fan of meshes. Thx
I found that stock lids were no longer available for my 125 gallon Oceanic. I got fed up after years of trying to repair cracked glass lids with silicone and/or tape, so I turned to custom cuts of plate glass It was expensive and I continued to have problems with cracks. Plate glass is very brittle. Finally, I was forced to consider fancy custom cut-outs to accommodate new equipment that is clearly designed with only open-top aquariums in mind. The estimated cost for the custom cuts on the glass was more expensive than the gear itself, so I considered the synthetics. First I tried plexiglass. Don't. It really warps. It cracks when you cut it. Did I mention it warps? It really warps. Beware, the terms acrylic and plexiglass are used interchangeably. I switched out the plexiglass with polycarbonate (AKA "bullet-proof glass" - at least at 3/8 inch thickness, not that I went that thick). A bit pricey, but it's going to last. It was (mostly) a cinch to make all kinds of special cut-outs, not unlike working with wood and just using wood-working tools. Easy to get carried away custom-building special features since PVC cement completely bonds pieces together. Overall, I'm really happy with it. My lids did warp very slightly (half inch over 3 foot lengths), but only the two front panels on which my front lights sit directly on the lids. The lights get hot. Warping isn't a problem because the lights hold the lids down perfectly flat while they are sitting on them. The rear lights are raised about two inches above the lids, and those lids didn't warp at all. One other thing: salt deposits do build up on the front panels directly in contact with the lights, just as it does on glass. It took some trial and error to find just the right thing to clean the deposits without scratching the polycarbonate. Fingernails under a water flow work best. Next best and my current protocol is an old credit card. Razor blades and brushes are bad choices.
 
First Choice

Micro-Reefs Aquarium

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
Messages
413
Reaction score
275
Location
United States
Hey all,
I am considering to diy an acrylic top for my tank? Is there any disadvantage in terms of light passing through? Anyone has any expirience? I am not a fan of meshes. Thx
Acrylic top will warp because the difference in moisture and dry air on the opposite side.

But all you need to do is flip it and it will soon warp back to complete straight like new and then continue warping the other way.

Simple flip again.

Wash in tap water when it collects dust or salt creep and clean with acrylic safe wash rag and you will keep it free of scratches, it is how you baby it that keeps it scratch free.

And if it does scratch you can buff it to new, with Novus 2 and 3.

Also if you don't want to worry with warping, use solvent cement acrylic scrap piece, thick pieces as vertical bars, this is a rigid acrylic stick that cannot bend.

Let me show you. Take note of the clear vertical bars on 1/4 inch tops that would warp without the bars. When you solvent cement them on the lid, it prevents it from pulling in either direction.

20210412_212900.jpg 20210412_212857.jpg
 
Last edited:
BRS

Do you have a battery backup plan in place?

  • YES (tell us in the thread)

    Votes: 109 41.0%
  • NO

    Votes: 141 53.0%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 16 6.0%
GHL Advanced Technology
Top